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May 23, 2016

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:57 pm

It is sad to see what has happened in the Notary industry. Notaries who were getting paid a comfortable living are now working for peanuts or have left the field alltogether. Some people blame signing companies for lowering fees. Others attribute the problem to SnapDocs. A few claim that the lack of volume of jobs in the Notary industry combined with too many signers has caused a drastic lowering in fees.

Why are fees so low?
If you ask me, there are several things going on here. Yes, SnapDocs created an automated way to get Notaries for cheap which involves very little work for the signing or Title company. Additionally, in the old days, Title companies used to pay a lot more than signing companies. These days, many Title companies are paying low fees as well. Yes, there are too few jobs and too many Notaries. And yes, the interest rates haven’t changed much in seven years since the Mortgage crash. The bigger fact is that due to the Mortgage crash in 2008, banks cannot lend money unless you have good credit. Since our government is eating up so much money by borrowing it to fund its insatiable hunger for cash — that might be the reason there is very little left over to lend to homeowners.

Low interest rates caused by artificial market conditions
I feel that low interest rates are artificially maintained because the government will go out of business if interest rates rise even one percent. That means there won’t be any more America, no more USA flag, no more hamburgers — okay, there will still be hamburgers, but nobody will be able to afford them. By preventing people with average credit from borrowing, that leaves more money available for the banks to lend the government. The government refuses to lower its spending on wars, military, jails, interest payments, education, infrastructure, etc. If we would cut military spending and put the people in jail in a penal colony where they could work for a living, we could pay off our debt, and not go out of business as a nation.

Reasons for lowered fees:
(1) Banks aren’t lending much >> too few jobs
(2) Too many Notaries
(3) SnapDocs facilitates low-balling
(4) Low skill of most Notaries

Low skilled Notaries
I spent four months in 2015 testing Notaries over the phone. We got our total count of Notaries from 1600 to 2000 which was a huge victory for 123notary and for those who passed our test. However, I noticed that most Notaries had no clue what they are doing and didn’t understand Notary law, signing agent knowledge, and couldn’t even follow directions properly not to mention not having much common sense. For signing companies hiring Notaries, if you limit yourself to hiring good Notaries, your selection will be really small. So signing companies got smart and started planning for incompetence. This is why they prefer to hire unskilled Notaires, and then have them fax everything back to double check their work. Instead of hiring a pro like Carmen for $175 per signing, they can hire a complete novice for $40, double check the faxes themselves, and make a huge profit. I don’t like what the signing companies did, but this is the fault of Notaries not knowing what they are doing. Had Notaries educated themselves, this fax back system probably never would have evolved. It evolved through dealing with incompetent Notaries who in my opinion should not even be Notaries. The state Notary divisions are run by fools who don’t test or double check their Notaries’ work for the most part outside of CA, NY and LA. And the Notaries in the states with testing are not that proficient either. In my opinion a skilled Notary is worth $100+ per signing. But, an unskilled one (unskilled by my standards not yours or NNA’s) is worth $40 per signing and don’t even deserve to work. So, there you have it, that is my point of view which you might not like!

Unfortunately, many of the high skilled Notaries have had to lower their fees or leave the industry alltogether (which was horrible for 123notary) because of the lowered fees and fax back system. Many are still around, but they have to charge $85 to $100 instead of $125 to $150 which is probably what they are worth.

The future of America
As I mentioned before, the government seems to have manipulated the banking industry to make huge amounts of cash available to borrow at low rates. This is actually not a bad thing, because it prolongs the amount of time that America can be a nation. The bad thing is the stupidity that led up to this huge 19 trillion dollar debt is the thing that should borrow you (or bother you.) In real life you cannot keep borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. It has to end sometime and when it ends, you could lose some, most or everything you have. As an individual you can recover, but how can a country recover? Are we going to click the reset button? It is not China and Japan that lent us most of the money — they lent only 15% of the money. The majority is from banks and some local investors. If America can’t pay its debt, the banks will be insolvant. That means not only no more America, but no more financial system like we know it today. Sure, we will still be here, and hopefully won’t starve, but it is not predictable what will happen.

