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 Notaries in California Breaking the Law
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HighDesertNotary

California
12 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2012 :  9:38:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
I explained I still couldn't notarize her name printed incorrectly on the documents even if there was an AKA statement



I think you were actually wrong. Nowhere in the law are we told that a name printed on a document must exactly match the ID presented. We also also not told about the less/more rule rule, either. This is a common myth taught in training classes, and while is a decent concept is a VERY common misconception and easily misconstrued idea. Our laws are worded very specifically regarding ID to use the phrase "satisfactory evidence" and our handbook specifically defines it (page 8) as "the absence of any information, evidence, or other circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the individual is not the individual he or she claims to be."

In other words, you need to use your common sense. Obviously, You can't use forms of ID that are unacceptable (SS cards, etc.) but do the signatures match? Does she claim the right to sign the document? Our notarial certificates are worded very specifically for this very reason... if they CLAIM the right to sign something, we have to take them at their word.

We are told that "the acknowledgment of an instrument shall not be taken unless the officer taking it has satisfactory evidence that the person making the acknowledgment is the individual who is described in and who executed the instrument." (1185a)

There's that reference to satisfactory evidence again. You're not required to get an exact match of a name. You just have to be reasonably certain its the same person. IF you are reasonably certain, then there's no reason to stop. Now, if you truly can't be sure this isn't the person they claim to be, than that's a different story... but most of the time, if I've got a person with a legal ID wanting to sign something, claiming to have the authority... there's usually not much that's going to prevent me from proceeding. My notarial certificate will reflect the name on the ID and the signature on the document will match the ID. I never, ever force people to sign their names as written on a document. How am I supposed to notarize a signature that differs from their ID? Nope... it matches the ID or I don't do it. If those conditions are met, I'm usually pretty comfortable.

In the case you describe, I would have just let her sign, notarized her signature according to the one on her legal ID. When I fill out my certificates, I always, ALWAYS write the name on the ID. I essentially ignore any name preprinted on a document. That name is totally meaningless to me (for the purposes of filling out the certificate) because I'm notarizing the signature of the person in front of me, not a printed name. I don't ignore it, of course... but on the certificate itself, on that... goes the name from the official, acceptable ID. I have never, once, had this be an issue. I know some notaries say some companies get uptight about this, but it's never been an issue for me. If a document says James T Dean, but the guy in front of me has an ID that says James Thomas Dean, then that's the name that goes on the certificate. What if the real James T Dean is actually James Taylor Dean? Well, that could eventually become a problem, couldn't it? But, with me putting the full name on the notary certificate, it might help prevent misunderstandings a little bit faster. Whereas, if I just put James T Dean, how many years would this poor guy be fighting to prove it wasn't actually him if he wasn't aware of the laws that allow him to get a copy of the journal entry?

------
www.highdesertnotary.com
Serving Northern Los Angeles and Southeastern Kern Counties of California
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LindaH

Florida
1752 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2012 :  3:40:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by smcohn

On 9/20, Dannotary states "Yeah, in Calif, each document has to be entered and signed for, I have them thumbprint EACH one also." Can anyone provide a reference that specifically requires this? I've heard this before, but have never been able to locate the source. Thanks.



This was just discussed on another forum; I believe your SOS issues a workbook; it's contained in that. Here's the link - page 24-26 I believe:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notary/forms/notary-education-sample-workbook-2012.pdf



Linda
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com

Edited by - LindaH on 09/25/2012 3:45:21 PM
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smcohn

California
17 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2012 :  09:42:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit smcohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
On 9/20, Dannotary states "Yeah, in Calif, each document has to be entered and signed for, I have them thumbprint EACH one also." Can anyone provide a reference that specifically requires this? I've heard this before, but have never been able to locate the source. Thanks.
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Dannotary

California
265 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2012 :  11:20:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dannotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have been to a lot of signings where borrowers have told me'Gee, the other notaries never had a problem notarizing my loans with Mary Elizabeth Jones before" (when ID only says Mary Jones). Makes me ashamed and wonder about other notaries. I see instances where notaries have broke the law many times. I also get told my loan and real estate agents, "Gee whiz, why do they have to sign your book so many times, all other notaries I have used just have them sign once".
Yeah, in Calif, each document has to be entered and signed for, I have them thumbprint EACH one also. When I bought another home recently, where there were 3 notarized documents and I was only asked to sign one time in the book. Her journal didnt even say it was loan docs, she just entered the address of the property. Well, I didnt say anything, I just hope she gets caught some day or gets called to court some day for some reason and has to show her journal, boy are they going to put her on the hot grills.

Have been a Calif notary 30yrs, was a realtor for 12 yrs, signing agent for 13 yrs having completed approx 11,000 loan signings.Spanish English bilingual. Avail M-F, 9-9 some weekends and holidays.
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Dannotary

California
265 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2012 :  11:12:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dannotary's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No, its 'less than but NOT more than or different than' whats on the ID. Iused to get bent out of shape by this all the time, but anymore, I dont care how the docs are drawn, the name I am putting on the notary acks and jurats is the name that is on the ID. I.E., John Smith on docs, ID says John Edward Smith, John Smith is how I am notarizing. John E. Smith on docs and only John Smith on ID gets notarized as John Smith. etc. In the later case, I also always include on the Sig Affidavit or Name Affidavit, the name that is on the ID if it is different than the name on the docs. I have reinforced by the NNA several times that I am doing this correctly.

