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May 14, 2012

123notary behind the scenes

123notary behind the scenes

All of you know what 123notary Notary Directory looks like on the surface, and you know what some of the rules are, and if the site works for you or not. But, have you ever wondered how 123notary is run? We are not a typical company to say the least. I have read books about Starbucks and how they do it, and Cliffbar as well. Their stories are unique and interesting. But, 123notary’s story is interesting too!

When we started
123notary started as a Notary Directory in 1999 on a shoestring in the ashes of the .net bust. It was my idea after seeing how the NNA’s signing agent directory was not always easy to use. I noticed that if you needed a notary in a particular county, that if nobody was in that county and you didn’t know the names of neighboring counties, you would not be able to use their site without an atlas to find out what the neighboring counties names were. Few of us carry a nationwide atlas with us. So, I wanted to start a directory with more features than the other guys. Also, I needed a way to market my own personal notary services as yellow pages were really expensive.

You can read about our growth in other blog entries and our about us page. We started as a California only directory, and then slowly spread out into other states. But, one of our notaries pointed out, that we should tell everyone how 123notary is run NOW.

How were we run in previous years?
I started out doing everything myself. My father helped with programming our Notary Directory back in 2001, but then we hired a local programming house to handle the programming after that. Business was very slow until 2003 when overnight in March, things just started to take off. Revenue multiplied by ten, and the phone was ringing off the hook. I found that working 12 hours a day was crazy and I couldn’t handle it for long. A lady named Carmen bought a course from me and kept calling asking me questions about loan signing. We spent a lot of time talking. I found that she was so smart and people saavy, that I wanted to hire her. She was very resistant at first, but I talked her into it. She was very busy doing signings for several years, and didn’t go full time with us until 2006. I started taking it easy in 2006 and 2007 because I was exhausted from all of the hard work. I wanted to meditate more and do more hiking. Then, in 2008, I started to work on optimization. I worked very hard, and through good strategy and hard work, brought a lot more traffic to the site.

How are we run now?
Most companies have an office and are centralized. 123notary has no office and no employees. I work at home on my computer and my cell phone. I don’t even have a landline because our building has some problems with the phone lines getting scrambled, and they couldn’t fix my line. Carmen is a subcontractor paid on commission and works from her home roughly 4 miles from me. Additionally, I travel quite a bit, and do a lot of my work on the road from Northern California. I sometimes go overseas and have been to Europe and India where I did my work at internet cafes.

Who does what?
Carmen is the person people are more familiar with, because she is in the front lines. Carmen does incoming phones and answers everyone’s questions. I do most of the emails and outgoing phone calls myself. But, there are more people involved in 123notary’s functionality that we can not ignore. There are programmers. We have a team in Los Angeles, and another team in India. Additionally, we have a company in El Monte who is helping us with social media including Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Blogging which really helps keep search traffic coming in so you guys can get work. Once in a while I hire someone to do outgoing phone calls for welcome calls and update calls as well.

What else?
Where are our servers? — one person asked. We have a server at a programmer’s office in El Monte, with a backup server in Dallas, TX in a data center. It would take a tsumani, earthquake, and WW3 all combined to take our servers down. There is a lady in downtown Los Angeles who helps us a little bit with artwork. Communication is hard, as I only know 30 words in Korean, and she only knows 30 words in English — but, we work well as a team because she is so talented and efficient!

What is a typical day like for Carmen?
For Carmen, she answers the phone all day long, sends passwords, and takes orders. It is pretty much the same every day, but at the end of the month, there are far more phone calls and it gets crazy. Carmen gets about 25 calls a day on regular days, but at the end of the month it could be double easily.

