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October 11, 2017

Have you ever met a friend by notarizing?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:50 am

I remember that the only friend I made as a Notary was made as an introduction. I went to a party and met a lady named Mona. I liked her, but she only liked me a little bit. She used me for favors, rides, etc. When you’re desperate you hang out with this type of chick. In any case, she introduced me to her colleague Ravi who was an accountant. He was pretty cool, so we started hanging out. He liked wine and good food, so we made it a regular thing until he moved to the East Coast.

But, my other Notary assignments were for boring people getting loans. Why is the world such a boring place. In fact, I remember very few people that I notarized. I remember Gary who was in jail for blowing up his apartment with explosives. I notarized his jurors too which was a huge coincidence. I remember Jeffrey the Chinese Attorney who loved the fact that I embossed everything. I remember my Korean contact who bought and sold massage places. She had me notarize an acupuncturist called Dr. Kwack. Of all the names a doctor could be named, the doctor was a quack!

I remember doing a Military Oath for a military guy, and an over the phone Oath to swear a Filipina lady into court in the Florida Panhandle. I got to talk to the judge — how exciting. And she cooked for me. Then there was a notarization for a large Chinese family. Yes, I got fed on that one too. Then, a notarization on the trunk of my car notarizing for the brotha’s who told me all about the names black people had. Oooh they got names!

Everything else is a blur. I don’t remember much. It was so long ago. I remember a few of my favorite signing companies.

But, if I could go back into time and change a few things, I would have tried to understand the process a little better and take more notes. I was not as disciplined back then as I am now about keeping written records.

What about you?

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October 7, 2017

Is it just annoying or a free source of help?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:49 am

What sticks out in my head is how upset Notaries feel that I am minding their business by asking them questions. How intrusive, rude and unnecessary. You know how to do your job and are paying me, right? So, why should I verify if you know your basics? The sad fact is that one day I woke up in the morning and wanted more 123notary certified Notaries to pass our elite test. So, since people were not testing on their own initiative, I called some certified Notaries up to give them a free elite test that we normally charge. The result was that Notaries were scoring 40% on loan document knowledge and worse handling situations in quiz questions. I decided that I need to know who knows what and call all members of our site one by one which could take half a year or more to complete a quiz for.

In any case, having a directory filled with Notaries who don’t know what they are doing doesn’t seem like a good idea. But, on the other hand, the customers don’t know the difference. If you are a bad Notary, you can get away with it. So, what you don’t know what an Affirmation is. When was the last time someone asked you for one, right? However, customers complain about these things from Notaries:

(1) Rudeness
(2) Leaving people high and dry
(3) Not following directions
(4) Not communicating well.

So, the scoring of my quiz takes into consideration these other elements as much as it takes into consideration actual Notary knowledge. You could be the worst Notary in the world. But, if you are polite, answer my situational questions correctly and communicate clearly, you will get a passing score on my quiz. You can go through life without knowing anything and Jeremy will let you get away with it.

The problem is that I am getting so much hatred, psychotic behavior, anger, resistance, and reluctance. I only have two minutes worth of questions about what you do for a living. Is it that painful. And then there are the people who can’t talk because they are at the airport, driving, at a signing. just leaving a signing, almost at a signing, cooking, sleeping, or eating. You can afford two minutes otherwise I have to either fail you or keep chasing you. These scores affect your future with us so take it seriously. It only takes two minutes.

I am basically giving away free knowledge and one-on-one tutoring to people who are not paying for it. Only 10% of our people claim to appreciate this knowledge. Nobody else will offer you this service or disservice. I might save you from ending up in court or jail with a two minute phone call. How can you not appreciate this. I am experienced and talk with thousands of Notaries. I know more than you do about many aspects of this business, so why would you avoid a chance to learn?

I want to please those who do want to learn and who do have a good attitude. I want to give them free extras and free knowledge and help. But, in the back of my mind, the stronger impression is that of the people who hate me and want to resist any communication with me other than arguing with me. How sad!

