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May 23, 2015

INCOMPLETE: A look at signing company history

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:48 pm

Dig up some older lists of signing companies.

2011 most active
2011 best
2014 best
2015 out of biz
Low Ball
Fax backs

and more… articles


May 22, 2015

Notarizing on a pirate ship laddie!

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 8:14 am

PIRATE: Arrr laddie… arrr said the pirate. Where is that damn Notary? I sent a messenger to get him an hour ago.
ASSISTANT: Well maybe he’s busy. Or maybe he’s afraid of the water, or of pirates!
PIRATE: Well, if he wants any Spanish gold, he’ll bring his miserable self over here!

NOTARY: Sorry I’m late. It was rush hour.
PIRATE: This is 1672, there isn’t any rush hour, especially not in a small town on an island like this.
NOTARY: Well, actually, Fred’s cart overturned on a narrow road, and there was no alternate route… It’s complicated.
PIRATE: I see.
NOTARY: Which joke, how come the pirate’s alphabet only has 18 letters?
PIRATE: Because they didn’t go to school long enough to learn the other 10?
NOTARY: No, because they get stuck at Rrrrr.
PIRATE: Arr, laddie. That is funny — true though! Now I have a question for you!

NOTARY: Fire away — please don’t take that statement literally!
PIRATE: Not to worry, I does me fighting with a sword usually, or cannons. But, I carry a gun for backup.
NOTARY: Is it one of those guns that doesn’t shoot straight and hits the wrong person?
PIRATE: Actually not. In my business, hitting the wrong person means sure death, or losing a limb or two.

NOTARY: I see. I guess maybe you had a gun like that before based on… and then bought a better one?
PIRATE: No laddie. Enemy pirates jumped the deck and we fought them off gallantly, but me lost half me staff and a leg on that battle. The other leg was lost to scurvy. But, I know a guy in St. Thomas who’s very skilled with wooden legs. He was having a two for one special.

NOTARY: Got it. So, what are we notarizing today?
PIRATE: Well, first the question. How am I going to hold a pen with my hook?
NOTARY: Well, you could be like that famous artist and hold the pen in your mouth. Or you could use your left hand which is your only limb that is still intact.
PIRATE: Yes, but I’m right handed. Could we put some ink on me peg leg or on the end of the hook?
NOTARY: I’ll tape the pen to your hook, and you can sign that way.

PIRATE: Good, I hope I haven’t forgotten how to sign. It’s been a long time.
NOTARY: If you keep doing it regularly, you might get hooked — no pun intended.

PIRATE: Well, I’m impressed that you knew I was a pirated right away, you must have had me pegged — no pun intended.

(The pirate signs… It is a huge X)

NOTARY: Great signature, not very original. It is an X. Do you think you could spell out your name?
PIRATE: I never went to school. Me parents died when I was four and pirates took me in by the time I was ten. I got my education from them. They taught me how to run a ship, keep it clean, cooking, rum drinking, how to handle ladies of the night (learned that when I was a bit older — they waited until I was 11 for that just to be proper) and the art of navigation.

NOTARY: Well, I think from now on, pirates should be required to take a rudimentary reading and writing course. After all, what if you need to read a contract or get notarized?
PIRATE: Good point. I guess being a pirate has its drawbacks. Now, I’m going to pay you in gold pieces. Off you go. I have to run because the local authorities will be after me. There could be a cannon battle so leave now, or you might never have a chance to leave!


May 21, 2015

Scary Movie 37 for notaries

Filed under: Movie Themes — Tags: — admin @ 10:58 am

APRIL: Susan, let’s watch this Notary instructional video. It will show us how to get through the entire loan signing process. Then, we can take the “Notary For Show” certification exam.

SUSAN: I always wanted to do something for show. (puts tape in)

NOTARY: As you can see, we are gathered here today…. to teach….

APRIL: Oh my God, his face is melting.

NOTARY: You will die, but midnight unless you get a signed Affidavit…

SUSAN: Do you think he’s serious?