What is a typical day like for Jeremy?
For me, I answer emails first, then process orders and mark people as renewed who paid their bills. I do a small email blast every day or two to tell people about what is going on in our blog, or a reminder to update or renew. Additionally, I write tons of blog entries, and do phone calls to people who are renewing soon. I have to supervise programmers in America and in India, so that can be time consuming and frustrating if they don’t understand my complicated instructions. Additionally, I write for our Facebook campaign and Twitter too. I have to come up with strategies for optimizing and detailed plans for modifying programming. There are many internal formulas in 123notary that help us to know which notaries have better stats, and that takes a lot of thinking to plan. I typically will work seven days a week for a few weeks, and then take a week off in the mountains. I find Los Angeles to be too stressful for me, so I need fresh air, streams and mountains to bring me back to my inner rhythm.

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April 10, 2012

Can a notary sign on a different day?

Can a notary sign on a different day? 

This is a tricky question and a bit vague if you ask me.  The date of a notarization corresponds to the date that the signer signs the notary journal (according to me).  Some signers will sign for an acknowledged signature a minute, day, week, month, year, or decade before the notarization, and that is legal according to California notary law, and probably in most if not all other states.  For Jurats, the signature must be made while personally appearing before a notary public.  Oaths should ideally have an accompanying journal entry, however, there is no signature on a purely oral Oath (BTW… jurats are used with written statements that have an accompanying oath).
 
So, in all types of notary acts, the signer should ideally sign the notary journal, and the date and time when they sign the journal establishes the notarization date.  Please keep in mind that a signing where the signer signs the document at 11:59pm and signs the notary journal at 12:01am the following day could be dated either day, but I prefer my golden rule of dating the notarization when the journal is signed.
 
The document date can be the date of the notarization or before, but is generally not after.
The signing date for an acknowledged signature can be the date of the acknowledgment or before, but never after
 
So, there are three dates that might concern the notary.  It is a crime to backdate a notary certificate, but putting a previous date in the certificate wording. It is also a crime to post date the date in the certificate wording.
 
So, what does it really mean to ask, “Can a notary sign on a different day?”
 
If the notarization takes place on Monday, where the signer signs the document by Monday, and signs the journal on Monday, can the notary stamp and seal the certificate wording on Tuesday if the notary has possession of the document?  This is not recommended, and is neglegence. However, if the signing was a late night signing on Monday, and you sign and affix your stamp to the document in your possession early Tuesday morning, that is still unacceptable, but sounds less unreasonable than letting it slide 24 or 48 hours!
 
So, the official answer to the above question is — NO!  Sign the certificate within a minute or two of when the journal is signed if humanly possible.

You might also like:

Can you notarize a Birth Certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2300

Can a notary perform a wedding?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1891

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April 8, 2012

Don’t put the Fedex in the drop box!

Please, no drop boxes!

I know a lot of you use drop boxes (Fedex, UPS, etc) to drop your documents. And before you say it, I know some of you have no other options that are close to you. In this case your options are limited. You are forgiven. Maybe you have had issues with this or maybe you haven’t. But, irregardless, it is something to consider, if at all possible please don’t drop your packages in drop boxes. Because, if it goes bad and the documents get lost; and you have no documentation; It can cause you a great amount of grief, stress and aggravation; and  in the end it could cost you a valuable client.

Loan package with a hefty cashier’s check thrown in a drop box

To give you an example, here is one story of several that has been shared with me. I had an Oregon notary just the other day call in to 123notary. From her tone she was obviously very upset. It seems she had completed a signing successfully and had dropped her documents on a Friday in one of those infamous drop boxes of Fedex. It was now Tuesday, and she got that dreaded call: the title company still hadn’t received the package.  I thought to myself, this is going to be bad. When this Oregon notary public and title went to track the package, there was no tracking information available. To make matters even worse there was a substantial amount in a cashier’s check also in the missing package. The assignment that had been given to the Notary in Oregon was for the paperwork that was to be used to purchase the property. So,  now everyone is upset and confused as to what to do.

Get your tracking — people!

