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December 5, 2016

Affidavit of Support

What is an Affidavit of Support?
The Affidavit of Support is a common immigration document. This document needs to be notarized with a Jurat (a common Notary act which involves a sworn oath.) The purpose of this document is typically for one family member to promise to the government that they will financially take care of the individual who they are trying to bring to the United States.

Where can I learn about Affidavits of Support?
For official information about this document, please consult an Immigration Attorney or the Department of Immigration. Please do not ask immigration questions to a notary as they are not authorized to answer these types of specialized questions unless they have some type of official authorization.

How do you notarize an Affidavit of Support?
Please make sure you have the document in your hand, and fully understand it before calling a Notary. The Notary will have you swear under Oath and sign in front of him/her. Next, the Notary will will in the Jurat certificate verbiage (notary wording) in the form and stamp the document in at least one place. When I was a Notary, Affidavits of Support required two stamps. There is also a problem that the document doesn’t leave ample room for the Notary Seal, so try to squeeze it in or attach a separate Jurat form if the client chooses for you to do so.

My personal experience with Affidavits of Support.
I had fun notarizing Affidavits of Support. I had lots of clients from around the world who treated me to tamales, dim sum, Thai coffee, and other international treats. Notarizing for Chinese people is the best as they are much more likely to feed you than other nationalities — plus, I love Chinese food.

What are some other commonly Notarized immigration documents?
The Affidavit of Citizenship is a commonly notarized immigration document. The Affiant commonly drafts his/her own statement and then has the Notary notarize the statement which normally includes a sworn Oath and normally requires the signer to sign in the presence of the Notary.

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You might also like:

Affidavit of Citizenship
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2028

Modern Family: An Affidavit of citizenship & affidavit of domicile Notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10989

Affidavit of Support & Direct communication with the signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=affidavit-of-support

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December 4, 2016

Power of Attorney – Notary Processing Mistakes

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 9:20 pm

Playing Lawyer

You’re going there to notarize, that’s what you do. The caller asked you to bring some blank copies of a “standard” Power of Attorney. I think not. There many different formats to the Power of Attorney document. Selecting, as when you provide a document; could probably be interpreted as the Illegal Practice of Law. You don’t know their requirements, but you happen to have some documents titled Power of Attorney – a recipe for disaster. We notarize upon proof and oath; it’s their responsibility to know what they are signing. That applies to Principal, Agent, Monitor and Successor Agent.

Fuzzy Job Specifications

I need my signature notarized on a Power of Attorney form. Do you accept that sole statement? Does the caller have the form(s)? Is the caller the Principal granting the powers? Will there be Agent(s) and Successor Agent(s). You probably inquired about the ID that will be presented by the caller – but do you know anything about the ID status of others to be notarized? Will all parties be present when you arrive, or will there be a lengthy wait for a tardy Agent? The caller mentioned “a” Power of Attorney form, that’s true enough – but are ten more duplicates awaiting you? Did you schedule this as a “quick one” with your next assignment very soon?

Accepting Risk

You want to avoid accepting risk. One tool is having the assignment prepaid. A more important tool is communication with your client. Stress that the signature(s) of the Principal, Agent and Successor Agent must have proper supporting ID, and that the name on the ID must match the name to be notarized on the Power of Attorney. I make it very clear: “If any person to be notarized has an ID issue that precludes notarization; you will get my sincere regrets, but not a refund”. Hospital jobs have access concerns when the Principal is the patient.

Not Sharing your Knowledge

Many are new to using a Power of Attorney. They often assume a photocopy will be accepted and that they need only one original. That is often not the case. Offer duplicates for a modest fee. Blank areas might require a N/A. Use your embosser – it’s required to submit the document to Federal Courts, and might be required if the document leaves the state where notarized. Clients can forget that most Power of Attorney documents require the authority of Agent, and Successor Agent to be specified. This is usually done by the Principal initialing various “right granting” sections giving authority to one or more Agents, and, or, Successor Agents – easy to overlook.

It’s also easy to overlook the “Separately” initial area. When there is more than one Agent or Successor Agent; the common document default is that they must act in unison. Often, the independent ability of these agents is desired; this requires initials in the appropriate area.

Disorderly Processing

In our signings we complete one document then move on to the next one. Processing a stack of identical Power of Attorney documents is best handled differently. I prefer the “same thing over and over” approach. An entry on the first copy is propagated to the remaining copies. Then the next entry is made in a similar manner. This is easier for all involved as they, after the first two or three; are “familiar” with “what goes where”. After ID checking, and notary oath administration(s) – the notarizations can proceed in a similar manner. Mentally tie to giving the oath asking the affiants if they returned their ID to a safe place. This avoids being called to return their ID when they misplaced it – this happened to me a few times.

