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January 5, 2019

A forged Notary seal ends someone up with a prison sentence

Jeremy Belmont
8:06 PM (0 minutes ago)
to me
A man from Glendale, CA earned himself a ten year prison sentence by forging a Notary seal in an attempted to conduct a 5.4 million dollar Mortgage fraud scheme. There were two co-conspirators who each served sentences themselves. One was for 6.5 years and the other for 4. years.

The fact that the criminal had altered an “authentication feature,” made the sentencing longer according to federal guidelines. The criminal used falsified documents using his false seal to fool county recorders.

Crimes like this involving Notaries engaging in fraud relating to real property (such as houses, etc.) are the worst crimes that a Notary can commit and normally end up in jail time. There are other things Notaries typically do wrong like falsifying dates on certificates which can also get you in a lot of trouble. Notaries typically do not administer Oaths correctly, or at all which can result in your commission being revoked. As a Notary, you really need to consider the fact that if you fool around with your commission, it can be taken away from you.

There was another case where a Sacramento Notary was involved in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme by impersonating NNA’s 2007 Notary of the Year. The perpetrator fled to Lebanon and was arrested upon re-entering the United States. Sampson, the Notary whose name was fraudulently used protected herself by showing her journal to prove that she had not performed those notarizations.

Let this be a lesson to those who say, and often in a whiny voice, “My state doesn’t require journals.” Without that journal, you could be accused of conspiracy in a 19 million dollar fraud scheme or identity fraud, or worse…

You might also like:

See our string of posts about Notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?s=notary+fraud

California man pleads guilty in stolen Notary ID case.
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2012/01/california-guilty-notary-id-case

What is the burden of proof for Notary fraud?
https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/what-is-a-burden-of-proof-for-a-notary-fraud-in-ca-2629309.html

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What is the penalty for notary fraud?
Notary Fraud California
Notary Fraud New York
Notary Fraud Florida
Can a Notary be sued for fraud?
Fraudulent Notarization Pennsylvania
Fraudulent Notarization California
Fraudulent Notarization New York
What is the legal charge for witness and notary for fraudulent signatures
What is the punishment for an attorney notarizing a fraudulent document?
What to do about a fraudulent notary signature

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January 2, 2019

Fake Notary Seals

It is illegal to use a fake Notary seal, forged notary seal or fraudulent notary seal. It is also illegal to borrower someone else’s notary seal whether you use it or not. But, how can you tell a Notary seal is fake?

A real Notary Seal should display the name of the notary, county where they are commissioned, serial number and a commission expiration date. the stamp or seal should also have some sort of a border. There are various types of designs for borders such as serrated, milled, etc.

How do you know if a notary seal is fake? If the fraud is not very professional, their seal might be lacking some of the required information or might be made in a sloppy manner. However, it is quite possible a fraud could have gone to a professional stamp manufacturer and gotten a seal created, perhaps overseas where U.S. laws cannot be enforced. You might not know if a seal is fake. But, the bigger danger is that a person imposters you that you never see, and goes to a notary who you never meets and they try to forge a deed to your house. If they do, they will probably get caught and do some serious time in the big house. So, don’t lose sleep over this.

Notary Seal information from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8337

Fraud and forgery in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2294

Forged Notary seals earn longer prison sentence
https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2014/06/forged-notary-seals-longer-prison-sentence

What you need to know about notary fraud
https://www.farahlegal.com/news/need-know-notary-fraud/

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January 1, 2019

eNotary — Electronic Notary & Electronic Notarizations

Can I get an electronic notarization? Can I get an eSignature notarized?

The answer to this question is that it depends on what type of document you are having notarized. Additionally, the notary needs to be able to identify you.

A Notary must apply for a special and separate eNotary commission that is above and beyond their regular notary commission. This is only allowed in specific states as well.

To become an eNotary, just become a regular Notary and then say, “Vanna, can I buy a vowel?” Just kidding. Please ask your secretary of state’s notary division how to apply to be an eNotary.

Many of the states that allow eNotarizations require the physical appearance of the signer before the notary public for all transactions. I heard that in Virginia, an eNotary can notarize people remotely in any part of the world. Please read this FAQ page to read the details of remote notarizations.

