Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tracee Jordan, Houston Notary - The Best Notary News of 2016

Locate a Houston Notary - Tracee Jordan - Notary Hero
We never hear the good, only the bad about notaries public.  Houston notary, Tracee Jordan of 24-Hour Notary Houston is perhaps turning that around with the best notary news of the year:

A few months ago, Tracee Jordan called me about concerns she had about regarding Texas notary laws, notary fees, and remote notarization.

After one conversation with Tracee, you know she isn't just talker, she is a do-er!

For instance, you can read about Tracee's actions here, on the website of Eyewitness News in Houston, Texas.

Tracee has single-handedly implemented something quite helpful for a notary family.

Need a Houston Notary?  

Contact Tracee Jordan  

at this link!


Texas notaries, it looks like we've got a huge pair of shoes to fill to follow in Tracee Jordan's footsteps!  Here's her story.   It started with a search for mobile notaries in the Houston area.

 Her daughter searched notaries in Houston and found Tracee Jordan.

"She said there were thousands of numbers she said, this one just stood right out. She said, 'This is the one you have to call right now'."

A phone call, neither will ever forget.

"Once she explained the situation I immediately recalled the story from Friday," said Tracee Jordan, a notary.

Jordan stepped into action immediately, not only did she do all the notary work for free, she's since set up a GoFundMe account for the family. Plus, she's also contacted friends and business owners who are taking donations for the family.

Watkins calls Jordan an angel.

"Total strangers but friends for life, that what she told me. We're friends for life," said Watkins.

A stranger, a friend for life, and a five-year-old superhero who are both truly saving the day for this family.
 Read the entire story here or click below to see the video and experience the appreciation of what Tracee has done for this family firsthand!

Texas Notary Professionals

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lack of Progress / Electronic Mortgages (Why the Heck Does it Matter?????)

The reason the topic of electronic mortgages (a.k.a. paperless mortgages) matters to notaries is this--it will be a long time before remote notarizations get here.  

Lenders want them to be comfortable like situations where unicorns frolic and paperless mortgage lenders recline in baby blue easy chairs underneath pink and yellow cotton candy trees.

That's carrying it to an extreme, of course.

Maybe the unicorns won't be real...maybe they are of the Ty Beanie Baby type...but, the point is this:

Before lenders are comfortable with webcam-based, online remote notarial acts, they've got to get REALLY comfortable with electronic signatures and electronic notarizations!

Several states have had laws in place for years to satisfy the need for eMortgages, eSignatures, eRecording, and eNotarizations. So, why is it so blasted hard to move forward into eBliss?

For a long time, I thought the problem was notaries.

No--for once, notaries are not the problem. 
Sure, we might have tried to drag our feet to keep it old school, stamping paper with ink, but we probably did very little to slow it down.

Not before this point, anyhow...not based on what I am reading now.

My sources say we could have put on P.F. Fliers,  greased the skids, and tried to pull electronic notarization forward and not gotten any farther than we are today.

The Paperless Mortgage Dream

The dream of a paperless mortgage swirled around in the great minds of the mortgage, title, and recording industries.  Those business sectors that were drowning in paper--that's where it all began.

They prepared for it, created standards for it...they created terms and discussed the:  eMortgages, eSignatures, eRecording, eNotarization, eVaults and so on.  And, that's where it seems to have a beautiful dream that hasn't gotten much traction.

Aside from notaries public, there are several other segments of the mortgage, title, and recording industries involved--the stakeholders.  They they have a great deal at stake, so to speak, just like notaries do.

Want to read something 
more fun?  Try 

Believe me.  Many stakeholders, other than notaries, have their issues with electronic mortgages.

Low demand for electronic or paperless mortgages is a problem.

Actually,  low demand by consumers plus the fact that stakeholders have reservations they aren't overcoming produced roadblocks to eProgress.

Just a side thought, but I'd bet if the demand was there, we'd all have our marching orders and be scurrying to do what needed to be done, or be banished. 

As a notary, you may wonder "Why is that even a problem?"  

It's not a problem to

But, no one is really asking our opinions, are they?

It won't be a problem, until it's a problem!!

We're not going to get an opportunity to weigh in, unless we know what's happening and are poised and ready to throw a little weight when it's time.

Knowing what's happening with notary technology is key to being able to position ourselves where we have to be in 2017, 2020 or 2026.

So, that's why I keep pushing and nosing around.

I'm that camel.

I'm looking under the edge of the tent at every opportunity.

Can't turn back time--we can do this. 

This is not about thwarting eEfforts.

We need to be ready to meet the technological requirements of our time.  Notary signing agents can meet the challenges of the big stakeholders, if we need to.  In fact, I think we've been more ready than some of our partners in the lending and signing game.

I'm not in favor of stopping progress toward the future.  Just because "the old way" worked in the past doesn't mean it is the best for the future.  I have used this analogy more than once, but it rings so darn true:

I think how wonderful that indoor plumbing must have been for my ancestors.

Not one of them said:

Outhouses have worked for 2,000 years and there's 
no reason to do all this fancy plumbing work.

No one said "There wasn't any indoor plumbing in the Bible and we don't need indoor plumbing now."

Stay focused on staying relevant!

For goodness sake don't get sidetracked by illogical backward thinking.  "It has worked for 2,000 years..."

This topic is too long to cover in one article.  

Tomorrow, I will start  listing stakeholders, their issues by sector, and why they are slow to join the inevitable march toward electronic notarization, paperless mortgages, and ultimately, remote notarization.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Notaries and Notary News was #4 Today on Google Rankings

On occasion, a plan starts to come together. 
Regular blogging helps rankings. 