My spiritual guru predicted that America would experience some devestating natural disasters, go broke, and fail to be a nation. We would be fifty states. These fifty states will not have much of an ability to borrow money to function after the big crash, so expect massive poverty. Whatever problems you have now are nothing compared to what is going to happen.

The future of Notary work
It looks like Notary work will continue on being slow for the next few years since there is not much money lying around to lend to house buyers. Sure, there might be blips and temporary fast times, but for the most part slow. This will continue until our country goes off the waterfall, or has a huge war or financial restructuring. After the crash, it is completely unpredictable how the world’s financial system will be. I’ll have to meditate on that one. In the mean time, just do your best, and try to be more of an expert at what you’re doing.


May 22, 2016

How many loans have you signed?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:37 pm

Most Notaries cannot answer a question without rambling. If you ramble, I will assume that you are not a professional. A professional answers questions promptly without adding extra unwanted information or bending my ear. Keep in mind that signing companies have to deal with thousands of Notaries, and if each one rambles, the signing company will get a huge headache. I ask the same question to tens of thousands of Notaries. Most Notaries cannot answer my simple questions without giving vague answers or rambling. This is not professional.

ME: How many loans have you signed?

NOTARY: 5231

ME: Wow, did you count them?

NOTARY: No, my computer tracks my jobs for me.

ME: Wow, you are so prepared and professional.

Here are some other common responses which are not so professional sounding with my commentary in parentheses.

Notary #1 — Oh… ho ho ho. Gee… Gosh… I have no idea
Notary #2 — Um, well I used to tag along with my husband who is a professional signer and he has ten years experience. (perhaps I should hire him, not you with that answer.)
Notary #3 — Gee, well I did three yesterday. (not helpful)
Notary #4 — You mean this year? (If I meant this year, I would have specified this year.)
Notary #5 — Hundreds… (Does that mean 200, 500, or 1100? Not at all helpful.)

“How many loans have you signed?” is a question using the past perfect tense in the English language. I used to teach English to foreigners and I explained that past perfect means that you have completed or perfected an action. Past perfect is used to talk about actions that you have completed “so far” or in your life. How many loans have you signed grammatically means in your life since you were born. If you ask, “Since when?” you are communicating to me that you do not understand English grammar properly as a native speaker. If you don’t have an exact answer, an approximate answer of, “About 300″ will do. Bottom line, if you can’t communicate clearly to me, I will assume you are not a professional notary, and I will probably be right.


May 21, 2016

Signing Stream

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — admin @ 5:28 am

Here is what Notaries are saying about this outfit

“These people are the worst. Very low pay, slow pay and high expectations for reporting status over and over again. Never again.”

“Please tell me that’s $60 for a one or two document signing and NOT a loan signing.”

“I will not take assignments from this company. They have continually deducted $5.00 off of my $60.00 fee, which included faxbacks. Each time they have some excuse why they are deducting from my fees.
Bad signing co. to work for. They also take over 60 days for payment.”

“I have finally been paid, so I can now post my experience. The short version is: I will not do a signing for this company again unless I get paid in advance.

Roland called me from SigningStream in August 2015 for a same-day closing. I read the reviews here about long delays in payment, and then told Roland that I would take the job only if he could guarantee I would be paid within 30 days. He assured me that he could, so I dropped everything, printed out the hundreds of pages they sent (as seven different documents), and headed to the signing at the customer’s home.

Half an hour into the signing, the doorbell rang. It was a local attorney who had also had been hired to conduct the signing, and had a complete set of documents with her!

I finished the signing and made the necessary report (you must report signing complete within 1 hour) and faxbacks.

30 days went by and no payment. I contacted Roland and he said he didn’t know why there was a delay, but payment would be made soon. This turned out to be incorrect.

I continued to follow up weekly, and signingstream continued to say that the check would be mailed “very soon.” Each time I was told this, it was untrue.

Finally, 63 days after the closing, I got a call from someone at SigningStream saying that my fee was too high. The caller said they don’t normally pay that much and asked me to justify why my fee was so high. I could not believe that after they kept me waiting more than two months for payment, they were calling to question the fee that they had agreed to for the same-day signing! I simply explained that that is my minimum fee for a signing with faxbacks. After this phone call, it still took another ten days after that to receive the check.”

