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November 25, 2018

Can a Notary notarize a photograph?

Can you notarize a photograph?
Can a notary public notarize a photo?

You can not notarize a photograph. If you have a document that pertains to a particular photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the signature on the document. Something that not all people understand is that a Notary’s job is to administer oaths and notarize signatures… signatures that are on documents. A Notary cannot notarize a signature on a document unless there is notary verbiage acceptable to the state wherever the notarization is taking place.

Normally notaries perform Acknowledgments or Jurats when notarizing a signature. An Acknowledgment requires the signer to acknowledge having signed the instrument while a Jurat requires the signer to sign and swear to the truthfulness of the document, and do both actions in the physical presence of the Notary Public at the time of the notarization.

You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document if you want to be a fancy and thorough Notary.

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Notary Just Say No #3
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Notary FAQ
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November 22, 2018

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:28 am

I talk to a lot of Notaries. I hear a lot of stories. The jobs that many people get offered from Snapdocs are often an hour, or two hours away. Considering how low jobs pay, how can someone who isn’t absolutely local take them? On the other hand, since pay is so low, the close people reject the jobs and people more far away keep getting offered these jobs.

That does not seem to be a realistic business model. Perhaps there should be minimum fees. Perhaps the Notaries would take more interest in responding if they could at least make a little bit of money.

The other thing that is deceiving about Snapdocs is that they are getting almost triple the clicks that 123notary gets. However, when we ask people where they get actual work, the high paying work is mostly from 123notary. Notary Rotary gets some work, but not as much as people get through our medium. And then people often say they get a little from Snapdocs, Notary Cafe, and perhaps signingagent.com or perhaps even Yelp which is my new and fierce competition.

Yelp has horrible Notaries, but they are masters of the art of the review, and that is what keeps them floating on Google along with us.

The bottom line is that there are very few active or serious notaries these days. Most people do a few jobs here and there, but do not specialize in it. In the old days there were a lot of very serious Notaries. That reality will not happen again unless interest rates keep coming down little by little. Right now we have the opposite effect. I wonder how long this will last. Hmmm.

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You might also like:

Compilation of posts about SnapDocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21531

See our string of posts about snapdocs
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Snapdocs – racially disproportionate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21226

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November 21, 2018

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations

SAFETY TIPS AND 12 QUESTIONS TO ASK FOR HOSPITAL NOTARIZATIONS:
I get calls frequently for Notarizations in Jails and Hospitals.
This blog will focus on things you must do to protect yourself from lawsuits and damages when you get a desperate call to go out to a hospital to notarize documents to be signed by a patient, moistly a Power of Attorney. The phone call invariably comes from the child who has a parent admitted to the hospital.
What do you do as the Notary when the person calling says they will pay you whatever you charge as your mobile fee? Remember Rule #1: It is not always about the money. It is about your ability to follow the Notary laws and perform your job without taking short cuts.
The following list of questions is a short summary of the steps I have actually taken when I got such a call.

1. What is your relationship to the patient?
2. Do you have any other siblings or relatives who have a beneficial interest in the transaction?
3. Is the patient conscious? Coherent? On any medication?
4. Does the patient have a current valid ID with him or can you make it available when the notary arrives at the hospital?
5. Is the patient able to sign his name without any help?
6. Does the patient speak English and can he understand and answer simple questions coherently?
7. Does the patient have an attending physician and a Nurse assigned to him?
8. Do you have the number to the attending physician and nurse because I need to talk to them to get an accurate idea of the health and overall condition of the patient?
9. When can I talk to the patient directly by phone with a nurse present in the room?
10. What type of document are you having notarized?
11. What dates and times work for the patient?
12. My mobile fees are _____ and $15/signature notarized. After I get there if I make the determination that the person is unable to understand anything I ask him or is being forced to sign, I will not be able to notarize the document but will still charge you my mobile fee for coming out based on your representations over the phone. Are you okay with that because I don’t want to get into any arguments after I get there?

Believe me there has been more than one occasion I can recall where I had to leave without notarizing a document because the patient was unable to understand anything I asked, was incoherent and simply could not sign or even hold a pen to just mark an “X”. It is better to walk away from a Notarization where you know instinctively that it is wrong because the signer is not aware of what he is signing and inevitably you will end up being a party to a litigation by interested parties who believe that the Notary failed to take into account the coherence and soundness of mind of the signer at the time of the Notarization. This would invalidate your notarization and worse yet force you to pay legal expenses to defend yourself. Is it worth it? Absolutely not!