APRIL: I’ve seen movies like this where people really do die.

(The notary comes out from the screen and chases them around the house with his seal)


NOTARY: No, don’t run. Just sign this form. Then my boss says I can leave you alone.

SUSAN: You believe him?

APRIL: Well, it’s better than being neutralized by his magical seal. (April signs the document)

NOTARY: Now, all hell will break loose.

APRIL: You mean you deceived us?

NOTARY: No, You’ll live now, but you’ll have to deal with the spirits from hell you just unleashed by signing this. It’s all part of the bargain.

APRIL: No, it isn’t.

SUSAN: She didn’t agree to this.

APRIL: No, it’s not that. The Notary never affixed his seal to the document. No seal, no spirits!

NOTARY: Good point. Okay. I’m filling in the certificate wording and affixing my seal. I’ll need to check your ID please. Done. Now, the spirits may haunt you — forever!!!!

(Notary disappears back into the television — spirits start flying around the room)

SUSAN: What do you spirits want

SPIRITS: Oh, we thought this was an audition for a part in Scary Movie 36.

SUSAN: No dummie, this is Scary Movie 37. You are a few years late.

SPIRITS: Well, you know how it is in the spirit realm. We lose track of time.

(Knock knock)

SUSAN: That’s probably someone in a ski mask with a chain saw.

SALESPERSON: Hello, you probably are wondering why I am selling life insurance to someone so young like yourself.

APRIL: We’re not buying. We don’t need life insurance.

SALESPERSON: Well, perhaps you should, because you never know when you will… what’s a polite way to put this.

SUSAN: Pass on?

SALESPERSON: That’s right. There have been a lot of murders in the neighborhood recently. Don’t you want your family to be taken care of if something unfortunate happens?

CHAINSAW GUY: I’ll kill you!

SUSAN: I knew he would show up. Let’s run into the street.

APRIL: Thank God, that hearst will see us and save us.

(both jump into the Hearst)

DEAD PERSON: Which way are you headed

APRIL: Aren’t you afraid? He’s dead!

SUSAN: Better dead than the guy with the chainsaw. Take us to the county clerk. We need to check on some notary record archives. The notary who notarized something for us… Well, how can I put this politely.

DEAD PERSON: Did he pass on? And his journals were delived to the county clerk’s office?

SUSAN: Wow, you are the smartest dead person I have ever met.

DEAD PERSON: Now, keep your eyes open. Watch for the locust infestation.

SUSAN & ALICE: Ahhhhhhhhh! Help!!!!


May 20, 2015

Exodus: Getting notarized before crossing the Red Sea

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 10:57 am

MOSES: Now, Israelites. Have faith. We are about to cross the Red Sea.

ISRAELITE: But, I never took swimming lessons. Plus I have hydrophobia

MOSES: If you have true faith in God, you can overcome your fear. You have all seen my magic before. I can turn a stick into a snake, and do other magic tricks. So, why do you doubt that I can part this mighty sea.

ISRAELITE #2: We don’t doubt you. We’re just scared. Besides, Pharoahs Posse is not far behind, and they are bad news.

MOSES: Point well taken. Anyway, by the powers vested in me as Moses, your spiritual leader, I now proclaim that I will part the Red Sea. But, first I need to get this damn paper notarized. It is a lease agreement for one of Pharoah’s chariots. I just want to sign the opt-out clause so we’ll legally be done with it. Otherwise he’ll probably chase us all around the Sinai for years. The contract reads that I’ll make monthly payments for 40 years, and that I’ll make a payment every 40 days. What’s the deal with 40 days. Don’t normal contracts have monthly payments?

ISRAELITE #3: I think they were going to have monthly payments, but they couldn’t figure out which type of month to use. We use lunar months, they use Egyptian months. It gets complicated.

MOSES: Maybe contracts should be made using years instead of months. I think we all agree what a year is. At least what a solar year is.

NOTARY: Here buddy, sign here. And can I see some ID please?

MOSES: But, I am Moses, the leader of the Israelites. Do you not know me? I thought everyone in Egypt knew me.

