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November 16, 2018

Why I do what I do and why I get impatient

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:43 am

People don’t understand me. They think I am some mean ogre. They need to understand why I do what I do, what I am up against, and why I get impatient.

Why I test people
I want 123notary to be the best site ever and to be very helpful for title and signing companies and individuals to find the best notaries in town. But, how can I offer the best notaries if I don’t know which Notaries are good. Most notaries are very arrogant and claim to be good when they know almost nothing about notary work. This is not only arrogant but deceptive and dishonest which is not integrous behavior. Notaries are supposed to be the most honest members of society and not a bunch of liars.

So, to find who are the best Notaries I tested people. But Notaries are angry people and get mad if you dare to challenge their God-like knowledge. They also are evasive and try to get out of being tested because after all — why should they be tested when they are professionals. In real life professionals get tested the most and treating people like a professional is to test their knowledge if you are a hiring party, licensing board, etc. Since licensing boards to a lousy job testing notaries, I have to pick up where they leave off.

So, I need to test notaries if I want to know who the best ones are. Really only 3% of our Notaries have a minimally acceptable knowledge about the industry which is very sad. In real life I cannot get that many Notaries to study either as Notaries do not value industry specific knowledge because after all — they are professionals and already know what they need to know according to them. My test results indicate that 97% of the notaries on our site are flunking my quiz and are far from being professionals.

Asking the same question 100 times per day
If you have to ask people the same question 100 times per day and 50 of them give you the run around, argue, evade, or get hostile with you, how would you feel? Even easy questions such as, “do you have a dual tray laser printer.” is a tough one. I get these long multi-paragraph answers and them am accused of being rude if I ask the person for a simple yes or no. Putting up with this crap all day long can lead anyone to lose their temper. Everyone I hired to do outgoing phone calls quit. Since I cannot quit, I put up with this bad notary behavior, but I don’t like it and I do lose my temper. If Notaries would focus on being polite, helpful and answering questions in the format that they were asked, I would not lose my temper. It is so bad, I have decided to do most my questioning by email which still results in strife, but not as badly.

Long hours
When I make phone calls I have nobody to help me. Carmen does incoming, but does very few outgoing calls. I have to make hundreds of calls in a day and have very little time. Most of the people I deal with cannot just answer questions. They have to be difficult, hostile, child-like, deceptive or give me a hard time in one way or the other. It doesn’t matter if I am asking questions about their counties, notes section, printer, or notary knowledge — Notaries are generally difficult, and I have to put up with it. If there were more notaries in the industry, I could just refuse to list the difficult ones. But, there are not enough good Notaries to go around, so once again I have to put up with this. After five hours in a row of calling with no food, no break and endless back talk, I have had it. I lose my patience.

Basically, you guys can complain all you like about me, but it is your rudeness as a group that causes my impatience. It is only 40% of you who are rude and many more who are difficult, but when you talk to 200 people in a day and 80 are rude, that really adds up. Try to see it from my perspective. No other profession has this high a percentage of really difficult people.

Try to see it from my perspective
I have to put up with endless whining, irresponsibility, refusal to learn, back talk, and complaining from Carmen, and it all adds up. It is more than I can take. So, if I call you, just be nice, answer questions with helpful answers that are not long winded, and we will have a positive call. If I ask a yes or no question, don’t tell me a long story, just give me a yes or no. If I ask your counties, don’t tell me what you charge for the eastern portion of east Nowhere County, just tell me the names of the counties. If I ask you if you are still in business, don’t ask if I have a job for you, we run a directory — we just need to know if we should continue to list you. Keep your answers short so I don’t have to cut you off and then be accused of being rude. It is rude on your part to subject to endless and inconsequential rambling as a normal form of communication. It wastes my time and is bad for my temper. I should not have to put up with this type of unprofessional behavior.

You want to be treated like professionals, but few of you act like professionals. So, learn to be a helpful professional and instead of complaining about me — take an honest look at yourself!

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November 15, 2018

The Starbucks Oath Question

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:25 am

I created a quiz question for written quizzes about Starbucks. It is a very interesting and caffeinated question. Here it is…

A Notary goes to a signing.

The Affiant asks for an Oath on a document that is an Affidavit that reads, “I love Starbucks.”

The Notary proceeds to attach a Jurat…
and made a statement that was, “Do you solemnly affirm that you are the one who signed this document and that your name is John Smith?”

