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August 5, 2020

Have you ever been asked to give legal advice during a signing?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 8:11 am

At signings, you might be asked all types of things. You might be asked to explain documents, notary procedures, or even mortgage information. As a Notary Public you are authorized to explain notary procedure only. Anything else must be referred to a Lender or Attorney depending on the question.

But, how often do you guys get asked legal questions? It could happen? The borrowers might not know who to ask or even realize that their question is legal in nature.

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August 3, 2020

Have you ever gotten into trouble asking the signer a question?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:10 am

You know how touchy people are these days. You ask the wrong question and then someone brings in the artillery. We might as well not have freedom of speech anymore. What good are amendments if you can’t use them?

In any case, there are many things you might ask a signer. But, some of those things might get you hot water. If you ask about family relations, medical conditions, or pets in the house, you might not get a response that is as friendly as you might like.

So, let us know how you got in trouble saying the wrong thing.

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August 1, 2020

The Judge, The Jury & Waiting Room

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:28 am

I am always upset when I have to do jury duty. I like being on a jury, but all the waiting time, delays, and inefficiencies drive me up the wall. Most of all, I don’t like being held captive for an indefinite period of time. I have things to do and I lack patience.

I think that for a jury to give someone “justice” they should not only be impartial, but intellectually capable of understanding a complicated case with conflicting information. Additionally, they should have the discipline to go through all aspects of the case during deliberation point by point in a meticulous way. When I was on a case, the other people did not want to discuss the case during deliberation. They all made up their mind within one second just like that. I was a bit offended, but what could I do. I wanted to discuss the benefit of the doubt, but they wanted to vote guilty as they had no doubts.

For a jury to be a good one, people should be tested to see if they are really impartial and can make fair decisions. Most people cannot. Most people don’t have the patience to sit in court for days and sort complicated issues out. But, what if juries were trained and selected so that only people who were fair and disciplined could be on a jury. And what if those people were paid as well? This is not the same as being a professional juror, but a screened juror. Just my idea.

THE STORY
A judge had to be in court by 11am for his case. He went to the gas station. It was closed, and there was a sign on the front saying, “closed for jury duty.” A guy cleaning up in the back called the clerk for the judge. The clerk was in the court building but in the waiting room doing nothing. The judge was out of gas and needed help. He needed to be towed to the next closest gas station, but the tow truck only took cash. So, the judge went to the bank, but the bank had a line 80 people long because most of the tellers were on jury duty. The manager at the bank called the tellers on the judge’s behalf only to find that they were also in the waiting room and not on a case. Finally the judge called the tow truck company and told them he could not get cash in time. They said it did not matter anyway because they were short staffed as their main driver was doing jury duty, but once again not on a case as he was in the waiting room.

Having juries is an important part of American due process and justice. However, society suffers when services are not rendered because people are on a jury. Perhaps that is a price that society has to pay for justice. But, society also pays a price when the court system virtually hijacks people and makes them sit all day in waiting rooms — however, there is no benefit to society to force people to sit idle for hours on end. Maybe one day the court system will figure this out.

In any case, the judge had to walk to court in the rain. It took him two hours. But the time he got there it was 12:30pm. By the time he got there the jurors were all at lunch. So, he had to wait until 1:15pm to get started. Finally, 1:15 arrived, a bunch of jurors came up to see if they could be selected. However, the case involved a police officer who had been involved in some type of misconduct. The prospective jurors were interviewed briefly by an Attorney who dismissed all of them as they all had some type of bias against police officers. The moral of the story is that the jurors had their time virtually stolen from them not for jury duty but for court inefficiencies which was bad not only for them, but for their clients.

The tow truck juror gave the judge a lift to his car, and then came back with a tow truck, and then towed him to another gas station. The judge got gas, thanked everybody and then went home only to find a summons. The judge had been selected for jury duty. He would have to give up all of his cases indefinitely because he too had jury duty and would be on the hook indefinitely as they don’t accept hardship as an excuse anymore.

I hope you enjoyed my cute story. The moral of the story is to screen people over the phone or using an app rather than having people sit doing nothing all day long for no reason. I’m sure the millennials will agree with me on this issue.

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July 29, 2020

Review your own phone etiquette & get more market share!

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 10:27 pm

Most Notaries have a very inflated self-image. But, when I talk to them, from my point of view it is like pulling teeth to get basic information out of them without a whole lot of digressing, rambling, and extra information crammed down my throat that I didn’t ask for.

Did I mention the endless cover ups for low experience? If someone has a low count of how many loans they did, they insert in a desperate, frantic and worried tone of voice, “But, I tagged along and shadowed someone very experience and saw many more signings — oh, and that person was very good and very very experienced.”