NOTARY: Well, I’m not from Egypt proper. You see, I live in Suez County and the county clerk has specifically asked me to identify everyone.

MOSES: Um, Hmmm. I sort of had to leave in a hurry. I was being chased by this guy who had 300 chariots. I didn’t have time to go home and get my ID.

NOTARY: Got it. How about credible witnesses. The County of Suez allows credible witnesses.

MOSES: I think that Shoshana and Pinchas can identify me.

NOTARY: Is this guy Moses?

SHOSHANA & PINCHAS: Sure, we’ve known him for years. He looks a little different with his recent beard growth though.

NOTARY: Not an issue. Can you sign here? And please don’t turn my pen into a snake or anything like that. I’m on a tight schedule.

MOSES: Okay… Now, please stamp this. I have a sea to divide.


MOSES: Okay. Now, God, Blessed be he, King of the Universe. Give me the power to part this sea.

(there was thunder, there was lightening — the Red Sea parted. There were walls of water 30 feet high, and the Israelites passed through unharmed to the other side. Meanwhile Pharoah and the gang were a few miles behind. When they crossed through, the water came crashing through on them and they all died)

MOSES: Boy, that was a close one. Good thing we had God on our side

ISRAELITE #1: You’re telling me. Between that water and Pharoahs homies, I didn’t think we were going to make it.

MOSES: There is something you should learn from this whole ordeal: (1) When God is on your side, anything is possible. After all, he created the earth, the heavens, and all the creatures of our planet. And (2) If you hire a Notary in Suez County, make sure he has been recently checked out by the County Clerk otherwise you’ll end up with a bozo like the guy we ended up with.

ISRAELITE #1: Well, don’t look at me. I use a digital ID accessible from my i-phone 13. Just let me know if you want me to download anything. Remember — your wishes are my comandments.

MOSES: It doesn’t work that way, but that’s a really cool gadget. Do you have the Jericho app on it yet? How about games?

ISRAELITE #1: I was going to, but the reception is really weak, especially here next to this huge mountain.

MOSES: That’s Mount Sinai… No problem I’ll move it. If you have even an ounce of faith, you can move mountains.

ISRAELITE #1: No, wait… Can you hear me now, can you hear me now? My reception is back. You can leave the mountain where it is. And if you have any spiritual questions, I have God on speed-dial.

MOSES: Oh, what’s the rate for calling God from here?

ISRAELITE #1: Don’t worry about it, it’s a local call! Boy, right about now I could really use a Kosher hot dog. Any thoughts on that?


May 19, 2015

300 days with no login?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 12:42 pm

Notaries don’t understand why we expect them to login regularly. I just called a group that hadn’t logged in for 300 days. 20% of them were either out of business or had a disconnected phone. I am trying to run a quality directory, and that means that a low percentage of listings should be dysfunctional. But, after calling for a while I had a change of heart.

It is a lot of trouble to keep up with everybody. But, for the last few years, I have been paying more attention to people with free listings. I manage their listings for them, help them with their notes sections and confirm for them. They are generally not even trying. But, few people search at the bottom of the list unless they are desperate in which case they won’t mind if a few numbers are disconnected. What matters more are the people on the top of the list.

So, I started removing paying members who hadn’t logged in for 120, 150, or 180 days. We do give warnings by email via the newsletter that login is mandatory, but most people ignore us still. We send out automated phone calls to some of our notaries as well. But, some notaries ignore all contact we make with them leaving us with only one alternative. The sad truth is that after I remove people, I hear from very few of them. The free listings I might not hear from for a year or two. They are just not paying attention to their listing. The paid folks will contact me and inform me of how they paid. But, they violated the terms of our agreement per our policies page. They have to login from time to time as well, otherwise the integrity of my site would be ruined costing me my reputation with the browsers who are the end user.

