Notary Bulletin

Bulletin Articles

How Long Does It Take To Make Money As A New Notary Signing Agent?

Many new Notary signing agents want to know how long it will take to establish themselves and start turning a profit. Clay Mason of Superior Notary Services offers some general advice in this guest column...More

West Virginia Latest State To Increase Notary Fees

Starting July 1, West Virginia will become the latest state to raise the amount Notaries may charge for their services...More

NNA Offers Free Notary Training For Veterans At 2014 Conference

To support our troops facing the difficult task of reentering civilian career paths, the National Notary Association is offering complimentary Notary training to veterans Monday, June 2, 2014 at the NNA 2014 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Racial Slur

One busy day, you have two customers come in back to back requesting notarizations.One customer mutters a racial slur toward the other, loud enough for you and the other customer to hear. What would you do next?..More

Arkansas Launches Electronic Notarization Program

Notaries in Arkansas can now apply for a special commission to electronically notarize documents, according to an April 2 announcement by Secretary of State Mark Martin...More

How To Certify A Copy Of A Document

Notaries are often asked by signers to verify that a reproduction or photocopy of an original document is a true, complete and correct copy of the original. Whether you can do so isn’t always clear-cut. Here are some important facts about copy certification all Notaries should know...More

Son Stepped Up To Help Mom's Notary Business While She Battled Breast Cancer

When Sherry Flynn found out she had breast cancer, she didn’t know how she would keep her mobile Notary business going. But her son, Thomas — also a Notary — came through and saved the day for her, she says...More

The NNA's Bill Anderson Discusses Industry Issues At Montana Notary Conference

The National Notary Association’s Bill Anderson, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, was a featured speaker at the Montana Secretary of State’s 2014 Notary Conference last week...More

Ocwen Financial Robo-Signing Settlement Is Finalized

Ocwen Financial Corporation, the nation’s largest non-bank mortgage servicing company, has agreed to substantial mandates involving the notarization of foreclosure-related documents as part of a $2.1 billion “robo-signing” settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 49 state Attorneys General...More

Four Common Mistakes Notaries Must Avoid

It’s crucial for Notaries to be on guard against careless errors. Mistakes on a notarized document can have serious consequences for signers, ranging from delays in filing legal papers to mortgage applications being rejected. ..More

Bank Notary Accused Of Refusing Request From Atheist

The head of a group called American Atheists claims that an employee of a bank in Cranford, New Jersey, refused to notarize several documents for personal reasons, according to statements from the organization...More

Notary Public Fees To Increase In Several States

Maryland and Wyoming have raised the fees Notaries may charge for performing notarizations, and several other states are considering legislation that would also raise Notary Public fees...More

Three Tax Mistakes Notaries Should Avoid

April 15 is just a few weeks away, and that means it’s time for Notaries to get their tax returns in to the IRS. But be careful not to make mistakes that can cost you a refund...More

Credit Union, Title Company Carry Out First Electronic Closing Of FHA Loan

Stewart Title and Mountain America Credit Union in Utah have executed the first electronic mortgage closings of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)...More

Tips To Safeguard A Notary's Mobile Devices From Identity Thieves

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are essential tools for signing agents and mobile Notaries to keep connected to clients and other business activities while on the road. But all too often we assume that the data stored on them is safe from prying eyes...More

Certified Signing Specialist Code Of Conduct: Guiding Principle 3

As a Notary Public, a Certified Signing Specialist must be a neutral third party witness. However, since the Specialist is also called to observe the signing of documents at the signing table that are not notarized, the Specialist’s impartiality has a much wider scope. This is why the Code devotes an entire Guiding Principle to it...More

Reverse Mortgages Offer Potential Income To Notary Signing Agents

With the conventional mortgage market going through its deepest downturn in nearly a decade and a half, reverse mortgages offer a potential alternative line of work for Notary signing agents...More

Wyoming Raises Notary Fees; West Virginia May, Too

Starting July 1, Wyoming Notaries may charge a maximum fee of $5 for notarial acts — more than double the current maximum fee of $2. And West Virginia Notaries may be the next to see their fees go up, also from $2 to $5...More

Never Take Shortcuts When Notarizing Election Documents

As states and towns start to get their ballots together for the 2014 political season, don’t forget that faulty notarizations on election documents often result in messy legal battles between political opponents...More

Becoming A Paralegal (Infographic)

If you’re a Notary who's ever been interested in working as a paralegal, the following infographic from George Washington University provides a helpful overview of a paralegal’s duties, salary, training, and job prospects...More

Assessing Insurance Needs For Your Notary Business

Whether you are an experienced entrepreneur or starting a new Notary business, it’s wise to review your insurance coverage to make sure all your liability bases are covered...More

Commentary: The SPW And How We Got Here

The new requirements of background checks, training, certification and oversight coming from the Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) seem to have taken many by surprise, but they actually have been in the works ever since 1999...More

WWYD Answer: The Case Of The Crowded Journal

Last week, we posed a scenario, The Case Of The Crowded Journal, about a California Notary who ran out of room to record entries in the middle of a notarization. The question was: Do you use your spouse’s journal, stop the notarizations or try to find another solution?..More

eSignatures, eNotarization, Webcam Notarization And iClose: What's the Difference?

The impact of technology on Notaries has become a hot topic in social media communities. But there also is a lot of confusion about electronic notarizations and webcam notarizations. Here are basic definitions of these terms to help clarify the differences between terms and processes...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Crowded Journal

Imagine you are notarizing signatures on multiple documents for a customer. In the middle of the assignment, you realize you have filled your entire journal — but you still have several more notarizations to record only now there’s no room for any more entries...More

NNA 2014 Conference Schedule Now Available

The NNA 2014 Conference schedule is now available online to help you plan your time at the premiere annual event for U.S. Notaries June 1-4 in Phoenix, Arizona...More

Men And Women Dig On Digs Differently (Infographic)

Here’s a clever infographic about the little things – like floor plans, outdoor living spaces, and curb appeal - that influence the big decision to buy a home...More

SEO For Notary Signing Agents: Converting Web Traffic Into Cash

In the final installment, we explore techniques and tactics you can use to bring in qualified traffic that will actually convert to customers and dollars for your business...More

A History Of Consumer Protection (Infographic)

In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week (March 2 - 8), Lexington Law created this infographic highlighting the history of consumer rights and improvements...More

Mortgage Banking Magazine: New Standards For Notaries

Mortgage Banking magazine graciously accepted an article submission from NNA Managing Editor Michael Lewis.

This is reprinted with permission from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), from the February 2014 issue of Mortgage Banking magazine. Not for republication or third-party website posting...More

Use The Web To Stand Out As A Notary Signing Agent

In part one of this "Basic SEO" series we discussed the importance of setting up a solid website and choosing the right keywords. Next we will explore how to build your brand through local and social listings...More

The Certified Signing Specialist Code Of Conduct: Guiding Principle 2

Guiding Principle 2 of the Certified Signing Specialist™ Code of Conduct focuses on the importance of notarization in a mortgage loan or real property transaction...More

Five Tips For Putting Together A Notary Business Plan

Whether you’re starting out as Notary Signing Agent or looking to expand your business, a good business plan will keep you organized and focused on the essentials. Here are five tips for creating a solid business plan from David Howell, a Texas Notary, business owner and mentor with SCORE, a national nonprofit association that helps small businesses get off the ground...More

U.S. Notaries By The Numbers (Infographic)

Did you know that more than one third of U.S. Notaries work in the banking, finance and mortgage industries?  If you ever wondered how you stack up against other Notaries, check out more statistics in our latest infographic...More

Signing Agents Call For Smaller Loan Packages, More Time To Review Documents Before Closings

The NNA invited Notaries on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn last week to discuss how the mortgage closing process could be improved. In response, signing agents called for more time to review loan documents and smaller loan packages to help the closing process...More

How Notary Signing Agents Get Themselves Found On The Web

Most Notary entrepreneurs are serious about their businesses. They have websites, social profiles, they’re listed in online directories, and more. But how many of those are optimized for Internet searching? That’s where SEO — or search engine optimization — comes into play...More

Video: Why You Should Come To NNA 2014

2013 Notary of the Year Kathy Fletcher shares how the NNA Conference benefits her as a Notary and invites you to join her at NNA 2014...More

Three Things To Avoid In Your Home Office

Working from home can be rewarding for Notaries, but it has its distractions. Here are some things to avoid when working out of your home:..More

Public To CFPB: Borrowers Need More Time To Review Loan Documents

Consumers, industry professionals and Notaries, among other voices, have suggested to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that borrowers need more time before a loan signing to review the loan documents...More

How To Turn Your Social Media Fans Into Engaged Customers (Infographic)

How do you engage with your casual or quiet social media followers? This infographic from Reach Local describes the seven popular types of social media fans and offers tips on how build a mutually beneficial relationship with them...More

How One Notary Was Saved From A Costly Lawsuit Over A Forged Seal

Imagine being sued over a notarization you did not perform. It sounds unlikely, but that’s exactly what happed to one California Notary whose signature and seal were forged on a bogus real estate document...More

Etiquette For Notary Bloggers, Posters And Social Media Sharers

Since the mortgage industry slow down over the last couple of months, several Notaries have taken to writing blogs, exchanging comments on social media sites and posting on individual website forums. When you first start posting, like anything else, there is a trial-and-error-period while you learn what you should and should not do...More

FHA Expands Electronic Signature Program

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) announced last week that it is significantly expanding the number of electronically signed documents it will allow lenders to accept. The move is part of the agency’s modernization initiative and is another step toward creating completely electronic mortgage transactions in which all documents are created, signed and notarized electronically...More

Five Alternate Ways To Earn Income

Over the past year the NNA has been highlighting a number of resources for signing agents to earn income amid the real estate downturn...More

The Certified Signing Specialist Code Of Conduct: Guiding Principle 1

NNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Bill Anderson discusses Guiding Principle 1...More

Facebook Profile: Business Or Pleasure?

Most of us have personal Facebook profiles to connect and share with our friends and family. But is what you’re sharing on your personal profile appropriate for signing services and other business clients?..More

Public Opportunity To Inform CFPB About Mortgage Closing 'Pain Points' Ends Feb. 7

There’s a week left to offer your insights and suggestions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on how the loan closing process can be improved for the consumer...More

SigningAgent.com Profiles Updated With New E&O Options

Any Signing Agent who carries a non-NNA E&O policy can now officially list their coverage on SigningAgent.com...More

Proper Fit For A Formal Business Suit (Infographic)

The business world has changed over the years, allowing for a wide range of acceptable, workplace attire. But there are times — such as a job interview or new client meeting — where a suit is the order of the day.Morediv>

Alternate Income Opportunity: Mobile Exam Proctors

Though the mortgage market is sluggish, there’s a growing field with work potential for Notaries seeking to supplement their primary careers and make extra money — proctoring exams for online students...More

Correcting Certificate Mistakes No Longer Allowed In California

The California Secretary of State’s office issued a statement this month informing Notaries that they are not allowed to correct mistakes on a notarial certificate after a notarization is complete...More

WWYD Answer: The Case Of Healthy Signing Agent Competition

Last week, we posed a scenario, The Case of Healthy Signing Agent Competition, about an overbooked Notary who was asked by a loyal client for a referral for another reputable Notary.  The question was: Do you recommend your client to another Notary, or do you keep quiet in hopes that you won’t lose business to your local competition?..More

MBA: Mortgage Lending To Hit 14-Year Low In 2014

Business has been slow for signing agents in recent months, and that trend is expected to continue. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest annual forecast, overall mortgage lending is expected to drop to less than $1.12 trillion this year — its lowest level since 2000, and one-third lower than 2013...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of Healthy Signing Agent Competition

Imagine it’s late on a Thursday afternoon, and one of your regular clients calls and asks if you can meet her at a hospital 30 minutes outside of town, to notarize a power of attorney document. The only problem is, you already have a loan signing booked on the other side of town, and you just can’t handle both...More

Secrets To Being A Productive Notary Entrepreneur (Infographic)

When we asked Notaries nationwide what their New Year’s resolution is for their business, the overwhelming responses were to get more business and to be more productive...More

Signing Agent Accused Of Selling Borrowers' Information To Identity Thieves

An Indianapolis, Indiana, signing agent is facing criminal charges for allegedly selling personal information collected from borrowers to identity thieves, betraying the trust of the mortgage finance industry and her duty as a Notary Public to protect consumers...More

CFPB Identifying Consumer 'Pain Points' To Help Improve Mortgage Closings

In its ongoing effort to protect consumers in the mortgage lending process, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is calling on the public to report their experiences and suggestions on how the loan closing process can be improved...More

Overview Of The Certified Signing Specialist Code of Conduct

Many occupations publish a code of conduct to promote professional behaviors among its practitioners. Recently, the Signing Professionals Workgroup released its Certified Signing Specialist Code of Conduct. This article will discuss why the Code of Conduct was drafted, what it covers and how signing professionals will benefit by following it...More

WWYD Answer: The Case Of The Missing Figures

On Dec. 19 we posed a scenario, The Case of the Missing Figures, about a Notary who was asked by a signer to notarize a promissory note that was missing critical information, including the final loan amount. The Notary refused to notarize the incomplete document, but the signer kept insisting. The question is: Was the Notary correct in refusing the notarization, and what explanation should be given to the signer?..More

Kansas Sends First Electronic 'Apostille' Certificate

Kansas recently became the first U.S. state to send a paperless apostille — a certificate used to verify notarial acts and other important records — to another country...More

2013 Notary Laws: The Year In Review

2013 was a light year for Notary-related legislation based on the number of bills introduced. But the bills that did pass were not light on substance...More

Five Myths About Background Screenings Explained

Christopher Ballas, CEO of Backgrounds Online — the company that conducts background screenings for the NNA — spoke with the Notary Bulletin to answer questions about how his firm conducts screenings and clear up some common misconceptions about background checks...More

NOTY 2014 Nominations Must Be Submitted By Dec. 31

There are only a few more days left to submit nominations for Notary of the Year 2014, so be sure to send in yours by Dec. 31...More

New Mortgage Signing Standards: Script FAQ

Many have asked about the signing script requirement in the Signing Professionals Workgroup Standards announced in October. Here are answers to some of your questions...More

Countdown To Notary Of The Year 2014 Deadline

There are only 12 more days to submit your nomination for the 2014 Notary of the Year. Be sure to nominate any deserving Notary you know by December 31...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Missing Figures

A customer comes to you for a notarization, and he is a bit anxious. The two of you begin to go through the stack of well-organized paperwork, until you come across a promissory note that is missing important information...More

National Foreclosure Proceedings Hit 95-Month Low

The foreclosure crisis may finally be nearing its end. According to the latest report from RealtyTrac, foreclosure proceedings dropped dramatically in November...More

NNA 2013 Holiday Video

On behalf of everyone at the NNA, we wish you Happy Holidays!..More

Do's And Don'ts Of Successful Self-Promotion

Notary entrepreneurs must find creative ways to leave a lasting impression...More

NNA Speaks At Indiana Notary Public Day About New Mortgage Signing Standards

Bill Anderson, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the National Notary Association, spoke with Notaries and answered questions about the new SPW Standards December 7 at Indiana Notary Public Day...More

Through The Eyes Of A Signing Agent

For Danielle Finger of San Francisco, California, life is a juggling act. In addition to working as a full-time paralegal, she has been taking on loan signing assignments since 2003...More

CFPB: Simpler Mortgage Disclosure Forms Coming In 2015

New mortgage disclosure forms that will potentially make loan signings run smoother will be rolled out in 2015, according to an announcement last month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...More

Notary Maria Torres-Lopez: Serving Her Community, One Client At A Time

When Maria Torres-Lopez first began performing notarizations as a small part of her job at Bank of America, she didn’t realize it would eventually lead to a full-time career. She now runs her own business, providing a variety of services to clients in her Florida town...More

WWYD Answers: The Case Of The Birth Certificate And The Near Newlyweds

Two weeks ago we posed a scenario, The Case Of The Nervous Bride-To-Be, about a Notary who was asked by a couple of near-newlyweds to notarize their birth certificates in order for them to get a marriage license. The question: Is this an act that a Notary is authorized to perform, and, if so, how would you go about it? ..More

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

This year, the Hebrew and U.S. calendars overlap so that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day; a rare occurrence that will not happen again for another 79,043 years. To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime holiday, StudentExperts created this infograp..Morehic.

NNA Speaks With Notaries About New Standards For Mortgage Signings

Chris Sturdivant, Director of Business Development for the National Notary Association, spoke  with Notaries, via Skype, in Maryland during a Notary Public Day seminar. He discussed the new standards for mortgage signings, the creation of the Signing Professionals Workgroup, the future Certified Signing Specialist designation, and answered several questions from the audience...More

Inside The Signing Professionals Workgroup

Many Notaries have asked for more details about the Signing Professionals Workgroup. Here’s a brief look at the different SPW committees and what they do...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Birth Certificate And The Near Newlyweds

The NNA Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging signing situations. To help boost your knowledge of Notary Best Practices, we have created a series of scenarios based on actual signings, and ask you to weigh in on what you would do if faced with a similar situation...More

Higher Prices, Interest Rates, Put Squeeze On Home Affordability

Rising home prices and mortgage interest rates have pushed housing affordability to its lowest level in five years, according to the National Association of Home Builders...More

Notary Of The Year Nominations Due December 31

The deadline to submit your nomination for the 2014 Notary of the Year is approaching. If you know a deserving Notary, be sure to nominate them for consideration by December 31...More

National Notary Foundation: Calling On Notaries To Assist Typhoon Haiyan Victims

As the Philippines struggle to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, the National Notary Foundation is reaching out to Notaries nationwide to come to the survivors’ aid by donating to its “Notaries for the Philippines” relief fund...More

Four Tips For Setting Up A More Efficient Home Office

These tips from business experts and experienced Notaries can help get your home office running like a well-oiled machine...More

More Companies Seeking NNA-Trained Notaries

To meet growing demand for qualified Notaries, ValuEscrow, Inc. has joined other companies in seeking out Signing Agents certified by the NNA to join their networks of Notaries handling loan signings...More

MBA Forecast: Mortgage Originations To Drop Sharply In 2014

A steep drop in refinance activity next year is expected to reduce overall mortgage lending by as much as 32 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association...More

New Mortgage Signing Standards: The Annual Background Screenings

The Certified Signing Specialist Standards announced last week by the Signing Professionals Workgroup have generated considerable discussion, and one of the more talked-about components is the annual background screening...More

Double Trouble: When Two Notaries Show Up For The Same Signing

Whether it’s due to miscommunication, scheduling errors or other causes, sometimes you take on a signing only to find out another Notary has been given the same assignment...More

Major Settlement Service Companies Recruiting NNA-Trained NSAs

Title Source Inc. and ValuAmerica are actively seeking Signing Agents certified by the NNA to join their networks of Notaries handling loan-signing assignments...More

OCC Issues Oversight Mandates For Banks Using Third Party Providers

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) last week issued an alert informing banks and financial institutions that they must create and implement an oversight and risk management plan for supervising all of their third party service providers — such as title companies and the vendors they hire...More

A Celebration Of The American Notary

To celebrate Notary Public Day, here's a look at Notaries who have played significant roles in some important events from history...More

WWYD Answer: The Case Of The Soccer Mom's Missing ID

Last week we posed a scenario, "The Case Of The Soccer Mom’s Missing ID," about a Notary who was approached by a fellow soccer mom who lacked ID but needed a document notarized. We received a lot of great answers from our Facebook Community...More

10 Spooky Facts About Halloween

If you're out on a signing this Halloween, here are 10 spooky holiday facts you can share with your signers...More

Major Updates Enacted To State's Notary Laws

Pennsylvania has enacted major updates to its Notary laws, including a new education and seal requirement as well as guidelines for when a Notary may refuse to perform a notarial act...More

New Mortgage Signing Standards: Your Questions Answered

Notaries are taking to social media to ask many questions about the new mortgage standards announced this week. Here are answers to some of the most common ones...More

The Transition Process: From Signing Agents To Certified Signing Specialists

Morer />

Introducing The Signing Professionals Workgroup

Morer />

The Certified Signing Specialist Standards

Morer />

Special Report: New Standards For Mortgage Signings

A special committee of executives from major lenders and title companies has announced a new set of standards for signing agents. The group, called the Signing Professionals Workgroup, introduced the standards at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 100th Annual Convention in Washington D.C. on Tuesday...More

Surviving Breast Cancer: One Notary's Story

When Joan O’Briant found a lump in her breast in 2010 she tried to hide it, because she was scared. “I knew what it was,” says the Notary from Lubbock, Texas, “but for several months I didn’t touch or acknowledge it. I blocked it out of my mind.”..More

Accepting Nominations For Notary Of The Year

If you know someone you think deserves to be the NNA's 2014 Notary of the Year, be sure to get your nomination in by December 31...More

What Would You Do: The Case Of Soccer Mom's Missing ID

The NNA Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging signing situations. To help boost your knowledge of Notary Best Practices, we have created a series of scenarios based on actual signings, and ask you to weigh in on what you would do if faced with a similar situation...More

NAR: Housing Trends Point To Stable, Improving Market

The national housing market is more stable and showing improvement from the same time last year — but the industry isn’t out of the woods yet, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR)...More

5 Common Mistakes That Can Lead To Claims

The National Notary magazine asked experts in law, government and education to share some of the most commonly made errors that can land Notaries in trouble...More

Notaries Helping Others In Their Communities

Notaries are public servants, and for many of you that goes far beyond merely signing and sealing documents. It means giving back to your communities through volunteer and charity work. Here are three of your stories...More

State Enacts New Immigration, Cattle Theft Laws Affecting Notaries

California’s Governor Brown signed three new bills into law affecting Notaries this month — two related to immigration matters and one involving the theft of cattle and farm animals...More

Improve Your Speaking Skills And Your Performance At The Signing Table

Do your hands get clammy at the mere thought of making a toast at your friend’s wedding or delivering an important PowerPoint presentation before your boss and colleagues? You’re not alone...More

Notaries Weigh In On Their Biggest Pet Peeves

We asked Notaries nationwide to share their biggest pet peeves when it comes to the signing table...More

New State Law Expands Marriage Duties For Notaries

Nevada has become the fourth state authorizing Notaries to conduct wedding ceremonies...More

California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Notaries To Report Suspected Financial Abuse Of Seniors

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has vetoed a bill that would have required the state’s Notaries Public to report instances of suspected financial abuse of elders and dependent adults...More

Reports: Mortgage Fraud Declining But Still A Serious Risk

Analysts are warning the public of potential fraud risks associated with mortgage applications, including identity-related mortgage fraud...More

Murder, Fraud And Forgery Foiled

Criminal trials tend to be full of drama, but one particular case has the juicy plot of a well-crafted Hollywood script — fraud, forgery, deception, and murder — with a twist. A diligent Notary, who recorded a conspirator’s thumbprint in his journal, helped bring the murderers to justice...More

Common Notarization Errors On Loan Packages And How To Fix Them

With millions of mortgages or refinancing occurring every year, they don’t all go according to plan...More

SigningAgent.com Now Updated With New Features

If you're an NSA with a profile on the SigningAgent.com directory, you should visit the updated site this week to ensure your contact information is up to date and check out new features such as expanded profile options...More

Getting Ready For Your First Signing Assignment

Your first loan signing assignment is often the most intimidating. Here are some basic tips from experienced mobile Notaries to help ensure things go smoothly...More

More Real Estate Brokerages Offer Mortgage And Title Services

A growing number of real estate brokerages are offering home buyers a “one-stop-shopping” option, including home loans and title services, according to a recent survey by marketing firm Imprev, Inc...More

NNA Announces Special Edition Journal To Fight Breast Cancer

When the call goes out to help fight breast cancer, America's Notaries always are among the first to answer. This month, the National Notary Association is proud to offer a special edition Notary journal giving you a new way to support the search for a cure...More

Foreign Language Tips

Foreign language issues cause confusion — but we can help you...More

Dispelling Common Misconceptions

Like many service-oriented careers, the proper role and responsibilities of a Notary can be confusing to signers or others that rely on them. Here are a few common myths and the truths behind them...More

Freddie Mac: Rosy Outlook For Housing Market In 2014

Total home sales in 2014 should increase at a healthy rate, signaling a sustained rebound in the housing market, according to Freddie Mac...More

The NSA Kit For Success

Senior financial executives offered these key tips on how to be a successful Notary Signing Agent...More

Keeping Safe On Risky Assignments

Traveling to bad neighborhoods is the most common safety issue mobile Notaries have, according to an online survey conducted by the National Notary Association. Notaries also reported that angry or unruly signers and isolated signing locations were common workplace safety concerns...More

Define, Target And Promote: Sales Tips For Building Your Notary Business

It's  essential to sell yourself to your target clientele in ways that differentiate you from your competitors...More

Win Great Prizes In The NNA's Fab Fall Giveaway

To celebrate the end of the summer heat and the start of autumn, we're giving away a laser printer and iPad Mini to one lucky person — two great tech tools for any Notary...More

Protecting Yourself When In An Unfamiliar Location

By Che E. Presant

When you think about it, a Notary Signing Agent's job can be pretty scary sometimes. It's important to plan your assignments in order to keep yourself safe in strange places...More

Problem With A Notarization? There's Always A Solution

From mismatched IDs to missing certificate wording, Notaries are often faced with specific challenges requiring them to seek alternative solutions...More

1,000 U.S. Counties Now Electronically Recording Documents

One thousand county recording offices across the United States are now electronically recording documents, according to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA)...More

Survey: Notary Safety

Performing notarizations generally isn’t a hazardous task. But sometimes you are faced with hostile signers, assignments in bad neighborhoods and other situations that put you at risk. We want to hear your challenging notarization story, so please tell us about it via this survey...More

Effective Business Development For The Notary Signing Agent

By Chrissey Ladd

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned NSA, the best approach is to develop a growth plan...More

From Ferrets To Chain Smokers To Hoarders, NSAs Expect The Unexpected

After Washington D.C. Notary J.D. Walker was confronted by a shotgun-wielding signer, he used LinkedIn to ask other Notaries to share their most unusual signing experiences. He heard about everything from chains-mokers to a house full of ferrets, and it quickly became clear that NSAs need to expect the unexpected — and prepare for those moments as best they can. ..More

Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies And Notaries

Recent court decisions and new state laws permit same-sex couples to legally marry in some jurisdictions — but currently only one state authorizes Notaries to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. ..More

Five Ways To Find A Notary Mentor

For new or relatively inexperienced mobile Notaries looking to get their careers started, finding a mentor is one of the best decisions you can make...More

Call For NNA 2014 Presenters: We Want Your Ideas For Workshops

The NNA is gearing up for next year's Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, and we want you to be involved...More

New Laws Mean A World Of Change For Oregon Notaries

Oregon has made extensive changes to its Notary laws and procedures, which go into effect on September 1...More

Mortgage Servicers Falling Short In Implementing CFPB Mandates

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) examiners have found that many companies in the mortgage servicing industry are falling short in implementing mandates designed to protect consumers...More

What Notarial Act Is Needed?

