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August 15, 2018

Please let me do my job without all the bashing

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:03 am

For those Notaries who have nothing better to do than bash 123notary, I have a message. The fact that you have time to bash us means that you don’t have many customers because you are not a good Notary, or in my opinion, not a real Notary.

If you spent the time you spend bashing us and everyone else who you don’t like, and spent that time studying to be the perfect Notary, and loan signing agent, you would get more jobs, probably double your income, and then you wouldn’t be angry and go around defaming people. Your bashing might be slanderous, illegal, and I could sue you for defamation, and I have Attorneys who specialize in that by the way.

I have a right to run my site according to policies that I feel make sense. Asking people to:

1. Score 70% on a Notary test seems very reasonable as we are a Notary directory.
2. Login to their listing every 120 days seems reasonable since you need to update your notes and number of signings and let the world know you take your listing seriously.
3. Be reasonably polite and know how to communicate.

My requirements are actually very lax compared to what they should be. I keep them lax because I live in the real world and know that I cannot expect 100% competency, even from our certified members.

You should mind your own business and learn to do your own business correctly instead of being an online lynch mob. You have damaged your businesses by being jerks, and caused me grief by harrassing me in a prolonged way. There is only bad karma from this. Knock it off. I am beginning to consider taking legal action against slander since the problem is so out of control.

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August 14, 2018

Title Companies: 123notary Certification – what you need to know about it.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:54 am

What does 123notary Certification mean in 2018 and 2019? A letter to title companies.

123notary teaches, screens, and certifies Notaries on:
Notary Basics
Loan Documents
Unusual Scenarios (that can lead to damages)
Clear Communication
Following Directions

We go to this trouble to make your title company’s screening and hiring procedure for new additions to your roster more streamlined, and lessens the chance of serious legal complications in the long run due to improper notary work.

We know that many of you would like to hire better quality Notaries. Are our current certified members up to your standards for being a “good Notary,” and how much extra do you feel they merit per signing? Would it be too much trouble to call a handful, talk to them for a few minutes and size them up and see for yourself how much better you feel they are compared to an average signing agent?

Our 2002 through 2017 tested mainly on loan documents and a little bit on Notary procedure, but involved mostly online testing which was taken advantage of by Notaries who found ways to game the system. As of 2018, we cleaned up our certification, removing those who cannot demonstrate a certain level of still on oral & email quizzes to ensure reliability to your hiring parties. We reduced the quantity of certified members from about 1600 to about 160 and will continue to screen certified members every year or two for quality control purposes.

Our 14 point certification process generates Notaries who are generally polite, responsive, cooperative, and technically competent. I can go over our process in as much detail as you like, but first I would like to let you know that most notaries will not aggressively pursue education on their own. They will only study hard if those who hire them recommend, require, or offer preferential treatment to those that do.

If you have Notaries who you would like to send over who you use regularly who would benefit from a tune up — or those who are not good enough to put on your list due to a lack of basic knowledge, we are happy to tutor, train, or enroll them in one of our courses. This collaboration of our forces will benefit both of us and does not cost title companies a penny. Our work on 123notary is for the greater benefit of title companies. However, we charge the Notaries for advertising and education and never charge title companies for anything.

If you would like to see our sales literature, just visit our loan signing courses page on 123notary.com. If you like the reliability of our screening we would like it if you can endorse our certification. Additionally, a few dozen of our notaries have our elite certiifcation which is a much more refined version of our certification.

We would like referrals and endorsements from agencies and individuals who work at agencies that hire Notaries in exchange for us helping you to refine the quality of your signing agents.

THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

a. 123notary certification starts with reading our educational materials. We have loan signing courses that we sell. We also have free Notary basics materials in our blog at Notary Public 101 which we are in the process of adding to our sold materials for the convenience of the buyer. However, that material on the blog is open to the public, so our students can see it at any time.

b. We also offer Q&A by email and even tutoring to those who want it. Sometimes the technical aspects of Notary procedure can be complicated and a one on one session can be the best way to learn.

c. Testing is done online, but also as a follow up by phone. Testing by phone is more reliable as a measuring stick as we can ask open ended questions, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc. Additionally, we know that we have the correct entity taking the test and can adjust our questions to exactly what we want to ask. We can also more easily monitor how many times and when the person took the phone test than with online tests many people abuse the privilege and treat it more like a video game that they keep playing until they win.

KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED
The knowledge required to pass our test as of 2018 includes:

1. Notary Acts. We require Notaries to know when particular notary acts are used, how to explain these acts, and what the requirements of each basic act are including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proof of Execution. We do not teach other acts as they are uncommon and not necessary. We also require Notaries to know how to administer Oaths as they are required by law when executing a Jurat which is done on Affidavits as a matter of custom.

2. Notary Terminology. We require Notaries to know basic Notary terminology such as Venue, Affiant, Certificate, terms relating to Power of Attorney, etc.

3. Certificates. We go over how to fill in the additional and optional information in certificates which deters the fraudulent as well as accidental swapping of certificates to other documents.

4. Journals. We teach prudent journal entry procedure using the one entry per signer per document principle.

5. Power of Attorney. We teach Notaries to follow instructions to a tee on AIF signings and to call in if instructions are omitted or not clear as to how an Attorney in Fact should sign in their capacity.

6. Identification. We teach Notaries how to make sure the ID proves the name on the document. This may or may not be a legal requirement in their state, but it is a prudency requirement that helps reduce the chance of ending up in court.

7. FAQ’s. We teach the basics of FAQ’s at loan signings such as:
(a) When is my first payment due?
(b) Where can I read about my prepayment penalty (if there is one)?
(c) Why is my APR higher than my rate?
(d) Where does it say where my payoffs and fees are located?

8. We teach the basic loan documents. Our emphasis used to be mainly on documents while our current emphasis is on issues that can cause financial damages to companies involved in transactions which are normally Notary issues or issues pertaining to negligence in business matters.

9. RTC. We teach how to date the Right to Cancel in a Refinance for an owner-occupied property.

10. Errors on Certificates. We teach the various ways to deal with errors on certificates, but this gets into state specific areas and also in to areas pertaining to the preference of the Lender or Title company involved.

11. After-Service. After a Notary signs a loan, they still might be needed for several days to clean up errors or answer questions. Notaries are not normally aware of how long they need to be around, so we tell them what types of situations can arise after the fact and how being unresponsive by phone and email will not make them popular with Title companies.

12. Elder Signings. Issues involving the competency and state of mind of signers is critical with elder signings. Elder signings normally take place in the hospital, but it is possible that for loan signings, especially Reverse Mortgages, that elders could be there. If an elder is on morphine, they are not in a position to sign. And if they cannot paraphrase a document, it might be dangerous to notarize them for legal liability reasons.

13. Foreign language signers and foreign language documents. We address these points a bit. A Notary must have direct communication with the signer in all states but AZ where oral translators are, or were allowed. However, for safety, you should not rely on a translator, because if they make a mistake, you could end up in court and you would be ultimately responsible as the Notary Public involved in the particular transaction.

14. Omitted Information. Sometimes a Notary will go to a signing. The instructions might say, “This page must be notarized.” However, there might not be a notary certificate. In some cases there might not be a signature line. We teach how to handle these situations gracefully.

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DANGERS OF HIRING A SHODDY NOTARY

1. Oaths. If you hire a notary who does not administer Oaths, your loan could be questioned, or perhaps even overturned in court by a Judge once the judge finds out that an “incomplete notarization” has taken place. Omitting an Oath makes a Jurat notarization on a Signature Affidavit, Occupancy Affidavit, Identity Affidavit or other Affidavit incomplete and therefore a Judge could declare the document not notarized, and perhaps declare a loan as invalid as a consequence. This would cause serious legal and financial damages to many parties involved. 90% of Notaries we talk to do NOT know how to administer an Oath correctly and most do not administer Oaths at all… ever, because they think it is not “required” in their state. It is required nationally.

2. Dropping Packages on time. If you hire a Notary who holds on to packages when they don’t know what to do in a particular situation, or because they just are not in the habit of dropping documents quickly, you might not get your important documents back on time. This is dangerous and can cause delays in funding, missing the lock in an interest rate, or your loan getting cancelled. Often times several days later, the documents will be found in the trunk of the Notary’s car. Each incident of forgetting to drop a package can cost you hundreds or thousands.

