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October 25, 2014

October Signing Companies w/Gossip

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: , , — admin @ 8:10 am

Here are some signing companies that have had some interesting commentary recently.

Nations Direct
The notary accepted a job at a negotiated fee. She confirmed with the borrowers. Then, the job got cancelled. Another notary had been hired for the same date and time.

Mortgage Connect
One notary got a job with documents that were 150 pages per set with 70-100 pages of fax backs for $75. The notary asked for $125 and they claimed the notary was pricing themselves out of the market. It looks like both parties here are pricing themselves out of the market on one end or the other!

Convenient Closers
The notary claims this company claimed to have paid him/her twice. I wish I could get paid twice! Additionally the paperwork in the package claimed that the notary represented the company which the notary didn’t care for too much!

Professional Settlements Service
The notary printed out the documents, but the rate, number of payments and other critical numbers were not showing up on the documents. The notary was blamed for having out of date PDF software!

National Loan Closers
The automated “select your fee” system wouldn’t let Shannon input an asking price of more than $85 for the signing. Now, he wants to be removed from their mailing list. What is the world coming to. If you want serious notaries, offer up to $95 for close jobs.

The notary did over 200 closings for this company, but got a letter stating, “At this time, we do not have a need for your services…” A handful of other notaries suffered the same fate.


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October 24, 2014

A hillarious signing with a sailor.

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: — admin @ 7:35 am

I have a hilarious notary signing. I had a sailor call me for a loan signing at 8am since he usually worked nights and 8am was about the time he usually got home. So when I arrived at the house, I noticed a lot of beer bottles in the front lawn – obviously remnants of a party from the night before. I rang the door bell several times and a young man in his early 20′s answered the door. He had forgotten I was coming! So i entered the house and there were several people asleep or passed out in the living room so we settled at a table in the kitchen. We started the signing and a half naked girl in her underwear and a t shirt came in to grab a glass of orange juice. She saw me there, thought I was his wife, and said, ” I thought you said you were single! You lied to me!” She was hung over and definitely not quite awake yet, but she grabbed her stuff and ran out the door. She was so upset. The sailor just kind of shrugged his shoulders and we went on with the refinance.


October 23, 2014

I interrupt this blog

Filed under: General Stories,Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 8:13 pm

The vast majority of my blog entries are notary related. Occasionally I write something on the silly or humorous side. This one is a bit different, it’s personal. I’m going to share a magical moment that I experienced, nothing whatsoever to do with notarizations.

The wife and I were on vacation in Colorado. We were camping at Cheyenne Mountain State park, an awesomely beautiful place. First I will discuss the campsite, then share an experience that I will never forget. We had no reservation and were fortunate to find exactly one spot available. It had a steep entrance ramp, and was not “reserveable”, but our little camper had no problem with that. The view was extraordinary, over 180 degrees and went to the horizon. I live in Manhattan, we see very little of the sky; I gained a new appreciation of how big it really is.

One sunny afternoon as I was walking to the water fountain in one corner of the campsite, I stopped in my tracks; I was about 3 feet from a full grown Mule Deer! It looked at me with its large brown eyes. The park ranger had instructed us to look away and scan the horizon with our head moving, not our eyes. This conveyed to the deer that I was not interested, but rather was doing the same as the deer; namely, scanning for predators. Every once in a while our eyes would meet for an instant, then each of us would continue to scan. Pardon the pun, but, my “deer friend” would pause now and then to munch some of the clover.

This encounter lasted for over ten minutes. I did not move my feet, only scanned the horizon by turning my head; but could clearly watch the deer from the corner of my eyes. There was the noise of a car door slamming at an adjoining campsite. The deer, which had ears at least six inches long; raised its head and did a scan for sounds; prior scans were visual. It was most amazing.

The ears rotated in what appeared to be discrete 45 degree turns; four turns to scan 180 degrees. After which it turned its head and repeated the four ear rotations, thus scanning a full 360 degrees trying to find the sound. The precision of the ear turns was remarkable; they did not turn slowly, but rather “snapped” rapidly into position, paused about half a second then moved to the next position. Other sounds caused the deer to repeat the performance.

It walked closer to me while inspecting me. Now it was about two feet away! The deer was within an arms length of me. Again looking with those big brown eyes, curious about me, not at all frightened as it appeared to the deer that I too was concerned about predators with my head rotations. After a while the bed of clover was consumed and the deer slowly walked a bit away from me to more clover, now we were about ten feet apart. How I wished I had my camera with me! Now I stared at the deer whose eyes lingered to meet mine. What was the deer thinking? I doubt that I will ever know. Eventually the deer slowly wandered into the brush, but paused and gave me a final look.

