Notary bad acts are the main reason that notaries routinely need to get trained. In California, this is every four years but at times, there has been discussion about making it even more frequently. Notaries are often seen doing unlawful acts either intentionally or negligently. It is unfortunate but many notaries just aren’t paying attention or care despite the risk of jail. The following discusses these notary bad acts.
One of the big reasons notaries get stuck doing improper acts is due to the pressure they are feeling from clients. If it is a major, consistent client, notaries feel obligated to “help them out”. They are asked to backdate a document, notarize for someone who isn’t there, or do the notary even if the document is incomplete. This opens the notary to liability for years to come as you never know when the document may come into play. For instance, if you are asked to sign off on a power of attorney for someone who isn’t present and it is used 10 years later to commit fraud, the notary will be responsible.
The best way to prevent doing notary bad acts is to continuously get trained. Rules do change but the biggest issue is getting refreshers on the nuances of what can and cannot be notarized. Each year thousands of documents are notarized by notaries and mobile notaries due to their rush to complete the task, ignorance, or undue pressure. Knowledge is power and this applies to a notary public.
Jail Time is Possible
Regardless of the reason for notary bad acts, a notary public is subject to both financial liability and even potential jail time if they commit such an act. Therefore, notaries should not take their duties lightly. They are a servant of the State and financial sector. Failure to follow the rules exposes them and the prisons do have several in jail. Usually, prison is a result of doing something intentionally like for money or other favors but financial liability is another reason to get properly trained to avoid doing such errors.
Mail Boxes Times has four notaries who regularly get trained and ensure all laws are followed. If you have questions or unsure about a notary, feel free to contact our office.