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A tale of four notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Hospital Notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

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November 19, 2018

The five year rule of experience for Notaries

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 11:48 am

For some reason, Notaries with exactly five years of experience are the most popular. Notaries who are new to our site tend to get poor click averages. Notaries who have been around for eight plus years tend to get apathetic and see a decline in clicks that increases little by little.

Notaries who brag that they have twenty years of experience need to understand that in our experience working with tens of thousands of Notaries, twenty years of experience equals someone who is generally sluggish, tired, washed out, arrogant, and rusty on Notary knowledge since they generally haven’t brushed up on their skills in decades.

If you want to brag about your experience, brag that you have exactly five years of experience. It is kind of like Fran the Nanny from Queens who says 29 for the rest of her life and never gets a day older. It is a good age to be, especially if you are still single.

Rough Stats: Clicks per day average for high ranking listings that are not 123notary certified.

12 years 1.4 clicks
8 years 1.2 clicks
5 years 1.8 clicks
3 years 1.3 clicks
1 year .7 clicks

Please keep in mind that these clicks are based on higher placed listings and there were few averaged. According to these results the 8 years people got less clicks than the 12 year veterans, but the trend shows a slow decline in clicks as people get settled into apathy and decline. The first five years of your career you develop technical and business knowledge that makes you better. Then, you get tired of learning, perhaps cocky and go into a decline cycle. On a brighter note, name recognition really helps in this business, so if your name has been around forever, you might get a lot of work just based on name recognition from the old timers at signing and title companies who know your name.

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October 27, 2018

All Mortgage fraud is investigated by the FBI

Filed under: Popular on Twitter,Technical & Legal — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:17 am

The FBI is federal and your state is local. So, if your state doesn’t require a journal, you notarize a fraudulent mortgage, and then get investigated, then the feds will be investigating you. If you don’t keep a journal which is your only evidence that showed who you notarized, you will have no evidence.

Additionally if someone copies your seal and impersonates you, and you don’t keep a journal, you will have no proof or way of knowing if you were the one who notarized the transaction or whether an imposter did. These are some of the many reasons you need a journal. The excuse, “My state doesn’t require a journal.” Might not cut it with a Federal agency, because a Federal agency goes by Federal guidelines not the backwards rules of your state.

The FBI can name you as a suspect and if you don’t keep a journal it looks like you are doing a cover up for fraud and are in cahoots with the Lender. It looks like you are hiding evidence.

Additionally, the FBI needs forensic or biometric evidence. Texas and Florida discourage or prohibit taking such evidence. If you show the FBI a line in your journal that has a fake name, fake ID serial number, fake address and fake signature, how will this help the FBI catch anyone? Try to think from their perspective. They are trying to catch people who are ruining dozens or hundreds of peoples’ lives. If you are a concerned citizen, you might try really thinking hard about this. Taking journal thumbprints is a foolproof way to identify signers. Whether you do this or not is something I cannot advise, but there are serious consequences to not keeping thumbprints — consequences for the safety of society.

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Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to acknowledgment
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My stolen identity and the fraudulent notary seal
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Fraud – The 30 point course discusses this issue
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July 27, 2018

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries. The Notary Dance

Filed under: Humorous Posts,Popular on Twitter — Tags: — admin @ 11:33 am

Our last Black vs. White was really more about Asian parents vs. White parents and how white parents don’t make their kids study enough. That made white people very upset. Don’t be upset — just have your kids study harder. But, all the offensive comments… are they really necessary? The reason I write this type of blogs is that they get a lot of clicks. This is what people want to read about. It excites them. You know what they say — get your clicks on route 66. If you don’t want me writing about this type of subject matter, then click on something educational like our Notary Public 101 course or other tutorials.

WEEZY: George, I really think that Florence should become a Notary.

GEORGE JEFFERSON: Flo? She doesn’t know nothing about paperwork, or any kind of work for that matter.

WEEZY: I think it would be good if she knew some other types of ways to expand her horizons. But, I’m worried. What if she makes a mistake and costs a business owner thousands?

GEORGE JEFFERSON: Mistake? That ain’t nothing to worry about. How can you make a mistake if you don’t do anything?

