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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:

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

How do you get a Power of Attorney document?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20785

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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

Why notaries don’t last

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August 29, 2011

Two notaries assigned the same job?

Two notaries assigned the same job?
 
There I was, a California notary public in Tustin, CA. I had driven down from Los Angeles to sign a loan for a nice couple in Orange County, California. We were signing away, when lo and behold:  The notary showed up.  He asked, “Who are you?”.  I then proclaimed, “I am the notary”.  Then, he said, “That’s impossible, I’m the notary!”.  “No you’re not!”.  “Yes I am”.  “Am NOT!”. “AM TOO!…”  Okay, let’s be honest, the “am not am too” part never happened.  I’m embelleshing this signing agent dialogue. The couple was just staring in confusion.  The wife was displaying the exact same mannerisms as a cat watching a dangling string.  He head rotated to the left and looked at me, then head rotated to the right and looked at the other notary, then back at me, and back at him…. Hmmm.  What is going on?
 
The Signing company hired two notaries?
How could they! After all of my hard work, they would have the gaul to… Oh… wait a minute, let me call them and straighten the whole thing out. 
 
Ring Ring…..
 
Me – Hello, may I speak to Mary please, this is Jeremy your California notary for the Anderson Signing in Tustin. 
Mary – Hi, this is Mary! 
Me – Hi, Mary, it seems that you hired two notaries for the same job. 
Mary – What? We would never do that
Me – Odd, because as we speak, there is another notary here.  Or, should I say, “A Notarial Triangle”
Mary – Hmmm… Let me call the Title company.
………… ten minutes later
Mary – I found out what happened
Me – Please do tell?
Mary – The title company hired two signing companies to handle this California notary job, and the OTHER signing company sent that OTHER California notary out.
Me – Mmmm.  So, which signing company was SUPPOSED to be responsible for the job.
Mary – We are.  The title company cancelled with the other signing company, but apparantly, they didn’t cancel with the notary.
Me – Oh, no they didn’t!!!
Mary – Oh, yes they did.
Me – This has never happened in my career to date.  And I hope it never happens again. Just make sure that I’m the one who gets paid, although the other one should get a travel fee, don’t you agree?
Mary – Thats between him and the OTHER signing company.
Me – I KNEW there had to be another signing company. I could just tell from the way he was looking at me.
 
So, jokes aside, the other notary left, we finished the signing.  Into the UPS box it went, and off I went on my merry way out of what we affectionally call, “The OC”, and back up the 5 Freeway, or is it the 405 — its been so long I can’t even remember, through Anaheim, Downey, Commerce, and back to Los Angeles where I logged in my transaction and faxed a bill to the signing company.
 
The End!

You might also like:

Getting what is due! A clever plan!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

One signing – two venues?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17047

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July 2, 2011

Threatening for payment?

Taking the job
I dont like to do a job and then have to threaten folks to get paid. It goes against my general fiber and overall nature. I excel at what I do and expect to paid accordingly.  I took a job toward the end of the month (May). It was a settlement company. You know the ones that broker the rich and famous insurance polices that are worth 4 or 5 million and they pay out  a fraction of what they are worth, and then wait for them to  die so they can collect the full value of the policy. This is similar to JG Wentworth’s policies.

Agreeing on a fee
Well, we agree on a handsome fee of 150.00. I successfully complete the assignment.  Nothing eventful and everything went well. I was even early..:)  After the completion of the assignment, I completed a W-9 and submitted an invoice and patiently waited. After about 2 weeks I emailed my contact on a Monday and was told that I would have payment toward the  end of the following week.  My eyebrows cautiously started to rise, but, I understand company billing policies, so I let it go. By the following week on Thursday there was no check. I emailed once again, and the reply I got was that they had missed the cut off and I would receive a check at least by the next Friday.

Contacting the signing company’s client for payment?
Now, I am becoming VERY angry. So I wrote back that this sounds very much like the run around to me and it is unacceptable . I also let them know that if forced I will have to take matters into my own hands meaning that if I don’t receive payment ASAP I will be contacting their client for payment. With correspondence sent I waited. The following afternoon I receive a brief response. and I quote  “Carmen, accounting pushed your check and it’s in the mail” And I thought to myself. Great BUT why did I have to be strung along and lied to in the first place. Why didn’t you just cut the check and be done with it.  It has been a month already. Why did I have to threaten you and worse  yet  now our relationship has been strained and severed. I am confident they will never call me again Nor do I want them to. I don’t want to have to put up a fight to get paid. If I perform a job without incident and give it 100% with no error on my part I except to get paid. PERIOD. I have every right to expect this. We have every right to expect this!!!

