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March 18, 2016

Shark Tank — 123notary wants to sell 10% of its shares!

123, IT’S SHARK TANK!

First into the tank is the inventor of a directory that will help notaries vastly improve their business.

JB: Hi, Sharks. My name is Jeremy Belmont. And I’m seeking an investment of $500,000 for 10% of my company, 123Notary.com. How many times have you needed a Notary public, and thought “Damn. Where can I find me a decent Notary Public?” Sharks, your searches are over. With 123Notary.com, we get the most serious customers, because we have the best quality notaries. We get 170,000 visits per month. That’s 170,000 more visits per month than Mr. Wonderful makes to the barber.

MR. WONDERFUL: I’d much rather see my money grow than hair.

ROBERT: So walk me through the business model, Jeremy.

JB: We use a lot of social media and search engines to gather up steam, to get good traffic, and we also keep the site well organized. Make sure people have good notary public note sections, reviews. We spend a lot of time making sure people improve their knowledge and pass their certification.

BARBARA: How is that different from other sites?

JB: They don’t put as much attention into the marketing and organization as we do.

LAURIE: Tell us a little about you. How did you get into this line of work?

JB: I started out by being a notary public.

MARK: Good for you, man.

JB: Starting from the ground up is okay as long as you don’t get ground up.

BARBARA: I get a good feeling from you, Jeremy, and I’m going to make you an offer. But I need a little more skin in the game.

MR. WONDERFUL: Hopefully not the skin around your neck.

BARBARA: I wasn’t talking to you, skinhead. I’ll offer you $500,000 for 20% of the company.

MR. WONDERFUL: Ouch. She just cut the value of your company in half.

JB: I appreciate your offer, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to respect the other sharks and hear if anyone else has an offer.

MARK: I like what you’re doing. I like that you started from the ground up. As you know, I own the Dallas Mavericks. And every time they swear to me they won’t blow a shot, I’d like them to swear in front of one of your top-notch notaries, so I’ll tell you what. I’ll go in with Barbara if she’ll have me.

BARBARA: I’ll have you, Mark.

MR. WONDERFUL: Gross.

MARK: 500 K, 20%. But you get two sharks. Ten percent each.

JB: Would you be willing to split the difference at 15%?

ROBERT: I’ll take that deal.

JB: Would you agree to take that deal by signing this paper I have one of our top notaries witness?

ROBERT: I’m out.

LAURIE: You never told us. Why do you need the money?

JB: I want to buy an office.

MR. WONDERFUL: Where are you working now, out of your car?

JB: No, I’m working at home. I want to get an office, so I can have my staff all under one roof. It’s hard to stay unified when you’re all working in separate places.

MR. WONDERFUL: You live in your car?

BARBARA: You’re so mean.

JB: I don’t want to rent an office, because I don’t like the fact you can’t open the windows. I want to be able to customize it to my own needs, which includes having windows that actually open. I have a hard time working without oxygen.

MR. WONDERFUL: That makes you an “airhead” for the right reasons. I’m fine with that. Well, Jeremy, I’ll make you an offer. I don’t want any equity. Zero. Zip.

MARK: Here it comes.

MR. WONDERFUL: I want a 2% royalty for every signing you make. And after I make six times my investment back – Poof. I’m gone.

JEREMY: Darn. You’re still here.

LAURIE/BARBARA/MARK: For that putdown alone, we’ll match your offer.

JEREMY: I’m about to say yes in… 1…2…3!

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You might also like:

A string of all our Shark Tank Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=shark-tank

A Notary enters the Shark Tank
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14088

Apps that Notaries have never heard of that could change your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16311

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February 8, 2016

Snapdocs, this is what we’ve learned about their Notaries

I recently visited Snapdocs to see how good their Notaries are. I called a dozen or so to sort of dip my toe in the water so to speak. Here are some quick facts based on my experience:

1. Snapdocs mostly brand new Notaries. New Notaries are often very enthusiastic and excited about learning.

2. The # of signings listed on Snapdocs is not an accurate number. It reflects how many loans were signed through their affiliation with Snapdocs and not in total.