That’s nice, but someone viewing your listing is considering hiring you and not that person you shadowed, so leave him/her out of it!

You guys really need to listen to yourselves and hear how unprofessional most of you sound. Anyone who calls you wants the facts THEY WANT to hear and not the facts you want them to hear. Unless they ask you to sell yourself in a free-style way, just answer their questions in a confident and honest way with NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. It makes the conversation much nicer, less exasperating, and you come across seeming a lot more professional.

You can claim to be “very professional” until the cows come home, but if the way you come across is desperate, disorganized, scatter-brained, and inept, the caller will have a bad impression of you. Even the more experienced Notaries with 10,000 loans signed are not usually good over the phone. Around 1% of Notaries are good over the phone. You would probably increase your market share by more than you think by just mastering Zen and the art of having a good phone conversation with a prospective client.

It is not that hard to have good phone etiquette, but it will only happen when you stop telling yourself how great you are and start paying attention to how you behave and communicate, take notes, and make improvements.

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July 27, 2020

Does the signer sign the notary certificate?

Filed under: Notary Mistakes — admin @ 10:21 pm

Many of you will notice that on a Notary certificate such as an acknowledgment certificate or jurat certificate there is no place for the signer to sign. The certificate forms are for the notary to fill out — for the notary ONLY. The notary indicates the venue, date, who the signer(s) are, and entering the name of the notary. The notary signs and seals (stamps) but the signer should not inscribe any information on that form.

BTW, this is a beginner question. If you are advanced and don’t know this — good God!

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July 25, 2020

Daily habits vs. Reviews. They are more similar than you think.

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 9:32 am

If you want to have a healthy listing, you need reviews. You should ask for reviews every day, or at least whenever someone tells you how much they like your work. But, many notaries claim they don’t have time.

You have time to brush your teeth daily right? And if you don’t brush them — you lose them. (gulp.)
You have time to wear your seat belt, right? And if you don’t you might die.
You have time to eat daily, right? And if you forget, you will die after a few days.
But, many of you don’t ask for reviews daily.

People who don’t have reviews get less than half the business that those who have reviews get. It is also important to write a thorough notes section (ask for help if you need any).

People also come up with lame excuses why not to ask for reviews. Some will not ask for reviews because they don’t get enough business. But, if they had reviews they might get enough business. Others say they don’t need reviews because they have too much business. But, if things slow down, you will once again need the reviews.

It’s kind of like not brushing your teeth because you don’t have any cavities — now… Brushing your teeth is for the long run and not for right now. So is asking for reviews.

It’s kind of like not wearing your seat belt because you haven’t had any accidents recently.

It’s kind of like not eating for a month because you are too fat anyway.

So, ask for a review today (and then floss.)

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July 23, 2020

What do you do during your downtime? Study certification?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:26 pm

Most Notaries complain that they don’t get enough work. But, when you ask them to study, they never have time. I get this because I want to study Chinese but never have time, at least not in the last six months.

Studying needs to be a priority. You need to think about it regularly. It is studying that can get you ahead assuming you do a good job, and we are here to help you master our materials.

You need to have a system. When you have down time, what do you do during that down time? You can do billing, call companies that used you in the past. Call companies you want to use you in the future. You can go shopping for toner, and study.

Studying is easier if you make it a habit. You will not make it a habit unless you realize that it is a priority. Doing a good job of studying is hard especially if you have bad study habits. Even people with college degrees are lazy about studying. When I went to college it was hard, and they didn’t help me hardly at all. I had to fend for myself. What a waste of tuition and food money when they didn’t help. I told my dad that college was a waste of money, but that piano lessons helped my self-discipline in amazing ways.

We have free courses on our blog and we sell courses on certification too. There are courses that our competitors sell which are often good too. But, if you study the minimum and in a lackidaisical way, that is not going to cut it. So, make it a habit to read blogs, and study during your down time and study with the intent of mastering the contents. You can even review with us if you like.

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July 21, 2020

How many loans can you sign in one day?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:25 pm

Things are not busy like they were in 2004. But, it is fun to think about the old days. I think I once signed 11 in a day and that was a record. I started in the late morning and got home at 3am. I had to reschedule a lot of signings and had a few readers who messed my timeline for those down the line that evening. I don’t think I had time to eat either that day.

But, how many signings can you actually do in a day? How many have you actually done? Do any of you have a world record you would like to share? Leave your comments, we would all like to hear.