The Introduction to the Power of Attorney, New York Statutory Short Form

CAUTION TO THE PRINCIPAL: Your Power of Attorney is an important document. As the “principal,” you give the person whom you choose (your “agent”) authority to spend your money and sell or dispose of your property during your lifetime without telling you. You do not lose your authority to act even though you have given your agent similar authority.

When your agent exercises this authority, he or she must act according to any instructions you have provided or, where there are no specific instructions, in your best interest. “Important Information for the Agent” at the end of this document describes your agent’s responsibilities.

Your agent can act on your behalf only after signing the Power of Attorney before a notary public.

You can request information from your agent at any time. If you are revoking a prior Power of Attorney, you should provide written notice of the revocation to your prior agent(s) and to any third parties who may have acted upon it, including the financial institutions where your accounts are located.

You can revoke or terminate your Power of Attorney at any time for any reason as long as you are of sound mind. If you are no longer of sound mind, a court can remove an agent for acting improperly.

Your agent cannot make health care decisions for you. You may execute a “Health Care Proxy” to do this.

If there is anything about this document that you do not understand, you should ask a lawyer of your own choosing to explain it to you

Have you asked the Principal, Agent, Monitor, and Successor Agent – if they have read and understood the disclosures, usually on the first page of the Power of Attorney document?

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December 3, 2016

A Notary Union — how would that work?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:54 pm

One Notary wanted a Notary Union. But, would a union help? What would happen? He wanted rates fixed at $150 per signing. It’s not legal to fix rates and $150 is too high.

Contracts
Signing companies would have to sign a contract with the union if they wanted to get some of the better veteran signing agents. Most or many veterans would join the union. The companies that hired union Notaries would only be able to hire union Notaries, and with a long term contract at ridiculous prices. Meanwhile the non-union signing companies would be able to hire anyone who wasn’t a union Notary. The problem here is that Title companies are only willing to pay so much. And if the union had a meeting where they were going to raise their rate to $160 per signing, they would virtually put the signing company out of business.

This is similar to what happened with car manufacturers and manufacturing in the Midwest which moved permanently to China leaving the union guys without a job at all. Unions helped certain Midwesterners and people in other parts of the country make extra money for about two or three decades by artificially controlling market conditions — and then the mother companies discovered a place called Asia and the party was over which led to mass unemployment.

Union Fees
Notaries would have to pay union fees, and go to union meetings. Very few Notaries make it to the NNA annual conference, so how will they make it to meetings? Notaries have so little money already, how will they pay fees? Most are not even full-time?

Corruption
Unions basically give privelege to a few of the workers, but do not help workers as a whole. In Boston in the 1980’s, certain more established classes of workers gained privelege to union jobs while Blacks and Puerto Ricans were generally left out until affirmative action became more prevelant. There is also a lot of power politics going in within unions for control. To me, unions are mafia-like power grabbing organizations which force companies to pay an elite group of workers above market level wages. This leaves those without social favor out of the picture and bankrupts companies in the long run. In the long run unions lead to unemployment, unfairness and misery.

The Solution
So, what is the solution to unfair wages? Markets! Fair and open markets solve all wage related problems. With open markets you get paid what you are worth. The problems the Notaries are facing these days is that there are lots of unskilled people who can do Notary work. They might not do a good job, but they can function with guidance. The skills of highly skilled Notaries are no longer valued like in the old days, and that is why the market hires too many unskilled Notaries and doesn’t pay the worthwhile Notaries enough — at least until signing companies come to their senses.

The Cause of the Problem
Part of the reason this is the case is because there are SO FEW highly skilled and reliable Notaries, that you can’t base your business model on only hiring the best. You might get a few “best” notaries, and the rest will be slouches! That is not a consistent business model. Most Notaries on 123notary just don’t know their documents, don’t know what information is where, and don’t know what to do if there is trouble. Most of our Notaries make a lot of claims of how good they are, but really only 250 Elite Certified Notaries on 123notary are hot stuff in my opinion. Those ultra-experienced and highly educated stampers are worth $150 per signing in most cases. The “regular” 123notary certified Notaries are worth about $100 per signing (in my opinion) and the un-123notary certified Notaries are worth $50. If you don’t know anything and have hardly any experience, why should you be paid much more than minimum wage?