How do you determine what kind of notarization is required? Here are some guidelines to help you avoid the unauthorized practice of law...More

Practical Tips For Dealing With Challenging Signers

From belligerent borrowers to over-zealous house pets, ultra-messy households to overly chatty signers, Notary Signing Agents encounter their fair share of challenging situations...More

Celebrating Anniversaries Of 'Model Notary Act' And Notary 'Code'

This year, the NNA is celebrating important anniversaries of two groundbreaking resources for Notaries...More

Report: Homes Remain Affordable Despite Record Value Increases

Home values shot up in the first half of 2013 at the fastest rate in decades — but prices remain affordable for buyers in most states, according to a report by CoreLogic...More

Justice Department Launches Database To Deter 'Notario' Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a new online registration for immigration law practitioners to help deter fraud...More

NSA Fees Under Attack

With Notary fees under attack both in the courtroom and, in many cases, the court of public opinion, it's never been more crucial for Signing Agents to take protective steps when it comes to determining fees and adhering to Notary best practices at all times...More

Five Tips For Starting Your Own Notary Business

The 2009 NNA Notary of the Year offers tips for starting, maintaining, and growing your own Notary business...More

Supreme Court Issues Restrictions On Powers Of Attorney, Home Equity Loans In Lone Star State

A recent Texas Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed and clarified that certain types of qualifying loans must be signed in the office of a lender, attorney or title company...More

Notary Certifies World Record For Nude Bathers On Spanish Beach

 A Spanish Notary recently executed what may be one of the most bizarre notarizations of the year  witnessing and certifying the world’s largest collective nude-bathing event...More

A Brave New World For Signing Agents

Since the 2008 housing market collapse, sweeping reforms have filtered their way through just about every part of the loan origination industry. With mortgage brokers and appraisers now being subject to much tighter scrutiny, Notaries — and specifically Notary Signing Agents— will be held to higher standards...More

Five Questions To Ask A Signing Service Before Your First Assignment

Tips on vetting an unfamiliar signing service if you need to decide quickly whether to accept an assignment or not...More

Landlords Profit As Home Ownership Declines In Investor-Heavy Housing Market

Home ownership in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest point since 1995, and in recent months the continuing decline is blamed, at least in part, on investors who are buying large blocks of houses for rental purposes and bringing in sizeable profits for the landlords...More

Do's And Don'ts For Your Social Media Strategy

Whether you’re a social-savvy mobile Notary who stays logged onto your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts all day long, or a social media newbie who panics over every status update, there are steps you can take to make the most out of your social media profiles and show the best side of your business...More

Personal Safety: Four Ways NSAs Can Protect Themselves

Any job that involves showing up at a client's often unfamiliar front door has a potential for danger...More

Courts Reference NNA As Expert In Best Practices

Two recent court decisions have demonstrated a growing judicial reliance on the expertise of the National Notary Association...More

A Detailed Journal Entry Benefits Everyone In A Loan Signing

It’s never a good idea to cut corners when taking down the details...More

Earn Extra Income Using Skills And Qualifications You Already Have

Have an accounting degree gathering dust, a talent for event planning, or a speedy words-per-minute typing skill going to waste? Notary entrepreneurs are finding new ways to generate extra income using skills and knowledge they already have...More

Dealing With Expired IDs

Do you know your own state’s regulations regarding the acceptance of an expired ID?..More

Notary Reference Manual, State-Specific Certificates Now Available Online For NNA Members

If you’ve ever been in a bind because you ran out of Notary certificates, or needed quick information about your state’s Notary laws, the NNA has solved those problems with two new membership benefits...More

Surging Home Prices: Boom Or Bubble?

Rapidly rising home prices and mortgage rates are raising concerns among many observers of a new bubble in the housing market, while others believe the market is making up for losses sustained during the recession...More

Is Yelp For You?

With over 60 million registered users and over 20 million reviews posted on the site, Yelp continues to dominate the social review space on the Internet. Consumers frequently turn to Yelp to look up mechanics, restaurants and other businesses. But Notaries? The National Notary recently interviewed NNA member Eli Angote, founder and CEO of TheBestNotary.net, a national, mobile Notary service, about how he uses Yelp to build a positive reputation for his business...More

Becoming A 'Go-To' Notary Signing Agent

The goal of every Notary Signing Agent is to become the “go-to” person for clients in your area.  Knowledge, flexibility, and professionalism go a long way toward achieving that goal...More

NSAs: Calls To Lenders, Title Companies, Often Go Unanswered When Signers Have Questions

Nearly half of Signing Agents surveyed this month said they have trouble actually contacting representatives of lenders and title companies during signings, even though the majority of these representatives provide after-hours contact numbers...More

National Foreclosure Rate Down 14 Percent

In another sign that the housing market is improving, the foreclosure rate saw a monthly drop of 14 percent in June, its lowest level since late 2006...More

Grow Your Business: Serving Court Documents

Serving legal documents to individuals on behalf of attorneys and law firms can be a great way to earn extra income without sacrificing your current mobile Notary work schedule...More

Marketing Tips: Ways To Find New Customers

Daniel Lewis, the NNA’s 2010 Notary of the Year, recently shared some of the techniques he uses to successfully find and contact new customers...More

Industry News: Chinese Homebuyers Bring Cash To U.S. Market

Chinese homebuyers proved to be big spenders on U.S. real estate in the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors...More

Study: Housing Sales Saw Major Boost In 2012

The U.S. housing market recovery is gaining momentum, with a significant boost in home sales in 2012 coupled with historically low interest rates — but there’s still a long way to go, according to a Harvard University study published last week...More

Home Prices Up, But Demand Remains High

Home values rose again in April, indicating that both the economy and the housing market are in full recovery mode...More

Survey: Signing Agent Communication Issues

A consistent problematic issue for signing agents is communications breakdowns with lenders or signing services. If you’ve had problems with reaching lenders during a signing, we’d like to hear about your experience...More

Solving The Conundrum Of 'Notary Identity Certification'

Some Notary Signing Agents have been asked to sign and affix their seals to a statement called a “Notary Identity Certification.” Be careful how you complete these forms — the document generally contains flaws that can trip a Signing Agent up...More

Existing Home Sales And Prices Climb In May

Existing home sales rose 13 percent in May compared to the same month a year ago. This is welcome news for builders, realtors, lenders and Notaries who have suffered through a lengthy recession...More

A Notary's Point Of View: Education Key To Getting It Right

By John Kenneth Cole

Even after reading their state’s Notary handbook, many Notaries are left with more questions than answers...More

First American's Sam Zaki Discusses Four Essentials For Notary Success

The work of NSAs is “just beginning.” That was the message from Somaia "Sam" Zaki, Managing Director of Sales at First American Mortgage Services, at NNA 2013 Conference...More

Beyond Facebook: Five Tips To Boost Your Internet Marketing Strategy

How to maximize your web presence to generate new income opportunities, build client loyalty and collaborate with industry colleagues nationwide...More

Refi's Plunge As Mortgage Rates Rise

Mortgage refinance activity is down 36 percent from its peak in May, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association — a trend fueled largely by a hefty jump in interest rates...More

2013 March Fong Eu Achievement Award: Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch

Because of her tireless efforts to champion Notary recordkeeping and education requirements, and her unswerving commitment to protecting the strength and professionalism of the Notary Public office, the National Notary Association is proud to have selected Montana Secretary of State McCulloch as recipient of the NNA’s March Fong Eu Achievement award...More

Proposed Immigration Reform Legislation Could Generate Billions In Home Sales

Immigration reform legislation being debated by Congress could, if passed, create a new pool of three million homebuyers who would generate more than $500 billion dollars in potential real estate and property sales...More

June 2013 Bulletin Quiz: Taking Care Of Your Tools

You know how to use your seal and journal of notarial acts, but what happens if someone asks to borrow them? What do you do with them when traveling, and what steps must be followed when they are obsolete? Take our quiz and test your knowledge of caring for tools of your office...More

Chairman Milt Valera Surprised, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award At NNA 2013

A highlight of the National Notary Association’s 2013 Gala Banquet was the surprise presentation of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to NNA Chairman Milt Valera, which garnered a long standing ovation from the nearly 700 banquet attendees...More

Arizona's Kathy Fletcher Named 2013 Notary Of The Year At Conference

Kathy Fletcher of Glendale, Arizona, was named 2013 Notary of the Year during the National Notary Association’s 35th Conference in Austin, Texas...More

Notarial Mistakes That Get Recordable Documents Rejected

Forgetting to include a few words after your signature on a notarized document may seem like a small mistake — but these “small” notarial errors are leading to widespread rejection of important legal documents submitted for recording...More

Four Keys To Online Success

Here are four basic guidelines for creating an effective and appealing online presence for yourself and your Notary services.
 ..More

Networking The Right Way: Five Ways To Get Noticed And Grow Your Business

As the NNA’s Notary Event of The Year draws near, Notaries nationwide are focusing on how to enhance their networking skills. From ways to break the ice during networking events, to tips on how to establish and maintain your own network of colleagues and clients, here are a few tips to help get you started...More

Survey: NSAs Rate Late Documents, Poor Communication As Major Issues During Loan Signing Assignments

Late delivery of loan documents, poor communication with lenders and more complex and difficult assignments were among of the biggest concerns NSAs reported in an online Notary Bulletin survey on loan signing issues last week...More

Expand Your Knowledge Of Social Media At NNA 2013 Conference

With the use of social media growing by leaps and bounds — and the technology itself changing almost daily — NNA 2013 Conference is offering several workshops for Notaries who want to take advantage of this quick and cost-effective method to grow their business. Attend one or more of the following workshops and become a “social media” whiz in no time...More

Make Extra Income As A Virtual Assistant

As employment figures begin to take a turn for the better, Notaries nationwide are discovering innovative ways to expand their services and increase their income potential. One way — which allows Notaries to use the skills and tools they already possess — is to become a virtual assistant...More

Pre-Registration Ends Soon For Veterans Notary Training

The National Notary Foundation is sponsoring free Notary training for Texas veterans at NNA 2013 Conference on Monday, June 3, at the Austin Renaissance Hotel, and just a few days remain to take advantage of it...More

Five NSA Supplies You Can't (Or Shouldn't) Live Without

From business cards to super-savvy smartphone apps and invoicing software, veteran Notary Signing Agents weigh in on the products they use most and like the best...More

Five 'Don't Miss' Events At Conference

NNA 2013 Conference attendees will receive significant benefits far beyond the training and education opportunities being offered. These five “signature events” should be high on everyone’s list for the added value they bring...More

Three Tips When Handling Journal Entry Inspection Requests

When someone asks to see an entry in your journal, there are important rules to follow to make sure the privacy of unrelated entries is protected...More

What Are The Biggest Issues You Face As A Signing Agent?

The mortgage industry has seen a lot of changes in the past few years, and we’d like to hear from Signing Agents about what issues are affecting you the most. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey on loan signing assignments...More

Why Do You Come To The NNA Conference Every Year?

For many, the NNA’s annual Conference is a “must attend” every year. We asked some of those multi-year attendees why they keep coming back — and why they are coming to NNA Conference 2013...More

Signing Agents Call On Mortgage Industry To Improve Loan Signings

With Notary Signing Agents under growing pressure to bolster their training and professionalism, many NSAs are urging mortgage industry leaders to improve the way signing agencies handle assignments...More

Uncommon Mistakes That Could Put You At Risk

You may not be aware of these less common situations that can land you in hot water...More

Experienced NSAs Can Discover Valuable New Opportunities At Conference

NNA 2013 Conference has a special appeal for veteran NSAs wanting to expand their training and education — and discover new ways to increase their income...More

First American: An Industry Leader Talks Signings

How major changes in the mortgage industry will affect you...More

A Golden Opportunity: Become An NSA At NNA 2013 Conference

With the housing market on the rebound, NNA 2013 Conference attendees will have a golden opportunity to position themselves to take advantage of the improving economy...More

U.S. Foreclosures Dropped To Four-Year Low

March showed signs of improvement for the national real estate market, with home foreclosure activity dropping to its lowest levels in four years...More

Mortgage Industry Puts Focus On Education

The American Land Title Association has graduated the first class of its new National Title Professional program amid a growing mortgage industry trend to provide more education to its workforce.

According to ATLA, the National Title Professional (NTP) designation is designed to recognize land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience, and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property...More

National Notary Foundation Offering Free NNA 2013 Workshops To Veterans

Veterans from all branches of the military are being offered free Notary training courses at the National Notary Association’s 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas, June 2-5. On “Texas Veterans Day” Monday, June 3, two options are being offered:  training required to become either a Notary, or a Notary Signing Agent...More

More Than One In Four Counties Now eRecording Documents

The number of jurisdictions capable of electronically recording property records reached the 900 mark earlier this month, according to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA). That represents approximately 25 percent of the counties, cities and other recording jurisdictions in the U.S., noted Kay Wrucke, Martin County (Minnesota) Recorder and President of PRIA...More

Field Inspection Offers Additional Income Opportunities For Notaries

More and more Notaries are seeking new ways to increase their income by offering more services to their local clients. One way — which requires minimal training and tools you probably already own or have access to — is becoming a field inspector...More

Discover Three Money-Making Ideas At Conference

NNA 2013 Conference, “Knowledge 2.0,” focuses on the training and education that will help you advance your profession...More

Mortgage Fraud Index Drops To Five-Year Low

Mortgage fraud activity plummeted to a five-year low to close out 2012. While the news is promising, experts believe the fourth quarter drop is likely a temporary one...More

NNA Offers Condolences To Friend Of The Association

The staff of the National Notary Association offers its heartfelt condolences to our good friend Thomas Smedinghoff and his family after the loss of his daughter Anne, a young diplomat who was one of five Americans killed in Afghanistan on April 6...More

Common NSA Errors

Everyone makes mistakes — even seasoned Notary Signing Agents. The Notary Bulletin recently reached out to NSAs via social media to ask about their experiences and get their advice on how to avoid, prevent or resolve some of the more common errors...More

Who You Meet At Conference As Important As The Training

With NNA 2013 Conference now just weeks away, Notaries are checking the schedule and highlighting the workshops that are most personally beneficial. But an equally important Conference element is networking...More

New Laws Clarify Notary's Role In Real Estate Transactions

States continue to define the role of Notaries in the real estate process with three recently enacted statutes — a Utah law that clarifies the function of Notary Signing Agents, and new laws in New Mexico and the District of Columbia that allow a homeowner to transfer property upon death to a beneficiary using a notarized document...More

Member Video: You Don't Want To Miss The Most Exciting Event Of The Year

NNA 2009 Notary of the Year Elaine Wright shares why the NNA 2013 Conference is the most exciting event of the year for Notaries everywhere!..More

What You Need To Know About E&O

We all have insurance — for our homes, our cars, our health and our lives. The details of those policies are as varied as the people they cover. The same is true for Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage for Notaries … and there’s a lot you need to know...More

Avoid Bringing 'Branded' Office Supplies To A Loan Signing

Well-prepared Notary Signing Agents often bring pens, sticky notes and other tools with them on assignment. But be careful if there’s a brand name on your items — some lenders don’t want loan signing professionals using supplies with a competitor’s logo printed on them...More

Proposed Law Could Permit Notaries To Officiate Weddings

The Nevada legislature is considering a bill that would authorize Notaries to officiate at weddings. If passed, Nevada would join Florida, South Carolina and Maine as the only states that permit Notaries to perform marriages. Considering that Las Vegas is famous for its wedding chapels, this could provide a significant income opportunity for the state’s Notaries...More

Get Your Boss To Say 'Yes' To NNA 2013

You’ve read about the wide variety of workshops and presentations. You understand the need for the proper training and education to meet the changing world of notarization; and you know that attending  NNA 2013 Conference is important for career growth and liability prevention. But in this economy, many businesses are reluctant to spend money on continuing education for their employees, so how do you convince your boss to send you?..More

New Income Opportunities In 'Mystery Shopping'

Notaries with strong punctuality habits and attention to detail can find new income opportunities in the field of mystery shopping...More

NNA 2013 Has Something For Every Notary, NSA

NNA 2013 Conference is offering a complete package of workshops and events for all Signing Agents — from new Notaries seeking NNA certification to veteran NSAs looking to expand their business...More

Watch Out For Notarios Offering Bad Tax, Immigration Advice

As next month’s income tax deadline draws near, officials in a number of states are cracking down on tax preparers moonlighting as “Notarios” — people who pose as legal professionals to scam immigrants...More

Overcoming Office Challenges: Success Stories From Notaries In The Workplace

Some of the toughest challenges Notaries face originate from the workplace. All too often a boss, co-worker or client will ask a Notary to skip necessary procedures in the name of expediency. Such requests can seem harmless, but they often lead to big trouble for the Notary and the Notary’s employer. The National Notary reached out to Notaries who have successfully navigated these difficult situations and asked them to share how they resolved the problem...More

Top Mortgage And Title Industry Reps To Converge, Recruit Qualified Notaries At NNA 2013 Conference

NNA 2013 Conference offers an unprecedented opportunity for participants to directly engage with leading mortgage and banking industry representatives — the first time experts in this field will jointly address the changing world of notarization at a single event...More

Five Tips For 'Vetting' Signing Services

Notary Signing Agents find themselves in a unique position when seeking and accepting work offers. Being too picky or limited in your availability can reduce your income opportunities, while accepting any job that comes your way can result in you working for a company that fails to properly treat or compensate you...More

NNA, Nevada AG Masto Present Scholarship Donation To Women's Research Institute of Nevada

William Anderson, the National Notary Association’s Vice President of Best Practices, joined Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto — recipient of the 2012 March Fong Eu Achievement Award — to present a $1,000 donation to the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada (WRIN)...More

Member Video: Notaries Everywhere Should Attend NNA 2013 Conference

The NNA’s 2005 Notary of the Year, Carol Salter, shares why it’s important for Notaries everywhere to attend NNA 2013...More

Introducing Your 2013 Notary Of The Year Honorees

These five Notary of the Year Honorees embody the best traditions of the Notary Public office. Join us at the NNA 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas, this June to honor these dedicated individuals and find out who is named Notary of the Year!..More

Why You Should Come To NNA 2013 Conference

 

NNA 2010 Notary of the Year, Daniel C. Lewis, talks about why he’s looking forward to attending NNA 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas...More

Secretaries Of State Gessler, McCulloch Guest Panelists At Conference

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler and Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch — two strong advocates for Notary education and professionalism —will participate in a special panel discussion at NNA 2013 Conference...More

Important Guidelines For Home Office Deductions From The IRS

If you use part of your home for your Notary business, you may be able to claim a deduction on your income tax for its use. However, the government has strict restrictions when making such claims. IRS Publication 587 provides rules and guidelines that you should be aware of before seeking a home office deduction...More

How Facebook Can Help You With Your Notary Business

As small business owners, we all have one overriding priority: generating more revenue. We do this by connecting to the market, developing leads and closing the deal. So The National Notary reached out to several Notary- entrepreneurs and asked them to share how cultivating relationships through Facebook has been beneficial for them...More

ID Theft Complaints Hit Record In 2012; What You Can Do To Fight It

A record number of identity theft complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission in 2012, and many of the identity fraud scams involved transactions that could require notarizations...More

Lawmakers Push For Notary Education

Lawmakers in the Lone Star State have introduced a bill that would require Notary commission applicants to complete a training course — the latest in legislative efforts to mandate education for Notaries Public...More

Congressional Proposal Would Allow Notary Services At Post Offices

If a group of Senators get their way, visitors to U.S. Post Offices may be able to get documents notarized and pick up a fishing license in addition to mailing packages and buying stamps...More

Building Your Brand And Notary Business On A Shoestring Budget

The key to any successful business is getting your phone to ring, but most Notary entrepreneurs don’t have the resources to spend on expensive marketing campaigns...More

Proposed Legislation Would Require Notaries To Report Signs Of Elder Abuse

Bills introduced in two states this month would require Notaries Public to report financial abuse of older signers if signed into law — the latest in ongoing efforts by U.S. lawmakers to prevent elder abuse and fraud...More

Mortgage Originations Jump Nearly 30 Percent In 2012

2012 proved to be a strong year for the mortgage industry as lenders funded nearly 30 percent more in home loans than 2011, according to the latest U.S. Mortgage Market Index report...More

Court Rebuffs Class-Action Challenge To Signing Agent Fees

Borrowers in a number of states have filed court actions claiming they were overcharged for Notary services during loan closings. But in a recent case, a California appeals court has shut down a class-action by reaffirming the right of NSAs to charge fees for non-notarial services...More

Steps Notary Signing Agents Can Take To Help Battle Property Fraud

Despite recent reports indicating that mortgage fraud is gradually declining in many parts of the country, the risk remains higher now than it was prior to the foreclosure crisis. Notary educator Laura Biewer, an experienced Signing Agent, offers the following tips on how you can help prevent property fraud:..More

February 2013 Survey: Your First Lessons As A Notary

This month, we’d like to ask you about your first commission. Share your experiences with us and your story could be featured in an article in our May 2013 magazine...More

Tax Tips For The Self-Employed Notary

With Uncle Sam’s tax deadline looming, it’s time for Notary entrepreneurs to start getting their records together. The key is finding the tax deductions and write-offs that work best for you...More

Proposed Law Seeks Strict Penalties Against Misuse Of Notarized Documents

Lawmakers in Illinois have proposed a new bill that would grant the Secretary of State more authority in handling apostille requests, while also enforcing stricter penalties against individuals found guilty of the deliberate misuse of notarized documents. With the proposed law, Illinois joins other states in a growing nationwide effort to prevent the unlawful use of notarized documents by so-called “sovereign citizens” activists and other scam artists...More

Austin's Ready For NNA 2013 Conference Guests

Notaries attend the NNA 2013 Conference to learn more about the changing world of notarization, gain new skills, and meet colleagues from around the country.  But after the seminars and presentations, it’s time for fun, and Austin is a great place to do just that. As the saying goes, everything is “bigger and better” in Texas and your host city certainly delivers!..More

'Housing Starts' Hit Their Best Mark In Four Years

In a strong sign that the housing market is rebounding, housing starts in the final month of 2012 hit their best mark in four years according to figures released by the federal government. The nation’s homebuilders broke ground on 954,000 new homes in December, 12 percent more than November and 36 percent more than in December 2011. Building permits and housing completions also saw significant increases. ..More

Bill Would Require Oklahoma NSAs To Become Licensed

Legislation has been introduced in Oklahoma that could require any Signing Agent who schedules a closing appointment or conducts a conference at which real property documents are signed to obtain a settlement agent license. The NNA opposes the legislation as it is currently drafted.

House Bill 1884 would require anyone who performs certain activities related to real estate transactions to become licensed as a settlement agent...More

Notaries Extended Special Discount To Join Coolidge Foundation

The close working relationship between the National Notary Association and the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation has resulted in a special membership discount for all Notaries and NNA customers who wish to support the legacy and ideals of the nation’s 30th President. The normal $35 membership has been discounted to only $10 for the nation’s Notaries.

Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the leadership, integrity and public service of the only U.S. President sworn into office by a Notary Public —his father. Coolidge’s term in office during the 1920’s restored public trust in government, and his conviction of bipartisanship is still a highly relevant principle today...More

Proposed Law Could Prohibit Candidates From Notarizing Election-Related Documents

Each new election season brings a new crop of complaints claiming notarial impropriety involving ballot petitions. Some states, like South Dakota, are currently working to clamp down on notarization issues by proposing changes that would limit a candidate’s notarial abilities, and prohibit state officials from advising or assisting candidates...More

Law Firms Closed, Sanctioned Over 'Robo-Signing' Abuses

Law firms heavily involved in the “robo-signing” crisis of recent years are continuing to be held accountable for their actions, with a major Florida foreclosure firm closing its doors and a Maryland attorney facing severe sanctions..More

Early Bird Conference Registration Closing Soon!

