NTC Details Notary Law Best Practices—How to Best Avoid Violations by Upholding Compliance Standards

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NTC addresses how to avoid potential notary issues by detailing the best practices that help ensure compliance with notary regulations.

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Per the National Notary Association, “Notaries are duty-bound to protect the public by handling each notarization with a standard of care that often goes beyond state requirements,” (1)—a standard of care which rings true but is not always met, according to officials at NTC (Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.), a leading research and document-processing provider for the mortgage and financial industry. In recognition of the potential legal risks involved with improper notary practices, NTC executives have delineated and simplified what can be a stressful process into a practice easily accomplished with a set of company-wide standards.

A notary holds government authorization to execute legal actions, in particular the administration of oaths and the acceptance of acknowledgments. Because of the many facets that accompany mortgage and real estate documents, legal complications surrounding notary issues can often be severe and include, but are not limited to:

●    Administrative actions levied by the Secretary of State and civil penalties levied by local and state prosecutors;
●    Criminal prosecution;
●    Felony charges;
●    Misdemeanors; and
●    Administrative penalties. (2)

However, according to Myron Finley, Chief Legal Officer at NTC, correct notary practices can be made easy by implementing simple standards known to be effective in assisting notaries to comply with the law:

1.    Proper training. Notaries must be properly trained in order to understand how to deal with any of the many questions that can and do arise within the notary practice. This training should include appropriately applying the rules they have learned to a number of common and practical circumstances, such as knowing and understanding the exact difference of a jurat requiring a swearing of an oath versus an acknowledgement.

2.    Enforce compliance. This means constant vigilance and evolving and fluid procedures in oversight, investigating issues that arise, and either retraining or disciplining the correct individual to ensure that the same issues don’t recur.

The National Notary Association has adopted a code of professional conduct for notaries (The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility), which Finley states enumerates the ten most vital rules that notaries must follow in doing their jobs.

“The code assists notaries in understanding and appreciating the fact that they are public officers who perform a vital service,” Finley said. “And like any other expert, they must stick to explicit principles in doing that job.”

In addition to the above approach, Finley recommends documenting each step and culling the data to formulate company-wide best practices; if there is ever a question of notary law violations, they will resolve much more quickly with a well-documented notary program, and remain resolved, per Finley.

“The end goal is for every notary to be an expert in what they do, and to be able to not only understand the proper rules and regulations, but to also correctly apply them,” added NTC CEO, John Hillman.

NTC, perhaps best known for its expertise in extensive research and document-processing services such as lien release processing, is an advocate for best practices and legislation that standardize the mortgage industry for the betterment of homeowners, land records and the industry at large.

NTC, in a video that featured Finley, previously explained how to best avoid allegations of notary law violations – to watch the video, click here.

For more information about NTC, including its research and document processing services, visit http://www.nwtc.com.

About NTC:

Based in Palm Harbor, Florida and founded in 1991, NTC (Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.) is a privately owned leading research and document-processing service provider to the residential mortgage industry. NTC serves mortgage lenders, servicers and investors, including eight of the top 10 residential mortgage servicers in the country. NTC is known for delivering the highest level of accuracy in research services and quality document processing that set the industry standard while protecting homeowners, assisting the mortgage banking industry and preserving the nation’s land records. The company’s land records and document experts are able to track and fulfill county document requirements in all recording jurisdictions nationwide, which is close to 3,600 different jurisdictions. NTC specializes in providing land records research, property reports, lien release services, assignment services, final document tracking, document retrieval and other custom business solutions. NTC’s expansion is tied to their contribution to their industry and their local community, ranking number 26 on the 2013 Fast 50 Awards list of fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay, and number 1,900 on the 2013 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America, up from number 2,730 in 2012. NTC also won the Inc. Hire Power award for the second consecutive year in 2013 for putting Americans back to work. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.nwtc.com.

1.    “Disregarding Best Practices Increases Your Legal Risks.” National Notary Association, 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 7 July 2014. nationalnotary.org/bulletin/bulletin_articles/disregarding_best_practices_increases_your_legal_risks.html.

2.    “Violations and Penalties.” Notaryclasses.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 July 2014. notaryclasses.com/tutorials/homestudy/65.aspx.

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