Thursday, August 25, 2016

Avoiding Trouble - Protect Yourself From Liability - a Notary News Toolkit Video



In a previous video, I talked about how easy it is to find yourself in trouble for not notarizing properly when your client sends a document that you have notarized to your commissioning authority for authentication of your signature.  


I also mentioned how many notaries don’t feel like it is important to know about the apostille process because they don’t perform the actions involved with authenticating a document.

If you are one of those, feel free to pass up this video, but for those of you who like to know more than the bare essentials, listen for a few minutes.

All articles that I have produced and mention in this article will be linked on my blog and below this video on my YouTube Channel.

I am posting a link to one of the best sources you’ll ever read on authenticating documents in this blog entry.  I am proud to say that it is the source that I used to define the list of 23 items that notaries do that may cause them to be sanctioned.  Within this handbook, you will find links to more educational material about authenticating documents, a task that is taken care of by a state agency or your jurisdiction's commissioning authority.

As I mentioned, there are 23 points of error that can cause notaries to not only get into trouble, but also cause his or her notarial client to have a document rejected by the notary’s commissioning authority who handles authentications. 

THREE TYPES OF TROUBLE THAT ANY OF THOSE 23 MISTAKES COULD CAUSE FOR A NOTARY--What kind of trouble can you get into?  
1-Disciplinary actions by the notary’s commissioning authority.  In the case of Texas, the commissioning authority would be the Secretary of State. In other states, the commissioning authority may be someone in the county government or possibly in the court system.
2-Trouble in the form of financial liability for not performing properly—for instance, causing a client to lose money because a notary failed to notarize properly a document that was time sensitive.  When the document is returned to the notary’s client because it was not properly notarized, it delays the notary client’s transaction.
3-Trouble in the form of liability due to other loss—for instance, a failed adoption or other matter that causes both financial loss and emotional or mental anguish.

There are others!!

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

The best way to protect yourself from liability is to
  •    Be educated about your laws
  •   Be insured with an errors and omissions policy
  •   Be careful not to break your rules
  •   Be familiar with where you can get answers


WHERE TO GET ANSWERS WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
Texas notaries can refer to this website for links to free education, laws, and phone numbers for Texas Notaries.

Notaries from all states can find direction on getting official, accurate answers in their states from the NPA-Section of NASS.org.  This link provides links to all states’ commissioning authorities.

Here is a list of links here that everyone should have bookmarked!

Don’t risk your reputation as a notary public or lose your commission by not knowing how to perform your duties. 



PLEASE, don’t listen to social media gabbers who can’t give you a citation to the law in question or can't provide a law or credible source to answer your question. 

My heart wrenches each time I see a “long time” notary announce what he or she thinks is an answer to a newer notary’s question.  There are even signing service owners who have no clue about what the law REALLY says and I see them making broad-sweeping remarks on social media just about every other day. 


Be informed.  It is your responsibility to know what you are doing.  If you have to decline to notarize a document because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, figure it out before the end of the next day so that the next time, you are informed.

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