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September 3, 2017

Common complaints we get about Notaries

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Popular on Facebook (A little) — admin @ 12:08 am

I spent some time with Carmen reading through complaints about Notaries. For years, the NNA, 123notary and others spent a lot of emphasis on educating people about loan documents. However, the complaints we get about Notaries are never about loan documents. Then, we learned that most Notaries listed with us do not understand the basics of how to be a Notary Public. However, we rarely get complaints about people’s Notary work. So, what type of complaints are we getting?

1. Leaving the customer high and dry.
Did you finish a signing and then turn your phone off? Did you not answer your emails because you did not have any notary jobs that week? Did you go on a camping trip where phones don’t work? Or did you get angry with a vendor and just decide not to answer calls. After a signing is over, you are responsible for being available for 72-96 business hours. If the Lender or Title company doesn’t get their documents back and needs a Fedex # and you conveniently are unavailable, what are they supposed to do other than write a negative review about you? If you made a Notary mistake but are not available to fix it what to do? If there is some reason they need you to go back, but can’t reach you then what can they do? If you are not going to be available for four days after you finish a signing, warn people so they know ahead of time.

2. Being rude
I realize from all the Notaries I talk to that many Notaries are just down right rude. And those are the people who call me rude. I am impatient, but not normally rude. I get upset when people either won’t answer a question or give stupid answers or when people don’t care about doing a good job. I learned to combat my own impatience by writing people up who are rude or uncooperative. That way I gain some critical information on the person being rude and often remove them from my database as they are a detriment to society and dangerous to hire despite their claims that, “I’ve been doin’ this for 20 years and therefor know what I’m doin’.” even though they scored 20% on my easy quiz.

3. Not following directions
Many Notaries who I quiz do even worse following directions than they do on loan document questions. If you don’t do what is asked of you, you will get in trouble. So READ instructions, call when you don’t understand something and obey the law and those who hire you in that order. Beginners tend to have a much more difficult time following directions than old timers by the way, and beginners make outrageous notary mistakes a lot more too as they haven’t been scolded (much) yet.

4. Notary mistakes
In the old days we had more complaints about Notary mistakes. Although our notaries typically do not know what they are doing, their mistakes and knowledge omissions don’t seem to get them CAUGHT which is the main thing. If you seal over wording you get caught. If you use your stamp wherever you see the word “seal” in a context where seal means signature, you will get repremanded. If your stamp is smudgy your local county recorder will get you in trouble. But, if you are unable to explain the difference between a Jurat and an Acknowledgment, or forget to do your Oath, then I am the only one who will catch you — and you can bank on the fact that I will, so study up!

So, the bottom line here is that it is good to do a good job as a Notary and even better to know how to distinguish between the various documents in a loan. However, being nice, cooperative, following directions and getting back to people in a timely manner count more than being a good Notary. As a directory owner, I am weeding my directory and weeding out the worst Notaries. The rude ones get weeded out much more quickly than people who are bad Notaries with good attitudes. Someone with a good attitude can learn, but an uncooperative jerk will never learn. So, be advised.


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Right to Cancel done Wrong

Stories of Notaries that fail and what they did wrong

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty


November 15, 2013

Common Mistakes with: 1003, Crossing out, RTC, TIL & APR

The problem with the signing agent industry is that education is simply not taken seriously. Newer signing agents will take a certification course somewhere, pass by the skin of their teeth, and then say, “I’m done learning”. The effect is that their brain turns off, and there is no more curiousity to learn or thirst for knowledge.

123notary offers a lot of information in the blog which is free, not to mention a plethora of signing courses and new testing systems that are currently being experimented with. Please take advantage of the information that is out there for best results.

Here are some common mistakes that are really dumb that newer signing agents do.