Remove Notarizations allowed for Virginia eNotaries
https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/enotary-faq/
Colorado eNotary
Personal appearance is also required in Colorado.
https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/notary/eNotary.html

West Virginia eNotary — West Virginia Electronic Notary
This state requires physical presence of the signer for eNotarizations alghough the signature can be digital.
https://sos.wv.gov/business-licensing/notaries/Pages/ElectronicNotarization.aspx

Texas eNotary — Texas Electronic Notary
https://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/gettingstarted.shtml

Virginia eNotary — Virginia Electronic Notary
https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/official-documents/notary-commissions/enotary/

The Pros and Cons of eNotarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3672

12 points on e-notarizations (old)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=228

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December 30, 2018

When are you required by law to do Oaths?

As we all know, state notary laws differ from state to state. Since I live in California, it is difficult for me to know what all the Notary laws are in other states. Sometimes I create a chart as a cheat sheet to know which states require certain things and which ones don’t. However, every state I have read about (I read handbooks for all states so you will have a problem fooling me — they are all online except for NC if I remember correctly) requires Oaths and has Oaths in the handbook as an official duty of a Notary Public. So, I am going to write some quiz pointers about Oaths below.

1. Oaths are an official Notary act in all states.
If I am wrong, show me your state notary handbook and show me the omission of Oaths.

2. Affirmations are an official Notary act in almost all states…
Or perhaps, now they are in all states. Not sure…

3. If you see the words — SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN (or affirmed) TO BEFORE ME BY…
This is Oath documentation verbiage. It is NOT the Oath itself, but the documentation that you administered an Oath or perhaps Affirmation. If you sign a form stating the above verbiage and do not administer an Oath, you have just committed fraud on a Notarial certificate which is a crime. I am not sure what type of crime it is, but it might be fraud, or even perjury which is a Federal crime punishable by up to five years in jail per infraction. Gulp. Please consult an Attorney to see what type of crime he/she thinks it is as my opinion is a layperson opinion and not legal advice.

4. My state doesn’t require Oaths.
I hear this every day. Your state DOES require Oaths, however your state doesn’t require you to read the handbook that says you have Oaths as an official duty. Moreover, your state doesn’t explain how to administer an Oath or WHEN to administer an Oath. I can blame your state, but this is also your fault if you go through life engaging in criminal negligence because you did not bother to learn when and how to administer Oaths.

5. We don’t do Oaths in my state.
Some people claim that Oaths might be an official Notary act in their state, but that it is never done. This is also not true. Carmen (who does sales for 123notary) does loan signings for out of state documents all the time and every single package has at least one Oath that is part of a JURAT.

6. If you see the word AFFIDAVIT in the title of a document.
The word Affidavit customarily means that the document is to be sworn to before a state official commissioned with the capacity to administer Oaths such as a Judge, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, etc. If you see the word Affidavit, it is possible, although unlikely that you will execute an Acknowledged signature on that form. 99% or more of the time you will execute a Jurat, and Jurats by definition require the signer to sign (subscribe) in front of you and swear under Oath as to the truthfulness of the document.

7. Are you swearing to the identity of the signer, the signature or the truthfulness of the document.
Many Notaries administer Oaths to me over the phone on quizzes and make me repeat my name several times. However, the Oath for a document is regarding whether or not the document is true or not, and NOT to my identity. However, if the document makes me specifically swear to my name or name variations then I would have to swear to my identity. Additionally, an Oath on a document does not require the Affiant (signer) to swear to whether or not they signed it or whether or not they signed it on their own free will unless their state specifically requires it or unless the cheat sheet for the Oath requires it. As a general rule, an Oath on a document must be regarding the truthfulness of the document as the primary focus. Any other considerations are secondary or perhaps not necessary or perhaps should be left out.

8. Why Oath cheat sheets are dangerous
If you do not know the legal requirements of an Oath on a document in your state, you might not administer a passable Oath if you read off the cheat sheet. In my opinion which is based on logic, but not on law, an Oath on a document must be about the truthfulness of the document. If your cheat sheet for an Oath says, “Do you solemnly swear you signed this document.” — that would lead to an incomplete notarization because you never swore to the truthfulness of the document.

9. I don’t do Oaths, I only do Refinances.
Newsflash — Every refinance I have ever seen has at least one Oath. If there is an Affidavit such as a signature affidavit, identity affidavit, or occupancy affidavit, customarily there will be an Oath. If you do Refinances, you are required to do Oaths as part of fulfilling the statements on the Jurat certificate(s).

