Sunday, May 14, 2017

Remote Notarization Dos and Don'ts (Lawmaker Chats)

Someone  in a FACEBOOK notary group wanted to know how to fight remote notarization. 

She got no responses.

ANSWER:  It is really too late to "fight it."

I put a lot of thought into answering that question this weekend.  I hope I have finished the purge on my soul through doing that.

I pulled out my research materials to give her some answers and from them I made a timeline map and added a list of who is supporting what we dislike and so forth.  Click here. It will be MY REMOTE NOTARIZATION MUSEUM.

Do and Don’t…
It’s my opinion that there isn’t anything that can be done to stop remote notarization.  Look at this list of remote notarization's proponents on the ESRA website.  Add to that FreddieMac and FannieMae and all the property recording clerks who have been required to upgrade their systems to eRecording. 
My opinions based on living and breathing this argument since 2011 follow:
Say that notarization has worked for 2,000 years and shouldn’t be tampered with.  Outhouses worked well, too, for centuries, and don’t you love a good indoor toilet?
Try to use the old granny and the gun scenario. That won’t work. Right or wrong, it’s not an argument in the heads of lawmakers. They will think you are an unsophisticated person without understanding of technology.  Blogged about that here and why it’s pointless.
Argue that they are taking money out of notaries’ hands.  That sounds like notary greed and lacking in objectivity.
Forget that before notary signing agent careers, notaries were appointed to serve the public, not to become an industry that fed other types of businesses. When you get down to the basics of what a notary is, a notary is a public servant appointed to serve the public and is appointed for the public’s convenience.
Remind lawmakers by accident of any complaints they’ve heard about notary sanctions, notary errors, or notary fraud. One reason we are in this fix is because notaries aren’t educating themselves as soon as they receive their commissions.  It’s doubtful in Texas that they are taking an oath office prior to notarizing. 

Make this about citizens when you talk to lawmakers--for instance, Bud Davis, a refinery worker in Pasadena, Texas was burned by online notarization.  Please read his story HERE.
Make it about economic issues in the state as a whole.  Every state that has a significant number of notaries or loans has been visited by at least one company that intends to pay notaries in that state $5 per online notarization while it sucks up the other $20…to go to the state where that company is located.
Keep it on the downlow about our signing agent careers unless asked.   Loans are signed in banks and title companies in the minds of lawmakers and notaries don’t use their stamps to make more than a stipend to cover notary expenses.  Leave it right there.
Explain the way this will ultimately effect the state’s economy.   “Our NOTARIES are performing work in our state that will now create wealth for another state’s commercial endeavors but not equably in our state’s economic future.  The split is $5 and $20. How can that work?” 
Ask pointedly:  “Senator, if you hadn’t looked at this aspect, should you go forward and funnel that out of your own state??  
Beg for a look at the liability issues and equitable solutions for citizens and notaries.  Tech providers have deep pockets.  If a citizen is harmed must he only look to the notary public’s bond or E&O?  Sure, the tech guys will carry insurance, but why not legislate some safety nets? Should liability be so clear that there is none for tech providers who are making the lion’s share?
 Remind them of Montana – the smartest state with online notaries.  Shout out to Lori Hamm! Try to encourage a pilot program for notaries by having a graduate law that starts like Montana and graduates perhaps in two years on a schedule.  I blogged about their laws.  

 Let them know about Iowa.  It’s still okay to say NO!  Read more below.

Shout Out to Iowa – Sexiest Notary State in the Nation
(Home of NotaryRotary)

Hooray to the men and women of Iowa in the legislature - - they shut down remote notarization, for now, it seems. I am not saying I favor NO remote notarization, just a cautionary approach. They aren’t putting up with all this nonsense of online notarization.  
Everything is clearer to me now.  Harry at Notary Rotary is hunky because men are men in Iowa!  His wife is beautiful and youthful because in Iowa, my friends, women act like grown women. They do not play.
Iowa looked it over and said “no.” They just wrote a law and that was that.  All lawmakers then went off into the forest to find an eagle’s nest an enjoy with beer and sausage while the rest of us fools fret and cry over remote notarization.  Below is the key law; I blogged a bit about it here.

The Texas notary group is doing well and growing.  I've got two projects to discuss with the directory members.   Hopefully, now that I have exorcised myself of the remote notary stuff, I can move on them.

Don't miss Urban Notarization Online Cowboy Blues.

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