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Louisiana Notary duties
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Louisiana Notary duties
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Posted by Janice Virginia Friend on 11/25/06 9:33am
Msg #161978

Louisiana Notary duties

When I took my course I was told that I could only perform a mortgage signing where the inmovable property was located in the parish where I am authorized to sign. My documentation from class went on to say that only a lawyer was authorized to witness signings statewide. I was told by a signing company that as long as the people signed in my parish it did not matter where the property was located or where they actually resided. This couple was visiting my parish and wanted to sign for property at the other end of the state. I refused to take the job. Who was right in this matter?

Reply by BrendaTx on 11/25/06 10:33am
Msg #161982

J. Friend,

I am a pretty decent speller, but the mere spelling of the word "Lousiana" eludes me 95% of the time.

Here's what I know about your state's notary business...You are put through some pretty tough educational requirements to become one (so I learned from Nations Title) and other than than, pnce upon a time I spoke with a mobile closer on the phone from Louisiana.

She told me that you must be commissioned in each parish you work in.

Do I know if that is correct? No. Do I think that answered your question? No. However, in the spirit of friendship and neighborliness I wanted to hand you something! There's not a whole lot of folks who frequent this board from your lovely state and your best bet is to look up notaries from Louisana here and then call a few of them which are across the state from you. That way you would not be tapping a line to your nearest competition.

Don't take anything I said as the truth because I really do not know.

Reply by Janice Virginia Friend on 11/25/06 3:04pm
Msg #161989

Thanks for the come back Brenda. Yes, our Notary test is unreal. I took 10 classes and then the test was handwritten for 4 hours. I also go to updates quite often. This is the reason I think it would have been illegal for me to be the Notary for paperwork for another Parish. The problem was the signing agent talked to me like I was stupid and unwilling to help them. Well I should have known they were not a reliable company when they called me 1 1/2 hours previous to the signing and begged me to help them out. (The signing was 1 hour away from my home.) They wanted me to print out over 300 sheets of documents. Then to top it off when I went to print the paperwork I find out that the clients do not even reside in my Parish. They wanted me to meet them at a friend's home. The entire thing was outragious.

Thanks again neighbor for trying to help me out. I am not in the least worried about competition locally. I find that in this rural area the signings are sometimes more trouble than they are worth. When they want to pay me $50 extra to print the documents and it takes almost two cartridges of ink and the better part of an entire ream of legal size paper they are asking for more than I am willing to do. I am glad I turned them down, but am still wondering why they even thought it was legal. They kept assuring me that the Notary Association of Louisiana told them it was proper proceedure. At that point I was doubting my own convictions.

Reply by Bonnie_CO on 11/25/06 5:06pm
Msg #162000

"....and it takes almost two cartridges of ink...."
Hi Janice!
Don't remember seeing you on the board before, so welcome to our little community!
Just curious, you say it takes almost 2 ink cartridges to print 300 pages, are you using an Injet printer?
The reason I ask is because most (if not all) lenders want the docs printed on a laser printer. It's also more cost effective to use a laser and will save you money in the long run. I get approx. 6000 pages from my laser toner cartridge and 40,000 from the drum. You might want to look into getting one.
I hope you don't take my suggestion the wrong way. And again, welcome to the board! Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Reply by Janice Virginia Friend on 11/25/06 6:40pm
Msg #162016

Yes, it an ink jet printer Bonnie. I am very grateful for your suggestion and appreciate you taking the time to reply. I am retired and did not want to spend the amount for a laser since I did not intend to make a living from closings. I actually use my stamp mostly to help the elderly in the neighborhood. I told the closing company that I did not normally print documents, nor did I care to do that on a regular basis. I told them that I had an ink jet printer. The bottom line is THEY were desperate for a closing and willing to do "anything" to complete the order. I do not think that an inkjet printed document should even be considered for a professional closing. They had obviously NOT planned ahead.

Yes I am new to the board but not new to Notary or closings. I have been a Notary since 1993 and have held a commission in four different Parishes.

Thanks again for being so nice. This is great place to communicate.

Reply by Bonnie_CO on 11/25/06 8:36pm
Msg #162034


I agree with Brenda, I'm glad to see you here! I hope you will post some of your experiences for us to read. Louisiana legalities have always interested me.

Reply by BrendaTx on 11/25/06 6:47pm
Msg #162018

Re: Louisiana Notary duties...sorry, Janice...

I was answering you as if you were new starting this business.

As far as treating you like you are ignorant...that's commonplace from the schedulers who are more focused on the immediate dollar than putting out a quality product in my experience. If you think it is incorrect--especially with the La. notary education requirements, you are probably accurate.

On the point of the printer you have (I see Bonnie has addressed this also) do yourself a favor, girlfriend, and you get yourself a laser printer. It's lots cheaper...and I do mean "lots cheaper" if you are in this biz. If you set yourself up properly with a laser printer to fit your personal volume, buy legal size in bulk, then re-fill your own toner cartridges you can do your doc printing for around $5 / 300 pages.

You might already know all this, but if you are new to this forum, you'll find much info on thread #33325 about how others are doing these things.

