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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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October 20, 2012

A notary gets sued, but E&O won’t help out!

We had a notary public whose name will remain anonymous. I will not disclose her location either. But, she is being sued because a lender pulled a fast one on a borrower. The borrower is suing everyone connected to the loan. But, the borrower should know that the notary public has nothing to do with the loan, doesn’t know the lender, and doens’t benefit from the loan other than to collect their small fee.

The story gets worse though. This notary’s E&O insurance policy wouldn’t help out with any of the legal expenses, or potential damages simply because they claim that the notary never made a clerical error which is true.

The notary public went to get legal counsel, and a neighbor / friend of the notary public offered to help at a discounted rate. But, the discounted estimate for the entire case was $30,000. It doesn’t make sense to me why a notary should pay $30,000 to defend themself from a false accusation.

In any case, we should pray for this notary public, so that she can get off the hook of being falsely accused. She did nothing wrong and shouldn’t suffer like this.

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August 17, 2012

Stealing a Business Name

Stealing a business name 

One of our notaries was accused of stealing someone’s business name.  The notary went to a signing and said she was associated with some other gentleman with a particular name. I don’t remember the name, and would be confidential in any case.  The client was having some paperwork notarized that would be used to register a company name in Wyoming
 
I couldn’t figure this situation out, so I emailed the client, and they said that the notary name was registered the next day by the friend of the notary, but not the notary themselves.  They registered his business name before he could register it.  Why would someone go out of their way to steal someone else’s business name?  This poor client had already printed out business cards and mailing labels with his future business name, and now he couldn’t register it.
 
What a sad story.  The moral of the story is don’t print your cards until your business name registration is complete.  Someone else can register that name up to seconds right before you attempt to!!!

Notaries are encouraged to register their business names, and get a business license. Notaries with official business names get considerably more business than those that don’t have a notary business name!

Tweets:
(1) One of our notaries was accused of stealing a signer’s business name right before it got registered!
(2) One of our notaries registered a clients’ business name 24 hours before the client went to register it.

You might also like:

Funny sounding business names: Grandma’s notary service & more!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4231

Notary business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2302

Business Cards for notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Business Licenses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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February 6, 2012

Fraud & Forgery related to the notary profession

Fraud and Forgery in the notary business 

There are many types of fraud that a notary might run into in their notarial career, forgery being one of the more common types of fraud. But, let’s take a closer look at what specific types of things could happen.
 
(1) Someone could forge your seal and pretend to be you.  It happened to me.  Unfortunately for them, they didn’t forge my signature very well, and didn’t copy my style of embossing every page either.  Putting technicalities aside, I bet they were not able to forge my quirky sense of humor.  Notary seal forgery is not common. In my case, I think they used a really good photocopier.  BTW, a photocopier can NOT copy the RAISED impression of an inkless embosser which is why I used it.
 
(2) Page swapping — the old bait and switch routine.  I got called to notarize many multi-page documents. I put my embossing seal through all of the pages leaving a raised impression on each page.  I usually did these individually. Sometimes it is better to do all pages together so the seal goes through the same location in each page.  However, the seal comes out more clearly if you go page by page.  In any case, if you see a ten page document where all of the pages EXCEPT for page four are embossed, that would raise my eyebrows.  I have had many situations, where the signer wants me to give them another acknowledgment certificate for a new page they are adding to the document. I tell them that I have to notarize their signature ALL OVER AGAIN, and that is the law no matter how many times you say, “Oh, come on”.  With that attitude you might as well notarize your own signature as a non-notary!
 
(3) Title companies have a common practice of initialing for the borrower if they miss an initial. It is “easier” than sending the documents back to the borrower.  Whether it is signature forgery to forge initials is a matter for an attorney to decide, but it seems pretty illegal to me to engage in initial forgery. I don’t think that anyone audits loan documents to see if anyone is engaging in initial forgery, but perhaps they should — many Title companies might get busted or investigated at a minimum.
 