We know you don’t want to miss out on the “Early Bird” special discount registration for the NNA 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas, but that discount ends in just a few hours — midnight, January 31...More

Five Ways To Spot 'Robo-Signing' Taking Place In Your Workplace

“Robo-signing” isn’t only a problem for banks and mortgage lenders.  Accusations of unethical document signings and notarizations have been made against other businesses — as seen with a multimillion-dollar Florida law firm facing multiple lawsuits after accusations of improper conduct and in a $500,000 settlement between a debt collection agency and the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. If you’re concerned “robo-signing” is going on in your workplace, read on to learn how to identify “robo-signing” practices — and always refuse to participate in improper notarial acts if asked...More

More Foreclosure Settlements Hit Wall Street Firms, Lenders

Federal regulators have reached settlements with two major Wall Street firms and a British lender requiring the companies to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to resolve claims over “deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.”..More

Public Blames Industry, Government For Housing Crisis

The “robo-signing” crisis and the housing market downturn caused a drop in the public’s opinion of the mortgage and finance industries as well as the government. A recent survey by ID Analytics revealed that consumers place most of the responsibility for the 2008 economic disaster and subsequent slow recovery squarely on the mortgage industry and the banks that packaged sub-standard loans and sold them to investors...More

'Robo' Tally: $34 Billion To Date

A multi-billion dollar settlement agreed upon in this month shows how the costs of the foreclosure crisis continue to skyrocket for major financial institutions since the “robo-signing” scandal broke in late 2010. To date, financial institutions have been hit with more than $34 billion in fines and settlement costs...More

Secretary Of State Highlights Notaries During Swearing-In Ceremony

With government regulators and consumers alike closely scrutinizing the notarial process, one elected official used her swearing-in ceremony to highlight the important role Notaries play in modern society...More

New Year's Survey Results: Helping Others Create Hope For A Great 2013

Whether it was helping a bedridden signer obtain a proper ID or sharing kindness with parents going through an exhausting adoption process, Notaries across the country had memorable stories of helping signers that they shared in our recent New Year’s survey. And while 2012 was also a year filled with challenges, Notaries told us they are already looking forward to what’s waiting in 2013...More

January 2013 Survey: Alternate Notary Income Paths

A Notary commission can be leveraged to find work in many different fields such as weddings, automobile titles, mystery shopping, and much more. What kinds of specialty work have you found thanks to your Notary commission? Please share with us in this month's survey and you may have your experiences featured in an upcoming issue of The National Notary magazine...More

2013 Outlook For Mortgage Industry: A Focus On Better Training, Professionalism

New regulations mandated by the National Mortgage Settlement, the growing use of electronic banking transactions and the ever-present threat of identity theft will cause financial institutions to revise their operating procedures — many of which will affect Notaries — according to the 2013 Banking Industry Outlook from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services...More

Settlement Reached Against Debt Collection Company Accused Of 'Robo-Signing'

One of the nation’s largest debt collection companies has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing it of “robo-signing” practices. The settlement between Midland Funding, LLC, and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson also includes changes in in the process the company uses to pursue delinquent borrowers...More

New Year's Resolution #1: Save $ With Early Conference Registration

Registration is now well underway for the NNA 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas, June 2–5 and “early birds” can receive $100 off full Conference registration before January 31. Full registration includes admission to all General Sessions, workshops and hands-on labs, as well as admission to the Welcome Reception and the Gala Banquet...More

Proposed Law Amendment Could Lead To Foreclosure Spike

Nevadans could see a spike in foreclosure activity in 2013 if banks and lawmakers agree to proposed amendments to a current law designed in the wake of the robo-signing crisis...More

January 2013 Bulletin Quiz: Commission Renewal

It’s a time to start fresh and make changes — and for many Notaries, it’s time to prepare to renew commissions. But sometimes mistakes and misunderstanding can lead to a new commission being delayed, or even putting a hold on performing notarial acts. Take our quiz and test your understanding of the commission renewal process...More

Journal Thumbprint Brings Final Murder Suspects To Justice

The final two co-conspirators in a 2008 murder and fraud scheme have been brought to justice, thanks in part to thumbprint evidence left in the journal of a diligent Notary...More

2013 Notary Of The Year Nominations Close On New Year's Eve

As we count down the final days before the New Year, an important deadline is fast approaching. The NNA will accept nominations for the 2013 Notary of the Year only through Monday, December 31. ..More

December 2012 Survey: Share Your Notary Experiences Of The Past Year

2012 was an event-filled year: We face economic uncertainties, a tumultuous presidential election, a hurricane that devastated the East Coast, and much more. We’d like to share some of your best and worst Notary experiences of the past year in an upcoming article. If you’d like to tell us your story, please click and share with us...More

Four New Notary Laws To Watch

Public attention in 2012 focused heavily on what Notaries do and how they do it, largely in response to major fraud concerns. As a result, legislators in many states started taking a close look at Notary laws and procedures, and passed several new measures. Here’s a look four laws enacted in the past year that make significant changes to state Notary regulations...More

Happy Holidays From The National Notary Association

We’d like to wish all of America’s Notaries a happy holiday season for you and your families. We thank you for your membership in our community, for your efforts serving the public, and for your service and dedication to the office of the Notary Public...More

Notary Officiants Barred From Saying No To Same-Sex Weddings

During the November election, several states passed referendums allowing same-sex marriages, and in Maine and Washington, Notaries could be called on for their services — raising the issue of whether Notaries can decline requests that go against their personal beliefs...More

Entries Close Soon For 2013 Notary Of The Year

If you know of a Notary who has gone “above and beyond” their normal responsibilities and deserves some special recognition, don’t hesitate any longer. Nominations close for the 2013 Notary of the Year Honor on December 31. The recipient will be announced at the Gala Banquet during the NNA Conference 2013 in Austin, Texas, next June and will also be recognized in The National Notary magazine. The nomination form is now available online...More

New Thumbprint Requirements For Real Estate Documents

In the wake of the robo-signing scandal and National Mortgage Settlement, states have been tightening laws to better prevent fraud and abuse of real estate documents. A new law in California, effective January 1, 2013, requires Notaries to obtain a signer’s thumbprint for their journals for any document affecting real property...More

Census: Illegal Immigration Is Slowing

The number of undocumented immigrants in the country has dropped significantly after rising steadily for the past decade, according to data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of illegal immigrants dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year, after peaking at 12 million in 2007. Experts say the decline is due both to a weakened U.S. economy, and stronger enforcement. Statistics showed that in 2012, Asian immigrants outnumbered those from Hispanic countries for the first time since 1910...More

Survey: Fear Of Identity Theft Widespread Among U.S. Adults

Amid the holiday season consumers are heading to the Internet and shopping malls to purchase gifts — and identity thieves are stepping up their efforts to steal personal information from them. A recent survey done for ID Analytics found that nearly half of all survey respondents have been targeted by ID thieves or know someone who has — and more than 70 percent fear becoming victims...More

New Disciplinary Guidelines Go Beyond Notaries

Law enforcement officials across the country are going after managers who pressure Notary-employees to perform illegal acts — as seen in the recent multi-state charges against former document service executive Lorraine Brown — and the largest state in the nation has posted a clear warning to supervisors that cutting notarial corners is a crime, even if they are not Notaries...More

Nominations For The 2013 Notary of the Year Close December 31!

There are just a few weeks remaining to nominate a colleague (or yourself) for the 2013 Notary of the Year Honor. This tribute recognizes a Notary who demonstrates an exemplary level of professional conduct and ethics in serving and protecting the public...More

Risk Of Identity Scams In Mortgage Fraud Declining

Identity fraud continues to be used frequently in mortgage fraud schemes, but the overall risk ID schemes pose to the industry is declining, according to the latest report from Interthinx, a national risk mitigation company focusing on mortgage fraud and regulatory compliance...More

LinkedIn The Fastest-Growing Social Media For Professionals

Two new people join LinkedIn every second, making it the fastest growing social media platform for entrepreneurs and business professionals — and a must-use site for Notary entrepreneurs. At the end of the third quarter of 2012, the network had more than 187 million members in 200 countries and territories, up from 131 million a year ago, according to the social media site...More

Sandy Expected To Derail Foreclosure Activity, Delay Housing Recovery Efforts

Distressed homeowners in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are still feeling the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy, particularly those who were already facing foreclosure prior to the disaster. Despite relief efforts, the ripple effect is likely to include increased delays in foreclosure activity and another significant setback in the nationwide housing recovery...More

Former Document Processing Executive Pleads Guilty To 'Robo-Signing' Charges

A former executive of a major document processing firm pleaded guilty to federal and state charges related to “robo-signing” — the widespread fabrication and improper notarization of mortgage documents — in Florida and Missouri earlier this month...More

Malware Attacks On Smartphones Increase Six-Fold

This Black Friday, if you’re planning on getting a new smartphone or tablet — for business or pleasure — keep in mind that these mobile devices are coming under increasing threat from hackers. According to a recent report from Trend Micro, malware attacks on smartphones jumped from 28,000 incidents at the end of the second quarter of 2012 to 175,000 at the end of the third quarter — a six-fold increase. Although hackers are mainly targeting Android users at this time, security experts report that data stored on any mobile device can be at risk...More

Happy Thanksgiving To You And Your Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is more than turkey and the feast. It is a time to find reasons to smile and bond with our loved ones. It’s a time for thanking those who have helped make our lives better. The National Notary Association extends a heartfelt thanks to America’s 4.4 million Notaries for all the things they do to help their neighbors and communities...More

Mortgage Crisis Caused Shift in Public Opinion

The “robo-signing” scandal, along with the resulting housing market crisis, caused a decline in public opinion towards the mortgage and banking industries.  A recent survey by ID Analytics revealed that most of the blame for the 2008 economic disaster, and subsequent slow recovery, has been directed at the mortgage industry and the banks that packaged sub-standard loans and sold them to investors...More

Registration Now Open For NNA 2013 Conference

Get ready for next summer’s Notary Event Of The Year — registration is now open for the 2013 NNA Conference June 2-5 in Austin, Texas. Be sure to register early to come and learn about the latest developments in the Notary Public office, attend workshops offering help with the most challenging issues you face today, and much more...More

Voters Support Notary Advocates In November Elections

Two longtime supporters of notarial best practices — Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch and North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall — were chosen by voters to continue serving as their states’ top Notary-regulating officials in the November 2012 elections...More

Disaster Preparedness For Self-Employed Notaries And NSAs

As the East Coast learned recently, disaster can strike quickly with little warning. Everyone tries to prepare for emergencies, but self-employed Notaries and NSAs also need to safeguard their business for such an event. Although you may not be able to save your home in a natural disaster, you can protect your livelihood. Following are some tips from FEMAand the Small Business Administration that can help:..More

The Top 5 Apps Mobile Notaries Can't Live Without

Everyone knows mobile devices are essential for conducting business in today’s world. But what are the “must have” apps that make our tablets and smartphones effective business tools? The National Notary magazine reached out to Notaries across the country and posed the question via our social media channels to find out what apps you couldn’t live without. While Angry Birds didn’t make the list, it was mentioned as a nice stress reliever. Here’s what did make the list...More

Tips To Help Weather The Aftermath Of Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy has caused severe damage across large areas of the East Coast, and Notaries there may be dealing with problems caused by the storm for the foreseeable future. Here are some tips and suggestions for handling some of the more common issues...More

Join With The NNF To Help Victims Of Superstorm Sandy

The National Notary Foundation Will Match Your Contributions

The National Notary Foundation is asking Notaries and their families and friends to reach into their hearts and wallets to benefit the Salvation Army’s Sandy relief efforts. The NNF will match your contributions to help those who lost loved ones, their homes or their livelihoods during this unprecedented natural disaster...More

Temporary Fee Reduction for Some Online Commission Applications

Filling out a request online for either a new or renewed Notary commission can be both convenient and time saving, and for a limited time it is now much less expensive in one state. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has announced that as of November 1, 2012 the online application fee for Colorado Notaries dropped from $10 to $1...More

Another Settlement Reached In 'Robo-Signing' Crisis

Lender Processing Services, Inc. has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle “robo-signing” claims brought by the Delaware Attorney General’s office against the company’s now-defunct subsidiary DocX LLC. The settlement resulted from Delaware’s investigation of fraudulent foreclosure practices that took place in 2008 and 2009...More

Full Compliance Deadline For U.S. Mortgage Settlement Standards Now In Effect

All five major lenders involved in the National Mortgage Settlement now must be in full compliance with the agreement’s rules to prevent “robo-signing”— the widespread improper notarization and document signing abuses that caused the national foreclosure crisis — and more banks are negotiating settlements to resolve claims of wrongdoing...More

November 2012 NNA Bulletin Survey: Using Facebook To Promote Your Business

Are you using Facebook for your small business? We’d like to know if your efforts on Facebook have been helpful for you and how...More

From The CEO: Title, Escrow Industries Facing Shortage Of Qualified NSAs

This week an important fact came to light: The title and escrow industries are facing a serious shortage of qualified Notary Signing Agents, and they are actively seeking the help of NNA certified Notaries. I learned this at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual Conference in Chicago, where I had traveled to represent Notaries everywhere and learn about the future of the real estate industry...More

Voter ID Law Delayed Until 2013

A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., allows South Carolina’s new voter ID law to stand. But the law, which may still face an appeal by the Justice Department, will not become effective until 2013, with additional rules for Notaries presented with affidavits from voters lacking identification...More

Report Indicates Nationwide Slowdown In Foreclosure Activity

Despite predictions that the National Mortgage Settlement might cause a surge in foreclosure activity nationwide, an October report by RealtyTrac indicates that filings took a significant drop in recent months, and that September’s nationwide totals were the lowest since July 2007...More

Senators Want China To Take Action Against Fake ID Companies

U.S. Senators are calling on the People’s Republic of China to crack down on Chinese companies selling fake IDs through the Internet...More

Revised Laws Provide Better Protection for Estate and Financial Planning

An alarming increase in financial manipulation and abuse of the elderly has inspired many states to tighten their laws pertaining to estate and financial planning, and Notaries Public play an important role in the prevention process, specifically in reference to the execution of durable power of attorney documents...More

Smartphone Check Deposits On The Rise

The use of smartphones to deposit checks is growing rapidly, offering a time-saving option for mobile Notaries to credit their bank account as soon as a notarization is complete. ..More

Feds Charge Hundreds In Nationwide Crackdown On Mortgage Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice is charging hundreds of people following a year-long investigation of mortgage fraud cases across the country, including “loan modification” scams that often try to recruit unwitting Notaries as accomplices...More

'Notarial Evidence' Forms Introduced For Mortgages

Notary Signing Agents are beginning to see a new recordkeeping requirement at loan closings, as one financial institution applies a key regulatory standard arising out of the foreclosure crisis and housing market collapse to the origination of new loans...More

New Federal Compliance Requirements Could Cause Spike In Mortgage Fraud Numbers

Reports of mortgage fraud continue to grow, and the numbers are likely to see an even higher spike with the implementation of new regulations by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), according to the Lexis Nexis 2012 Mortgage Fraud Report...More

Home Sales Trend Upward; Re-Fi's Expected To Slide Next Year

In the coming year, Notary Signing Agents can expect more closings from the sale of new and existing homes, but may experience a significant drop in mortgage refinancing assignments, according to forecasts from several industry associations...More

Secretary of State To Crack Down On Illegal Advertising To Immigrant Communities

The New York Secretary of State will begin canvassing immigrant neighborhoods this December in search of Notaries who fail to comply with its new administrative rule — the state’s latest move aimed at reducing immigration service fraud...More

Foreclosure Report Gives Mixed Results; New State Takes Top Spot

Foreclosure activity nationwide showed a one-percent increase in August from the prior month, but has actually decreased a solid 15% from last August’s figures, according to the most recent report from online foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac...More

Voter ID Law, Notarizations Put On Hold

Thirty states now require voters to present some form of identification at the polls, but a Pennsylvania judge has blocked the state's controversial voter-identification law from taking effect in time for the November election. The law could still take effect at a later date, or face a renewed challenge by opponents to block it completely...More

Bill Grants Driver's Licenses To Some Undocumented Immigrants

UPDATE: A bill permitting some younger undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in California has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown...More

Thousands Of Mortgage Fraud Complaints Filed Against Attorneys

A “huge” number of mortgage fraud-related complaints are being filed against attorneys and law firms, according to the American Bar Association. And some of these questionable attorneys have tried to enlist unsuspecting Notaries into helping defraud victims...More

Officials Press More Banks To Reach 'Robo-Signing' Settlement

U.S state attorneys general are negotiating a legal settlement with four regional banks for their involvement in the “robo-signing” crisis. The agreement would be similar to the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement brokered with five national lenders in February. That agreement included sweeping compliance mandates to prevent the widespread improper notarization and document signing practices at the heart of the foreclosure crisis...More

Final Defendants Convicted In Thumbprint Murder Case

After nearly a three-month trial, two men were convicted last week for their role in the murder of a Palm Springs, California, retiree and a thumbprint recorded in a Notary’s journal proved instrumental in solving the case...More

Lack Of Staff And Training Led To Needless Foreclosures

Approximately 840,000 debt-burdened homeowners who could have been helped by the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program will fall through the cracks largely due to a lack of proper staffing and training at some of the financial institutions, according to a recent study. Many of those households will likely end up in foreclosure...More

Recorder's Association Issues List Of 10 Most Common Notary Errors

County recorders rely on valid notarizations in order to accept most documents into their official records, but documents are routinely submitted with improperly or illegibly completed certificates. When a notarization is not completed properly, the error often will cause lengthy delays or result in the rejection of a document, which can be “financially, procedurally and often emotionally devastating to all those involved,” according to an open letter from the County Recorder’s Association of California...More

City Considers Offering Library Cards As ID For Some Undocumented Immigrants

Communities around the nation are struggling with how to properly ID the estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants. But the Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal that could allow undocumented immigrants within its boundaries to use library cards as identification to obtain city services...More

New Law Strengthens Thumbprint Requirement, Limits Proofs of Execution

A new law recently enacted by Governor Jerry Brown expands the journal thumbprint requirement for California Notaries, while also placing further limitations on proofs of execution...More

The NNA Talks 'Robo-Signing' On Syndicated TV News Program

In a recent television news talk show, Chris Sturdivant, NNA’s Director of Corporate Relations, provided an expert’s viewpoint of the “robo-signing” crisis, covering the role that mortgage servicers and notarization abuses played in one of the nation’s worst financial crises...More

Asians Replace Hispanics As Fastest Growing Immigrant Group In U.S.

Asians now represent the largest stream of new immigrants to the United States, overtaking Hispanics in the top spot, according to a study by the Pew Research Center...More

Financial Institutions Implementing National Mortgage Settlement Servicing Standards

The five financial institutions that were part of the National Mortgage Settlement have “implemented between 35 and 72 percent of the servicing standards” mandated by the agreement, according to an interim progress report...More

Identity Thieves Target Mobile Devices

With tens of millions of people now conducting business via mobile devices, identity thieves have turned to hacking smartphones to steal consumers' personal information, according to government and industry experts...More

Credit Card Industry Scrutinized Over Claims Of Robo Practices

Major credit card companies are coming under scrutiny for poor recordkeeping related to bad debts that many observers compare to the “robo-signing” abuses that hit mortgage servicing industry two years ago...More

Notaries Challenged By Oaths Vs. Affirmations

Notaries who took our August quiz on jurats generally demonstrated strong knowledge of the notarial act, but one question stumped more than half our participants — the difference between an oath and an affirmation...More

Federal Agency Seeking Comment On Sweeping Mortgage Servicer Rule Proposals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comment on a set of proposed rules designed to implement a wide range of consumer protections in the wake of the recent National Mortgage Settlement and the “robo-signing” foreclosure abuses it uncovered...More

Legal Professionals Section Advisor: Malcolm Morris

This month, the NNA’s Legal Professionals Section reported on the issue of privacy breaches in the law office and the liability risks of asking job applicants for access to their social media pages. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Legal Professionals Section Advisor Malcolm Morris...More

Courts Invalidate Mechanics Liens Executed With Acknowledgments Vs. Jurats

Just about everywhere you look notarized documents are being challenged. Most recently, courts in two states invalidated mechanics liens against commercial properties because they were improperly notarized using an acknowledgment instead of a jurat, which requires the signer to give an oath or affirmation attesting to the truthfulness of the document...More

Settlement Reached In LPS Fraud Case, Company Founder Still Under Investigation

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has announced the settlement of criminal proceedings against mortgage servicing company DOCX, in an agreement forged with its parent company Lender Processing Services. Both companies, along with the DOCX founder and company president, were indicted for their alleged role in the foreclosure and robo-signing scandals in 2010...More

Authorities Increase Watch On 'Sovereign Citizen' Movement

The FBI, Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies in several states are keeping an eye on the growing “sovereign citizen” movement  individuals who believe the United States government is an “illegal corporation” and they are, therefore, not constrained by its laws...More

Feds Impose Strict Settlement Fines Against Nation's Leading Insurance Provider

The Federal Reserve has fined MetLife, Inc. $3.2 million for its abuses and misconduct during the foreclosure crisis as part of an ongoing nationwide effort to implement the rules and penalties set forth by the National Mortgage Settlement.  The Board also imposed stringent servicing requirements for the nation’s largest life insurance company, similar to those imposed earlier this year against the nation’s five largest financial institutions...More

States Issue Warnings about 'Notario' Advertising

A recent policy action by President Obama will soon allow undocumented Americans under age 30 to begin the process of obtaining temporary legal authorization to study or work in the United States.  Many may seek professional advice, prompting several states — including California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and Utah — to issue warnings about scammers advertising themselves as a "Notario" or "Notario Publico."..More

The Final 2 Days Of Our Notary Summer Games And The Eyes Are On The Prize

The Notary Summer Games, running in honor of the 30th Summer Olympiad, have attracted 75 active competitors who have submitted 180 answers (some of which are quite unique).  An average 4200 “spectators” are witnessing the festivities on our Facebook page each day...More

August 2012 Notary Bulletin Survey-What ID Issues Have You Encountered?