A remarkable animal, somewhat used to humans in the state park, but still curious. Later talking to the ranger I learned that this particular Mule Deer frequented the site that our camper occupied. We saw the deer frequently, but never again as close. If you ever find yourself in a similar position, use the advice the ranger gave me. “Look away, the deer stay”.

Commentary from Jeremy
Ken’s commentary could be cross-applied by those working at signing companies. When you hire notaries, pretend that you too are concerned about eaten by hungry predators (in the form of not getting paid.) Pretend that you are even more disturbed by the high quantity of fax backs than the notaries are and say something like, “Oh, why do they require so many fax backs — it’s embarrassing. I’m really sorry about this. Those predators are after all of us it seems.” Additionally, tell the other notaries where the good grazing grounds are — in other words where they can find other places to make good income without getting eaten.


October 22, 2014

Doing a good deed by cutting my rate for a coma patient

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: — admin @ 7:36 am

I had a hospital signing where the daughter called me. Her father was in a semi-coma and asked for me to come down to notarize some papers. When I got there, I waited but he didn’t wake up so I left. I came back a second time, and the same thing happened. When I went for a third try, he had already passed. It was really sad. I didn’t charge them a thing. I usually cut my rate if the clients are in the hospital or are elderly but I felt so bad for them. I wanted to show them some kindness and felt like I was doing them a good deed.


October 21, 2014

YOU Are a Felon: keeping copies of documents

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 8:15 pm

YOU ARE a Felon
Work in a bank, the jewelry industry, or a high end shop? If so, you probably have become desensitized to the monetary values around you. They are just “stuff” that must be handled with an eye to accountability. You know it’s not your property, and you really don’t want what you cannot afford; you are not a crook. Thus, you have no plans for improper behavior. You do not plan to DO anything wrong.

But how about a situation where NOT doing something puts you on the wrong side of the law. And, that law might be criminal (window bars hotel) or civil (you pay money). Feel that you are totally innocent? I’m about to prove you wrong.

We receive, via email, many confidential documents, loan packages, contracts, etc. that we are entrusted to process. At the conclusion of our function we have no need for, nor are we supposed to retain a copy of the documents. Some choose to retain a scan of what was submitted, mostly for a defense against claims that we made an error. In the discussion that follows it makes no difference if you kept a copy or routinely deleted the package. How so? Read on.

The personal devices, be it PC, Smartphone, tablet or similar are perhaps the worst managed things we rely upon. Few of us have current (very important) versions of anti-virus and other protective software. Virtually nobody actively maintains the device’s operating system with the updates provided by the manufacturer. With greater skills than ever the “bad people” are attacking these devices for the wealth of personal information. Can you imagine their delight at finding a bunch of loan packages and other private documents sitting on your device?

Recall earlier I said saved or deleted did not matter. You don’t have to be a computer geek to know that it’s possible, and very easy to recover deleted files. A bunch of nice PDF files with terms such as “closing docs” or “corporate agreement” and such are sure to bring a smile to any identity thief. OH, they are password protected, do a search for “PDF password cracker”.

Earlier I called you a Felon. Here’s the crime: you did not properly secure or destroy the information that was entrusted to your care. You have a login password? If your drive is stolen or remotely copied, the image can be mounted on a different computer and your device browsed.

Really secure files are encrypted. Encryption can be “cracked”, but the computer power necessary to defeat good encryption makes that totally impractical unless you are a government agency. Back to those “deleted” and easily recovered files. You could have “security erased” them with a small utility. A good security erase will overwrite the entire file, several times, with ones and zeros. Near total obliteration. Again, it might be possible for big bucks to access the underlying image; but again for all practical purposes there is no recovery.

Who’s gonna know? Well crime fighters are not dumb. The pattern of the same Notary Public appearing in multiple document related frauds might not be too hard to spot. Do you want to tell the court that you thought you deleted the file? How about, “I did not expect my device to be hacked or ripped off”. Better to fortify your device, and really encrypt or destroy work docs.

Sometimes NOT doing the right thing is just as bad as DOING the wrong thing.


October 20, 2014

An extra $20 in ten extra minutes of notary work

I recently had someone ask me to notarize a couple of other items for $10- a signature “because I was there” while I was there to do a notarization for another document. So odd, but I agreed and got it done. I made an extra $20- on two extra signatures in only another ten minutes. I wish that would happen every time. I’d be loaded!


October 18, 2014

Out of Business? Signing companies Removed from 123notary. The “A” list.

