Keeping a Notary Journal

The state of Iowa does not require keeping a record of notarizations, however, it can be an effective tool in deterring fraud. It is common practice at Halitek to keep record of all notarizations performed, including requiring signers to affix their signature as an additional proof of the notarization. The information we record includes, but is not limited to, form of identification used to identify the signer, legal information from the ID, when we met, what documents were notarized and what type of notarization was performed as well as the signature of the signer. With these steps, we practice a reasonable standard of care toward a proper notarization.

The Signing Agent Journal we use can be purchased complete with Security Shield at Notary Central Supplies

Power of Attorney – Don’t wait until it is too late

There are several types of power of attorney documents. Some are for medical power of attorney and others are for general personal affairs such as finances.

Many families are waiting until something happens before putting a power of attorney into place with their children or a trusted individual. Setting up a power of attorney before you become hospitalized or deemed incompetent does not mean you are turning your affairs over to someone now. They can be set to take effect upon you no longer being capable of handling your affairs and not until.

So many people come to me for notarization of a power of attorney to take over their parent’s affairs once they have been deemed no longer able to care for themselves and no longer competent to handle their affairs. Once they have become incompetent it is too late to put a power of attorney document into place with a signature from the person and a notarization of their signature.

Please be aware of this and prepare for that day before it comes, to save the money and headache of having to petition the courts after it has happened to you or your loved one.

If you need notary assistance, contact me via phone or text at (712) 251-5559 to set an appointment. I can asist you if you live in the Sioux City, Iowa or surrounding area.

Please be prepared with a valid form of ID such as an Iowa driver’s license, Iowa state issued ID or passport for identification purposes.

Using a Signing Agent – Benefit to the Consumer

Among mobile notaries is a special group of notaries called ‘Notary Signing Agents’. For the remainder of this article I will refer to them as NSAs. An NSA is firstly a Notary Public to witness signatures and administer oaths where applicable on certain notarizations. Secondly, the NSA duties can be a breath of fresh air for a borrower. In signing my own home loan years ago, I went to a local escrow office. The documents were placed in front of me and I was hard pressed to get many details from the person who watched me sign them. How an NSA differs from many Title or Escrow officers is that an NSA will spend the necessary time with you and at your convenience of time and location.

A loan signing can be a daunting experience for many borrowers. They often have very little knowledge of the process and are not familiar with the documents. Enlisting the services of an NSA can set your mind at ease. A professional, knowledgeable NSA will walk you through the documents. The NSA cannot give you legal advise or opinions about the loan. If you have questions such as what is my interest rate? Did they set up an escrow like I wanted? What is the length or term of the loan? These are questions the NSA can point out the answers to on several documents within the loan package.

When I explain to someone what I do as a profession, I often hear, ‘I wish you would have been around when I signed my loan. They stuck this pile in front of me and told me to sign.’

A good NSA will be certain when they leave the signing with that signed loan package, they have done all they can to find answers to the borrower’s questions and the borrowers are comfortable with what they have just signed.

An NSA has a very hard job. We must stay neutral, so we cannot give opinions or advice, and we cannot act as an advocate for you, the borrower’s part, or on the part of the lender. There are times we may find something unusual and all we can do is point it out and if it seems strange to you, the borrower, you have the option to question it with your lender.

Unfortunately, the lender may give you answers that are biased to their pocketbook. In other words, they may give the answer you want to hear so that you will sign the documents. It may not be true. It is imperative that there is someone who can aid the borrower in making an informed decision. It cannot be the NSA. There is a multitude of information on the internet that may enlighten a borrower of their rights and information regarding the lending process but #1 How many people will actually do the research; and #2 How many know where to look. Places a consumer may look for information include the Consumer Information section at www.HUD.gov.