(1) Call the lender about the 1003
The 1003 is always wrong. It is not a final document by the way. The natural order of documents in terms of the finality of information starts with the 1003 which is an application. This application is typed up by minimum wage workers who systematically make mistakes, and the lenders as a group seem to think it is okay to make mistakes on loan documents for loans of half a million dollars. First of all it is NOT okay, secondly it upsets borrowers, and thirdly, it leaves signing agents in a perceived quandary. They think they need to call the lender if information in this document is wrong. This is the one document you can do cross outs on. It doesn’t matter. The next version of information about names and numbers would be the Good Faith Estimate. It is once again a preliminary document and just an estimate. The final document with numbers is the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If there is an error here — then it is time to call the lender and perhaps even redraw the documents or just cancel the entire loan process

(2) Just cross out and initial
Many lenders have low standards. We live in a world where standards are pathetically low. Just because a handful, or more than a handful of the lenders you work with have low standards doesn’t mean that you should. There exists a concept called “Best Practices”, and that concept involves not making a mess unless you really are compelled to. If names are wrong on documents AND THE LENDER IS NOT AVAILABLE (which is the norm), you can initial under the last few letters of the last name. This is clean, and the processor can cross-out after the fact or do whatever they like. YOU are not compelled to cross out. Just leave a voice mail for the lender to let them know what you did and why. If there are errors on the notary certificates, once again crossing things out is unprofessional and messy. Keep in mind these are LEGAL documents and making a mess on a legally binding document seems very questionable at best. It is cleaner to get a loose acknowledgment, staple it and start fresh without the cross outs. So, when do you need to cross things out? On the right to cancel if you need to change dates, and there is no borrower copy with the dates left blank — THEN, and only then in my experience are you compelled to cross out the old date and write in a new date and have the borrowers initial

(3) RTC
Guess what. The day of the signing is NOT included in the (3) days to rescind. Many newer notaries don’t know this. The reach for their rescission calendar because they can not think on their own. Learn to calculate, learn to count, and learn to think. Learn when the Federal holidays happen and learn to calculate rescission dates when a signing happens right before a Federal holiday.

(4) TIL
Many signers think that there is detailed information about the prepayment penalty on the TIL. Wrong. The TIL states that you will, won’t, or might have a prepayment penalty. That is not what I consider detailed, that is merely a tidbit of information.

(5) APR
Few if any newer signing agents, or even experienced signing agents can discuss the APR and sound professional doing so. Learn and memorize a professional sounding definition of this figure so that when asked, you will be able to answer FLUENTLY, even in your sleep.

You might also like:

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?

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April 30, 2013

Help, I’m being sued, and E&O won’t help

Dinner was over and it was actually time to call it a day and get some rest when there was a doorbell. The family could not help wonder who inthe world this could be this late in the evening. It was approaching 10:00PM for god’s sake. The lady of the house went to the door and the gentleman standing on her porch asked if she was the Mrs. Xyz and she responded yes and then he proceeded to hand her an envelope. He stated; “You have been served”.

She shut the door curious but at this point not to worried.…she was thinking ‘oh this must be a request for testimony or something of this nature’ but as she began to read the documents to her shock and disbelief….she was being sued!. She was devastated to say the least.

It seems that back a few months she had done a modification and something had gone VERY wrong and now the person who’s signature she had notarized had hired an attorney and he as suing everybody that had been involved in his transaction including the notary. This particular client was claiming that there was intent to commit fraud with all the parties that had been involved with his loan modification. The notary contacted her bonding company and they looked over her evidence and found that she was in the clear. She had done nothing notarially wrong therefore they could be of no use. But what makes it worse is that they refused to represent her. It was basically out of their hands. For those of you that don’t know. Errors and omissions is just for notarial mistakes. It will not benefit you any other way. As in the case of this particular notary she was being included in a fraud case so now she was forced to figure out how she was going to defend herself.

She and her husband discussed it and he felt that she would need to hire an attorney and so that is what they did. But unfortunately they found out that it was not going to be cheap. The attorney kindly informed them that it would be about $30,000 when they were finished. Now as I listened to the story I was in shock. I thought that if that were me in this situation I would just be forced to take a different route. I would have to have to represent myself. I would not be able to afford this large sum of money at all. Personally, I would have made a copy of all work orders and correspondence of the hiring parties along with a copy on my journal entries and a signed and notarized affidavit that I did not know any of the parties involved and would have sent this to all the attorneys involved and hoped for the best. In my years as a notary I have a couple of signers on a couple of occasions that were suing the parties that hired me and this is what I have done and it seemed to suffice and I have never had to attend a court trial. Thank the man upstairs!

