Notary Bulletin

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Missing Figures

What Would You Do: The Case Of The Missing Figures By Kelle Clarke

The NNA Hotline receives hundreds of calls daily from Notaries nationwide who find themselves in challenging situations. To help boost your knowledge of Notary Best Practices, we have created a series of scenarios based on actual signings, and ask you to weigh in on what you would do if faced with a similar situation.

A customer comes to you for a notarization, and he is a bit anxious. The two of you begin to go through the stack of well-organized paperwork, until you come across a promissory note that is missing important information, including the final loan amount the signer will be borrowing from the private lender.

“There is information missing on this document,” you tell the signer, indicating blank spaces on the note. “I’ll need you to fill this out completely before I can notarize it.”

“My lender told me he would fill that portion out later, once we’ve finalized everything,” says the signer. “It’s more important to get the document notarized, so we can move forward with the transaction by the end of the business day. I’m in a bit of a hurry.”

You want to help the man, but you know your training, and something doesn’t feel right. You tell him you must refuse the notarization, but he keeps pushing you to change your mind.

“My lender said he does this all the time, and that it’s no big deal,” he says. “Can’t you just let this one slide? If I don’t get my hands on this money right away, I could lose my business!”

What Would You Do? And…how would you explain your decision to the signer?

To participate in this week’s “What Would You Do” scenario, share your answer with the NNA Facebook Community. We may mention your response in an upcoming Bulletin, when we offer the best possible answer(s) to this common Notarial challenge.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

Additional Resources
Have a Notarial question? Call the NNA Hotline

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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