Notaries are often confronted with situations in which it’s difficult to establish a signer’s identity based on the ID evidence they provide. We’d like to know what issues you have encountered, so we ask that you participate in this survey and join in the conversation...More

Crimes Involving Seal Theft Underscore Importance Of Securing Notary Tools

A Massachusetts Notary recently found herself the victim of theft when her Notary seal, along with other items, was stolen from inside her parked vehicle. While the seal’s product value was listed among the less valuable items stolen during the thief’s three-vehicle theft spree, a stolen Notary seal becomes quite dangerous in the wrong hands —  and could lead to liability concerns for the Notary...More

Report Urges U.S. Post Offices To Expand Non-Postal Services, Offer Notarization

A report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recommends that the U.S. Postal Service consider expanding its line of non-postal products and services, including Notary services, in an effort to increase the agency’s revenue and enhance value to local communities...More

NNA Survey: Nearly 75 Percent Of Notaries Use Social Media  But Few Use It To Find Business

While three out of four Notaries polled in an NNA survey reported that they use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, surprisingly few Notaries are taking advantage of the networking opportunities social media offers to expand their business...More

Virginia Activates Online Notarizations

The Commonwealth of Virginia is now allowing specially-commissioned electronic Notaries to perform online electronic notarizations.  Under the new law, which took effect July 1, Virginia’s rule for “personal appearance” can now be satisfied by live, two-way audio-video conferencing...More

FBI: Collusion Fraud On The Rise In Real Estate Transactions

With the housing market still reeling from the impacts of robo-signing, the mortgage industry is now experiencing a surge in another form of fraud — collusion. Investigators are seeing a dramatic increase in secret agreements made between one or more parties with the intent to defraud others of their property or investment in real estate...More

NNA Opens Webinar Archives To All Notaries

Did you miss the NNA’s “How to Complete a Journal Entry” webinar because it conflicted with your schedule? If so, you may now view every webinar dating back to 2009 through the NNA’s new Webinar Archives page at NationalNotary.org...More

Notary Summer Games: The Torch Is Lit, Games To Begin On Facebook On 7/30

In recognition of the 30th Summer Olympics in London, the National Notary Association will host its own Notary Summer Games beginning Monday, July 30. Each business day, a question involving some issue in notarial history, i.e. individuals who have made an impact, regulations, duties, signings and more will be featured on the NNA's Facebook page...More

NSA Small Business Section Advisor: John F. Robinson

This month, the NNA’s Notary Signing Agents and Small Business Section covered topics such as how to properly vet signing companies, the rise and tightening of servicing standards related to mortgage closings, and how to use networking as a way to successfully build your business. To deliver this level of industry-specific information, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to John F. Robinson...More

New CFPB Rule To Simplify RESPA, TILA Mortgage Disclosures

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has proposed revisions to financial disclosure forms that are included in mortgage closing document packages in an effort to simplify mortgage closings...More

'Homeowners Bill Of Rights' Imposes Stricter Regulations On Mortgage Industry

California has become the first state to pass a law that would increase protections to homeowners and borrowers resulting in increased protections throughout the mortgage and foreclosure process. The new laws, along with similar ones in other states, are designed to target and penalize those who commit unfair or fraudulent mortgage transactions, including robo-signing and other Notary-related misconduct that helped fuel the foreclosure crisis...More

States Cracking Down On Notary Advertising, Requiring Non-Attorney Disclaimers

New York has joined a growing number of states in proposing strict regulations on the methods Notaries may use to advertise their services. These efforts — focused on reducing immigration assistance scams and increasing consumer protection — also propose harsh penalties for those who violate the laws...More

New Law Update - Nebraska LB 398 Now In Effect

LB 398 allows election commissioners to administer oaths and affirmations using the county seal, prohibits an applicant for a Notary commission to be appointed if the applicant has been convicted of a crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the previous five years, permits nonresidents of a bordering state to hold a Nebraska Notary commission if they have a regular place of work or employment in Nebraska, repeals the authority of a Notary to protest commercial paper, modifies rules for the removal from office of a Notary, and authorizes the Secretary of State to enact rules and regulations...More

2012 NNA Bulletin Survey-How Do You Use Social Media?

What part does social media play in your career? What sites do you prefer, and in what ways can the NNA help support you through social media? Take our survey and let us know your thoughts...More

Feds Dismantle Fake ID Crime Ring; Two Notaries Indicted

Federal agents dismantled a major immigration fraud ring last week involving the selling of fake driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. More than 160 illegally obtained New Mexico driver’s licenses were suspended as a result of the investigation, and two Notaries were among those indicted...More

Maryland Attorney General and Notary Advocate Doug Gansler Named President of National Association of Attorneys General

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, a featured speaker at the NNA’s 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, has been named President of the National Association of Attorneys General for the coming year. His presidential initiative centers on “Privacy in the Digital Age.”..More

More States Seek to Criminalize 'Robo-Signing' Practices

A growing number of states are seeking legislation that imposes criminal penalties and jail time for those who engage in foreclosure fraud.  In the latest state, New York, the Foreclosure Fraud Prevention Act of 2012, is making its way through the legislature — a bill that clearly defines “residential mortgage foreclosure fraud,” and imposes new criminal penalties for those who intentionally engage in such conduct...More

Notaries Generate $2,500 To Battle Prostate Cancer In Facebook Campaign

The National Notary Association wishes to send a big “thank you” to all Notaries who participated in our Father’s Day Facebook campaign, which generated $2,500 to battle the deadly disease...More

States Combat Immigration Scams With New Laws, Stricter Regulations

In an ongoing effort to combat predatory immigration assistant scams, more states are enacting laws regulating those who offer assistance to immigrants. Several states, including Utah, Michigan, and California now require individuals to register as immigration consultants, submit to background checks, and post immigration bonds...More

A Favor For Co-Worker Costs Notary Her Job And $5,000

Favors for friends are not unusual, but a Notary for a national stock brokerage found out the price for such a favor can be steep when it involves breaking the rules of proper notarization...More

South Dakota Dispute Shows Ethical Challenges Notaries Face With Election Documents

As the 2012 election season moves into full swing, Notaries are likely to encounter more requests to notarize nomination petitions and other election documents to ensure a candidate can get on the ballot. But don’t let a deadline pressure you into a rushed job that could lead to problems — such as the dispute in South Dakota after a lawmaker notarized his own election documents...More

Supreme Court Immigration Ruling Creates Uncertainty For Foreign-Born Residents

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned part of Arizona’s strict law cracking down on undocumented immigrants has created uncertainty for many foreign-born residents. The ruling also puts similar laws in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah in legal limbo, and is likely to push many immigrants to seek help with their residency status...More

Supreme Court Judges Accused Of Campaign-Related Misconduct Involving Notaries

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has launched an investigation into three Supreme Court justices who allegedly used court employees to notarize their 2012 campaign paperwork. Investigators have accused the judges of improperly using on-duty staff Notaries to assist in their election campaigns...More

States Moving To Make Loan Servicing Standards Permanent

The document-signing, notarization and other loan servicing standards implemented by the National Mortgage Settlement currently apply to only five major lenders and are set to expire in 2015. As a result, states are beginning to introduce measures to expand the reach of the terms and make them permanent...More

Online Services Helping States Meet Demand For New Notaries

Many states are now allowing Notaries to apply for commissions online in order to save time and money on processing. In Pennsylvania the state’s top Notary official said that online commissioning services have been key to ensuring enough Notaries are available to protect businesses from identity theft and other document-related crimes...More

Notarized Affidavits Required In New Domestic Partnership Registry

Unmarried couples will be able to register for domestic partnership rights in Tampa Bay, Florida, using a new registry scheduled to launch later this month. The registry requires notarized affidavits by both partners, and will grant rights similar to those legally granted through traditional marriage...More

NNA June Webinar To Focus On 'Signature By Mark'

The next installment of the NNA’s  “Commonly Asked Questions” webinar series launches June 29, and will focus on how to perform a “signature by mark” notarization. This webinar is offered at no charge to all Notaries...More

Join Us For Conference 2013 In Austin, Texas!

Conference 2012 may be over, but it’s never too early to plan ahead for Conference 2013. Next year’s Notary Event of the Year will be held June 2-5 in Austin, Texas, at the Renaissance Austin Hotel...More

Legal Professionals Section Advisor: Patricia Fry

This month, the NNA’s Legal Professionals Section reported on notarial misconduct by attorneys, signer capacity and lessons of the national mortgage settlement. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Legal Professionals Section Advisor Patricia Fry...More

'Like' Or 'Share' The NNA's Facebook Page And We'll Donate $1 To Fight Prostate Cancer

The NNA’s campaign to fight cancer last month was so successful that we’re doing it again, this time in observance of Father’s Day. Announced live at the NNA Conference 2012 Welcome Reception, The National Notary Foundation has pledged to donate $1 to benefit prostate cancer research for every person that “likes” the National Notary Association’s Facebook page or “shares” our posts with their communities. The campaign runs through June 17...More

Feds Launch Anti-Fraud Website; Encourage Whistleblowers To Come Forward

As part of the nationwide effort to combat mortgage fraud, the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group has launched a website where people can report incidents of fraud involving mortgage-based securities. The task force is actively encouraging whistleblowers to come forward and report misconduct or deceptive practices, which may help facilitate their ongoing investigations...More

Celebrating 'Service, Integrity, Trust' At Conference 2012

The National Notary Association’s 34th Annual Conference in San Diego wrapped up four days of seminars, networking events and special presentations this week amid an atmosphere of renewal and rededication to the essential role of the Notary Public office...More

States Revising Power-Of-Attorney Laws, Strengthening Notary Role

In an effort to strengthen the reliability of powers of attorney, a growing number of states are enacting elements of a model law regarding these life-altering documents drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, commonly known as the Uniform Law Commission...More

National Debate Over IDs For Immigrants Continues

Properly identifying a signer lies at the heart of every notarization, but with approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., elected officials, community activists and others are debating just how foreign-born residents obtain acceptable ID...More

The 'Event of the Year' for Notaries And Employers Offers Valuable Networking Opportunities

The NNA’s 34th annual Conferencekicks off this Sunday with unparalleled opportunities for Notaries to network with colleagues, discuss professional challenges, exchange tips and advice, and enjoy socializing with old and new friends...More

Study: Scammers Steal Identities Of 800,000 Deceased Each Year

The identities of approximately 800,000 deceased Americans are stolen each year and used to obtain credit, cell phone service and other benefits, according to a study by risk management company ID Analytics...More

Federal Government Opposes Proposed 'Homeowner Bill Of Rights'

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is opposing the efforts in one state to enact legislation that would protect homeowners against the type of illegal foreclosure abuses that led to the “robo-signing” crisis...More

Conference 2012 Panels To Focus On Risk Management For Notary Employers

Properly trained and supervised Notaries are key to an organization’s ability to protect themselves from risk and fraud. The 34th Annual NNA Conference offers a wide range of panels and expert-led roundtable discussions designed specifically for Notary employers, focusing on the challenges of ensuring compliance and offering solutions on how to create effective Notary oversight programs...More

'Robo-Signing' Repercussions For Mortgage Servicers Continue With New Judicial Twist

Two months after the National Mortgage Settlement was announced, mortgage lenders and financial companies are continuing to be plagued with legal challenges stemming from “robo-signing” abuses. The latest case could have national industry implications because a state supreme court intends to issue his own ruling on a foreclosure dispute, even though the bank already settled with the homeowner...More

'Event Of The Year' For Notaries Also Features Fun, Sun And Adventure

The NNA’s annual Conference, the “Event of the Year” in the Notary community, always features  valuable information and intelligence for Notaries. But NNA Conferences are also known for fun, with everything from casual networking opportunities and signature events, to great NNA discounts on nearby attractions and excursions...More

NNA Shares Liability Reduction, Best Practice Expertise With Montana Notaries

The National Notary Association’s Vice President of Best Practices, William A. Anderson, gave presentations on Notary liability and standards of practice at the inaugural Montana Notary Conference earlier this month...More

Healthcare Section Advisor: David Kyllo

This month, the NNA’sHealthcare Section reported on the importance of maintaining professionalism in the midst of an emotional health situation, the lessons Notaries in all professions can take from the recent National Mortgage Settlement, and the ways in which Notaries in the healthcare field can avoid misconduct. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Healthcare Section Advisor David Kyllo...More

Four More Days To Go: 'Like' Us On Facebook, Help Us Raise $100,000 For Breast Cancer Research

We have surpassed 10,000 “Likes” in our national campaign to fight breast cancer, but we need more! The program closes this Sunday—Mother’s Day—so tell your fellow Notaries, families, friends and co-workers about our benevolent campaign...More

California Case Demonstrates Upswing In Notary Seal Forgeries, underscores Importance Of Journal Evidence

An Upland, California, man is facing multiple counts of forgery and real estate fraud after a local Notary reported to authorities that her seal and signature had been forged on a grant deed, the San Bernardino District Attorney’s office announced. The case is the latest in a string of fraud investigations to uncover the use of forged Notary seals...More

May Webinars Focus On Workplace Notarizations, NNA Conference 2012 FAQs

The NNA has added two new webinars to its May series — the first one will focus on strategies that Notaries can use when faced with improper notarization requests in the workplace; the second will provide timely information and updates regarding this year’s NNA Conference 2012, to be held in San Diego, California on June 3-6. Both webinars will take place live on Friday, May 18th and are offered free of charge to NNA Members...More

Nine Days left to Like The NNA on Facebook, Help Us Raise $100k To Fight Breast Cancer

Last week we launched a nationwide campaign to fight breast cancer in honor of Mother’s Day, and the Notary community has responded! We are rapidly approaching 10,000 “likes” on our Facebook page, but we have a long way to go to reach our $100k goal...More

Journal, Seal Issues Investigated Amid 31 Percent Jump In Mortgage Fraud

Reports of suspected mortgage fraud increased 31 percent in 2011 with more than four-fifths of the cases involving older loans. In many cases, authorities are reviewing Notary journal records as part of their investigations, and they have noted a pattern of misused or stolen Notary seals in many fraud schemes...More

What's New At NNA Conference 2012? Find Out In Our New Webinar

The NNA is known for consistently improving its annual Conference program to keep the nation’s Notaries up to date on the latest practices, opportunities and trends. But there have been so many updates to this year’s program that the NNA produced a special webinar to walk you through all the new specially designed content...More

Federal Agencies Expand Mortgage Servicing Compliance Efforts

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) earlier this month informed the nation’s financial institutions that they must closely supervise any law firms, document processing companies or other outside contractors hired to help service loans...More

Conference Roundtables To Focus On Notary Issues Within Key Industries

The National Notary Association has added a series of interactive roundtable discussions to its Conference 2012 program. The roundtables — scheduled to take place throughout the 34th Annual NNA Conference — will feature Notary experts and industry professionals discussing frequently asked notarial questions, reviewing industry-specific Notary procedures, and providing helpful tips and strategies for Notaries working within several different professional fields...More

'Like' And 'Share' The NNA On Facebook And Help Us Raise $100,000 To Fight Breast Cancer

For the past decade, the nationwide community of Notaries has joined with the National Notary Association’s charitable arm — the National Notary Foundation — to fight the ongoing battle against breast cancer. This Mother’s Day, the NNA is taking that battle to a new level by pledging to donate $1 for breast cancer research for every person that “likes” and “shares” the NNA’s Facebook page. The Foundation seeks to generate up to $100,000 to fight the deadly disease...More

Be Careful Of Suspicious Loan Assistance Jobs In Wake Of Foreclosure Scam Surge

Foreclosure scams targeting distressed homeowners have shot up 60 percent in the past year, according to a report issued this month by a nonprofit homeowner protection group. Notaries should be cautious of any unusual job offers from “loan modification” businesses, as those odd tasks could be a sign the company is engaging in fraudulent practices...More

Mortgage Litigation Activity Hits Record High, Expected To Continue Upward Trend

Increasing foreclosure-related legal cases helped drive the Mortgage Litigation Index to a record high in the fourth quarter of 2011. The index tracked activity for 244 court cases involving mortgage companies — a 12-percent increase from the previous quarter and a 62-percent increase over the same period in 2010...More

Interactive Conference Lab Provides Hands-On Tips For Increasing Business Through Social Media

The National Notary Association has added an innovative new interactive feature to its Conference 2012 program that will provide Notaries with hands-on social media experience and useful strategies that will help boost their business and income. The Social Media Lab — which will be open to Conference 2012 attendees from Monday, June 4 through Wednesday, June 6...More

Iowa Adds Best Practices Requirements To Revised Notary Laws

Iowa enacted new laws this month that strengthen the state’s notarial system to protect consumers, and provide clear procedures in several key areas. Senate File 2265 draws many of its provisions from the Revised Uniform Law On Notarial Acts (RULONA), a set of uniform model laws designed to help state lawmakers standardize and modernize their statutes...More

View the NNA Webinar: Lessons Notary Employers Can Learn From The National Mortgage Settlement

Watch Now: Lessons Notary Employers Can Learn From The National Mortgage Settlement

On Wednesday, April 18, NNA Vice President of Best Practices William Anderson and Director of Corporate Relations Chris Sturdivant hosted an important Webinar focused on corporate solutions to alleviate the Notary abuses that led to the National Mortgage Settlement. Before a national audience of risk managers and mortgage servicing executives, Anderson discussed the 10 Notary abuses that fueled the foreclosure “robo-signing” crisis, the steps mortgage servicers must take to comply with the Notary aspects of the Settlement, and the NNA best practice recommendations that will help companies avoid future legal exposure.  An archive of this webinar is now available for public viewing...More

Government Regulators To Expand 'Robo' Penalties, Reforms

As the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement begin to be implemented at the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, federal and state regulators are looking to draw more companies into the settlement and levy fresh fines against a number of lenders...More

South Carolina Proposes Major Statute Revamp Based On The Model Notary Act; Increased Maximum Fees For Notarial Acts

A bill based on the NNA’s Model Notary Act has been introduced in the South Carolina Senate seeking to strengthen and expand the state’s statutes, and provide clear rules and procedures for its 135,000 Notaries Public...More

NNA Conference 2012 Panel To Feature Notary Regulating Officials; Focus On Liability Prevention

The NNA has added an important new panel to its Conference 2012 agenda featuring some of the nation’s top Notary regulating officials who will discuss new state laws impacting Notaries, and ways to ensure statutory compliance to protect them against legal claims...More

International Section Advisor: Todd Kocourek

A  Founding Trustee of the National Association of Civil Law Notaries (NACLN), attorney Todd Kocourek was instrumental in developing the Civil Law Notary system in Florida to help resolve issues with documents sent between Florida and foreign countries...More

NC County Recorder Sues Banks, Loan Servicers To Fix 'Robo-Signed' Documents

The Guilford County, North Carolina, Register of Deeds has filed a lawsuit against a number of mortgage lenders and loan servicers to force them to correct thousands of improperly signed and notarized documents filed with his office...More

From The CEO: The Notary Bulletin Now Available To All Notaries Nationwide

To The NNA Community:

With “robo-signing” and consumer protection issues raising the national consciousness about the value of legal and ethical notarizations, it’s vital to have access to the right information, education and guidance to be at the top of your game. Our mission has always been to serve and support Notaries so — as demands increase for trustworthy notarizations — I’m pleased to announce that we’ve officially made the Notary Bulletin available to all Notaries nationwide...More

Three Secretaries Of State To Address Major Issues During Conference 2012 Keynote Panel

Three distinguished Secretaries of State who are at the forefront of developments transforming the American Notary office will convene a special Keynote Panel at the NNA’s 34th Annual Conference this June — an important presentation for Notaries everywhere and major highlight for Conference attendees...More

CA Consumer Alert Warns Of Document Fraud, Advocates Journal Thumbprint As Security Measure

The California Department of Real Estate recently issued a consumer alert informing the public on what to do should they become a victim of forgery or fraud, citing proper notarization as a key element in fraud prevention...More

Introducing The NNA's New President And CEO

In an important development that marks a new era of leadership for your National Notary Association, we’re pleased to announce that veteran executive Thomas A. Heymann has been named the NNA’s new President and Chief Executive Officer to expand its service, education and support programs for Notaries nationwide...More

Proper Notarial Practices Essential To Integrity Of Election-Related Documents

With the 2012 election cycle moving into high gear, Notaries will be called upon more and more to notarize nomination petitions, filing papers, affidavits and a variety of other election-related documents. These transactions are often challenged, making adherence to state laws and ethics essential to upholding integrity of notarizationsin the democratic process...More

Hotline Trend: Remote, Webcam Notarizations Remain Prohibited At This Time

The growing prevalence of smartphones, tablet devices and webcams has apparently prompted an increase in inquiries from Notaries about the legality of remote notarizations performed online via webcam. In fact, just this month the NNA’s Notary Hotline received a spike in calls from members asking how to handle these requests...More

HUD Recommending Sanctions Against Bank 'Robo' Notaries

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is considering sanctions against Notary employees of at least one of the five banks involved in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement and may recommend sanctions against Notaries of the other four banks...More

Tennessee Bill Requiring Loan Signings To Be Handled By Attorneys Fails

A bill before the Tennessee General Assembly that would have barred Notary Signing Agents from handling the signings of some home loans has been withdrawn by its sponsor, preserving the role of Notaries in the real estate loan signing process...More

Report: Identity Fraud Increased 13 Percent Last Year; Social Media And Smartphones Increase Risk

Though consumers and businesses have become more vigilant in protecting their identities, cases of identity fraud rose still rose by 13 percent last year — an increase fueled largely by data breaches targeting users of social media and smartphones...More

Record Of Notarizations Mandated By National Mortgage Settlement

The nation’s five largest mortgage servicers now must maintain records of all foreclosure-related notarizations performed on their behalf by employees or third-party contractors, according to details of the National Mortgage Settlement released this week...More

North Carolina Bar Reaffirms The Role Of Notary Signing Agents In The State

The North Carolina State Bar has once again cleared the path for Notary Signing Agents to operate in the state after reaffirming a nine-year-old opinion that allowed nonattorney Notaries to handle real estate loan signings, with certain stipulations...More

Mortgage Fraud Reports Jump 20 Percent

The number of reports of suspected mortgage fraud jumped 20 percent in the third quarter of 2011 from the previous year, and most cases involved loans made four or more years ago, according to the latest report from the federal government...More

March Webinar Will Revisit Use Of Credible Identifying Witnesses

In response to requests from Notaries, the NNA will be hosting a second webinar on the proper use and recording of credible witnesses during a notarization Friday, March 23. The webinar is complimentary to NNA members...More

Last Call For Participation: The NNA's 2012 Notary Census Survey Closes Friday, March 9

The NNA’s 2012 Notary Census survey closes on March 9, and we  want to hear from you! Your responses will help us establish a clear picture of today’s American Notary office. We also ask that you share the survey with your Notary colleagues...More

California, Feds Focus On Halting 'Robo-Signing' Practices

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has announced legislation — dubbed the “California Homeowner Bill of Rights” — that would protect homeowners against illegal foreclosure acts and predatory lending. If the package becomes law, all lenders who do business in the state would have to meet a set of specific requirements before instituting a foreclosure process or face legal action and fines that could overturn the foreclosure...More

NNA Addresses Corporate Notarization Best Practices And Training At MBA, PRIA Conferences Following National Mortgage Settlement

The possibility of a national mortgage servicing standard including Notary training will force financial institutions across the nation to strengthen their internal policies and procedures, according to the NNA’s Business Outreach Specialist Chris Sturdivant...More

Immigration Section Advisor: Crystal Williams

Crystal Williams, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), has been involved in immigration for more than 25 years as an immigration attorney and law publisher...More

Forecasted Foreclosure Rise Comes With Increased Scrutiny Of Notarizations

The recent $25 billion national mortgage settlement is expected to cause a spike in foreclosures nationwide this year, according to industry tracking firms RealtyTrac Inc. and Fitch Ratings. As banks process the backlog of foreclosures that have been shelved for the last eighteen months, Notaries will increasingly be called on to perform more transactions...More

Three Flawed Notary Practices That Put You At Risk

Flawed Notary practices can put you at serious risk. No matter how urgently a document needs to be notarized, or how demanding a client or employer is, violating the essential rules of notarization leaves you exposed to lawsuits...More

Companies Still Liable For 'Robo' Practices Even After Historic Settlement

Financial institutions and the third-party contractors that service loans are still liable for the improper notarization and document signing practices exposed by the “robo-signing” crisis, even after the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with federal agencies and 49 state attorneys general...More

The NNA Seeks Your Responses In Its 2012 Notary Census Survey

If you have not yet participated in the NNA’s 2012 Notary Census survey, we want to hear from you!..More

Corporations Seek To Strengthen Notary Practices Following $25 Billion National Mortgage Settlement

With the $25 billion national mortgage settlement announced between government officials and major banks, the financial industry is taking a hard look at changing widespread shoddy document practices that precipitated the national “robo-signing” crisis — and the NNA is addressing the growing need for best practices training for Notary employees and supervisors...More

'Robo' Foreclosure Settlement Includes Extensive Compliance Mandate, Leaves Door Open To Legal Action, Financial Liability

The historic, $25 billion “robo-signing” settlement requires mortgage servicers to implement “unprecedented” changes to protect consumers and to halt the widespread pattern of improper notarizations and document signings that sparked the foreclosure crisis. The settlement, announced on February 9, also leaves open the possibility of further civil penalties, lawsuits and criminal prosecutions...More

The NNA Requests Your Participation In Its 2012 Notary Census Survey!