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August 24, 2017

Letter to Donald Trump about the sad condition of American Notaries

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:56 am

Dear Donald Trump,
I run a nationwide Notary Public directory called 123notary.com and have some sad commentary about the general state of affiairs in the Notary industry. The most pressing is the dismal quality of the knowledge of general Notaries about their rights and responsibilities as well as the poor level of screening that the state notary divisions engage in.

Since you have entered office, my personality has changed. According to feng-shui principles the members of an organization tend to take after the leader of the organization in some subtle or not so subtle ways. Since April, I have been preverbially draining the swamp of “fake notaries.” Some people with absolutely no Notary knowledge whatsoever are commissioned by states run by idiots who will commission anyone — sad! What the states don’t realize is that bad Notaries are a danger to society by empowering and facilitating identity thieves. An improper notarization or improper bookkeeping at a notarization done by a shoddy Notary can make it easy for an identity thief to drain a person’s equity from their property, steal their property, or defraud people in other ways.

In a nutshell, the real problem is that the states do not screen their applicants, do not educate applicants in all aspects of Notary education and do not have sensible testing either. California’s screening is far better than any other state, but still falls short of the mark as our local California Notaries do not always know how to explain notary acts, keep proper records, or which acts are legal versus illegal to do.

My solution is to suggest some Federal guidelines with Federal enforcement. Since the states don’t enforce proper notary procedure with the exception of California who audits journals (but, not anything else), it is necessary for the Feds to step in and add another thin, but intelligent layer of regulation to the industry. Here are my ideas.

1. Standardized Notary Education and Enforcement.
Many states have differing Notary Acts, and that is not a bad thing. However, if there would be a core of universal Notary Acts used in all states, territories, and military bases, that would make education and enforcement easier on a national level. The most critical elements to teach would include:

(a) Proper identification of signers
(b) Proper journal record keeping
(c) Oath giving (Notaries are required to do this but more often then not don’t know how or don’t bother)
(d) General understanding of Notary law, acts and procedures.

2. Reduction in the quantity of Notaries, with an increase in quality.
Judging the quality of Notaries might be hard for you to do, but I do it daily and have the art refined in certain ways. I will vouch for what I condsider the characteristics of a good Notary verses a bad one.

(a) An IQ of 100-120.
Being a Notary requires a certain amount of intelligence as a rudimentary knowledge of law, and applying the laws relating to Notary Public are required to perform the duties of Notary Public and faithfully discharge your duties lawfully while accepting lawful requests and declining illegal requests. Most Notaries do not correctly distinguish between what they are allowed to do and what is illegal and prefer to rely on what they feel comfortable with which is neither here nor there. Those unlawful Notaries need to be weeded out. Notaries that are too smart tend to leave the industry early and are not a detriment, but will not be likely to stick around.

(b) Attorney Notaries are not generally good Notaries.
Many states like the idea of having Attorneys do certain Notary functions such as loan signings. In my experience, Attorneys are over-priced, the least likely to be available, and also are the bottom of the bottom of the barrel in the legal world and are so incompetent that their average stupidity exceeds that of our average non-Attorney Notaries. I am not against Attorney Notaries providing they can pass a tough Notary test to prove their basic knowledge. Attorneys should also be declined any special privileges in the Notary world. In New York, I heard an Attorney can become a notary without a test at all which I feel is a mistake.

(c) A clerical background is desireable.
If someone has a background doing clerical work in a capacity which requires being picky and attentive to detail, that would be a good background for being a Notary Public. Notaries fill out certificates and journals and being nit-picky and anal precedes you as a good Notary. On the other hand a clerical background filled with clerical errors that have gone unnoticed for years would be a disaster.

(d) Being meticulous and having integrity.
Those who dot their i’s and cross their t’s are the types I would like to see as Notaries. Those who are ethical and care about safeguarding society are also idea. Having a generally good attitude matters too.

