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August 6, 2014

A frustrating 4-hour signing

This was by far the MOST FRUSTRATING closing I have ever done. This should have been a very easy job – a standard purchase loan. However, the real estate agents dragged this on for 4 hours! Unbelievable! They were just making trouble with every detail even though nothing was wrong with anything on the documents themselves. One of them kept repeated everything I said. She questioned everything on the document. They were bad mouthing the title company in front of the clients. They were cussing in front of the clients and being extremely unprofessional. They made the entire situation extremely unpleasant, lengthy, and unnecessarily difficult.

Note to self : do not work with these realtors ever again, and do not ever let the realtors take control of the situation. Lesson learned!


May 26, 2014

Notarizing Female Accessory to Murder!

Notarizing Female Accessory to Murder!

This story was told to me by a North Carolina Notary Public

A North Carolina Notary Public was called in to do yet another jail notarization. But, this one was different. The lady who had been locked up had not committed a crime, other than failing to report a crime that she knew about! But, the punishment was severe! She was locked up for months and with no visitation rights!

It all started out months before. A 20 year old guy was dating a 30 year old girl. The girl dumped him and started dating a 32 year old guy. The 20 year old guy was upset when he saw them together in a pick up truck. He jumped in the bed of the truck and the older guy threw him off of the truck. The 20 year old guy died. But, there’s more!

The father of the younger boy who died got taunted by the other locals. A few mockingly said, “Sorry about your kid.” The taunting and mocking kept on happening and the father was getting steamed. One night he got really drunk and had his sister (This is the father and the father’s sister — just to keep the characters straight). They went to a local store to buy supplies. But, at the store, the father saw the 32 year old who had killed his son. The father shot that 32 year old dead on sight! (sorry for the bad grammar) The father went back into the car. Later he told his sister what had happened. The sister went to the police 48 hours later and was locked up for not reporting it earlier. She was an accessory to murder.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the sister and father were getting a loan notarized with a North Carolina Notary Public so that they could afford legal expenses. Personally, I have never heard of any story like this before. It sounds more like something you would see on television or in a movie — but, this one is actually true, and took place in Transylvania County, North Carolina of all places!

(1) A lady is locked up for not reporting the murder her dad committed.
(2) They had to sell their house to afford the legal expenses for a revenge killing


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…”

(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

Backdating from A to Z


January 5, 2014

Fear of Retaliation in the Notary Business

Fear of Retaliation in the Notary Business

What are you afraid of?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Being reported to the Secretary of State?
Being blacklisted by ALL signing companies forever?
Being sued for libel and lose your house? — and then need a notary to refinance your new and smaller house?

Sorry, we interrupt this program.
The Palestinians & Israelis will have to wait.
The peace talks will have to be postponed
Sherry was accused of misusing her notary commission!
All television shows in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain will be put on hold while Sherry’s misdoings are discussed. Sherry backdated a Deed of Trust in a loan signing, so that the couple signing the loan wouldn’t lose their house. Now Sherry is losing her notary commission. The notary division is revoking her commission forever. For more details, look in the sky as the Notary Blimp will have the details about Sherry.

But, there is more!
Another notary wrote that Irvine Signing Company didn’t pay her on time! Gulp?
Irvine Signing Company reads the forums and blogs and found out that Suzanne wrote something about them.
Now, Suzanne is blacklisted and will never work for Irvine Signing Company again, or any of their affiliates.

We are not encouraging notaries to take this lightly. But, many Title and Signing companies do read the forums.
They might not retaliate against you like you so fear, but they might stop using you if you make an unprofessional show of yourself on any forum. So, if you plan on being unprofessional, don’t use your real name, or any evidence that could lead to your identity being unveiled. Title Companies really are watching. Fear of retaliation does have some sort of a basis.

As for the Secretary of State — sometimes they retaliate too, although it is very unpredictable. If you commit a serious crime or fraud where there are real victims who have suffered large losses, then you will get in big trouble for sure. If you do smaller acts of fraud like backdating, then it is less clear if they will catch up to you. But, why take a chance? Play by the rules. Don’t get retaliated against!