The National Notary Association is currently conducting its 2012 Notary Census, and we are asking all Notaries to participate by completing our 2012 Notary Census Survey...More

Deficient Bank Documents Over Loan Ownership Prove Beneficial For Borrowers In State Court

Deficient documentation over mortgage ownership is causing a mess for financial institutions in state courts and, as a result, borrowers in a number of states have won recent court rulings over foreclosure actions...More

February 24 Webinar Covers Differences In Common Notarial Acts

Notaries looking for clarity on the difference between various notarial acts can find help on Feb. 24 when the NNA presents the latest webinar in its continuing series, titled: Acknowledgments, Jurats, and Oaths — What’s the Difference?..More

Three Out Of Four Americans Distrust Financial System

An overwhelming majority of Americans — 77 percent — do not trust the nation’s financial system, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University...More

Utah Proposes Regulating Immigration Consultants

Amid the Federal government’s nationwide campaign to combat immigration service fraud, the Utah Legislature is considering a bill that would  regulate nonattorneys who offer immigration services, and prohibit them from using misleading foreign-language titles such as “Notario Publico” to promote their services...More

International Section Advisor: Wayne Braid

This month, the NNA’s International Section reported on the UK fraud epidemic and its impact on international trade and why Chinese officials are lobbying for greater authority for Notaries. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to International Section Advisor Wayne Braid...More

Missouri AG Brings Criminal Indictment Against Key Player In 'Robo' Crisis

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has announced that DOCX, LLC — a key mortgage document processing firm at the center of the foreclosure “robo-signing” crisis — and its founder have been charged in sweeping felony indictments that accuse them of forgery and making false declarations related to mortgage documents...More

California, New York Attorneys General Question 'Robo' Settlement Terms

Attorneys General Kamala Harris of California and Eric Schneiderman of New York both say they will likely reject the terms of the nationwide foreclosure “robo-signing” settlement because they don’t go far enough to protect consumers and hold major banks accountable...More

Oklahoma Bill Would Require Recordkeeping Of Election Documents

As the 2012 election year begins, the Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill that would require Notaries to maintain a log of all absentee ballot affidavits they notarize for a period of at least two years after the date of the election...More

Pattern Of Fraud Suspected With New Mexico Driver's Licenses Issued To Immigrants

A smoke shop, a car repair shop and even nonexistent locations have been used as addresses by scores of foreign nationals to obtain driver’s licenses in New Mexico, and those findings suggest a pattern of fraud, a spokesman for the Governor’s office said...More

New Jersey Law Imposes Stiff Penalties For Unauthorized Practice Of Law

As part of a continuing national effort against fraud targeting immigrants, the New Jersey General Assembly has enacted a new law that increases penalties — including lengthy prison sentences — for individuals convicted of knowingly engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL)...More

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed In Nevada Over 'Robo-Signing' Scandal

The mortgage servicing firm accused of running a massive 'robo-signing' scheme in Nevada and directing Notary-employees to improperly notarize thousands of documents has been named in a class-action lawsuit by local homeowners...More

California Man Pleads Guilty In Stolen Notary ID Case

A Sacramento, California, man has pleaded guilty in federal court to helping orchestrate a $19 million mortgage fraud scheme that at one time had co-opted the identity of the National Notary Association’s 2007 Notary of the Year Joan Sampson...More

The NNA's February Webinars Focus On Error-Free Loan Signings, Different Notarial Acts

In its continuing series of instructional webinars for Notary professionals, the NNA in February will examine how to properly handle loan signings, and the different types of notarial acts...More

The National Notary Association Remembers Michael Robinson

The National Notary Association lost a dedicated leader and a good friend with the passing of Director of External Communications Michael Robinson, who lost his years-long battle with cancer on January 20. He was 50...More

Improper Notarizations, Foreclosure Misconduct Drive Lawsuits Against Mortgage Industry To Record Levels

The number of lawsuits filed against mortgage lenders, servicers and other companies in the industry hit a record high in the third quarter of 2011, according to the most recent release of the Mortgage Litigation Index. Litigation over improper notarizations and other misconduct related to the foreclosure crisis is the number one contributor to the surge in court cases, according to the report...More

Federal, State Crackdowns Focus On Strengthening Identity Security

Due to rising incidents of fraud and imposture, the federal government and the state of Hawaii last week took aggressive steps to crack down on identity fraud and strengthen issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards...More

Smithsonian Exhibit Features Notary Public At Work

With Notaries continuing to gain national and international recognition, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. is featuring an innovative exhibition by video artist Ali Kazma that’s all about notarization...More

Legal Professionals Section Advisor: Michael Ostrow

This month, the NNA’s Legal Professionals Section reported on job opportunities for legal professionals, notarizing for clients speaking different languages, and liability in the legal field. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to attorney Michael Ostrow...More

January Webinar Will Address How To Verify Identity In A Multi-Cultural World

The next installment of the NNA’s “Commonly Asked Questions” webinar series will be held Friday, January 27 addressing the important topic: How to ID in a Multi-Cultural World. A total of three webinar sessions will be held due to increased demand...More

New Director Of Federal 'Watchdog Agency' To Tighten Oversight Of Mortgage Servicers, Financial Institutions

The federal government has joined a growing number of states in investigating and prosecuting “robo-signing” and notarial misconduct within the mortgage industry with the appointment of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)...More

December Poll Results: Notaries Feel Safer With E&O Insurance

A majority of Notaries purchase Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance because they feel safer with coverage protecting them from potential lawsuits, according to an NNA December 2011 online poll...More

Trusted Notary Protection Initiative Helps Alabama And Michigan Notaries Comply With New State Laws

The National Notary Association has implemented a Trusted Notary Protection support initiative in Alabama and Michigan to help Notaries comply with an unprecedented group of new laws to protect the public from fraud but also significantly increases Notaries’ exposure to liability...More

The NNA Celebrates 55th Anniversary With Full Slate Of Exciting Events, Programs

Get ready for a wide-ranging slate of valuable programs and exciting events in 2012 as the NNA embarks on its 55th Anniversary celebration — a time in which the Notary community reflects upon our decades of progress, and forges ahead with new resolve to strengthen the American Notary office...More

New Penalties For Fraudulent Real Estate Notarizations Take Effect In Michigan

On January 1, 2012, it became a felony in Michigan to violate state Notary regulations when notarizing real property or mortgage documents — a move by state lawmakers to combat “robo-signing” practices and mortgage fraud, and to put the state’s employers and Notaries on notice that unethical practices will be prosecuted...More

Conference 2012 Sweepstakes Winner Amber Hall: 'I Can't Wait To Sharpen My Skills'

Thousands of new Notaries every year seek out the NNA for training, service and support they can’t get anywhere else.  One lucky Notary did just that in 2011 and, in the process of engaging with our ever-expanding Notary community, won a highly valuable prize: A trip to the NNA’s 2012 Conference this June!..More

Notaries Charged In Nevada 'Robo-Signing' Scandal Appear In Court

Three Notaries charged in a massive ‘robo-signing’ case in Nevada faced a judge for the first time on Dec. 28, but they did not enter pleas as pre-trial hearings were delayed until early 2012...More

Need To Know: New Laws For 2012

States passed more than 60 new laws in 2011 addressing a wide range of notarial issues — from commissioning procedures to recordkeeping requirements to penalties for misconduct. The dominant legislative trend — driven by continuing instances of real property fraud and revelations of improper conduct in the “robo-signing” crisis — was a fairly broad move toward protecting the public and increasing accountability and liability for Notary misconduct along with an emphasis on following proper procedures and ethical practices...More

Celebrating The 2008 Notary Of The Year: Liz Adams

When Liz Adams of Florida was named the National Notary Association’s 2008 Notary of the Year, she was a successful Notary Signing Agent and one of the first Notaries in her state to perform eNotarizations...More

Poll: Why Do You Carry E&O Insurance?

Morer />

Nevada AG Files 'Robo' Suit Against National Mortgage Servicing Company

The Nevada Attorney General’s office has filed a civil lawsuit accusing a national mortgage servicing company of running a massive “robo-signing” operation that initiated “countless” foreclosures in the state — a suit that underscores the risks of pushing employees to engage in improper notarization practices and other misconduct...More

Notary Of The Year Nominations To Close December 30

The National Notary Association reminds all Notaries and employers to submit their nominations for the 2012 Notary of the Year award before the final deadline of 5 p.m. on Friday, December 30...More

Amid Nationwide Robo-Signing Settlement Talks, Massachusetts AG Files Sweeping Lawsuit Against Five Major Banks

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a “comprehensive” lawsuit against five national banks related to the “robo-signing” crisis, accusing them of violating Notary law and other misconduct related to thousands of improper foreclosures in the state...More

Historic Alabama Bond Increase Part Of National Push To Increase Consumer Protection

In a historic effort to provide greater protection for consumers seeking notarizations, the state of Alabama is raising the required surety bond for Notaries to $25,000 — the highest in the country. At least one other state is considering a similar move, and other states have enacted different types of consumer protection measures...More

Notaries In Nevada 'Robo-Signing' Case Testify They Were Pressured To Improperly Notarize Thousands Of Documents

Highlighting the often challenging relationship between Notaries and their employers, several Las Vegas Notaries involved in Nevada’s massive "robo-signing" case testified before a grand jury that they were not trained to perform their notarial duties properly and were concerned they would be fired if they did not comply with their bosses orders to perform improper notarizations...More

NNA Concerns Grow Over 'Robo-Signing' Crisis, Offers Support To Notaries, Supervisors

Amid the continuing revelations of improper notarial practices emerging from the nationwide “robo-signing” crisis — and the growing criminal and civil liabilities — the National Notary Association is increasing its outreach to Notaries  and their supervisors with critical guidance on proper notarial procedures and reducing corporate risk...More

NNA Kicks Off 55th Anniversary Sweepstakes With Weekly And Grand Prize Giveaways

In celebration of the NNA’s 55th year serving the Notary community, the organization has announced the launch of its 55th Anniversary Sweepstakes, which begins this week and runs through May 2012. The sweepstakes features valuable weekly prize giveaways and a grand prize Visa gift card worth $550...More

Financial & Corporate Services Section Adviser: James D. Ratley

This month, the NNA’s Financial & Corporate Services Section reported on risk management in the industry and efforts to prevent business identity theft. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Certified Fraud Examiner James D. Ratley...More

NNA Webinar To Focus On Proper Use And Recording Of Credible Witnesses In Notarial Acts

As part of the new “Commonly Asked Questions” webinar series, the NNA will be hosting a 30-minute webinar on Monday, December 12 focusing on the proper use and recording of credible witnesses during a notarization. The webinar is free of charge and open to all Notaries...More

Nevada AG Charges Three More Notaries In 'Robo-Signing' Scheme

Following a Nevada grand jury indictment of two supervisors for a national mortgage servicing company accused of directing what prosecutors describe as a “massive ‘robo-signing’ scheme,” the state Attorney General’s office has charged three more Notaries involved in the case...More

Nevada Notary Found Dead Amid Tragic 'Robo-Signing' Case

A Las Vegas Notary caught up in what authorities describe as a “massive ‘robo-signing’” scheme was found deceased in her home earlier this week following a Nevada Grand Jury indictment. Local police have ruled out homicide and are investigating the cause of death...More

Celebrating The 2010 Notary Of The Year: Daniel Lewis

When Daniel Lewis of Carmel, Indiana, was named the National Notary Association’s 2010 Notary of the Year, he was already a successful Notary Signing Agent and Notary educator. But since receiving the honor, business has really taken off...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Don't Give Unauthorized Advice

The duties of a Notary are strictly defined by law, and going outside those limits can lead to legal trouble for the Notary. That’s why the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always refrain from giving advice to signers unless you have the professional training and credentials to do so...More

Celebrating The 2011 Notary Of The Year: Chrissey Ladd

2011 Notary of the Year Chrissey Ladd uses her NNA membership to the fullest. In addition to educating co-workers and employers in the workplace, she uses NNA social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, to educate and provide perspectives to the greater Notary community...More

Nevada Notary Pleads Guilty In 'Robo-Signing' Case That Revealed Thousands Of Fraudulent Foreclosure Documents

In a case that illustrates the need for Notaries and their employers to follow sound notarial practices in the foreclosure process, a Nevada Notary working under the direction of two supervisors at a national mortgage servicing company has pleaded guilty to notarizing a foreclosure document outside the presence of the signer...More

New Wisconsin Bill Would Add Notarization Requirement To Recall Petitions

Demand for Notary services by political activists in Wisconsin may soon jump significantly if a bill requiring circulators of recall petitions to acquire notarized affidavits of identity is enacted..More

Myths Vs. Facts Concerning Notary Liability

Notaries today are increasingly being named in lawsuits, even when they have performed their duties properly. As a result, Notaries take personal responsibility for strictly following best practices, keeping thorough journal records of their notarizations, and maintaining a personal Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance policy to cover legal costs of liability. To help weed through some of the commonly held misconceptions about Notary liability, the Notary Bulletin pulled together pertinent facts and figures to help make sure you’re covered...More

NNA Webinar Focuses On Identifying Loan Documents That Need Notarization

The National Notary Association will host a 60-minute webinar on Thursday, December 8, focusing on how Signing Agents can confidently recognize and handle documents in loan packages that must be notarized...More

NNA To Deliver Fraud Prevention Presentation To Texas Bankers Association Today

The NNA today will deliver a presentation on how Notaries help security managers mitigate risk and ensure legal compliance during the Texas Bankers Association’s 17th Annual Security & Risk Management Conference...More

NSA-Small Business Section Advisor: Steve McDonald

This month, the NNA’s NSA and Small Business Section reported on new laws in New York that may pave the way for electronic notarization, expert tips on how Notaries can thrive in a down market and ways in which the Small Business Administration is offering help for credit-strapped entrepreneurs. In order to deliver this level of industry-specific news and information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for all of our six professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to signing agent and small business expert Steve McDonald...More

4.3 Million Foreclosure Victims Offered Independent Case Reviews With Focus On Proper Processes

In what is being considered the first meaningful response to the foreclosure crisis, the federal government has ordered 14 mortgage lenders involved in the “robo-signing” scandal to send letters to 4.3 million consumers who may have been victimized by foreclosure errors and misconduct, paving the way for a massive number of individual case reviews and potential compensation...More

Enter NNA's Facebook Sweepstakes For A Chance To Win A Full Conference 2012 Package

Are you interested in engaging with the NNA’s nationwide Notary community and receiving a complimentary trip to next year’s Conference? If so, head on over to our Facebook page and click the “Like” button to enter our Conference 2012 Facebook sweepstakes!..More

Celebrating The 2009 Notary Of The Year: Elaine Wright

As we begin the search for the 2012 Notary of the Year to be honored at next year’s Conference in San Diego, the NNA takes a look back at past distinguished NOTY recipients over the years. This week’s profile is 2009 Notary of the Year Elaine Wright...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Using And Protecting Your Seal

A Notary’s seal signifies that a Notary is a public officer, and its application to a document authenticates the Notary’s signature and makes a notarization official. That’s why the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always use a seal when you notarize, and be sure to keep it in your custody and control at all times...More

Nationwide 'Matricula' Card Debate Continues As Northern California Law Enforcement Agencies Decide To Accept Controversial IDs

The recent decision by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Rosa Police Department to allow officers to accept Matricula Consular cards continues the nationwide debate over these controversial IDs issued by Mexican consulates whose citizens live outside of Mexican borders...More

America's eRecording Capability Rapidly Expanding

More than 700 county recorders around the country are electronically recording real estate-related documents, according to the Property Records Industry Association. That represents a 40-percent increase since April 2010...More

Celebrating The 2002 Notary Of The Year: Michael J. Finland

As we begin the search for the 2012 Notary of the Year to be honored at next year’s Conference in San Diego, the NNA takes a look back at past distinguished NOTY recipients over the years. This week’s profile is 2002 Notary of the Year Michael J. Finland...More

Healthcare Section Advisor: Mollie Shields-Uehling

This month, the NNA’s Healthcare Professionals Section reported on a California hospital data breach, notarizing for physically disabled signers, and Florida’s new power of attorney law. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to digital security and healthcare industry expert Mollie Shields-Uehling...More

States Enact Laws, Enforce Penalties Against To Protect Consumers Against Immigration Service Fraud

As part of the national initiative to protect consumers against immigration assistance scams, Washington State enacted a new Immigration Service Fraud Prevention Act this week, prohibiting individuals from engaging in the authorized practice of law in matters pertaining to immigration. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler also unveiled a new state-wide public awareness campaign designed to protect consumers from immigration consulting fraud...More

Michigan Governor Signs Bills Targeting Mortgage Fraud

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a set of Notary-related laws late last week designed to combat real estate fraud, signaling that the state is getting tough on individuals and companies who engage in mortgage fraud...More

Celebrating The 2007 Notary Of The Year: Joan Sampson

As we begin the search for the 2012 Notary of the Year to be honored at next year’s Conference in San Diego, the NNA takes a look back at past distinguished NOTY recipients over the years. This week’s profile is 2007 NOTY Joan Sampson...More

NNA Offers Notary Privacy Guard® Designed To Protect Consumers' Private Information

The National Notary Association is now offering as part of its notarial supplies the Notary Privacy Guard®, an easy-to-use tool designed to help Notaries comply with industry privacy regulations and protect consumers’ personal information recorded in Notary journals from identity thieves...More

Report: Lack Of Supervisor Training Contributed To 'Robo-Signing' Crisis

A federal report criticized the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which is tasked with overseeing mortgage giant Fannie Mae, for failing to have proper procedures in place that would have identified and prevented much of the improper conduct and flawed notarial practices that led to the “robo-signing” crisis...More

Michigan Bills Would Set New Penalties For Notary and Real Property-Related Crimes

A set of Notary-related bills in Michigan that have been submitted to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature send a clear message to Notaries and employers that intentional misconduct involving real estate documents will carry severe penalties...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Notarize Completed Documents

If a document is notarized while it still has blank spaces to be filled in, the potential for fraud increases because someone can later fill in those spaces with incorrect information outside the Notary’s presence.  Several states — including California, Colorado, and Florida — prohibit notarizing incomplete documents. That’s why the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always notarize only documents that are complete and without blank spaces...More

Mortgage Fraud Trend Highlights Investigative Value Of Notarial Recordkeeping

Mortgage fraud investigations jumped 88 percent in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, and the overwhelming majority of those reports involve loans that originated three or more years ago, according to a federal government report...More

Pennsylvania Joins States Accepting Notary Commission Applications Online

The Pennsylvania Department of State is now accepting online applications for Notary commissions, a move that streamlines the commissioning process for state officials, and allows commissions to be granted quicker and more efficiently...More

Display Your Professionalism With NNA Online 'Badges' For Members, Certified NSAs

As a member of the National Notary Association’s Member community you have dedicated yourself to upholding the highest standards of notarial practice and ethics. Now, through a new member benefit, you have exclusive access to online NNA “badges” that display your membership status, and demonstrate your commitment to notarial excellence...More

Celebrating The 2004 Notary of the Year: Jamie Johns-Smith

As we begin the search for the 2012 Notary of the Year to be honored at next year’s Conference in San Diego, the NNA takes a look back at past distinguished NOTY recipients over the years. This week’s profile is 2004 NOTY Jamie Johns-Smith...More

NNA Updates Member Benefits with Partner Program

Most Notarized Poll Shows Great Diversity

Celebrating The 2005 Notary of the Year: Carol Salter

As we begin the search for the 2012 Notary of the Year to be honored at next year’s Conference in San Diego, the NNA takes a look back at past distinguished NOTY recipients over the years. This week’s profile is 2005 NOTY Carol Salter...More

New Florida Act Strengthens Notarial Requirement For Powers Of Attorney

In an effort to strengthen protections for the elderly and vulnerable against exploitation, Florida this week enacted a new “Power of Attorney Act” that mandates significant changes to how they are handled, and the methods by which they must be executed and notarized. Floridians are being warned that powers of attorney that don’t comply with the new laws will be invalid...More

New York Enacts Sweeping Non-Attorney 'Notario' Disclaimer Law To Protect Consumers

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law that establishes one of the country’s most far-reaching sets of requirements for Notaries who advertise their services in foreign languages...More

The NNA Opens Nominations For 2012 Notary Of The Year; Recipient To Be Honored At Annual Conference

The online nomination process for the 23rd annual Notary Of The Year has begun, so nominate a respected fellow Notary, a stellar Notary employee or yourself for the NNA’s top honor. The deadline for nominations is December 30...More

North Carolina Shuts Down Private Agency Suspected Of Notarizing Blank Vehicle Documents

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has shut down a privately-run license plate agency after the manager and an employee were arrested on suspicion of notarizing blank vehicle title documents which could be used to fraudulently transfer ownership of vehicles...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Attaching Notarial Certificates

Signers often present documents to Notaries that lack proper notarial certificates. Without the state-approved certificate wording, a Notary’s signature and seal have little meaning because the wording describes what type of notarization was performed — such as an acknowledgment or jurat — and what procedures the Notary followed.  Therefore, the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always attach a Notary certificate if wording is not already printed on the document...More

Join The NNA's Growing Social Network For America's Notaries

The National Notary Association’s social media community is growing fast and we’re inviting you to join the conversation so you don’t miss out on valuable discussions, information and networking! Notaries from across the nation are already exchanging ideas, strategies and insights on issues important them...More

Non-Attorney Notary Foreign Language Ad Disclaimer On N.Y. Governor's Desk

A bill that would regulate how New York Notaries advertise their services in foreign languages and require them to post disclaimers has been approved by the State Legislature and is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his signature...More

NSA-Small Business Section Advisor: Kelly Manning

This month, the NNA’s NSA and Small Business Section reported on commercial lending, foreclosure fraud issues and creating small business success in a tough economy.To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to small business expert Kelly Manning...More

Court Cases Highlight The Importance Of Proper Notarizations In Democratic Process

With the nation gearing up for the 2012 election cycle, a number of election-related legal cases involving improper notarizations are coming to light. Notaries in many states are asked to authenticate a variety of documents in election cycles, and these cases illustrate how important proper notarial procedures are to the democratic process...More

NNA Launches Member Advocate Program To Advance The Notary Office

The National Notary Association is looking for dedicated, professional Notaries to become part of its dynamic, new “Member Advocate Program” to help support Association initiatives that strengthen the Notary office...More

NNA Virtual Seminar Focuses On Trends, Regulations Impacting NSAs

The National Notary Association will host a 60-minute webinar, titled “Tracking Emerging Trends Affecting NSAs,” on Thursday, Sept. 22 which will focus on the economic, industry, regulatory and legal trends currently impacting Notary Signing Agents...More

NJ AG Informs Notaries, Businesses They Can't Plead Ignorance On Illegal Immigration Services

Amid the national effort to protect consumers and immigrants from illegal immigration services, New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow announced that complaints have been filed against four businesses suspected of offering such services illegally, and improperly using the Spanish title “Notario Publico” to trick immigrants into believing they were legal experts...More

The Post-9/11 Decade And Its Effects On Identity Security

During the past decade, the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, have caused dramatic, cascading effects across America in government, business, and daily life. The effects on Notaries — and their duty to authenticate transactions through positively identifying document signers — were profound, as the nation transformed its approach to identity and document security processes. The following is a glimpse of some of the significant changes affecting our world today:..More

FBI Report: 'Borrowed Or Stolen Notary Seals' Contribute To Mortgage Fraud Epidemic

Mortgage fraud continues to plague consumers, the financial industry and the economy, and one of the contributing factors is ready access perpetrators have to Notary seals, according to the FBI’s 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report...More

NNA Updates Member Benefits With Partner Programs

The National Notary Association is increasing its benefits for members through enhanced Partner Programs that offer significant discounts and savings with participating organizations...More

New Mexico Governor Indicts Men Accused Of Selling Driver's Licenses, Notarizing Documents To Undocumented Immigrants

As state officials work to improve the security of New Mexico’s driver's licenses system — with a special emphasis on tightening regulations on those issued to foreign nationals — Governor Susana Martinez’s office has announced the indictment of three men who are accused of illegally selling the coveted IDs to undocumented immigrants from out-of-state...More

Vermont's Coolidge Foundation Spared Significant Damage From Hurricane Irene, But Inaccessible To Staff, Visitors

The Plymouth Notch, Vermont, headquarters of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation — which educates the public about the legacy of our nation’s 30th President — is currently inaccessible and without power due to the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Irene this week...More

The NNA's 2011 'State Of The Notary Public Office'Report Now Available For Download

The National Notary Association’s much anticipated State of the Notary Public Office 2011 report is now available for download. For the past 33 years the report has provided an annual snapshot of the growing importance of Notaries; the emerging needs of business, government and the public; and the ever-changing landscape of opportunities tied directly to current economic conditions and trends, particularly in the real estate, mortgage and banking industries...More

New Alabama Immigration Laws Facing Legal Challenges, Impact On Notaries And Consumers Unclear

A federal judge earlier this week blocked Alabama’s contentious immigration law — which was scheduled to go into effect today — due to the ongoing court challenges being made by the U.S. Department of Justice and various advocacy groups...More

State Agencies Ready To Assist Notaries in Wake of Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene struck hard across the eastern seaboard this week, knocking out power, disrupting air travel and causing massive flooding that destroyed countless people’s homes and property. While the full damage toll has not yet been realized, more than 1.03 million Notaries live and serve within the nine eastern states most affected by the “once in a century” event, and the disaster victims that rely upon them will need help...More

Michigan State Attorney General Pushes Bills To Make Notary Violations A Felony

The Michigan Attorney General is pushing for passage of a pair of bills that would elevate violations of the state’s Notary Act to felonies punishable by stiff prison sentences and fines. Both measures are part of a package of legislation that would give authorities more power to investigate and punish individuals involved in mortgage fraud...More

Sentencing Highlights Penalties Notaries Face For Engaging In Notario Activities

An Indianapolis woman who admitted to advertising herself as a Notario Publico and providing immigration services without being a licensed attorney was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to charges related to her unauthorized practice of immigration law and tax evasion. The state Attorney General’s office also served her with a notice to pay $58,194 in unpaid taxes or face a lawsuit...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Establishing A Signer's Willingness

The Notary’s job doesn’t begin and end with simply verifying a signer’s identity; another key responsibility of the Notary is to ensure that the signer is willingly signing the documents that are being notarized and is not being pressured to do so by other individuals. If it is later discovered that the signer was being coerced the document could be challenged in court, placing the Notary at legal risk. Therefore, the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always confirm that the signer is not being coerced and is willingly signing the documents you notarize...More

The Most Common Notary Lawsuits Can Be Prevented By Sound Practices

If you notarize a document that contains a forged signature or fail to screen signers for willingness and awareness, it is highly likely you will be named in a lawsuit when that document is challenged in court...More

Judge Orders Attorney To Study Notary Laws And Regulations

An attorney who notarized court affidavits without requiring the personal appearance of his signers has been ordered by a judge to hit the books and educate himself — and his entire staff — on state notarial laws and regulations...More

Immigration Section Advisor: Stephen Yale-Loehr

This month, the NNA’s Immigration Section reported on the recent Russia-U.S. adoption treaty, the shifting tactics of immigration service scams, and the ways in which federal organizations are protecting consumers against immigration fraud. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to immigration scholar and legal professional Stephen Yale-Loehr...More

'Notary Event Of The Year' Returns To Southern California In 2012

The National Notary Association is pleased to announce that the 34th annual NNA Conference will be returning to the sunny shores of California in 2012, just in time to celebrate the NNA’s 55th anniversary...More

'Notario'-Type Fraud Can Target Any Immigrant Community

While Spanish-speaking immigrants are the most well-known targets of “Notario Publico” fraud, they aren’t the only victims. State law enforcement officials warn that any immigrant group can be targeted by con artists offering phony immigration services...More

Summer Poll Reveals Notaries and Their Employers Lack Protection From Flawed Notarizations