10. Oaths on oral statements or without Jurats
You might be asked to give an Oath on an oral statement. There might not be any paperwork involved other than your journal. You need to read up on how to do this. You might also be asked to give an Oath on a document that does not have a Jurat. You would have to ad-lib to come up with verbiage so practice on random documents to get the feel of it.

11. Remote court attendance.
Florida state allows certain witnesses to appear in court by phone. A Notary must swear them in from their remote location. This type of Oath requires the Notary to look at their ID, read it to the judge and do the TV court Oath of how you swear to tell the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

12. Penalties for wrong or omitted Oaths.
Notaries rarely get in trouble for omitting a required Oath or refusing to administer an Oath. But, there are times when they do. Here are the things that could happen to you. Why take chances? It is like leaving your door unlocked.

(a.) REVOKED COMMISSION — Your commission could be revoked. I heard of several Notaries in Oklahoma who did not administer Oaths on loan documents.

(b.) OVERTURNED LOANS — The loan that had documents with required Oaths could be overturned by a Judge if they find out that the Notary did not administer an Oath.

(c.) GETTING SUED — The Notary could get sued by the Lender because there will be serious financial damages for the Lender because the Notary omitted a legally required Oath. Damages might be $20,000 or more if you get caught. People don’t get caught often — but when they do…

(d.) FINES — Certain states fine Notaries for misconduct and omissions. Failing to administer a required Oath in California used to have a $750 fine per incident. Now, it might be $1500. I am not sure of the exact fine, but it should be in that neighborhood.

(e.) JAIL — I have heard, and this may or may not be true, that making a false statement about an Oath on a certificate is perjury. The penalty for perjury is a jail sentence of up to five years per incident. So, you could end up in jail if the Feds or your state start checking up on Notaries to see if they are administering Oaths. They are not checking up now, but they could start any time.

(f.) LOSE LISTING — 123notary sometimes removes people for disciplinary reasons. If we find out that you do not obey Notary laws, we normally steer you to some educational materials. But, if you have a complete disregard for law, order, and common decency, you could lose your listing. We normally as a handful of Notary questions and will accept a very low average since most Notaries do not know their stuff. However, if you score under 50% on our quiz whether oral or written, you will most likely be in trouble with us. Although we are not commissioned to enforce laws, I do enforce who I list and that is my right and authority as owner of this site.

SUMMARY
Although Notaries only get in trouble for not administering an Oath once in a blue moon, it is illegal not to fulfill your duties as a Notary Public, and it only takes minutes to read up on when and how to administer Oaths. There is no reason for this type of blatant negligence and criminal behavior. So, please become an expert at administering Oaths. Your first step should be to read your state handbook and see what they say about Oaths. They probably do not do a complete job of teaching it which is part of the problem. The NNA and 123notary have materials as well, and you could consult an Attorney. Although Oath procedure is not taught properly by the states (not even California) you are still legally required to give Oaths and give logical and correct sounding Oaths.

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You might also like:

Should you use book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Airline meals verses Notary Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Oaths – How Notaries completely screw them up!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

Oaths and the art if improvisation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19367

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

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December 21, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Contents

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:48 pm

As a beginner Notary, you want to get work, gain contacts, and learn to be a professional at handling all situations. But, how do you learn all this and where do you turn to? We have written many articles on how beginners can get knowledge and work. But, this is a short course on the topic.

Table of Contents

1. What beginner Notaries need to know

2. Gaining Knowledge as a Signing Agent

3. Marketing your services

4. Getting work
(signing companies that hire new signers.)

5. Gaining industry knowledge
(discuss forums and mentors)

6. Additional reading list

7. Advertising on 123notary.

8. Notary Etiquette

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December 18, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Gaining Industry Knowledge

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:52 pm

Gaining Industry Knowledge

There are many ways to learn about this business. Here are our suggestions.

1. Technical information
For technical notary knowledge, your state is the authority. NNA is often a good source of information on notary law, but your state is the final authority. Refer to your handbook regularly so you can be an expert at your state’s notary laws and practices.

2. Industry information
You can learn a lot by reading what people are talking about on Notary discussion groups. Keep in mind that you don’t know how smart or correct some of these Notaries are. Many are seasoned Notaries who know this business inside out while others are a bunch of hostile complainers who are not good Notaries. Don’t take anything you read as gospel, but just as input that might be informative or even useful.