It might be naive of me but if you know that you didn’t do anything wrong I don’t feel that you need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to prove it…and if you don’t have it and cant get it then you are forced to defend yourself anyway. It is actually disheartening that we have to be drawn into other peoples drama….Which led to me into thinking that we should have some sort of release of liability document for folks to sign when we notarize their signature. The document should state many things for example,; one, that we are verifying identity and signature only on the document, that we did not have anything to do with the preparation of their document, that we do not know them or are we involved in their transaction in any way. Now, I don’t know if this would protect us totally from any lawsuits but I sure would feel a whole lot better having them signing it. And if unfortunately there was a lawsuit maybe it would offer some sort of protection. It would seem to me that in the situation our notary in the story finds herself if she had such document she would less likely NOT be involved in that lawsuit. I look forward to hearing what some of our attorneys her at 123 have to say about this and would love some input as to exactly what the letter affidavit should say.

I am very interested in what others have to say on this subject. I feel for this notary. The bad news is that she is seriously contemplating giving up her commission and her notary business all together. She has been a notary for over a decade and this ordeal has left a bitter taste in her mouth and I do understand. She and I talked for a very long time and she told me that I made her feel better and that at this point she didn’t feel as alone as she had been feeling. I was glad to be able to do at least that much for her. I wish it could have been more. Let me know what you think!

Until next time…be safe!

(1) The borrower had hired an Attorney to sue everyone who had been involved in the modification including the notary!
(2) It would cost $30,000 for the notary’s Attorney fees to defend her from a crime she never committed!
(3) E&O refused to cover the notary since she didn’t make an error or an omission. It was the Lender’s fault!

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April 21, 2013

Mistakes notaries make w/ Title Companies

Notaries all want Title Company business, but not all of them get it. Why?

Experience is half of the problem, and skills are the other half. But, what about the THIRD half?

Communication skills
Do you use bad grammar? Do you make spelling mistakes in your notes section?

I also make spelling mistakes. Fewer than I used to make ten years ago since I write more.

But, Title Companies will reject a notary based on these factors.

What if there is no useful information in your notes section?
Do you ramble when people talk to you, and go on and on?
Do you go off on a tangent during a conversation and not stick to the topic at hand?
Do you give dumb sounding answers to simple loan signing questions?
Is there background noise when a title company calls you?
Do you answer the phone by saying “Hullo?”
Do your children answer the phone?

Does your answering machine have unprofessional sounding music?
Does your answering machine state your name?
Is your message system full?
Do you have reviews on your profile?
Are you certified by 123notary?
Do you have a tone of voice that is uninviting?
Do you ask people to repeat what they said?

Notary: Hello?
Tammy: Hi, this is Tammy from Tammy’s Title
Notary: Who is this?
Tammy: TAMMY from Tammy’s Title
Notary: Tammy’s Title?
Tammy: Yes, Tammy’s Title! May I speak to Linda please
Notary: This is her.

Jeremy’s comment: Are you deaf? Tammy stated her personal and company name very clearly when she called you, what’s the problem. Are you not paying attention? Or, do you just not know how to respond, so you ask a stupid question? Tammy thinks you are very stupid by now. Did you know that roughly 15% of notaries ask me to repeat information that I stated very clearly? I am not sure what their problem is. If I ask a quiz question, then 80% of the notaries make me repeat the entire thing twice — but, that is more tricky, so it is allowed in that context.

BTW, it is bad etiquette to say hello when answering the phone. State who you are otherwise the other person will have to guess or ask you. Also, don’t say, “This is her” as that is bad grammar. “This is she” is correct even though it sounds strange.

To sum up the point of this article.
If you want Title companies to think well of you and hire you — don’t act stupid. Have your act in order, and be able to answer questions quickly. Be professional — otherwise they will hire someone else who is professional. Title companies pay up to $150 a pop and notaries line up for these types of jobs. Title companies have choices — you don’t!


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Notary Marketing 102


December 24, 2012

I make mistakes too!