Now in my mind, I’m thinking why in the world would you drop a set of documents in a drop box, especially with a large amount in a cashiers check. This to me this is a disaster waiting to happen.  The first thing I let our Oregon notary friend know is that unless absolutely necessary, you should always hand your packages to a driver and ask him to scan them or take them to hub or staffed service center, have them scan them and  get a receipt. This way YOU are off the hook. Which brings me to another point…

Hand fill the shipping labels

PLEASE remember when you are required to hand fill out the shipping labels with the client; title-escrow etc  account numbers you should always list the person that you are shipping to as the recipient and as the shipper. Do NOT use your information at all. This will serve two purposes. One-if the envelope is lost, it will not come to you it will just automatically go to the company that hired you. Two- if the company has not paid their bill you will not get charged for the service. Currently I have about 3 notaries battling with Fedex on this matter (cause they put their name as the shipper)and they are in collection status with them. Be careful! This can cause you a great deal of trouble with UPS, Fedex etc. and worst of all it will effect your credit if you cant straighten it out. You will have to pay it if you cant prove to their satisfaction that, you were hired by a 3rd party.

Now I understand that some of you may not be near a hub or have a location that you can go into to get a scan or receipt near by. But for those of you that do. It is better to safe then sorry. Always try to get a receipt or have driver scan your packages for you. This will protect you. For me, I need to know where my documents are at ALL times.

Now,  unfortunately as of today I haven’t heard back form the notary in this situation so I cant give up an up to date  but I am confident if those documents didn’t turn up everything would have to be redone…and all I can say is what a mess. If and when I hear from her I will let you know….Just remember: No drop boxes if you can help it…

Thank for reading and be safe…until next time!

PS — Jeremy did a signing ten years ago that was put in a drop box.  The documents were missing for a week.  The signing company eventually called Fedex — and you will never guess where the documents were.  They were still down there at the bottom of the drop box, and getting very cold by this point!  The driver who was assigned that drop box had quit and his replacement wasn’t given good instructions as to which drop boxes to pick up from every day!

Tweets:
(1) You could lose a client if you put a FedEx in a drop box on the off chance it never gets picked up.
(2) Sooner or later, the FedEx you put in a drop box won’t get picked up. Be safe & take it to a hub!
(3) If you put a FedEx containing a cashier’s check in a drop box, that is a recipe for disaster!
(4) Once I put a FedEx in the drop box that never got delivered. FedEx found it a week later still in the box!

You might also like:

Are you a man or a mouse? – a story about Fedex drivers and how they knock!

What tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?

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April 5, 2012

Your purpose is NOT to notarize?

You DON’T go to Notarize

Many notaries have lost sight of their primary responsibility, and feel it is their primary mission to go to the assignment to notarize the signatures. This is not the case. The primary mission is to determine if the documents / IDs – qualify for notarization. Only then can the client’s desires be accommodated.

A recent situation that I experienced will illustrate. And, as you will see the affiant DID have “Government issued Photo ID” but did NOT qualify for notarization. In the example that follows, for privacy purposes; the last name has been changed.

I receive a “piggyback” assignment from a very reputable Title Settlement company to process a very high dollar refinance. They stressed that the client appointment was difficult to arrange and that they were willing to pay a higher than usual rate for very careful processing of a large number of documents. In other words: It had to be done right the first time. I had requested a borrower contact number, but was asked to NOT call; just arrive on schedule.

When I received the appointment confirmation the names of the borrowers were Susan and Moe Rice. I immediately replied that Moe was more commonly used as a “nickname” and they should verify that indeed was the true borrower first name. I received no response other than an immediate pre-payment of the full amount to my PayPal account.

The document set was truly huge, over 500 pages (counting the borrower copy), and required many notarizations. It arrived barely in time to print and dash to the signing location. Still literally hot from the LaserJet printer, copies in hand – off I went with 2.5 hours allocated to process.