TERRENCE: Personally, I think the Notary industry is racist.

WEEZY: How’s that?

TERRENCE: Have you ever noticed that you always sign a white document with black ink? There’s a whole lot more white than there is black.

SEINFELD: I never thought of that before. Why not have a black document signed with white ink?

KRAMER: Why not invisible ink, that you can only see with a special light! (rubbing his hands together)

FLO: I think that Notaries should have their own special Notarial dance.

SEINFELD: I like the idea, but how would I make a joke about that… let me think…

GEORGE JEFFERSON: Most Notaries that I’ve seen are white. The idea of a white person doing any type of a dance is a joke in itself.

SEINFELD: (nodding head) yeah, that’s right. Unless it is some sort of a Jewish dance. Our people excel at dancing, but only if it is in a circle. The minute we have to dance standing still or in a line, the whole thing just falls apart.

GEORGE JEFFERSON: The only reason your people know how to dance, is that they got plenty of practice while living in Africa and even more practice while running away from the Pharoah.

SEINFELD: I disagree. Running away from Pharoah was running in a particular direction — East. Our people just like to go in circles. Circular dances, circular reasoning, circuitous logic, etc. It gets you absolutely nowhere, but it’s so much fun if you don’t get dizzy.

FLO: I get dizzy just looking at reruns of my big fat Jewish Wedding. The whole thing where they lift the guy up in a chair into the air singing Le Chaim. I can get Le Chaim on sale downt he street every Thursday. I don’t see what the big deal is.

SITTING CROW: I like Jewish Pow Wow plenty good. But, they need better drum.

(The next day, Tom the white guy on the Jeffersons married to a black lady talks about his dream)

TOM WILLIS: I had this terrible dream last night.

FLO: What was it about?

TOM WILLIS: It was about Notaries.

GEORGE JEFFERSON: Was it about white men and black women doing a whole lot more than just holding hands and singing cumbaya?

TOM WILLIS: No, that came BEFORE the dream before I went to sleep. I’ll spare you the details.

FLO: I bet it was about white Notaries TRYING to dance.

TOM WILLIS: Actually, that was exactly what it was about. How did you know?

FLO: Oh, just a hunch.

TOM WILLIS: It all started out with a lot of suspense, just like the suspense that Helen and I had not knowing what gender our baby would be…

GEORGE JEFFERSON: And not knowing what color he would be!

TOM WILLIS: Well what happened was that 123notary created a video about a Notary dance that went viral on youtube… well that’s something that hasn’t been invented yet, but will be soon according to my psychic that Helen doesn’t know about and who’s rates are very reasonable by the way… please don’t tell Helen. In any case after the video came out, Notaries throughout the USA started doing the Notary dance. The dance was created to make Notaries feel happier, but it divided Notaries along racial lines because the black Notaries thought that the white Notaries weren’t doing the dance well enough. In fact, People started hiring Notaries based on their dancing skills and white Notaries got mad because they were disporportionally left out. They started an online riot and burned down half of Linked In. I’m not sure how this works because it all happens in the distant future.

SEINFELD: Why would anyone want to hire a Notary who danced? It doesn’t make sense. I can see the pen doing a dance, but the Notary? Most Notaries are crotchety people in their fifties and sixties. This whole dancing thing just doesn’t gel with me.

SITTING CROW: Our people have a Notary dance. But, we only do it wearing a wolf outfit which is made out of a wolf head and skin that we killed many years ago.

TOM WILLIS: It’s such a shame that people become divided so easily over race. It just divides society in half.

GEORGE JEFFERSON: And it might divide certain marriages in half as well!

WEEZY: I just can’t figure out why Notaries start an online riot, whatever that means, when somebody says something that bothers them. Can’t they just talk things over in a civil way like George and I… okay, bad example.

SEINFELD: And last time Jeremy posted his Black vs. White article on facebook about the Notary manual, people had an online riot and posted hundreds of angry and hateful comments about it when the article was not disrespectful at all. What gives? They could have a polite way of voicing their opinions instead of having a riot all throughout Facebook, Linked In, and whatever online networks will be created in a decade or two.

FLO: Or three. It’s the seventees where we are — at least for now. We’ll have to work our way into the 2000’s.

GEORGE JEFFERSON: Yeah, that’s the key word…. work! If it requires work, you’ll never get there!

