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September 23, 2014

Getting some settlement documents signed

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — Tags: — admin @ 10:35 am

So I’m a decent looking 27 year old guy just doing my job to get some settlement documents signed and I didn’t know what I was getting into when I got this assignment. I was to meet the client at a diner to get these documents signed and found myself sitting in front of an older, white woman in her mid 50′s reeking of cheap perfume. She flirted with me the entire time and I was rather relieved to leave when the job was completed. Unfortunately, this was not the last meeting as the signing agent company called me to meet her again to get some other documents notarized.

I gave her a call and she said that she was so glad to hear from me. Could I meet her at her house to get the documents signed and would I please call her an hour or two before I came over at 4pm? So I told her that I would and so when I called her at 3pm, she said that she would step out to the store and be back in an hour.

When I arrived, she answered the door wearing a bright blue skimpy looking tube top, matching short shorts and lots of gold chains around her neck. Her belly was hanging out, and she looked like she was about ready to go dancing at a club. She wore a lot of makeup, and reeked of perfume. I immediately got the documents out and had her sign them as she offered me some lemon jello shots. I told her that I didn’t think drinking on the job would be appropriate, but she said, “Don’t rush. I just went to the store for the jello shots. Let’s just hang out. It’s not everyday that a good looking guy comes over.” So I got up and started to walk toward the front door, but she got in between me and the door and slammed the door shut. She led me over to sit with her on the couch and started showing me a photo album of pictures of herself when she was younger. Meanwhile, her dog came over and started humping my leg. She looked at him and says, ” He makes you horny? Yeah, he makes me horny too!” Then she looks at me and says, “I’m sorry I’m being so flirty. It’s not everyday that a good looking guy comes over.” She had apparently been planning her entire day around this signing! So when I was finally able to leave the house, she tells me, “There is rent across the street for $1000- a month. You could stay there and visit me.” Needless to say, I was very grateful to be out of that situation!

(1) I arrived at the signing. She was wearing a skimpy tube top & offered me jello shots!

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The husband and the stolen license

The signing and the mistress


September 22, 2014

Cattle call Notary offers

Cattle Call Notary Offers
Do you Moo? Actually it’s more of a sheep call than a cattle call. Cattle are rather large and both genders can be a handful when riled, ask any cowhand. I would have preferred to title this blog “Sheep Call Notary Offers”, but the commonly used term will suffice, and it worked to get your attention; as you can’t deny that you are indeed reading this. Sheep are wonderful animals, so gentle and trusting. They baaahh a bit when you shear their wool, but that’s the extent of their complaining. Unlike cattle that like to roam individually, the sheep tend to herd together; they are so easy to manage! I’m sure some are aware of “leg of lamb” and “mutton chops”, but they choose to ignore their ultimate fate.

I just received still another of the Sheep Call notary offers. It has the usual “we pay xx$”; really? I love our free market democratic form of government. There is nothing wrong with some firm sending me a solicitation to buy their product for xx$. But the reverse offends me. By reverse I am referring to solicitation for my services that try to price set for me. They got it back asswards. It is the seller who sets the price and the payment terms. With my notary services I, not they, am the seller. I set the price and payment terms. To put it bluntly, it’s my way or the highway.

My name is not “Undisclosed Recipients”. My self image, regular readers already know this; is more like a Lion than a Lamb. Many prefer to deal with docile manipulateable sheep. I know, when the rent is due you are against the wall and tend to shed your Lion’s attire for a cloak of wool. The callers are very astute at voice reading and want to be able to control their notary. Sometimes to a level of detail that goes beyond the offensive. If you absolutely must “play lamb” for a while, so be it. But work quickly at formulating a plan that allows you to shed the wool and return to Lion attire.

Back to the offensive solicitations. My general response is to state my fee and that I am available for the assignment. I add that PayPal payment is required prior to printing the edoc. That is a real “turn off” to the bottom fisher. Actually I find my response much more efficient than asking for an “unsubscribe”. I don’t want to be bothered, or offended by receiving such tripe. Truth to tell, sometimes I step a bit “over the line” in my response. I have a cute cartoon graphic called KMA.JPG. Sometimes I send it as a response to cattle calls. The acronym’s first letter stands for the word “kiss”. If you want a copy just send me an email. It would be great if all notaries sent the soon to be infamous kma.jpg in response to these lowballers.