Forty six percent of Notaries who responded to our summer poll reported they do not carry Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, leaving nearly half of the Notary community vulnerable to costly lawsuits...More

Jump in Mortgage Fraud Affirms Importance of Notary Journal Records

Reports of suspected mortgage fraud jumped 31 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, and many of the new cases were discovered amid increased scrutiny of loans originated during the final years of the real estate boom...More

NNA and FTC Encourage Notaries To Use Complaint System To Report 'Notario' Abuse

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from fraud, the NNA has been working with Federal Trade Commission officials to encourage Notaries to report individuals or businesses engaging in the unauthorized practice of immigration law via a link on the NNA’s “Important Differences Between U.S. Notaries and Notarios” Resource Page...More

Oregon, Ohio Declare Webcam Notarizations Unacceptable

Ohio and Oregon have joined a growing number of states declaring remote webcam notarizations are not permitted and that a signer’s physical appearance before a Notary is required for all notarial acts...More

NNA White Paper: Employers Should Create A Management And Oversight Plan For Their Notaries

The NNA has released a new Whitepaper entitled “An Employer’s Guide to Managing Its Notary Workforce,” which provides guidance to organizations that employ Notaries on how to properly supervise, educate, and manage their Notary-employees. It addresses how creating and implementing an effective Notary management and oversight plan can ensure proper notarial procedures and protect a company against liability...More

NNA Participates In National Conference Where Officials Reaffirm E-Notarization Standards and Induct New President

Top state Notary officials from across the nation recently gathered at this year’s National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Summer Conference in Daniels, West Virginia, where NNA representatives were on hand to share information with them on key legislative, technology and notarization developments...More

New Jersey And Colorado Join States In Declaring Webcam Notarizations Unacceptable

New Jersey and Colorado have joined several other states in declaring that remote webcam notarizations are unacceptable and that personal appearance is a requirement for all notarial acts...More

Federal Officials Rapidly Expanding Nationwide Campaign Against The Unauthorized Practice Of Immigration Law

Federal officials plan to quickly expand their nationwide, multi-agency initiative to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law — often involving people improperly advertising themselves as Notarios Publicos — to about 20 more cities by the end of the year...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Maintaining A Journal

Verifying a signer’s identity lies at the heart of every notarial act. While signers may prove their identities in any number of ways, Notaries increasingly are asking them to record their thumbprints in journal entries...More

Oklahoma And The Northern Marianas Join States In Saying 'No' To Webcam Notarizations

Oklahoma and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have become the most recent state and U.S. territory to announce that webcam notarizations are unacceptable...More

New NNA Web Page Offers Tips To Reduce Risk Of Lawsuits

Between the highly publicized instances of improperly notarized documents in the mortgage industry and high profile court cases involving notarial mistakes, Notaries are more likely to be named in costly lawsuits — even if the Notary did everything right. To help Notaries better protect themselves and reduce the risk of liability, the NNA has created a Web page offering tips and advice on how to prevent lawsuits...More

Healthcare Professionals Section Advisor: Carol Salter

This month, the NNA’s Healthcare Professionals Sectioncovered topics such as powers of attorney, spotting signs of dementia and other issues. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to healthcare professional Carol Salter...More

NNA Launches 'Notary Knowledge' Public Awareness Campaign

The National Notary Association has announced the launch of its Notary Knowledge public awareness campaign designed to educate the public on what Notaries do, how they protect the public and businesses, and what can happen when they are not involved in a transaction...More

Nevada Customer Alert Affirms Online Webcam Notarizations Are Not Permitted in the State

Nevada has become the latest state to announce that online webcam notarizations are unacceptable, according to a Customer Alert issued last week by Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller...More

Florida Notaries In Hot Water For Violating Personal Appearance Requirement

Improper notarization can lead to severe liability issues for Notaries, as illustrated in a case involving two Florida Notaries accused of improperly notarizing 30 quitclaim deeds for a known business contact who allegedly used the fraudulent deeds to transfer properties— including his own 8,000 square-foot residence — from unwitting owners to his own company...More

Wisconsin Notaries Now Regulated By New State Agency

Wisconsin’s Notaries are now under the authority of the state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which has taken over the administration of new and renewing Notary commission applications from the Secretary of State...More

Surety Bonds and E&O Insurance: Know The Difference

In business, legal disputes are a fact of life — and Notaries are often named in lawsuits when problems are found on a notarized document. In our increasingly litigious society it’s crucial for Notaries to know the difference between a surety bond — which protects signers — and E&O policies that guard a Notary’s personal and professional assets from liability...More

Philadelphia Notaries Lose Commissions For Notarizing Election Forms When Signers Weren't Present

Failing to require a signer’s personal appearance during a notarization is a serious mistake with grave consequences — as two Philadelphia Notaries found out after improperly notarizing election documents without the signers present...More

States Taking Aim At Notarios, Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law

The nationwide federal crackdown against immigration assistance scams and the unauthorized practice of law has resulted in more than a dozen states filing nearly 70 criminal or civil cases against individuals and businesses, including those who advertise themselves as Notario Publicos...More

Egyptian Notary Plays Key Role In Mubarak Financial Probe

From time to time, Notaries across the globe are called upon to act as impartial witnesses to historic events. In a recent occurrence, an Egyptian Notary was summoned to authenticate documents signed by the wife of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak — documents that relinquished cash and property over to Egyptian authorities...More

Journal Thumbprint Helps Lead To Murder Conviction

Law enforcement officials nationwide rely upon Notary journal records when investigating mortgage fraud, as they often provide key evidence. The value of that evidence was underscored last month when two California men were sentenced to life in prison for running an elaborate murder and real estate fraud scheme — a scheme that unraveled due to a thumbprint recorded in a Notary’s journal...More

Nebraska Joins States Requiring Notarized Parental Consent For Abortions

As Nebraska joins the growing number of states requiring notarized written permission for a minor’s abortion, Notaries in the Cornhusker state now face the challenge of remaining impartial has they handle these sensitive transactions...More

NNA Poll: Liability Protection

A faulty notarization can lead to serious consequences for both Notaries and the companies that employ them. Today, more Notaries and businesses are taking steps to protect themselves from potential legal and liability threats that can arise from an improperly performed notarization...More

New Law In North Dakota Strengthens Wide Range Of Notary Requirements

On August 1, North Dakota will become the first state in the nation to implement significant changes to its Notary laws based on model legislation drafted by a national commission of state-appointed legal scholars — legislation that includes clearly defined new rules for eNotarization, personal appearance and refusal of improper acts...More

Recommended Notary Practices: Maintaining A Journal

Notarizations protect the integrity and authenticity of important business and personal transactions. But a record of notarial acts protects the notarization process as well as the Notary, the signer, relying parties and the general public. If a notarization is ever challenged, the information contained within your journal act can help demonstrate that you followed proper and legally mandated procedures or that a particular individual actually signed the document. Therefore, the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to:..More

Financial & Corporate Services Section Adviser: Richard Bramhall

This month, the NNA’s Financial and Corporate Services Section covered topics such as IRS audits, eliminating bad notarial workplace practices and fraud prevention strategies in the office. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Bank of America Senior Vice President Richard Bramhall...More

Federal Agencies Launch Unprecedented Nationwide Campaign Targeting Notario Publico Abuse

The federal government has announced an unprecedented, multi-agency, nationwide initiative targeting immigration assistance scams and the unauthorized practice of law — often involving individuals falsely holding themselves out as Notarios Publicos...More

Maryland Attorney General And Other AGs Join Historic, Nationwide Notario Crackdown

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and a number of his counterparts from Texas, New Jersey and Washington other states have launched campaigns in conjunction with a historic, multi-agency federal initiative to combat immigration assistance fraud...More

Arizona Law OKs The Use Of Interpreters To Speak For Signers

Arizona has become the first state to enact a law that permits Notaries to communicate indirectly with a signer via a translator. Senate Bill 1230, which goes into effect on July 20, allows an interpreter to translate for the signer if the signer and Notary do not speak the same language. But the translator and signer both must be physically in the presence of the Notary at the time of the notarization...More

New Mexico Governor Establishes New Unit To Handle Notary Misconduct Investigations

Moving quickly to respond to the need to investigate notarial misconduct, including handling administrative hearings, with a more hands-on approach for the state’s 32,000 Notaries, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has issued an Executive Order that establishes a new “Notary Compliance and Enforcement Unit.”..More

A Message To NNA Members From Alabama Secretary Of State Beth Chapman

After keynoting the National Notary Association’s 33rd Annual Conference, Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman sent this letter to the NNA to share with the Notary community...More

Notaries Are 'Gatekeepers To Honesty And Integrity' And 'The Guarantors of Trust'

Amid a week full of engaging sessions focused on “Managing Risks in Today’s World,” Notaries attending the NNA’s 33rd annual Conference heard directly from the Presidents-Elect of two of the most influential organizations of state officials. Their message: the valuable protections Notaries provide to consumers and businesses remain vitally important in today’s economic and business climate...More

Panelists Share Views On The Role and Responsibilities Of Notaries

One of the most important presentations at the 33rd Annual National Notary Association Conference was a panel discussion entitled “Why Notarization Is More Relevant And Vital Than Ever.” The panel included leading experts on notarization from across the nation to deliver their views on the role and responsibilities of Notaries, and to discuss misperceptions often held by the public and employers that rely upon them...More

The State Of The Notary Public Office: 'Unprecedented' National Attention Creates Opportunity To Advance 'Truth' About Notarization

During the past year, America’s Notaries were thrust into the national spotlight on an unprecedented scale. But the judicial rulings, legislative actions and media headlines that generated the attention also created unprecedented opportunities, according to the State of the Notary Public Office report, delivered during the National Notary Association’s 33rd Annual Conference in Las Vegas...More

NNA Webinar Examines Notary Financial Liability, How To Protect Yourself

The National Notary Association will host a 60-minute virtual seminar this month — titled “Navigating Notary Financial Liability” — which will provide Notaries with the information they need to reduce risks and protect themselves against lawsuits...More

Rhode Island Secretary Of State Says Personal Appearance Via Webcam Is Not Permitted

Rhode Island has joined several other states in declaring that online webcam notarizations do not meet state law requiring signers to personally appear before a Notary, according to an alert posted on Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis’ Web site...More

National Notary Foundation: Join Together To Help Disaster Victims In America's Heartland

Please open your hearts for our nation’s heartland … we need your help today. Please give to the National Notary Foundation for the victims of the deadly tornadoes that ripped through Missouri this week, killing 89 and devastating countless lives. Tornadoes in April also ravaged several U.S. states at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour, killing hundreds of people, destroying land and homes, and leaving thousands of people homeless and suffering...More

Notaries Lend Authenticity To 'Glee' Grand Prize Giveaway

Notarization is being used more and more to lend trust and authenticity to a variety of transactions, as evidenced by a major “Glee Concert Tour Giveaway,” which required contest finalists to present a notarized eligibility affidavit to claim their prize...More

NNA Launches New 'Notary Supervisor Training' Program

The National Notary Association has announced the launch of a new Notary Supervisor Training Program, a course specifically designed for managers, supervisors and employers of Notaries. This course will help organizations effectively manage their Notaries as well as better understand how to document best practices, ensure compliance, avoid exposure to liabilities caused by notarial error or misconduct...More

ACLU Suit Could Legalize Notary-Officiated Weddings In Nevada

The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing to allow Notaries in Nevada to officiate at weddings. The civil rights organization recently filed a federal lawsuit against the state and Clark County seeking to have the religious affiliation requirement for people solemnizing marriages declared unconstitutio..Morenal.

Washington State Cracks Down On Notario Fraud

Washington state recently joined the nationwide battle against the growing threat of Notario Publico fraud by passing a new law that prohibits unauthorized individuals from falsely representing themselves as lawyers on immigration issues...More

Legal Professionals Section Adviser: Notary Law Expert Michael Closen

This month, the NNA’s Legal Professionals Section covered topics such as unauthorized practice of law, attorney-client privilege and certification for paralegals. To deliver this level of industry-specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight, we introduce you to Notary law expert Michael Closen...More

Experts: Insurance Is Essential For Notaries

In the frenetic world of business, it’s all too easy to find yourself entangled in a costly lawsuit or other legal issues for which you’re not to blame— which is why leading legal and business experts say coverage such as Errors and Omissions policies for Notaries is an essential safety net for entrepreneurs...More

In The Face Of Disaster: Notarizing In Times Of Crisis

When disaster strikes, such as the devastating string of tornadoes that recently ripped through Oklahoma and Alabama, the whereabouts of your notarial equipment is likely to be the last thing on your mind. But once the proverbial dust clears, what should you do if you find your tools of the trade have gone missing? Furthermore, how can you protect yourself while helping those around you in need?..More

Tweeting Away At Conference 2011

Now that our members have multiple ways to “friend,” “follow,”and get “LinkedIn” with the NNA, we’re taking this capability to the Notary Event of the Year. This year, we’ll be tweeting coverage from Conference 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, including highlights from conference panels, awards ceremonies, social events, keynote and other speeches...More

Personal Appearance In A Digital World

The 21st century may well go down in history as the technology age — a time when innovations come so fast that each new technology is rendered obsolete almost before it takes hold. Yet this whirl of inventiveness makes us re-examine traditional ways of doing things, such as performing notarizations...More

Wisconsin Says No To Online Notarizations

Wisconsin has become the latest state to announce that online webcam notarizations are invalid and illegal, according to a formal statement by Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette...More

Help the NNA Pay Tribute to America And Attend Conference As Our Guest!

Are you are an NNA member interested in showcasing your vocal talents in front of a nationwide community of Notaries at Conference 2011? If so, we welcome you to submit an audition video for consideration. We are currently looking for one talented NNA member to sing the National Anthem during our Opening General Assembly on May 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada...More

The Salvation Army Says 'Thank You' to Notary Community, National Notary Foundation For 'Notaries For Japan' Campaign

Thanks to the generosity of Notaries across the nation, the National Notary Foundation this month provided a substantial donation to the Salvation Army to support ongoing relief efforts for Japanese earthquake and tsunami survivors...More

Montana Governor Upholds 'Strong Protection' Of Notarial Journals

Citing the consumer protections and evidentiary value provided by records of notarizations, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed a bill that would have repealed the state’s two-year-old law requiring Notaries to keep a journal of their official acts...More

April Poll Results: Notarizing For Family Members

Conference 2011 Adding To List Of VIP Attendees

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has become the latest dignitary in a growing list of influential national political leaders and experts who will address the nation’s Notaries at the 33rd National Notary Association in Las Vegas May 23-26. Gansler, who is scheduled to discuss the importance of America’s Notaries in today’s business climate during the Conference’s Welcome Reception, will be joined at by Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, who will deliver the Keynote Address at the Gala Banquet May 25...More

North Dakota Enacts Extensive Revision Of Notary Laws

In a bold move that will strengthen Notary procedures and consumer protection in North Dakota, the state has enacted a significant revamp of its Notary statutes based on the recommendations of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) — including new provisions for both traditional and electronic notarization...More

'Free Hotline Friday' Available This Week

The National Notary Association's 'Free Hotline Friday' was a hit with Notaries last week, and on this Friday, May 6,  the NNA will again open up its high-demand “Notary Hotline” to all Notaries — regardless of membership — to answer your notarial questions and guide you through difficult circumstances...More

Georgia Foreclosure Fraud Bill Near Approval Amid National Efforts

A new bill that would expand the authority of prosecutors to investigate cases of foreclosure document fraud has cleared most legislative hurdles in the Georgia General Assembly and is pending a final vote in the state Senate...More

NNA Professional Section Advisor Spotlight:
Privacy Expert Thomas J. Smedinghoff

This month, the NNA’s Legal Professionals Section covered topics such as information security in law firms, handling process server affidavits and issues surrounding continuing education. To deliver this level of industry specific information to Notaries, the NNA has developed a distinguished Advisory Panel for each of its six Professional Sections. In this Advisor Spotlight  we introduce you to privacy expert Thomas J. Smedinghoff...More

'Free NNA Hotline Friday' Offers Glimpse Of Member Benefits

On two Fridays in the coming weeks, the National Notary Association will open up its high-demand “Notary Hotline” to all Notaries — regardless of membership — to answer your notarial questions and guide you through difficult circumstances...More

Scholarship Grants Made On Behalf Of 2010 Notary of the Year, March Fong Eu Achievement Award Honorees

The National Notary Foundation has made special scholarship grants to the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver, and the Indianapolis, Indiana Public School System Education Foundation. The endowments were made on behalf of the NNA’s 2010 March Fong Eu Achievement Award recipient Mike Shea, and Notary of the Year Daniel Lewis...More

'Lion King,' 'Blue Man Group' And Other Vegas Highlights Await Conference 2011 Attendees

Conference is not just about boosting your knowledge and skills, networking and engaging workshops and discussions — it’s also a time for attendees to soak in the sights and sounds of the Entertainment Capital of the World...More

North Carolina Legislature Mulling Matricula Ban

A bill working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly would prohibit state and local government officials from accepting Matricula Consular cards or similar documents issued by foreign consulates as proof of identity. The measure was passed by the House of Representatives and is now before the state Senate...More

National Notary Foundation's 'Notaries for Japan': A Challenge To You And All Notaries

As Japan continues to struggle in the aftermath of its deadliest natural disaster in a century, the National Notary Foundation is challenging you and all in the Notary community to give to its “Notaries for Japan” relief fund. And we ask that you spread the word by posting “I donated to the National Notary Foundation’s Notaries for Japan Fund – I challenge you to do the same,” on the NNA’s Facebook page after you’ve donated...More

MortgageDaily.com Opinion Piece Details How Employers and Notaries Can Protect Themselves

The nationwide foreclosure scandal in 2010 shocked the country with the massive amounts of money lost nationwide. A significant part of the blame was placed on improperly performed notarizations. But this doesn't tell the whole story...More

Experts Detail How Notaries Can Start And Grow Their Small Business

If you’ve ever wanted to use your Notary commission to start a business, the NNA’s Conference 2011 offers the strategies and training you need to get started. Featuring key workshops on marketing, strategic planning and accounting, leading small business experts will teach you what you need to know to succeed as a Notary entrepreneur...More

New Michigan Driver's Licenses And ID Cards Benefit Notaries

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced that the state’s new driver’s licenses and identification cards will now feature enhanced security features, making them much more difficult to fake or alter, and easier for Notaries to rely on them as satisfactory evidence of identity...More

March Poll Results: When Things Are Not As They Seem

Face-to-face interaction via personal appearance is the only way for a Notary to properly identify the signer and look for warning signs of fraud. In a March 2010 online survey, the NNA asked Notaries what warning signs they felt were most difficult for them to spot, even when a signer is physically present. Nearly 2,000 Notaries responded...More

NNA Poll: Notarizing For Family Members

Notaries have a duty to serve the public with impartiality. That impartiality becomes difficult to maintain when a family member asks you to notarize something, especially if you have a beneficial interest the transaction. Some states prohibit notarizations for relatives. Others do not address it.  This month, the Notary Bulletin wants to know: Do you notarize documents for relatives?

March Poll Results .....More

Proposal On The Table To Eliminate Wisconsin Secretary Of State's Office

Amid a crippling budget deficit and a collective bargaining law that led to weeks of protests, the newly elected Wisconsin State Treasurer has drafted a bill proposing to eliminate the office of Secretary of State — the state’s Notary regulator — as well as his own job...More

Conference Programs Empower Employers With Guidance On Notary Compliance, Risk Management

Conference 2011 isn’t just for Notaries — it has valuable resources for managers and supervisors who rely on their staff to perform trusted and reliable notarizations. Several workshops in Las Vegas May 22-26 provide essential guidance for Notary employers abut complying with state laws and reducing the risks of lawsuits due to faulty notarizations...More

New Wyoming Law Strengthens State Notary Practices

Wyoming has significantly modernized its Notary Public statutes with a new law that includes major definitions and ethical provisions prescribed by the Model Notary Act of 2010. The new laws take effect July 1 for all commissioned Wyoming Notaries...More

Notaries Of America, Japan Needs Our Help

With dignity and quiet pain, Japanese are suffering the devastating effects of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. Let us, as Notaries, now come to their aid. The National Notary Foundation is asking for your generosity to aid the victims of the destructive events, which have left thousands missing, dead or homeless...More

NNA Poll: When Things Are Not As They Seem

The physical appearance of a signer before a Notary is required in all 50 states, and for good reason: It is essential to guarding against fraud. But spotting the warning signs it isn’t always easy.  This month, the Notary Bulletin wants to know: Which warning sign do you feel is the most difficult to spot when face to face with your signer?

February Poll Results: The Importance Of Training
..More

California Secretary Of State: Webcam Notarizations Are Illegal

Online webcam notarization is invalid and illegal in the State of California, according to a formal statement by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. “California law requires a person to appear personally before a Notary Public to obtain notarial acts like acknowledgments or jurats,” Bowen said in the message posted on her Web site February 24. “This means the party must be physically present before the Notary Public.”..More

Important Facts About Military Notaries

Notaries — both military and civilian — play a key role assisting members of the armed forces and their families by notarizing essential documents that preserve their rights — often free of charge...More

February Poll Results: The Importance of Training

In a call to action for the nation’s Notaries, more than 90 percent of respondents to the NNA’s February 2011 poll said they believe education and training is essential for every Notary, even if not required by state law.

February Poll Results: The Importance Of Training..More

Recommended Notary Practices: Verifying Identity

To authenticate the legitimacy of any signature, it is imperative that a Notary Public verifies the signer’s identity. This crucial step provides credibility to signed documents and often is the primary reason notarization is required. State laws often are vague on what constitutes satisfactory evidence of identification. Therefore, the NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices encourages all Notaries to: Always obtain identification that contains a photograph, physical description and signature...More

NNA Conference Workshops Keep Notary Employees Protected And Stress-Free

Amid a changing landscape of liability and compliance issues, Notaries need the right training and confidence to mitigate risks — particularly negligence and unethical or illegal requests from bosses or signers. With this in mind, the NNA specifically designed a series of Conference 2011 workshops to help Notary-employees thrive in a worry-free workplace...More

eRecording Continues To Expand Across Nation

More than 600 counties in 36 states now are able to record documents electronically, according to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), a coalition of government agencies and businesses within the property records industry. The announcement preceded PRIA’s Annual Winter symposium held March 2-4 in Washington, DC...More

Georgia Bill Aims To Roll Back Notary Application Fee Hike

Individuals in Georgia applying for or renewing Notary commissions may get a significant break after a new bill that seeks to undo a massive application fee hike has passed through the state House of Representatives by a vote of 162 to 1. As the Notary Bulletin reported last year, the state more than tripled Notary application fees — from $37 to $162 — but it turns out that the increase was not intended...More

NNA Poll: The Importance Of Training

Notary education requirements vary from state to state, and many don’t require any training at all. As a result, many Notaries are left on their own to figure out how to properly perform their duties, or seek training on their own. This month, the Notary Bulletin wants to know: Should every Notary undergo training, even if not required by law?

January Poll Results: Questionable Requests..More

As The U.S. Implements More Secure IDs, Britain Scraps National Identity Card Plan

Great Britain cancels its widely unpopular national IDs Program due to complaints about privacy breaches and attempts to make the cards mandatory for all U.K. citizens...More

Conference Features For Notary Signing Agents

Notary Signing Agents face many uphill challenges in today’s home mortgage industry, and the NNA stands ready help them at Conference 2011 in Las Vegas with a slate of specialty workshops and programs...More

January Poll Results: How You
Handled A Questionable Request

Morer />

Tennessee Latest State To Consider Allowing Notaries To Officiate Weddings

The Tennessee Legislature is considering a bill that would permit Notaries to officiate wedding ceremonies...More

Recommended Practices: Signed Or Acknowledged

An essential element of notarization is verifying that a signature on the document belongs to the signer. Notarization provides assurance that a document is authentic and intended to be in force, so in its Recommended Notary Practices, the NNA reminds all Notaries to: Always have the signature on the document affixed or acknowledged in your presence...More

New Professional Sections Now Available Online

The National Notary Association is pleased to announce that its all-new Professional Sections are now available online — the only resource that provides specialized news and resources for Notaries working in their respective fields...More

The NNA Introduces Its All-New Web Site

The all-new NationalNotary.org Web site launched this month, giving NNA members and visitors new and improved access to essential information and services...More

NNA Whitepaper Highlights Why America's
'Impartial Witnesses' Are More Important Than Ever

The National Notary Association has released a Whitepaper entitled, "Why Notarization Is More Relevant And Vital Than Ever.” The Whitepaper comes in the wake of the recent foreclosure documents crisis, which revealed that the role of the Notary Public and the fundamentals of notarization are not fully understood by the public and many others including legislators, public officials and industry leaders...More

NNA Poll: How You Handled A Questionable Request

Whether you’re handling a signer with an unfamiliar ID, a request for an unusual type of notarization or unfamiliar language on an out-of-state notarial certificate, you must be sure you’re doing the right thing. State laws don’t always give clear guidance, leaving you responsible for knowing whether to accept or refuse the request.

December Poll Results: Questionable Identification Documents..More

How The Red Flags Rule Affects You

The federal government’s Red Flags Rule is an important effort to prevent identity theft and fraud — but many still aren’t clear about if, and how, the Rule affects their business or professional practice. The Notary Bulletin consulted with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to clarify how the Rule affects Notaries. Details fol..Morelow:

December Poll Results: Questionable Identification Documents

More than 80 percent of respondents to our December Poll reported they either have never encountered, or didn’t know how to identify a fake or forged ID — an indication that Notaries are in need of training in this a..Morerea.