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Notary Jail
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May 1, 2018

Letter to California Notary Division

Filed under: California_Notary,Popular on Facebook (very) — Tags: — admin @ 10:46 am

Dear California Notary Division,
I am someone who runs a Notary directory and is acutely aware of the deficiencies in Notary knowledge throughout the state and the nation. California Notaries are better than those in other states on average due to the excellent training, but the training does not cover practical aspects of the Notary profession. Additionally, there are issues with fees that need to be addressed.

PRETRAINING
As there are so many ethical violations out there among California Notaries, and misunderstanding of Notary law, it is clear that a longer and more comprehensive notary training is necessary. However, I also think that due to the incompetence out there, a few other pre-measures should be taken.

1. A IQ test should be administer to applicants. It can be a ten minute quiz. Notaries with low intelligence often bungle and misinterpret Notary laws which can lead to illegal activity and wrongful explanations to clients of what can and cannot be legally done.

2. A meticulousness test should be administered to Notaries to see if they can be orderly about conducting tasks which require multiple steps. Being a good Notary means filling out journals and forms correctly in their entirety, and a meticulous person is less likely to make errors. The majority of your Notaries are far from meticulous.

3. Following directions and ethics are some other problems that are common with California Notaries. How you test this is hard. You have to find a way to trick them into doing something right or wrong while they are being watched.

4. Preference to those with clerical, police, military, legal, mortgage, or settlement backgrounds might help attract better quality Notaries as those are professions that are normally high in terms of integrity, and clerical skills which are both critical in the Notary profession.

TRAINING
A single day course on Notary Public knowledge is not enough. California stresses theoretical knowledge and does not test on hands on aspects of being a Notary. When a Notary is out there in the field, they need to know how to handle various types if situations. Here are my detailed comments.

1. Oaths & Affirmations
Administer Oaths correctly and roughly half of Notaries in California do not administer Oaths at all, or not in a relevant and acceptable way. Here are some examples of irrelevant or wishy-washy Oaths.

(a) Many Notaries have the signer to swear to their personal identity rather than to the truthfulness of the document.
(b) Many Notaries make the signer swear they signed the document but not to the truthfulness of the document.
(c) It is common for Notaries use Affirm in an Oath when they should ideally use the verb swear.
(d) Many Notaries do not understand the term “administer” in the sentence “Administer an Oath to an Affiant.”
(e) Many Notaries use a court Oath for a witness asking if they swear to the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth when the document does not necessarily reflect a whole truth.
(f) It is common for Notaries not to mention the document being sworn to when administering an Oath, hence administering an Oath that is regarding thin air.
(g) Most Notaries do not know the difference between a court Oath for a witness, a document Oath and an Oath for a statement that has not been made yet.
(h) Notaries need to be taught asking “Oath questions,” such as, “Do you solemnly swear this document is true and correct?” or “Do you solemnly swear that the statement you are about to make is true and correct?” Many Notaries will ask the Oath question about the statement, get a yes, and then not have the Affiant make the actual statement. This is why an IQ test should be mandatory and a result of 95 or higher should be required. Most of the problems I have with Notaries arises from low IQ’s and bad attitudes.

The handbook makes it clear that an Affiant must swear to the truthfulness of a document. However, there is no prescribed wording or guidelines. My solution is to have prescribed components of Oaths, but no official verbiage just to keep life flexible. At a minimum, in an Oath, the Affiant must use the word “I”, and then the word “swear”, mention the foregoing document, and make reference to the fact that they feel the document is authentic or correct. Using “affirm” was asked to administer an Oath means that the Notary has overided the client’s request to have an Oath which means that the Notary chose the notary act instead of letting the entity who is paying or swearing.

2. Fill out their journal correctly
Many Notaries are unclear as to how many journal entries should be filled out if there are multiple signers signing multiple documents. The 2018 handbook does not make it clear HOW MANY journal entries are necessary if there are multiple documents per signer all using the same Notary act. This should be clarified as it is an area of common misunderstanding. One journal entry per person per document is how I was trained. Additionally, the use of arrows for repetitive information in appointments with multiple documents per signer are discouraged now from what I have heard, but the handbook does not mention this. There needs to be a SINGLE SOURCE of notary law information and that source should be the handbook and not some bulletin or blog article or other supplemental sources (although those can help teach the materials in the handbook.)