(e) Willingness to study and learn.
My biggest complaint about Notaires Public is that so few of them read their state’s Notary Handbook. If you aren’t willing to read your state’s laws and Notary rules, how on earth can you possibly enforce them?

3. Regular auditing of Notaries
Notaries need to know someone is watching them as few uphold the law. If Notaries are audited by a mystery person who appears to be a client, that client can ask them to do something seemingly illegal to trick them into incriminating themselves. This is the only reliable way to catch large quantities of bad Notaries. Having Notaries come to the county clerk for a pop quiz once a year is another highly recommended idea. The quiz should be hands on Notary work in addition to multiple choice questions. To audit all Notaries twice a year requires there to be less Notaries to audit.

4. Higher pay for Notaries
To attract good Notaries, there needs to be a good minimum wage for Notaries. I suggest $40 per appointment minimum on the East and West coasts and $30 in the interior states. Additionally, many Notaries travel and states should have minimum travel fees of $40 for appointments that are 30-60 minutes away plus waiting time. Travel fees should be paid in cash at the door or by paypal to eliminate what I call “Beneficial Interest” which is a term that depicts a person who is named in a document who stands to benefit from the document being signed in financial ways or by gaining privileges. By being a Notary whose travel fee is contingent on a document being signed, the Notary will be swayed to accept non-matching identification or comply with illegal requests so they will get their measely travel fee so they can pay their rent. Notaries who are poor are likely to bend the rules to ensure they get paid. Having travel fees paid up front as a matter of law will safeguard the public from Notaries having any semblence of beneficial or financial interest in a document or set of documents being signed.

5. Universal Notary Acts
Most states have Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and perhaps a few other acts such as Copy Certificaiton Safety Box Opening, Attestations, Witnessing, etc. The problem is that the rules for these acts are not always consistent across state lines which causes a lot of confusion especially to those of us who run nationwide Notary directories. I suggest these as universal acts.

WITNESSING
Some Notary acts require rigid identification rules. It would be nice for those who don’t have identification or don’t have identification with the correct name variation on it to be able to get notarized on informal documents in any case. Having a witness notarization with optional identification would be convenient without being a risk for identity fraud since the documents being witnesses would not concern large sums of money by definition.

A signer could:

(a) sign in the presence of the Notary in a witness notarization.
(b) Identification could be a choice of a thumbprint, an ID with a non-matching name, or an ID with a matching name.
(c) The description of the ID should ideally be documented on the Notary certificate for this act as well as the Official Journal of Notarial acts.

Some states already have an official notarial witnessing act. But, having universal and flexible standards would be wonderful.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Formal documents such as Deeds, Powers of Attorney and contracts normally use an Acknowledgment. Acknowledgments in most states require:

(a) The signer to be identified by the Notary using state approved types of ID cards such as passports, drivers licenses, etc.
(b) The signer has to acknowledge having signed the document in the physical presence of the Notary in a non-verbal way by presenting the document to the Notary with the request for it to be notarized.
(c) California requires the signer to be named in the document
(d) There is an Acknowledgment certificate which must be embedded in the document in question or added as a loose piece of paper and then stapled to the subject document.

The first issue with Acknowledgements on a national level is that there are six states which specifically require an Acknowledged signature to be signed in the presence of the Notary Public while the act intrinsically does not require this. The second issue is that Notaries in states that do NOT require the Acknowledged signature to be signed in the presence of the Notary typically require the document to be signed in their presence because they feel uncomfortable with the alternative. Notaries let their petty comfort related concerns supercede the law which is a problem that needs to be dealt with and enforced. This constitutes the denial of a legal request which by definition is not legal as Notaries Public must provide the public with Notary work for all legal requests unless (in particular states) there is some legitimate reason why the Notary feels that it would not be safe to notarize the person. Standardizing the rules of Acknowledgments makes a lot of senses as that single act constitutes 80% of Notary work nationwide. For those signatures that must be signed in the presence of a Notary, there are other acts such as Jurats and Witness notarizations that require that.

