Top Five Notary Signing Agent Mistakes

Humans make mistakes. We just can't be right 100% of the time. With repetition and sound practices, however, most mistakes made can be eliminated. Here are the top mistakes notary signing agents make so you can be on the lookout.

1- Missing Signatures. If you are lucky enough to receive the package ahead of time, tab the pages that require signatures, so you will be less likely to miss a signature. Check, double check, and triple check every page before you leave the signing and once more before you drop.

2- Acknowledgment filled out incorrectly. Make certain you have filled in the county, state, date, and borrower's name. If you need to make a correction, make one line through the error and initial it. Check that you have spelled the borrower's name correctly, used any middle initials or suffixes, and any additional language such as trustee or power of attorney, as well.

3- Font is shrunk down. Having a dual tray printer eliminates this mistake. If you don't have a dual tray printer, legal paper is usually an acceptable alternative, but you will want to check with your customer first. Shrinking your documents to fit letter-size paper alters the size of the font, and many counties have a minimum font requirement. This mistake usually causes the county to reject the document for recording, and then a return trip to the borrower needs to be made.

4- Notary stamp is illegible. Always make certain your notary stamp is inked and carry a bottle of ink with you just in case. If your stamp and the entire seal isn't legible, you need to find a way to correct it. Swapping your copy for the borrower's copy and starting from scratch is the best alternative. If a copy isn't available, you can cross out the illegible notary stamp impression and stamp again or add an acknowledgment to the document.

5- Additional items weren't collected. Be certain you have checked your instructions and verified if anything additional is required. Items such as copies of ID, credit card statements, death certificates, and powers of attorney may need to be returned with the package. If funds are due, verify if a personal check is acceptable or a certified check is required and confirm to whom it needs to be made payable.

-- Marcy Tiberio is a Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.

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