Loan Signing Agent (LSA) doing a signing with a client

The Importance of Reading Instructions for Notaries

Notaries play a pivotal role in the execution of important transactions, requiring meticulous attention to detail, and this is why Carol Ray, Founder of Notary2Pro always advised her students to read instructions carefully. Reading and adhering to instructions is an essential part of a notary public’s responsibilities, ensuring legal compliance, protecting against fraud, maintaining accuracy, and upholding the integrity of the notarial process. One common mistake that notaries often make is not reading instructions carefully, leading to a variety of issues. This article explores the importance of reading instructions for notaries, highlighting how it helps instill trust in their services, recognize potential signs of fraud, ensure consistent and accurate performance, prevent document rejection or legal disputes, comply with jurisdiction-specific laws and regulations, demonstrate professionalism and competence, provide liability protection, and fulfill their ethical duty with honesty and integrity.

Why It’s Important to Read Instructions

Lori Glockner, the Director of Operations for Notary2Pro, emphasizes the importance of notaries fulfilling their ethical duty with honesty and integrity. Following instructions is a fundamental aspect of demonstrating professionalism and competence in the notarial process. By doing so, notaries instill trust in the process and earn a positive reputation within their communities. On the other hand, failure to follow instructions and procedures can lead to legal and financial consequences, including the invalidation of notarized documents.

Reading instructions helps notaries recognize potential signs of fraud or irregularities in the documents they are asked to notarize. This vigilance helps protect both the notary and the parties involved in the transaction. Following instructions ensures that notaries perform their duties consistently and accurately. This helps maintain the integrity of the notarial process and ensures that notarized documents are reliable and trustworthy.

Mistakes in notarization, such as incomplete or incorrect certificates, can lead to document rejection or legal disputes. Careful reading of instructions can help prevent such errors.

Notary laws and regulations vary by state, and each jurisdiction may have its specific requirements for notarization. Reading instructions ensure compliance with the relevant laws in the notary’s jurisdiction. Properly following instructions can provide some level of liability protection for notaries. If a dispute arises, being able to demonstrate that one followed all relevant instructions can be crucial.

Common Mistakes Due to Not Reading Instructions

Incorrect Ink Color

Using the incorrect ink color can cause the loan to be rejected and redrawn, costing money and wasting time due to negligence.

Incorrectly Signing Documents

For instance, a closing involving a trust may require the trustee’s language for the signatures. Some companies do not require the full language, so it’s important to pay close attention to the instructions.

Misunderstanding Who Should Sign

Instructions often let you know who should be signing the documents. This could be a split signing which requires you to sign with one party and send the documents to the next party.

Using the Wrong Shipping Label

Sometimes there are two shipping labels. Instructions often tell you which label to use. This could hold up the entire process if a company has to try to hunt down the documents.

The Importance of Confirmation Calls

When you receive a loan signing appointment, it’s crucial to go over the confirmation carefully as there may be specific items to address such as what color of ink they want, whether they want you to collect funds to send back with the executed documents, or if scanbacks are required.

During confirmation calls, it’s important to be very specific. For instance, make it clear that your role is to verify their identity, show them where to sign, date, initial if required and that you can give them a brief explanation of each document, but you cannot answer any questions regarding their loan terms.

The Dangers of Loose Notarial Certificates

Another thing to say “no” to is when a title company or lender puts a blank loose notarial certificate within the loan package that is not attached to a document and asks you to complete and notarize the document. Do not ever do so as they could use it and attach it to any document.

Being a good notary and Loan Signing Agent (LSA) requires diligence in reading instructions. It requires self-motivation, organization, excellent communication skills, and outstanding customer service skills.

What Can Happen When You DON’T Read Instructions

The removal of a Notary’s commission, either temporarily or permanently, is a typical punishment for Notary misbehavior. Arizona officials have the authority to revoke a Notary’s commission for failing to administer an oath or affirmation during a jurat (ARS 41-330.A.9), notarizing a signature without certificate wording (ARS 41-330.A.12), overcharging fees (ARS 41-330.A.6), using false or misleading advertising (ARS 41-330.A.5), or other offenses.

Legal Consequences

Under some state laws, certain violations in performing a notarization can lead to a Notary being found may include fines, license suspension or revocation, and potential civil or criminal liability, especially if notarization is involved in fraudulent activities.

Under some state laws, certain violations in performing a notarization can lead to a Notary being found guilty of a misdemeanor or even a felony in serious cases. Some states issue criminal penalties for specific acts. Some types of misconduct may require the Notary to pay a fine or other civl penalty.

Liability for Errors

Even if a state does not fine a Notary or levy other punishments for misconduct, a Notary will be held liable for any resulting errors or discrepancies in the notarized document. This can lead to financial and legal liabilities like being sued whether the Notary made the mistake intentionally or not.

Invalid Notarization – Docs rejected

Rejection of documents can be costly not only for the companies involved but for the borrowers as well. They could lose their interest lock-in rate.

Damage to Reputation – Blacklisted, loss of business

There are many ways for multiple companies to find reviews and research notaries, even if you think the companies aren’t related. Online Review Platforms, Notary Association Websites, Business Directories, Social Media, Online Notary Directories, Word-of-mouth, Notary Public Registries, Online Forums and Communities

Ethical Concerns – Breach of duty

Notaries are entrusted with a significant responsibility to accurately execute legal documents, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations. By neglecting to read and follow instructions meticulously, notaries risk failing to fulfill their duty with honesty and integrity.

Potential for Fraud

Failing to follow instructions may create opportunities for fraud or misuse of notarization, potentially harming the parties involved in a transaction.

Inconvenience for Clients

A notary’s failure to follow instructions leads to issues with notarized documents, it creates a significant inconvenience for clients.

The importance of reading and adhering to instructions for notaries cannot be overstated. It’s a fundamental practice that ensures accuracy, trust, and compliance in this vital profession. Understanding the critical role of precise instruction following, our Elite course at Notary2Pro delves deeper into this topic and various other essential aspects of the notary field. By enrolling in our Elite course, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of best practices and the intricacies of your role. So, whether you’re a seasoned notary or just starting your journey, exploring the art of reading instructions is a pivotal step toward becoming an elite notary public. Join us at Notary2Pro to learn more, enhance your notarial skills, and be part of a community dedicated to excellence.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top