“Have rceived a couple calls from these people offering $60 for a closing. I couldn’t help but laugh in the poor girl’s ear. I negitiated it up to $85 was then told there would be fax-backs to check my work. Told them no thanks, and that they might be better off looking for novice notaries and to leave me alone.”

“Very bad experience. Did a closing for them 2 months ago. The Lender was “Cash Call” Mortgage. Called to demand payment and was told they are still waiting to be paid by their lender. Contacted “Cash Call Mortgage” and was told they paid Signing Stream over a month ago. Signing Stream does not pay and obviously has serious financial problems that causes them to float the notary’s fees like they do. I personally recommend that you DO NOT accept any signings from this company as you will have to fight for your fee. Look closely and you will see that they operate exactly like a Ponzi Scheme. They use current signing fees paid by lenders to pay the oldest and most vocal “past-due” signing fees owed.”

“How many times do I have to tell them not to call me again. Called again wanting an evening appt. for double loan package, 18 miles away, that they want to pay 60. each for. print 2 sets, fax backs etc. Of course they promised large volume of work- a promise I used to fall for 17 years ago, never is true anyway. I told them even if they did give me huge volume, it isn’t worth running myself ragged for and making nothing on it. WE ARE NOT RETAILERS SELLING PENCILS OR GOODS BY THE DOZEN OR THE GROSS- WE ARE OFFERING HIGH QUALITY SERVICE EVERY TIME, THIS IS NOT DISCOUNTED.”



May 20, 2016

Notary Italian Restaurant

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 9:54 pm

Have you been to the Notary Italian restaurant?

The story behind the Notary Italian Restaurant goes back to Palermo where Bruno grew up as a child. He wanted to go out with a particular young lady. But, she would only talk to him if he had his request notarized. After that, she made more demands. Each demand required a Notarization. In Italy, you have to be practically an Attorney to do a notarization, so this was a real task for Bruno to prove-a his love! After getting to know so many Notaries so well in Sicily, he decided to study for several years and become a Notary himself.

Bruno traveled far and wide. He became the Notary of Seville. Then, he went to Greece to notarize the debt crisis. After that he assisted Bashir Al-Assad with some notarizations. And finally came to America where he opened an Italian restaurant with a Notary theme.

Here is his menu.

Pasti y Primi
Affidavit Arrabiata
Linguini with Cancellation Clams — (only available three days a week.)
Rescission Rotini
Purchase Pasta Primavera
FHA Fettuccini

Piatto Principale
Bisteca Certificado
Venue Veal with Vino Fino Reduction
Boar Pappardelle
Spaghetti Juratini
Pasta with squid ink

Locus Sigilli — a sweetened noodle that keeps wrapping around like a signature. Our signature desert.
Hazelnut HUD Gelato.

Unfortunately for Bruno, his girlfriend broke up with him only to meet up with him by accident years later at his restaurant.After the meal, here was the conversation.

BRUNO: Thanks for everything. Does your credit card have a chip?

LADY: Yes it does. What do you think about having a chip implant in your arm? It’s the way of the future.

BRUNO: I don’t need one implanted in my arm. I already have on on my shoulder!


May 17, 2016

Notary: Follow Through

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 9:39 pm

Notary: Follow Through
Be it the kick perfectly between the goal posts, the amazing hole in one golf shot, or the grand slam home run to the upper decks – they all have one thing in common. There was a follow through by the expert. Even a “bunt” requires a proper follow through to stop the pitch, and then to gently push the baseball forward so it rolls at a slow pace. Before you conclude that Ken is getting nutty again, read on – what follows (my “follow through”) will help you make money.

As you are taking the time to read this, I assume you are an expert signing agent. There is not the slightest flaw in the package you are sending. You have processed it perfectly and now it’s been handed off to the courier service. You are NOT done! Send a scan, or photo, of the drop off receipt to your client – they love to receive them. And, if something should delay the delivery – you have provided documented proof of your timely performance. Are you confident that the package was truly *perfect* in every respect? Yes! Good! So, with that drop off image include a request for a review to be posted to Don’t wait for them to assure you that there was no flaw – the feedback request PRIOR to them looking at it will get you the feedback that you “deserve”. Don’t be sending it without being willing to request a feedback – prior to their review. That separates the skilled and confident from the not so sure “hope I did it right”.

