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June 14, 2017

Murder in a building a week before the signing

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy,Popular on Facebook (very) — admin @ 8:58 am

A Notary was called to do a signing in a building that had experienced a murder. The Notary declined the job and claimed that the signing company was putting her in danger by sending her to the scene of the murder. Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Personally, I feel that since the murder already happened that the danger is over. I walked through fields in the South where horrible battles had taken place 150 years ago. Once again, the danger is over, although there might be a few lost souls who hang out there because the angels never rounded them up after they died. I’m not sure how that works.

So, should the signing company safeguard the Notary from going to a “dangerous place?” There is no official definition of a dangerous place unless the department of state recommends you don’t go to a particular country like Mexico or Afghanistan. Murders happen everywhere. I live in a good area and we had two murders within blocks in the last twelve years.

I think that an area where there are felons hanging out or regular problems could be informally defined as “dangerous.” But, one isolated event happening a week prior doesn’t phase me.

This reminds me of some woods near my house where a girl was raped 40 years ago. The residents became very cautious after the rape. I think their timing was wrong. They should have been careful BEFORE the rape. Women need to be careful in general, especially in isolated areas. This type of caution is like putting your seat belt on after the accident. The seat belt will do you more good if you put it on right before the accident — or better yet, always take precautions.

But, I don’t see anything dangerous about accepting this Notary job. In general in life, my friend Vasu always says that in the end — it is about trusting your instincts. And if you don’t have instincts, then hire someone who does!

.

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Louisiana notary murdered in home invasion
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Notarizing a female accessory to murder
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Compilation of Mafia related posts
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February 12, 2017

Racial issues at a signing

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — 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.)

You might also like:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — comedy edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17455

Demographics in the Mobile Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15359

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

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January 29, 2017

Black vs. White Notaries = benign, but the comments were hateful

I live in a multi-racial neighborhood. We have Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and even a few Christians (when we allow them to come in). We have black, white, yellow, brown, red, and even a few green people who fly in from time to time when their spaceship breaks down.

People on TV can joke about race. Eddie Griffin does so unashamably, so does Eddie Murphy, and a few other Eddies. How come they can exercise their freedom of speech without a hateful backlash? Have you ever thought about the double standard I am talking about here? I joke about everything. I value my freedom of speech too. But, the commentary to my Black Notaries vs. White Notaries was just hateful considering my blog entry was gentle and not demeaning to anyone. We (my comedy writer & I) joked about the same things black comedians joke about. Do I have to get a race change and be a Michael Jackson in reverse to have cultural permission to do the same thing?

The reality of the race situation is that law enforcement and young black males are having a prolonged and unofficial civil war. This is more than unpleasant. It is dangerous for all of us all even though most of us are bystanders. I have read that many higher level rabble rousers are arranging for more violent riots. Violence and hateful commentary on my blog doesn’t solve anything — it just creates more tension and more problems. Perhaps these hostile comments I received reflect the very attitude why we are having a serious problem with race in America. America practices racism, accuses everybody in sight of being racist, yet we lack the ability to have an open and honest discussion about race, culture, or just tell a few jokes.

Some Americans get almost violent when you bring up particular topics. This attitude is a direct threat to our freedom of expression which our forefathers risked or gave their lives for. If you react so violently to harmless jokes, perhaps that is a reflection of your own inability to accept America’s racial situation for what it is. We are forced to live in it daily, but culturally prevented from saying anything open about it. Should you send ABC or the New York Times hate mail every time they publish a piece on race?

It is amazing that a blog article so harmless got such a hateful response. I think that some of you need to take a closer look at yourselves. On the brighter side, that post was one of our most popular comedy posts ever, and people referred it to their friends since they were so shocked. The bottom line is that I can joke about whatever I like, and you can be polite about it — can you dig it?

Please also see:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — comedy edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17455

Comedy Central Notary Roast
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17462

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April 20, 2016

Artificially inflated rates at a signing

My rate shouldn’t be this high!
I had a loan signing once for a lady where I looked at the documents and the interest rates printed seemed unusually high. Before I had her sign the papers, I asked her what the loan officer had told her, and she couldn’t remember what the interest rate was that she had been told. She rummaged around in her purse and found a slip of paper where she had written it down and it was definitely different from what was printed on the documents. I tried calling the lender and couldn’t reach them. I left a message but we never heard back from them so we cancelled the appointment and decided to reschedule. I took the docs with me as I left. Magically the next day, new documents showed up with the correct interest rates despite the fact that no phone call ever came through from the loan officer. We made an appointment and signed the next day. I was so glad for her that we had caught that mistake and got it corrected!

Falsely accused of murder
I had a jail signing where a woman was in jail and her fiancee was fighting on her behalf to get her out. Someone had gotten murdered and she was incarcerated, but she was actually innocent and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fiancee needed a power of attorney, and he was so well dressed that the guards thought he was a lawyer and he came in with me to see her to get the signing done. When they saw each other, they spoke and he just held and pressed her hand. She was so depressed and upset and sad. The jail had over medicated and sedated her for her depression which made the whole situation ever more upsetting. I felt really bad for them.