Now, back to the peace talks
Ahmed: “I feel very strongly that the security of Israel must be respected, but our claims to our ancestral lands MUST be respected as well.”
Shimon: “Your land, it is always YOUR land, according to the Torah, it says 3427 times that the land of Israel is OUR land.”
Ahmed: “Do you have a deed to the land? And was it notarized?”
Shimon: “I don’t know, why don’t you ask Sherry or Suzanne?”
Ahmed: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Shimon: “Yes, but first I want to see what this blimp is saying about Sherry”

(1) What is the worst thing that could happen to you as a signer? Being blacklisted by ALL signing companies forever?
(2) The peace talks will have to be postponed: Sherry was accused of misusing her notary commission!
(3) Moishe: “The land belongs to Israel.” Fouzi: “Do you have a notarized Deed to prove it?”

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A client tries to blackmail a very seasoned notary

The docjacker who took a loan hostage!


August 28, 2013

A notary was accused of tricking the borrowers!

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy,Popular on Twitter,Popular Overall — admin @ 11:07 am

Borrowers sometimes just don’t understand. The notary signing agent is not responsible for what is written on any of the documents. They are just “the messenger”. They are just there to see that things are signed properly. But, in 2012, I talked to a notary over the phone who was so upset that they were unfairly accused of tricking the borrower.

There can be any type of additional fees on the HUD. There could be high appraial fees. The appraisal fee might already have been paid, or a different appraisal might have been done recently. Some companies charge $400 for the notary fee and then only pay the actual notary $80 for e-documents. Payment amounts and Escrow fees could go up.

This is up to the Loan Officer and unfortunately loan officers do not always communicate adequately with their borrowers. The result is that the notary can be in the middle of a very uncomfortable situation. But, there is a solution. When you call to confirm the appointment, you can go over the figures in the HUD-1 Settlement Statement BEFORE you get into your car and into hot water.

(1) If the fees are wrong on the HUD, don’t shoot the Notary!
(2) Some companies charge a $400 notary fee on the HUD & only give the notary $80.


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”

(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

Notary aptitude test

Don’t put the FedEx in the drop box

More on Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry

My interpretation of how the Notary industry went South


July 17, 2013

Notary murdered in the last non-attorney state

NOTE: This particular article below is fiction, and a bit absurd, but we have another article about an actual Notary in Louisiana who was murdered in his home was cooking gumbo several years ago. Check the link below to read that actual real story.

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Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion (real story)

Notarizing a female accessory to murder

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Notary pushed off stairs by a borrower

Notary murdered in the last non-attorney state

The minute we left Starbucks after the signing, they ganged up behind us. Suddenly there were two of them, then five. Five men dressed in black, with black hoods over their heads. The Klan, all dressed in white (we had studied about them in school a long, long time before MUD took over) were angels compared to these guys. They followed us down the street. It was after 10 pm, almost time for curfew.

As we walked down the darkened street, my mentor and I were suddenly goaded into an alley. “Git–you filthy NSAa. We know what you are,” one of them threatened. Then it began.

“What are you carrying there? Oooh, your notary bag. I’ll bet you have a really big stamp,” taunted a tall one with a nasty growl. “What creeps,” I thought. “How are we going to get out of this?”

There were five of them circling around us. There was a tall one who seemed more agile, and more vicious. He kept slapping his side with his leather-gloved hand, which made a nasty sound every time it hit.

“What do you want? Who are you idiots?” I blurted out.

“Now you’re gonna wish you hadn’t said that,” a shorter one slurred. He whipped a knife from his belt and held it up. It gleamed in the dim light. “We’re your competition from the top of the list,” he snarled. “We call ourselves– the attorneys. Prepare to die, bottom feeders!” They were the kind who would steal your company contacts off your reviews, the kind who always seek out new clients, even at a funeral. And charge outrageous fees, and intimidate the borrowers–and then retaliate against you for taking even one client. But they didn’t care. All across the country, groups of these men in black had succeeded through intimidation. My mentor, Steve, was an esteemed elder notary, the kind of person everyone had learned from and revered in the industry. Harming him was unthinkable.

