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August 12, 2021

If Vivaldi wrote a piece for Notaries, what would it be called?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:44 am

Vivaldi wrote one of the most famous pieces of music ever written called “The Four Seasons.” In California, we only have two seasons and in India they have three. Looks like Antonio Vivaldi didn’t travel enough. But, what if he wrote for Notaries?

Here are my ideas.

The Four Signatures
The Four Notaries
The Four Brothers who were Notaries
The Four Italian Notaries.
Notarizing in Legato
Andante con moto Notario!

Personally, I never liked Vivaldi. I love Bach, Rameau, and some of the German Baroque composers. But the other French and Italian Baroque composers I didn’t care for.

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July 14, 2021

How valuable are the various types of notary knowledge?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:19 am

Notaries these days who invest in Notary education study all types of topics. Some study Notary basics, others study TRID, Reverse Mortgages, Helocs, situational knowledge, elite knowledge, or just plain signing agent knowledge. Marketing skills are also taught by many agencies. So, which skills are the most valuable?

As a signing agent, companies typically babysit you unless you are very advanced and work purely for title companies. If you make mistakes, that is very unprofessional, but they generally catch you before it is too late due to the scan backs and fax backs. Notaries do not get complaints about errors on our site these days. When they do get complaints it is because they are rude or don’t show up, don’t return phone calls, or don’t get documents back on time.

So, let me make a pecking order of Notary skills in an order that makes logical sense to me.

Notary knowledge
If you don’t know how to be a solid Notary, you are endangering the public as well as yourself and leaving yourself open to legal liability. A mistake identifying someone, or filling out your journal can lead to a lawsuit, or lack of evidence in a legal proceeding. That is very serious and can ruin not only you, but all who are involved in a transaction with you. Failing to properly administer an Oath (when required) can lead to the termination of your commission if you ever get caught and is considered Perjury which is a Federal crime! If you don’t fill out forms properly or follow Notary law and procedure, you can ruin your life. So, Notary knowledge is the highest priority as a Notary Signing Agent and THAT is why we teach the finer points at no cost in Notary Public 101 on the blog.

Signing Agent knowledge
Knowing how to initial, date a right to cancel, and understanding the basic documents in a home-owner Refinances are skills that you will need to use a lot. You can ruin a signing if you miss signatures or initials, or put wrong dates on documents. Signing Agent skills seems to be a definite #2 in the pecking order of what you should study.

Marketing
If you know your basics, but don’t know how to attract work, you might get a few jobs here and there, but won’t have a side career of any scope. Learning Notary marketing is easy because there are good teachers everywhere. 123notary and LSS do a nice job teaching notary marketing. Some of the knowledge is available in our loan signing course and a lot more is on the blog in the marketing category on the right.

Specialty Skills
It is always good to learn more. Being TRID trained, or trained in reverse signings is great. But, that is the last step in my opinion. It impresses clients when you go above and beyond in your training. It shows motivation and effort and makes them more likely to hire you. But, learn the other stuff first as that is a lot more critical for basic survival.

How many certifications should I get?
The more the merrier. If you advertise with us, you should consider ours. If you are a paid member, we sometimes offer to test you by phone at no cost if you study from Notary Public 101, but we get very few takers. Our test is the hardest in the industry and our teaching materials are the most practical — and NOT the most expensive. We have the least expensive certification compared to the big players!

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April 21, 2021

SCREENING FOR MORE THAN COVID……

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 7:00 am

SCREENING FOR MORE THAN COVID……

Don’t let people waste your TIME. That is all you have and you can’t reclaim it. This blog is to remind all Notaries of the “SCREENING” they need to do before accepting an assignment or even giving a quote.

First and foremost, you should check if the signer or anyone in that household has COVID, come in contact with anyone who has had COVID or are under quarantine orders. Of course, there is a possibility that they may not tell the truth. If that is the case, be prepared to walk if you suspect that the signer has COVID when you get to the signing.

Other important questions to ask when someone calls you for a quote:

Let them know that you are happy to provide them with a quote but you would appreciate it if they answered a few questions.

1. Are they shopping around for the lowest prices? If that is the case, just give them your bottom-line price and let them know that they can call you after they are done shopping with other notaries.