3. Many of the numbers I called on Snapdocs were disconnected

4. Many of the Notaries on Snapdocs do not answer their phone.

5. Most of the Notaries on Snapdocs are not listed on other Notary directories which is refreshing.

6. Information on profiles on Snapdocs is very limited

7. Snapdocs has a very good document downloading system and we’ve heard they have a good loan assignment dispatch system as well.

8. Snapdocs is very popular and has thousands of Notaries on their site which is unusual for such a new notary directory (except for the new directories that copied all of our listings and then went out of business.)

I don’t know if I would recommend for or against Snapdocs, but they are the only Notary directory that has caught on since 123notary became popular in 2002 — and that is exciting! Let’s see where their newly found success takes them.

You might also like:

More on Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16236

Has anyone used Snapdocs?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15831

State of the Notary Industry Union Address
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16244

October Signing Company Gossip
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15327

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February 1, 2016

Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section

Most Notaries underestimate how critical it is to have an amazing notes section on your listing on 123notary.com. They just write how they are background screened and have E&O insurance. They stop there. Yes, this is important information and it can be a deal breaker if you don’t have the right background screening from the right agency, etc. However, the Notaries who get lots of work from 123notary tend to have 123notary certifications, reviews from satisfied clients and a very thorough notes section. So, what is the secret? The secret is to be specific, unique and well organized in what you write about yourself.

(1) Selling Features
The top of your notes section should stress selling features. What can you say about yourself that others might not be able to say that would make someone want to hire you. “I’m reliable.” Everyone claims to be reliable, and then they show up late making a mockery out of their claim. Try something that you can put your finger on. But, I really am reliable? Yes, but your notes section can’t prove it — so skip it. Instead, let’s think about what types of loans you know how to sign. Don’t just say, “all types.” List them one by one. Do you have some unusual qualifications? Were you Notary of the year? Do you do jail or hospital signings? Are you fluent in Uzbekistani hill dialects? These are things that help you stand out. Were you a CEO of a Mortgage company? That helps too. If you have Escrow, Title, Underwriting, Processing, Settlement, or general Mortgage experience, that is a huge plus on your notes section. Make sure to indicate that high in your notes. Remember — the first 200 characters of your notes show up on the search results for your area, so digress to impress! (actually don’t digress, but use that space to squeeze in as many selling features as possible)

(2) Specialties
One of the most valuable pieces of information you can include in your notes are your specialties. Instead of bragging about how you are error-free or dependable (which nobody wants to read,) instead list the types of loans you know how to sign, types of major documents or procedures you are familiar with. Do you go to airports, offices, or jails? Do you do Weddings or Apostilles? People are very impressed when you have highly specialized skills, so mention them.

(3) # of loans signed
Most Notaries up date the # of loans signed once in four years. When I mention that their profile says they signed 200 loans, they say, “Oh, that was five years ago. I must have forgotten to login — I’ll go in there.” You need to “go in there” and update your info every few months or you will have information that is collecting cyber-dust.

(4) What is hot and what is not?
Radiuses are hot. If you have a wide radius, tell the world. 100 mile radius shows you are serious (or crazy.) Last minute signings are a good thing to mention. Do you accept faxes or are willing to do fax backs? That narrows it down. Are you background screened? Is it by NNA or Sterling or someone else — if you’re screened by the wrong agency, you don’t get the job! Do you know how to do eSignings? That will make you stand out!

(5) Professional memberships and certifications
Are you NNA Certified, Notary2Pro certified, 123notary certified, or trained by some other agency. It is impressive especially if you have four or five certifications. Mention these as well as your memberships. But, please don’t say you are an NNA member in good standing. The only way to be in bad standing with any agency is by not paying your bills or perhaps being convicted of a felony.