What did the Notary do wrong?

COMMON RESPONSES

1. Ask for ID?
Many Notaries feel the Notary should ask for ID. It is true that Notaries are responsible for identifying people. However, that is not central to this question and since the document, certificate, and journal entry have not been completed or stamped, that is irrelevant at this point. Unfortunately, Notaries tend to get sidetracked on irrelevant details that are not central to situations while missing very critical points that can get them in trouble. Talking about ID at this point would be going off on a tangent, especially if that is the only thing you mentioned — although in most states you probably would have to identify the signer.

2. Create a journal entry.
Yes, you should ideally create a journal entry. But, that too is not central to the question at hand.

3. The notary used Acknowledgment wording.
I have never heard of a state that makes you take an Oath while doing an Acknowledgment except perhaps that Massachusetts wants to make sure the signer signed on their own free will and makes them make some sort of statement confirming that fact.

4. Make sure the venue has the correct information.
This document has no venue, and Oaths in all states but Florida (not completely sure about this by the way) do not have certificates. Certificates have venues, but if you don’t have a certificate, you don’t have a venue. Oaths once again typically do not have certificates, and therefore do not have venues.

CORRECT RESPONSE

1. The Notary did three things wrong

(a) The Notary added a Jurat when he was asked for an Oath. Although Jurats have Oaths or Affirmations, Oaths do not have Jurats. Humans have diabetes, but diabetes does not have humans. So, please do not assume that an Oath has a Jurat. An Oath can be done as an independent notary act, and most Notaries don’t know this because they do not read up on Notary tutorials, nor do they ever do Oaths as independent acts. In fact, most Notaries do not do Oaths as part of Jurats either — they just skip over it and assume nobody will notice, or they think that filling out the subscribed and sworn written verbiage is the actual Oath (which is not true because Oaths are verbal by definition.) An Oath is a purely verbal act, however, in Jurats there is a written documentation that accompanies and documents the verbal act.

(b) The Notary gave an Affirmation when he was asked to administer an Oath which is bad for two reasons — one, because the notary did not do what he was asked and, two, because the notary CHOSE the Notary act on behalf of the signer which you are not allowed to do. Only the signer or client can choose the Notary act. So, what the Notary did looks like it is bad service, but also illegal.

(c) The statement the notary made was about the signature and the name of the affiant, but not about the content of the document. The Affiant asked for an Oath on their document, so therefore, the Oath should be made purely on the content of the document.

“Do you solemnly swear that this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge so help you God?” — would be okay.

“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks? — is paraphrasing and is okay assuming you don’t butcher the statement in any way that detracts from the logic of the statement.

“Do you solemnly swear that you love Starbucks, so help you the Starbucks Goddess.” — if you are politically correct and have multiple choice for what divine entity you want to swear to, you might be able to get away with this one. Read your state notary handbook and see if they allow swearing to the Starbucks Goddess, or as I call her — The Goddess of Caffeine.

“Please raise your right espresso…” (fill in the rest according to your imagination.)

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You might also like:

Notary Starbucks – charging for waiting time while sipping Sumatra
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18926

The Starbucks Signing in the 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291

Airplane meals versus Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

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November 14, 2018

What are my best memories of 123notary?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:18 am

I have many memories of 123notary going far back.

I remember not being able to transfer the name notarywilltravel.com back in 2000. That is why I had to register the name 123notary. That changed my life. I think angels were involved and had a plan for me. Or perhaps I’m watching too much Joel Osteen.

I remember when my father built a system for updating listings back in 2001. He had to teach me a little bit about the FTP process for me to be able to use it. It was very primitive, but got the job done.

I remember when I first met Carmen back in 2003. I taught her about loan signing and then begged her to work for me. I still have the contract she signed about commissions.

I remember learning SEO from Mark at eMarketing Associates back in 2008. Mark changed my life. He taught me about breadcrumb links and a lot more.

In 2009, an irate Notary from Louisiana made some B.S. excuses for not getting back to me about a complaint. She claimed to be in a hospital, and then raised holy hell when I asked for evidence that she was in the hospital.

Mitch got me started on blogging in 2010. My first blogs mostly didn’t fly with the audience, but some of the articles I wrote in 2010 are the most popular that I have ever written. Beginners luck?

I remember 2012 being the most profitable year of my life, or was it 2013? I guess the Mayans were wrong.

