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April 2, 2020

How Much Can I charge for a mobile notary assignment and be sure that I will get the job?

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 8:48 am

There is no easy or definite answer but based on my experience over many years, I have the following suggestions.

First and foremost, don’t immediately say YES when you are asked if you are available to do a notary signing.

The first question should never be, “how much are you paying”? Instead ask informative questions.

When (day and time) do they need it, what type of signing is it (Loan, refinance, POA etc), where is it and how many signatures are being notarized?

If you are comfortable with the answers you get on the above questions even if you don’t get all of the answers, then proceed with getting further details.

Who has the documents? If they are going to email them to you, when is the latest you can get it? Do you need to print one or 2 sets? Do they want you to fax or scan & email them back or drop it at a FeDex or UPS office? I always tell them to email the borrower a copy of the loan documents so they can review them ahead of time and not waste your time reading all of it and ask you questions when you get there for the signing.

After going through your questions, now is a good time to ask them how much they pay for the notary signing and for you to negotiate. You know the distance, date, time and hopefully number of signatures to be notarized. You need to know how much your time is worth and is it worth driving 1 hour for $75 or $150. Be prepared to let them know your reasons for your fee. In Los Angeles, the traffic can set you back 2 to 3 hours depending on where and what time you are traveling. What revenue are you giving up during the travel time otherwise known as Opportunity Cost?

I was recently blindsided when I accepted a notary signing for $250/-. On the surface it seems like more money than the average signing. The two critical mistakes that I made are not finding out definitively if the loan signing is for California or out of state and total number of signatures to be notarized. Out of state loan documents especially New York require more notarizations which require that you prepare California Acknowledgments or Jurats. Never assume that the number of signatures notarized are generally the same at around 4 or 5 for loan signings. The number of signatures I notarized was 30, not including numerous signatures and initials. Without the traveling fee alone, I could have charged up to $450/-. The signers wanted me at their house on the west side of Los Angeles at exactly 6 p.m. because it was convenient for them. That is rush hour and I spent an hour and one half on the freeway and only got there at 6:30 p.m. and offered my apologies to the signers.

As I drove back at 8:30 p.m., I reflected on how I can avoid repeating my mistakes. Although I asked for the number of signatures to be notarized, they told me that they did not know. Going forward, if I was told that they did not know the number of notarizations, then I would confirm via email that the mobile fee is good for up to 6 signatures and anything more they will be charged an additional $15/signature notarized. Next, I will not accept any assignment that will force me to drive during rush hour. If they insist, I will charge an additional fee depending on how long I expect to be stuck in traffic. If they don’t want to pay, that is fine. They can find another notary but at least I am valuing my time and they will know it.

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March 30, 2020

Do you know what you are getting yourself into?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 8:46 am

It never ceases to amaze me how many folks get into this business and don’t know ANYTHING about it. All folks seem to know is that someone came to their house with their loan paperwork and on the surface it looks easy enough and they burst out, “Hey, I could do this too! And then proceed to ask; “How do you get into this business?”. And they actually expect you to give them all the little details of the ends and outs of how to get into the business so they can TAKE all of your business. Never, once thinking that this might be improper because why would any of us really want to train our own competition? But some of us do (being nice and all that) but end up regretting it later due to our own demise.

I was reading a notary forum post about how easy we make it look and that we need to stop this because all we are doing is saturating our areas with more and more notaries. It’s all about supply and demand. Lets face it there is no real demand for us notaries in this profession. There is some work but it is being spread to thin and the pay is at an all time low. And those of us that have been in it awhile refuse to work for peanuts. Many have taken part time jobs to supplement there incomes. Many have just thrown in the towel altogether and moved on.

The other contributing factor in over-saturation is that you have several places that offer loan signing classes with no regard that they are consistently over saturating the market with notary signing agents that will NEVER see any work. Just this week alone I have spoken with notaries in various parts of the county that have been at it for months and still no work. Or if they do have any at all it is in limited supply and the pay is paltry to say the least.

