91 episodes

Podcast of Sonita M. Leak, local Upstate, South Carolina Expert, Certified Notary Public Signing Agent and Wedding & Marriage Officiant.

The Notary Files: A Podcast by National Award-Winning Signing Agent Sonita M Leak The Notary Files: A Podcast by National Award-Winning Signing Agent Sonita M Leak

    • Business
    • 3.8 • 13 Ratings

Podcast of Sonita M. Leak, local Upstate, South Carolina Expert, Certified Notary Public Signing Agent and Wedding & Marriage Officiant.

    The Notary Files | “Can I Get My Signature Notarized Without ID?”

    The Notary Files | “Can I Get My Signature Notarized Without ID?”

    I’ve touched on this issue a time or two before, there are situations where people signing documents do not have valid form of identification for the purpose of appearing before a Notary Public. There are signers who have either forgotten to renew their form of identification or don’t have the ability to get to their local Department of Motor Vehicles, therefore, their photo identification expires. There are some that have lost their identification. Most may see this as a major problem for getting a notary to validate their signature on a document.

    If you are in South Carolina, it can still be done.  If you are in another state, you will have to reference your state’s laws regarding identifying signers.

    If you reference the State of South Carolina Notary Public Manual online, (it can be found by CLICKING HERE), specifically on page 7 and referenced as page 10 in the PDF version online in Rule Stipulation 3D it states that you can notarize the signature of an individual based on [the oaths or affirmations of two witnesses who present a current identification document].

    On the most part, situations that involve signers in assisted-living facilities whose identification documents have expired are the ones who could truly benefit from this rule. Signers will need assistance from two individuals who know them personally, ensuring that if the document also needs witnesses, that the two individuals who identify them are NOT the ones acting in that regard.

    For isolation purposes and to avoid potential and actual conflicts of interest, I find it best to have two identifying parties and two witnesses, so at the least, four (4) additional people on hand to assist.

    Keep in mind that if your loved one is currently in medical care at a facility, the staff and administrators may or may not be able to notarize on their behalf. They may not be able to based on their company’s conflict of interest rules.

    Should you have any questions, if you are in South Carolina you can reference the State of South Carolina Notary Public Manual.

    If you are in another state, reference your coordinating Secretary of State website.  The information presented above is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and is not to be taken as legal advice or advisement.

    Have an Excellent, Prosperous and Beautiful Day,

    The Marriage Notary,

    Sonita M. Leak

    • 2 min
    The Notary Files | “Can You Explain This Witness Thing?”

    The Notary Files | “Can You Explain This Witness Thing?”

    I’ve fielded so many questions on what the requirements for witnessing in this state are.  Years ago, I was asked who could sign as a witness by a fellow Notary Public who conducted a signing at Greenville Memorial Hospital on a document we were familiar with.

    The Notary was advised that only one witness was needed party to the transaction in front of her. Now take heed, there are different rules for witnessing for documents in different states. Here are some important points to go by here in the State of South Carolina:

    Please do not take any of the following as legal advice or advisement.

    As a protective measure, will only solicit the help of someone 18 years of age or older. There are some states that will allow minors 16 years of age and older to witness.

    In the State of South Carolina, there are a handful of documents that require witnessing by two parties.  Some, such as insurance documents, only require the signature witnessing of one party.

    In the State of South Carolina, the Notary public can act as a witness. Therefore, if the document calls for a witness’ and a Notary’s signature, the Notary public can sign for both. If the document calls for two witnesses and a Notary’s signature, the Notary can act as one of the witnesses, but there must be another.

    To date, there are only 5 states that allow notaries to act as witness. For information on those that do, you can navigate HERE. For a choice few of those states, their interstate rule is that if the document traveled from out of state and was witnessed by a Notary public in that other state, the Notary public could not have acted as the first witness. Therefore, you may, as the Notary public for the transaction here in South Carolina, act as the second witness only. Oftentimes, if a document is pre-drafted by an attorney or pre-printed, it will already have acknowledgment lines for the 1st witness as an outside party and the 2nd witness as the Notary public.

    If you reference the rules of the State of South Carolina, you will see that there are also special circumstances in which the notary public cannot witness. These special circumstances included, but are not limited to, witnessing when the notary public has been designated by the Principal to sign on their behalf.

    For more information on the notarial rules in your state, you can visit the website of your Secretary of State’s office.  For us South Carolinians, you can navigate to sos.sc.gov.