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Notary Mistakes — Tags: , — admin @ 6:57 am

The most dreaded thing happened to me after all these years. I get a call from one of my regulars of many years now asking me when I can come through. She has a fee notarizations for herself and her husband. The own an architect firm. We set up a time for the following day. I arrive about 10 minutes early which is what I always try to do. She pleasantly sits me down in our usual conference room, excuses herself and leaves briefly to get the documents. She comes back into the room and hands me one document in particular from a stack that immediately looks familiar. It was a document that I had previously notarized the week before. She goes on (while handing it to me stating that the county clerk had rejected it. I am thinking WHAT!?!?! Are you serious??…cant be so. But unfortunately is was so. It seems in my haste I had forgotten to put the ‘notary public’ after my name. (For those of you in other states this is now a mandatory requirement for all California notaries.) And of course the county clerk had rejected it. They had attached a nice little note with instructions for me to fix it. Which of course I did.

I was thinking ( and I told my client ) ‘I am so sorry, I cant imagine what was going on in my head’ to forget to do this, I assure her that after all that I certainly know better”. ‘But I am human’ as she told me. “We all make mistakes”. But this mistake in my eyes was unacceptable and now I have inconvenienced the client. They have to go back to the county clerk. So to make amends I adjusted my fee. I would have liked (at no charge) to offer to take it to the courthouse for them…but didn’t think of it until later in the day.

So remember to check your work. ALWAYS! Try not to let outside influences distract you. This can easily happen but It can cost you jobs and regular clients. I am sure they will call me back. But I really felt bad about my error. I know better but for me this was a wake up call. I was careless and did not check my work. And ultimately, I could have paid for it by losing a valuable client Or even worse yet it could have been a time sensitive document and because of my error they could have lost their valuable client and/or they could have missed a deadline and I could have gotten sued…god forbid. So don’t forget to check BEFORE you leave them. Doesn’t matter if it is one document or 20. make sure you have done your job. We can’t afford mistakes!

Until the next time, be safe!

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September 12, 2012

Tips for notaries

People are making too many mistakes
One experienced Washington, DC notary asserts that, throughout the country, “Some of the people just coming into the profession are not literate and make too many mistakes… I get a few calls a week from titlecompanies where the closing was not done correctly, and they ask me to re-do the work… If we want to be professionals, we have to keep ahead, follow the law, and continue to act in the best interests of all.”

Don’t backdate
“Besides being careful and meticulous,” he adds, “do not backdate documents or signatures, ever! No matter how many times you are asked to backdate documents– supposedly to benefit the borrowers– DO NOT do it. It is illegal. Knowingly putting a different date on a document is fraud and you could go to jail. I have heard of many young notaries who are willing to experiment with backdating. They say ‘What’s the big deal? I was asked to do this.’ As a Washington DC notary, I know I am a state official, and I take this seriously. There is even another notary site where someone claims ‘everyone does this’. NOT everyone does it, and in DC, I personally know several notaries who are now out of work because they got caught. And when your documents are rejected, you will also have legal hassles. Not worth it–if you want to last in this profession. And just as notaries talk–companies talk. Do not risk getting a reputation as an ‘easy’ and inexperienced notary.”

Understand the documents, but don’t advise.
Our Washington, DC notary continues, “READ through all the documents carefully, so you know what the borrowers are and are not being asked to do. The most called-upon notaries and notary signing agents are the ones who know exactly what a document is saying and can confirm that if a borrower asks. If you are a new notary signing agent, read through some sample papers to be able to understand the language and the fees the borrower is agreeing to. Of course, some notaries feel that giving a brief summary of a section could be construed as giving ‘legal advice,’ which is prohibited…so you need to reiterate that you are not giving ‘advice.’ Many borrowers have many questions, and really do not understand a document well enough to sign it; in that case, you must call the loan officer and have him or her speak to the borrower. You can summarize… but you can’t give advice. The better you do your job, the more you will be in demand. This means explaining clearly and in a reassuring way what something says–without giving ‘legal advice.’ ”

Title Producer License
For this reason–the fact that some notaries have given “legal advice”–some states, notably Indiana and Maryland, as well as DC–require a notary signing agent to have a title insurance producer’s license in order to handle loan signings. A North Carolina notary told us that, despite the recent ruling that notary signing agents may continue to do closings, “There is a ‘movement’ in the state to make NC an ‘attorney only’ state.” In Connecticut, attorneys generally handle real estate signings anyway. But Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts (except if the notary works for the lender), South Carolina, West Virginia, and Vermont require an attorney to be involved in the signing…and Texas requires that any HELOC loan be done in the office of a lender, attorney, or title company (but could be done by a notary!). Says our North Carolina notary, “South Dakota is not clear on this issue, and seems to say that an attorney usually handles a loan signing…but attorneys often send their notaries to do it! Honest! The point? This preference for having an attorney supervise a signing is becoming a trend, and you should check with your state and get any necessary certifications that will assist you.”