(6) What is unique about your service?
Is there something unique about the way you do your work? Or do you have a catchy unique phrase about yourself? It is very hard for most people to think of anything unique about themselves. But, if you really put some thought into it over an extended period of time you might come up with something good. We have two blog articles below with some of the best unique information we’ve ever seen.

(7) Avoid vagueness
Did you work for 10 years in the legal industry? What does this mean? Were you the company president or did you mop the floor for an Attorney. State your job title or what you did very clearly. If you were a legal secretary of Paralegal, that is good to know. Not a selling feature. Additionally, try to be specific about your claims. Rather than saying how good you are with people, give a concrete example of how you are good with people, or what experience you have that proves you are good with people.

Also read:
General (vague) vs. specific information in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4602

(8) Avoid restating information
Many Notaries restate their company name, their company mission, phone and email in your notes. Your notes is to give additional information about your service, and not to restate what the reader already knows. Remember, those top 200 characters go in the search results, and if you say, “We are here to serve” nobody will click on you.

(9) Counties served
There are 12 boxes where you can indicate your counties served. If you wish to restate this info in your notes, put it near the bottom as this is not a selling feature. If you want to indicate which parts of which counties you serve, the notes section is the only place to go into such detail. Others choose to mention specific towns or cities served. Please avoid stating which zip codes you go to as that is too nit-picky.

(10) Writing about your mentor
New Notaries always want to bend my ear about how they don’t have experience, but their mentor has signed 10,000 loans and they have been to many signings with their mentor. After hearing ten minutes about their mentor I say, “I’ll hire him — I’m convinced — But, I wouldn’t hire you in a million years because you don’t stand on your two feet!” Don’t talk about your mentor. Talk about what training programs you have passed.

(11) Writing about your Real Estate background
Notaries regularly write, “I am a Realtor and therefor am familiar with the documents.” But, when I quiz them on the documents they fail almost every time. Also, many Notaries will write three paragraphs about their Real Estate business or Process Serving, etc. People are coming to 123notary to find a great Notary, not a Real Estate agent. If you want to quickly mention in the middle of your notes that you are a Realtor, that is fine, but don’t make it the central point of your notes.

(12) Educational background
If you want to write about your degrees or former professional experience, unless it is Mortgage related, it should go in the middle or lower middle part of the notes as it is not critical information in the eyes of the reader.

(13) Equipment
Yes, you can write about your equipment. Sometimes we recommend using bullet points for quick points such as E&O, certifications, and equipment. You can mention what type of printer, scanner, fax, or mobile office you have. Just don’t put this up top. It belongs in the middle or lower middle of your notes.

(14) Closing statements
Some Notaries choose to have a closing statement while others don’t. We like it when Notaries do. You can say, “Thanks for visiting my listing.” Or say something a little more unique.

(15) Don’t jumble everything in one paragraph
A good notes section is divided into several logical sections. We normally like to see an intro with selling features, an about you paragraph, some bullet points, and a closing statement. There are many formats for winning notes section and you can decide what is best for you.

(16) Ask for help
123notary gives free notes makeovers. However, we cannot write the content for you. We can filter and reorganize it though. When we redo people’s notes sections they average an increase of 55% more clicks per day to their listing. So, ask! And get some reviews on your listing while you’re at it!

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Other Great Notes Articles

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

10 quick changes to your notes that can double your calls
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4499

What goes where in your notes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Notary Notes makeover
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2057

Personality and expressing your uniqueness
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4352

Which Notary would you hire?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13616

Unique phrases from people’s notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Stating the obvious in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14146

How to write a notes section without saying anything of substance!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13606

A Notary included a copy of her testimonial in her notes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4680

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January 30, 2016

11 Best Title & Escrow Companies

We publish regular information on signing companies, but here is a refreshing new list of great Title & Escrow companies to work for!