Good to have an La. notary here.

Reply by Janice Virginia Friend on 11/27/06 7:54am
Msg #162205

Re: Louisiana Notary duties...sorry, Janice...

No problem. I was glad for your reply.

I am really considering not doing any more closings. In the area where I live the average closing is almost always more than 60 miles round trip over roughly paved and non-paved roads. Not to mention the additional income tax at the end of the year. Often a second trip is required to a UPS drop box since UPS will not give me same day pick up in this area. This often happens with an early closing where they want me to fax all the papers to them before you ship the original.

You are so right about the closing companies. I can't tell you how many of them did not even know we need two witnesses in our state. Several closings I had to take a ruler and draw lines for the witnesses. Most of the time the client has not been told that need two witnesses. In addition to that I have found several who were quite put out about the need for witness and unwilling to ask a neighbor or friend so that their personal business was not disclosed. Due to this fact, I take my husband with me to provide at least one other discreet person. So now were are talking two of us for the same flat fee. I am sure if I lived in a big city or town this could be a profitable business.

Thanks for all your help. By the way I contacted a local attorney friend and he told me that I was absolutely correct. As a Notary, the State requires me to personally be responsible for filing the paperwork in my Parish. Failure to do this would fall back on me. The signatures would not have been valid in another Parish and the Clerk of Court would probably have refused to file the mortgage.

Reply by CAJ/LA on 5/10/07 2:55am
Msg #189624

You can perform notarial functions _in_ the parish of your commission and in any other parish where you may be authorized by law. Chances are that you are qualified for more than one parish, but maybe not. See La. R.S. 35:191.

The location of the immovable is not relevant to whether you are authorized to close the transaction. It is YOUR location at the time you close that is relevant.

If you are a regularly commissioned notary in the state of Louisiana, you can close a mortgage on property located _anywhere_ if the parties are before you within the limits of in your parish of commission or another parish where you have expanded jurisdiction.

In the situation you describe, you could have assisted the couple.

Reply by PAW on 5/10/07 7:46am
Msg #189634

You may want to check with the LA SOS on the following:

House Bill 1213 (Act 793)

* Provides for statewide jurisdiction for notaries who have taken and passed the state notary exam.
* Provides for any regularly commissioned notary public who was commissioned before the state exam was instituted to qualify for statewide jurisdiction by taking and passing the state exam. To apply, the notary
o Must register directly with the Secretary of State no later than 45 days before a scheduled examination; and
o Pay the examination fee of $75.

Failure to pass the examination shall have no effect on the status of the commission of the notary.

Apparently, LA now provides a statewide exam which will provide the notary with statewide jurisdiction.

(Source: LA SOS Notary Division, "Whats New" ->

Reply by BrendaTx on 5/10/07 8:40am
Msg #189641

Re: Louisiana Notary - Hopefully Janet Sobers will comment

with real life experience on the subject.

Reading about a state's laws and experiencing the reality of the way things work in a state are two different things.

I like hearing what people are actually encountering in their states about notary changes...Janet?

Reply by AlanJ/LA on 8/3/07 1:35pm
Msg #203816

Re: Louisiana Notary - Hopefully Janet Sobers will comment

The state introduced a statewide uniform examination that all new commission seekers must pass in order to obtain a commission. The first exam under the new system was in June 2005. Seven exams have been given, and about 300 commissions have been issued since then.

Notaries who pass that exam have statewide jurisdiction, but the office is still a parish office, like a sheriff or a clerk of court. One must maintain residency and voting requirements to remain validly commissioned. One must maintain bond and insurance to remain actively commissioned.

Notaries who have not passed the statewide uniform exam and who were commissioned under the old system (i.e., passed parish exam) remain fully authorized to exercise the duties and functions of a notary in the parish of their commission and in their reciprocal parishes. (Assuming they maintain commission validity and have active status).

When it comes to executing a notarial instrument, the location of the affected property does not matter. What matters is whether the notary is validly commissioned with active status, and that the notary is physically in the parish of his or her commission or in one of the parishes with reciprocity to the commission parish.

One thing that changed in the 2006 session was the addition of a provision for the notary to be relieved of his or her obligation to record acts affecting real estate by obtaining a written directive signed by all the parties to an instrument that the instrument is to be delivered to one of the parties or another person designated by the parties.

For mobile notaries, this is a real blessing. Before this, when a notary returned a package to a lender, he was in violation of the law and if any instrument primed his instrument, the third party could hold him responsible for loss.

Now, as long as the notary has something in writing from all the parties directing him to deliver the instruments to the lender, he's off the hook.

Since lenders and signing services have not gotten up to speed on providing an instruction sheet with a place for the mortgagor to authorize the delivery to lender, the notary should simply ask the mortgagor(s) to sign approving the instruction from the lender to return the document to the lender.

Keeping that instruction sheet bearing the signature of the customer will be evidence that the notary did obtain the directive from "all parties" in writing, which might come in very handy should a third-party holder of a mortgage find that other mortgages were recorded ahead of the act signed by the notary.

I hope this helps.
Alan Jennings

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