It is a shame that we have to resort to all sorts of threats, trickery, letters/emails phone calls, etc just to get our money. This is a job in itself and It is very time consuming to keep up with these slow or no pay companies.

In closing, I know the task itself is hard but you have got to stay on top of it. As one of our notaries expressed to me…the longer you wait to try an collect the more likely you never will see a dime…..and this is the sad truth. PLEASE Check out these companies when you can BEFOREHAND.  It is not entirely foolproof but it can help weed out some of the bad ones before it costs you in time and money! Be on top of your billing, comply with all their billing request, such as W-9’s and start the collection process early.

Until next time….(now lets play the waiting game and see if the check actually shows up…lol)

Tweets:
(1) Their excuse was that they missed the cut-off and would pay up next Friday!
(2) She threatened to go to the client if they didn’t pay ASAP & then they paid promptly!

You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102 – A guide to getting paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

Does having reviews make it easier to get paid?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3227

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June 17, 2011

Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion

A Louisiana notary on our database was murdered in his Louisiana home by an armed gunman in June 2011.  Two adult residents and a three year old were at home cooking gumbo when a young man aged 19-23 entered the house and opened fire.  One of the residents covered the three year old with his body to protect it from gunfire.  That resident named Keith Hamilton was shot, but lived after a brief stay in the hospital.  The other resident, who was a well known Louisiana notary public and loan signer named Anthony Wilmore was shot twice in the chest and lower back and died.

Anthony has been listed on 123notary for several years now on our Louisiana Notary search results, and it is very sad and tragic to learn of his untimely death.  We have never had anything like this happen to any of our members before.  We have had members fall victem to cancer, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires, but nobody died so suddenly like he did in such an unusual situation.  Most notaries are afraid of going to someone else’s house who might be psychotic, but this notary got into trouble staying at home cooking dinner!

Anthony lived in Orleans Parish in Louisiana in New Orleans.  That is a city that is filled with a festive energy, great food, great music, and great people.  Unfortunately, tragedy seems to hit that city on a regular basis.  Hurricanes, oil spills, high unemployment, and a high homicide rate as well plague the area.  I visited New Orleans briefly and enjoyed it thoroughly. Luckily, my four days there didn’t permit me to see anything tragic other than the aftermath of their hurricane.  The only reminders visable were the waterline on some of the houses that was still there. The damage had all long been cleaned up when I got there.  I have been told that some of the better restaurants relocated to Baton Rouge as well.

We grieve for Anthony and those who were close to him.  For the other notaries, I hope that nothing like this ever happens again.  Cancer, strokes and heart attacks are common killers of notaries though. So, please take lots of antioxidants, exercise, eat healthy foods, and see the doctor regularly.  Most of these health issues can be detered with a healthy lifestyle.

Tweets:
(1) A notary in Louisiana was murdered in his home by an armed gunman while he was cooking gumbo!
(2) The housemate of the notary threw his body over the 3 y/o to protect him from the gunfire!

.

You might also like:

Murder in a building a week before the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19272

Notarizing a female accessory to murder
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8667

Attorneys bullying Notaries – when does it end?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19383

I’d rather stop being a notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

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May 1, 2011

The signing from hell

The Signing from hell….

I have been a notary signing agent for many years now and for the most part I have enjoyed it tremendously. I love the freedom and independence that it affords me and I enjoy meeting wonderful new people from all walks of life. As with most jobs there are good and bad days. This is the tale of one of those bad days. Probably the worst day as a signing agent ever-for me that is.

The story begins

Get ready for a hell of a story. Here we go.  I got a call late on a Friday afternoon from one of my title company schedulers (Fidelity National Title)  for a job on the following day, a Saturday. I gladly accepted. I received the confirmation and then proceeded to call the borrower to verify time and place. Saturday came and I made my way over to the borrower’s home. When I drove up to the borrowers home the first thing I noticed was the house was VERY run down, and I couldn’t help wondering to myself if the bank knew what they were doing in granting a loan for this property but who am I to judge.

