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April 16, 2020

Double dipping

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 9:16 am

Recently, I got a disdtubing call from a title company. They had previously wanted my services but I was unavailable so I referred her to a couple of others in the area on 123notary.com. She used one of them I rhad ecommended and emailed her the information and documents for printing. I assumed all was well. But unfortunately, a subsequent call a few days later provided otherwise. It seems that this notary I referred had doubled dipped in th e cookie jar. She had invoiced tille and when the signer/borrower offered to pay her on the spot sat the table she accepted a check then as well. Needless to say, title was not happy in the least. The borrower noticed after the fact. SO this notary was paid twice fo the same job. 400.00 to be exact. Title waswas very upset and told me not to EVER refer this notary to anyone in the future. She said she was not a truthful honest person. I am shocked to say the least. I know this person and I was very disappointed with them.

To make it even worse title wanted me NOT to say anything to the notary, I was like “ Why in the world not she unquestionable needs to be reprimanded”. I have got to say something” but she swore me to secretary. She didnt want a big confrontation with the notary, themselves or their borrower. So to this day I have not said a word. I do think if the notary in question read this blog they know who they are. This was nothing short of being shameful. Her behavior says allot about this persons character. We are supposed to be above reproach, trustworthy and honest. This should just come with the territory of being a notary public, You are after all a sworn government official. She needs to act like it. I know it has been slow at times but come on. This is stealing. Plain and simple.

One day after some time has passed I WILL mention it. I need to. This person made me and 123notary look very bad. Thankfully this title company still uses me.

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April 9, 2020

Do you know what you are getting yourself into?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 9:08 am

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

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

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

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

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April 7, 2020

Lose the attitude…

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

Many notaries come to me for advise and assistance with notary and loan signing procedures. On occasion I get folks that have a chip on their shoulder for whatever reason. I know this ’notary signing agent business’ can be perplexing and just plain hard to break into. The main problem is that most folks that come into to this profession are not sufficiently trained in their states notarial procedures. So when notaries reach out with questions it is for some of the most basic notarial acts. Things truthfully, they should just know. This is the Secretary of States job which most have failed miserably. Many states don’t have any examples of where to place their stamp or even how to fill out an acknowledgment or jurat but many do and its worth it to look into their handbooks to check.

On this particular occasion, a notary texted me a copy of a jurat and had no clue as to where to place her seal despite the fact to me at least it was obvious that these was a ton of space to the left of her signature. She asked me if this is where she ws to affix her seal. I wrote back 2 word only; ‘Ummm, yes’. I mean where else would you put it. It was the most basic part of her job that she should know. She wrote back quite annoyed that how was she supposed to know this?, blah, blah, blah. Well, how about for starters, getting your notary handbook out and giving it a try, Most folks just focus on loan signing without preparing for what’s really important. THE NOTARIZATIONS!!!

She went on to rant in a text that this is why folks are afraid to ask questions. Well guess what?, you better ask questions. Being a notary can be costly for you and the person you are notarizing signature on documents for. She stated that I sounded annoyed and she was sorry to bother me and that was that. Folks getting an attitude is not helping the situation at all. You had better get all your questions answered and know what you are doing BEFORE you touch anybody’s documents for your sake and theirs. If you don’t ,you will pay the price in more ways than one. And if a little “Ummm”, was enough to set you off then maybe you need to rethink this whole notary signing agent thing.

Why anybody wants to get into this profession without knowing everything about it is beyond me.

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April 5, 2020

The no show, no go!

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 9:00 am

For the life of me, I just don’t get making a commitment or accepting an assignment and not showing up or not answering the phone. Why not do the decent professional thing and call and just cancel. Why take a job and just not show up. Very tacky to say the least.

I was sitting down with a new client at a funeral home. She was profusely thanking me for showing up and asked for more cards.

I told her it was my pleasure. She went on to tell me that It seems her experience had been that that in her quest to find notary that even though there are quite a few notaries advertising traveling and mobile services but they don’t bother calling back or showing up at all. She told me that one of the notaries actually did call back but 3 days later. Unbelievable! She told this notary that she had left the message 3 days ago and the she had find someone that responded with in minutes the same day and that her notarization was scheduled and that she may want to re-evaluate how she handled her businesss in the future that is if she wanted to work. But what is ironic is that then many of your complain there is no work or not enough work. I think there is plenty of work for those that want it.

Remember, if you are trying to build a notary business (or any business for that matter) you need to answer your phone, check your email and return all correspondence in a timely manner. Your business should be important to you if you are serious if not get out it is not fair to those that would potentially use you.

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March 30, 2020

Do you know what you are getting yourself into?

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

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

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

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

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

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March 29, 2020

Two notarizations same document..yes or no?

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

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

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

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December 17, 2019

“Oh, just shut up and do you job!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might also like:

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

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

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October 3, 2019

Help!…getting a divorced but husband has my stamp!

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:19 pm

Got a call form a frantic notary that is in the mist of a seemingly nasty divorce. She has a question and it is obvious right away that she is clueless as to what her notary laws are. She states that she may be calling the wrong place but her husband has her seal. She also wants to know if she is still an active notary? I’m thinking; “Oh boy”. I told her first off lets address the fact that you should know that your seal an journali (if required or not to keep one) is to remain with YOU at ALL TIMES in a secure locked location and secondly, you should be fully aware whether your commission is active or not. I mean if she doesn’t know (besides the SOS who would know) And, I am sure they will think it odd of her to be asking. I can’t for the life of me understand why folks are so lax and nonchalant with their seals. The power of the seal is enormous. It can create havoc on peoples lives and cause many financial problems.

