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May 19, 2020

Removing shoes to please Asian or Hindu signers. Good idea?

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:52 pm

I read a story in Notary Cafe about a Signing Agent who obliged a signer (perhaps Asian as this is their custom in many Asian countries) by taking off their shoes upon request. The Notary inadvertently stepped on a sliver of glass and bled profusely getting her socks all bloody. The limped out of the signing and had to go to urgent care and get three stitches.

I was part of a Hindu meditation group for years and they would bug or nag-tagonize (new word) the hell out of you if you didn’t remove shoes. But, it can be dangerous to remove shoes. I got so sick of the nagging I started yelling at people nag. Nagging seems to be a basic reflex for people from particular cultures and being forcefully dominant towards them is the only way to get them to stop.

You might get some bacteria that could cause serious foot diseases.
There is a story from Yogananda, the Hindi guru that asked people to wear shoes rather than removing them. One American girl who felt it necessary to follow Hindu tradition removed her shoes anyway and got a bad foot disease as a consequence.

You might also step on something or bang your toe on something resulting in an injury.

The narrow minded folks who want to force or coerce you to remove shoes don’t give a damn about your safety or comfort, they only care about their national or religious customs which come before human dignity and all else. Think twice before you endanger yourself to please some nit-picky folks who only care about cleanliness and tradition – there are bigger things at stake.

So, leave your comments below. Remove shoes or don’t remove shoes — and why.

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May 17, 2020

Have you ever been spat on, bitten or yelled at during a signing?

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:51 pm

There are so many bad things that happen at signings. I guess I was lucky. I had some rude dog owners, but that was the worst of it. The humans were worse than the annoying dogs.

But, other people had cats bite them, stepped on glass after removing shoes, had dogs bother them, had people pull guns on them, or were yelled at.

What kinds of terrible signing stories do you guys have? Please share as the others would love to know.

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March 20, 2020

Covid19, Panicking, and the Notary Industry

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , — admin @ 8:17 pm

It seems that the Covid 19 virus is hitting America. The numbers keep changing fast as we are testing more people. Honestly, America had two and a half months to prepare for this outbreak and moved slowly. The President downplayed the danger of the disease as well which is dangerous in itself. Now that the disease is off the leash in America, we are starting to realize that perhaps we should learn from particular Asian countries on how to get a handle on this problem. Testing likely suspects in mass is a big part of it. But, what about Notaries, what should your concerns and actions be?

Be Prepared
It is a problem that people are panicking. This results in unstable business decisions. It also results in stores being sold out of face masks (not a problem in my area yet), hand sanitizer, paper towels, bottled water, and water filters. It makes sense to have a supply at home because these items sell out quickly. I was lucky and got some paper towels and water today which is March 10th although I might not publish this article for a while.

The Stock Market
Stocks are plummeting in value. I understand that cruise and airline stocks should lose some intrinsic value due to this disease. But, banks should not be too affected by this problem, yet their stocks are dipping just as badly as airlines. Even Coca Cola which is a very stable company has lost a lot of ground and they are one of the most stable stocks that exist.

Your Behavior
I heard that the refinance marked spiked and then the phones stopped ringing in the last few days. Interest rates are low and could get lower as the global economy is slowing down due to the disease and due to the trade war between the USA and China. This means more refinances. However, if people are afraid to go to work or leave the house, that means there might not be any business for Notaries. Very few people are infected in America at this point and it does not make sense to avoid leaving the house at this stage. Once we get into late April or May then it might be a much more serious situation and you might face immediate risk.

The 18 Month Rule
Some people have decided to shut down schools or not go to work. Newsflash – pandemics like the Spanish Flu, Swine Flu, and Covid 19 typically last 18 months or longer. So, if you have decided that shutting down your school or playing hookey on work makes sense, ask yourself if you can afford to continue that behavior for 18 months. Sure, if there is an acute outbreak in your particular area, then cancelling school makes sense. But, now, there are only three areas in the USA where it makes sense to cancel school.

The Elderly
If you are 60 or over, or have a lung condition it makes sense not to get on an airplane, cruise ship, go to the movies, go to a convention, or be anywhere where you will be in close proximity to large quantities of humans, especially if the ventilation is anything other than clean air.

My recommendations
I am not a doctor, but I think stocking up on some food and supplies makes sense at this point because the shelves at your supermarket could end up stripped bare at some point. It makes sense to wash your hands regularly with soap and disinfect surfaces in your house regularly. It makes sense to avoid crowds if you can. But, you need to go to work unless there is some pressing reason why you wouldn’t. If you are sick, elderly, or there is an outbreak in your city you might stop going to work for a while. If you are able to work from home that is great and recommended. But, if you have to work at an office, take some vitamin C and hope for the best. You can’t just end your life before it is over.