My issue is NOT that Notaries are not paid a decent wage. My issue is that the 250 Elite Certified Notaries on our site who merit a better wage are not usually getting it. As for the uncertified majority, the fact that you get work at all is a miracle. I personally would not hire someone who couldn’t pass my test. My test doesn’t guarantee that you are a great Notary — however, it determines that you are at least worth trying and have potential and know your basics.

If it were up to me, anyone who didn’t pass our elite test wouldn’t be allowed to do any signing agent work. After all, this is a serious profession where you routinely handle half million dollar loans. Why hire someone who is any less than highly qualified for such critical work?

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December 2, 2016

Notary Martial Arts — Notary-Jitsu

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 10:55 pm

Many lady Notaries are afraid to go to certain parts of town at night or go out at all. But, perhaps people might feel better if there were a type of martial art adapted for Notaries. It’s called Notary-jitsu, just like Ju-jitsu which is popular worldwide especially in Brazil of all places.

Notary-Jitsu focuses less on fighting and more on logistics as being a signing agent is all about logistics. You have to calculate how far jobs are away from you, traffic, where to park and most of all — where to sit in the person’s dining room. Some lady Notaries only sit at a 45% angle from the signer so that if the signer tries to hit them, they will be too far away. Others always sit closest to the door just in case they need to run (talk about paranoid.) Many ladies plan their escape route and let their husbands know where they are going to be.

There are several considerations of what to think about. First, if you are going to a signing and park, you might have to walk a block and deal with rabid dogs, gangsta wannabes, and people backing out of their driveways without looking. The first thing Notary-Jitsu teaches you awareness. You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. You should be able to sense a dog with your extra-sensory perception before it becomes visible to you. You must also be able to know if a kid is a gangsta, or a chump. That takes having a good sixth sense.

For your potentially dangerous trip from your car to the house, you might need weapons. You need pepper spray for dogs, a vocabulary of Bronx style ghetto slang to deal with potential punk kids, and Notarial style embossed throwing stars just in case you have to act aggressively. Having a club availble, a hunting knife and a few guns on your person help too. But, there is no substitute for awareness — so be aware!

Once you are in the house, there are other hazards. Things could fall on you. Borrowers could grab you, hit you, or try to get you to come to their bedrooms to look at their posters. Just say no, and be vigilant. You need to make sure that at no time during the signing does the signer get between you and the door. So, inform them of what a potentially dangerous situation signing this Affidavit could be and let them know that at no time do they have permission to get between you and the door. Why? Because you are a Ninja-Notary, and you must have an escape route just in case rival ninjas come after you. That’s a good way to explain it so they don’t take it personally.

Next, hand to hand combat might be necessary if the signer tries to physically prevent you from leaving — or if they spend too much time reading every word of the Flood disclosure. Notary-Jitsu teaches you all of the possible situations you could encounter while at a dining room table. You will learn to jump out of your seat the moment someone comes between you and the door. You will learn to dodge airborne chairs. You will learn to tip the table over to facilitate your unencumbered escape, and more. And best of all, you’ll learn Japanese war cries which are the most fun part of the training.

So, grasshopper, you are in good hands. Study hard and learn the not so ancient art of Notary-Jitsu. And remember… Be aware and be mindful…

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December 1, 2016

I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 11:50 pm

For those of you who wonder what it is like running 123notary, it is non-stop work. I eat, breathe and sleep 123notary.com. I even have dreams about 123notary.com when I’m asleep. I also dreamt that my housemate was listening to loud salsa music, but that’s a different story.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to roll out of bed, visit the bathroom, and then sit down at my computer for a few hours. There are emails to answer, orders to process, phone calls to call, tweets to tweet, and other things to do as well. I normally take a walk every afternoon and I think about 123notary during the entire walk. Experts claim that taking long walks calms you down and makes you smarter. Some of the greatest artists, composers and thinkers of all time took long walks daily. I include myself in this category of people as I compose great music in my head during walks, but never write it down such as a concerto for orchestra and unaccompanied jazz saxophone (not sure if that would sound so good in real life, but worth a try.)

When I go out with friends, we always discuss 123notary, among other things. I went to the symphony today, not to hear music, but to sit in the lobby and absorb their “qi” energy to benefit 123notary. Yes, feng-shui really does work if you know how to do it right. Basically, everything I do, I do for 123.

As Carmen once put it (sounds like an MTV commercial)

I want my 123

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November 30, 2016

Notary Acknowledgment Wording

If you are a Notary, or want to get something Notarized, you will have to deal with Notary wording and perhaps Notary Acknowledgment Wording. There are various types of Notary acts, and Acknowledgments are the most common with Jurats in second place. The process of getting something notarized normally involves the signer personally appearing before a Notary Public, showing ID, signing a journal, etc. The Notary needs to fill in the notary wording on the certificate and then sign and stamp the paperwork.