On location, after greetings; I requested the borrowers IDs. Hers was fine, his was a showstopper! The docs had “Moe” but his NY driver license had “Mortimer”. “Mr. Rice” I asked, “What is your legal name”. He replied that “that is a complex issue”. He said that his birth name is not translatable into English. Further discussion revealed that his legal name (at least in the US), came from his Naturalization document, and that Mortimer Rice was also on his passport. He offered me several other New York issued IDs, with photo, that had the name “Moe Rice” on them. I again asked him what was his legal name. He replied “Mortimer Rice” but prefers to use “Moe Rice” and that virtually all of his dealings are in the “Moe” name. He did have a prior driver license in the “Moe” name; however as it did not have his true legal name (per his statement) I could not accept it.

The documents all had “Moe Rice” everywhere. I thought about the “Name Affidavit” but that requires me to notarize “Moe Rice” and enter “Mortimer Rice” as an AKA – the reverse of the Name Affidavit function. Furthermore the existing Name Affidavit would have required me to notarize “Moe Rice” and, of course; that not being his stated legal name, is impossible.

I took a picture of his New York State Driver License “Mortimer Rice” and sent it to the Settlement Company explaining that I had no option but to adjourn the session. In email correspondence with Settlement; they determined that a legal procedure will be necessary to change his Title. The first thought was having me notarize a Quit Claim Deed, but I pointed out that I would have to notarize the seller “Moe Rice” to transfer the property to “Mortimer Rice” – also impossible.

You might also like:

New York Notary Public Search Results

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Two notaries assigned the same job?

Illegal notarizations due to bad identification

When not to notarize

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March 7, 2012

Death and the Notary

Death and the Notary

I have heard that it it best to get some things done sooner rather than later but this one takes it to another level….

Some borrowers won’t let even a death in the family stop them from a refinance transaction. I had a mobile notary that received a job from one of his trusty signing companies. He confirmed everything and prepared his documents. On the day of the signing he received a last minute call stating that the borrower had a death in the family but they were  going to proceed with the closing at the agreed upon time.

So, our mobile notary arrived at the house as scheduled not only to find that there indeed was a death;  the female borrower had sadly lost her mother. It was apparent that she was distraught and he could see that she had been crying, but she insisted that she wanted to proceed anyway. So our mobile notary pulled out the tools of the trade and got ID’s logged in and proceeded to start to pass the docs down the assembly line  for signature and initials. However about ever two or so docs the door bell would ring a family member  and/or friend would start to come bearing food, gifts of condolence. So as the visitors would come the female borrower would stop the signing and get up go to the door greet her quests as they came to pay their respects. They would offer their sympathy and condolences and then tears would begin to flow again. ANd she would come back to the signing table and begin to sign again. Needless to say this went on for over two hours. Boy, all I can say is the signing agent on this one was a trooper. It seems that the motivator for this borrower to sign no matter what was a 30 year fixed at 3.8 or so. I guess who could blame her. Life does goes on….

So It seems a great interest rate no matter what the circumstances (good or bad) will never stop some borrowers from signing loan docs.

Until next time!

Be safe!

You might also like:

Bad identification at a notary job

A tale of four notaries at hospitals

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Do they refinance haunted houses?

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February 10, 2012

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Power of Attorney signing at a Nursing Home
 
This was a signing that was doomed from the beginning. I was a relatively new notary, and hadn’t been burned enough to have any sense.  I was like the cat who hadn’t learned to be wary of crossing the road. On the other hand, during my childhood, we had a cat who regularly sat right on the yellow line in the middle of the road.  Let’s just say that she had a good sense of timing.  My timing unfortunately wasn’t so good this time, and neither was my judgement.
 
A call from a convalescent home
It was a call from a lady in her late fifties.  She seemed like a very normal person.  She was taking care of an elderly lady who had nobody.  Of course, when I got the call, I didn’t have the sense to ask who was going to pay me or how they were going to pay me. This job was so bizarre, that even the most experienced notary has probably never seen anything like it.  So, I went to the nursing home and went in the door.  This place was horrible.  People were screaming and moaning all the time.  Plus the stench was horrible. The nurses didn’t want to open the windows because they didn’t want bacteria coming in.  My news for them is that there would be more bacteria going out than in if they opened the window. 
 
