Monday, August 30, 2010

Fiserv E-Sign Training

Several people contacted me this weekend asking for information on how to perform e-signs for Fiserv (Flagstar loans).  Fiserv offers video training several times a week and there is also a PDF document with step by step instructions on how to handle a Fiserv e-sign.  If you're interested in the video training or the PDF manual, send an e-mail to and I will forward the information to you.

Update 09/01/10: AmTrust e-sign training here.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oakland County Notary Fraud Case Continues To Grow

The dominoes are still falling. What started out as a case of notary fraud has turned into a brewing (insert Tea Party pun here) controversy. Last week, Oakland County Michigan Clerk Ruth Johnson uncovered a fraudulent Tea Party candidate filing for county commissioner under the name of Aaron William Tyler. The filing was notarized by Jason Bauer, an Oakland County Democratic Party staffer. Well, it turns out that Tyler never filed to run for office and never signed a thing. Doh! Two other filings are also in question and Bauer's name was on a dozen Tea Party affidavits. On Sunday, Bauer resigned.

Then, Oakland County officials claimed the director of the county's Democratic Party may have committed crimes in connection with notarizing petitions. Double Doh! On Tuesday, the county party chairman Mike McGuinness abruptly resigned, citing a new professional opportunity (is that what we're calling the unemployment line now a days?). And now, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is seeking a grand jury investigation. Possible crimes include perjury, election fraud, misconduct in office, uttering and/or publishing and obstruction of justice.

Casting further doubt on what appears to be a fake Tea Party, petitions were circulated by a firm that has been used in the past by the Democratic Party, filed using the services of a Lansing attorney with ties to the Democratic Party, and is apparently chaired by Mark Steffek, a former UAW steward.

Update 09/08/2010: Oakland County grand jury to investigate 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Credit Card Rules Take Effect

The third and final stage of the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act takes effect today. The new rules put a limit on late fees ($25 per incident), require banks to review rate hikes every six months to decide whether the factors of a rate increase still apply (if not, the rate must be lowered), and ban inactivity fees.

Monday, August 16, 2010

MSHDA Receives Additonal Funding

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will receive an additional $128.4 million in funds to assist unemployed homeowners struggling with mortgage payments. MSHDA estimates another 13,000 unemployed homeowners could receive assistance under the Michigan Hardest Hit Program.

Unfortunately, the voluntary program is still missing many of Michigan's largest lenders including Bank of America, Flagstar, Quicken, and Chase.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The National Notary Signing Agent Network

There are several states that use notary networks as a way to promote each other and connect with other qualified, experienced notary signing agents. Here in Michigan, Renee Kovacs and I started the Michigan Notary Network for that purpose. As we've progressed, we've worked with some of these other state networks and discussed trying to create a national presence and a uniform set of standards for notary network members to follow. We're all looking to align with the best of the best across the U.S. To that goal, we've just created the National NSA Network, which includes state networks from Michigan, California, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Searching For A Notary Public

I typically get several calls a week from someone looking for a mobile notary public outside of my usual travel area. I always direct them to a notary listing site to find a mobile notary that's closest to their location. There are several notary listing sites that I like which allow a person to search for a mobile notary public in their area, including Notary Rotary and 123 Notary. For ease and accuracy, I usually refer people to Go Get Notary. Now, here's my disclaimer: I am a member of the Go Get Notary National Advisory Board, so directing people to that site doesn't hurt. But I truly believe it's a great place to search for a mobile notary public. For one, the zip code search (which I think is the easiest and most accurate way to search) comes up right on top of the home page so it's easy to find. More importantly, the results accurately reflect which mobile notaries are closest and not which notaries paid for a higher ranking.

So if you need to refer a caller to a listing site to find a mobile notary public, I highly recommend Go Get Notary.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Revised Uniform Law On Notarial Acts

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has approved the final wording for the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts. The revision of the 1982 act updates the provisions on notary responsibilities, electronic recording, interstate recognition, and remedies. From the NCC:

"...countless societal and technological changes have occurred requiring notarial officers and the notarial acts which they perform to adapt. This version of ULONA adapts the notarial process to accommodate those changes and makes the Act more responsive to current transactions and practices. Perhaps the most pervasive change since the adoption of the original version of ULONA has been the development and growing implementation of electronic records in commercial, governmental, and personal transactions..."

"This revision of ULONA further recognizes electronic notarial acts and puts them on a par with notarial acts performed on tangible media. It does this by unifying the requirements for and treatment of notarial acts, whenever possible, regardless of whether the acts are performed on tangible or electronic media. While continuing the basic treatment of electronic notarial acts provided in UETA, ESign and URPERA, this Act implements structural and operational rules for those notarial acts that were absent in the prior laws..."

Even the NCC language acknowledges that many of the issues addressed in the revision are already covered under other acts such as the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA), the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act, and the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA).

You can read the rest here: Summary of Revised Unifrom Law on Notarial Acts