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July 19, 2020

Judge Duty vs. Jury Duty

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:27 am

Once upon a time there was a mean judge who never gave jurors a break. Many of the jurors on his cases had hardships meaning that nobody could replace them at work or that they didn’t get paid for even one day of jury duty. He caused so much suffering to so many people and didn’t even care. But, one day his luck changed.

The judge woke up in the morning, went to the kitchen to find a little box of chocolates on the kitchen table with a note. The note said that some people needed his help in Mexico to decide on a disagreement between cartels. He would receive instructions later. Someone had picked the lock and quietly entered, turning off his high-end alarm system somehow and getting out without making a sound. Obviously the work of seasoned professionals.

The next day when the judge went to work he noticed some shady looking people walking slowly through the neighborhood. He called the police, but the police informed him that they were not in fact committing a crime, so they could do nothing. That night he got a phone calls from a man with a Mexican accent telling him that he should get up early tomorrow and await further instructions.

By this point the judge was terrified and called the police again. But, the police said that no crime had been committed and that there was no evidence of a break in and no fingerprints either.

The next day, the judge woke up to find his car was missing, but there was a brand new Cadillac SUV in his driveway with keys on his kitchen table. There were instructions to drive to a particular municipal airport and not to call the police, otherwise there would be trouble. Fearing for the safety of the wife and kids he did what the instructions said and drove to the airport. From there he was escorted onto a small plane that flew into Zacatecas province in Mexico.

He was to do a quick trial between the Zacatecas cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. They ad a disagreement over money that would lead to a huge shoot out if not resolved quickly. The cartel guys who hired him informed the judge that although this is inconvenient for him, it will greatly benefit society if he provides his service. The judge agreed although he didn’t want to be there.

The judge was given free hotel accommodations courtesy of his contact person Juan who was very polite to the judge. Meals were provided by Juan’s sister Carmelita who made the best tamales in Zacatecas. But, tamales were not for free. They charged the Judge 32 cents per Tamale. Juan explained that at court snack bars, the jurors are not there by choice, but at least they get snacks for a reasonable price so he would extend the same courtesy to the judge.

The next day, the judge was informed that the expert witness would be delayed and the that court case would be delayed for two weeks. No phone calls were allowed during this time. Finally, the witness showed up, and there was another delay because the Sinaloa cartel couldn’t show up. So, a few more days waiting time. After 17 days, finally they were ready for a trial. The judge listened to both sides of this crazy argument and worked out an agreement.

After that the judge asked why they wanted him of all people. They explained that they didn’t like Mexican judges because they were all corrupt and that they wanted a nice gringo judge. It took the judge five hours to work out their problems. Then they flew the judge back to Los Angeles, gave him his car back and left him alone.

The next day, there was a thank you present once again on the kitchen table with cash paying the judge $15 per day for his service — exactly what California jurors are paid for their service. He also got paid 34 cents per mile radius from his hotel to the court room plus mileage fees for the flight to Mexico which was paid for by Juan. $468.26 cents was what the judge got for his service.

Meanwhile the judge lost his job due to being absent. The judge’s wife left him because she was terrified and his own kids were not allowed to talk to him. All for $468.26. On the other hand, he probably single-handedly prevented dozens of people from being gunned down which makes it worth while in some way, shape or form.

The moral of the story is that jury duty can be very beneficial for society and justice, but it also causes severe problem to people’s lives, their bosses, customers and family. The courts think they can pay pennies for disrupting our lives, but they don’t seem to understand how much harm they exact on us for some benefit to society.

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July 17, 2020

Notes – what have you done lately?

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 10:24 pm

Sorry for sounding like Janet Jackson, but your notes section really needs to reflect what you have done lately. Sure it’s good to talk about your MBA and your twenty years of business related experience. Many people use the strategy of keeping people in the dark who are reading their notes and flooring them with vague information that gives them no insight into what they actually did such as, “I am a former business owner and ran three business over the last twenty years.” Guaranteed not to get you clicks, but at least you wrote something.

But, what types of signings have you done lately? Any noteworthy experiences? Did you teach their parrot how to administer an Oath? Did you teach their cat how to paw print? Perhaps you took a new notary course that you want to talk about. Maybe you changed your hours. Your total number of loans signed usually doesn’t go down, although I’ve seen the recorded amount go down many times.

Figure out what is new that stands out in your career and figure out how to add it to your tired and old sounding notes section. Most people need to freshen up their notes and add more content. Very few people could be criticized for having too much content. But, if you have the equivalent of three or more full pages (if it were 8.5 x 11) of notes, that might be too much. You are writing a notes section and not a biography.

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