A walk down the hallway.
“Help me…. help me…. will you help me?”.  An old bedridden lady wanted to be turned over. I am not skilled at pampering the elderly, and the nurses were ignoring these helpless victems.  A crazy old man tried to make conversation with me walking down the hall.  This hallway should be called the hall of desperation. I got to the correct room number finally. If only I had brought an oxygen tank so I wouldn’t have had to breath in there. The lady in her 50’s wanted me to have the elderly lady sign a power of attorney document. Neither one of them had a clue how these documents worked. They needed my help filling it out and I told them that I don’t offer legal advice.  So, I had to wait while these crazy ladies took thirty minutes to do what they should have had prepared long before they called me. I neglected to ask them if their document was complete by the way.
 
The finished power of attorney
They kept asking me what to do. I kept saying, “you need to talk to an attorney”. I asked them why they had me come all the way down there when they were not ready to sign a completed document.  I had to teach them what a grantor and grantee was.  I told them that in this other place, they should write what the powers the grantor is assigning to the attorney in fact (grantee).  That helped get them through this daunting task.   Finally, the document was done.  The old lady could hardly sit up, let alone write anything.  She wrote some chicken scratch which was not even ledgable. I had to do a signature by X with two subscribing witnesses with her.   Finally, we were done.

 The payment
The attorney in fact got out a checkbook and proceeded to pay me.  I said, that the check didn’t belong to her, but to the old lady.  The lady in her 50’s said that she had been granted the power to do financial transactions for the older lady and would use the old lady’s check book to write me a check.  I didn’t like this idea. I said that I wanted to be paid in cash please. Neither ladies had a dime on them. So, I took the check, and needless to say it bounced. 
 
Insist on cash
If you do a jail or hospital signing, you will be dealing with very unreliable people a very high percentage of the time. Get your travel fee upon walking in the door before you even meet the signer.  If for any reason you can not complete the signing, you at least have some cash in your pocket.  Knowing how to do a signing by X is a valuable skill that experienced notary publics use if you work with the elderly.

You might also like:

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person

Do you like your job? A major headache of a hospital job.

Dragging the person’s arm

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January 21, 2012

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person
 
I have written a lot on this topic, and posts relating to this topic are in the hospital category on the right.  There are no special notary laws for notarizing a bedridden signer. However, there are a few important things to know that are common when notarizing hospitalized or bedridden or elderly signers.
 
The identification must be current
A few states allow an ID to have been issued five years before the date of the notarization, when the ID technically expires four years after it was issued.  However, elderly signers will commonly have an ID that was used between Christopher Columbus’ time and the French Revolution.  If you do a signing for an elderly person (or anyone else), make sure their identification is current before you drive to that location (if you are a mobile notary). 
 
The patient / bedridden person must be coherent and sober
It is common for nurses to drug a patient right before the notary arrives.  Unfortunately, it is not legal to notarize someone who is so out of it that they can’t think or function.  So, if you want that notarization to happen, put the morphine on hold for now! Keep the valium in it’s syringe for now!  Additionally, if the signer can not move their arm to sign, you have a problem. If the signer can not talk enough to acknowledge that they understand the document, you are in trouble too. 
 
Elderly people get scammed regularly – notaries beware!

Elderly people fall prey to all types of scams, and the “nice” people who you assume are the signer’s children could be scam artists who are conning the drugged patient into signing their assets away.  The notary will (could) end up in court if someone gets scammed, so beware, and make sure the signer knows what is going on — or you (the notary) will be very sorry when the justice system hijacks you for two weeks without pay a few months or years down the road. It is not worth it!

You might also like:

Power of Attorney at a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

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January 5, 2012

Can a notary sign an out of state Quit Claim Deed?

Can a notary sign an out of state Quit Claim Deed? 