A-1 Title Professional Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=914&A%2D1+Title+Professional+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

AMC Settlement Service
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=148&AMC+Settlement+Service#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Homefront Escrow, Inc.
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=977&Homefront+Escrow%2C+Inc#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Meymax Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=309&MeyMax+Title+Agency+of+Ohio+LLC#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Midwest Mortgage Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=937&Midwest+Mortgage+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Old Republic Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=906&Old+Republic+National+Title+Insurance+Company#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Performance Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=39&Performance+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Professional Debt Settlement Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1076&Professional+Debt+Settlement+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Timios Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=864&Timios+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Title Source
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=610&Title+Source#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

True Concept Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=833&True+Concept+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

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January 27, 2016

Best Resources for New Signing Agents & Beginners

Are you starting out as a mobile notary and don’t know which direction to turn? We know where you should turn and what you should read. So, indulge yourself in this reading list.

The 123notary 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

Signing Companies that hire new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

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

Is having an NNA background check necessary for work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8484

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

Basic technical information for new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

Cattle Call Notary Offers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9841

$30 loan signings — is it worth it?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Wannabe #1 on 123notary? Consider this first
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9332

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

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January 18, 2016

VA signings for $85? With 200 pages? No Thanks!

As a blog writer, I need to come up with ideas for interesting blog articles. So, I often go to Linked In and see what was popular there. I was visiting last night and saw that someone was offered a VA loan for $85. But, the package had about 200 pages! As new Notaries, you need to understand that not all packages are alike. Some Lenders have short packages while others have longer ones. Some Lenders have their documents ready on time while others don’t. Additionally, there are different types of loans — some are longer and more time consuming than others.

Large Loan Packages
VA loans are normally a lot longer than regular Refinances. FHA loans are longer and more complicated too. Additionally, Reverse Mortgages are longer and take longer partly because the signers are normally elderly. VA loans are for Veterans, and they might tell you some war stories about getting ambushed by the Taliban, but they are probably middle aged and able to sign in a moderate amount of time. But, the packages are long and take a long time.

What to Charge?
The average Notary on 123notary makes about $105 per signing (interesting stat.) If your standard fee is $100, you need to charge more if it is going to be a slow signing or a signing with an above average number of pages. You will be using your printer more, and spending more time at the signing. So, how much more should you charge? In my experience, more pages won’t take you that much more time. It will cost you a little toner and paper, but an additional fifty pages might only take you an additional twenty minutes assuming the signer is not a slow poke. What does take time includes: sluggish signers who read every word, elderly people who can barely function, issues with the loan involving long calls to the Lender, multiple signers who don’t always show up on time, problems with the ID.

Before You Accept the Job
My suggestion is to call the borrower and ask if they will be able to sign within a sixty or seventy-five minute window for a longer package. If they say no, then you might consider charging more or cancelling the signing. If you have the luxury to call the borrowers before you accept a job, you can have a lot more flexibility. You should ideally charge for time, and NOT based on the length of the package. I signed a 200 page construction loan in 25 minutes because the borrower was a professional and had been through the process dozens of times. His time was worth a lot and he didn’t waste a minute. He was like an assembly line.

As a General Rule
For most Notaries on 123notary, I would recommend charging $115 or $120 for VA signings and Reverse Mortgages. If you are very experienced with more than 5000 loans signed, then add another $25-$50 to that figure. Notaries should not try to charge too much unless they are so popular that they simply have to turn down good offers daily. Try to be reasonable and accommodating while you earn some notches in your belt! But, $85 is just too low unless you are a complete beginner!

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You might also like:

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

Signing services take a portion of the notary fee
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9315

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January 14, 2016

How much should a mobile Notary be paid?

This post was written by a guest blogger who is one of our Notaries on our directory.

HOW MUCH A MOBILE NOTARY SHOULD BE PAID?