(4) Refusal to be thumbprinted?  You must be up to something if you don’t want your thumbprint recorded. Maybe you have a fake identification card, right?  You can fake an ID, but you can not fake a thumbprint.
 
(5) Signature forgery.  If someone forged a signature on a document, they will have to have a fake ID and forge the same signature on the ID and in your journal. It would be a tough crime to pull off. I think that nobody in their right mind would attempt this.  Normally, people try to do crimes of fraud in private, and wouldn’t be willing to let other parties see what they are doing, no matter what!
 
(6) Notarizing out of state?  If you don’t have a commission in a particular state, you can not notarize there, with a few exceptions. Military notaries have special rules. A Virginia notary public may notarize out of the state of Virginia, but only for documents that are to be recorded within the state of Virginia. In any case, from time to time we will hear rumors that a notary public is operating illegally in a bordering state where they are not commissioned, and people want us to enforce the rule. I tell them to report the individual to the state notary division that is applicable.
 
(7) Charging more than the state maximum notary fees is illegal, and charging more travel fee than your state allows (roughly eight states have restrictions for travel fees) can get you in trouble too.
 
(8) Filling out an Acknowledgment or Jurat form when you never saw the signer and never had the signer sign your journal is a really serious act of notarial misconduct.  You can lose your commission and get fined or jailed for this.

You might also like:

Free valid and phony government issued photo ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2219

Backdating from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2424

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June 17, 2011

Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion

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

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

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

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

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

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You might also like:

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

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

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

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

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April 8, 2011

Notarizing a kidnapper

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 6:50 am

Notarizing a potential kidnapper

I had no evidence either way, I was just doing my job.  It was a dark night in Rosemead, CA, when I had just finished notarizing a grant deed for some old customers of mine when the phone rang. It was a company that I enjoyed working for that I hadn’t heard from for a while. They had a notarization for me in the neighboring city of Monterey Park. That is usually a safe place to be at night. What they didn’t tell me was that the client was a suspected kidnapper. I guess the company company who dispatched this job to me doesn’t include “Are you a kidnapper” on the list of questions they ask clients. I tried to call the location before I went there, but the phone number was incorrect. It was close, so I wasn’t too concerned. It was only ten minutes away, and practically on my way home. When I got to the venue, it was a run down motel with only six units. I was to go to unit #5. I knocked on the door, and a very nervous and agitated man in his 30’s answered the door. He seemed very bony, like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. His eyes were wild and deep set, and he was very frenetic. As I looked around the smoke filled room I noticed that there were seven people in the two room suite which included a kitchenette. Two elderly ladies were in a bed. I asked him who he needed to have notarized. He said he needed a power of attorney from his mom. His mother only had a thirty year old Mexican passport. Nobody else in the room had ID to be a credible witness except for the man I was working with who was the beneficiary. I told him that I couldn’t legally notarize his mother under those circumstances. Then, he pleaded with me and offered me lots of cash which he had laying on the table next to his overflowing ashtray, half empty beer bottles, and packs of cigarettes. Then he told me about the family feud he was in and how he was accused of kidnapping his mother. At that point, I started getting nervous. I told him that he should consult a lawyer. He said he was running out of cash and couldn’t afford to see a lawyer. They seemed like they were on the run. I told him I couldn’t legally help him. He continued to plead looking very desperate and distraught. Finally I had to apologize and leave.

This was one of the spookiest notary calls I have ever gone out on.  I just wonder what their real situation was, and if they were really running for the law.  There is no way to know. You can’t question someone in that condition or they might lose their cool. I guess they were probably illegal judging from the lack of proper identification. Thank god nothing happened.

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You might also like:

Compilation of Mafia related posts about the Notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20352

Psych Episode about a Notary. Did the body die from food poisoning or was it murder?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19397

Flashpoint – Notary job for a hostage with a multi-million dollar contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18798

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