One of the search terms we found in our blog stats was as follows:
Can a NY notary sign a Florida Quit Claim Deed?
 
Any notary in the United States can notarize a signature on a Quit Claim Deed from any state.  However, there is a catch!  Quit Claim Deeds have always used Acknowledgment verbiage / Acknowledgment wording in my experience.  Acknowledgment verbiage might differ from state to state.  So, the important point to remember is that the notary wording or notary verbiage should match the state where the document is going to be RECORDED.  If the document will be recorded in Florida, please make sure to use Florida notary verbiage.  If the document is going to be recorded in Texas, then use Texas notary verbiage. 
 
Another small point is that notary verbiage sometimes gets changed over time, so you need to make sure you are using 2011 or 2012 notary verbiage for the state where the document is to be recorded.  County recorders are the office that typically records deeds of various kinds.  They can sometimes be very picky.  Make sure your notary seals are very clear and not smudgy if you are submitting notarized documents to the county recorder!
 
Summary:
(1) Notary verbiage must match the state where the document is going to be recorded
(2) Any notary in the United States can notarize a Quit Claim Deed, Grant Deed, Warranty Deed, or any type of Deed for any state

You might also like:

March phoninar: which documents or deeds are recorded?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4390

How to notarize something that doesn’t have a signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4695

Can a Georgia notary notarize a Florida property document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1912

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November 22, 2011

Bounced Checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports: Learn which companies are involved!

Bounced Checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports…

For some of you, this is old information that you have already been following. However, many notaries do not have time to read everything that goes on on the forum, and this news about signing companies will be of interest and a convenience to them!  It is hard for me to keep up with what is going on on the forums on a daily basis, but I have noticed that a lot of bad things happened in September 2011.  There were a few loan signing companies that had a reasonable reputation that suddenly stopped paying notaries.  One or more companies was reported to be out of business.  I am going to summarize the more important events of the last month or two here. I will only mention the more noteworthy signing companies here.
 
All Service Notary & Signings
Sept 16 – A notary gives up on trying to collect their bill and hands it over to a collection agency. Additionally, this notary reports the signing company to a credit bureau!  Another notary reports trouble getting paid from this company.  A third notary says, that after a long time, they finally received their check — but, that was in early August. The situation looks like it has deteriorated since then.
 
CRES Closers
One notary says that they are the BEST to work for!  Another says they met his fee and that they were great to work for. A third notary claims that they sent payment super fast!  Wow, it is nice to hear good things about a signing company these days!
 
Equifax Settlement Services
One notary got paid, but says the company says that they will take THREE MONTHS to pay for jobs in the future because they have to wait until the loans fund.  Another notary discusses the letter they sent to the BBB about this company. A third notary discusses the difference in what this company offers different notaries for the same work.  One gets $85, while another is offered $125!
 
FASS – First American Signature Services
Notaries are complaining, but not about payment issues.  One notary was taken off the list because FASS found a less expensive notary.  Back in 2010, FASS took over service for a big Title company and dropped the notary who had been servicing the signings for that Title company.  Another notary feels that they were treated rudely after some sort of argument about “quality issues”.  Although there is a lot of complaining going on here, I don’t see any wrongdoing on the part of FASS. They are just shopping around to find the best notaries for them — and trying to get high quality service as well. America is a free country and nobody is obligated to keep the same notary for life.
 
Final Link
Three notaries have complained that this company doesn’t do a good job of getting back to people. Not returning calls, etc.
 
First Preference Signing
Four notaries all claim in unison that this is the best company that they have ever worked for. 
 
Harvard Abstract
Three notaries are claiming that this company is easy to work for and that they pay quickly.
 
HVR Notaries
Two notaries claim that this is a good company to work for.  One says, “They met my fee”, which is a very good sign these days with all the low balling.
 
Insured Closings
Notaries claim that there have been several reports of BOUNCED CHECKS from this company.  Watch out!
 