All-New Professional Sections Dig Deep Into Your Industry

Notarization often looks like a straightforward process. But in many careers, additional understanding of current events, special documents, industry regulations, and other issues not covered by basic Notary laws is critical to doing your job right. The National Notary Association has filled this void with six all-new Professional Sections, which launch this month...More

The NNA’s Recommended Notary Practices: Personal Appearance

Before any signature can be notarized, the signer must appear in person before you at the time of the notarization. This is the only way you can properly identify the person and verify his or her willingness and awareness. Failure to require personal appearance enables fraud...More

Las Vegas To Host The NNA’s 2011 Conference

The Notary Event of the Year — the NNA’s annual Conference — returns to Las Vegas, Nevada this May to focus on the legal landscape and risks and liabilities Notaries and their employers face every ..Moreday.

Registration Now Open For The Notary Event Of The Year

Conference 2011 registration is now officially open to Notaries, their employers and all others eager to understand the country’s shifting legal landscape and the new risks and liabilities that Notaries and their employers face every day. The NNA’s 33rd Annual Conference — themed Managing Risks in Today’s World — takes place May 22-26 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Ve..Moregas.

Notaries Can Say No To Sovereign Citizens

Notaries can refuse many unusual requests from anti-government members of the “sovereign citizens” movement without violating their basic responsibility to serve the public regardless of political or personal beliefs. Tom Wrosch of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office offers tips for recognizing when it’s best to say “no.”..More

NNA Releases 'Recommended Practices' To Guide Notaries

More than ever, Notaries are being challenged by misinformation, half-truths and even propaganda about their important responsibilities and practices. The following are important practices for all Notaries to follow as they serve the public. ..More

Mortgage Fraud Posts Big Spike In Past Year

Mortgage fraud has jumped 20 percent in the past year, largely fueled by increased lending through federal refinancing programs, according to national research firm CoreLogic, which provides market information and risk analysis to the mortgage and real estate industries...More

Notaries Removed From 'Sovereign Citizens'Lawsuit

Two upstate New York Notaries were dropped from a federal racketeering lawsuit after proving to the plaintiffs’ attorney that they were innocent pawns used by members of the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement to add legitimacy to their questionable documents through notarization...More

2011 Conference Isn't Only For Notaries

Conference 2011 is themed “Managing Risks In Today’s World” — but those risks affect not only Notaries but their bosses, too. That’s why this year’s Conference is adding a full set of programs specially tailored for business owners and managers to prevent workplace lawsuits...More

Thank You For Your Support This Holiday Season

As we prepare for a 2011 that delivers aid and comfort to those in need, the National Notary Foundation is calling upon all Notaries and their families and friends to support our benevolent causes this Holiday Season...More

NC City Accepts 'Matricula Consular,' But Not Notaries

Mexican IDs are fine for police, but North Carolina Notaries still can’t use them to identify signers. That’s the message from local government after the city of Durham decided that law enforcement can accept Matricula Consular cards issued by the Mexican government as identification...More

Author Of Arizona Immigrant Law Elected Secretary Of State

Kris Kobach, a key architect of Arizona’s strict anti-illegal immigration law, has been elected Kansas Secretary of State, and will oversee the state’s Notaries and elections, among other duties...More

NNA Releases 'Recommended Practices' To Guide Notaries

More than ever, Notaries are being challenged by misinformation, half-truths and even propaganda about their important responsibilities and practices...More

2011 Conference Isn’t Only For Notaries

Conference 2011 is themed “Managing Risks In Today’s World” — but those risks affect not only Notaries but their bosses, too...More

Mortgage Fraud Posts Big Spike In Past Year

Mortgage fraud has jumped 20 percent in the past year, largely fueled by increased lending through federal refinancing programs, according to national research firm CoreLogic, which provides market information and risk analysis to the mortgage and real estate industries...More

NC City Accepts 'Matricula Consular,' But Not Notaries

Mexican IDs are fine for police, but North Carolina Notaries still can’t use them to identify signers...More

Author Of Arizona Immigrant Law Elected Secretary Of State

Kris Kobach, a key architect of Arizona’s strict anti-illegal immigration law, has been elected Kansas Secretary of State, and will oversee the state’s Notaries and elections, among other duties...More

Notaries Removed From 'Sovereign Citizens' Lawsuit

Two upstate New York Notaries were dropped from a federal racketeering lawsuit after proving to the plaintiffs’ attorney that they were innocent pawns used by members of the so-called “sovereign citizens” movement to add legitimacy to their questionable documents through notarization...More

"Most Notarized" Poll Shows Great Diversity

While people commonly associate notarization with real estate transactions, nearly three-fourths of all signed and sealed documents involve other transactions and industries, according to respondents to the November poll featured in the Notary Bulletin...More

Thank You For Your Support This Holiday Season

As we prepare for a 2011 that delivers aid and comfort to those in need, the National Notary Foundation is calling upon all Notaries and their families and friends to support our benevolent causes this Holiday Season...More

Foreclosure Misconduct Claims Send Cold Reminders

A former employee of a Florida law firm being investigated for its alleged mishandling of foreclosure operations recently revealed a host of questionable notarial practices...More

NNA's 2011 Conference Geared Toward ‘Managing Risk’

More than ever before, Notaries must keep up with legal and industry developments; protect themselves from liability; and get proper training and education. That’s why the NNA’s annual Conference in 2011 will be the must-attend Notary Event of the Year...More

Search For The 2011 Notary Of The Year Now Underway

The National Notary Association is now accepting nominations for its highest honor: the 2011 Notary of the Year...More

October Poll Results: Best Practices Help Resolve Notarization Complaints

Though nearly 40 percent of Notaries who took our October 2010 poll said they’d had their work questioned or rejected at some point, many reported simple solutions such as keeping detailed journal records were enough to fix the problem...More

Notaries Make New Law Knowledge Top Priority

With the passage of Arizona's new ID law, Notaries are quickly registering for training classes to comply with the revised directives. To accommodate their needs, the NNA has doubled its Arizona training opportunities this month...More

Coolidge Book Matters To Notaries, Nation

The National Notary Associations new book Why Coolidge Matters: How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together has received national recognition for its urgent call for civility and integrity in politics and society...More

Ignoring Personal Appearance Has Serious Consequences

The number one principle of notarization is that a signer must personally appear before a Notary. Those who dismiss it face losing their commission, thousands of dollars in fines and potential legal and liability issues especially if the transaction is fraudulent...More

Guiding Principle V: Upholding The Law

As commissioned public officers, Notaries have a responsibility to obey state laws. They cannot ignore or break these laws, even if ordered to do so by an employer or other individual. That's why Guiding Principle V of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility states:..More

Fake Foreclosure Documents Highlight Dangers Of Following Boss's Bad Instructions

A sweeping criminal investigation into deceptive and fraudulent practices in foreclosure cases serves as a compelling reminder for Notaries to refuse improper requests from employers...More

Dignitaries, The NNA Call For Civility With Release Of 'Why Coolidge Matters'

On the 87th anniversary of Calvin Coolidge’s swearing in as the 30th President of the United States, a call for a new era of civility in politics came with the release of the book "Why Coolidge Matters: How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together", published by the NNA...More

Proper ID Is Always Proper

A new law in Arizona that strengthens how Notaries identify signers illustrates the growing national focus on this vital responsibility at a time when identity fraud plays an increasing role in transactions that Notaries commonly encounter -- such as mortgage and real estate closings...More

Guiding Principle IX: Privacy

Sensitive personal information can cause serious harm if it falls into the wrong hands. That is why it is essential that Notaries protect the privacy of signers they interact with and never abuse information that is entrusted to them, as detailed in Guiding Principle IX of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility..More

Immigrant Population Declining, But 'Notarios' Still On The Loose

The number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States dropped sharply in 2009, but the exodus has not appeared to slow down the activities of unscrupulous people passing themselves off as Notarios to take advantage of the foreign-born residents still in the U.S...More

Beware 'Beneficial Interest' When Relatives Need A Notary

Because a Notary is expected to serve impartially when identifying a document signer, notarizing a document for a relative or family member can raise suspicions of bias if the document is ever challenged in court...More

NNA’s ‘Why Coolidge Matters’ In D.C. Spotlight For Launch

On the 87th anniversary of President Calvin Coolidge’s homestead inaugural, a distinguished group of political leaders, scholars, and the President’s great grandson will join the National Notary Association in Washington, D.C. on for the official presentation of the landmark new book “Why Coolidge Matters” to the Library of Congress...More

Without Personal Appearance, Judge Puts Brakes On DUI Cases

Notarizing documents without requiring a signer’s personal appearance is a cardinal sin. But despite constant warnings about the dangers of dismissing key best practices, some Notaries still continue to put the integrity of their official acts at serious risk...More

Conference Workshops Available Year Round Through Webcasts

Notaries who couldn’t attend Conference 2010 in Chicago can still participate in the valuable learning experience, as several of the high-demand workshops and sessions on The New Standard of Care and other Conference highlights can now be viewed online at through the NNA’s Webcasts On Demand...More

The State Of The Notary Public Office

At a time when the American Notary Office faces one of its most critical times in history and the “New Standard of Care” is driving significant changes, National Notary Association President Milt Valera delivered the much-anticipated “State Of The Notary Public Office” report to examine these issues and more during the NNA’s 2010 Conference in Chicago. View the full [media_1061], or watch the through the NNA’s Conference 2010 Webcasts On Demand...More

'Federal' Seals Often Acceptable

State Notary regulating officials and some Notaries report coming across documents bearing Federal Notary seals. While these notarizations may appear dubious, they may well be perfectly legal if — they are performed by military Notaries...More

Don't Fall For The Old Excuses For Absent Signers

Say a friend asks you to notarize a power of attorney for her seriously ill mother, who is in the hospital and cannot appear before you. Even if you’ve known the friend for many years and have no reason to doubt her honesty, ignoring one of the steadfast principles of notarization is not worth the trouble it could bring. Besides, there are other options that would allow your friend to obtain notarial services without having you break the law...More

Guiding Principle I: Role As A Public Official

The first Guiding Principle listed in The Notary Public Code Of Professional Responsibility concerns the Notary’s role as a public official. It makes clear that Notaries have obligations to the general public to be fair, honest and impartial, and to perform those duties in a constitutionally acceptable manner...More

Foreign Adoptions: A Maze Of Confusing Requirements

Adopting a child from abroad can be one of the most joyous events for a family — but it requires difficult, complex paperwork. Adoptions from foreign countries often require extensive authentication of documents, but differing conceptions of the role of Notaries from one country to another can confuse and frustrate prospective parents...More

Mortgage Workouts Rise, Adding Stability To Housing Market

The number of mortgage solutions for troubled homeowners has been increasing, indicating a steadying of the mortgage sector upon which many Notaries r..Moreely.

Plan Ahead To Avoid Commission Processing Delays

Hindered by budget shortfalls and limited resources, states continue to experience backlogs of commission renewals, causing delays for Notaries trying to keep their commissions current. To ensure prompt renewal, it’s best to start the process as early as your state allows and make use of the NNA resources available to ..Moreyou.

Indiana Launches Notary Portal

Indiana’s 80,000 Notaries now have a faster and more convenient way to update their information and renew their commissions...More

Summer Specials And The 'Top 5 Must-Haves'

From seal stamps and journals to educational tools and the Top 5 Notary “Must Haves,” the NNA’s Summer 2010 Catalog offers everything you need to carry out your duties with confidence and professionalism. The catalog also features specially re-priced items so that you may enjoy discounts on select Notary necessities...More

Conference 2010 Experience Now Available Via Webcasts

If you couldn’t make the trip to this year’s NNA Conference in Chicago, you can still get the benefit of seeing highlights through the Conference 2010 “Webcasts on Demand.”..More

Conference Webcasts Deliver The New Standard Of Care’ To Your Desktop

The “Notary Event of the Year” kicks off in Chicago in less than two weeks, and even if you aren’t able to travel to Chicago, you shouldn’t miss out on the learning opportunities! Sign up for the Conference 2010 “Webcast on Demand” and enjoy programs designed to help you sharpen your skills, understand the New Standard of Care, and master the complexities of your role as America’s trusted, impartial witnes..Moreses.

The Notary Event Of The Year Just Days Away In Chicago!

Conference 2010 takes off in Chicago, Illinois in just a few days, and the excitement has mounted from coast to coast — and internationally — due to the Conference’s innovative new format and training programs, coupled with valuable networking opportunities, special events and the world class fun that awaits in The Windy C..Moreity.

Notaries Come Together To Raise Funds For Haiti Survivors

Following the devastating 7.0 temblor that struck Haiti in January, the nationwide community of Notaries and the National Notary Foundation rallied together to deliver thousands of dollars in aid to victims that remain hospitalized, homeless and hun..Moregry.

Michael Robinson Named NNA Executive Director; Only The Fourth In The Organization’s 53-Year History

The National Notary Association, the largest organization serving the nation’s 4.8 million Notaries, has announced its selection of a new Executive Director — only the fourth in its 53-year history — to provide the leadership, drive and innovation to guide the American Notary office at the most critical time in its hist..Moreory.

States Update Identity Rules As ID Formats Change

Recent changes to major federal-issued IDs — including passports and “Green Cards” — have prompted some states to review and update their rules laws regarding “satisfactory evidence of identity” for notarial a..Morects.

Attention Employers: NNA Conference Offers Tools To Avoid Liability

In the wake of recent Illinois Appellate Court decisions stating employers of Notaries Public may be putting themselves at risk if they fail to train and supervise their Notary-employees — regardless of what is required by state law — the National Notary Association is urging employers of Notaries to view a webcast of a special educational program presented during its recent annual conference in Chic..Moreago.

Pioneering Law Experts Receive The NNA’s First Lifetime Achievement Award At Chicago Conference

Two of the foremost experts in the nation on U.S. Notary law received the NNA’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award at Conference 2010 — Malcolm Morris, law professor at Northern Illinois University, De Kalb; and Michael Closen, Professor Emeritus at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School. The two are being recognized for their unprecedented work in modernizing Notary best practices, state laws and ethical guidelines throughout the United Sta..Moretes.

Special Reminder

Special Reminder: Make sure you register and book your hotel rooms for Conference 2010 before May 13 to take advantage of the NNA’s unbeatable $99 room rate and the exceptional “Lake Shore Drives You Wild” bonus pack..Moreage!

Building Conference Relationships To Build Your Business

For years, delegates of the NNA’s annual Conference have valued the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and forge new business relationships — providing that coveted “Conference Boost” to their bottom lines. Now, with the economy recovering and the real estate market making a comeback, the need to exchange strategies and insights is more important than ever as new areas of opportunity emerge for Notary entreprene..Moreurs.

Attention Delegates  Interactive Learning Center’ To Provide Hands-On, Real World Training

With demands increasing for Notaries to employ the New Standard of Care to protect the public, plus liability and compliance risks at an all-time high, Notaries from coast to coast are gearing up to take advantage of one of the NNA’s newest and most dynamic Conference features — the Interactive Learning Cen..Moreter.

Colorado’s Mike Shea Recognized With 2010 March Fong Eu Achievement Award

Mike Shea, Director of the Licensing and Enforcement Division for the Colorado Secretary of State, has been named the recipient of the National Notary Association’s 2010 March Fong Eu Achievement Award for his decades-long effort to establish professional standards for Colorado’s 110,000 Notaries Public — most recently reflected in a much needed 2009 Notary recordkeeping ..Morelaw.

Strange Requests Emerging from Growing 'Sovereignty' Movement

A growing number of Notaries are being asked to execute complicated and often antiquated notarial acts to help further the unusual agendas of individuals seeking to curb or eliminate the power of federal, state and local government agencies — and, in some cases, financial instituti..Moreons.

How Notaries Can Help
Fight Elder Abuse

Dishonest people often prey on the elderly by tricking, bullying or otherwise influencing them to sign property over to the perpetrator. Yet, Notaries are ideally positioned to help prevent these crimes simply by performing their duties with professionalism and c..Moreare.

Guiding Principle IV: The Certificate

The notarial certificate and the information it contains are central to a Notary’s public duty. Different states have different requirements regarding what a certificate contains, but regardless of the jurisdiction, people rely on the certificate as a symbol of the integrity of a transaction — whether it’s a power of attorney, a parental permission form or a real estate purchase. A certificate that contains erroneous or false information undermines the value of the notarization, while a correctly executed certificate provides powerful protection against fraud. Guidelines for the proper use of certificates are detailed in Guiding Principle IV of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility...More

Utah Governor Vetoes Bill That Watered Down Testing Requirements

Utah’s governor struck down a bill that would have lowered educational standards for the state’s Notaries and increased dangers to the public resulting from poor train..Moreing.

Get Ready For The American Comeback’ And Boost Your Income, Value

Economists report that the United States is emerging from recession because of an increase in economic activity and job growth that is more robust than expected. That’s why the National Notary Association has designed a special and unique 2010 Conference to prepare you for the coming wave of lucrative opportunities, and provide you essential knowledge and strategies to grow your car..Moreeer.

Lake Shore Drives You Wild! At Conference 2010

In an economy where every dime counts, the NNA and the National Notary Foundation have created a bonus package for this year’s Conference that will put savings into your pocket if you act now! Notaries who register before May 13 will receive the exceptional “Lake Shore Drives You Wild!” bonus package, filled with hundreds of dollars of savings on Chicago’s most popular eateries, stores and shows. This package is sure to make your Conference experience one to remember — and lighter on the wal..Morelet!

You Are In Charge Of Your Conference Experience

The NNA has launched a valuable interactive Conference 2010 planning tool called “MyConference” — an online system that allows each delegate to personalize their Conference experience with a custom schedule of programs, workshops and special events. Notaries from coast to coast have already begun using MyConference to build a special Conference itinerary that meets their ne..Moreeds.

Notaries Now Planning Their Custom Conference Experience

To better help Notaries take advantage of the newly designed programs, workshops and special futures awaiting them at Conference 2010 in Chicago, the NNA has launched a valuable interactive tool called “MyConference” — an online system that allows each delegate to personalize their Conference experience. Notaries from coast-to-coast have already begun using this feature to build their custom sched..Moreule.

Know How To Handle
Bizarre Requests

Consider these actual recent situations: A signer in Washington state requested an acknowledgment for a document giving him the power to arrest people. A Notary in Tennessee faced a signer with a document that declared him “above and beyond the laws of the United States.” And in California, one person presented a Notary with a document that declared him immune from being stopped by pol..Moreice.

Webinar Offers Confidence
In Completing Certificates

Registration is now open for the NNA’s much anticipated Webinar — titled “How to Complete Notarial Certificates Right the First Time” — a session that will train Notaries and employers on best practice methods to eliminate costly errors, which often lead to compliance or liability iss..Moreues.

Guiding Principle VII: The Seal

Whether in traditional or electronic form, the seal is an essential tool of notarization and an important symbol of the Notary’s authority. A mishandled or misused seal can enable fraud and cause severe financial and legal damage to both the public and the Notary. It is critical that Notaries use seals in accordance with best practices, and to ensure that they are secured against potential misuse. Guidelines for the proper care and use of seals are detailed in Guiding Principle VII of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility...More

2010 U.S. Notary Reference Manual Now Available

Keeping track of the vastly different laws and procedures for notarizing across the United States is a challenging task. To help Notaries to stay current with the latest rules changes and best practices, the National Notary Association recently published the 20102011 edition of the U.S. Notary Reference Manual...More

Fraud Forces Puerto Rico To Invalidate Birth Certificates

Effective July 1, all Puerto Rican birth certificates will be invalidated as part of a sweeping move by the U.S. commonwealth to combat fraud. That means the 4.1 million people of Puerto Rican descent in the U.S. will need of new proofs of birth and may approach Notaries to assist them in obtaining such documentation. Federal and Puerto Rican officials warn there will be a wave of attempts to commit fraud amid the confusion, as Puerto Rican birth certificates are in high demand on the black market for those seeking to obtain unlawful passports, driver’s licenses and other government benef..Moreits.

Anti-Notario’ Efforts
Expand In America

A growing number of states are taking swift action against a rise in fraudulent immigration consultants, many of which are operating under the guise of “Notarios Publicos.”<..More/em>

Mortgage Bankers Chairman Robert Story To Deliver Opening Keynote Address At The NNA’s Conference In Chicago

The National Notary Association announced today that Robert E. Story Jr., the Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, will present the Opening Keynote Address at the NNA’s 32nd Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago June 14..More17.

Florida’s Missed Opportunity To Lead And Protect The Public

Why would a state that consistently ranks among the top three in the nation for mortgage fraud ignore a strong recommendation — from a committee of its own Senate — to adopt a simple requirement that has proven to be effective in preventing and prosecuting mortgage fr..Moreaud?

Push For Permanent Loan Modifications Increases Demand For Signing Agents

Renewed federal and private industry efforts to provide mortgage relief to millions of Americans could spark an increased demand for Notary Signing Agent services, as many modification agreements need to be notari..Morezed.

A Longtime Friend Of
America’s Notaries

“W.W.” Warner, 91, who died March 19, was a distinguished leader in the surety industry and a longtime friend of the NNA and America’s Notaries because of his work to protect them and the public through trusted and reliable surety servi..Moreces.

New U.S. Passport Cards Accepted As ID For Notarization In Some States

With the new, smaller “passport card” now available from the federal government for land and sea travel, Notaries in some states are now permitted to accept them as satisfactory evidence of identity from sign..Moreers.

Managing Risk Amid The
New Notary Landscape

With compliance and liability issues increasing dramatically, employers are faced with the need to set clear policies for their staff Notaries and to require sound recordkeeping and regular, formalized training to meet best practices requireme..Morents.

Guiding Principle X: Seeking Instruction

Notarial practices have been at the heart of several legal cases in recent years, and liability and compliance issues are a continuing concern for Notaries and their employers alike. Additionally, several states across the nation have recently modernized their Notary laws to better protect the public, and several more states are considering Notary statute updates in 2010...More

NNF Grant To Law School Honors Hawaii Attorney General

HONOLULU, HI — The National Notary Foundation has awarded a special scholarship grant to the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law in the name of State Attorney General Mark J. Bennett, who was honored as the National Notary Association’s 2009 March Fong Eu Achievement Award recipi..Moreent.

Budget Crunch Lengthens Commission, Testing Process

It’s often said that as California’s economy goes, so goes the nation’s. But if what’s happening in the Golden State continues to be a national indicator — marked by drastic cuts in services, resources and programs, including the simple qualification processes to commission its Notaries — California’s fiscal leadership perch is not one that other states will necessarily hold in high reg..Moreard.

New Montana Notary Seal And Ink Requirements Now In Effect

As a result of recent Montana law changes that significantly modernized the state’s Notary regulations and procedures, newly commissioned Notaries in “The Treasure State” must now use an inking stamp-type seal with specific information and a standardized format. An embossing crimper-type seal may no longer be u..Moresed.

Virginia Halts Bill To Remove Personal Appearance’ From eNotarization

A Virginia Senate subcommittee has halted legislation labeled “dangerous” by the NNA that would have redefined “satisfactory evidence of identity” to allow eNotarizations through video and audio conference technology without the physical appearance of the signer before a Notary Pub..Morelic.

Oregon Notaries Can
Now Charge $10 Fees

Oregon’s Secretary of State has revised the state’s statutes to allow Notaries to charge higher fees, increasing the allowable charge for most notarial acts to ..More$10.

West Virginia Using New Expiration Notices

Notaries in West Virginia are now being notified of pending commission expirations by postcard — a move the Secretary of State’s office says will save on mailing co..Morests.

For California Notaries, A Signature On Every Line

California Notaries who use diagonal lines and ditto marks in their journals when recording multiple entries for a single signer should no longer follow this practice, according to a Notary statute clarification issued by the Secretary of St..Moreate.

Hiring Increases Could Signal New Mortgage Activity

Mortgage lenders are beginning to hire new employees to service loans, a subtle sign that business could be picking up in the real estate indus..Moretry.

The 'Model Notary Act' Takes On New Significance With 2010 Update

Amid important legal cases involving Notaries, and with liability and compliance issues becoming a major concern for businesses and governments, the NNA has published a much-anticipated revision of its Model Notary Act — the landmark model that, for 40 years, has grown in importance as a guide for lawmakers to improve standards of care for Notar..Moreies.

'Home Study Course' Graduates

The following individuals recently received a Certificate of Excellence for completing the National Notary Association’s Notary Home Study Course:<..More/em>

Conference Workshops Explore New Standard Of Care’

Liability concerns continue to grow, and the public’s demands to protect their transactions from fraud have never been more urgent. That’s why the entire slate of workshops and programs at the NNA’s 2010 Conference are designed to guide Notaries through “The New Standard of Care” — the mandate that Notaries must follow higher professional standards of practice that go beyond the minimum requirements set in state Notary statu..Moretes.