On a brighter note, if you get removed from 123notary for not logging in, we will let you back online if you email us. We are just waiting for you to take the ball and take responsibility for your listing. On another brighter note, I remove very few paying listings. I generally only remove the ones that have low stats due to the fact that they don’t answer their phone much and are not certified by us, and don’t get many clicks, and don’t have many reviews — the worst of the worst. Serious listings that are taking their listing seriously and doing all the right things will not get removed.

It is fun to hear from people two years later telling me that they are having trouble logging in. I write back stating that it has been 800 days since their last login and they are expected to login every 120 days. But, that I will gladly put them back online and give them a free listing with low placement.


May 18, 2015

What is the difference between a top placed listing & being at the bottom of the list

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:40 pm

Most of our notaries understand that it is good, or very good to be at the top of the search results for 123notary. It has some practical benefit, plus a few magical attributes as well in the minds of notaries. There is more to it than that, but yes, being at the absolute top of 123notary does have some serious pluses.


(1) High paying Title companies often call the first notary on the list and offer them high paying work first. They second, third and others on the list will only get that call if the top notary declines the offer, doesn’t answer their phone, or has a listing that is what I call “stripped down” in terms of not having much useful content.

(2) Top placed listings get a lot more quantity of work in addition to the high quality high paying work.

(3) The Notary Gods give favor to top placed notaries, not to mention the fact that you might be remembered better by Jeremy and Carmen if that makes a difference. Personally, the Gods have more pull in my opinion.


(1) It is expensive being #1.

(2) It’s lonely on the top, and others might be jealous of you.

(3) If you are on top and do something wrong, the Gods might not take kindly to that.

What about being on the bottom
People at the bottom of the list always have mixed stories to tell. Most don’t get much business from us. The reason is that companies normally start searching from the top of the list. They don’t get to the bottom unless nobody is answering their phones, or unless they are low-balling and offering $40 per signing. However, if you are in a remote area, you might get business at the bottom of the list simply because the list is so short. Some notaries at the bottom of the list have impressive listings and get business just because people say wow when they see their listing. But, after you crunch the numbers, someone with a #1 spot on 123notary typically gets about 20-50x the jobs of someone at the bottom. This type of number crunching will not give you useful information because the situation is very different from area to area and from notary to notary — but, just to give you an idea. The difference is exponential.

So, if you are not #1, it is worth it if you are a serious notary. And if the #1 spot is not available, try being #4 or #5 until #1 becomes available. People evolve up the list here at 123notary. Nobody becomes #1 overnight. Not even Carmen — well, that’s a long story that took place over years. I’ll tell you some time when it is not past your bedtime!


May 16, 2015

New Signing Co’s

Filed under: New Signing Companies — admin @ 12:46 pm

May New Signing Companies

XP Notary
One notary claims they are nice to work for.

Global Title Services
One notary had to threaten a small claims action.

One notary was removed from their list for working for another competitor. Bizarre. I’ve never heard this before.

Global Equity Finance
One Notary just had a smooth signing with this company.

Superior Abstract & Title
One Notary just did a VA for this company. Read all about it.

Phynix Management Group
One Notary got paid within 30 days from this company.


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May 15, 2015

Dumb and Dumberer for Notaries

Filed under: Movie Themes — Tags: — admin @ 8:15 am

Harry and Lloyd set out to become notaries. Little did society (or the county clerk) know that they would be the dumbest notaries in human recorded history.

HARRY: I just got my new notary stamp.

LLOYD: Don’t forget to lick the stamp before you use it.

HARRY: Ha! I’m already ahead of you, my friend. (Sticking out tongue and revealing indented tongue from embosser.)

LLOYD: (sticking out his tongue) No, you’re not. I licked your notary stamp first!

HARRY: Ewwww. That means I licked where your tongue already was.

LLOYD: Ewwww.

HARRY: Hey, I’m going to my first notary assignment tomorrow. Wanna come for moral support and tips?

LLOYD: I guess. But, why do I have to tip you if you’re doing the job for someone else?

(at the assignment)

SAMANTHA: Thanks so much for coming. It’s so hard to find a Notary at the last minute.