Steve and I were NSAs, notary signing agents trained before the 2008 mortgage meltdown–a dying breed living in what had become the last non-attorney state in the U.S.: California. Between 2014 and 2018, all of the states had gradually become attorney states. Steve and I lived and worked in California, the last free state with reasonable laws and practices for notaries; my mentor and I were able to make up to $50 per electronic signing– a great accomplishment in these days of hardship. Still, the vicious gang that roamed the rest of the country intimidating and eliminating the notary population had come to monopolize what was once called “the industry”– any job opportunities for notaries, particularly anything to do with signing paperwork for loans. In California were situated some of the last properties owned by individuals– while in other states, properties were owned by individuals in “partnership” with the state. California was now the last state in which notaries could do what used to be called closings. In all other states, attorneys and title company employees were the only ones allowed to close loans or have anything to do with real estate closings. All transactions were supervised by MUD, the Managers of the Union Deficit, the huge private corporation that had taken over after the collapse of the Fed. It was essentially run by– well, you can guess who ran it. Backdating had become a common practice, through loopholes in laws that were constantly changing in favor of whatever influential group was in power at the moment.

Two of the men in black grabbed Steve from behind and took his notary bag. “Great seal,” the tall one said, ripping the embosser out of the bag. He took a long ugly looking piece of steel from his belt and started to hack at the metal die that was the notary stamp. He then split it in half and removed the die from the embosser, then threw the pieces into two different corners of the alley.

“Steve!” I yelled. “Are you alright?” I could hear his breathing. He sounded like he had been hurt. The short one threw the tall one the knife. The tall man approached Steve while two others held him from behind, and the short one suddenly moved behind me and grabbed me. It was all happening so fast.

“You can see it coming. How long can you hold out? What will you eat, where will you go? We are going to take over all the business in Lost Angeles,” the tall man sneered. “You will never see a $50 signing again!” he snarled. “Call us– the attorneys. That’s what we call ourselves. We will bring high standards to what is left of the loan signing business, and make sure the loan signing process is safe for everyone. You notaries are stupid and you don’t answer your phones. You don’t deserve to do signings.”

Then I blacked out. When I came to, Steve was lying there dead in a pool of blood. The last good notary mentor in the state–maybe in the entire country. The hooded men were gone

On January 1, it would be 2020. What would happen now? What would be the future of property, of loans– and what would notaries do? What would happen to them in this last free state where some might make a living? Would the gang that called itself “the attorneys” take over the state of California as it had taken over every other state? Most notaries had been reduced to notarizing a handful of insignificant documents each week, or working for companies that paid them a third of what notaries had been able to get before 2014.

What happens at the end of this story? Do notaries in California succeed in keeping their state safe for notaries– or does the notary business collapse and cower in the shadow of the group that calls itself– the attorneys?

Write to us and tell us how you see this story ending. Or finish it yourself and send it to us. Tell us what happens!


June 13, 2013

You don’t charge enough, HEY, you overcharged me!

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:28 am

I got a call from a SVP of AltaPacific Bank in Santa Rosa for me to come notarize documents for 6 publicity firm executives in San Francisco. He immediately began sharing his personal issues of his bad knee and was very personable sharing his difficulties trying to get all these people together at once. When I arrived he met individually with each person having them sign several documents in which they had to fill out forms. Turns out there was only one notarization per person.

I sat through five notarization meetings so the signing took about 50 minutes, 10 minutes per signer. One of the people were out sick so this amounted to five signatures. With my mobile fee, the charge was $70. I considered charging for my time by decided not to especially since I hoped to be called back again one day.