Moral of the story is that you need to check out whether there is a real need for signing agents in YOUR area. And whether this is a professional you can grow and profit from BEFORE you lay out the cash to get started.

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March 29, 2020

Two notarizations same document..yes or no?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 8:45 am

As I often do, I read the notary discussion boards. It’s often entertainenlightening and full of situations that we are faced with to deal with almost on a daily basis. Most of them you share personally with me but this was a new one. A few days ago, the topic was about a notary that had a document that had one signature but two notarizations on the same page; One, was an Acknowledgement and the other a Jurat. The notary choose to notarize only one (don’t know which one they choose and they shouldn’t have done this but that is another issue) and the underwriter rejected it and sent it back for completion of the other notarial certificate. It seems that they wanted BOTH the acknowledgement and the jurat completed. The notary said NO and stated that it was one signature per notarial certificate. And since they had only signed once she refused to notarize both. And, although it sounded about right because most of us feel that it is one signature per notarization. After all, that is how we charge clients. In this case the certificates are different. One requires a sworn oath to be given and the other is just an acknowledgment on the part of the signer. I still wondered about this. Where is written in anybodies handbook that states that you can’t do one signature and have two different type of notarial certificates?

In my opinion, It seems that the lender and/or title was covering there rear end. Perhaps they couldn’t choose so they just decided to put both.The problem would have been easy if they had the signer sign one for each certificate. What ever the case its a decision that you have to make. It seems the notaries are split on this. I personally have seen this a couple times and I just notarize both. And enter into my journal.The question is what would you do?

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December 17, 2019

“Oh, just shut up and do you job!”

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 8:37 am

As a notary public myself, I can not tell you how many times I have heard, “Just shut up and do your job”. Other notaries over the years have expressed hearing the same. Usually, this will come form an uninformed loan officer or realtor. Or just someone that wants you to break the rules for them with little regard of the consequences for the notary. But what is more disheartening is when one notary says it to another.

I recently got a call from a notary friend who had such an experience. This notary was asked by a lender to notarize a document in a spousal state that the other spouse was instructed by the lender that they didn’t need to sign. My notary friend knew this was not legal and since she was aware of the law she refused to complete the assignment. The notary then reached out to one of her other notary friends, who told her to just ‘shut up’ and notarize the documents and also added for good measure; “Who do you think you are?”, ‘“You are just a notary?”. This upset my friend greatly, hence the call to me. I let her know immediately IMHO as far as I am concerned she had done the right thing.

Listen, we are government officials and IMHO, if we know something to be illegal (or unethical) you cannot in good conscience continue with the process of notarizing. We are supposed to be protecting the public. Not aiding and abedding folks trying to pull a fast one. And sadly, we eventually all come to realize, the mortgage industry is riddled with deceit and fraud. So, my rule of thumb is to think about how would I answer and defend my actions, if I were ever called to court and had to get on the stand and a judge asked me, if i knew something to be illegal, or unethical, how would I defend my actions?

And for another notary to insult another because they did what she/he thought or felt was right IMO was not fair. We are all responsible for our own actions. We all have to do what we feel is right and must be able to defend our actions if comes down to that. And for me the bottom line will be if I can live with what I have done and can I sleep at night.

I would love to hear with some of the rest of you feel about this.

You might also like:

Carmen’s guide to the Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22541

Show me the money
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22537

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December 16, 2019

Keep your eyes on what is Important

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:34 am

Keep your eyes on what is Important
I was a student pilot flying a little Cessna 150 single engine plane. My instructor believed in making me ready for any situation, As I approached Kobelt airport in upstate New York (a very short runway – under 3000 feet) was before me. I had landed there a few times and knew that a perfect approach, airspeed and elevation was essential; lest I have to call a “missed approach” apply full power and go around to try the approach again.

I spotted something in the middle of the runway – during a rather good approach. I could not make out what it was! My eyes fixed on it for about 2 seconds trying to determine what the obstruction was. Thankfully, I took a look at the bigger picture and noticed that a slight crosswind was directing the plane toward a rather large tree! Flaps up, full power, slightly lift the “nose” – over the trees I went, just above stall speed! The object was my instructor, teaching me to look where I was going….