The instrument that contains Notary Acknowledgment wording is called a “Certificate.” A certificate can be a separate piece of paper that is added by staple to a legal document. Or, the certificate wording could be embedded in the document below the signature section. In either case, the Notary certificate must contain notary verbiage specific to the state requirements where the notarization is taking place. If the notarization is being recorded in one state, but being notarized in another, then the Notary Acknowledgment wording must be substantially similar to the approved and required state wording where the document is being recorded.

Notary Acknowledgment Wording differs from state to state. You can Google your state’s Notary wording if you like, or visit our find a notary page for more detailed information. Please also keep in mind that some people call all Notary forms a “Jurat” while a real Jurat is substantially different from an Acknowledgment as it contains an Oath (by definition) and requires signing in the presence of a Notary. State rules for Jurats also differ from state to state, so you need to find out what the rules are in the state that you are being Notarized in are.

You might also like:
Find a Notary

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November 29, 2016

Subordination Agreement

Filed under: (4) Documents — Tags: , — admin @ 10:24 am

What is a Subordination Agreement?
A Subordination Agreement is a notarized document that establishes the order of liens against a property. If the property owner defaults in a payment resulting in a bankruptcy, the lien mentioned first in the subordination agreement gets paid off first from the proceeds.

If you are refinancing your first mortgage and have an existing second or home equity line, one could “subordinate” the second mortgage: request that your second mortgage holder go back into the second lien position when you replace your existing first mortgage with the new refinance loan. The Subordination Agreement is the document used for this purpose. The Subordination Agreement always needs to be notarized and recorded with the county recorder.

How can you notarize a Subordination Agreement?
The Subordination Agreement is commonly notarized with an Acknowledgment. You would need to personally appear before a Notary Public with this document signed by you. Then, you would sign the Notary’s journal (in most states) and acknowledge that you signed the document. You would need to be identified by the Notary with a driver license, passport, or other current government issued photo ID with a physical description. Then the Notary would fill out the Acknowledgment wording, sign and seal the paperwork, and you’re done. This document needs to be recorded at your county clerk’s office as stateed above!

You might also like:

Signing Agent best practices 63 points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Best blog articles for advanced Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736

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November 28, 2016

Strategies for efficiency in the Mobile Notary Business

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 12:31 am

For those of you who are mobile Notaries who want to get ahead, being efficient is half of the game. Here are some strategies that can help you use the most of your time, so you can make more money.

1. Take jobs that are close.
If you are running all the way to the other side of the county to make a lousy $75, you won’t have time to take job offers for closer jobs. Try to manage your distance and charge for it. Time wasted in labor-intensive work takes away from your availability which has a value.

2. Advanced payment
Tired of chasing down your fees? Are you tired of wasting time faxing invoices again and again? You will save a lot of time and grief if you require companies to pay up front. You migth not require all companies to pay up front, but at least ones with spotty track records should. Additionally, companies that use you a lot that you did several jobs for and haven’t gotten paid yet since it has only been a few weeks — you might have a credit limit for them and make them pay up front if they want more than three or four jobs done before you receive payment.

3. Fuel efficient cars
If you drive a car that guzzles your gas, that will eat into your profits. If you think that’s a problem now, think about ten years from now. Gas is more likely to be more expensive than less, unless China and India disappear from the face of the earth. With the rate of cancer in China, they just might disappear, but don’t hold your breath on that one.

4. Faster printers
Do you waste time waiting for your cheap printer to print stacks of documents? Perhaps you should invest in a really fast printer if you are committed to this industry. If you can print a set of documents in three or four minutes, that is fast. Each time you print two sets, you might save ten minutes. That adds up.

5. Faster eDocs
If you work for companies that send documents fast and don’t keep you waiting, you will save big amounts of time. The slow companies need to be charged extra, and unknown companies need to build a track record with you before you trust them. Not having to wait three hours for edocuments is actually a big deal. Waiting cuts into your time you will need for other customers, many of which will call at the last minute.

6. Know thy Fedex stations
If you know where all the Fedex stations are in your general area, you’ll know the fastest route to the nearest Fedex no matter where you are.

7. Mobile Printing
Instead of having to come all the way home to print, why not print on the road? Imagine all the time you’ll save. We’ve written several articles on mobile offices over the years. See if you can find those articles (good luck — they’re buried deep.)