Did you take the time to thank the affiants for meeting with you? For having their ID’s with them? For being on time? That’s part of your “at the table” follow through. Or, do you just hastily grab the docs and rush off? You know that “Standard Overnight” with FedEx means that the package will arrive in the afternoon, did you mention that to them. Doing so would save them an early AM call to see if it arrived. On that same subject, when you give a “borrower copy” do you also include a copy of the airbill? That lets them track the package; it’s only a sheet of paper.

Once in a while do you make a “what could I have done better” call. Generally if you did a passable job you will probably receive a glowing review. Folks, unless you were truly awful like to put praise “in print”. However, in the one to one of a phone call – asking “what could I have done better” – might help you to correct an aspect of your performance that you were not aware of. Or, do you honestly feel you are so perfect that there is no room for improvement? I hope not.

Let us not forget the oft neglected “thank you”. It has to be sincere. “Thank you for selecting me to do the assignment; I really appreciate your trust. Frankly, I triple check each package because I need repeat business to make my living.” But, use your own words, just allow your comments to come from within and be truthful. Sure, you want to make a positive “final” impression; but there are many doing the same thing. Respect their time, be brief.

I have a “pet peeve” about anonymous emails. You know, an email signed by “Team 7.” And, when you call about the idiotic email, nobody fesses up to being a part of Team 7. So, make it a point to include your business card at the top of the package; they might have a question – make it easy for them to contact you. They probably will keep that card if you really did a good job.

In a courtroom the attorney makes “closing remarks” – a final attempt to impress upon the jury the outcome the attorney is seeking. Do the same, follow through after completion of the assignment and give your client reasons to remember you, by helping them do their job.


May 16, 2016

Sarah Palin, Kim Kardashian & the 123notary review system?

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 9:51 pm

What do Sarah Palin, Kim Kardashian, Janet Jackson, and the 123notary review system all have in common? More than you might think. Our famous ongoing joke is that if your reviews are all from 2008, that won’t do you any good unless your name is Sarah Palin. But, the truth is that reviews do not gain the hearts or minds of the readers unless they were written within three years, and preferably a few more recent than that. In short, in regards to your 123notary review system, the key here is to keep asking yourself — what have you done for your review page lately?

If several years ago you were a gung-ho Notary and then you stopped trying, that will show up on your review page. You’ll have seven reviews from 2011, and none for 2016. People will know you’re a has been. If you were Kim Kardashian, you would understand the power of marketing and the power of building a name for yourself. You would be asking for reviews every day as you would understand that it, and having celebrity endorsements are the best way to attract business on

So, when you are thinking about Notary marketing, and you should be thinking about it daily if you want to get ahead — picture yourself being Kim Kardashian. Try to think what Kim would do if she were in your shoes (besides creating a name brand out of your shoes.) She would market herself like crazy, dress to kill at signings, and she’d probably have a list lf certifications a mile long. In short, she would floor them. Some Notaries say, “Sorry we don’t do windows.” You don’t need to do windows or walls — you need to floor them. So, get some good linoleum and start moving!


May 15, 2016

Signing Co’s hire you based on how good you are, NOT how good you claim to be

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:36 pm

Most Notaries think that if they hype themselves up as being Notary know it alls, that people will hire them. The more discriminating and experienced clients will not. A seasoned buyer will want to know if you follow directions, and if you know your basic Notary knowledge. Claiming you do doesn’t make it so — and the buyers know this. This is why I ask people questions over the phone about basic Notary no-no’s and procedures. Most Notaries do not know their stuff well enough to bear a stamp, and their states don’t get it. Rather than relying on self-promotion, bragging, and long stories telling people how many years you’ve been doing this, rely on proof. Third party credibility.

When I ask people Notary questions many say,

“Well, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I better know what I’m doing.”