I doubt you notarize for the fun of it. You want to earn money, the more the better. However just earning money can be somewhat pointless without there being Profit. Some might object to my use of the “P” word – but, even if I offend some – it’s central to this article; and I will use it.

Profit is the money left over after the costs of doing business are deducted from revenue. Many are the callers I speak to that offer revenue, but not profit. A 50 dollar edoc that takes an hour plus each way is a rejected offer – there is revenue; but no profit. We all know the components that go into our costs; no need for me to again enumerate them here. However, some will take any assignment hoping to “show their mettle” – with a higher rate on subsequent jobs. That has never worked – “they” remember the least you would accept and will offer not a penny more.

Keep your eyes on what is Important – Profit. Sure it’s virtually impossible to account for the= share of “overhead” expenses on a per job basis. However, it’s pretty easy to “feel” if you are at least earning what you feel you are worth. Some with a high degree of skill probably will want a higher rate per hour compared to those just starting out. But, for the vast majority of us we desire to earn, what’s the popular amount now? Hmmmm, are your efforts earning 15$ an hour?

Of course that 15$ amount is very low; but some take the bait and make less; how is that possible? Well, with eyes on the important, let us take two views. You decline the lowball and they say “there are lots of notaries who will take what we are offering” – that’s unfortunately true. But so is the flip side, there are lots of firms that are willing to offer more. Stand fast, don’t break ranks to the bottom fisher. Many posts here and on other sites tell you how to make the two most important actions. First, learn a lot about what you are authorized to do. Secondly, make yourself known widely; sure some will be lowballers – you just decline, best done with an “unsubscribe” one word reply.

As my little plane approached the trees I had a decision to make; with very little time to make it. I could have adjusted course and “attempted” to pull off a landing; but I knew my skills were not up to that level of flying. I chose to abort the missed approach – and lived to try again. But, it was a lesson well learned. When landing a plane look where the plane is going. When being a notary look at the “bottom line” and keep aware: will you profit properly or lose by accepting?

You might also like:

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

Ken’s take on how to be a bad boy/girl Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22374

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December 11, 2019

A Star Notary Is Born

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 8:34 am

There have now been four, count them, four “A Star is Born” movies. Janet Gaynor…Judy Garland…Barbra Streisand… and of course, Lady Gaga. Which can only mean one thing… it’s time for another Star is Born movie. A Star Notary Is Born!

BRAD
(the veteran notary with a drinking problem)
Leave it to me to provide for a secure signature on an electronic document, one that proves the signature belongs to you.”

ELLEN
(up and coming notary)
Could that be called a “Digital Signature?”

BRAD
Say! You’re right. That was mighty fast. You might just have the talent to be a professional notary!

ELLEN
Do you really think so?

BRAD
I know so.

BRAD, SHAKES AND ALL, TRIPS AND FALLS.

ELLEN
Are you all right?

BRAD
Yes, I’m all right! Why, do you think I’m not all right? You think you’re better than I am?

ELLEN
(crying)
No, I swear I didn’t mean that!

ELLEN SWEARS UNDER OATH THAT SHE DIDN’T MEAN THAT. BRAD, RECOGNIZING EVEN MORE ELLEN’S TRUE CALLING, TELLS HER SHE’S A STAR. BRAD ENTERS REHAB. ELLEN ENTERS A HOME FOR HER FIRST SIGNING

THE END

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A notary goes to a motivational event but has a hearing problem
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22548

Notary high school 80’s style
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22399

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December 8, 2019

Notary Commencement Speech

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 8:13 am

Notary Commencement Speech

Greetings, Notary Class of 2019. Today marks the first day of your journey into adulthood. And driving to signings where a signer’s dog treats your leg like a lover.

Take pride in what you’ve accomplished to get to this moment. Not the parents “bribing- us-to-take-you-in” part. The certified copy of your diploma awaits you. I, as the Custodian of the Document, will be presenting the document, although I may or may not be the document signer or party named in the document. At Notary College, we don’t mess around. The University President who signed your diplomas wasn’t coerced into signing them. In that case, it was a free act and deed. Although with the student debt you’ll be paying off for the next thirty years, it was anything but “free.”