2. Make sure that you toot your own horn (No one else will!) Let the signer know about your experience, certifications and # of loan signings before they go shopping for a lower price. If they are not shopping, ask them the following questions.

3. What type of document is being notarized? Real Estate, Power of Attorney etc.

4. Do they have the document with them?

5. Does the signer have current and valid ID?

6. Do they have a private area where you can sit down safe distance apart to notarize the document?

7. Try to schedule your appointment during a 2- or 3-hour appointment window in case you are running late. Let them know that you will arrive anytime during that window and they should be available. You can let them know that you will call or text them 30 minutes prior to arrival.

8. Determine method of payment and let them know that you don’t accept personal checks if that is your preference.

9. Ask them if they have any other commitments during the appointment window so you can be adequately prepared.

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April 3, 2021

The people who are supposed to be keeping you healthy

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:05 am

I forget if I wrote about this before. But, the people who are supposed to keep your healthy and not healthy themselves.

It is common knowledge that to be healthy you should:

Get enough sleep
Not work too much
Have a balanced diet
Get natural sunlight
Be happy and have a normal social and recreational life.
Not live under too much stress or distress
Believe in God (false Gods are equally good for health purposes) and have some sort of worship.

People who do the opposite are a lot more likely to get cancer, strokes, heart attacks, or die young based on what I have read and seen in real life with people I know!

However, the people who take care of your health
1. Had to go through a grueling experience going through medical school, going without sleep day after day, year after year, and cramming excessively under severe distress.
2. Before medical school, they study like crazy so they can get into medical school.
3. To survive medical school, they sacrifice their friends and family because their time is all zapped up.
4. Natural sunlight? Not unless it happens indoors while cramming.
5. Balanced diet? Does the “Mac N Cheez” they serve at the hospital lunchroom count as a balanced diet? I’m sure it must — otherwise why would they serve it at a hospital unless their goal is to keep us sick (or unless they are clueless or don’t care?)
6. Medical professionals work themselves to death doing long 12 or 36 hour shifts under miserable and grueling conditions.

If these people choose to devote their entire lives to living under inhuman, unhealthy and grueling conditions, should you be hiring them to keep you healthy?

I use holistic doctors and the doctor at the clinic who works 40 hours a week and doesn’t over do it. I hire medical staff who look healthy and kept me healthy. But, what about the rest of you?

We just ad a Surgeon join 123notary. His body just couldn’t handle the punishment of the 80 hour workweeks at his age. But, he loves driving around doing signings and he lives in an area with amazing scenery which makes the driving heaven. I talked to him about this issue of doctors being the least healthy people and he agreed with me. That is why he quit being a doctor. I think we need to redesign the way the world works.

SUMMARY
We should all live happy and well balanced lives and believe in God or Gods. According to Christianity and Judaism if you worship the wrong Gods you go to hell. But, according to long life research you can worship false Gods all day long and the more you do it, the longer you live. So, we’ve finally proven religious fuddy duddies wrong about something. However, there is no proof that after your happy long life of worshipping false Gods that you will have a positive after-life. The long life specialists don’t seem to discuss the afterlife other than the fact that some people believe or don’t believe in it. Hmmm.

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March 7, 2021

Fake police scam targetting Notaries

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:31 am

We are writing about this topic and others on our forum. Please reference the forum to read more about this and other interesting notary topics.

http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7702

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January 31, 2021

Commentary on “A bar only for cool Notaries.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:12 am

Don’t ask me how I came up with the idea for this. I think I must have been at Wood Ranch sitting at the bar waiting for my asparagus and baked potato talking to the cool bar tender Adolfo. Yes, he is not only a bar tender, but musician, philosopher and cool guy. I was thinking how nice it would be if there were particular bars where the people were at a measurable level of coolness. And then thought — what if it if were for Notaries only? They would probably just complain about signing companies which is totally uncool — but, we do have a lot of very cool people on the site and I talk to them periodically.

Here are some comments…
1. I literally laughed out loud while reading this witty tale… #lovededit

Jeremy’s take — glad someone liked my ideas and my comedy. Usually it is my paid comedy writer Andy who gets the hits. He is a pro and worked with Seinfeld and Cheers, so he has paid his dues. All I did was notarize stuff and come up with weird ideas.

