Monday, September 11, 2017

Big Fish Wonder Why Lenders aren't Ready for E-Stuff

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The BIGGEST FISH in our notary signing agent food chain published an eye-opening report at the end of last year.

(Oh, in case you aren't aware of how it goes, in our big mortgage industry pond, notaries are the tiny silver minnows at the bottom of the food chain. At the top are the big government supported enterprises (GSEs) known fondly as FannieMae and FreddieMac.)

My perception of the Mortgage Industry Food Chain. 

In 2016, Uncle FreddieMac and Aunt FannieMae surveyed lenders to discover why they haven’t embraced widespread use of online notarization, e-notaries, or emortgages.  They asked for their pain points.

 Lenders reported several reasons including
  • low demand for online notarization by customers
  • technology requirements are too complex
  • the return on investment would be low
  • upgrades too expensive
  • no standardized solution
  • staff would require significant training
  • title companies / settlement services aren’t ready
Apparently, there are a number of barricades between the way things are done today using “in person” mobile notaries and an industry-wide implementation of electronic loan documents notarized by online notaries.

I think that's good news.

Read the report here

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Not MY Venue

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When you see a document that looks like this, don’t be too quick to change it.  You’ll feel like you should make it state the place where you are when you perform the notarial act. 

STATE OF TEXAS              §
                                                                   KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:

Yes, your venue must always be accurate.

 However, I was told more than once as a legal assistant (and by different lawyers), that THIS venue should match the county of the property’s location and it isn’t about the notary.  Lawyers have told me that the statement is an announcment for all in that county to be aware of the transaction within the document, and that it is taking place in the county noted.

Not Legal Advice!

Do as you wish, but it makes for a nasty looking document if you mark up the front page.

When I run into this, I handwrite an accurate venue statement or make changes to an incorrect venue immediately over the notarial certificate.   I cannot give you a law citation on this, but I can show you a recorded example from 1973.   

 Example from 1973

Here is an ancient deed that was recorded in Hood County in 1973.

It shows that the property is in HOOD COUNTY (top image) and the notary was sitting in TARRANT COUNTY (bottom image) when the act was completed.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Start a Claim with FEMA (Plus benefits for income you may not know about.)

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Filing a Claim with FEMA 

Yesterday, I saw this blurb on the official Facebook Page for Fort Bend County's Emergency Management.  This was easier for me to understand than the usual government-speak!  
A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration from Hurricane Harvey (DR-4332) was made for the state of Texas, including Fort Bend County, on August 25, 2017. Her is a brief overview of how to get started.
*Register with FEMA and submit your application:
-You may register for FEMA assistance over the phone or
online. We encourage those who are able to register online, as there may be frustrating wait times for the phone line.
-Online: 1 800 621 FEMA (1 800 621 3362)
-When you register for disaster assistance either online or by phone, you will need the following to complete your application:
-Social Security number
-Address of the location where the damage occurred
-Current mailing address
-Current telephone number
-Insurance information
-Total household annual income
-Routing and account number for your checking or savings
-A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses
*For more details on FEMA claims process, visit:*For information on filing a flood insurance claim, visit:

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Recovery Resources (From The Facts, Brazoria County

[Note:  Normally, I won't cut and paste content from another page, but I think in this case, getting the information out to those who need it is more important.  The Facts requires a subscription normally; however, the site is free currently because of  Hurricane Harvey, but I don't know for how long.] 
To apply for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program, call the Texas Workforce Commission between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at 800-939-6631 or apply online at .
Reference disaster declaration DR-4332. Application deadline is Sept. 27.
This unemployment insurance benefit is especially for victims of disaster who:
Have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for unemployment benefits;
Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the disaster area;
Can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
Establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
Became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
For Individual Disaster Assistance, go to to find the correct information and applications for your needs. Simply scroll through the different types of assistance until you find the one that best suits your need.
Applicants also can go directly to to apply for assistance in regards to Hurricane Harvey.
More information is available at
Financial Assistance
For Financial assistance after a disaster go to There you will find applications for assistance and information.
Social Security
Social Security has established three emergency payment locations in Texas where Social Security and SSI beneficiaries may request an immediate payment in person if they cannot receive their regular payment. The locations and hours are:
Houston: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas.
Dallas: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St.
Austin: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today, 7000 Metropolis Drive
For people who cannot receive their regularly scheduled Social Security payment as a result of Hurricane Harvey, in most cases they can go to any open Social Security office and request an immediate payment. A list of offices that are currently closed, as well as additional information for the public, is available at
To find the nearest open Social Security office outside of the affected areas, call 800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or go to

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