Loan Signings
Don’t be afraid to do loan signings. There is a chance that the signers could be infected, but a very small chance at this point. Stay six feet away from them and make sure they don’t sneeze on you. Disinfect the table with wipes or lysol. You might check with the borrowers by phone to see if they are coughing or sneezing. Take some vitamin C and garlic and hope for the best. We cannot just shut down society at this point because there is a tiny risk of exposure.

What should the government do?
We should test all those with symptoms in a very efficient way. We should test all that have come into contact with diagnosed individuals. It might also make sense to test all who live in areas with high rates of infections. There is a pecking order for who should be tested. Because if we don’t identify individuals who have the disease, we will eventually have to quarantine all of society at least in particular areas which will be devastating for the economy.

Summary
It is unclear how this disease will affect the notary industry. Personally, I think it will help us with loan signings, and I think the danger to Notaries doing signings is minuscule. Even if your a borrower from time to time has the disease, you are not likely to get it if you take precautions. Continue living your life and take necessary precautions unless you are elderly or have lung issues in which case — alter your life now!

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January 17, 2020

Notarization for a guy who pulls a gun

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:30 am

A client of mine in New Jersey tells this harrowing tale about doing a cash-out job in Patterson.

The Notary enters the house. The borrower calls his wife a crack ho. They go to the car to do the signing. The borrower pulls a gun, points it at the Notary and says, “You aren’t going to mess with me man!” The Notary said, “I’m just here to sign papers.” Then the Notary got a job signing for a paraplegic. The Notary asked how the signer was going to sign. The signer asked the notary to put the pen in his mouth.

After that, the Notary got a call to go to Karen Johnson’s house. He gets to the house and the woman loudly says, “What the hell is going on?” It was Whoopi Goldberg using her real name.

So, I guess that Notary had fun notarizing celebrities, but not as much fun as I had notarizing an arsonist and his jurors — not that I am trying to be one-up on him!

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November 20, 2019

Your notary stole your private information and sold it.

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 5:50 am

Good God! Did this really happen? I don’t know. How would you know? But, imagine that it did.

Let’s say a Notary came to your house and took all of your social security information and other information from the loan application. There is a lot of sensitive information there.

Or perhaps the notary went to the bathroom, rummaged through your house and came up with some sensitive information. You might not find out right away. But, later on you might be a victim of identity theft. What a nightmare. Is there a way to protect yourself from your Notary? Should you even be concerned?

Honestly, this is the last thing you should worry about. The worst I have heard a Notary do is to not show up, leave you high and dry, be rude, or steal your oxy-codene (which is a serious crime.) If a Notary stole your morphene, then you wouldn’t have it at your most anxious moment — anxious because someone stole your morphene. That sounds like an oxymoron. Okay, the morphene theft not so much but the oxy-codene theft could sound like an oxymoron.

Another piece of information the notary has is your loan terms. He could try to sell the borrower a competitive product based on the private information he is privy to.

So, don’t lose sleep over this issue. It was an interesting issue to discuss. Let us know if you have any input.

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If you are named as an identity theft conspirator, you might owe $20,000 in legal fees
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February 12, 2017

Racial issues at a signing

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 9:36 pm

Shelly went to a Notary signing. The minute she arrived, she could feel extreme tension. The husband was listed as an entity on the loan application, but the wife was the one taking command. Shelly was (and still is) white, and the couple was black. I’ve done hundreds of signings in black homes and without issue — however, those signings were done before people had a reaction to Donald Trump’s political presence.

Racism was at an all-time low from around 1997 to mid 2015. And then it started up again. There were more protests, riots, clash between minorities and police, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. But, during the last few months of 2016 it turned violent. I witnessed people being beaten in the street over race — strangers beating strangers with no provocation. Can we blame Donald Trump for this insanity? After all, he has done nothing to anyone (yet) and was only speaking his mind in his own non-sugar coated way.

The husband and wife started going through the Loan Estimate. They went through every fact and figure with a fine toothed comb because they had prejudged that something must be wrong and that everybody was out to get them including the Notary, Lender, Donald Trump, Title, Escrow, and Sam down at the butcher shop (I made the last part up.) They were basically trying to confirm their baseless suspicions by finding something wrong with the paperwork.

When the Notary tried to smooth things over, the couple called the Loan Officer and commented about how terrible the Notary was. The Loan Officer failed to return the Notary’s calls but called the party that hired them for the loan (whomever that was.) The Notary’s reputation had been slandered, tarnished, and she didn’t want to lose her client. Shelly’s reputation was on the line here for a crime she didn’t commit. Was racism to blame?