This Forum debated the issue one hundred times. How to substantiate the answer? A coincidence of stimuli made me reflect yesterday on the life and profession of the so-called “mobile Notary”, the one who generously drives to the clients’ home to execute documents and, thus, save them the trip to his/her office.

At the beginning, the Notary received a call with the Order, the documents were sent UPS or FedEx and returned the same way. Today, the Notary receives the Order, documents are emailed to print 140-145 pages + Borrowers’ copy

I was reflecting on the notary fees while reading in 123Notary Bulletins messages from Notaries complaining about the low fees being paid…when suddenly my email received a new Order.

We cannot blame exclusively the payer (lender, title company) for the low fees being paid to mobile Notaries. Each “closing” is preceded by a contractual verbal agreement: Notary is to perform under the conditions and at a pay the “employer” offers. Whether “sufficient” or “fair” depends upon the fairness of the payer and mainly, upon the self-valuation of the professional payee. When the Notary bargains, companies (frequently) increase fees.

Explore two incidents: Notaries complaints and the Order I received while reading the 123Notary Bulletins. The Order: Refinancing, 6:00pm, house 20 miles away in rural area. Brief computation of Cost and Time.

OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE.

*Long distance. Three calls to company: $1 (add if documents faxed).

*Car. Round-trip to clients and shipping: 40+6 miles=46. If computed “for Reimbursement”, per 2015 Internal Revenue Service rules: $0.575/mile x 46 = $23.00. If computed as “strictly” Cost: (Notary has to estimate own car mileage use. Mine drinks 1 gallon/12 miles.) At $2.80/gal or $0.233/mile x 46=$9.33. Notary must add “other expenses”: maintenance, registration, insurance, tires amortization.

*Printing. About 260 sheets. If outside (Mail store, Office Depot) at $0.07=$18.20. If at home/office: $5.60, including paper and ink/toner, not maintenance, amortization or other expense.

*Other non-related [Notary] service.- Example: Some companies started asking Notary, “If client does not have IDs photocopy, not to worry; just take photos with your cellular and transmit to us”. Which reminds of that hypothetical proposal of the health insurance company to a physician: “Next time, if the patient does not bring his X-Ray or MRI, do not worry; just use the equipment at your clinic [without invoicing]”.

Estimated out-of-pocket minimum expense: $42.20 (or $15.93, per Notary practices).

TIME.

*(Driving measurable distance vs. actual driving time: 2 miles office-Interstate takes 10-15 minutes due to endemic heavy traffic; remaining 18 miles may take only 20-25 minutes). Total 40 miles; time 1h20m.

*Calling client, calling company to confirm, upon arrival, upon completion; print originals and copies, review and organize them; signing at clients’ home; updating company; delivering to shipping. Minimum 4h10m.
Total time: 5h30m.

Accepting or declining an Order is the exclusive privilege of the Notary, how much he/she values the professional services, how high/low is his demand for respect (personally, professionally). How much 5 hours-30 minutes of work and $42.20 cash advanced are worth? Compare with other activities. The BLS (Bureau of Statistics of the US Department of Labor) released July 27, 2015 its 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages studies. Results are used by corporations, unions and workers to establish and renew fair compensation indexes. Its Mean Hourly Wage of selected occupations shows:

*Legal [administrative employee] is paid $48.61/hour (thus, Notary’s pay for the above sample Order of 5h30m could be $267.35 plus $42.20 expense=$309.55.

*National Business and Financial $34.81 (Notary’s pay: $190.35 plus $42.20=$232.55).

*Food Preparation and Serving, such as fast-food franchises, $10.57 (Notary’s pay: $58.13 plus $42.20=$100.33).

Compare now the average national hourly wage with the fee Companies pay you: Average ranges $35-$100; meaning, a range from a loss of $7.20 to an income of $10.51/hourly wage.