3. Signing Companies
Once again, to learn which signing companies are popular with others, forums and lists of signing companies with reviews as the place to go and 123notary and Notary Rotary have this type of lists with ratings.
http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp

4. Mentors
Many Notaries find a mentor, or someone experienced that they can ask questions to. Carmen at 123notary is very helpful about answering questions by phone and Jeremy answers questions by email. We are here to help. But, you can ask around and try to find a mentor as well. It would be nice if you can reward them for helping them because they deserve something if they are boosting your career.

5. Courses
We discussed courses before in one of the previous chapters. 123notary has free courses right on the blog which are actually almost as good as a paid course. You can learn a lot about loan documents, loan signing, and dealing with real life scenarios in our courses. Visit our blog and look at the categories on the right to find some of our courses and compilations and other sections.
http://blog.123notary.com

6. Real Life Scenarios
Knowing notary and document knowledge is not enough. Knowing how to handle real life snags and situations can save you from court cases and a lot of grief. We have a page on Notary Public 101 in our blog called Real Life Scenarios. I highly recommend this page.

Notary Public 101 — Real Life Notary Scenarios

7. Experience
Just by doing a lot of work and keeping your eyes open you can learn a lot about this business. Those Notaries who are like a sponge seem to absorb a lot of knowledge. Those who just know enough to get by seldom learn much.

8. Talk to people who hire you
If you talk to Lenders, Settlement Agents, Escrow Agents, etc., you might learn a lot about this business. You could learn about the Escrow process, recording process, what can go wrong if you put your initial in the wrong place, what can go wrong if you identify someone incorrectly, and more. There is so much to know about this business, and the people who hire you are sometimes a wonderful source of endless knowledge — and sometimes they are unfriendly jerks who won’t tell you anything. But, let’s focus on the positive and you will be surprised how much you can learn.

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Beginner Notaries 103 — Getting Work

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 2:51 am

Chapter 4. Getting Work

Being a newer Notary, you have to get new contacts, learn new things, and work for whomever will take you. It is typical that you will be micromanaged, have to do a lot of faxing back, get paid poorly or in some cases not at all. This sounds like a horrible ordeal, but it is good because by paying your dues you will get experience. Any Notary who has succeeded had to pay their dues. Some paid more dues than others while a few with good legal contacts avoided the whole low-ball experience.

You need to call the companies who you signed up with regularly. Remind them that you exist and are ready to jump night or day. You can call signing companies, title companies, Attorneys offices, bail bonds offices, hospitals or anyone who needs a Notary. Let them know you are ready to work. You should mention you are a mobile notary on your facebook profile too because you never know who is reading it.

You should have a business card that you can give to your clients, their coworkers, family members, secretaries, etc. Repeat business is a big factor.

You can find signing companies on the signing company lists on 123notary and Notary Rotary. On 123notary our list is free to the public. On Notary Rotary you might need to be a member to see a lot of their information.

Knowing who to contact is half of the battle. The most important factor of getting work is being hungry and ready to please. Those who contact companies and brag about how smart they are are annoying. But, those who are ready to jump, answer the phone at all hours, and never complain are the ones who get jobs. Companies need you to get them out of a bind. If you are always their hero, you will get jobs. If you are always busy, tired, or unresponsive, you might not get jobs.

Once you get jobs, make sure to answer emails promptly and answer phone messages. If you keep people waiting for inquiries, or after service you will not get rehired.

Here is a list of companies that will hire new signers. But, the list was published a few years ago, and things have changed. These companies may or may not even still be in business.

Companies that will hire NEW signers!

Here is our general list of signing companies with reviews
http://www.123notary.com/signco.asp

Visit our forum where you can read about signing companies and more
http://www.123notary.com/forum/default.asp

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December 17, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Marketing Your Services

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:49 pm

Chapter 3

Marketing Your Services
123notary created a popular marketing course called Notary Marketing 102. I highly recommend you read this course from beginning to end. To summarize marketing for newer Notaries, you have to be aware of several things you must do.

1. You need to make your listing on 123notary look complete. This means a thoroughly filled out notes section. Read articles in the “your notes section” category on our blog to learn the secrets. Find a way to get your clients to give you a few reviews. It is easier to get reviews from individuals than signing companies, especially if you email them a link. If you can pas our certification test that would really help too. People hiring notaries want “familiarity with the documents” and our certification test tests document knowledge among other things.

2. You need to have a basic knowledge of loan documents as I mentioned in the first point. Selling yourself without knowing anything will be counter productive.