National Loan Closers
This company is reported to be asking for $25 to keep notaries on their list. This is causing a lot of disturbance in the notary world.  Notaries feel that companies should be paying them, and not vice versa. 
 
Nations Direct
We have gotten many complaints about low-balling and micromanagement. One notary’s signing was interrupted by a phone call, where she was asked if she was using a blue pen.  On the other hand, it is prudent for a signing company who uses many newer notaries to call and check up on people. Obviously, many of the notaries they hired screwed up and ruined many loans which is the reason for all of the babysitting.  Please try to look at things from the signing company’s perspective. They are trying to get the job done.  Also see: Nations Direct has been around for more than a decade!
 
Nowclosings.com
Many notaries are claiming that this is one of the BEST signing companies they have ever worked for.

N3 Notary
A few notaries are complaining that company has badgered them too much during their signings. 

Pacific Document Services
Checks that they sent out have allegedly gotten LOST in the mail. One notary has filed an official complaint with the FBI to try to get this company shut down. Another notary received a check that BOUNCED.  This is one of the most serious cases I have seen all year!  The opinions expressed here are the opinions of particular notaries and not of 123notary.com.
  
Safir Signing Agents
Multiple notaries are complaining about no-pay and SLOW-PAY.
 
Service Link
This company has lowered their fees, and we have had many complaints from notaries about LOW-BALLING from this company.
 
Superior Closings
The people that run this company have been functioning under four different business names over the course of time.  They are reported to be out of business now.
 
The Notary Biz
Many notaries are discussing whether or not this company is still in business.  One notary had a discussion with the owner who claimed that they were no longer in business.
 
The R&R Group
Several notaries are complaining about non-payment, and one is owed $375 by this company
 
Trans State Services
Many notaries are really happy with this company.  Good working conditions and timely pay!
 
Vital Signings
This company has a good payment record, but many notaries are complaining that there are too many steps involved in the signing process and a lot of babysitting.

Tweets:
(1) Here is a list of companies that bounced checks, had FBI reports, or were notorious late payers to notaries!

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September 20, 2011

Notary is pushed off stairs by borrower!

Well, I thought I had heard it all.  I hear a lot of wonderful, interesting tales here at 123 from our members. Some are entertaining and funny while others are very sad and depressing. This, unfortunately is one of these stories and unfortunately it is the worst to date. It is nothing short of horrendous and shameful. Although I have her permission to tell her story, I promised her I would not reveal her or the area she lives in. So, here we go…

This particular notary public who is female took a signing from a signing company, she confirmed her appointment, prepared her docs and met her borrower at the the specified time. As she went through the documents, he saw that his interest rate was 1/2 percent more than he had been told. He then became enraged. He requested (using vulgarity) that she leave his home immediately. She packed up her things up and prepared to leave the premises.  As she proceeded to the door the  borrower followed, continuing to rant and rave using foul language incessantly. He was VERY angry with this 1/2 of a percent increase that nobody had bothered to inform him of (sadly, a  story we all are familiar with and have heard many times)  and, to top it to make matters even worse off, the loan officer had not been in contact with him and had been unreachable for several days.

So, as she walked out of the door onto his front porch. There were 4 steps to go down to the walkway that would lead to her car… But, before she could take that first step — with the force of both of his hands on her shoulders he pushed her down and off the porch. She went flying off the porch, and by the grace of God she somehow pivoted her body onto the grass instead of his cemented walkway  that was directly in front of her but unfortunately in trying to break her fall she broke her left wrist. In disbelief and shock she just laid there. The borrower went back into the house and shut and locked his door.  However, fortunately for her, the borrower’s neighbor who was mowing his lawn at the time witnessed the whole thing. He called out to his wife to call the police and the paramedics and he came to her aid and sat with her until they arrived. (A knight in shining armor). The paramedics attended to her and after the police got the story from both the notary and the neighbor one of the officers went to the door of the borrower , rang the bell and the borrower did not answer. At that point the officer yelled out to him to open the door or else. He did eventually open the door, and then was immediately  handcuffed and  placed under arrest and was put in the back of the police car.