2. I figured you didn’t sleep, let alone hard enough to dream! How do you find time with everything you do?

Jeremy’s take
I sleep odd hours. It got so bad I was staying up all night and going to bed at 7am. It was out of control. I need sunlight. So, then I disciplined myself and now I am going to bed at midnight and getting up at 9:30am. I need a little more than nine hours normally. But, how do I find time to write? First of all I love writing. It nourishes my soul and creativity. I feel empty without doing it. Second, I have to write because the Notaries need tips and laughter, otherwise they dry up (but, their stamp’s ink doesn’t dry up.)

SUMMARY
I had no idea this blog entry would take off. I’m glad it did. It was just a spur of the moment idea. It just came up. We thought of other crazy ideas in that bar too. A bar just like Hooters, but where they make smoothies and juice. We decided to name the idea “Jooters” or “Smooters”. I told the bar tender all my crazy ideas for pick up lines too and he had a lot of commentary. But, he’s married now so he is out of the game.

You might also like:

A bar only for “cool” Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22546

3 Notaries walk into a bar
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3660

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February 23, 2020

2014 Compilation of best posts

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:57 am

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MARKETING

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What is your monthly marketing plan?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9683

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

$30 signings – is it worth it even in the best of circumstances
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

Is $75 enough to print two sets of docs, notarize & do faxbacks?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10369

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TECHNICAL

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We caught a bunch of frauds using notary verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7096

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Poo picking – getting the best notary jobs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9273

Best notary posts for Beginners
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

New Notary apps you really need
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9797

The right to cancel done wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10001

Do you notarize loose certificates as a notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10372

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STORIES

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Dress Brittish – Think Yiddish
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8643

The Towles Booth (pronounced “tolls”)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9456

Signing with a former airline captain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=12870

Reviews about 123notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14072

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

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COMEDY

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A social media site for Notaries – Affiant
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6410

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August 14, 2018

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 10:54 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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DANGERS OF HIRING A SHODDY NOTARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8914

Elite Certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

If Donald Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19120

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August 3, 2018

Notary Public 101 — Scenarios: What entities might want to see your journal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:38 am

I have gotten in hundreds of arguments with notaries from states all over the county. Those who live in states where journals are not legally required think they will not get into trouble if they don’t have one. If you end up in court, your journal is your only evidence of what happened. You might become a witness for a long case or a defendant if you don’t keep a journal regardless of what your state says.

The FBI investigates ALL Mortgage fraud. That means that if you notarize a fraudulent mortgage, don’t keep a journal, and the FBI catches up with you– you are in trouble as well as the Lender and they can name you as a suspect. The possibility of being slapped with a $20,000 Attorney fee is just not worth the risk. It is much easier just to keep a journal so that you will have some sort of evidence of what work you performed.

Here is a list of entities that might want to see your journal other than your state which may or may not require it.

1. The FBI
2. Judges in court
3. Signers
4. Attorneys
5. People who were affected directly or indirectly by something you notarized perhaps such as beneficiaries, etc.

When I was a Notary, I had three or four inquiries about journal entries. Since I kept my books in order I was ready. How ready are you?

You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Comparing journal entries to FedEx signatures
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19375
How many journal entries do you use for two signers on three docs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19391

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March 4, 2017

SnapDocs is a bigger operation than I thought

Filed under: Popular Overall,Uncategorized — Tags: , — admin @ 10:34 pm

123notary is a small, but high quality organization that has a database of Notaries that is nationwide. We offer refined information that we check regularly for accuracy. We never experienced any serious competition until SnapDocs appeared in 2012. SnapDocs didn’t get too much serious traffic until 2015 when we started to really feel their presence.

But, they are not a mom & pop organization like we are. They are a huge technology company that processes 40,000 loans per month. They automate a lot of the back office processes that go into preparing a loan for the closing process as well as parts of the loan signing process such as finding a Notary.

SnapDocs charges $8 per loan signing according to what I have heard. If they have 40,000 loans per month, their income is $320,000 per month or about 4 million per year. They also have a team of programmers and engineers to keep their operation afloat.

They are located in San Francisco, CA with another venue in San Jose, CA which is the tech capitol of the world as far as I’m concerned.

I’m beginning to be concerned that we will lose a lot of market share due to them, especially if they get smarter about taking market share.

You might also like:

See our STRING about Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

The Uber principle at Snapdocs — new blood
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

The History of 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

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