HARRY: It’s the last minute?!!! Oh no, we’re all going to die!!!!

SAMANTHA: It’s a figure of speech. There will be other minutes.

LLOYD: Oooh. Pretty… and smart!

(Harry had Samantha sign the journal inside the book cover like an autograph. Then he attached a certificate to the documents. He wasn’t sure if Samantha was a guy or a chick, so he crossed on the he/she/they, used white out and wrote “it” in handwriting. What a dumb thing to do.)

HARRY: Done!

LLOYD: Aren’t you forgetting something?

HARRY: Oh yeah… (he licks his stamp after he affixed it. Luckily Samantha was too dumb to know the difference)

SAMANTHA: Thanks so much. I might need help next week with a lien.

HARRY & LLOYD: We’re good at that — watch this. (they both lean, bracing themselves against the wall.)

SAMANTHA: And a Quaker friend will need a notarization with an Oath.

HARRY: No problem. I’ll bring a box of them!

(The next day, a call came in from Dave who needed a notary for his Affidavit of Statute of Limitations for his Attorney) In looking up Harry’s profile, he noticed he’d written that he was a hard worker and had a professional misdemeanor.

DAVE: Hi, I’ll need a Notary. Can you meet me in the park for the notarization? It’s near my Attorney’s office.

HARRY: Your attorney lives in a park? Cool! I know this great fountain where we can meet.

(They both arrive. At the fountain where there is a statue)

DAVE: I’m so glad you could help. Here’s my document.

HARRY: Document? I already did the work, dude. See my seal over there? It’s on the statue of limitations. It was hard to find a clean spot next to all the bird droppings. Maybe that’s why it’s so limited. The person assigned to keep it clean is also limited if you ask me.

DAVE: What? You birdbrain!

HARRY: Thanks! Not that I’m smart enough to crap on a statue.

(The third day, he did a notarization for Luke)

HARRY: Okay Luke, you called for Quaker oats, and I brought you two boxes. Wanna warm some up?

LUKE: No Harry, I didn’t want Quaker Oats, I wanted Quaker Oaths.

HARRY: Oh, so that’s the part of the manual I read wrong. Let me get my hat. Okay, now swear.

LUKE: That’s not how it’s done. I’ve been to many notaries before.

HARRY: So, how do you do an Oath? This is my first commission, and probably my last if I don’t get suspended or held back a year.

LUKE: You start by asking a question, like, do you swear that you agree to the terms in this agreement?

HARRY: Do, I &%$-ing swear to agree to the &%#-ing terms in your &$#-ing agreement? I &%#-ing do swear!

LUKE: It’s not that kind of swearing, it’s the type of swearing like when you swear to tell the truth.

HARRY: Ohhhh. Well, I &%$-ing do swear to tell the &*$%-ing truth.

LUKE: I also need a Will notarized.

LLOYD: And a way?

LUKE: A way to notarize the will?

LLOYD: Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Here’s something I never got about legal documents. If there’s a will, why isn’t there also a won’t?

HARRY: Because they won’t want a Won’t — that’s why they call it “Won’t.”

LLOYD: Oh, that actually kind of makes sense.

HARRY: Okay, anything else?

LUKE: I heard that you could do e-signatures too?

HARRY: No, I don’t mess with that. I heard some Notary dude got electrocuted doing an e-signature. I saw a picture of him in the paper with his hair all frizzled. That’s a “don’t try this at home” type of notarization.

LUKE: Okay, thanks.

(The fourth day, they were asked to help sign a loan. The loan docs were late, so Harry took matters into his own hands.)

HARRY: What are the documents supposed to be in a loan?

LLOYD: Well, there is a Deed. So, we could do a Deed. Then there’s the Note. I have a note from my gym teacher saying I’m not fit to play volleyball. And if they don’t like that, I have this G# I lifted from music class. There is a Right to Cancel too. I could draw that up on my computer. Then, there is a HUB. I could bring the hub cap that’s been sitting on the corner for about a week. Here, help me. I want to put all of this in a box so we’ll be prepared.