Commentary: I test Notaries over the phone. Those who have been Notaries for 30 years mostly have been doing it wrong for 30 years. Number of years doesn’t correspond to level of knowledge. Those with a closed mind do not accumulate more knowledge every year. They just keep doing it the wrong way they always have been doing it and never crack a book or ask questions.

“Well, I’m a Real Estate Broker, so I’m VERY familiar with the docs.”

Commentary: Real Estate Brokers are NOT that familiar with the documents. When I ask them Notary and document questions, they normally fall on their face. To become familiar with the documents, I suggest actually reading them and studying their salient features. Signing Agent courses often will teach you what the critical information on each document is.

Telling the world how great you are is nowhere near as good as proving it. If you pass the 123notary certification test, that proves you are at a certain level of knowledge. It might not be a high level of knowledge, but it is above 80% of the other Notaries on our site. Notary2Pro also offers excellent educational resources. NNA is a good source of knowledge, but their testing standards are very different from ours, so don’t think that the NNA certification is the same certification that we have under a different name. It reflects a very different level of expertise and the course materials are very different as well. I will not say better or worse, but, very different.

One Notary complained that the NNA was testing them on real life situations and claimed that was not necessary. I disagree, I think the NNA is doing the right thing and I commend them. If you know your documents, but screw up in a real life situation and can’t get through a signing, you just lost a $500,000 loan.

123notary recommends that you get certified by any agency who you advertise with. With us, you only have to pass our test once per lifetime. Those who pass our test get credibility that is recognized us and those who use our site. Additionally, 123notary certified Notaries get more than double the business from our site that uncertified Notaries get. NNA certification will help you on, but not on 123notary. So, if you plan on sticking with us, just roll up your sleeves and start studying and take our online test!


May 14, 2016

Trusted Signing, Inc.

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — admin @ 5:26 am

Here is what the Notaries have to say about this company

“On 02/12/2016 we posted comments about Xome Signing. We also said that if they remitted we would let you know. Well, today they remitted! We received the balance of the agreed fee.
By-the-way, we used the letter that is available to us via 123–worked like a charm.
Will I work for them again, yes I think I would, if they offer?”

“Xome just shut me off from receiving business not because of problems with files but because I raised a potential security issue with them. Xome solicited me to sign up for direct deposit. I did so by Faxing them my personal account information as I did not want it to be sent across the internet via email. Sending unsecured information across the internet is the very reason we go to various internet sites to pick up documents – SECURITY of personal data!

Once they connect your direct deposit they send you an email (in my case 2) in which there is a link to a PDF attachment of the document I filled out, which includes my account information!

They did not seem to understand that this is an issue to me. I tried several times to explain why this was a problem but the lady on the other end kept insisting all the big companies have audited them and they are in compliance for security. While I appreciate the notice that the connection has been made, there is NO reason to INCLUDE THE ORIGINAL FAX I SENT SO AS TO AVOID THIS VERY ISSUE!”

“First, even though 123Notary’s own blog has aptly informed it that Trusted Signing is now XOME, the newest signing company lists this as “Trusted Signing” instead of XOME.

Second, when they switched to the XOME App, my app did not work on my iPhone initially since it was a iPhone 4S. Now that I upgraded phones and reinstalled it the app does work but it has no ringtone or chime I can associate with a new signing. But that did not even matter because one day while I was looking at my iPhone I saw an order came in and immediately replied. But I did not get the assignment. Obviously, there may be time delays die to cell phone transmission delays.

I used to do a brisk business with them. Since they switched to the XOME app, my business has declined to ZERO. I have easily lost over $1000 in signings since they did this. ”

Xome has been sending me offers regularly via their mobile app.
Having said that, there is a fee offered which you can readily accept (and get the signing, btw) or you can reject it by saying that the fee is too low, or you’re busy or whatever.

Their fees are low, IMHO, although they claim that they pay us 72% of the fee but they’re trying to keep their fees low to their customers.
I have accepted some, but rejected others for low fees. I never hear from them in that event, apparently someone is willing to work for less.