    Your Local Greenville/Spartanburg Notary Public,

    Sonita M. Leak

    Owner of GreenvilleNotary.com

    • 2 min
    The Notary Files: Lump Sum Payments and What to Watch For

    The Notary Files: Lump Sum Payments and What to Watch For

    Veteran Signing Agents will tell you, especially those in the social media group forums, that Lump Sum transactions can be tricky. These are some of the least favorite transactions for some of us. Most of them are, in comparison to other assignments, usually short and sweet.However, quite a few agents avoid these at all costs. Since I know how to operate during these types of signings, I have sat for a few over the last few years, even the last few months.As someone just entering Notary Signing Agency, you may ask why we avoid these types of transactions at times.One of the major reasons we might avoid these types of transactions is because of Predatory Lending. Some lending agencies contact unsuspecting signers regarding their annuity, retirement, savings and other type of received installment payments.What the agencies do is, they attempt to contract with aw signer to ‘take over’ or transfer the annuity or like type of installment over to them, with a promise to the signer for a large lump sum payment to do so.When this type of company requests a higher fee than would be considered fair, it is considered usury. Usury is very prevalent. There are many states and municipalities that have laws against usury.Something else to watch out for – situations where the signer on the other end pretends to be the person receiving the annuity or lump sum payment and they are out to commit fraud.My advice would be to double and triple-check identification. If you run into a situation where someone is very nervous or shows the identification card of someone not party to the document involved, call the signing agency and pause on your signing IMMEDIATELY.Not trying to steer anyone clear of these types of signing, just trying to make you aware that this type of signing is famous for fraud attempts. 99% of the people signing are reputable, 99% of the companies on the other side of these signins are ALSO reputable. In my experience working on these types of assignments, they have usually been for Seniors.Yo do not have to totally avoid these types of assignments, but be VERY CAUTIOUS before, during and after.Stay in constant contact with the assigning signing company or outfit you’ve contracted with to complete the signing.Double and triple-check photo identification.Match any additional produced documents against that photo ID.Happy Signing!

    • 2 min
    The New Year 2021 Notary Review

    The New Year 2021 Notary Review

    Join us in this New Season to share ideas, self-care, business management for 2021.







    If you are interested in joining us, please see the information below:The Marriage Notary Weddings by Sonita is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.







    Topic: 2021 New Year Notary ReviewTime: Jan 11, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)







    Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/81855220418







    Meeting ID: 818 5522 0418One tap mobile+13126266799,,81855220418# US (Chicago)+19292056099,,81855220418# US (New York)







    Dial by your location+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)Meeting ID: 818 5522 0418Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbwwbauE0U

    • 1 min
    The ‘I Love Them Factor’ and Other Risky Notary Situations

    The ‘I Love Them Factor’ and Other Risky Notary Situations

    Family members, friends, associates and those seeking assistance from a Notary Public for signing Power of Attorney (Durable, Limited, Special, Financial, Health Care, etc) I urge you, please do your homework before attempting to have ANY documentation signed which will affect the Principal’s well-being. Know that the notary you elect to notarize signatures on documents on behalf of your family member will more than likely have a constant working relationship with area facilities. As a Notary Public, we have the authority to deny a signature notarization based on the following factors:







    Duress: Being forced to sign a document without knowing the full effect of the document, usually by family members. Know also that sometimes the Principal is not always forced. Sometimes family members get away with having those in care allowing their signature on paperwork to be notarized because of the “I Love Them” factor (signing and allowing a document to be drafted sight unseen and their signature notarized because they ‘feel’ their relative has their best interest at heart).







    Medication: If a Principal to a document has recently consumed medication that will alter their ability to function normally or that sedates or induces illness, the signer can then be declared unable to sign. Please be aware that if your family member is in care and you call a notary to have paperwork notarized, the patient should be clear of mind-altering drugs from their system.







    Incompetence: You may believe with all your power that your loved one has the capacity and the right mind to sign and say “Yes” to that document, however the physician or social worker of the facility says otherwise. It happens often, and it happens more often than you think. Be aware that your loved one may have a declaration of incompetence, and in that, the inability to sign off on paperwork in regard to their care, powers of attorney, wills or declaration statements.







    Physical Inability to Sign: Some would think that this would cause a major problem. However, this does not. In the State of South Carolina, the Notary Public has the ability to sign on behalf of the Principal if they are physically unable to sign (the principal can also elect someone un-related to them or transaction to sign on their behalf). For more information on this, please refer to either an attorney or the official State of South Carolina Notary Public Manual.







    The above post is for informational purposes only and should be used only as such. Content provided by National Notary Association Notary Ambassador & Signing Agent Sonita M. Leak, Owner of this website and content.

    • 2 min
    The Notary Files: When a Signer Cannot Physically Sign Paperwork (SC only)

    The Notary Files: When a Signer Cannot Physically Sign Paperwork (SC only)

    Click the sound byte below to hear what notaries can do when a principal with sound mind can only make a mark or cannot physically sign at all.

    Visit the Secretary of State’s Notary Public Manual by Clicking Here.

    Posted by Notary Public and Owner of this website Sonita M. Leak.

    • 57 sec

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Nise_05 ,

Good information

Good information. I like that you are straight to the point. Side note ( you may want to work on the audio quality, but other then that kudos to you)

theoriginal_mj ,

Very informative!

I enjoyed listening to you wealth of knowledge!

Nutellabanana ,

Horrible quality

Horrible voice quality with background noise

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