JURATS
Jurats are notarial acts where the signers must sign in the presence of the Notary Public and swear under Oath to the document in some way shape or form. Whether they swear to the truthfulness of the document, or whether or not they signed the document using their own free will, or whether they agree to the terms of the document could all reasonably be sworn to. Most Notaries omit the Oath or give an Oath which makes no sense under the circumstances which is unacceptable.

OATHS & AFFIRMATIONS
Most if not all states have these acts. However, some states (such as Florida) require a certificate for an Oath. If a certificate is to be required, it should indicate the nature of the Oath. Florida’s documentation of Oaths does not require any indication of what the Oath was about. There is no point in keeping paperwork if the paperwork has no pertinent information on it. As a former Notary, I will vouch for the importance of issuing certificates as it is a record for the customer to keep of what happend. The more critical information the merrier (without going overboard.) Notaries need to be taught how to administer good and relevant Oaths and Affirmations as 90% do not know the difference. Oaths use the word swear and normally mention God while Affirmations use the word Affirm or state and leave God out of it which is something that ultra-religious and athiests both agree upon.

6. Thumbprinting
Journal thumbprints are a matter of contention. California is the only state to require it for Deeds affecting real property and Powers of Attorney. Several of the Notaries listed with us were able to provide critical pieces of information to the FBI which helped nail identity thieves, ponzi schemers and other fraudulent menaces to society. Many companies and individuals object to being thumbprinted which creates pressure for the Notary to not thumbprint unless required to by law. Therefor, the only way to safeguard the equity in your real property from being syphened by identity thieves is to require journal thumbprints nationwide.

Since journals are NOT required in all states, it would be necessary to require journals in order to require journal thumbprinting. I recommend a thumbprint requirement for all notarizations of Deeds, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Subordination Agreements, or notarizations where the identification did not completely match the signature on the document.

7. Proper Journal Entries
Most Notaries who I deal with keep a journal, but do not keep it correctly according to what I consider best practices to be. It is common for Notaries to enter multiple documents on a single journal entry which is signed once by the customer / signer. This is a bad practice because it would be possible for the Notary or someone else to add extra document names to the journal entry AFTER the signing was over which would constitute fraud. It would also be possible for someone to accuse the Notary of fraud when he/she did not engage in fraud with such shoddy bookkeeping practices. Therefor, it should be necessary by law to have one journal entry per signer per documents which would be six entries if you had two signers each signing three notarized documents at a particular appointment. The primary purpose of a journal is not to please the state where the notary is commissioned. The primary purpose is to please judges and investigators who use the journal as perhaps the primary or only piece of evidence in an identity fraud court case or investigation. The journal is the only evidence a Notary Public has of what Notary work they have done, so it behooves society to ensure that journals are filled out prudently, completely and correctly.

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August 20, 2017

A Notary claimed that NNA refered him to us because we offer free listings

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:52 pm

123notary has been offering free listings for a long time. But, should we. I think we should charge a small fee for the low placed listings. After all, they have a value, and they require maintenance on my part. But, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that NNA refered our directory. We at 123notary also recommend the NNA for all types of services such as E&O insurance, journals, Notary supplies, carry all bags, advertising on signingagent.com and more…

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August 14, 2017

What are all these quizzes all about from Jeremy?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:32 pm

Many Notaries are complaining bitterly on the various forums about me calling them and asking them questions. Many Notaries are extremely rude or evasive with me which makes me short tempered. I can deal with one or two bad apples per days but 80% bad attitudes is too much and that is why I might be short tempered with people. It is easier when you do as instructed and just answer questions the way they were asked without making a fuss.

Many Notaries cheated on our online test back in the day. Others took the test five times and memorized the answers from the pool of questions. Both of these techniques are considered unethical and cheating. I estimate more than 10% of people had someone else take the test for them which is a more serious act of cheating. Many others forgot what they learned while still others had more serious problems like becoming addicted to drugs, having memory loss from old age, etc. I now see why NNA requires yearly testing.

