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 and ideas for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary educations, and securing their notary supplies but makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained . 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 federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.

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