Writing Bartender Notary was a great memory. I don’t think the post was that successful, but I really enjoyed writing it along with My date with Jeremy.

Hiring Andy to help with comedy writing was a great memory. We still work together and he really helped add humor to my Notary Public 101 course which the Notaries are still complimenting me on. Lucky! Sometimes comedy backfires.

In 2017 I removed more than 1000 certifications from people who either cheated on their original test or just had no idea what they were doing. It is so sad to see so much ignorance and obstinence. This is my worst memory.

I will remember all the phone quizzes I did and how much people hated it. There were a few happy memories of people I could elite certify, but not that many.

I hope I have some good memories of 123notary in the future. Honestly, I love the work, but I do not like the anger and lazy attitude that the majority of the Notaries have. It really drains the life out of Carmen and myself and it is so unnecessary and counterproductive.

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You might also like:

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

The History of 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17458

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

The story of 123notary.com
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=710

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November 13, 2018

The Delaware Oath revisited

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 10:22 am

I have started asking questions that intentionally lead you into going off on an unnecessary and illogical tangent. Notaries go on tangents all the time. So, if I have multiple choice answers or questions that would lead an illogical person off track, I get to see who is on the ball and who is not. Here is a scenario that I ask about a lot.

An Affiant appears before a Notary and asks for an Oath on a document that says, “I live in Delaware.”
The Notary declined the job because the Notary is an Illinois Notary, and not a Delaware Notary. What did the Notary do wrong and what should the notary have done?

COMMON ANSWERS

1. The Notary should have checked the ID.
If you are going to decline a Notary job, checking ID will not help. If your state requires identification for Oaths (most if not all probably do although I don’t know that for a fact) then identify the person and keep a journal entry.

2. Just change the venue to Illinois.
The document has no venue. It just says, “I live in Delaware.” The word Delaware is part of a statement and not a venue. If your state requires a certificate for Oaths, the certificate would have a venue, but most states do not have certificates for Oaths. No certificate = no venue.

3. He should look up Delaware wording
There is no state specific wording for Oaths in any state that I have heard of. Check your handbook for a real answer as I am not educated in state notary law although I read ALL the handbooks from all states regularly. An Oath is just an Oath and the notary or signer have the freedom to word it and craft it as they see logical and appropriate.

4. He should use Illinois wording on the Oath.
Once again, you do have to follow the notary laws in your state regardless of where a document is going to be recorded or where the custodian of the document is located. However, the document is NOT a Delaware document. It is a document that has no location at all — it merely states that the Affiant lives in Delaware.

5. The Notary should say, “Do you solemnly swear that you live at such and such an address in Delaware so help you God?”
This Notary is adding content that is not on the document. You can’t do that. Just administer an Oath as to the content of the document.

6. Add a Jurat
In this question you are giving an Oath only if you follow instructions. Oaths do not have Jurats, but Jurats have Oaths or Affirmations. You were not given permission to add a Jurat either, and might be considered UPL to choose the Notary act on behalf of the Affiant.

7. Just give an Oath.
The correct answer is to just give an Oath based on the content of the document. There is no state specific wording necessary. You could say, “Do you solemnly swear that the contents of this document are true and correct?” Then the Affiant must say, “I do.”

This question is really an easy question that tests whether you do your job, or get sidetracked by inconsequential details. You would be surprised at how many notaries just cannot do their job the minute they get distracted by something tiny that throws them off.

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November 8, 2018

Fixing certificates is a state specific nightmarish issue

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:44 am

I like to ask people questions about what to do if a certificate is wrong and you are asked to notarize using that certificate. The problem is that different states handle this differently.

MD does not allow a Notary to add a certificate — period.

CA does not allow Notaries to fix certificates. You have to start the procedure all over if there is any mistake.

OR does not allow Notaries to play Attorney and make decisions as to what can be crossed out, or added, so in Oregon a notary really has their hands (and stamps) tied.

There might be other states with odd rules about fixing errors, but those are the ones that stand out. Making changes to Notary certificates looks like tampering and could cause a nightmare in court. Adding new certificates can raise recording costs and alter the information on the HUD. You are damned either way. So, learn to deal with these issues without getting in trouble with your state.