I do not want to test people yearly. I think that a pop quiz every few years is enough. The only reason I’m testing people is because the average over the phone test result for our certified Notaries is 45%. How can I hold my head up high and speak well of my site or certified Notaries if they are failing. Only 20% can pass my test with a 70% or higher. How pathetic.

I wish that Notaries would brush up once in a while. The only people who brush up do so because they are NNA members and the NNA makes them recertify. That knowledge helps them do better on my test. However, what Notaries don’t seem to get is that NNA is testing them on loan documents and NOT on basic Notary procedure. The area Notaries have the most trouble is basic Notary procedure. They don’t know how to do the job they are commissioned to do.

If you fail your quiz with me, you can study up and try again. I am not trying to punish people or fight with people. I just want to maintain a low standard. But, 45% is below my low standard. I will accept 80% for a full pass, and 60% for a pass with a few points taken from your algorithm results. I am asking for very little here. The other problem is that I expect Notaries to know how to be a Notary — otherwise you should hand in your badge and your gun to the secretary of state in your state and quit.

Understanding Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Journals and Identification is far beyond most Notaries. Many have the gaul to tell me that they don’t NEED to keep a journal because their state doesn’t make them. That is as stupid as saying you don’t need air bags or seat belts in your car in India because the government doesn’t require it. When you are in the hospital with a tube coming out of your throat you might think differently. And when you are on trial for being a suspected accomplice in an identity theft ring as a result of not keeping a journal, you will also think differently.

All I’m asking is for you to do your job and have a good attitude. That means being polite, answering questions, not blowing me off, and studying from time to time. And once again — it’s not rocket science!

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August 12, 2017

Official New Standards at 123notary

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 11:25 pm

After thinking long and hard, I have decided to have some notarial standards here at 123notary. As you know, we are a national organization based in California. We list Notaries throughout the nation. Since most of our Notaries are very weak on Notary knowledge and almost equally weak with loan signing knowledge, it behooves us to ask them questions from time to time to see if they know what they are doing. The more they assure me that they know what they are doing, the worse they do on my quiz. What a con job. But, I’ve heard it all a million times and don’t fall for it.

I have had it with Florida Notaries who shove it down my throat that their state doesn’t require journals and therefor it isn’t necessary. We have a handful of Notaries that are currently being investigated by the FBI, court system or criminal justice system and their journal was their only piece of evidence to defend them. Your change of ever showing up in court is probably only one in a thousand or perhaps 1% for a very busy Notary. But, why take chances. Do your homework and keep your records straight. We don’t want to list a bunch of unprofessional idiots. We want professional Notaries here, not stamperizers. A three year old can stamp documents, but does that make him a Notary? Many of the Notaries we list are not much more advanced than a three year old. And that is why I am requiring these new standards.

1. Identification — Proof of identity required for quizzing purposes.
Not all states require the Notary to prove a signer’s exact identity. Many states allow missing middle initials or don’t spell out exact identification requirements. 123notary requires Notaries to know how to PROVE an identity. If the identification card does not prove the name you are notarizing, then you do not have proof. i.e. if the name on the document is John W. Smith, but the ID says John Smith, then you cannot notarize him according to best practices under the name on the document as you cannot prove the person is John W. Smith. In real life, our Notaries can do whatever their states require, but for quizzes, they must answer according to our standards which match the NNA for identification standards.

All Notaries listed on 123notary must know how to adequately prove a signer’s identity using identification documents. We also strongly suggest journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch someone with a fake ID. You must know the more than but not less than rule correctly. Most Notaries scramble the rule and it does more harm than good.

2. Journals — Required
Not all states require journals, but 123notary requires you to know how to fill out out correctly. Our standard is one journal entry per person per document. So two people signing three documents each would be six journal entries. We also do not accept journals with check boxes for loan document names. So, don’t use one as they create more room for errors.