Sure we are all notaries. But, poise, character, image, and deportment differentiate us. Your feeling of self worth, backed by your training and skills are what sets you apart. The fact that you are a member of is a strong indication that you, unlike most notaries; really know what you are doing. There is a good chance that your listing is the reason that you were included in the email directed to the flock of sheep. But, show them wrong!

Frankie Valie and the Four Seasons recorded “Walk Like A Man” (or Woman) and that is what you should be doing. Cattle / Sheep call emails are mass attempts to demean notaries. They are an offer for bottom dollar, collection grief, late docs and an extended lesson in being micro managed. The only thing these people deserve is what the herd leaves behind when it passes.

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Read about lowball notary fees

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September 20, 2014

Sept Good Signing Companies (B-C)

Filed under: Best Signing Companies — admin @ 9:11 am

Here are some more companies that are on our good list.


Baxter Credit Union

Bilingual Notary Network

Butler Notaries

Central Signing Service AKA Initial Here

Client First Settlement Funding

CMD Notary

Colfax Notary Services

Concierge Notary, Inc

Convenient Closing Services

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Signing Companies with Bad Reviews

Aug Signing Companies with Gossip

Signs you’re a notary workaholic

Witnessing intake forms for notary heaven


September 19, 2014

Welcome to Notary Jail — don’t drop the embosser

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:18 am

In a previous episode, our notary friend Sal did something very bad that landed him in a high security notary jail. He pawned his notary seal for $20 at a local pawn shop. The guy who bought it specialized in getting fake ID’s from China and pretended to be the notary. Eventually, the notary got investigated by the FBI and sent to Notary jail.

Notary: “Boy, these mug shots sure are a pain, how do I look?”
Photographer: “You look great, keep that pose… no… a little to the left, turn a little — perfect!”
Notary: “Do you want me to say cheese?”
Photographer: “No, just say scilicit.”
Notary: “What’s that?”
Photographer: “That’s a Notary term that you would know if you had read your Secretary of State’s Notary handbook.”
Notary: “Is that the same handbook that informed me not to pawn my notary seal for $20?”
Photographer: “That’s the one! Please face me directly.”
Notary: “How’s this smile?”
Photographer: “It’s perfect, you’re very photogenic, especially in that striped outfit.”

Clerk: “Please come with me, it’s time to be fingerprinted.”
Notary: “Oh, I’m good at that, can I do it?”
Clerk: “Well, we are fingerprinting you, not the other way around.”
Notary: “You know when I used to fingerprint people, I used to joked around and say — I’m booking you.”
Clerk: “That’s real funny Sal. Kind of ironic too, don’t you think?”
Notary: “Hmm, I guess so.”
Clerk: “Just relax your right hand. We’re going to do rolled impressions first.”
Notary: “Great.”
Clerk: “Okay, we’re done, now it is time to go to your cell.”

Warden: “Come with me.”
Notary: “There’s a lot of echoing in this hallway.”
Warden: “Yup, it’s like that here.”
Notary: “Hmm, these bars are so shiny.”
Warden: “They are made out of melted down stainless steel embossers.”
Notary: “And the walls are so black.”
Warden: “They were painted with leftover ink from notary seals, like the one you sold on e-bay.”
Notary: “I didn’t sell it on e-bay.”
Warden: “Well, that’s where it ended up. Someone in Chang-Zhing bought it for $28 plus shipping. I never heard of that.”
Notary: “Neither did I, it must be on the West coast somewhere.”
Warden: “It might be a little farther than that. That’s where they make the fake ID’s. I bet they make fake notary seals too, just like yours.”
Notary: “If it is so easy for them to fake a notary seal, then why buy mine?”
Warden: “For $28 it is probably not worth the trouble to fake it.”
Notary: “Hmm, their time must be worth more than mine. Maybe I should move to China.”
Warden: “That’s not a possibility at this point
Notary: “I heard that they were making counterfeit license plates in China too.”
Warden: “Funny you should mention that, guess what you’re going to be doing bright and early tomorrow morning?”
Notary: “Never mind”
Warden: “And this is your bathroom. You share it with 200 other notary inmates.”
Notary: “I see, how cozy. Oh look, the soap is in the shape of an embosser! oh look and the toilet paper has Jurat wording!”
Warden: “Oh, and one more bit of advice…”
Notary: “Yes?”
Warden: “Don’t drop the embosser.”
Notary: “Oh…”
Warden: “And also, don’t sell it on ebay like you did with your real embosser.