The vindaloo signing
I had a funny signing with a Caucasian woman and an East Indian man in my town. When I got there, the husband was quite grumpy because the title company had messed up the settlement statement. When I told him that my former husband was an East Indian man though, he suddenly lit up and got very excited! We went into the kitchen and he gave me a bunch of seasoning packets and told me where to buy the best lamb rack, and we talked about cooking. We ended up rescheduling the signing with the corrected documents and we ended up talking more about cooking then too and he sent me home with more food! It was a fun meeting!

An impersonator at a signing
I had a refinance once where I’m glad I listened to my intuition! There was a situation where the wife was bilingual, and the husband spoke only Spanish. She was the primary on the loan, and when I looked at the ids, hers looked definitely like her. Her husband’s id didn’t really look like the man sitting in front of me. He had a bandanna on that partially hid his head, and the picture looked similar, but I couldn’t really say that the id was really the same man in front of me. I was skeptical but I took the photograph at face value as the wife assured me that this was really him. I started to proceed with the signing. At some point though, the man in front of me suddenly said, “ There’s a problem. This doesn’t match.” referring to the documents. At that point I realized that this wasn’t her husband since he clearly understood and spoke English. It was a friend. Not her husband. So I immediately stopped the signing, told them we were done, and walked out the door. I was so thankful that I was able to stop it, and that I had it recorded in my journal. I called the agency immediately and let them know what had happened.

.

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30 minute Islamic prayer break at a signing
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March 24, 2016

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

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.

.

You might also like:

Compilation of mafia related notary posts
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Psych: busting the Russian Mafia with help of a Notary
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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)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3609

Borrowers and their filthy homes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2214

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February 25, 2014

Reverse Blackmail at a Notary Signing

A notary accidentally notarizes an incompletely filled out document. The client holds on to it with hopes of blackmailing the notary. The notary gets a call:
Client: “Hello, I have an incompletely filled out document that was notarized by you… I am going to report you to the Secretary of State and your commission can be revoked, suspended or terminated if I do so. I need you to do 20 notarizations over the next few weeks, otherwise I will report you!”

Notary: “You mean, I have to be your notary on call? How degrading! I can’t believe I made a mistake like that! Please make a copy of the notarization and forward it to me so I can see it.”
Client: “Well, I can get it to you right away. I need something notarized, but don’t have ID. This is why I am having so much trouble.
Notary: “Can you put your request in writing? Email it to me and I will take a look at it right away.”
Client: “Okay, I’ll send it in an email”
Notary: “Ha HA, you just committed a misdemeanor, and I have it in writing! Give me my original document back, and I won’t report YOU to the Secretary of State!
Client: “You wouldn’t!”
Notary: “You gave me no choice. Now the hunter is the hunted.”
Client: “Ah…. could you put that in writing…”

Tweets:
(1) A notary accidentally notarizes an incompletely filled out document, then gets blackmailed!
(2) I need you to do 20 notarizations or I will report you to the SOS who will revoke your commission!

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A client tries to blackmail a very seasoned notary
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August 10, 2013

The Notary, The Mafia & The Fedex Drop Box

An uneventful signing
It was a gray Monday afternoon in the first week of November. Kary went to her signing with the Thompsons. They signed the documents without too much reading or complaining. Kary had one other signing after that. When all was done, she made her way to the Fedex drop box. She had a habit of always going to that same drop box. It was near her home, and it felt like a safe place to go at night, being a single woman.

Luckily for her she was nowhere near the San Diego mayor’s office.

The Sopranos were en route to the same location she was
This poor woman’s luck — she ran into someone who was still mourning the loss of the great James Gandolfini AKA Tony Soprano. He was such a fan of the show that he decided to pull a mafioso type move on this poor unexpecting woman. This thug Tony Baritone had been in the drug trade for years, but wanted to step it up a notch. His old M.O. was meeting for the swap in a dark alley, giving them the briefcase, taking the package — you know the drill. But, he wanted to do it more like they do in the movies this time. This was his first attempt at simulating the panache of his television alter-ego.

Just about to drop the FedEx and…
So, this woman was just about to drop her package in the box. Her finger was on the handle of the box. She noticed a large garbage backing up about 50 feet away. She disregarded the truck whose distinctive oder was wafting her way. She put the Fedex in the Fedex drop box, and then proceded back to her car. The garbage truck nearly ran her car off the road as she left her parking space. It was so abrupt, she stopped the car to get out and see what this maniac’s problem was.