3. Identification. If you hire a sloppy Notary who does not make sure the name on the ID proves the name on the document, it is possible for your loan to end up in court costing all parties thousands. The lack of thumbprints in a Notary journal also makes it hard to identify someone who used a fake ID.

4. Journals. If you hire a Notary who does not keep a journal, you might not experience trouble for years. The minute your notarizations are called into question by an Attorney, the lack of evidence (namely the notary journal) would come back to haunt you and cause a nightmare. Without evidence, you have no way to prove who notarized what, or if a fraudulent notary impostering a real notary did the work. You have no idea who did what or when or what type of identification was used, or even if the signers consented to being notarized.

Additionally, if your sloppy Notary uses the “cram it in” style of journal entries where one line in their journal accommodates all documents in a loan signing (legal in some states but not prudent) your borrower could claim that they never had all of the documents notarized, but only one, and therefore the loan is void and the transaction must be cancelled, etc. This happens once in a blue moon when a borrower wants to get out of a transaction, and legally it is hard to prove if they consented to be notarized on five documents in a transaction when there is only one signature in the journal for five documents. You could claim that the Notary was in cahoots with the lender and added four additional documents after the fact.

5. Confirming. Improper confirming of signing can lead to a lot of wasted time. If the name on the ID does not prove the name on the document, there is no point in going to the appointment. There are many other critical points to go over when confirming the signing. The majority of Notaries either do not confirm signings, or don’t do so thoroughly enough which can cause a lot of loss of time and perhaps delays in the loan process.

6. Following directions. Many Notaries do not follow directions well. This can cause a huge loss to companies that hire them assuming your directions are critical to the success of the the signing. We screen for following directions when certifying signing agents. None of them are perfect, but we weed out a lot by asking a few following directions questions.

7. Notarizing for non-English Speakers. If you notarize for non-English speakers, this can lead to liability if you cannot communicate effectively with them. Any misunderstanding could come back to you.

8. Dating the RTC. You would be surprised how many Notaries cannot date a Right to Cancel. That can cause financial damages to any company that hires them.

9. Elder Signings can be a source of liability. The elders don’t always understand what they are signing. A competent Notary makes sure the signer understands the document, especially if elderly or in the hospital.

10. Being responsive after the fact. Many Notaries disappear or play hookey after a signing. Notaries are needed to answer questions before, during and after the signing. If they are not, this could cause grief to the hiring party.

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August 13, 2018

Snapdocs has an adjustable radius — should 123notary do the same?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 11:33 am

123notary is in a huge competition with Snapdocs right now. We are looking at what they do, and what seems like a good idea versus what seems counterproductive. 123notary caters to Notaries on large budgets who pay for wide coverage. Snapdocs caters to people looking for Notaries who want a Notary with the right quality / proximity ratio or algorithm. Our priorities are not the same and hence our algorithms are not either. Snapdocs wins on convenience, but 123notary wins on knowledge.

On Snapdocs, a company searching can set a radius as wide or narrow as they like. And Notaries can only have one zip code on file.

On 123notary, Notaries who have money to spend can sign up all over the nation and a handful do. Our system of showing Notaries where they don’t live is controversial. It helps Notaries promote themselves, but might be annoying to those who want to find someone close. Hmmm.

Snapdocs has 60,000 Notaries, yet only a few hundred are people I would consider hiring. But, you can always find people really close if you want.

123notary has about 7000 online Notaries of whom I would try out at least one thousand. We tend to show Notaries who are a bit farther if we consider them to be better.

So, what is the bottom line — adjustable radius, smart customized radius, or keep it the way it is? Our radius is already customized based on what area you are in by the way, but we could customize it more intricately in the future if you like.

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August 12, 2018

Bouncey Bouncey PayPal

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:32 am

It has always been my policy to require payment in advance for a variety of situations. If the job requires me at 4AM, if the caller tried to be “vague”, even if the job is very distant and requires extensive travel. PAID – sounded nice, but it really is a construct when using PayPal that does not include absoluteness. The payer can “bounce” the payment. The PP system is designed to protect the buyer not the merchant. That is a good thing, but can have unexpected implications.