As you go through life, remember to always give back. Unless we’re talking about chewed on pens. Those you can keep. And we’re not about to give back the fifty grand you still owe us. So chew on that.

The only thing greater than the power of higher education is Power of Attorney. Or the Principal, the person who signs the power of attorney to allow the attorney-in-fact to have certain powers to act on behalf of the principal. Or the power of flipping off drivers who cut you off on the way to a signing. Or power naps. They’re incredibly powerful as the dozens of you who dozed when I started speaking would attest to if you weren’t busy snoring right now.

In closing, never let your interest in documents expire. Never let your commission expire. And take your years of college protest and turn them into an actual “protest”: a formal declaration made by a notary declaring a default in payment on a promissory note. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my speech has been boring enough for me to join you in that power nap!

You might also like:

A dream about Michelle Obama’s inspirational speech
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20028

I have a dream – notary version
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19207

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December 5, 2019

The 50th Notary High School Reunion

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 6:09 am

The 50th Notary High School Reunion

What could be more exciting than attending the biggest notary high school reunion of them all, the big 5-0? A chance to feel great that the cool kids grew up to be old and dumpy. And the geeks grew up to be old and dumpy. It’s the 50th. You were expecting “svelte?”

Jill: Hi?? … (noticing Jack’s notary high school picture nametag): Ohhhhh… Jack! Sorry for your loss.

Jack: Yeah, I went bald in notary college. You still look hot.

Jill: Thanks!

Jack: As in hot flash.

Jill: Menopause happened back in my fifties, so I’ll take that as a compliment. Are you still performing Notarial Acts?

Jack: I still witness signatures. The ones my kids make trying to sign me into a home.

Jill: At 68, they’re trying to put you in a nursing home? That’s not very nice.

Jack: I’m joking. I retired last year. Made a killing.

Jill: That’s great. How did you do it?

Jack: I was a notary specialist. My clients were all octopuses. Eight arms. Eight signatures.

Jill: That adds up. Remember our teachers in Notary Junior High? Mr. Guther?

Jack: How could I forget? He suspended me for embossing my private parts.

Jill: Oh yeah! You were a wild kid.

Jack: But I got an A in shop class for making the stamping device.

Jill: You affixed it to a tangible record, all right.

Jack: Weren’t you a cheerleader back then?

Jill: I sure was. I still remember our chant. “Give me an A, give me an F, give me an F, give me an I, give me a D, give me an A, give me a V, give me an I, give me a T, what’s that spell?

Jack: Affidavit?

Jill: I don’t know. I was a great cheerleader but a lousy speller.

You might also like:

Testing Carmen on a bridge in 2003
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21264

Notaries over 50
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21262

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November 23, 2019

Trump Rallies the Notary-publicans

Filed under: Andy Cowan — admin @ 5:53 am

Trump Rallies the Notary-publicans

President Trump took his reelection campaign to the heart of notary country today to try to rally his base.

DJT: Look at this crowd of notaries! This is an even bigger crowd than the crowd who showed up for my Inaugural. There must be dozens and dozens of you. Whoever booked me for this time waster, as in my old job… “You’re fired.”

I’ve gotten more done for notaries in my first two and a half years than Presidents Obama and Bush put together. The numbers of jobs for notaries witnessing the signings of executive orders putting immigrant kids in cages is through the roof, am I right? And it’s a beautiful, fantastic roof. Almost as beautiful as the wall I’m pretending to build I pretended Mexico would pay for.

I see a lot of credible witnesses in the crowd. I’m talking about a third person who personally knows the document signer and verifies the signer’s identity. And look, there’s the anything but credible witness, Don Junior. Chin up, Don. Oh, it’s already up? I couldn’t see it – it’s a very weak chin. Takes after one of my ex-wives, not me. Except for the “anything but credible” part. There he’s a chip off the old block.