In my humble opinion, it seems to me that if you are going to take on such a responsibility being a notary public that you would try at the very least to learn everything you can about being a notary public for your state. There are what I call the ‘rules of engagement’ and one should do their best to know them. Once you become a notary public you are considered a government official and you need to know what you ‘can and cannot do’. There are rules to be followed and you should know them.

It really terrifies me that we have thousands of notaries throughout the county that have no clue of what they are doing. They just tell me that they want to make a quick buck, or its just a side hustle or I just what to do loans. There is way more to being a notary then making a fast buck, etc. There can be financial devastation to you and/or others if you don’t know what you are doing. If you mess up someones paperwork it will be on you. And if you leave your stamp just laying around ‘willy nilly and it is used for fraud god forbid that to, will be on you. So for her to leave her stamp with her soon to be ex-husband was IMO gross negligence and I told her so. I recommended that she contact her husband immediately and secure her seal and journal (if he had that as well).

Please folks read your handbooks and learn all you can. It’s WAY more to being a notary than making a fast buck or side money….

You might also like:

My stolen identity and fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Notary Public Seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21411

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September 28, 2019

For God’s sake take a notary class. (if you can find one)

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:15 pm

Got a call today from a new notary in Texas with a question. The first thing I ask her was how long she had been a notary. She is brand new-only a couple of months. I let her know (just like everyone else) that she needs to know her notary laws. She was not aware that this was of the utmost importance but then none of the new notaries do. They are foccused on loan signing. Never realizing that without basic knowledge of their notary laws they will fail and make countless errors. Definitely not a good way to start a business. So while we were talking, another notary called in. I ask her to hold and answered the call. Ironically, it just so happened to be another notary also from Texas that had a question on how to fill out a notary acknowledgment. She tells me that she pulled an acknowledgment off the internet and was perplexed as to how to fill it out.

I let her know, I just so happened to have another notary from Texas on the phone and it might be a teaching moment for the both of them and would she mind if I merged her into our conversation since they both were new ( I assumed this based on the question she was asking) and from Texas. She readily agreed and I merged the calls. I introduced them to one another and then asked the notary who had the acknowledgment question to to proceed with her question.

The notary had received an assignment to print a 3-4 page document, travel to the signer, have him sign, notarize and scan back to the attorney for a fee of 80.00. (decent fee btw.) She completed the assignment but for some reason (it is not clear why) she gave the notarized page to the signer. When she returned home from the job she realized her error and proceeded to find an acknowledgment certificate online and was trying to fill it out. I asked he how long she had been a notary and she stated that she had been a notary sine 1988. No disrespect to her but I find that to be a little disingenuous and very hard to believe considering the circumstances. To be a notary that long you would know what to do.

First off why she gave the notary acknowledgement to the client speaks volumes on its own. This is a rookie move; a person who has no clue as to what they are doing. Secondly, to not know how to fill out the notarial section is another rookie move. I told her that she should really consult her handbook as to what goes where. Hopefully, they address how to fill out a notarial certificate. I also let her know that she could take a picture of the acknowledgement and I would be more than happy to go through it with her. However, her best option would be to get off the phone with me and call the signer and go back and get the original acknowledgment certificate she had left with him. As of this writing, I have not heard back from her. Hopefully, for her sake, she got it all figured out.

The other notary remained silent until I let the other notary go. And she too now understood that she was also in the same position. She knows nothing about where to put what on a notarial certificate or just being a notary in general. I told her to also try and find a notary class and read her handbook cover to cover. Learn it-know it. If you are good notary you will be a great signing agent. After all the whole reason you would be called on to do closing/signings in the first place starts with you being a commissioned notary for your state. And guess what, they expect you to know your job. PERIOD. If you don’t know what you are doing you are just asking for trouble. So read and learn up like your life depended on it. Because guess what- it does.

You might also like:

Notary Public Education
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21413

Notary Public 101 from 123notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

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September 21, 2019

Notary Tips from Carmen

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 10:31 pm

Do your research FIRST before you buy anything.
Know the ends and outs of the notary business that you are trying to undertake.
know the difference between a notary and a signing agent. These are 2 different hats that can conflict with each other
Know what is expected of you.
Know how many notaries in your area.
Try to find out if they are busy.

Find answers to the following questions:

Is there any work in your area?
How do I get the work?
How much money will it cost me to get started?
What supplies and hardware do I need?
What license or insurance do I need?
How long will it take me to make a profit?

You cannot listen to folks who are selling classes. They have one objective-sell you their course. They will tell you what you what to hear. Keep in mind it takes quite a white to build a successful notary business. You need to market, market and market some more.

2. Make sure you know YOUR states notary laws; cold. This is of the utmost important. This knowledge is what will keep you out of
trouble. And it is far more important than loan signing. If you are a great notary you will be an exceptional signing agent.

Know what ID is acceptable in YOUR state. What to do if they don’t have acceptable ID. What if it is expired? Can you still use it?
Where to place your seal.
When can you use credible witnesses? and why would you use them?. What are they and how many do you need in your state?
Who’s sole responsibility is it to fix a notarial certificate?
When is it a must that you change the venue? Do you even know what a venue is?
Who’s responsibility is it to initial these changes?
Can you use another states notarial certificate? And if yes when?
When are you supposed to give an oath?

These two things seem to be the most the notaries argue about;

Notaries continue to argue about whether they can use another states acknowledgement or not.
They consiisting argue about making changes to the documents.

Who’s sole responsibility is it to fix a notarial certificate?
Who’s responsibility is it to initial certain changes on the notarial certificate?

You might also like:

Tips for Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3360

How to fix mistakes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2231

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