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November 7, 2018

Contact us if you want free help with your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: — admin @ 9:16 am

A good notes section and triple your business, but it won’t write itself. You can follow our guides for writing a good notes section in our marketing section of the blog and then email us at info@123notary.com for us to edit your work and rearrange things that need rearranging. Step one begins with you, but we can help too after you do your magic. Miracles will happen so don’t delay.

Additionally, please see our blog posts on creating great notes sections at:

String on Notes
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2057

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16074

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November 6, 2018

Compilation of posts about credible witnesses

Filed under: Compilations,Credible Witnesses — Tags: , — admin @ 10:49 am

Here are some helpful posts about credible witnesses. Not all states allow credible witnesses, and the rules are state specific.

Credible Witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

Notary Public 101 (covers many Notary issues, but not Credible Witnesses.)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Credible Witnesses — the process explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16695

Credible Witnesses, the ins and outs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19634

Credible Witnesses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18911

See our string on Credible Witnesses
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=credible-witness

Credible Witness protection plan
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18831

Where do credible witnesses sign the journal book?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2508

How much can a Notary charge for a credible witness?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2700

Credible Witness requirements
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2464

What is a Credible Witness notarization?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2408

Oath of two Credible Witnesses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2405

Types of witnesses in the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

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November 5, 2018

How to make more money as a signing agent during these sluggish times

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:52 am

Notaries are always asking how they can make more money as a signing agent. The answer is that you need to have a step by step process for attaining your goal instead of just wishing (and probably whining.) Most Notaries do not apply themselves and do not have a written marketing plan. Many Notaries read our courses, but the reading is more of skimming and is more for entertainment than for mastering the materials. This wishy-washy approach to a profession is not professional, and that is the key problem. If you do not take this career as a profession, you will not succeed.

1. A professional attitude.
Most Notaries describe themselves as “professional,” but you need to do more than just claim to be professional. You need to understand what the term means intrinsically. Being professional first and foremost means that you are a master of your trade, that you know the ins and outs, and that you spend time reading and mastering the concepts of your trade. You don’t just master some of the concepts, but all that are applicable in your state with no exceptions. Other aspects of being professional include responding to emails with quality answers, being polite, well dressed, doing a good job, etc. Being professional is not rocket science, but requires an attitude of professionality which very few of you have. Taking this business seriously is the prerequisite of being professional.

2. A mastery of skills
Most Notaries think they know everything they need to know about this business and then take offense when I try to ask them anything. I ask questions because I know that 97% of Notaries on my site do not know what they are doing up to a professionally acceptable level. The chance that you are a member of the knowledgeable 3% is exactly 3%. However, if you don’t have our certifications, then the chance of you being in the knowledgeable 3% is less than 1% to be mathematical. 123notary has published free courses for Notary Public basic knowledge, Signing Agent knowledge, and now a Notary Marketing 102 course for your marketing knowledge. I suggest you master the materials for all three. My sales rep Carmen helped someone print out the contents for the first two courses and it was more than 100 pages. I had no idea it was so long. I put these courses together quickly as the knowledge was already in my head.

I suggest studying Notary Public from the NNA as they have a Notary Essentials course and other Notary courses. Your state Notary handbook is another reputable source of knowledge as well as other state created materials, blogs, newsletters, etc.

If you are not a master of all aspects of being a Notary Public, you could not only do poorly in business, but you could end up in jail, get fined, sued, or fired. Not administering Oaths when required to could end up in a felony conviction so don’t treat this profession as a joke because it is a legal support profession and it is dead serious and so am I.

3. Paying your dues
Many Notaries want the high class and high paying work, and some of them get it. But, you have to pay your dues first and then the high paying work will come more and more. You need to do thousands of assignments for low paying companies before you have experience. Additionally, you should be paying attention to every detail of your job during these several thousand jobs including how you communicate on the phone, solving problems, notary issues, and knowing your documents.

4. Certifications
Certifications mean less in 2018 than they meant a few years ago. The industry has steered away from knowledge. However, our Elite Certification still means a lot to the industry and to me. If you want to get ahead on our site, you need to earn this certification.

5. Communication & Attitude
If you communicate well over the phone and have a good attitude that helps a lot. Most people in this industry cannot communicate well and don’t care.

6. Advertise widely
You need to have a high presence on 123notary in many different counties. You need to be on the other directories, yelp, google local and yellow pages as well to do well. It is hard to get a lot of business, so let your existence be known.