Ah yes.  No. 4 on Google.  Right under the N.N.A.  

That's very, very satisfying.

Thanks for reading my blog, y'all!


Ode to the Black Cowboys of Brazoria County, Texas

On occasion, I do something besides read notary laws.

Sometimes I write about life, but not very often!

Please take a moment to read about this iconic fellow from my home town. I blogged about him on the blog of our Texas notary directory.

Introducing to the World of Notaries Public, Mr. Taylor Hall - a Real Texas Cowboy.

Maybe you have noticed the handsome black cowboy on the Texas Notary Professionals Directory website. Are you just a little curious?

Meet the Bailey's Prairie Kid

The man you see in the picture is known widely in Brazoria County and surrounding counties as the Bailey's Prairie Kid. If you look closely, his tie says BPK.

That picture tugs at my heart. It makes me happy.  READ MORE

Monday, October 3, 2016

Timeline for Paperless Mortgages and Remote Notarization

Be sure to read the source articles in this presentation on  eMortgages, eSignatures, eNotarizations, eRecording, eNotes, eVaults, remote notarization, and
Compliance. They are:

Larger version here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The CFPB TRAIN is rolling -- Are Notary Signing Agents on the Track?

Happy October! 

During the months of August and September, compliance issues got my attention.  I was particularly interested to read a list of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau’s (CFPB’s) actions  taken in 2015 and more recently, its concerns over mortgage servicers that are non-lenders.  

How much longer will notary signing agents escape the long arm of the CFPB?

So far, notary signing agents haven’t been a huge pressure point on the radar of the CFPB.  
However, based on what I have been reading about the CFPB’s increasing desire to see vendor management compliance policies and proof of vendor oversight, I don’t know how much longer we’ll be allowed to handle mortgage documents without the government ensuring that we are on the list of “covered persons” or that we are officially tied to a vendor compliance management system.  I guess I am thinking in terms of being registered in a database, being required to meet compliance standards, or both.

The CFPB wants an Online Registration System

I am not making this up!  I just don’t know if the spotlight will shine on notary signing agents.  From the Consumer Financial Review: “… CFPB’s expressed intent to determine the availability and cost associated with a web-based registration system and to solicit vendor comments on the CFPB’s potential requirements suggest that the CFPB is seriously considering a nationwide registration system for nonbank financial services providers.”

Please read the article in its entirety when you have a minute. 

Under the Radar Since 2013 - GET YOUR LISTING
We have been left alone by the CFPB and I think that is because the NNA created a compliance path for notary signing agents to follow that was endorsed at the time by lenders and settlement services. 

I hate to pick at a scab, but for those who don’t know, notaries detested being required to get a background check and being told they must be certified annually. They also found it insufferable that many of their clients said that only the NNA’s program would be accepted.  In response, a group formed and mounted a full rebellion against these uncomfortable pronouncements of how they (independent notary signing agents) must do business. 

Based on what notaries posted on various online forums, it seemed as if hundreds of them wrote to the CFPB to complain about the NNA, lenders, and settlement service providers (collectively in a group known as the Signing Professionals' Workgroup [SPW]).   As best as I can tell, their complaints didn’t bring down the wrath of the CFPB onto the NNA or the SPW, but the CFPB must have been paying attention.

Perhaps the CFPB recognized that the NNA was leading notaries, lenders, and settlement service providers to resolve notary-vendor compliance upfront and sighed with relief that we were low on the priority list since we were on our way to some form of compliance.

Notaries aren’t “Covered Persons” (Correct me if I am wrong.)

I’m not a lawyer, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Right now, a notary signing agent isn’t what’s referred to as a “covered person” and the CFPB doesn’t seem to have a straight line of authority to oversee the activities of notary signing agents, but they can make rules to make that happen.  

Please take a look at the article "In the CFPB's Crosshairs… 2016 and Beyond" which provides an overview of the CFPB’s 2015 activities and it also explains better than I can what “covered person” means.  

These kinds of activities lead me to believe that notary signing agents may be asked to take their places in the CFPB online database along with other nonbank financial services providers.  My reasoning is that a notary signing agent can be in a position to violate federal consumer laws and it’s the CFPB’s job to see that such crimes are stopped.

Enjoy your day!

Under section 1002(6) of the Dodd-Frank Act, a “covered person” means

“(A) any person that engages in offering or providing a consumer financial product or service; and
(B) any affiliate of a person described in [(A)] if such affiliate acts as a service provider to such person.” 12 U.S.C. § 5481(6).

For example, under the CFPB’s enforcement authority, the CFPB may investigate any covered person whose conduct may constitute a violation of any provision of federal consumer law (generally, Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act and the eighteen enumerated consumer laws). In contrast, under the agency’s supervisory authority, the CFPB may only supervise certain covered persons such as very large depository institutions and participants of certain markets for consumer financial products or services. Section 1025 of the Dodd-Frank Act gives the CFPB supervisory authority over depository institutions with over US$10 billion in net assets and their affiliates and section 1024 gives the agency supervisory authority over only certain nondepository or nonbank institutions. The CFPB has supervisory authority over all nonbank covered persons, regardless of size, that offer or provide three types of consumer financial products or services:

(1) origination, brokerage or servicing of consumer loans secured by real estate and related mortgage loan modification or foreclosure relief services;

(2) private education loans; and

(3) payday loans.

However, for all other consumer financial products or services, the CFPB must first engage in rulemaking under section 1024(a)(1)(B). To date, the agency has finalized only five such larger participant rules: credit reporting, debt collection, student loan servicing, international money transfers and automobile financing.

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