3. Understand the components of notary forms including the “Additional information” section of an Acknowledgment which might not be legally required, but deters fraud by making it very detectable if someone swaps an Acknowledgment and puts it on a different document than what was intended.

4. Many Notaries do not understand how to handle requests that are illegal or seem illegal. Many Notaries will accept illegal requests while declining acceptable requests. This is due to poor training. So, training needs to focus on handling questionable requests. Many Notaries feel it is illegal to EXPLAIN the various notary acts to clients while it is not. It is illegal to choose for them, but not to explain them as far as I know.

5. Foreign language signers are an area of misunderstanding as many Notaries are not aware that they are NOT required to understand the content of the document but ARE required to have direct communication with the signer/affiant.

6. Many Notaries are unaware that the ID does not have to exactly match the name on the document but must PROVE the name on the document. Many Notaries take liberties and will Notarize a signature that says John W Smith with an ID that says John Smith, etc. It is common for Notaries to refer to the “more than but not less than rule” which is a rule created for Title companies and not a law which states that the signer can over sign their name to include more middle initials or names, etc. However, the Notaries who remember this law often do not care if it is legal to notarize a name that is over signed. It is not clear whether you can notarized John W Smith as John Smith if the ID says only John Smith. This is another common occurrence that needs to be clarified.

7. Credible Witness law is a little bit complicated and perhaps should be simplified. Most Notaries are unaware that the handbook states that the credible witness is the entity who has to swear to the fact that he/she believes that the signer cannot easily obtain an ID. Since the Notary has OFTEN seen an ID with the wrong name on it, how can the Notary ACCEPT an Oath from a credible witness that the Notary knows to be based on false information or made fraudulently regarding how the signer cannot find an ID? This law about CW is convoluted and a source of a lot of trouble. Close to NONE of your Notaries would be able to recite these laws by memory. Therefor, I suggest simplifying it because most notaries cannot learn it properly and the CW rules are convoluted and make no sense. Here is my idea of a better set of rules.

(a) A Notary can use the Oaths of two credible witnesses to identify a signer.
(b) The credible witnesses must either be immediate family members or know the signer intimately enough so they know his/her middle names without being reminded. (The law for how well you have to know the signer to be a CW is convoluted, wishy-washy, and useless currently.)
(c) The Oath for the credible witness should be, “I solemnly swear that the signer in front of me is legally named _____.”
(d) A CW can be used regardless of whether the signer has ID or not as names on ID do not always reflect the whole, complete or current name of a signer.
(e) A journal thumbprint must accompany all Notary acts done involving credible witnesses.
(f) The CW must not have any beneficial or financial interest in the document being signed.

8. Acknowledgment confusion.
(a) Box at top of page
Many Notaries get confused by the information in the box at the top of an Acknowledgment. Many Notaries feel that the signer does not have to verify the validity of the document where it says clearly that the Notary does not have to. It is better to clarify this point as many Notaries are lacking the gift of logical thinking which can cause a lot of confusion.
(b) Perjury clause in Acknowledgments
Many Notaries feel that the signer is signing under the penalty of perjury in an Acknowledgment where it is clear that it is the Notary who is filling out the form correctly under the penalty of perjury. This point is widely misunderstood and needs to be elaborated since there are so many who cannot think logically about this point.
(c) Notaries are often unclear about whether the signer has to sign in their presence. Since the signer must personally appear, Notaries misinterpret this to mean that the signer must sign while they personally appear which is not true in California. The signer can sign ten years ago, but cannot be notarized until they appear.
(d) Notaries are often unclear about who is acknowledging what in an acknowledgment. Many thing that the Notary is acknowledging that a signature is correct. This is not true. The signer needs to acknowledge that they signed a document in the presence of the Notary. This point needs to be clarified for your notaries because there is too much confusion and misinterpretation going on out there.
(e) The additional optional information on NNA forms should be REQUIRED by law on loose certificates as it deters the fraudulent switching of acknowledgments to other documents by virtue that it identifies the name of the document, number of pages, document date, signers, and more…

9. Chain of Authority.
Many Notaries work with Title companies regularly and think of the Title companies as their boss. Wrong! The state is not exactly their boss, but is the entity they have to refer to if there is a legal question. It is common for Notaries to ask Lenders and Title what they can and cannot do as a Notary. This is wrong. They will get either a wrong answer or an answer that benefits the Lender or Title both of whom have beneficial and financial interest in the documents being Notaries. This point needs to be drummed into the Notaries heads. The State of California should ideally have a Notary hotline because there are so many times when Notaries have questions about what they can and cannot do, and often late at night when help is not available. The point of a Notary is to ensure the integrity of transactions done involving signed documents. If the Notary cannot find out what the law says, then the notarization will not have any integrity. This is a very serious issue.