Taking the trouble to get a new certification
A few notaries have reported that they do not want to go to the trouble of getting a new license or certification of any sort…but it is one more tool to help you get the work you need. A title producer’s license (also called a title insurance producer’s license) just means that you will have taken 50-60 hours of special coursework and will have passed an exam and paid an extra fee. “This license may be one more certification you want to obtain if you want to stay ahead of the game,” our North Carolina notary asserts. “The more certifications you have, the more you will be ready to serve the public as a notary or notary signing agent.”

Have a business plan?
Finally, one of the best tips we’ve heard recently is to have a business plan. It is always surprising the number of people in the notary business who do not have a plan. A plan means knowing what the market is in your area, who your competitors are, how and where you will expand, how much to invest, and also what certifications and credentials you will have. This includes knowing your strengths–what people like about you– and good reviews from those you have done work for. Getting good reviews from people who value your work can give you–as well as others–a fresh idea of what your skills really are, how you look to others. And when others read the reviews of your work as a notary, they will choose you because they will feel your experience and way of doing things are most relevant to their needs.

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January 17, 2012

How to fix notary mistakes

How to fix notary mistakes 

Notaries often make mistakes.  Many make notary mistakes due to lack of education and lack of skill.  Those notaries will not likely catch their mistakes, and will not understand if others point out their mistakes. However, a knowledgeable notary public, will be likely to catch their own mistakes.
The point of having notaries in society is to have some sort of record keeping for the signing of documents, and the identifying of signers.  The notary hopefully keeps a journal (required in most states), and also fills out certificate sections, or attaches certificate forms to documents.
So, most notary mistakes that could be made would likely be in the journal, or certificate area.  If there is a mistake on the journal, it might be that the notary didn’t properly indicate what type of document was being notarized, or left out some critical documentation information.  Or, the signer might have “forgotten” to sign the journal which is much more serious.  If a signer forgets to sign, the notary can try to call the signer and have them come and sign the journal, or the notary can go to them.  An experienced notary wouldn’t let such a thing happen, but if there is a lot of confusion and people are in a hurry, then something could go wrong.
If there is a mistake in the notary certificate, then a new certificate can be made without seeing the signer, providing that the old certificate is destroyed.  You can not legally have two certificates for the same document for the same signer — unless there are two journal entries for the same signature by the same person on the same document which is very fishy indeed!
What about forgetting to administer an Oath to credible witnesses, or forgetting to administer an Oath for a Jurat?  In such a case, first of all, the notary could lose their commission or be fined by their state government for such a blatant infraction of notary law!  But, the notary could try to find the affiant and try to make them take their Oath after the fact.  Better late than never. I don’t think that makes it “okay”, but is better than nothing.

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November 21, 2011

Can a notary get in trouble?