Shelly comments that if people are negative about the process from the getgo, they will create problems that weren’t there in the first place. Too true Shelly. I agree completely. But, the main thing is to stay out of the loan. The loan is not your business. It is not up to the Notary to determine if there is something wrong with the loan. You just make sure they sign where they are supposed to and notarize the signatures.

Shelly has signed hundreds of loans for people of all communities in her area and treats people equally. It looks like she was not treated equally in return this time.

The moral of the story is, if you walk into a tense situation as a Notary — just do your job and don’t make comments. Be neutral. It’s not your problem. If someone fires you for reasons beyond your control, just state your side of the story and it is their loss if they lose you because you are a good Notary who did nothing wrong and has a 99.9% accuracy rate (or so you claim.)

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Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — comedy edition
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I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
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March 24, 2016

Two guys with the same name; One cashed the other guy’s check!

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:25 am

Imagine your worst nightmare. Someone else with your same name. But, it’s not identity fraud if the person really is you, or at least shares your name. We had a Notary in Alabama and another Notary in Indiana who had this exact situation. I am not sure if their middle initial or middle name is the same, but the first and last were. They were both on the same database for several signing companies. The problem was that the guy in Alabama did a bunch of jobs for several signing companies, and then the guy in Indiana got paid for those jobs — and deposited the checks.

I actually personally know both of these people and remember a conversation I had with one of them three years ago. He thought his bill was too high and kept saying, Jeremy…. Jeremy…. Jeremy…. Jeremy… with this amazing tonality. He got removed from his high position because it was too much trouble to bill him. Now he has a free listing at the bottom of the list. He might not get that many jobs down there, but if he can get paid for the other guy’s jobs in Alabama, I guess it all works out just fine — for the mean time!

In any case, let this be a lesson to be learned. If you have children, and you have one of those standard type names like Jack Smith, or David Rutherford, consider a name change. Either change your last name, or name your children something that nobody else would name their kids such as Bullwinkle, Shakazulu, or Pleiades! Think in the future, and pick a name that is out of this world, or at least out of this constellation!

.

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Two notaries assigned the same job?
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January 28, 2016

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun

Notaries have very conflicting attitudes about carrying guns. Some are violently against it, while others just see guns as a fact of life. For people growing up in Haiti or Israel, there are people with machine guns everywhere. It is just a fact of life. But for Americans, guns are not so common unless you are a gangster, or drive a pick up truck in a red state. So, how can Notaries defend themselves?

(1) Some Notaries let their husband know where they will be and to call the police if they don’t hear back from them by a particular time.

(2) Other Notaries carry pepper spray. Pepper spray is nice because you don’t do any real harm to the victim. It is not expensive, and not difficult to use. Additionally, you can use it on dogs. In my experience, dogs are more of a realistic threat to Notaries (and mailmen) than humans

(3) Some Notaries always place themselves between the signer and the door so they can run if the going gets rough. You would be surprised how much anger the APR can cause!

(4) At 123notary, we recommend getting advanced training in Okinawan Japanese style Notary-jitsu. Notary-jitsu teaches you how to defend yourselves from the tactics of violent borrowers. You learn to protect yourself from knife attacks, beatings, and small dogs that say “yap.” Yes, this all-inclusive training could save not only your life, but your dignity.

(5) Having a gun. Guns are dangerous. If you use a gun, you will end up in court, and possibly in jail. I am not convinced that having a gun is a good idea, however, in dangerous areas, you might not have a choice. Even in “safe” areas, you could encounter trouble at any time. There are many psycho people out there. They don’t come out all at once — only when you are not expecting it. For some reason, our local taco place has the nicest employees, but the freakiest customers. I have had to call the police once, and on another occassion a woman was beaten so that the thief could steal her mobile phone and then casually walk away — not run, but walk away.

A gun could save your life in an emergency, but pulling a gun could also get you shot. If you can’t pull your gun in time, the gun won’t save you either. Or if someone has you at gunpoint, it is too late to draw. It is up to you to figure out what to do.

(6) Bringing a large flashlight
I used to have a huge flashlight with me when I was doing pizza delivery back in the day. Military flashlights are the only method for being able to read the numbers on someone’s house. They can also be used as a weapon. I used such a weapon to kill once. Don’t get your hopes up, the victim was a rat, not a human. The rat had invaded my bedroom and jumped into bed with me and then ran away. I cornered it and herioically bludgeoned it with a bash to its head. It was all over in a second. He/she felt no pain.

(7) If you were Crocodile Dundee you would bring a huge knife to the signing table. If the signer offered you an apple and was cutting it with a knife, you could say, “That’s not a knife — THIS is a knife!”