He sold his used notary seal on ebay…


September 19, 2014

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 8:57 am

Anyone can become a successful mobile notary. The field is wide open. On the other hand, since it is so easy to become a mobile notary, many people do it which causes a lot of low priced competition. However, those who are very good at this profession seem to do well with it even in bad times. As of 2014, business is slow, but you can still have a nice part time income doing mobile notary work. Additionally, eventually the industry will pick up, and you might find yourself earning more money than you expected!

Step 1. Become a Notary
If you are not a notary, you can easily become one. It is a bit harder in CA, NY, LA, and FL where there are examinations, but talk to your state notary division about how you can become a notary for your state.

Step 2. Learn the ropes: Jail, Hospital & Mortgage Signings
Being a mobile notary is more than just hauling your stamp around with you in your car. You need to know how to handle typical situations that mobile notaries have to deal with. Mobile notaries who do well typically are experts at jail signings, hospital signings, and loan signings. Notaries who work in an office don’t need to know much about jail signings, because inmates can’t come to you, and neither can those with an IV tube stuck up their arm. But, if you are on the road, these are situations you have to know about. There are many identification and communication issues associated with jail and hospital signings that can get you in trouble if you don’t know. On the other hand, you can make a huge travel fee doing these types of specialized mobile notary tasks that the other notaries don’t know how to do (or want to.)

Mortgage signings
Signing loans can earn you big bucks. Signers make anywhere from $50 to $150 per signing. Fees fluctuate with the market and depend on who you are doing business with and how good you are. If you have a lot of experience and have many loyal contacts, you can set your minimum fee at $100 or $125 per loan signing if you are any good. You will need to know some basic Mortgage terms, and know the basics about 10-20 basic documents. You need to know where to look for the Rate, APR, prepayment penalty, when the first payment is due, where the fees are, and other basic information. You need to know how to handle name variations, initialing and borrower objections to problems in the loan. You need to know who to call when a loan signing is on the rocks. Signing loans is not rocket science, but there are concepts you need to Master.

Take our course!
How can you learn about all of these complicated and scary types of signings? 123notary offers a comprehensive loan signing course that covers all of these issues in detail. Additionally, you can get free detailed information in our blog about all of these topics. Just browse around the categories on the right and read to your heart’s content!

Step 3: Active Marketing
Getting work as a mobile notary is a bit hard at first, but you can do it. Contact a dozen or more signing & title companies each week and get on their list. They will want copies of various types of information and a signed contract, so ask them what they want, and give it to them. You can also give your business card out to local nursing homes, hospitals, Real Estate offices, law offices and anyone else you can think of who might need a mobile notary.

Step 4: Passive Marketing
Advertising on the major directories is a good practice. Notaries often ask on Linked In which directory they should join. My standard answer is to join all of them, but not necessarily to pay for all of them. The strongest players in 2014 are, NotaryRotary, NotaryCafe, and lost a lot of steam recently, but is still in the game. If you join other directories, I don’t recommend paying for them as they don’t have a good track record. You can go on Linked In to research what the notaries say are the better notary directories too for an unbiased point of view. Hard copy yellow pages for your local area may or may not get you work — it is worth a try if you are serious though.

Being listed on the big directories is not enough. You need to maintain your listing like a pro. Fortunately for you, I am here to offer you free mentoring by email, so don’t panic! You need a well written notes section, a company name helps, reviews from your satisfied clients, and try to pass as many certifications as you can.

Step 5: Who to get certified by?
My rule is that you get certified by every loan signing directory that you pay to advertise with — even if that means that you get certified five times. I am currently recommending:

(1) NNA’s certification as it is an industry standard
(2) 123notary’s certification if you get paid advertising with us as notaries who get this get 2.5x the work from our directory
(3) notary2pro’s certification (although not an industry standard) is very high quality, they offer hand holding, and the learning you will get from it justifies the cost.