3. You should really have a good sense of good Notary etiquette. This point is generally overlooked, but it is important if you want to get on the good side of companies.

4. You need to reach out to dozens of signing and title companies. It is not uncommon to get on the list of 200 companies.

5. You need to keep in touch with these companies too.

6. Please understand that companies have their favorite Notaries in each area, and when their favorite Notary loses their good graces with the company, they might need someone new. Companies do not like the idea of hiring someone new, especially if that person lacks experience and knowledge. So, you have to be willing to help them in a jam and jump when they say jump. If you do a good job and are nice, perhaps they will use you again. Try to think of how the hiring party thinks.

There are many articles to read on our blog. Here are the ones or the strings we recommend to newer Notaries.

Notary Marketing 102
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

What is your monthly marketing plan?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9683

Which directories get the high paying signings?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19201

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

Articles about Marketing related topics on our Blog (string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=34

Articles Specific to Marketing on our Blog (string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2073

Common Complaints we get about Notaries — read this so your marketing efforts don’t get sabotaged by bad work.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19399

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December 16, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Chapter 2

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:46 pm

Gaining Knowledge as a Signing Agent
As a new signing agent, there is actually a lot to know. First of all, a Notary Public is an individual who is commissioned by their state as a Notary Public. A Mobile Notary is one who is commissioned as a Notary Public who travels around. There is no official legal qualification to be a Mobile Notary or Signing Agent. It is just a specialization in the Notary field with an increased service offering.

To gain knowledge as a signing agent, 123notary has various courses out there. Some of the courses cost, while others are free. Here are the courses we recommend.

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

Notary Marketing 102
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

The 30 Point Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Signing Agent Best Practices 63 Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

It is also not a bad idea to take courses from other venders such as Notary2Pro, Loan Signing System or NotaryClasses.com to learn from a different perspective. To be a good Notary, you need to be solid on Notary knowledge, loan documents, handling sticky situations, and marketing yourself. It is a lot to know, but we will teach you.

Additionally, it makes sense to try to earn our Elite Certification. Title companies who look for Notaries give our elite members a lot more work and somewhat higher pay. So, if you want to get ahead in this business, consider gaining some credentials from 123notary.com.

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Beginner Notaries 103 — What beginners need to know

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 12:44 pm

As a beginner Notary, there is a lot you need to know. Many things that experienced Notaries take for granted might take you a year or two to find out. Here are some quick pointers that might be valuable.

1. Your Listing’s Performance.
Listings on 123notary for new Notaries can give you miracle performance. However, no matter how much you pay for a listing on 123notary, the listing will not perform well unless you have a good notes section, reviews, and it helps a lot if you are 123notary certified (especially for newer Notaries.)

2. Your Profile’s Notes Section
Listings that lack a good notes section typically get ignored as that is the first piece of information that companies look for when they are hiring. If your notes are blank, short, or incomplete, your incoming phone log from companies will be equally blank. People want to get a sense of who you are, your professional background, and your skills before they invest in a phone call. Additionally, notes sections with spelling or grammar mistakes will be a huge issue for title companies who will bypass you if they have any cause for concern. 123notary’s blog has an entire section on how to write a great notes section with dozens of unique articles.

3. Notary Reviews
Reviews are your ticket to success. Never mind how great you say you are, talk is cheap if you are complimenting yourself. But, what your customers, especially title companies say about you really matters to those thinking of hiring you. 123notary has many articles about how to get reviews, so I suggest becoming an expert on the topic.

4. Reading Suggestions
Notaries should ideally read Notary blogs, forums, visit the NNA & 123notary Facebook groups (but not the private groups), newsletters, courses, handbooks, and anything else that could be considered helpful. Getting Notary advice from semi-unemployed Notaries who frequent Facebook is a very poor idea. Get your official Notary advice only from your state Notary division and no other source otherwise you might be very sorry.

Smart Notaries and dumb notaries alike realize that they need to spend time reading to keep up. Smart Notaries get courses from helpful companies and improve their skill sets. Smart Notaries also read what other Notaries say about various signing companies as some signing companies are not the best bet to work for. Dumb Notaries spend their time gossiping with other disgruntled Notaries on various private Facebook groups that generally engage in a lot of complaining and bashing. These dumb Notaries are also dumb enough to get Notary advice from Notaries on these groups who don’t know what they are doing. It is a perfect example of what Jesus said about the blind leading the blind. Get your notary advice from your state notary division. If you get any notary advice from any other source, cross check it with your state. We teach general notary concepts here at 123notary, but we cannot say with any certainty of our principles apply to your state.