3. Oaths
All states require Notaries to administer Oaths for Jurats, and do purely verbal Oaths and Affirmations as well. However, most Notaries we talk to get very confused when we ask them to do an Oath. If they did their Oaths daily as required, the Oath verbiage would flow off their tongue. Most either don’t do Oaths or have to look up the suggested verbiage. There is nothing wrong with reading from a script, but you are required to improvise from time to time, so if you don’t know how — you are in trouble.

4. Acknowledgments & Jurats
You have to know the rules for both Notary acts.

5. Certificates
You need to understand the parts and compontents of Notary certificates, as well as the rules for filling them out.

6. General Notary rules and knowledge.
Yes, there are rules that change across state lines, but you need to know the powers of a Notary and general rules.

I am sick and tired of how hard it is to just get a Notary to know their job and do their job. Carmen doesn’t like this either. If you can’t function as a Notary, you cannot be a loan signer.

123notary reserves the right to quiz you on Notary knowledge. If you don’t comply with our questions or get the answers wrong, you will lose points in our point system. If you get less than an acceptable percentage, we reserve the right to suspend you until you study for at least ten hours and learn to do a better job as a Notary.

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June 8, 2017

Meritocracy, the enemy of mediocrity

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 8:37 am

123notary is a meritocracy. The Notaries who do their homework, have vast experience, get the certifications they need, get background screened, and get reviews get exponentially more business.

123notary puts several hundred new Notaries on our site each month. The problem is that those new Notaries rarely have much experience, and won’t spend much time writing a good notes section. These new Notaries don’t need to study more because they already know it all. But, they won’t do well on 123notary unless they put a little more into it.

Unfortunately, 75% of the Notaries on our site have settled for mediocrity. They refuse to pass our test. Many of them have tried multiple times and just can’t. This is your profession. To study a few hours to take a simple quiz is easy stuff. It won’t kill you. The fact that you can’t get through it means you lack study discipline.

To earn merit on 123notary isn’t that hard. You don’t have to go through law school. You don’t have to serve in the military and come back with PTSD. You just study a little, and write a few paragraphs, not to mention get your beloved clients to write reviews about you.

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May 31, 2017

Are Signing Agents more than babysitters with stamps?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:49 pm

The world doesn’t seem to respect Notaries or Signing Agents. We are just a formality, and a lowly paid worker who can be kept waiting, neglected, or in some cases not paid. Many Notaries who do loan signings go to the signing only to be kept waiting forever while the borrower reads every page and makes long calls to the Lender.

It is the Lender’s fault that borrowers don’t get the documents until the last minute. Borrowers could read the documents and find questions and errors ahead of time if they had 48 hours notice before the Notary shows up. If we lived in an ideal world, borrowers would be able to see their documents online and check them for issues. The Notary always arrives with a limited time frame and the borrower has to get through a package of 80 to 150 pages in an hour or so. They have never seen the documents and are under a lot of stress. It seems like a big con game where the Notary is the one whose feelings are not considered.

It is our job to babysit people while they read documents? What a waste of our time. If our signing agent profession was taken seriously, we wouldn’t be kept waiting while people read documents. Are $400 per hour Attorneys kept hostage while their client reads their briefs? Perhaps reading with a question and answer session, but not endless waiting time.

The basic problem is that it is too easy to become a Signing Agent, and therefor there are too many people doing it — and mostly people who don’t know what they are doing. That is why we are taken for granted and paid $50 while the Notary fee on the Closing Disclosure says $400. SnapDocs probably makes $15 on it too, which is 30% of what the Notary makes. What is the world coming to?

Just make sure the borrowers get to bed on time, and if there is an emergency, the numbers for the police, fire department and poison control are next to the phone taped to the wall. Oh, and feel free to have orange juice — it’s in the fridge!