The garbage truck backed up
The truck had backed up almost into the Fedex box, and had jaws that clamped the Fedex drop box and tore it from its bearings and lifted it into the truck. The woman started screaming, “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”

Blonde #2 appears
Then another blonde lady appeared out of nowhere who looked almost exactly like the notary. She was the same age, same hair color, and same height, and also had a Fedex package that she wanted to drop. The other lady looked very puzzled. She said to herself, “Wait a second, my instructions were to put the Fedex in the drop box and leave — but, that truck just took the Fedex drop box away!” Blonde #2 (also an unnatural blonde) was unbeknowingly carrying $10,000,000 in drug money that she was to deposit in the Fedex box — which was to be removed by the garbage truck. But, their plan got foiled.

We have to get rid of the witness
The driver said to his friend, “We have two problems — the money is not in the Fedex Box, AND, there’s a witness. We need to get rid of the witness, but I can’t tell them apart.”
His friend said,“You have to look for the roots, real blondes have roots — our blond is a real blonde!”
Driver: “No she ain’t, I’ve seen the broad before, she has a different hairstyle every several months”
Friend: “So, you can tell the two chicks apart!”
Driver: “Not from this distance without my glasses. Let’s get my money first. The broad with the package has the money.”

The mafia chases the blonde
So, the driver and his friend jump out of the truck (which is parked in the middle of the boulevard) and run towards the blonde with the Fedex. The irony is that she doesn’t know that they are the intended recipients of the package because her instructions were only to “Put the Fedex in the drop box”. So, she runs away from these scary people — who are actually her boyfriend’s best friends, and the ones who gave the $10,000 to her boyfriend to pay her to do the drop. Meanwhile the notary lady decides to chase after these scumbags to get them to give her package back.

She loses them and then finds them
In the heat of the chase, she loses them, and then finds them again. The other blonde escapes from these thugs, finds the drop box in the back of the garbage truck, puts it in, and runs away. Meanwhile, notary lady catches up to the thugs, and throws her embosser at them — leaving a raised seal of disapproval (in the form of a bruise) on the now unconscious mafia garbage truck driver’s left temple. The irony of the story is that the character with the concealed weapon is not one the mafia characters, but is the notary who was carrying a stainless steel embosser.

The Notary recovers the loan docs
After that, the driver’s friend ran away and the notary proceeded to the unattended garbage truck to pick up her package. She picked up the highest package in the box in such a hurry, she didn’t realize that she had picked up $10,000,000 in dirty drug money. She gets in her car and drives off with her “loan docs” finally in her possession again. She calls the signing company and lets them know about the problem. Then, she proceeds to her nearest staffed Fedex station — where there won’t be any garbage trucks (let’s hope). She pats the package in glee to have gotten it back after a small altercation. But, she notices a distinct bulge in the package that didn’t feel like loan documents.

But, what she had was not really the loan docs after all
The five seconds after she realized that her loan documents were not in her possession, she saw a large garbage truck driving down the street.

Mental note to self: “Take out the garbage”

Tweets:
(1) A notary bumps into Toni Baratone at a FedEx drop box
(2) The garbage truck tore the FedEx drop box from its bearings and took it away!
(3) “We need to get rid of the witness, but I can’t tell the 2 blondes apart”
(4) The Notary takes $10 million in drug money to the Title company by accident.

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The Flo-tary and the name your price tool
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Don’t put the FedEx in the drop box
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2831

More on Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry
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My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16500

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February 21, 2013

Notarizing for an adoption

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:16 am

Being a Notary not only helps people with their transactions, but we are also touched by many of our clients’ lives. My story is about the worst situation I have heard of, much less been a part of, caused by the recession.

I was called to act as a mobile notary for an adoption proceeding. The man told me it might take some time because the agency had to read the contract to him, section by section, to ensure he understood the ramification of the provisions in the adoption agreement. I just assumed he was adopting a child. When he asked me my price, I surprised myself with the low offer I gave him. WAY lower than I normally charge, and I didn’t know why.

When I arrived at the house, it was obvious that he was getting ready to move out and packed boxes were everywhere. He had two sons, one 11 and one 14. The client and I went into one of the empty rooms and he told me that he had moved here last year to work for a large corporation, then the recession hit and it was last one hired, first one fired. He picked up part time jobs but not enough to stay afloat. The house had been foreclosed and he was moving in with his mother, who was not in a strong financial situation either. That lead to his decision to adopt out one of his children because he could not afford them both. The younger son had some medical issues, and he could not afford his treatment, so he picked that child. He fortunately found an older lady on the East Coast with lots of time and money to spend on the child.

As we went through the provisions, I could hardly keep from tearing up. At the end of the contract, he was asked to write something that the agency will give to his son when he turns 18. He explained how much he loved the child–so much so that when he realized he couldn’t care for him, he found a wonderful home that could provide all the things that he could not; and his son was never to think he “gave him away” or didn’t love him. It was because he loved him so much he was making this, the ultimate sacrifice. By now I was crying, he was crying and the woman from the adoption agency was crying.

After the signing, he pulled out his wallet to pay me, and I said “I think you need that money more than I do.”

Michelle LaMontagne
Boise, Idaho

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