Have been a Calif notary 30yrs, was a realtor for 12 yrs, signing agent for 13 yrs having completed approx 11,000 loan signings.Spanish English bilingual. Avail M-F, 9-9 some weekends and holidays.
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Renee

Michigan
549 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2012 :  04:20:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Where in the CA statute does it say anything about "more but not less"? Where in this statute does it say anything about name variants in any respect? Where does it say "reasonable reliance" can only be established if the name variant identically matches what is used on the document?

Here is CA Civil Code section 1185(a):

Civil Code § 1185.
(a) The acknowledgment of an instrument shall not be taken unless the officer taking it has satisfactory evidence that the person making the acknowledgment is the individual who is described in and who executed the instrument.

(b) For the purposes of this section “satisfactory evidence” means the absence of any information, evidence, or other circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the person making the acknowledgment is not the individual he or she claims to be and any one of the following:

(1) (A) The oath or affirmation of a credible witness personally known to the officer, whose identity is proven to the officer upon presentation of any document satisfying the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4), that the person making the acknowledgment is personally known to the witness and that each of the following are true:

(i) The person making the acknowledgment is the person named in the document.

(ii) The person making the acknowledgment is personally known to the witness.

(iii) That it is the reasonable belief of the witness that the circumstances of the person making the acknowledgment are such that it would be very difficult or impossible for that person to obtain another form of identification.

(iv) The person making the acknowledgment does not possess any of the identification documents named in paragraphs (3) and (4).

(v) The witness does not have a financial interest in the document being acknowledged and is not named in the document.

(B) A notary public who violates this section by failing to obtain the satisfactory evidence required by subparagraph (A) shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000). An action to impose this civil penalty may be brought by the Secretary of State in an administrative proceeding or any public prosecutor in superior court, and shall be enforced as a civil judgment. A public prosecutor shall inform the secretary of any civil penalty imposed under this subparagraph.

(2) The oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury of two credible witnesses, whose identities are proven to the officer upon the presentation of any document satisfying the requirements of paragraph (3) or (4), that each statement in paragraph (1) of this subdivision is true.

(3) Reasonable reliance on the presentation to the officer of any one of the following, if the document is current or has been issued within five years:

(A) An identification card or driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

(B) A passport issued by the Department of State of the United States.

(4) Reasonable reliance on the presentation of any one of the following, provided that a document specified in subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, shall either be current or have been issued within five years and shall contain a photograph and description of the person named on it, shall be signed by the person, shall bear a serial or other identifying number, and, in the event that the document is a passport, shall have been stamped by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service:

(A) A passport issued by a foreign government.

(B) A driver’s license issued by a state other than California or by a Canadian or Mexican public agency authorized to issue drivers’ licenses.

(C) An identification card issued by a state other than California.

(D) An identification card issued by any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(E) An inmate identification card issued on or after January 1, 1988, by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody.

(F) An employee identification card issued by an agency or office of the State of California, or by an agency or office of a city, county, or city and county in this state.

(G) An inmate identification card issued prior to January 1, 1988, by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the inmate is in custody.

(c) An officer who has taken an acknowledgment pursuant to this section shall be presumed to have operated in accordance with the provisions of law.

(d) Any party who files an action for damages based on the failure of the officer to establish the proper identity of the person making the acknowledgment shall have the burden of proof in establishing the negligence or misconduct of the officer.

(e) Any person convicted of perjury under this section shall forfeit any financial interest in the document.
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jrobert789

California
28 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2012 :  03:43:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit jrobert789's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The cost of fees will not directly affect the amount of documents that need to be notarized. A document either needs to be notarized or it doesn’t. In generally, is unethical for a notary to notarize a document that doesn’t need to be notarized.
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PRICE50

Oregon
3 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  5:36:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am always pleased when the first document in the package is an affidavit that will be filed with the New Deed correcting the name of the owner.
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notaryslife

California
348 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  09:39:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I came across another example of loan signing agents/notary publics in California disregarding the very basics of notarization law related to names that have "more not less" they shouldn't be notarizing yet still do for the convenience of themselves and title companies.

Example:

Lady from China had an old Chinese name on her Deed of Trust, etc having since changed it years ago. She has no required ID with her old name. The difference was the middle initial.

When I explained the problem to her at the signing she was honest, not making up stories, that the four previous refinance experiences she had no problem. In one case she said she provided both her passport and driver's license and then showed her social security card that was the only ID she had with the old name and that satisfied the notary. I apologized to her profusely those previous notaries disregarded the law to notarize her old name without any valid ID.

She didn't have any witnesses available so I had to terminate the signing. The next day the escrow person called me furious wanting to know why I didn't notarize the signature saying there was an AKA statement in the package. I explained I still couldn't notarize her name printed incorrectly on the documents even if there was an AKA statement.

It's been my continual experience in these situations notaries in California have no problem disregarding the law to make life more convenient. I explained to the borrower, the reason I was a notary public was to follow the law, not disregard it in order to make more money.

Shame on those who violate the law to make life more convenient for themselves in order to get more work from these signing companies! Shame on all of you! You make it hard for good notaries out here who get the heat for following the law to the letter!

Sincerely yours,


Notary's Life
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