10. Hands On Training
Notaries take a written exam, but this is not really as important as practical matters. What is important is to have someone do hands on training and testing to see if the Notary can fill out forms, journals, administer Oaths, take thumbprints, use credible witnesses, and decipher between legal and illegal requests. A written test cannot do this.

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SUMMARY

1. Notary training should be two, three or four days long for new Notaries with a refresher every year to keep everyone serious.

2. Notaries should be trained by hand to see if they can handle requests, explain terminology and fill out forms, etc.

3. Notaries need to be audited regularly. Not only journal auditing which you are already doing (super!!!) Auditing people by pretending to be customers and asking them to do Oaths, or asking them if such and such a notarization would be legal under particular circumstances will let you know which of your Notaries are acceptable and which are criminals. It takes work, but you are a prudent organization that values integrity and I believe you will do the work.

Thanks
Sincerely,
Jeremy Belmont
123notary manager

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You might also like:

Letter to Florida Notary Division
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19896

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

Letter to Trump about the sad condition of American Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19403

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April 13, 2018

Some comedians look for notaries

Filed under: Humorous Posts,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 10:39 am

Two comedy writers were looking for a Notary. But, they wanted to try all of the directories out just to compare, and then started making jokes.

JAKE: What do you call a notary you found on Snapdocs who is white and from the East Coast?

SULLY: I don’t know.

JAKE: A White Atlantic Snapper.

SULLY: Oh, you mean a White Anglo-Saxon Atlantic Snapper. At least you didn’t call him a cracker. What about an African SnapMerican?

JAKE: Good one. When I use 123notary, I drink Coke, but when I use that other site I drink Snapple. But, when I use the third site I notate and rotate between sodas.

SULLY: Good one. What do you call someone who administers osteopathic written exams?

JAKE: I’m stumped, but I bet the answer will crack me up.

SULLY: A chiro-proctor.

JAKE: What did the Red Snapper use to get into his safe?

SULLY: A Chero-kee?

JAKE: By the way, what is the first item on the menu for a cannibalistic Japanese restaurant?

SULLY: Just going out on a limb here, an edible limb. Ummm. Raw men? I guess that’s pronounced Ramen. It’s less fun when you pronounce it that way though.

JAKE: I was just thinking about that, you know when you buy ramen noodles you have a choice of chicken, beef, or oriental flavor. Isn’t that a little bit politically incorrect?

SULLY: Yeah, it should be Asian-American flavor. The flavor was probably invented in the 70’s before all of this PC stuff came into existence.

JAKE: Hey, did you know that the Atlantic ocean’s name is derived from the Mayan word for water which is “Atl?”

SULLY: No, I never knew that. Probably from Atlantis which no longer exists above water. Maybe it will come back. Then we can hire an Atlantian Notary.

JAKE: Cool…

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Best virtual notary comedy compilation
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March 26, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — Contents

In our blog, we have many educational articles as well as marketing help and entertainment. We have written extensively on Notary marketing, including a few comprehensive articles. But, this time, I am creating a free mini-course on marketing which is designed to be a lot more thorough than anything I have ever written before on the blog. Below are the contents:

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1. Notary Education — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19771

2. Notary Advertising — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19738

3. Notary Profiles — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19754

4. Notes Sections — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19788

5. Notary Reviews — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19760

6. Certifications — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19762

7. Phone Etiquette — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

8. Negotiating fees — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19784

9. Promoting Yourself — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19778

10. Pricing — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19781

11. Getting Paid — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

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Please also read

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This was written long time ago and is a good reference.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17088

Notary Public 101 — a free resource for learning notary procedure from A to Z.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

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

The 30 Point Loan Signing Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

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March 24, 2018

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Loan Signing 101,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 8:08 am

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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Part of marketing is the act of actively promoting yourself. But, a lot of marketing is about doing a good job and communicating well.

To get hired to do Notary work, you need not only to know what you are doing, but you need to communicate clearly as well. Here are some major issues with phone etiquette.