Guiding Principle II: Impartiality

Impartiality is crucial to ensure the integrity of notarized documents. Notarial acts are trusted because Notaries serve as unbiased, third-party witnesses who verify a signer’s identity and willingness. That’s why it so important Notaries avoid even the appearance of bias when performing their duties, and why impartiality is the cornerstone of Guiding Principle II of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility:..More

Please Help Haiti In
Any Way Possible’

National Notary Association Member Gerrie Pierre-Fleurimond knows exactly how important it is to help the people of Haiti. Both she and her husband are of Haitian descent, and when the devastating earthquake hit in January they spent several days frantically searching for relatives and loved o..Morenes.

New Lender Rules Underscore
Need For Best Practices

Notaries who have failed to follow best practices, or who have “slipped” on paying attention to detail, have inadvertently launched a small, but growing trend of mortgage lenders implementing their own requirements and rules for the Signing Agents they h..Moreire.

The National Notary Association And Electronic Notarization

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, the National Notary Association has published an important white paper that underscores its longstanding leadership role in the expanding realm of electronic notarization. Continuing to advocate for widespread adoption of secure systems for electronic notarization, the NNA’s paper  The National Notary Association And Electronic Notarization  details the Association’s efforts and plans for the future...More

Guiding Principle III - Personal Appearance

While most state Notary laws are inconsistent in aspects like seal requirements, recordkeeping and mandatory education, there is one key area in which they are united: The requirement that a document signer and any witness identifying the signer be present before a Notary at the time of the notarization. Personal Appearance is the cornerstone of Notarization, making Guiding Principle III of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility one of the most vital principles in a Notary’s standard of care:..More

Guam Raises Commission Application Fees

A bill raising the cost of applying for a Notary commission in Guam was signed into law November..More 25.

Poll: Liability Is Top Concern For U.S. Notaries

In the November 2009 issue of The National Notary magazine, we asked Notaries across the nation to join us in an online conversation examining the most pressing issues affecting you today. The Notaries have now spoken. Thousands of people took part in the NNA’s online poll, with half of all Notaries surveyed saying liability is their biggest conc..Moreern.

States, FTC Cracking Down On Shady Loan Modification Firms

Firms offering “loan modification” services are appearing across the country — some offering legitimate help, others merely a front for scams. Steering clear of crooked companies is a top priority for both Notaries approached to do loan modification-related work and consumers offered a chance to escape foreclosure — and state and federal officials are respond..Moreing.

Battling Real Estate Fraud:
What You Can Do

Notaries play an important role in the real estate closing process, ensuring that the people who signed a particular document are properly identified and fully aware of the implications of the document they are signing. In this role, Notaries serve the important function of gatekeeper as well, acting as a barrier to those who would commit fr..Moreaud.

The Legal Description’ Ranks Notary Case Among Top 10 Court Decisions Of 2009

A groundbreaking Illinois Appellate Court decision that mandated Notaries adhere to a standard of care that goes beyond state laws has been named one of the top 10 most influential cases of 2009 by The Legal Description, a respected trade publication for the legal, real estate and mortgage services industr..Moreies.

Disregarding Best Practices Increases Your Legal Risks

Notaries are duty bound to protect the public by handling each notarization with a standard of care that often goes beyond state requirements. A faulty notarization is dangerous to the public and, increasingly, Notaries are finding that even one improperly handled notarization  no matter how innocent it may seem  can land you on the wrong side of a lawsuit, or even lead to criminal charges...More

Signers Can Be Absent
In Rare Cases

Personal appearance is at the heart of the notarial act. Without it, notarizations couldnt be trusted to protect the public from fraud. But in certain situations, the law provides for two very narrow and strictly controlled exceptions to personal appearance: notarization through an attorney-in-fact and notarization through proof of execution by a subscribing witn..Moreess.

Guest Column:
Education Is The Foundation
For Sound Notary Practices

There is no doubt in my mind that education is the cornerstone of Notary best practices  and Notaries know it. I saw this firsthand while hosting my states first-ever Notary Public conference. Attendees were deeply engaged in the program of information and professionalism we provided. Perhaps I should not have been surprised by this enthusiasm; I should have expected..More it.

NNA Launches Valuable Training Webinars For NSAs

In a tough mortgage market, Notary Signing Agents must be at the top of their game to be competitive, professional and valuable to the companies they work for. As a result, the NNA has launched a series of online webinars as an added benefit to its NSA section members, to provide important insights and support to Notaries loan signing industry profession..Moreals.

Officials Urge Early Applications To Renew Your Commission

Letting your Notary commission lapse can make a complicated renewal process even more difficult. If your commission is nearing expiration, keep in mind that delays in processing due to additional requirements and current government staffing levels can slow the process  possibly resulting in a gap in your commiss..Moreion.

The Top Issues On Your Mind

In the November 2009 issue of The National Notary, we asked Notaries, state officials and employers to tell us the top five issues affecting the Notary Public office today. We now want to hear about the most pressing issues affecting you. We invite you to take part in our online conversation [http://www.nationalnotary.org/bulletin/bulletinPoll.cfm ]to share your thoughts, concerns and comments with us and Notaries across the nation. Complete poll results will be posted on the Notary Bulletin and published in the March 2010 issue of The National Not..Moreary.

Learn About The New Standard
Of Care At Conference 2010

Every Notary will benefit directly from attending the Notary Event of the Year, where you can learn how to protect the public from fraud, discover new ways to improve your earnings by growing your Notary Signing Agent business and meet the state officials who oversee Notary licensing and practice. Next summer, Chicago will host for the first time the NNAs 32nd Annual Conference, themed the New Standard of C..Moreare.

Put Your Personal Feelings
Aside When Notarizing

An important cornerstone of Notary ethics is accepting all lawful and reasonable requests for notarization, regardless of how the Notary feels about the signer or the document. Article I-A-3 of The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility lays out the particulars of this provis..Moreion.

Notaries Urged To Avoid Work From Suspicious "Mortgage Rescue" Firms

Attorneys general across the nation are advising Notaries to avoid working for suspicious companies offering loan modification or rescue services for a fee. Notaries are increasingly being courted by unscrupulous firms to perform improper and even outright illegal acts related to mortgage rescue, foreclosure relief and loan modification; but these companies have come under intense scrutiny by federal and state authorities for driving a nationwide spike in fr..Moreaud.

Odd Requests Raise Suspicions

Paul Mees of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, had been a Notary just a few months when he received a call from a loan modification company offering him work. He thought it was odd when the company said it didnt want him to notarize anything. Instead, the companys representative wanted him to deliver some documents for the customer to sign and collect more than $2,000 in f..Moreees.

Is Your Assignment Coming
From A Legitimate Firm?

With so many loan modification companies advertising their services, it can seem a daunting task to tell the legitimate from the unscrupulous. State and federal officials suggest a few guidelines to help you sort it ..Moreout:

'Red Flag Rules' Require
A 'New Standard Of Care'

Adhering to the Notarys New Standard of Care has become more vital than ever as the federal government prepares to launch its long awaited Red Flags Rules, which hold certain industries accountable for verifying identities and protecting consumer data to prevent fraud, or face stiff fines and other penalties for violati..Moreons.

Guest Column: New Guidelines Enhance Service Of Notaries

Notaries Public play a vital role in preventing fraud and protecting the integrity of countless daily transactions involving government agencies, businesses and the general public. That is why Governor Donald L. Carcieri and I established a new set of official guidelines for Rhode Islands Notaries Pub..Morelic.

Employers May Be Liable for the Misconduct Of Their Notaries

A recent decision by the Illinois Appellate Court might have national implications for employers who have employees acting as Notaries on their behalf. In Vancura v. Katris, the key issue was whether Kinkos was directly liable for damages resulting from its Notary employees notarization of a forged signature on a mortgage assignment. The court had to decide whether Kinkos was negligent in preventing the Notary employees miscond..Moreuct.

Governor Vetoes Controversial Matricula Consular Legislation

CALIFORNIA  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed the states Notaries to accept the Mexican matricula consular ID card as satisfactory evidence of identity. The move prevents statutory recognition of an identification document that a number of state and federal officials have branded as untrustwor..Morethy.

'Standard Of Care' Covers
Unexpected Circumstances

While every states Notary laws include some best practices, they cant anticipate every circumstance that a Notary may face, which is exactly what necessitates a notarial standard of care that goes beyond state requireme..Morents.

Get Ready For Conference 2010
In Americas Second City

Get ready for a week of fun, networking and Notary learning at the Notary Event of the Year  the 32nd Annual National Notary Association Conference, July 1417, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, Illin..Moreois.

A Billion Dollar Fraud:
What Would You Do?

It is one of the principles of Notary ethics and best practices that no legitimate request should be refused. But what happens when the notarization request itself is legal, but the Notary knows the client is trying to pull a fast one? Thats the dilemma an Albuquerque, New Mexico, Notary faced when his boss asked him to notarize a statement swearing that the five, $1 billion dollar bills he was using to secure a line of credit were legitim..Moreate.

NNAs Eagle Honored As A Chief Financial Officer Of The Year

Jane Eagle, the National Notary Associations Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has been named a 2009 Chief Financial Officer of the Year by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. She was honored by more than 500 business professionals at a luncheon at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills, California last mo..Morenth.

Award-Winning County Clerk Says Notaries Help Her Fight Fraud

TEXAS  Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoirs ID theft-prevention efforts earned her recognition as Americas Public Official of the Year for 2009  and she says she learned a lot about stopping fraud from local Notarie..Mores.

Membership Benefits Notice

Effective November 1, 2009, Personal Identity Theft Insurance will no longer be included with new National Notary Association Memberships. Any membership term in effect before November 1, 2009, will retain the benefit for the duration of their current membership. NNA Membership benefits are subject to change without not..Moreice.

Recorders, Notaries Seek Stopgap Measures For Deed Fraud

Deed fraud is on the rise across the country, and county recorders are scrambling to find cost-effective ways to circumvent the troubling new flavor-of-the-month fraud that is undermining the viability of the land recording system. The problem is particularly challenging for title agents tasked with ferreting out fraudulent deeds, and their failure to do so can result in significant claims and court challen..Moreges.

What Your Employer Needs To Know

Notaries have a crucial responsibility to protect the public, their employers and themselves through performing trusted and sound notarizations. But in light of recent court rulings, legislation and regulatory initiatives, a Notarys employer can also be held liable if their staff Notaries dont follow professional standards of care when performing notarizations. State officials and the general public increasingly expect employers to make sure that their Notary-employees are well trained, properly supervised and follow best practices. As a result, Notaries now have an obligation to help their employers understand to the importance of maintaining the highest notarial standards in the off..Moreice.

Two 'Simple Practices' Can Minimize Risk Of Liability

If youre not taking steps to protect yourself from liability, youre making a big mistake. The recent landmark court decision Vancura v. Katris set the standard for Notaries and regulators around the country by clearly asserting that merely following state law is not enough to avoid negligence. Because of the ruling, Notaries and their employers now can be held to a higher legal stand..Moreard.

Notary Foundation Endows Scholarship At Maryland College

MARYLAND  The National Notary Foundation has awarded Prince Georges Community College a scholarship endowment to benefit its Notary education program in the name of the National Notary Associations 2009 Notary of the Year Elaine Wri..Moreght.

Ramstein Air Force Base Notary Honored For Her Professional Excellence

Professional excellence is one of the most important qualities for Notaries. The U.S. Air Force recognized that fact when it honored a California Notary stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany as the services outstanding paralegal of the y..Moreear.

ABA Launches Site To Fight Notario Fraud

In an effort to fight Notario fraud, the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration has launched a Web site called fightnotariofraud.com where victims and others who come across them can find information and help. Notario fraud  pretending to be a foreign-language Notary or immigration consultant to scam immigrants seeking legal help  is a cr..Moreime.

Avoid Commission Renewal Delays By Starting Process Early

Between increased red tape and cutbacks affecting the efficiency of state agencies across the nation, it takes a lot more time and effort to renew your Notary commission than it used..More to.

Mauritius Aims To Join International Notary Organization

MAURITIUS  Recognizing the global importance of Notaries, the Parliament in this African island nation is proposing a new code of professional notarial standards and joining the International Union of Notaries (UI..MoreNL).

Three New ID Formats Notaries May Encounter

From computer chips and laser etching to new shapes and holographic images, government-issued IDs are undergoing makeovers. The changes are part of a growing movement to make IDs more difficult to fake or alter. Some of the more prevalent changes incl..Moreude:

Industries Turn To Certification To Restore Consumer Trust

One of the biggest casualties of the economic crisis has been consumer confidence. So certain industries are turning to professional certification programs to help rebuild public tr..Moreust.

Facial Technology Is A Powerful Tool Against Identity Theft

When Thomas Parkin walked into the Brooklyn office of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), no one batted an eye  even though he was wearing a wig and a dress and gave his dead mothers name in order to renew her drivers license. If the DMV office had facial recognition technology to compare photos, then his ruse would have been uncovered then and there. It would take federal authorities several more months to catch up with Parkin, 49, who had been impersonating his dead mother for at least six years in order to collect her Social Security and housing benef..Moreits.

Bogus IDs From Real Agencies Undermine Trust In Identity Documents

Notaries rely on the credibility of state-issued identity documents to identify signers and guard against fraud, and state agencies have gone to great lengths to make it harder to fake their IDs. But a raft of recent cases suggest that peddlers of fake identities are obtaining fraudulent IDs from official government sources, such as motor vehicle departments, making it harder to tell the difference between a fake and the real th..Moreing.

Officials must Swear Before A Notary That They Werent Police Spies

MACEDONIA  Notaries in this former province of communist Yugoslavia have been tasked with administering oaths to all members of the government and civil service  as well as those in key private positions  as part of a new law designed to root out former police spies and officials who could undermine democratic institutions. Specifically, the identified officials have to swear before a Notary that they were neither members of, nor informants, for the now-defunct secret police. Those caught lying about their affiliations could face a stiff prison sente..Morence.

Notaries Help Homeowners Deal With Taxing Situations

OHIO  With real estate values dropping around the nation, Notaries are lending a helping hand to homeowners seeking to lower their property taxes and bring them in line with the true value of their ho..Moremes.

Notary Who Forged For State Senator Resigns

CONNECTICUT  A New Haven Notary lost her commission for falsifying then notarizing signatures on campaign documents for a veteran state sena..Moretor.

Man With No Identity Or Memory Needs Help

GEORGIA  A case like Benjamin Kyles poses special challenges to a Notary. Kyle has no official identity, since he cant remember who he is, and he has no ID card to present as evidence of who he..More is.

Official Pays The Price For Misleading The Public

MASSACHUSETTS  A member of the state board that approves Notary appointments has been fined $8,000 for falsifying an endorsement from Governor Deval Patr..Moreick.

State Toughens Stance On Fake Documents

TENNESSEE  Penalties for notarizing phony documents may be going up in the Volunteer State in response to a case of real estate th..Moreeft.

Notaries Directly Impacted By ‘PASS ID Act’

In a move that will make IDs more trustworthy for Notaries who rely on them, the Obama administration is moving forward with plans to establish a uniform set of security standards for all government-issued IDs, making them harder to forge or al..Moreter.

Advocacy In Action For Notable Notary Who Makes A Difference

COLORADO  Carol Salter didnt hesitate when Mike Shea of the Colorado Secretary of States office contacted her to get input on the states Notary law, which was due to expire in July 2..More009.

Secretary Of State: New Law Protects Notaries And Employers

Effective October 1, 2009, all Montana Notaries are required to keep and maintain an official Notary journal recording the details of each notarial act performed While it could be argued that it has always been a common law standard, the reality in Montana, as well as in many other states, is that without the actual statute many Notaries do not keep records of their notarizati..Moreons.

Appellate Court Again Holds Notary And Employer To Higher Standards

A Notary accused of skirting identity requirements has ignited a legal battle between one of the worlds largest banks  Bank of America  and a southern Illinois man who claims the improper notarization cost him more than $64,000. And an Illinois Appellate Court, ruling on the side of professional standards of practice to protect the public, has cleared the way for the victim to sue for dama..Moreges.

California State Treasurer: No Selling IOUs Without Notarization

In yet another demonstration of the growing reliance on Americas Notaries to protect the public against fraud, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has ordered that state-issued IOUs  which the economically troubled government is temporarily using to pay its bills  cannot be redeemed without a notarized bill of s..Moreale.

Illinois Court Sets Nationwide Standard For Notary Employers

A relatively obscure appellate ruling in the nation’s heartland carries implications that reverberate from coast to coast, potentially affecting the business practices of employers and the way liability law is interpreted by the cou..Morerts.

Conference 2009: Opportunity, Education and Interaction

The opportunities for America’s Notaries to act as identity managers will only grow as virtually every major industry recognizes the critical need to keep its most sensitive and valuable information secure. That was one of the key messages heard by the hundreds of Notaries, government officials and dignitaries who attended the National Notary Association’s 31st Annual Conference in Las Vegas last mo..Morenth.

Complying With ‘Red Flags Rules’ Is All About Flexibility

For Notaries who must adhere to the federal government’s “Red Flags Rules” on identity theft prevention, flexibility is the watchword. That’s because the rules, which are designed to prevent identity theft and will be enforced as of August 1, do not give specific instructions. Instead, they issued a set of general guidelines designed to help organizations covered by the rules set up a program to detect and react to threats of ID th..Moreeft.

Czech Terminal Patients May Soon Need Notarization To End Life

CZECH REPUBLIC — Notaries often are present at important moments of life — from buying a home to getting children into the neighborhood school to making healthcare decisions in the event of an emergency. And if an activist group in this Central European nation has its way, Notaries will be present at one of the last moments in life for m..Moreany.

Notarization Facilitates Attempted ‘Sale’ Of Romanian Children

ROMANIA — Local police arrested two men after it was discovered that they were trying to sell their children’s organs. The unnamed men arranged to send their children to a local hospital in order to have a kidney harvested from each child, and they sealed the deal by visiting a Notary to sign the paperwork giving their consent for the organ removal operat..Moreion.

Knightdale Notary Honored By Mayor

NORTH CAROLINA — In her work for the town of Knightdale, Suzanne Yeatts wears a lot of hats — she’s the town clerk, human resources director and a Notary. But she doesn’t let her busy schedule hinder her professionalism, which is why she recently was presented with the Mayor’s Award as an outstanding town employee who goes above and beyond the n..Moreorm.

Misuse Of Notary Seals

The misuse of Notary seals in conjunction with other mayhem (including violence and even murder) occur too often. Like a police officer’s badge or a soldier’s uniform, the seal is a recognized symbol of authority, and Notaries cannot allow it to be borrowed, stolen or used by anyone else under any circumstances – NO EXCEPTI..MoreONS.

Fingerprinting — The Notary’s Shield Against Fraud

For a spiral ink smudge on a piece of paper, a fingerprint contains a lot of power. It’s one of the strongest proofs of identity used today, and, because of that, national use of fingerprinting for Notary journal entries is the key to stemming the tidal wave of fraud swamping Amer..Moreica.

Florida Organizes, Lobbies To Battle Mortgage Fraud

FLORIDA — The Sunshine State is seen by many as ground zero for mortgage fraud in America, ranking at or near the top of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) fraud index for the past four years. But if local officials have their way, the state may soon be known as ground zero for multi-agency mortgage fraud task for..Moreces.

City Steps Up As Personal Records Are Compromised

MASSACHUSETTS — Police in Lawrence are trying to figure out why two former Public School Department employees used city computers to run questionable background checks on Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, boxer Evander Holyfield, and actors Michael Chiklis, Hugh Laurie and Sela Ward. They are among the estimated 400 people who had their personal information accessed under the guise of the background che..Morecks.

Brooklyn Man Charged With Trying To Steal Brownstone

NEW YORK — In another example of how easy it is for criminals to steal real estate, a Brooklyn man is facing trial for using forged documents to illegally take ownership of a brownstone in Har..Morelem.

School District Seeks To Verify Permission For Trips

PENNSYLVANIA — Notarization is one of the best ways to ensure a signature is genuine — and because of that, a local school district plans to require notarized permission slips for overnight student trips, making it harder to fake parents’ signatu..Moreres.

El Paso Mayoral Candidate Denies Claims Of Liquor License Misconduct

TEXAS — A bar owner seeking to become mayor of El Paso was arrested on charges he lied before a Notary about a liquor license — but the candidate says it’s the accusations that are false, not ..Morehim.

Former Vehicle Owners Can Fight Traffic Camera Liability With Notary’s Help

 TEXASLone Star State residents have a tendency to forget to tell the state when they sell their cars, a lapse that often comes with a hefty price. That’s because vehicle owners here are responsible for notifying the state within 30 days when they sell or trade in a vehicle. If they don’t, and the vehicle is picked up by a traffic camera for a violation, the former owner can be held liable. But Forth Worth and Arlington residents can submit a notarized affidavit to solve the prob..Morelem.

Virginia Grandfathers eNotarizations Performed Prior to July 2008

Electronic notarizations in Virginia that predate the state’s 2008 technology laws are still valid, according to the state’s top law enforcement offic..Moreial.

Michigan Issuing New Enhanced IDs

MICHIGAN — Residents here now can obtain an enhanced driver’s license that is harder to fake and can be used in lieu of a passport to cross U.S. borders with our neighb..Moreors.

Judge Drops Hammer On Thor Worshipper’s Name Change

NEBRASKA — A Lancaster County judge recently acted boldly to protect society — by denying a request of a prison inmate to change his name. It’s a move that Notaries throughout the state should applaud, since the convict — Jonathan L. Thomas — may have been motivated more to avoid further legal entanglements by concealing his real identity than to honor his Nordic relig..Moreion.

Golden State Moving To Make Unreliable ID Valid For Notarizations

CALIFORNIA — The forgery-prone Mexican Matricula Consular identification card has moved a step closer to becoming an officially acceptable ID for notarizations throughout the Golden State. Despite continued assertions from the FBI that the card is unreliable and open to abuse, the California State Assembly recently voted to approve Assembly Bill (AB) 442. The measure now is pending before the state Sen..Moreate.

FHA Moves Closer To eMortgage Readiness

The move to all-digital loan closings is getting closer thanks to the federal government. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is in the process of developing electronic mortgage specifications. A drafted seven-page document describing the specifications is being circulated among industry and government officials. The goal of the specifications is to help the FHA cope with the projected 30 percent spike in mortgage originations by the end of the y..Moreear.

Notaries Cut From City Budget

WASHINGTON — Hit hard by the economy, governments large and small are awash in red ink, and the town of Ferndale is no exception. Among the measures being taken to balance its $452,000 budget; the town has decided to eliminate Notary servi..Moreces.

Food For A Signature And Seal

WASHINGTON — The McDonald McGarry Insurance Brokers in downtown Edmonds have found a way to use the commissions of its five Notaries to help those who are less fortunate in these tough economic times. For years, the company has provided free Notary services. Now the brokerage is asking customers to ante up, not with money but food that will be donated to the Edmonds Food B..Moreank.

Candidate Checks Petitions Before Filing

VIRGINIA — Gubernatorial hopeful Brian Moran paused before filing his candidacy petition. That’s because he discovered that state law had recently changed to require Notaries to use a seal. So Moran had his staff carefully double-check every petition page to make sure it had the requisite seal impression before handing them in to the election offici..Moreals.

Funny Business With Petitions Leads To Serious Charges

OKLAHOMA — It was lies, Notaries and petitions that got officials of three taxpayers’ rights groups in trouble with the state authorit..Moreies.

Volunteer State Cracks Down On Notarios

TENNESSEE— State Attorney General Bob Cooper’s recent crackdown on companies promoting themselves as “Notarios Publicos” has sent a clear message that there is zero tolerance for Notary advertising that could mislead or deceive immigra..Morents.

Home Study Course Graduates

Notarys Graduation Speech Encourages Students To Prepare For The Future

SOUTH CAROLINA — The recent graduates of Williamsburg Technical College in Kingstree are facing the daunting challenges of today’s working world — but they will be guided by the words of a Notary with more than 25 years of experience helping people find j..Moreobs.

The New Notary Bulletin: On Point And On The Web

Welcome to the new NOTARY BULLETIN. For those of you used to reading the BULLETIN in its paper form, the new online format is debuting with most of the features and departments youve come to expect and enjoy intact, plus new interactive features and choices to make the publication your go-to place for Notary news. In the coming months, we plan to add more interactive features, which we will announce s..Moreoon.

Federal E-Verify Rule Signals Growing Commitment To Identity Management

In a move that embraces and expands the need for identity management systems nationwide, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that, starting in September, federal contracts will only be awarded to companies that use the government’s E-Verify system to assure their employees are in the country legally and eligible to w..Moreork.

Building A Taste For eVoting

ESTONIA — As the first country in the world with a fully electronic Notary system, this Baltic republic is pushing digital boundaries yet again by testing a nationwide eVoting network. Estonia recently asked its citizens to cast eBallots for their favorite food. The colorful menu was supposed to encourage people to participate in the new sys..Moretem.

Professional Sections

NSA and Small Business
Healthcare Professionals
Legal Professionals
Financial and Corporate Services
Immigration
International

Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

Confronted with a tricky notarization? Unsure how to proceed? NNA members have unlimited access to our expertly trained Hotline counselors to help you with all of your notarial questions.

(888) 876-0827

Monday through Friday:
5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

Saturdays: 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST

© 2014 National Notary Association. All rights reserved . Privacy Statement . Copyright Statement
National Notary Foundation . Returns . About Us . Contact Us . Feedback