Going up the stairs…

So I parked and then proceeded up the stairs to the house  and could see and feel that the whole house was crooked, like on slant. It was obvious It had once been a single family house that somebody who obviously didn’t have a contractors license had chopped it up and made some what I call make  shift apartments out of it. And you could actually see the termites crawling on various pieces of exposed wood.  But again it is not my place to judge. So I went to what looked like the only real front door (as there were several) and knocked. I heard what I thought was an animal with paws approaching the door.

The Signer and his long clicking toe nails!

But to my surprise  it was a young man. But not just an ordinary man but a  man with the longest toe nails I have every seen (that is what I heard coming to the door the clicking of his toe nails hitting the floor as he walked). He was also the filthiest person that I have seen as well who living in a house  and not on the streets. He was wearing dirty boxers and a dirty torn tee shirt.  Then to top it off there was a smell that I cannot to this day describe. While I stood motionless in disbelief and shock, I heard a sweet woman’s voice saying ‘is that her, is that the lady…tell her to come on up…please come on up’…and I cannot tell you why but I went into the door way and accened up a dark stairway and I heard what I assumed was the young man that opened the door who now was behind me start turning about 4-5 locks one by one and as they clicked and locked behind me and I became terrified..truthfully I thought I was going to see my maker that day but I kept on climbing the stairs and the further I ascended up the stairs the stench got worse.

The air was so thick… I could have cut it with a knife…

I could hardly breath. There was absolutely no ventilation. The air was so thick I could have cut it with a knife. And I thought to myself I must have lost my mind. To this day I still cant explain why I didnt just turn around when the front door first opened and just leave. When I reached the the top of the stairs it was very dark and as my eyes started to adjust there was more horror. Dishes and trash pilled everywhere  and there were two extremely dirty mattresses one on the floor which the young man who had let me in proceeded to ly down on and cover himself up with a dirty blanket and the other which was sitting up on a mattress frame  was the lady who I presumed had called out to m. She was sitting on the edge of the mattress with two swollen legs that resembled tree trunks with clearly to me looked like flesh eating disease. There was an abundance of open sores and I’ll just leave it at that. She then says to me that they had just painted the floor and I was to sit in that area…I said excuse me….and she then pointed to a 10 foot corner that had a coach that clearly had been freshly painted…I thought to myself I must be in the twlight zone or on one of those candid camera tv shows….

The signing begins..

I sat down and asked for the documents (they had been overnighted to the borrower; it was one of those WAMU deals, and I guess it it obvious now why they went out of business…lol) and the signers ID. She looked puzzled but asked the young man to get up and look for the requested items….he reluctantly got up and looked for a few minutes but to me it didnt seem that he was really looking or knew what he was looking  for. He was wandering around aimlessly and then told the lady that he could not find them. She accepted this and all I’ll say is that I was so grateful that the ID and and loan docs couldn’t  be found…I immediately got up let them know I had to go for I had another appointment and if the missing items came up  please call so we could re-schedule another appointment (yes, I lied) and then with the young man in front leading me out I proceedded to the stairway and headed down the steps.

No ID? No problem, let’s reschedule.. time to go!!!!

Thankfully he had the  unlocked those locks and he  was opening the door when I reached the foot of the steps. I thanked him and bolted through the door gasping for air as I went. I really didnt realize how much I was  shaken up until I reached my car. I fumbled for the key, opened the drivers door, sat behind the drivers seat and began trembling. I could still smell that dreadful smell. Dear god, I had brought it with me. Before I could compose myself, in a state is horror, I once again heard those clicks of those toe nails and looked up to see the young man at my passenger side car door excitingly letting me know that he had found the loan doc’sI could hear him saying “Oh Miss, Oh miss I got what you need” and me being the quick thinker I am, I asked him had he found the ID as well. He  looking disappointed said oh no…and walked back to his house.  All I could do was just sit there and try to regain my composure. Soon after however I felt sick to my stomach and I opened the door leaned my head down towards the street concrete and everything that had been in my stomach come up….After about 15 minutes I started the car up and went home.  I opened my front door and stripped down and left it all outside. Clothes, briefcase and all. I took a long hot shower and washed the clothes I had been wearing. After this I immediately sat down and sent Fidelity a very long recap of all of these events and told them NOT to send a request that I go back…ever. When Monday came I got a an apology via email from Fidelity and that was the end of it. I never heard one thing about it ever again. Shortly after however, I did  receive my full fee of 150.00. Of this I was thankful.