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DURING THE INITIAL CALL

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1. Introduce yourself
Introduce yourself properly by phone when you answer the initial call to hire you. “This is June of June’s Notary Service” is a lot better than, “Hullo?”

2. Answer questions the way they were asked.
If someone asks what your hours are, tell them your beginning and ending times. Don’t say it depends and don’t be vague. Give them a clear picture of your availability without making them ask again. If someone asks how many loans you have signed, don’t give them a summary of your professional background, just give them a quick number. If someone asks if you are still in business, don’t tell them you are eating dinner or on vacation, just tell them that you are still in business. Just answer the question.

3. No background noise
Screaming children, televisions, or people talking in the background sound unprofessional. You need to turn the TV off, go into the next room where there is no noise, and apologize if there is any noise. That is called being professional.

4. Don’t scramble information
Asking people to repeat endlessly is horrible. If your phone is horrible, get a new one rather than accusing the other person of breaking up. If someone asks if you can do a notary for two signers on three documents, don’t repeat it back to them as, “Okay, three signers on how many documents?” That is called scrambling information and sounds ignorant.

5. Don’t brag
Notary Signing Agents have the desire to overprove themselves. The secret is to make a good impression by being helpful and not shoving your credentials down someone’s throat. It also makes a good impression to ask a few relevant questions about the type of signing or document. Asking a few pertinent questions looks professional.

6. Act calm
Acting calm and helpful is a lot better than acting anxious and overly helpful or overly unhelpful. People get put off by desperate or unfriendly behavior.

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CONFIRMING THE SIGNING & AT THE SIGNING

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7. Call to confirm the signing
Go over all pertinent points. Make sure the ID proves the name on the documents and that all the signers will be there. You should also verify that there is a clean table to sign on. You should go over how long the signing should take, if there is anything going back to the document custodian and if they have used morphine or Jack Daniels within several hours of the signing. Nothing beats a sober signer or a well organized Notary Public.

8. Introduce yourself at the door
It is good to mention that you are Joe the signing agent and that it is your job to facilitate the signing. Mention that they can address all of your questions to you, but that you cannot answer specific questions about their loan, but only general questions about loan documents and Notary procedure.

9. Small talk is good
People like a friendly Notary who can talk about small talk. But, avoid any topics that could be controversial such as gender issues, sex, guns, and how born again Christians should have a second birth certificate for when they were born the second time.

10. Don’t discuss guns and religion
Unless you are notarizing the Obamas, don’t bring up Joe the plumber, or religion. But, if you are notarizing the head of the NRA then you might reconsider guns. If you ask him to shoot you an email, don’t be surprised if he asks what you want him to shoot it with! Yee-haw!!!

11. Don’t park in the driveway
The driveway is for the residents to park in, not you. You are their humble servant who parks on the street (sorry.)

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OTHER

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12. Dress for success. Business casual is great. People get complaints more for dressing poorly than for being a horrible Notary. So, go to Men’s Wearhouse first, and then buy that Notary course you were thinking of. And remember — it’s not what you know — it’s how you look! Notaries who show up in shorts and flip-flops get some serious complaints and even a bad review on their profile. In short, don’t dress like me.

13. Carry loose Acknowledgment, Jurat and other certificates in your Notary Carry All Bag that you purchased from the NNA. Carry a thumbprinter, wipes, and pens with you. Nothing is worse than a Notary that doesn’t have pens except one who wears flip-flops. Having good professional equipment makes you look like you know what you are doing even more than actually knowing what you are doing.

14. Arrive on time
Nothing is worse than a late notary other than one who wears flip-flops.

15. Follow up punctually
If you have to get the Fedex back, do so immediately. Do not wait to drop a package unless you are waiting for a call back. If you wait 90 minutes or more for a callback, consider that title needs their docs back and it might make sense to just drop it. That is a judgment call, so think carefully about it. If you get emails, answer them asap.

You have to be available after signings for up to the rescission date and sometimes later. If you become unreachable after the signing, you will get very serious complaints. The worst complaints we get about notaries are that they were rude, or unresponsive after they had completed work.

16. Don’t be rude
If someone is rude to you, don’t reciprocate. Your reputation is on the line. You can get penalized for being rude even if the other person deserves it. So, watch yourself!

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Please Also Read:

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This entry goes over active vs. passive marketing in detail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Long term marketing plans
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15793

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