Can a notary get in trouble?
Notary trouble…
Do you know a notary in trouble?  Have you ever heard of a notary losing their commission or getting fined for misconduct or neglegence?  The answer is — yes, but they generally don’t get caught.  If you are a notary public, it is your responsibility to know your state notary laws, and keep up to date with law changes.  Notary laws change little by little, year by year.  As a general rule, if you deliberatly do something fraudulent that injures another party, you could get in huge trouble or even jailed.  If you make an honest mistake and someone else has a financial loss, you might get in trouble too. If you make a minor mistake or are neglegent in maintaining your certificates or journal, you could get in trouble, but there would be no pressing reason for the authorities to catch up to you.  My advice is to be an expert in your trade and don’t goof!!!  Don’t take liberties, and follow the law to the letter without going to excesses.  Some notaries on our site go overboard and don’t want to advise someone to breath without consulting an attorney — those people are extremists!!!
Can a notary get in trouble for notarizing a family member?
Notaries can not notarize a document that they have a beneficial interest in, and family business might be of financial interest to you.  I would avoid notarizing your spouse’s signature or close family member’s signature especially if the document has any financial overtones.  However, distant family members where you have no financial entanglements might be okay.  This is a gray area, and it is better to be safe than sorry. It’s more “kosher” to find a notary who is a third party who is not involved in your life.
Can a notary get in trouble for not witnessing a signature?
A notary must witness the signing of a document when performing a Jurat.  However, the notary is NOT responsible for witnessing the signature in an Acknowledged signature.  But, the notary MUST witness the signer signing the notary journal (if your state requires journals — and it is a good idea to keep a journal in any case).  A notary is not exactly a witness except they can function as a witness as an official notary act in Delaware and New Hampshire as far as I know.  The notary’s main responsibility is to identify the signer and be sure that the signer is the one who really signed the document.
Can I get in trouble for being a notary?
Just follow the laws and have E&O insurance, and you will most likely be okay.
Can notaries get in trouble? Can a notary be in trouble? Could a notary be in trouble?
Yes they can get in big trouble, but if they follow the law, then they will most likely be okay.
Can a notary get in trouble for goofing a signature?
The notary signs their own signature on the certificate form generally nearby where their stamp goes.  But, it is the signer who signs the document, and it if the signer goofs their signature, they can sign again.
Can you get in trouble for signing a loan document?
Yes, the borrower is responsible for the loan that they sign. The notary is responsible for making sure everything is signed properly.
Have notaries ever got in trouble?
I have only heard of one serious case where a notary commited some serious intentional fraud and was put in jail.  Most notaries do not know what they are doing and fill out forms incorrectly, but for some reason don’t seem to get in trouble.
How can a notary get in trouble?
If you engage in fraud involving real property you can be jailed, and that is the most serious crime that I have heard of for notaries.  Assisting a party forge a signature and getting notarized is very serious in any case.  If you send notary certificates without a party being notarized, that is a case where a notary can be fined and lose their commission.  There are notary handbooks that go over several dozen types of violations and what the fines are. The fines are different across state lines, but notaries can be fined, and their commissions can be revoked, suspended, terminated, or their notary division could refuse to renew their commission, etc.
So, now you have learned a few of the ways that a notary can get in trouble.

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October 17, 2011

Fixing Botched Signings

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Signing Tips — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:09 am

Fixing botched signings
There are notaries out there who get calls from signing companies to fix loans that some other notary goofed on.  The comment of the seasoned notary is always, “Why didn’t you call me in the first place?”.  The signing company always says, “Because, you are too expensive”.  But, how much money are you really saving if the notary job has to be coordinated twice, done twice, and if the signing company and lender get a huge headache?

Taking risks
Its always risky hiring new people. You never know if they are going to be any good or not. But, the seasoned notaries often want double or triple what a novice wants.  How much is experience worth?  In my experience, if I send a Fedex, it takes five minutes, but if it gets lost and I have to play detective work to figure out what happened, and perhaps send it again, it could take an hour. I have other better things to do in that hour.

It would be easier if…
It would be better if there were some database somewhere where notaries would be rated. If someone was new, but people wrote some commentary about how the notary did their work, the others who are interested in hiring that notary would at least have some idea of how the notary worked.

Companies keep a database
Signing companies do keep their own database.  They are always trying new notaries out. If the new notary does a bad job, they get blacklisted in the database, and will not receive any more work.  However, the next company down the line doesn’t know what happened and will try the notary out for themselves.

How risky is it?
The question is, is it better to hire new notaries and take a risk of a loan being ruined?  How risky is it?  If you get paid $150 to get a loan signed and offer $50 to a notary, that is $100 profit.  If you get a good notary who wants $125, then you only make $25 which is not much of a profit. That is the motivating factor why signing companies don’t pay much.  You make quadruple the gross profit by hiring newbiews. After you pay your staff and your office expenses, you might be making 10x the profit by hiring newer notaries.  The business math is always interesting.

I feel that the Title company should have more of a say as to what notaries are hired for jobs if they care about their loans.  If they leave it to an intermediary, it will be like the shipping companies of 1000 years ago who brought expensive Arabian race horses to Europe, but fed them the cheapest food.  When the horses got where they were going, they were too weak to run anymore…

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I make mistakes too!


