With millions of mortgages or refinancing occurring every year, they don’t all go according to plan. Mobile Notary Anne McBride recalls the time a borrower brought in a loan package so riddled with errors — a flubbed journal entry, a misspelled venue, missing initials and dates on several critical pages — that it needed to be completely redone. “I just kept saying, ‘I'm here now and I am going to do it right’,” McBride said. “A couple times the borrower wanted to argue with me about how something should be done but I said, ‘I have an almost perfect accuracy rate, we’ll do it my way.’” There are times when borrowers end up having to spend twice the time and money to get their loan packages properly notarized due to mistakes that could be easily prevented if the Notary took charge and avoided some common pitfalls: Failing The Name Game. Incorrect names and missing signatures top the list of errors. Sandra Guerrero was asked to re-notarize a deed — and had to get both signers to re-sign — because “the original Notary had the ‘Grantee’ and ‘Grantors’ names confused.” In Allison Jones-Maxwell’s case, the previous Notary had neglected to have the signers sign their name at all. A careful review of all names would have prevented these careless errors, saving everyone involved a lot of time and expense. Stamp Hiccups. If the county clerk or other accepting agency can’t make out the seal, you can bet the package is going to be swiftly rejected. The same rule applies to expired or incorrectly placed stamps. Notary Angie Tacocat was asked to fix a package on which the previous Notary had forgotten to apply his Notary seal altogether. Incorrect Dates. Chelsea Addison was asked to fix a loan package in which the previous Notary had allowed the borrower to sign before the document effective date. Always double-check for date accuracy, and never post-date a notarization. Procedural Problems. From using outdated acknowledgment forms to failing to fill in all the blank lines on a Notary certificate, simple errors can cause major headaches. A little preparation can prevent such issues. Rod McGarrie recalls being asked to fix a package because the previous Notary failed to notice that the necessary refinance affidavit was missing. The issue could have easily been fixed had the Notary carried blank forms. “This happens when Notaries have no mortgage experience,” says McGarrie. General Sloppiness. Avoidable hazards, like a broken printer leaving toner lines throughout a document, are among the easiest errors to fix. Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.