8. Confirm the signing
Lots of time is wasted when you go to a Notary job only to find that people aren’t ready, don’t have proper ID, or didn’t ask their wife to come too. If you confirm and make sure everybody’s wife and ID are in order, your appointment will go more smoothly and you won’t have too many evenings ruined by a lack of preparation.

9. Shorter packages
If you know which banks have shorter packages, you can charge less for those. That way you get in and out of appointments fast.

10. Pray to the signing Gods
If you pray that your signers will sign fast, you’ll get in and out of appointments quickly. I said a similar prayer, but in a very different circumstance. I had to go meditate at a place that closed their gardens at 5pm. I prayed that they would not kick me out at 5pm. My prayer came true — and this was the only time I’ve been there out of dozens of times they let me stay so late. Unfortunatley, I got locked in and had to beg the nuns to let me go. If they hadn’t come so quickly, I would have had to pray to the nun Gods that the nuns would come. Prayer is tiring work!

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November 27, 2016

The Notary and the Paypal Hold

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:13 pm

Most of our customers make orders using 123epayment.com or talk to Carmen. Whenever people order through Carmen, we never have trouble with those orders. Carmen talks people through the transactions and tell them every detail about what they need to be aware about. The problem is when people order from Paypal.

We have been accepting Paypal transactions for over ten years now. Most transactions go through just fine. But, there are issues that pop up every month or two.

1. Vacation — If I’m on vacation and a stranger orders a course via Paypal, I will only be informed if I check my email. When I’m on vacation, I check my orders at 123epayment.com at least once in four days. But, I sometimes don’t go into my gmail for security reasons. I don’t want to get hacked by using a public computer. Sometimes people will create a claim or a dispute on their Paypal order because I am behind schedule processing their transaction.

2. Missing information — Most people who order from Paypal have a company name on the transaction and not a personal name. I look people up in my system by personal names. I can often track the email to their account, but not always if they use a different email. I often have to ask people what they purchased and what their n# is. Paypal has a NOTES section where you can write who you are, what you purchased, the name of the ecourse, the level of the position, etc. Most people choose not to inform me and make me guess or ask what they purchased. If everybody did this we would have to rename them PayNpal as they would be a Payn in the butt to use as a result of their clients (Not Paypal’s fault.)

3. Immediate Response Required — Somebody ordered a renewal from me on Paypal. I processed the renewal right away. The next day they sent me an email. I took more than 24 hours to respond to the email, so they filed a hold on the Paypal transaction. What a pain! I told the person that I answer emails daily, but I don’t sit 24 hours a day by my email in case someone emails me. I have many tasks to do, and their task is not the only task I have to do all day. Some customers think they are the only customer in the world. I take care of people as fast as I can, but conflicting tasks and limited time makes it hard. Even when I’m in town, I do not answer all emails within 24 hours, only most.

4. Not asking questions first — Some people buy something when they don’t know what they are buying. They also don’t tell me in the Paypal notes what they are buying. This results in a long email discussion going back and forth creating a long string. It is easier if people just talk to Carmen before buying something. She is an expert and can help.

Summary
The bottom line is — if you order from us via Paypal, we prefer that you are an existing customer. It is better that you are renewing something existing rather than doing a new purchase. It is excellent if you source your n#, name, and level of listing that you are renewing or the name of the ecourse. That way I know what you are getting and we have it in writing the first time. Also, it is better if you email me and ask for instructions for what to put in the Paypal transaction. That way we get it right the first time.

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November 26, 2016

I felt like I was being used (Snapdocs assignment)

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 9:56 am

Another Notary worked for Snapdocs and had an emotional reaction after the fact. She got one of those low-ball assignments, took it, and then complained she felt like she was being used. If you don’t like working for below market rates, nobody is putting a gun to your head! This new signer was concerned about wear and tear on her car, ink, paper, gas, etc. The bottom line here is that anyone who uses you is using you no matter the price. You sell your services for money. The question is, do you know the value of your time and do you know the itemization of your expenses for various types of jobs?

There is no set value on your time, so you have to create your own value. If you don’t know your value, how will you accept or reject jobs. For newbies, the value of getting work under your belt is much more than the value of your dignity. An inexperienced Notary in my book is not worth much. If you have less than 1000 signings and no certifications, I personally wouldn’t use you for anything. If you have 5000 signings and three certifications, then you become valuable as long as you have a good track record.

SIGNING CO: Would you do this modification for $100?

NOTARY: I will not – I have morals

SIGNING CO: How about $1,000,000?

NOTARY: Well, okay…

SIGNING CO: How about $150

NOTARY: What kind of Notary do you think I am?

SIGNI

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