Step 6: Screen companies you work for
Many signing agents drop out because they worked for the wrong companies, didn’t get paid, and suffered financially. Don’t let this happen to you! Use our list of signing companies (which includes reviews) and avoid working for signing companies with a high ratio of negative reviews. Additionally, don’t do too many jobs for a particular company until they have paid you for previous jobs. Decide ahead of time how much credit you are going to give them and don’t let them run up a bill beyond your limit.

Step 7: Become an expert at scheduling and negotiating
You need to be constantly refining your skills to do well in this business. Although there is a lot of competition, few of them have refinement. Scheduling is a hard task, and you need to juggle when the e-Documents are supposed to come, when your signing is, and when the next signing is. e-Documents don’t always come on time, so learn to juggle well. Negotiating good fees is also an art form, so pay attention to our blog articles as from time to time we have articles about how to negotiate.

Step 8: Get a high spot on 123notary
We make our money selling high spots on our directory. We generally discourage people from getting a high spot until they have passed our certification test and have at least a review or two. But, if you are serious and want to get ahead, call us and ask how you can get a high placement in your area. We are often very flexible and offer six month trials to those just starting out. The Title & Escrow companies who use our site know that those who purchase high spots on our directory are serious, and those notaries generally get a lot more quality jobs from our site than those with low spots.

Professional backgrounds that help
If you have a background in Mortgage, Escrow, Loan Origination, or Lending, this can really help you do better in the mobile notary business as you will be working a lot with Mortgage documents. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking you know more than you know. Many Mortgage Brokers assure me that they know their stuff and don’t need my test. When I ask them simple loan signing questions over the phone, they can only answer half of the easy ones. Go back and study and master the art of the signing. Your background does help you, but your over-confident attitude can really ruin your career. Additionally, it is very different being on the Notary side of the table than it is being on the Lender or Broker side of the table. Try to learn this profession from out point of view.

Real Estate backgrounds do not help as much as Real Estate Brokers claim. You are not anywhere near as familiar with the documents as you claim. As a matter of fact, those with Real Estate experience cannot answer simple loan signing questions any better than those with no Mortgage or Real Estate experience. Approach this profession as a beginner and learn the ropes one by one. The people skills you learn from being a Realtor on the other hand, can really help you. General business skills and being businesslike help more than any technical knowledge you may have acquired in your former professional life.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help
And as always, 123notary is there to help! If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask!


September 18, 2014

A furry nice signing

Filed under: Pets at Signings — Tags: — admin @ 7:37 am

I once had a closing where i went to a house with so many cats and dogs, I couldn’t breathe! The house had fur everywhere and you couldn’t ignore the smell of all the pets. I told the clients that I couldn’t possibly do a closing there because of the air quality from the pets. I told them I was allergic although I was not. I felt like throwing up. But, they insisted, and unfortunately we couldn’t even do the closing outside because it was pouring! So the husband barricaded the pets all into one room which was a small effort to remedy the situation, and then it turned out that they really weren’t totally prepared for the signing so I ended up feeling sick for the entire 40 minute process. It was a loan/refinance signing. Needless to say, I survived, but was definitely not happy.


September 18, 2014

An encouraging sign for the notary industry

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 2:18 am

Rumors have been going around that the notary industry has been picking up a bit, but not that much. Everyone we talk to has a different story. But, looking up our price changes for counties tells a more realistic story. People are not going to pay top dollar for a spot unless they are making money. So, if there is an increase in competition for spots, the price goes up shortly after for whatever counties have that increase.

As of mid September 2014, 123notary was able to raise its prices in 18 areas, but only had to reduce prices in 12 due to supply and demand. Notaries think that we arbitrarily set our prices. Contrary to popular opinion, our are set based on formulas, and not on Jeremy’s whims.

So, there is hope that the notary industry is getting better. At least it is not getting worse!


September 17, 2014

The argument and the signing

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

I arrived at a clients’ home for a signing and found the couple fighting. I couldn’t get in the door. I could hear them fighting when I walked up to the door. After about 10 minutes of me standing there, the mother of the wife opened the door, and then the wife started arguing with her mother about opening the door to me. It was crazy. Eventually everyone settled down and I got the signing done but it was definitely a crazy tense situation.