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 7:43 am

These signing companies were removed from our list of signing companies because they have not been commented on for at least four years. We believe that they either are out of business or changed their name.

1 Notary Signing Service
No forum posts

1 Priority Signing Service

1 touch closings

Realserv corp

44 settlement
No posts

5 star

A lady will assist

A-1 document services
no forum

A2Z Notary

AA Notary

Access Signings
No forum

Advanced Closing Services

Advantage Closers

Agape Signing Service

Akeen Signing Service


Always Signing
No forum

American Document Service


AmTrust eSignings

Anderson Notary Services
No forum

Angels on the run

Articulate Notary

Atlantic Closings and Signing Services

ATM corporation (part of service link now?)


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October 17, 2014

The Last Resort: a Notary Spa

The Last Resort a Notary Spa
Welcome to The Last Resort, where all your notary fantasies come true. Finally, there is a place for notaries to live the life they have only fantasized. Not only will all your wishes come true, but we also have some delightful surprises in store for you. Here you are among friends, not competitors. The Last Resort is run by and for notaries; with every convenience you can imagine and some that you dared not even wish for. Read on, here you will find true notary heaven.

The Last Resort is located in AnyState, a special place designated by federal law to be in your jurisdiction. For the Venue just enter AnyState as both the State and County. Did you notice the activity board when you checked in? On it we list the dozens of signings available. We have a standard fee of $250 per signing and the docs are available at the concierge desk. Dates are flexible, process when the mood strikes you. But, prior to doing any work, please stop at the gym for reinking your stamp and complementary cleaning and polishing of your embosser.
When you wish to meet with the borrowers they will be waiting in the Marquis de Sade signing arena. In this lavishly equipped torture chamber your borrower will be “rack mounted” ready for you to “stretch them” a bit, until they are willing to sign. Most sign quickly, for others the “feet to the fire” always works. While they ponder, marshmallows are available to use with the fire.

Collecting your fee is never an issue. Signing Service owners are offered the choice of writing a check “on the spot” or partaking in the guillotine. Very few choose to lose their heads! Title and Escrow use the “dunking stool” and remain under water till the checks are signed. But all is not work at the Last Resort, once you have a few thousand in your pocket it’s time for relaxation.

You are invited to partake in the Unique Notary contest. Here we award prizes to the largest and smallest notary stamp, similar for embossers. Perhaps you have the most illegible hand writing. That will earn you a free visit to our popular commission renewal bathroom, fully automated; just do your “business” and leave renewed! The highlight of this evening’s notary dance will be a repeat of a favorite: Pin the Tail on the Lowballer. After complaints of the pins falling out, we have six inch long straightened fishhooks; that should “stick it to them” properly!

There is never a problem with affiants not have proper ID at the Last Resort. Our custom ID generation machine instantly photographs and generates “Govt. Issued Photo ID” in seconds. All affiants are legally citizens (while on AnyState grounds) so the IDs are “Kosher” for notarization. Of course hundreds of notaries are available as witnesses (for a slight fee) – just take care to be sure they don’t use their stamp and embosser when they sign the witness section.

And the rooms! Yours will be a lavish suite with either a black or blue motif, depending on the ink color signature requirements of your home state. The mini bar is fully stocked with loose acknowledgments, affidavit of single status, and various POA forms. AnyState local laws take priority over your home state and you are required to select the proper form for the affiant, no waiting for them to choose from what they know nothing about. There is only one rule at the Last Resort and that one is strictly enforced: When you wake up in the morning you must go back to being the law abiding, careful and honest notary you were before you slept and dreamed about your stay at the Notary Last Resort.

(1) The borrowers will be “rack mounted” ready for you to “stretch them” a bit, until they are willing to sign.
(2) Welcome to The Last Resort, where all your notary fantasies come true.
(3) Collecting your fee is never an issue. Signing Service owners are offered the choice of writing a check “on the spot” or partaking in the guillotine.


October 16, 2014

The Right to Cancel done Wrong

The Right to Cancel done Wrong
It’s easy to make errors on the Right to Cancel, also known as the Right of Rescission form. Unfortunately this form must be free of errors prior to funding. There are several ways to make a mess of it. This entry will cover a few of the more common errors; I’m sure some creative notaries out there will comment on the aspects that I neglected to mention.

Perhaps the most blatant error is to have to applicant sign in the “I wish to Cancel” area and not on the “I received two copies” area. Sounds silly? But, it does happen. This is a real show stopper as escrow and lending are faced with a cancellation that they cannot ignore! You cannot just line thru to improper signature (redact/initial) and have them sign in the proper place, the page must be replaced and signed *only* in the proper place.