It is up to you what types of weapons you use. In my opinion, all women should know some type of self defence. If someone has you from behind, you should know how to stamp on their food and elbow them. You never know when trouble will come, but you should be ready.

.

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Some folks feel more comfortable having a strange female at their house than a man.
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Compilation of mafia related notary posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20352

Psych: busting the Russian Mafia with help of a Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19963

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November 5, 2015

Have you ever been tempted not to go into a borrower’s house?

We are all under pressure to make a living and please our clients. But, sometimes you have to use common sense as well. Notaries are called to do signings regularly. You don’t know the condition of the house or neighborhood until you get there.

If George Carlin were a Notary, he would say that going to notary jobs in decrepid homes makes you feel good twice. When you accept the notary job you say, “I’m making money.” When you open the front door and run for your life you get to feel good a second time and say, “I’m saving my life!”

By the way, how’d you like to be a leftover? If they were taking people out to be shot I wouldn’t mind. I might even volunteer! Sorry, my childhood memories of Carlin’s tape stuck in my brain I guess.

Anyway, we have a story about a notary who knew Carmen. This took place years ago. She went into a house that was so filthy, she contracted a serious bacterial infection and had to be quarantined in the hospital. It was like having Ebola. It was called Legionaire’s disease and it was life threatening.

Other times, the house has rats, or other unclean animals running around. Sometimes it is the humans who give you the creeps. Carmen did a job years ago for some guy with long toe nails. Every time he walked around you would hear the click click click of his toenails.

Don’t feel bad by refusing to go into a house. You might be saving your life, sanity, or well-being. Just Google your nearest Starbucks and request that the signing is done there.

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The lady and the handwritten will (her house was a complete mess)
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Borrowers and their filthy homes
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February 16, 2013

Why Notaries Don’t Last

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:59 pm

Why Notaries Don’t Last: DO Something

Some of our notaries invariably give up because they are tired–or get tired because they have given up–on themselves. They seem to feel that just being listed on a database–without really trying to say anything intriguing in the Notes section or give any details on why they should be hired over other notaries–is all they have to do. Then, they have a few companies who pay them too little, ask them to drive too far… or do not pay them at all.

One notary whose Notes section says virtually nothing reported he does not get any work– or does not get paid when he does take on work! He told me, “I have become a target for morons. Everyone who calls me wants me to do a job 100 miles away for next to nothing.” Well–if he takes the job–and continues taking jobs from a company that does not pay him–just who is the moron?

A top title company owner recently told me, “I like it when notaries tell right at the beginning of their Notes how many loans they have signed. Years as a notary does not tell me how many loans they have signed or anything about them.”

I understand that inexperienced notaries must start somewhere, and do not feel they have anything to say to promote themselves. But be pro-active and look at a few other listings to see what notaries say in their Notes sections. Don’t just sit there, waiting for the phone to ring. YES: companies DO read your Notes…particularly the opening lines, which become the thumbnail for the search results. The best companies will not hire a notary who has errors in the Notes, by the way. Also, if all you say at the beginning is “Hi, my name is Benny,” you are wasting good space. Open with your # of loans signed and follow with a description that will make me want to call you. Tell us about your technology, memberships, and degrees. Read on.

A few tips to avoid burnout or getting burned:

> Think about whatever there is in your experience and background that makes you detail-oriented, reliable, and punctual. Tell us THAT–instead of just listing adjectives. For example, if you have a degree or experience in accounting– Say! For example: “MA in Marketing, 10 years in accounting: I prepare every loan as if it were my own tax return.”

> Update your Notes and # of loans signed frequently. As you gain experience, take a look at your Notes. Add any degrees or info that would help someone choose you.

> Find a few companies to write positive reviews of your notary work. Companies trust notaries with a few reviews. If someone has hired you–let that company write a brief review, and use that review to get more work. Or maybe someone you did a routine notarization for will write a review. Right above your name on your notary page is the link to send someone to write a review. Reviews work: http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3902

> Get the 123 certification. Companies know our test is timed and focused, and you will get more calls if you are certified plus have good Notes…and a few reviews. This is just what the stats show about who gets work on 123notary. Those who get our certification move way ahead quickly. It’s just a fact.

> USE 123notary to the max: in the upper right corner of the home page, there is a link you can click on: signing company lists. Check out which ones have good reviews and PAY well…and market yourself to them after you have updated your Notes. You will be pleasantly surprised.

> If you are doing all these things–you will have much more confidence on the phone when someone calls you.

Take a few hours a week and try at least one of these strategies. Before you become bitter because no one calls you or pays you– take a look at what you can do to stand out.

.

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Experienced notaries are being weeded out of the industry
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I’m a high end notary in a low ball world
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