Summary
There are many things you need to do to succeed in this business. Most Notaries do the minimum and a few do some of the things you need to do to be successful. You need to be disciplined and do all of the things to succeed an then you can make good money in this industry. Additionally, things will swing around and the industry could become more profitable any day. So, don’t assume times will be lean forever.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102 – a comprehensive guide to Notary marketing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

123notary’s certifications will get you more business than before
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19642

How can new notaries survive without reviews?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20057

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November 4, 2018

How much do signing companies lose by hiring bad signers?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 11:56 am

Many signing companies out there are very short sighted. They only care about getting someone fast who will do the job cheap. Whether or not the signing agents knows anything about notary work, documents or handling situations is generally not considered. Signing companies want you to be “familiar” with the documents. People who are “familiar” cannot answer questions about documents with any intelligence. They have seen the documents before, but cannot explain them. 123notary certified Notaries understand the documents 80-95%. Those who are merely “familiar” might be able to answer 40% of my questions on a good day. The serious types of mistakes Notaries normally make have nothing to do with being “familiar” with the documents but are Notary mistakes or handling situations incorrectly.

Error rates & damages
So, the question is, how much do signing companies lose when they hire bad signing agents? When you hire new agents the mistake rate might be anywhere from 1% to 12% realistically. Those odds are not good. I calculate that there might be a cleanup cost of a few hundred dollars per average mistake depending on what the mistake is. So, the average cost of damages per signing hiring bad signers might be $25 or $40 perhaps.

Will you lose your best Title company client?
However the price goes up when you consider all the Title company clients who dump you because you goofed on their precious work. If a Title company offers you $30,000 per month in jobs and you lose them because you saved $15 by hiring a dummy you found on Snapdocs or somewhere else, you might lose $1,000,000 in revenues over the next few years. Does that seem like a good exchange to you? Gain $15 and lose a million? Those are the odds you are playing with. Your profit on the million might only be $50,000. So, gain $15 and lose $50,000. Get the point?

What are the average damages per signing?
If you average it out on a job by job basis and consider the cleanup costs as well as the losing your best title company clients that you ever had and ever will have costs and put those two costs together, it might realistically be $25 per signing, or perhaps more that you lose on average due to hiring lousy signing agents.

So, why not hire good signing agents?
123notary went to a lot of trouble to filter out bad Notaries from our site. We also retested all of the people who have our certification icon. Our certified members are not perfect but far less risky than the average Notary. In my estimation, a 123notary certified member is ten times safer than hiring some random text addict on Snapdocs. But, don’t base your decision on my arbitrary guess — track signings for yourself and see if our certified members really are better and how much better.

How much extra is it worth to you to hire someone more knowledgeable and safer? I personally would pay a minimum of $20 extra to hire a 123notary certified member and $30 extra for an elite signer. What do you think signing companies?

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You might also like

Ken’s list of things Notaries goof or might goof on
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Goofing on the RTC
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19612

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

Notary fined $385 for botching a notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19941

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November 3, 2018

It is so frustrating

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:38 am

I know the Notaries are sick and tired of me asking them questions. After all, they are experts and professionals who know everything, so they don’t need to be asked questions. Unfortunately, their test scores seem to average around 50%, and the ones who brag, more like 40%

I spent so much time creating free study guides. People read my guides by the thousands, but when it comes to reading them when you are doing an email quiz, most people do not. I give instructions in my email quizzes where to go for reference materials. It is sad that people will get a 50% who could have gotten an 80%.

Failing person after person after person — it just gets me down. I hate taking people’s certifications away from them. But, if they are dangerous as a Notary, it is the only way I can protect the public.

Now, I sent out about 200 emails asking people scenarios questions. Carmen and I think that how you handle real life situations, some of which are curve balls or look like a curve ball — is more important than whether you know the basic notary terminology although you need that too. We teach the basic scenarios to keep you and your clients safe. But, do you learn the material well enough? Very few do which is sad.

On a brighter note, since I have been screening notaries more, the new signups on 123notary have been better. Maybe we will turn into a fancy Beverly Hills type site that caters to the best and forgets about the rest. But, there is no reason why all Notaries cannot be their best. It is dangerous not to know your stuff and can lead to getting fired, legal liability and even ending up in court. It is no joke and there is no excuse not to be at the top of your game at all time.

Even if you only do one notarization per month, if you goof, you can still cause a lot of loss to someone. So, if you are doing to do even one notary act in your future, be an expert and know what you are doing.

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