The sample Order mentioned above offered me a $35 fee. No “problem”. I just would decline. But there was a “problem”! When three minutes later I was ready to email “Decline” (low pay!), I was impacted by the screen that popped up: “Sorry, Order has been already accepted by another Notary”.

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You might also like:

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16687

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January 12, 2016

Notary: The Art of the Decline — To new Jobs

Notary: the Art of the Decline – To new Notary Jobs
In a prior rant, I rambled on about declining to perform illegal activities; they definitely deserve and should always receive an unqualified NO. Here I will focus my oft grammatically incorrect scribbles at the decline. Nobody can accept every assignment offered, nor should they attempt to.

Why decline? The reasons are legion. For whatever reason, you do not want to accept the task that is being presented by the caller. Your key objective here should be to leave a pleasant and competent impression. Perhaps that 40$ lowballer will remember the great impression you gave and call you for a more realistic assignment at a later date. Your objective should not be to “get rid of the caller as soon as possible”. Each call is an opportunity to market your abilities.

It takes a lot less time to give some procedural advice over the phone than to do the job. Take a few minutes with the caller and showcase your knowledge. That works better with individuals than signing services. Perhaps your decline can morph into a postponement to a later date. As a minimum you should steer the caller to finding someone available. It’s not apparent to you, my reader; but that exact situation just happened to me. The caller needed a Will notarized, and unfortunately it needed to be done very soon. I do not qualify as the signature of the testator, the person who the will is for; must be notarized. In NY State, by a person who is both a Notary & Attorney. Having had similar calls in the past, I was able to direct the caller to a solution.

Sometimes the issues are much more complex. There are many ways to process the various documents that cross my path. Giving procedural, not legal advice is, to me; a proper form of public service. As notaries we understand our state laws and procedures. Sharing, to a caller some information on “what options you have that I am familiar with” does no harm. Of course some “trade secrets” are reserved for me to utilize. Giving “some” help is better than none.

Perhaps you have virtually no time at all to spend with the caller. It takes but a moment to tell them about http://123notary.com and perhaps Notary Rotary and Notary Café. Take a moment more to suggest the caller search using the zip code where the notary will be going. Often the caller thinks / assumes you are a walk in facility; and that is what they are seeking. I tell those callers that notaries are “sometimes” found at banks, pharmacies and law offices. No matter how little time you can allocate to the caller; you are always able to give some useful information. That will “mark” you as being helpful and caring; possibly the one to call for the next need.

No, I did not read “The Art of the Deal” by you know who; perhaps I should. But, I don’t think my notary function requires much deal making. Nor does it require declining many job requests. Some, yes; but not many. Thus “The Art of the Decline” will not be published by me. It all boils down to just being helpful. Make it clear you cannot accept the job, specifically say it’s not a money issue; you have “other” reasons for not being available. You really don’t need to give an exact reason; I simply say that I am “not available”.

Pay as much attention to your projected image with declines as you do with accepts. Think of it as contact with a potential future client. Perhaps a referral to a known to be competent “rival” is in order – and such arrangements often become bidirectional, a mutual advantage.

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You might also like:

Decline profitable junk work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15495

The Right to Decline Notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14664

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January 6, 2016

Notary Jury Duty

I was just at Jury duty. I was lucky. I was called in to a nine day case. I sat on the bench and listened to each one of eighteen individuals introduce themselves one by one. The Attorneys asked everyone questions. After several hours, I was asked if I had any negative experiences with the Police and I said that I had. I was released shortly after that. I am not at liberty to discuss the case, so I won’t.

It seems that Jury duty supports the rights of Americans. The rights of particular Americans — namely Defendants. However, it doesn’t support the rights of the Jury members who are virtual hostages. I think that Jurors who are self-employed, medical professionals, or other busy people should have the option to serve at night so that we don’t have to sacrifice our work. Additionally, I feel that instead of serving one day or one trial, we should serve a particular number of days each four year period.