I got another phone call from the banker a few days later asking me to return for the person who was out that day. The banker added that he thought my fee was too low for the amount of time it took and added, “I know you’re trying to beat out the competition, but this bank has enough funds for this transaction so next time charge me more. He ended with a joke, “Just don’t charge me $100 or anything.” I responded with “okay” thinking I would tack on the charge for one hour of my time at $30 for the next visit.

When I went the second time for the one signer when I completed one signature, the banker didn’t offer to pay me for the notarization. I had to sit there waiting for it to dawn on him to pay me for my services. He gave me a credit card I once again used Google Square to slide his card through for payment. He signed for the transaction on my iPhone for $70. The $70 represented the $10 notarization, the $30 charge for my time in the previous meeting(s), and my $30 mobile fee that kicked in for two signature minimum transactions. I have a two signature minimum mobile requirement to prevent me from being called all over the city for one signature transactions. I sometimes wave the minimum such as for low income senior citizens at hospitals but in this case didn’t feel that was applicable, especially after what the banker had said to me.

About two hours later the banker called me in a panic very upset I charged him $70 for what he claimed was “one signature”. He was so hysterical I had allegedly ripped him off that he did not accept my response and was pratically yelling at me. I tried to explain I have a two signature minimum that kicks in a higher mobile fee and that I added the time from the last transaction based on his request, but he didn’t back down so I told him I’d send him a copy of my invoice breaking down the charges.

This elderly banker seemed highly schizophrenic completely obvlivious to the phone conversation we had. He just kept complaining about what I charged him as if I stole money having done something wrong. I’m no spring Chicken and am not naive. He seemed to do this whole thing with the intent of holding me in contempt for any additional charge I made as fraudulent. I had learned in the last meeting he called himself a socialist progressive and was very pleased with the Obamacare ruling.

I’ve never had a customer complain like this, let alone a banker and a well to do publicity firm. I told this man never to call me again and let the publicity firm know their banker was calling harassing about my fees which are probably lowest in the city.

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March 26, 2013

Signing at a 14-room Victorian house

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 12:23 am

One time, in a rural setting in the dead of winter, a Massachusetts notary had a strange experience.

While at a signing to refinance the home, an old Victorian 14-room house with adjoining rooms and creaky doors, our Massachusetts notary heard a rocking chair. The sound was coming from the next room. He and the woman who owned the house were sitting in the dining room at a table, signing and notarizing all the paperwork.

Throughout the signing process, the sound kept on. The notary assumed it was another member of the family. Just when the signing was over, a man with red hair walked through the dining room from the next room, into the kitchen, and out the back door.

“Was that your–son?” the notary asked, a bit bewildered as to what he should say. The woman looked strangely at the Massachusetts notary. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“I mean the man who just walked through the room. Was he the one rocking in the living room?”

“I didn’t see anyone,” the woman commented. “But if you’d like, we can have some tea and I can tell you something my husband used to tell me.”

Needless to say, this very serious and successful notary was beginning to feel uncomfortable. Was the woman blind? Was she deaf? Just what was going on? scowled our Massachusetts notary.

It turned out that the husband, who had died, had often heard a rocking chair. The house had no rocking chair, and there was no red-haired man in the house. However, the woman’s husband–and others who had lived there before–had seen a red-haired man from time to time.

On the day our notary was there, the woman saw and heard nothing. Had the red-haired man–a former owner of the house 100 years before–been glad when the signing was finally over…and the present owner was content once more?

“I still don’t know what to think,” says the notary, “and I’m not sure what really happened there. I do believe the woman. I certainly saw something. Maybe that was the spirit of the house, no longer tense and anxious about the finances of its owner. The loan made everything ok.”

Or maybe this is just what the lender would like us all to think.

(1) This notary didn’t have a ghost of a chance.
(2) Notarizing a ghost written document was above this notary’s pay grade.
(3) The ghost of the former owner of this Victorian mansion decided to drop in for the notary signing.
(4) A creaking noise; a sudden thump; This was a notary signing that would raise the dead. #victorianmansion


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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