5. Experience Counts
Signing and especially Title companies typically do not want to hire someone with less than two years of experience unless they are confident about that person’s knowledge. If you have an escrow background or are certified by 123notary, that will help compensate for your lack of experience. Knowing your documents inside out will help as well which would be a side effect of our certification.

6. Low-Ball Signing Companies
Companies that hire newer signing agents are generally not fun to work for. They require fax backs, micromanage, pay poorly and might nag you a lot. They have to, otherwise they would not be able to hire beginners and provide a high level of accuracy to their clients. So, expect to be treated like a child. Once you get some experience under your belt, you might be able to start accumulating title company clients little by little. On our blog we publish a list of companies that will hire beginners. You should talk to every company on that list.

7. Getting Title Company Work
Migrating from signing companies to working for title companies (who usually pay more, but how much more depends on how the industry is doing) is something people do as they gain experience, knowledge and skill. However, most Notaries cannot work purely for title companies after two years. It sometimes takes many more years before all of your clients are high paying wonderful clients who you love working for. So, there will be a lot of paying your dues.

8. Notary Etiquette
Most Notaries do not have good phone answering skills, nor do they have good communication skills. Having good Notary etiquette and good business skills can help you succeed. If your business skills are not completely up to par, it might be good to read our articles about etiquette and brush up. Answering the phone stating your name is a first. Answering questions the way they were asked without rambling on and on matters too. Accepting instruction from others and not engaging in bragging or whining matters a lot as well. Good etiquette will make you popular with all parties.

9. Notary Education
All Notaries need to study up and be experts at their state’s notary laws. But, knowing how to handle situations, and knowing your documents matters just as much. Reading blogs is a good way to keep informed, but there is no substitute for taking actual classes. For newer Notaries, passing our certification test is a great way to gain credibility as well.

10. Risks and Liability
It is risky being a Notary. 15% of our long term full-time Notaries have been to court at least once generally as a witness. A few Notaries even get sued or end up in legal trouble that can cost them big bucks. It behooves you to keep good records and follow Notary law to a T. Understanding Notary law is not enough. You need to know how to explain to clients what you can and cannot do as well as explain to a judge why you did what you did in a particular situation. One lady turned down a Notarization on correct grounds, got sued and lost because she could not communicate clearly to the judge what her reason was for declining the notarization. You also need to have direct communication with all signers and make sure people are aware of what they are signing, particularly if they are elderly. The Notary does not need to understand the documents, but the signers do, otherwise you might end up in court.

11. Your Attitude
Most Notaries have the attitude that they already know it all and there is nothing more that they need to know. Those who are NNA certified think of themselves as blessings to the industry. The fact is that those who have passed NNA’s test typically get very poor grades on our test. There is always more to learn in this business. It is best to stay open, assume that you do not know everything, and accept criticism from those in hiring capacities or those who run Notary agencies (like me.) You will be more popular with all parties involved if you are open to suggestion and take guidance from those who are a lot more experienced and knowledgeable than you are.

12. Advertising on 123notary.
Companies that pay well love 123notary. However, they typically only hire from the top of the list. If you are not in the top three or top five, you will probably only hear from companies that don’t pay that well. Top spots are not always available, so what should you do? Get the best spot you can, and then try to pass our certification, write a good notes section, and keep getting reviews. That way if a better spot opens up, I will be likely to give it to you rather than someone else. I give open spots to the most qualified member downline, so while you are waiting, try to work on your merit, so that you get the promotion!

13. Marketing Plan
Do you have a marketing plan? Many Notaries just wing it. That is not advisable. We suggest having a definitive, well thought out written plan. You can discuss that plan with others too for suggestions.

14. 123notary is here to help.
Smart Notaries come to us with questions, or ask for help with their notes section. We are here as a resource and much of our help is completely free. Dumb Notaries complain that we scrutinize them to maintain our standards, but smart Notaries take advantage of our free assistance. In the long run, which type of Notary do you think gets ahead?

15. Researching Signing Companies
Not all signing companies are good bets to work for. Read about them in the various forums to get more info. Additionally, Notary Rotary has something called Signing Central where you can look up ratings for the various signing companies. 123notary has a list of signing companies with reviews.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy this short course.

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