Mother: “Open that door.”
Wife: “I’m having an argument, you open it!”
Mother: “The notary is waiting.”
Wife: “Why are you opening the door?”
Mother: “You have a guest sitting here listening to your entire crazy argument.”
Wife: “Oh, it’s the notary!”
Mother: “Who did you think it was, your notary appointment is at 1pm.”
Wife: “Never mind, let’s clear the dining room table.”
Husband: “Oh, is that the notary?”
Wife: “Yes, it is!”
Husband: “Hmm, awkward. I’ll get my pen!”


September 16, 2014

A difficult fingerprinting session

Filed under: General Articles,Ken Edelstein — Tags: — admin @ 8:08 am

A Difficult Fingerprinting Session
Some are easy, some are hard; today my luck index went to zero. The lady had booked a “compound assignment”. That’s the term I use for needing to bring both notary and print kit on the same assignment. My print kit always has a stamp, embosser and some loose acks. But, this assignment had international documents; and the where’s and how’s were unknown. So I need to bring the full notary bag also, yecch. I had prescreened to have the assurance of an elevator; as they were in Apt. 5A. But, as is often this writers fault; I’m getting ahead of myself.

Other than the need to bring both kits, the assignment sounded almost trivial. They stated the assignment was to notarize one signature and affix one fingerprint. Groan, the document goes to India. A prior India notarization had to be redone to affix the stamp in close proximity to the affiant’s signature. To safely arrive prepared; required multiple size notary stamps, possibly forms, etc. Sure, it’s only one fingerprint; but it still requires my multi step procedure; hence the full fingerprint kit too.

The assignment was close and the fee promptly prepaid; I arrived a few minutes prior to the agreed 7PM. I step in; bedlam! Five kids under age ten are having a “who can drown out the other four with their electronic noisemaker game” contest. The couple greets me, but I can’t make out the words they are speaking due to the noise. I motion NO with my head and hold my hands over my ears to avoid a hearing loss. They must have shouted something, and the racket ceased. They sign the first document without incident. That’s two, then 2 docs for him, and one for her. OK, fee was based on one, but I can live with doing five; rather than asking for eight dollars.

So far, not so bad. “We have one more document that only gets a fingerprint, no signature and no notarization.” I proceed to set up the fingerprinting equipment. Which of you are going to be fingerprinted, I ask. Just a sec, says the wife; I’ll go carry him in – he is only five! He might be a little hyperactive; we just had a hard time at the bank where they attempted to fingerprint him.

She was understating, it was a major project to get him into his highchair. He looked at me with fear and terror. He wanted to get as far from me as possible. Can’t blame the little fellow. At the bank they used an inkpad. They tried, despite his squirming and writhing; to get a thumbprint. The wrong equipment, no finger preparation, and an “un-cooperative” subject, do not a good fingerprint make. I used my key ring to distract him. After a few minutes he only objected slightly to holding his thumb. The keys tinkled when lightly struck against his hand. He giggled a bit. Slowly the flame of trust took hold. He allowed me to use my chemicals and procedures to prep that tiny thumb. A few restarts due to him licking his thumb; fortunately nothing toxic.

Finally, the grand and glorious moment; he was pressed twice on the inkpad (a very thin film); and once in the “signature” area of the form. I break out my 3X image examiner, and declare that on a 1-10 scale that print is a seven; with six likely to meet FBI standards. The kid is returned to his electronic babysitter and I pack it in. The husband examines the image and declares it much better than the best of the bank’s notary. He also mentions, almost casually, that he just noticed in the (just read by him and never mentioned to me instructions) – the bombshell. “I said to do his left thumb. But, I had that backwards; India requires the right thumb of boys to be entered!”


September 16, 2014

Notarized Durable Power of Attorney

The process of getting a Durable Power of Attorney Notarized is no different than any other document. Since a Durable Power of Attorney is a critical legal document, it must be drafted by someone with the authorization and skill to do a good job, such as an Attorney. Many people ask notaries to draft documents. This is generally a mistake, and notaries in most if not all states are not allowed to draft legal documents. Ask your Attorney how to get your document drafted for a professional opinion.

Please have your document all created and filled out before contacting a notary. has 7000 notaries waiting to help you. Our notaries typically have a lot of experience with loan documents and legal documents. But, they don’t need to understand the document to help you. They just need to notarize your signature, get paid, and go home! Call a notary when you are ready, and make sure your identification is current!

Good luck getting your Durable Power of Attorney Notarized

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