It’s clear to me that they do not value the service we provide, nor do they truly realize what it costs for us to maintain our services. I just repaired the water pump on my car to the tune of $672 so I feel the pain right now.
I will say this, they pay quickly, I did two signings for them in December and got paid already for both. ”

“I got a request from them last week for a signing today in a neighboring town for noon today. The day before the signing I didn’t have the documents, I also got another call on an assignment from National loan Closers. I said I was busy at noon so I said It would do it t 2:00 PM, the agreed. I thought it would be a good afternoon with two signings in the same town each paying $150.00. I got an e-mail from National Loan saying the documents were ready, still nothing from Trusted Signing on their appointment. As I printed the documents I noticed they had the same Title 365 number on it as the one from Trusted. I called trusted and they called me backing saying the mistake was the borrowers fault , they applied for two refinances. I know the borrower for some time, they said they only applied with one company, title 365, and couldn’t figure out why they got a call from Trusted, and National Loan wanting to move my signing time to 2:00PM.

I finished the assignment for National and still had no paperwork from Trusted, just lame excuses. From now on if Trusted Signing had a refinance at my next-door neighbors house and offered to pay three times my normal rate I still wouldn’t work for them. Trusted Signing, can not be trusted!”



May 13, 2016

Sam’s Notary BBQ

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 9:52 pm

A former Notary decided to open a barbecue joint. He was proud of the fact that BBQ is one of the few foods in the world that are indiginous to America. In fact, BBQ was invented by the Taina tribe of Puerto Rico and Haiti whose decendents are the modern day Puerto Ricans! To make it even more American, he had indiginous favorites like corn, pinto beans, green chili, and rabbit. Those were foods enjoyed by the Native Americans centuries before Christopher Columbus made his famous journey. But, this Notary saw how there were so many different BBQ styles that were regional. So, he created fake Notary seals for each type of BBQ specialty that he offered. He didn’t want to just do Texas style or Kansas City — he did them all.

He offered Florida style BBQ which I was unable to find on the internet. But, I read that it has fruit reduction sauces kind of like how Pollo Loco was doing it a decade ago. So, on the napkins, there was an imprint of a Florida Notary seal with an expiration date, and a county of Alachua of all places.

He offered Tennessee style backdated baby back ribs.
He had Kansas City (County of Leavenworth) style beneficiary brisket.
Next there were South Carolina satisfactory evidence style beer can chicken with mustard sauce
And Finally, there was Texas testamonium style beef ribs.
For an encore, he decided to add an uncommon BBQ item to the menu. Smoked Seal.
He had a few protesters outside his place for a while who were livid, until he offered them a sample of the seal meat. The liked it so much, they asked for a job!

And if a Notary backdated and got caught, Sam BBQed them… just kidding.

So, that is the story of Sam’s Notary BBQ Joint!


May 12, 2016

Put a dent in the NotaryVerse

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 3:03 am

Can you imagine if Steve Jobs designed the Notary industry? It would be a lot different. Putting aside our hi-tech notary gadgets, there would be a very different system with the secretary of state to bring us into the 23rd century.

The State Notary Divisions would have only interactive training materials. You wouldn’t need to leave your house. You could review the materials until testing time. The state would decide if you were fit to be a Notary and they could background check you at the click of a button — except it would all be automated.

The Steve Jobs type Notary seal would have a laserbeam or fancy equipment to put a watermark in the actual fibers of the document’s paper. You could buy the equipment anywhere just like you would buy an iPhone. However, it would only be activated by plugging it into your computer with a USB port and then logging into the Secretary of State’s website.

Additionally, you could scan your notary certificates so the state could inspect your work — that would also be automated. If you were making mistakes, omissions, or committing fraud with your certificates, the government would find out fast. And yes, your flat, business card shaped Notary seal would be able to do all of this.

Last, your Notary seal would be able to query Notary Oath wording suggestions for particular types of documents directly from your state — assuming they had a clue what Oath wording should be (which most states might not.)

It would be a new system where the Notary divisions and Notary seals were completely computerized, sophisticated, and interconnected. You wouldn’t need Apostilles anymore since the state would be able to verify authenticity requests automatedly and online.

There’s just one last thing. The Notary seal would have a dent in the side. After all, Steve Jobs is the type of guy who would put a dent in the NotaryVerse!

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