“Three Business Days” that’s the standard. But, like so many things that sound simple it has some not so obvious gotchas. Those three days, when crossing a Saturday, have different meanings to different lenders. Thus, that “right of rescission” calendar that you carry stands a good chance of being wrong. Some count Saturday as one of the three days, some don’t. Of course if it’s filled in, along with the correct signing date; no problem. But to be sure, when a Saturday is involved you have to ask the proper authority for them to supply the end date of the rescission period. Your calendar “might” be wrong!

Each borrower is supposed to receive two *executed* copies of the RTC. They are not executed by merely being in the borrower document set. It is required that you “fish out” these pages and have the borrower(s) sign as received and the proper dates are on the top portion of the forms. You don’t do that? You have done many packages without a problem. Well, if you want to be a perfectionist, leave the borrower(s) executed copies (2). Often there will be only one RTC per borrower – so go the extra mile and be sure to return two executed per borrower with the docs.

Sometimes the signing gets pushed back a day or so. The RTC must be changed to reflect the new signing date and the correct end of the RTC. If there are preprinted entries they get a thin line thru them and the borrower initials the end of the line, not you! Then, the correct dates are entered, neatly please. The same procedure for the borrower copies. Two borrowers? You need to correct and have signed four forms. It’s a good idea to print a few spare forms…..

On rare occasions I have been asked to have the borrower(s) *only* initial the date areas that will need to be changed, with no dates entered. I do not feel comfortable with this. However, if you do this; be sure to do exactly the same process on the borrower(s) copy.

Often the “checklist” will mention the RTC but it will not be included in the package. It’s only relevant when the security for the loan is the borrower’s primary residence. Thus, if the property in question is for investment or a second home; there will be no applicable RTC forms.

Always pay extra close attention to the RTC, it’s a federally mandated form and must be perfect or you will get a request to visit the borrower again. This is the one case where you cannot swap out the borrower copy page to correct a flaw; as that page too must be perfect.


October 15, 2014

Take time to THINK

Filed under: General Stories,Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 8:55 pm

One of my cherished mementos, from when I worked with mainframe computers; is a genuine IBM manufactured and widely distributed desktop sign saying: THINK just that, nothing more. Its frame IBM blue, it had a silver insert containing the word THINK in thick black letters. The message was clear and totally unambiguous. Do you take some time to think? Really think?

I think you think a lot less than you think you think. There’s a hidden message in that prior sentence. It’s the word think, repeated four times, in an oxymoronic way to make you think! I think of thinking as an absence of reacting to external stimulus, as opposed to a completely internal mental process. We are bombarded daily with a constant barrage; all vying for our attention. Cell phone, PDA, street signs, the job, family, friends, the dog; and much more.

Try this: pick a complex and important decision, one where you already know the facts. Now you just need to, in old mainframe jargon; go into a CPU state. In a CPU state the computers of old did not process any IO, input / output. No input / output in human terms you are shutting out all for the external stimulus; a nicer way of saying distractions. Our illustrious leader, Jeremy; would probably think “meditation”. He might be right.

Of course we are thinking all the time as we react to our environment. Those mainframe card readers and printers did not totally stop when the mainframe was in a CPU state. Computers excel at multitasking, taking some “really thinking” CPU resources to concurrently operate the attached devices. But, there is a cost. Figuring the billionth position of PI, 3.14……….. is slower when the external devices interrupt for assistance with their tasks. It’s the same with you, to really think you need to tune out the world.

Hearing only the soft hum of the air conditioner or a fan, shuts down the auditory input. Wearing headphone connected to nothing does the same. Eyes shut, now there is much less input. Room temperature is not too hot or cold; one less distraction. Sitting in your most comfortable chair……….

Now dive into that decision, on the mainframe control panel the CPU light is glowing steady. Analyze the facts and likely outcomes; consider alternative approaches, now you’re thinking! I’m as guilty as everyone else. We spend the vast majority of our time reacting to something. It’s hard to “stop the world” for some private think time. The problem is that most of us rarely if ever want to totally ignore the world around us. It’s probably some sort of mental illness if you are in the deep thinking state most of the time. Clearly we need to react to our world. But never deep thinking forfeits harnessing your full mental abilities, on a single important item.

You don’t have to stay with the problem to its solution. Really deep thinking “burns into” the neural pathways. Like that oh so reliable laptop, you will return where you left off during your next session. Many studies have reached the conclusion that we only use a small part of our brain power. I doubt that purely mental power can raise a plate off the table. However, I’m just as sure that if you really “put your mind to it” you can resolve issues you thought impossible.

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