On the good side, I tried to buy a camera from an individual overseas. I made the payment but the item never arrived, nor was it shipped. PP stepped in and returned my funds rather quickly. The seller could not provide a tracking number, big mistake on seller side. PP wants proof of events, not opinions or statements.

On the not so good side (for me) this works against the provider of services; even when the service was delivered perfectly. Over the past decade I have had exactly three contested charges. They were all for the same reason. Simply put the client forgot my name and questioned the charge with their bank. That starts a lengthy process that initially gives my client a refund from my account. All they have to do is “ask” – when their bank asks PP they credit my client and debit me.

And, it’s a long procedure. Even when my client is “reminded” (from assignment email, airbill images, etc), and they tell their bank the charge was valid – it takes PP about 100 days to restore funds to me!

I’m in the car, “Unknown Title” calls with a challenging assignment, as described above. I tell them they need to pay my fee in advance. Historically about a third of them agree, though it’s not their usual business procedure. That’s the problem. When they review their credit card statement they totally forgot what the payment to me “kenneth-a-edelstein.com” was all about. This probably happened many times without a “bounce”. Most probably looked up the web site and recalled that I did indeed work for them and they were satisfied with the results. However, some others do not think to do that, they ask their bank “what’s this all about”.

My regular readers will be disappointed with this installment. Normally I first dwell on the problem then provide a solution. I have none. The good news that in many hundreds of PP payments this has only happened 3 times. Also good news is that I have avoided “duds” that are problem collections. I no longer have the last Monday of the month devoted to “dun the turds”.

PayPal remains an excellent tool to secure advance payment. But you must keep the email history, especially your scan of the return tracking number as factual evidence that PP accepts. I will continue my policy, for example of requiring 4AM callers with an “emergency” to prepay – during the initial call. It stops them from putting you in a position of obligation while they make additional phone calls trying to trim ten dollars from the mobile notary fee. Once a payment is made few “shop around”. Why during the initial 4AM call? I don’t want to be woken up twice for the same assignment. I tell them honestly my cell will be turned off if payment is not received in the next 10 minutes. They “mind” their “business” and I “mind my own business”.

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August 11, 2018

Names for Notaries to name their children

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 11:31 am

We think of Notary work as something that we just do. But, what if we encourage our children to become Notaries? It might help if they had a Notarial sounding name to do well in the industry. Here are my ideas.

Sealmore
Venuetta
Juratella
Stampella
Enenay
Affi-David — you can name his brother Affi-Goliath
Rescinda / Rescindo
Stamper
Affirma — sounds like a health product or hair care.
Embosston — sounds more like a city.
S. Crow
S.S. — comes next to the venue.
Oatha
HUD-son
Journal — keep it simple
Signarturo
Notario — just don’t use this name in Texas without a disclaimer.
Durresto
Witnessino
Ginnie Mae
Hague
Heloc
Lockworth
Manual(a)
Non-conformito
Paula Ursula Davenport — initials would be PUD.
Respa
Rider
Ferdinand Harry Armstrong — initials would be FHA.
A. Paul Steele

Feel free to leave your comments if you have any other ideas.

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August 10, 2018

Refinances are dead, Foreclosures slow & Reverse very slow

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:30 am

Every type of loan is slow or dead right now.

My suggestion is to learn to do what Carmen and I call “general Notary work.” That means just notarizing random documents for people. This requires knowledge of how to handle notary situations and I suggest specializing in hospitals, jails, and business documents as well.

So, now you know why your phone isn’t ringing. The higher interest rates are making it very inauspicious to borrow money. However, things always change. What goes up must come down. If interest rates go up, eventually they will come down and you will be showered with work if you maintain your skills and your profile. Good luck.

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August 9, 2018

I heard that a particular Illinois Notary got kicked off the Notary Rotary forum

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:02 am

I will not mention personal names, but will mention state names. This Notary has been bashing people for years. She signed up with us after not being listed for years. She got temporarily removed for not logging in for a long time and then reinstated. But, she got kicked off the Notary Rotary forum. I don’t think Harry has too many rules, and doesn’t kick people off on a whim either. He has a reputation of being very easy to deal with. I haven’t kicked anyone off my forum for a decade, so this sounds like big news to me.

