Friday, January 27, 2012

More on ID's

I love it that you guys share your stories and/or experiences with me. I feel that not only are they interesting they need to be told, serve to educate all of us of whats happening out here and also make us think. This is one of those stories. I was speaking with one of our long standing notaries about their renewal and some other matters which led him to tell me this story which I feel it very important because although no fault of the notary we need to remember to do our jobs to the best of our ability. To always be on the lookout for fraud.

It seems that this notary had received a summons to court and had been going to trial for the past few days and he was not at all pleased. I cant believe it because as far as I know it rare. It seems that a loan signing assignment had been given to him which he completed with no problems but it had turned out many months later that the person that had appeared before him and the person that had signed the loan documents was not the true borrower named on the documentation nor was it his property. The culprit was the son. So, I guess it is safe to say, the son desperately needed money for god knows what and had initiated a loan in his fathers name using the fathers property using his fathers name. I thought to myself “What kind of person does this”? Did the son actually think he was going to get away with it? I mean the note would possibly be changing as well and some of the other things like maybe the lender, etc. What did he think his father would not notice? DId he think he wouldn’t get caught??? or did he even care. I guess for some folks desperate times calls for desperate measures. So now our notary had to spend precious time for which he wasn’t compensated for in court because of someone else’s crime. The notary was required to produce his journal and had to ID the son as the one who had impersonated his father.

I asked the notary how the ID looked he said it was not a fake as far as he knew. He told me that nothing was out of the ordinary. And the signing went smooth.

Now the notary did absolutely nothing wrong in this case and it was out of his control but it got me to be thinking that sometimes we can become too comfortable in our job and our duties.. So the moral of this story is that we need to be paying attention at all times because there there is always somebody out here trying to pull a fast one….check those id’s carefully and document everything in your journal. And if your state doesn’t require you to keep a journal then you should. It may save you a whole lot of trouble if a ‘situation’ should ever arrive. The notary had his journal and all of the proof that he needed so he was in the clear.

The Husband and the Stolen License

A few years back when I was working full time as a signing agent. I was called by LSI to do a loan signing scheduled for the following day. I proceeded to make contact with the borrowers and confirmed time and place. There were 3 borrower’s. The mother, her son and his wife. I made sure that all three would be present for the closing and I was assured that they would be. As planned, I met with them the following day at our scheduled time and the mother and the son were present. I hadn’t seen the wife as yet but assumed she was in the other room and would appear shortly. The son gave me 3 ID’s. One for each of them and they were all current. I set up shop and proceeded to write the identifications in my notary journal. I got everything logged in and then I told the son and mother that we were ready. I asked how soon would the wife of the son be joining us. The mother looked dumbfounded. The son immediately spoke up and said that his wife was a notary in California just like me and that she had given him ‘permission’ to sign for her. I said “Excuse me! Are you serious” I continued by telling him “And If your wife was a notary as you say she would know that that is fraud and totally not allowed under any circumstances to have another sign for someone that is not present.’ He told me that was not what his wife had told him I informed him again that the wife HAD to be present or there was no signing would be take place. I asked him for the wife’s phone number so I could call her. And to my shock and disbelief, he stated that he didn’t have it…I thought to my self that although I couldn’t quite place it something was terribly wrong here. I excused my self and went outside and I called the title company immediately and they said to pack it up and they would try to get in touch with the wife and get back to me with a new signing date.

So as requested, I packed it up and went back to my office. This whole thing was so very odd to me. And I will admit it was troubling. I began to search through the paperwork, I looked at the 1003 no luck and just by accident on some junk doc’s I found a couple of numbers for her jotted down in the corners. I then proceeded to call her. I introduced myself and began to tell her about the loan and what had happened at her husbands and mother-in laws home. But guess what! She had NO IDEA of what I was talking about. You could tell that she didn’t really believe me either. It was obvious that she had no clue that there had been an appointment earlier and that they were refinancing without her. (Turns out that this was the mothers house and she had many years ago graciously put all of their names on it, in case something happened to her). She (the missing wife) told me that she had had no communication with her husband for a couple of weeks and that they were separated and she had made it clear to him that she was planning on a divorce. I went on to tell her that her soon to be ex had given me her ID and told her what he had said about him signing her name for her. She told me that was impossible and that I couldn’t have had her ID because she had lost it and had applied for a new one. So I told her that I had held somebody’s id with her name on it in my hands. I then began describing the picture I saw and then I read her the details from the license (because remember I had written it in my notary journal; that journal can be a life saver). I had even remembered her hair color. It was her alright. As as you can guess there were many expletives on her part regarding that soon to be ex-husband of hers. Now she knew where her ID was. Sheesh!!

Come to find out he had stolen it from her when they last met. He hadn’t paid any child support in months. And she and I after talking a bit surmised that he didn’t want to involve his mothers house in their divorce drama for fear that she would want a share of the house in the divorce. So he had took the Id and thought he could persuade me (or whomever the notary was going to be) into letting him sign for her. Ummm, Isn’t this what they call pre meditation….LOL. He had it all worked out. What we couldn’t surmise was was his mother part of the plan. My gut feeling is no but we will never know. And BTW, (the wife) was not even a notary!

The wife turned out to be was a very good woman. She didn’t want to take her husbands mothers family home. She said after all this was her 3 children’s grandmother. She said that she would sign the paperwork and gave me the times she was available for the next few days. I told her I had to call title and discuss it with them because I knew they would most likely do a re-draw and get back to her. So I called them and let them know that I had found her and they would talk to the son and mother and set a new time. A day passed and title called me back stating that the son had requested that they use a different notary. And LSI let them know that that was NOT going to happen. They were sending the same notary and if they refused no loan. It’s nice when a title company sands up for you!!

In closing, I went back about 2 days later with new doc’s with all 3 parties present this time around and although it was a little awkward and there was allot of tension in the room, all went well considering.

Until the next one, take care and be safe out there.