I was polite through the whole ordeal!

In closing, there is one thing I want to add. Although I was very uncomfortable with the whole situation. The borrower and who I presumed was her son, never new for one minute that I had issues with any of what I  described here. I was cheerful, kind and professional throughout all of it.

Until next time…

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April 27, 2011

Low Ball Signing Companies

Low Ball Signing Companies 

Notaries are always complaining about low ball signing companies.  My advice is to just say yes or no. As long as its quick and they pay you, you have nothing to lose, but your dignity.  Sometimes a quick $40 is not so bad.  If it takes you an hour or slightly more for the whole affair, that is not bad pay.  Just don’t take a low ball job and have to do fax backs, and wait for two hours while the borrower reads each phrase of each page and asks a million questions.
 
Tough times are here
We are living in tough times, and people in foreign countries live on a quarter of the income you have.  They have simpler habits and smaller cars or mopeds.  They eat less meat and more beans and rice or “Rad Na” if they live in Thailand.  Its better to take what you can get and save up for a rainy day.  I used to work for very little. When I was booked, my prices would go up.  When things were slow, I would accept jobs for very little, no matter what.  My bills didn’t care how many dollars per hour I made.    My mistake was not to ask for high amounts of money.  Some people and companies will pay you double what you think they will. Just ask.  If they say no, then take less if you have to.  Its better than starving.
 
Your lives are not that bad
Assuming you don’t have a health emergency and are not having your life threatened by your local gang, and assuming that a tsunami didn’t visit your neighborhood, your life is not that bad (I’m guessing).  As a world traveler, I see how middle class people live in India.  Broken roads, clunky cars, the other drivers’ purpose in life is to run you off the road and kill you, food that gives you dysentary, traffic from hell, salaries 20% of what Americans make, expensive rent, cab drivers that always try to rip you off.  Just crossing the street in Pune, India is an ordeal that most of you will never have to face.  Additionally, they have terrorist attacks on a regular basis and its not safe for women to go out after dark.  Few of you have any of these situations to contend with.  So, count your blessings.  Even in America, I know many who work for minimum wage who ride a bicycle to work through dangerous areas.  If you own a car, you are doing better than my bicycle riding friends who can barely pay their rent.
 
Forum posts on the subject:

The text below is written by notaries, and does not represent the viewpoints of 123notary.com

If you accept $50 signings
If one accepts $50 signings, then it’s obvious one has not taken into account everything that is involved in the signing, from consumables to time to depreciation of equipment ……
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2993
 
 
Vital Signings
……If you want to support Vital signings be aware YOU will not make any money. After a dozen signings I calculated I made $18.00 per signing. They get the bucks, you don’t.
The best micro-managers in the business. What a pain. They can’t pay me enough to work for them again.
If make an error, they take away YOUR fee and make you pay their fee as well…..  (scroll down for this one)
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=26
 
Firma Signing Solutions
…..So, you can imagine how hard my chin hit the floor when he quoted $35.00 for the whole thing! The low ballers fail to remember what all it takes to become adept at this job, you have to know what you’re doing. You’re not “just a notary” but a certified signing agent, which takes training and education to fully understand this process. I will just decline the job if the price doesn’t meet my fees, it’s just not worth it…..
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3170
 
Fax Backs
…. (scroll to the bottom) Has anyone else had jobs recently where they want the whole package faxed back? I have had two from Nations Direct. Of course, as usual, they are low balling the price and then state that the whole package needs to be faxed back. Both times I have told them I will not do a job for their low price, especially with all of the fax backs. Yesterday, for example, they asked me to go 30 miles away with edocs and fax back the whole package for $70. I don’t think so.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3902
 
Question 2 Price Formula
……Rule of thumb: The lower the offer, the bigger th PITA it will be. It never fails….when you agree to a lower fee, docs will be late, the closing will go awry somehow, you will have a ton of fax-backs and need permission to ship…AND…you’ll wait at least 60 days to get paid the low ball fee. HONEST !!  ………
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1872

Tweets:
(1) Notaries are always complaining about low-ball signing co’s. Don’t complain, just say no!
(2) We are living in tough times. Maybe those low-ball signing companies keep you from starvation!
(3) Read real stories about four low-ball signing companies.

You might also like:

Good signing companies – a thorough list
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21091

Getting what is due! A clever plan!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

Bounced checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1765

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