We’re gonna have fantastic Errors and Omissions insurance for all you notaries. That’s because I want to protect a notary from any mistake that causes a financial loss to a client, so you won’t be sued for recovery, okay? I know all about being sued. You know who needs Errors and Omissions insurance? The fake news. I see you out there. CNN. MSNBC. They omit things all the time. Like how unbelievable fantastic I am. They make errors all the time. Like that footage of me walking up to Air Force One with toilet paper stuck on my shoe. It wasn’t toilet paper!

It was the Constitution. By the time I got done trampling over it, it looked like toilet paper, okay? And there was no collusion. No obstruction. That last one was a lie but I throw you so many, who can keep up?

And the Dems want to impeach me, because they’re bad, bad, disgusting, horrible people. And I’ll never resign. Whereas if you notaries resign your commission, you have to notify the Secretary of State’s office within 30 days. And not Secretary of State Crooked Hillary. That’s right…“Lock her up!” “Lock her up!” Wait, you’re not chanting it right. It’s “her,” not “him.” Stop chanting “Lock him up!” I’m not rooming with that mouth breather Michael Cohen! Forget it. Or Manafort. Do you know he dyes his hair?

You might also like:

Trump’s trade war affected Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20497

Will the next election help our notary industry?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22267

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October 13, 2019

Seven Tips for Choosing a Lawyer in a Personal Injury Case

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 10:43 am

Seven Tips for Choosing a Lawyer in a Personal Injury Case
When choosing a personal injury lawyer for your case, there are many things that you need to take into consideration. If you have been injured and want the compensation that you are entitled to, you need to find a lawyer that knows exactly how to win your case and has experience in similar cases. Here are seven tips for choosing a lawyer for your personal injury case.

Location
Before you focus on anything else, you need to make sure that the lawyer you want can practice within your area. For those who live in Pennsylvania, you need to find a trustworthy Lehigh Valley personal injury lawyer such as those who work at Trapani Law Firm.

Track History
If you want to know the likelihood of a lawyer winning your case, you need to check their track history and see how many cases they have won, as well as what these cases entailed. Finding a personal injury lawyer who wins the cases they take on is essential, but you should also be aware that some lawyers only decide to take on the cases they know they will win, meaning this is just one thing that you need to consider.

Relevant Experience
Experience provides you with a sense of stability and allows clients to check the track history and understand more about how a lawyer works. While all lawyers need to start somewhere, when dealing with a personal injury case it is best to stick to a lawyer with relevant experience.

Disciplinary Record
A disciplinary record is essentially what it says on the tin. This record can inform you of any complaints that the lawyer may have received and can also provide information such as if the lawyer has ever been disbarred or suspended. If you have already met with the lawyer and they are ticking the right boxes, it may be worth discussing with them what happened with a complaint they received and how they dealt with it. Unfortunately, clients can sometimes file a complaint even when the lawyer has done everything within their power to assist them, so it is best to determine the root cause of the complaint before ruling a lawyer out completely. You can find information regarding a disciplinary record about any lawyer online.

Practice Years
Those who have been in the profession for a long time will have great experience and will understand a personal injury case better than anyone. If your case is especially complex, finding a lawyer with many years of experience is even more important to enable you to win your case and gain the compensation that you deserve.

Reputation
Finding a personal injury lawyer with a good reputation means that you are more likely to trust them with your case. You can check reviews on most law firm websites and you may also be able to find reviews online. A personal injury lawyer who has a good reputation within the state may be able to get your case solved more quickly as they are known throughout the courts. Finding positive reviews from previous clients can enable you to feel more at ease as it can be hard to judge someone on a first meeting. You may also want to ask the personal injury lawyer upon your first meeting if they have any client testimonials for you to read through.

Focus
Personal injury cases are all unique, and so you may want to find a lawyer that has a special focus on your personal injury case. It may be that you were involved in a slip and fall accident and so finding a lawyer that has focused on similar cases is ideal. You can usually find this out on their website or by speaking to the lawyer directly.

Following these seven tips you can find a personal injury lawyer that is perfect for your needs and your case.

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