by Structured Settlement Watchdog
Are settlement purchasers that desperate that they need to pay off notaries? The cash now sleaze train returns, with the rolling stock replaced by under regulated "laughing stock".
Company A hires a notary to go out and witness signatures on a structured settlement transfer peitition. The notary or notary company is being offered kickbacks by company B for referring annuitants tothem. How else does a notary encounter a structured settlement annuitant other than when a settlement purchaser assigns them to do work for them?
Here is the text of an email that I received this evening.
"Greetings, I am a notary and wonder if you might know if it is legal for a structured settlement company to pay a referral finders fee for referring an annuitant to them? I have been approached to do this. Thanks D..."
The question should be, is it ethical and/or legal if a notary on assignment from company A, refers the annuitant to company B, or provides details of the pending transfer to company B in exchange for compensation. Essentially the notary accepts compensation from two places.
If you are a notary and prepared to name names, let's do it. I'm interested in any emails, flyers or other means of solicitation. Think twice before accepting a payment as you may be breaching your duty to "client A". If I found that a notary was engaging in this behavior I would report them to the state regulatory authority and the national association for violation of the published code of ethics.
Code of Ethics of the American Society of Notaries (note bold and highlighted items)
"We, the members of the American Society of Notaries, having accepted the responsibility of the office of notary public, in order to faithfully discharge our duties with both competence and integrity, resolve to adhere to the following standards of conduct:
- To uphold the trust placed in me by the public I serve;
- To maintain a professional manner suitable to the office I hold;
- To treat each individual fairly and equally, with kindness and respect;
- To always be satisfied that the individual appearing before me understands the contents of the document to be executed or oath to be administered, before proceeding;
- To always satisfy myself as to the identity of the individual appearing before me in my capacity as notary public;
- To not betray the confidence of any individual appearing before me;
- To never perform any notarial act in which I am a party in interest or from which I stand to benefit;
- To never divulge the contents of any document nor the facts of execution of that document without proper authority;
- To keep informed of the law regarding the duties and powers of the office of notary public in my jurisdiction and not compromise that law;
- To not use the office of notary public as a means of financial gain, for myself or others, in any other business or profession;
- To exercise extreme care to insure that the notarial seal, stamp, and records are kept in a safe place and are not used by any other person;
- To always conduct myself and perform my duties in a manner which will bring credit to myself, my office, and the Society.
Adopted by the American Society of Notaries Board of Directors, May 4, 1980".
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