Now folks get this — as the paramedics worked on our notary public to prepare her for the trip to the hospital and the police filled out their report the borrower (hand cuffed in the back seat of the police car) was still ranting  and raving non stop with vulgarities that they (the police and paramedics) needed to get this you know what off his grass and property. One of the police officers obviously fed up with this behavior as well as the noise went over to the borrower and told him that he needed to shut up and slammed the car door. He then asked the neighbor if this  behavior was characteristic  of this man. The neighbor and the wife just looked at each other and nodded yes… I just cant believe this man and his behavior, I am still in awe of all of it.

The paramedics said that if she had fallen  onto the concrete instead of the grass she would have broken both wrists and god knows what else in the process. All things  considered she was lucky-it could have been way worse.

She ended up staying in the hospital of 4-5 days instead of the day and half  she was originally told due to an infection she developed in her wrist.

Now it is 1 month later and she is finally back to work. She is healing well I asked her how she felt about her career now (she is a full time  signing agent) and if she felt like giving it up…and she said no way. She says she loves her job and knew this was just something that happened. Kudos to her! She and DA have filed charges and he has 3 counts against him and there will be a civil suit as well. I hope he gets ALL that is coming to him….I say throw the book at him.

Now, of course the signing service that gave her the assignment wants to know why the loan wasn’t closed. Well get this; When she called in to tell them  what had happened from the hospital — the person on the other end of the line laughed and said “you could have come up with a better excuse than that”. So, in order to clear her name she had to send in the police report, hospital records etc….( and yes she did manage to call the day of the signing)

So, all of this leaves me with a few thoughts. I really feel that this could have been avoided if the loan officer had done his job. This is so often the case where the loan officer knows exactly what the numbers are way ahead of time but avoids sharing this information with the borrowers and we go out at the final hour when they know these borrowers are desperate and for the most part are stuck and cant turn back now, and they regrettably just sign. And we get stuck in middle — and in this case — pushed down a flight of stairs. Now some of you will disagree and put up a fuss but this is why when I call and confirm with the borrowers I ask them has the loan officer been in touch and have they gone over the figures with them. If the answer is yes then I ask them what are the numbers supposed to be. This way if the number con-inside with what I see, we are good. If not, I can alert the hiring party that we have a problem before I waste the borrowers time or MINE.  I can avoid problems at the table-situations like the one I just described to you here. (aLthough it is rare and the first time I have heard such of a thing happing it is now a reality that it is possible). This technique does not always work but it is sure worth a try. And it might save you some trouble. I have been doing it for years. Now I know some of you will chew my head off about this technique of mine but this is my business and I run it as I see fit-just as you will run yours as you see fit. But, remember this is for the most part why are economy is shot…to many lies and games being played in the refinance word, and we are usually abandoned and stuck in the middle.

Now, most of you know I preach about your worth and the fees that you charge — this story just reinforces my feeling that you need to be paid what you are worth. I know this is an extreme case but we stick out necks out every time we take an assignment. We NEVER know where our notary public assignments will take us or what we will have to deal with when we get there. We deal with bad attitudes, late documents, traffic, bad neighborhoods, filthy homes, terrible smells, pets, incompetence, etc., and sometimes bad people. So my point is you need to be paid what you are worth. If you continue accepting these low fees that they are offering nowadays not only do you hurt yourself you hurt all of us: the notary community as a whole…..Now in this case a higher fee would not have stopped his unthinkable behavior but I feel that because we deal with so much adversity in this business we need to have our pay more in line with our efforts and the things that we are subjected too. For me, without fair compensation this profession is just not worth the effort or trouble.

Until next time!! BE SAFE!!

Written by Carmen Towles

You might also like:

Part 2 of Notary is pushed of stairs – the sequel!

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Notarizing a child who was abducted

Why notaries don’t last

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