Say for instance that you are super busy at work, and then Jury duty hijacks you and forces you to serve on a 12 day trial. They will no longer accept hardship excuses from most people in California. When you come into Jury duty you can’t plan your life. You don’t know if you will get called into service at all during your designated week. And if you are required to show up, will you sit in that big room all daylong to daydream or will you get picked on a murder trial that will last six months? It is not fair to the Juror.

My suggestion is have 10 days of service every 4 years. If your service is above 10 days because a trial drags on, you should get paid $150 per day regardless of what you normally earn. We are putting in our time as slaves for the benefit of the defendants. They should pay if they use more of our time than they deserve. Can you imagine using 12 Jurors plus back ups day after day for a long drawn out case? It almost happened to me. You could do your ten days all at once, or you could go trial by trial and spread it out over several years. You should also be able to choose day or night, or weekend court. Jury duty should be for the convenience of the Jurors,not for the convenience of the Judge and Attorneys who are getting paid a huge salary. The Jurors get nothing!

But, what if you were a Notary sitting in that big room turning tricks while waiting? It is not illegal, and you could make a fortune! Have your clients come to you. Just hope to God you don’t get called, otherwise no notary income for you for potentially many days.

ATTORNEY: Now, Mr. Swengsly, do you consider the duties of a live in maid to be something they should be accountable 24 hours a day, or less than that?

NOTARY: Ummm, just as long as they keep the joint clean. Can you hold on a second, I think my client is at the door.

JUDGE: Order in the court. What is going on?

NOTARY: Oh, I thought I could have my notary client meet me here. They need an Affidavit signed. It will only take a minute.

JUDGE: Are you trying to show contempt of court?

NOTARY: No your honor, I’m trying not to! (whispering) sign right here… perfect. Raise your right hand…

JUDGE: I’ve never seen anything like this. You are relieved of Jury duty effective this instant.

NOTARY: Oh great. Just one second. Do you solmenly swear to…

JUDGE: OUT!!!!

CLIENT: Let’s continue this in the snack bar next to the metal detector.

JUDGE: In my 35 years as a Judge I have never seen anything like this — BAILIFF!!!

In short, I feel that Jury duty is a valuable American tradition and system. However, I feel that Jurors are treated like dispensable slaves and treated with complete disregard as far as their personal lives go. Your life is put on hold indefinitely for someone else’s court case. Can’t they hire retired people or college kids on summer break for the long ones?

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January 1, 2016

Notary aptitude test

Have you ever had your aptitude tested as a Notary? Other than the various certification tests? Well, maybe it’s about time that you did! But, what types of questions would be asked? Maybe it would be like the NSAT. The Notary SAT’s.

(1) Stamp is to Fraud as Pen is to:
(a) omission (b) signature (c) backdating (d) ink

(2) Name on document is to Name on ID as Name on signature is to:
(a) Name on AKA statement (b) Name on occupancy statement (c) Fees on the HUD (d) Name on Notary Seal

(3) Date of Rescision is to Signature Date as New Year’s Eve is to:
(a) A really bad hangover (b) A party that was “rescinded” early (c) Midnight of the 4th (d) The 3rd (e) Confession where the borrower says, “Forgive me Father, for I have rescinded.”

(4) The Signature date is to the Rescission Date what Backdating is to:
(a) The Document Date (b) The Transaction Date (c) the day before the Signature Date (d) The eDocument Date

(5) Notary is to Signing Agent what Mortgage Broker is to:
(a) Escrow Agent (b) Title Agent (c) Settlement Agent (d) A really good Mortgage Broker who actually knows what he/she is doing

(6) A Notary who doesn’t cross out the he/she/they is to Mortgage Broker as a Mortgage broker who:
(a) Is always late (b) Rips off his borrowers (c) Doesn’t explain the terms of the loan or why the APR is so high to the borrowers (d) Multitasks as an Escrow agent.

Hope you enjoyed this little test. It was fun to write.

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