Basically, the lynch mob of Notaries who hangs around on forums bashing everyone reminds me of the kids in the smoking section of school. They bash all the teachers, the principal, are rude all the time, and do nothing of value. How can states be so foolish to commission such derelicts into positions of integrity like being a Notary.

I really feel the states need to take being a Notary more seriously and commission people who are decent, serious, logical, and have proven that they will do a good job in this profession rather than causing trouble all the time. I feel that the state notary divisions are basically to blame for this horrifying behavior.

If I seem short tempered sometimes, it is because I am tired of dealing with Notaries who don’t know how to be Notaries, who cannot communicate clearly to save their lives and who are generally disrespectful. It wares Carmen and me down to deal with headaches every day.

You guys are supposed to be respectable professionals who know their trade and act with integrity. This is rarely the case. My suggestion is clean it up.

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August 8, 2018

New Signing Companies we found on NR

Filed under: New Signing Companies — admin @ 3:01 pm

Here are some new signing companies that we added to our list. We found this bunch on NR.

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APAT Settlement Services, Inc.
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=719&APAT+Settlement+Services%2C+Inc%2E

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American Senior
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1289&American+Senior

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Blue Ink Signings
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1281&Blue+Ink+Signings

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CLA Title & Escrow
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1286&CLA+Title+%26+Escrow

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Funding Solution
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1285&Funding+Solution

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Imperial Financial
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1290&Imperial+Financial

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My Financing USA
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1287&My+Financing+USA

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Notarized, Inc.
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1284&Notarized%2C+Inc%2E

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Professional Resource Group
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1282&Professional+Resource+Group

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Sale Signings, LLC
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1279&Sale+Signings

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Settlement Solvers
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1280&Settlement+Solvers

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Stratos Legal Records
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1291&Stratos+Legal+Records

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The Closer, LLC
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=973&The+Closer%2C+LLC

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The Closing Exchange
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1283&The+Closing+Exchange

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Running 123notary has become like being a school administrator.

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:59 am

I now see why the school administrators where I went to school were always cross and always in a bad mood. They had to deal with and endless supply of unruly students. They were the only ones who kept us straight. It is hard to be nice when you have difficult people to deal with every step of the way. But, think about it. If you were a customer of Notaries, would you want to deal with dysfunctional Notaries day after day? This is why they micromanage you, because that is the only safe way to deal with most Notaries.

Maybe I’ll raise my prices to get rid of the riff-raff. I have had it basically. I do not expect everyone to be perfect, but at least trying to be a good Notary. I’ll never get all good Notaries, but at least a majority would make me happy. Maybe I’ll one day be able to achieve my goal and maybe not. We’ll see.

In the mean time, I would appreciate it if you learn from our free course:

Notary Public 101 on our blog. No password required.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

I have worked over time to provide free educational materials for you Notaries. It is for you to benefit from and master, and not for you to casually skim, although skimming is better than doing nothing.

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You might also like:

Loan Signing at a High School Reunion
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9591

Jeremy’s Bucket List
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7035

Stamped: episode one: a reality show about notaries!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4107

123notary 2018 Certification Standards
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20120

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August 7, 2018

123notary’s tutorials raise test scores by 30%

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:05 am

123notary has embarked on a campaign to raise the general knowledge of Notaries. However, since most Notaries prefer to skim educational materials rather than learning the knowledge cold, it is hard to get good test scores from our Notaries. As a measure to deal with this problem, we began tutoring people back in November 2017. The result was that those Notaries tutored by Carmen or Jeremy improved their scores by 30 points normally from 40 to 70, or 50 to 80. My question is, why not 100%. This is your career and your job. Why not be a master of it?

If you have a high placement on 123notary you have the right to request tutoring from the staff at 123notary. If you have a free or regular listing, you can always pay a small fee for tutoring and that could really help your career and keep you safer. Notary knowledge is not just because it is an arbitrary requirement. Notary knowledge protects society from careless mistakes a Notary could make and from fraud.

Not knowing what you are doing as a Notary can lead to end up being investigated for mistakes, ending up in court, or accused of a crime by government agencies. There is no reason for this. By knowing your job inside out, you can reduce the danger to yourself, society and clients. It only takes half an hour with us and some more time reading and could save you from a nightmare. Good luck.

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You might also like:

123notary 2018 Certification Standards
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20120

Compilation of Certification Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16264

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