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Tips For NSAs In The Aftermath Of Natural Disasters

Superstorm Sandy has caused severe damage across large areas of the East Coast, and Notary Signing Agents there may be dealing with problems caused by the storm for the foreseeable future. Here are some tips and suggestions for handling some of the more common issues.

Be On Guard Against Post-Storm Scams. Con artists often target victims of natural disasters. The FTC has issued a warning about phony charities and fraudulent home repair offers that ask for personal or financial information under false pretenses. Con artists can also use stolen Notary seals and private information in journals to commit fraud. Make sure your Notary tools are secured in a safe, locked place when not in use, and don’t leave your tools unattended if you are notarizing for signers in an area affected by the storm.

Be Prepared For Signers Who’ve Lost Their ID. Victims in disaster areas often need documents notarized, but their identification documents may have been lost or destroyed. While you can’t ignore ID requirements for signers, make sure you are up to date on your state’s ID rules. If you have a loan signing assignment for someone in an area affected by the storm, contact them before the assignment to find out if they have satisfactory proof of ID available. If a signer has lost their primary form of ID and needs to be identified by one or more credible identifying witnesses, be sure that the witness meets all necessary requirements of state law before notarizing.

If Your Tools Are Lost Or Damaged: If your seal or journal have been lost or damaged due to the storm and you need guidance on what steps to take next or with other notarization issues, the NNA’s Hotline Counselors can help you by phone at 888-876-0827 or by e-mail at hotline@nationalnotary.org.

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