HARRY: Lloyd — you’re the greatest friend a guy could have! And one of the smartest, and most prepared friends too!

LLOYD: If a smart guy like you thinks so, it must be true!


May 14, 2015

Are you a 25 hour notary? What does this mean?

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:56 am

Was it a typo? No! He really is a 25 hour Notary!

Sam advertized 25 hour service. He wanted to be one up on the competition in as many ways as possible. He dressed better, got to appointments more on time, and offered more hours than the competition. But, once someone asked him what 25 hour service really meant.

The time warp theory
Was it something that happens when you to into a time warp on a space ship? We have all read the blog post about a Notary who was abducted by aliens who he thought wanted to be notarized. After he notarized their form they said, “No, we didn’t want you to notarize anything. We just wanted you to LIKE us on Facebook.” In any case, they took him at light speed, and he got back an hour later, but had three days of beard growth. Hmm. That is one way to stretch time — and your razor.

The typo theory
Another theory is that Sam made a typo and that he doesn’t really offer 25 hour service. Or maybe he is exaggerating?

The 25 hour theory
Sam told everyone that he is available from 12am to 11:59pm, but once he had a job starting at 12am and then had no other jobs for the rest of the day until 11pm. But, the 11pm job took two hours, so he didn’t get home until 1am. It was like working a 25 hour day which is where he got the idea for 25 hour service.

The leap hour theory
Every four years we have leap year, but we only have leap hour once a year in the fall where we get an extra hour. Maybe Sam bases his availability on that one day in November.

In any case, it is a proven case that 24 hour notaries get a lot more business than notaries with “regular” hours. On the other hand, if you don’t answer your phone at wee hours of the night in a pleasant voice, you might get complaints. So, think twice before designating yourself as 24 hours. On the other hand, there are Notaries who are available 23 hours which is an ambiguous way of saying that they might be available late at night. Think thrice before claiming to be open 23 hours, and think about which 23 hours you are talking about. But, think 25 times before claiming to be a 25 hour notary.


May 13, 2015

Notary Ambulance

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 10:55 am

There was a Notary in New York who wanted to be important. He was always overlooked. The only think people wanted was a $2 notarization. How are you supposed to survive in New York on $2 even if you do a few dozen Notary acts per day? He did loan signings and got the usual fee, but wanted something more. He thought for days about this perplexing problem and then came up with something. If he could get to his appointments earlier, then he could do more work every day, and maybe even get respect.

So, the Notary drove around and thought. The more he drove the more he thought and the more he thought the more he drove until it came to him. An ambulance was behind him and in a huge hurry. He saw through his rear view mirror the words Ambulance. Hmmm. The Notary had an idea. He would write the word NOTARY on a sign on his roof in mirror image writing so when someone saw it in their rear view mirror, they would know to get out of his way. There was only one thing he was lacking — a siren. This Notary didn’t want to get locked up. If you use a siren, that might be considered impersonating an emergency vehicle which might mean jail time. So, this Notary practiced doing verbal sirens.

Finally the day came when his Notary sign was complete, and he had perfected his siren impression which he learned to do by attending a comedy workshop. Yes, the same comedy workshop that sponsered the hit series, Notary Suicide Hotline. He was ready to go out into the world. So, he drove down the streets of New York, he did his siren. Everybody ignored him. The only people who paid attention were ones who laughed and made wise cracks about his funny looking sign and funny looking old car. Oh well. This Notary tried, and failed. But, at least he used his creativity!

But, then one day, he was driving along, and someone saw his sign in his rear view mirror. That person pulled up next to him and said, “Hey, I need a Notary… what do you charge?” He said he had a $50 minimum for traveling gigs. Well, this customer wanted to only pay $2 per signature, but had 1000 signatures, and would pay $100 each fifty signatures, and would pay in cash in advance. The Notayr had struck it rich. The Notary went to the job, got paid cash, and laughed his way to the bank.

So, the moral of the story is, if you try different creative approaches to solving business problems, you never know what will happen!

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