March 31, 2011

Things that get notaries complaints

Things that get notaries complaints
Complaints are taken seriously at  None of the notaries on board have voiced an opinion supporting our review system which allows browsers to post legitimate complaints about notaries.  Many notaries on board feel that they have a license to cause trouble, and that I have no right to ask questions or do anything about it since they pay us for advertising. Many notaries want the right to harm others without being held accountable.  My point of view is that if you cause misconduct while on our site, ITS MY BUSINESS, and you will be held accountable. 
I want to take a positive approach to this problem and let the notaries know what the common things that go wrong are, so that you can avoid getting a complaint in the first place.   I’m going to list types of complaints in order of how frequently they come up.
(1) Rudeness
Of all the complaints we have gotten, the largest category was rudeness which includes using bad words, hostility, hanging up on people, rude tones of voice, antagonism, harrassment, and threats.  If a signing company doesn’t treat you the way you like, DON’T WORK FOR THEM.  Don’t threaten to use their fedex account.  Don’t threaten to put a lien on the borrowers house if you don’t get paid.  Don’t withold a borrower’s documents until you get paid.  Have a policy for what you accept from others.  If others violate your terms, then stop dealing with them.  Period!
(2) No Show no call
It amazes me that notaries think they can completely blow off a signing without even calling. Then, the excuses notaries give remind me of being a substitute teacher in eighth grade. The excuses are clevely worded so that you will feel guilty for asking them any more questions.  Heartbreaking stories, grueling conditions, family crisises, and earthshaking emergencies.  Many of these excuses are true, but there is no way to verify, because not once have I ever been offered a scan of a document that proves someone’s argument one way or the other.  If you are offered a signing and you can’t make it, call at least two hours in advance.  If you are having a family emergency, in a snow storm, in WW3, in a flood, or are almost dead, you better call otherwise you will get a complaint, and I am not too interested in the excuses.
(3) Notary Mistakes
Many notaries make mistakes. The good notaries triple check their work and are willing to go back if they made even one small mistake.  But, not all notaries are good notaries. Many will be unwilling to go back to an appointment a second time to fix what they did wrong.   If you make a mistake, fix it whether you get paid to or not, otherwise you will lose clients and get complaints.
(4) Failure to return calls or emails after a signing
This is another type of problem that people have every conceivable type of excuse for.  Personally, when I’m on vacation, I answer emails.  I had a vacation where I slept in my car, slept in a tent, and couldn’t find an internet cafe for half a day. I kept looking until I found it and answered as many emails as I could.  Signing agents will go on vacation, or say they did, and use that as an excuse not to return phone calls or emails.  I won’t accept this as an excuse.  You have to be available up to 48 hours after a job is done in case there is a problem, and the problem could very well be the fault of the title company, but you still have to be available.  No excuses.

 (5) Slandering or sabotaging companies you work for
One notary said that the terms of the loan were not good.  Another tried to sell the borrower a modification right at the signing.  A third threatened to use the lender’s Fedex account # because she said she didn’t get paid enough.  Another one sent porno spam to us and others. 
(6) Other types of misconduct.
Some notaries just cause a lot of various types of trouble.  Others are unwilling to fix mistakes they made.  Once in a while a signer will outsource jobs to another signer and then not pay them.  Last minute cancellations are completely unacceptable unless there is a documented health emergency or other type of uncontrollable circumstances.  One notary has a habit of double booking appointments and then trying to reschedule them at the last minute.  Two notaries walked out of an appointment.  One had a family emergency and flaked.  He forgot to even tell the borrowers who were in the other room that he was going to the hospital.
The moral of the story is to avoid all of these problems by being very careful to go to all your appointments, be polite even if others are not polite to you, and do a good follow up after the job is done.  I’m personally tired of all the complaints, excuses, the dramas, and irresponsibility.  We want good notaries on 123notary, and for the most part, the notaries on board are excellent. We do not want a few bad apples to cause a bad reputation for the others.

(1) Many notaries feel that since they pay us for advertising, we’ve no right to post bad reviews on their profile.
(2) Many notaries are rude to signing companies who manipulate them. Don’t be rude! Just don’t work for them.
(3) Many notaries just don’t answer their phone or email after a signing which can cause a nightmare.

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