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May 17, 2017

How much pay do you merit as a signing agent?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:26 pm

Notaries are on the boards all day long complaining about low-paying signing companies, not getting paid, and fax backs. These are legitimate complaints. My complaint is that most Notaries are so anti-education that they don’t want to pay for our loan signing course, but won’t even study from the materials if they are free! We have lots of free educational materials on our blog that very few people read. So, my question is, how much pay do you merit?

Too many signing agents = low pay
Being a signing agent doesn’t cost much. It is an easy profession to get into. You don’t need to be a citizen, and you don’t need a college degree or even a high-school degree although that would help. You just need to be a resident of your state or in some cases a resident of a neighboring state who doesn’t have a felony conviction. Most states don’t even have a Notary exam. In my opinion there are too many signing agents simply because it is too easy to get into this line of work. If it were harder to get in, those inside would get paid more.

The majority of signing agents aren’t trained well
You don’t need to be an expert to be good as a signing agent. But, you do need to know your basics. Most Notaries do not know signing agent principles, don’t know their documents that well and don’t even understand the basics of Notary law and identifying signers. I don’t see too many Notaries brushing up on their Notary knowledge either. There are a few Notaries who take being at the top of their game seriously, who know their stuff and who are always reading or studying. In my opinion those are the ones who merit high pay, not the rest of the Notaries.

So, what do Notaries merit being paid?

NNA Certified
Only 20% of NNA Certified signers can pass the 123notary exam. So, passing their test doesn’t prove anything to me.

Not 123notary Certified
$50 per signing
$70 with eDocuments
Fax backs are not a bad idea, because an untrained Notary will undoubtedly screw up costing the borrower and lender thousands if they don’t make sure everything got signed correctly. Additionally, since 75-90% of the signing agents in the industry haven’t or can’t pass our certification exam, that constitutes a huge excess of Notaries in the market who have poor skills and therefore do not merit much pay. If the supply of untrained Notaries in proportion to the total were less, then they were merit more due to the rules of supply and demand.

123notary Certified
$80 for a signing
$105 with eDocuments
123notary certified signers represent 25% of the Notaries on 123notary and perhaps only 10% of the Notaries who advertise online in total. Since you are higher skills and there are fewer of you out there, you merit more pay and the time you invest in eDocuments is worth more as well.

Notary2Pro Certified
Notary2Pro’s certification is excellent and we usually recognize it. Since they specialize in training Notaries, they put a little extra care into the whole educational process than other agencies.

123notary Elite Certified
$100+ for a signing
$125-$150 for a signing with eDocuments
Only 2% to 3% of 123notary members are Elite Certified. They represent the cream of the crop in terms of knowledge and study habits. They took a very complicated course from us and passed a demanding exam. Unfortunately, since many companies have developed an assembly line system for dealing with inexperienced signers, the demand for seasoned pros is lower these days. However, for those people who want the best, the best are worth paying for.

What do 123notary signers make in real life?
Putting aside what I feel people should make, a recent poll of our signing agents revealed some interesting information. The respondents to the poll were mostly experienced, so the information they gave me does not represent what beginners are making.

Beginners — $60 to $90 per signing
Not 123notary Certified — $100 average per signing (edocs or not)
123notary Certified — $108 average per signing
123notary Elite Certified — $114 average per signing

Other Factors
How much you make as a signer depends on your connections and how well you present yourself. Notary education represents a big part of how much you get paid. But, how good your communication and business skills are represent an even bigger part. It is hard to put a finger on what good business skills are. But, answering your phone, dressing well, negotiating well, showing up on time and making sure your work gets done correctly are components of basic business skills. Sometimes people with a Real Estate or business background do better in this business than others. Having reviews on your profile, a great notes section, and a company name help your presentation a lot as well.

To sum it up, I cannot say what your work is intrinsically worth. But, if you haven’t proven yourself educationally, have no reviews, refuse to crack a book, and then complain all day about how low your pay is, perhaps you should think about improving yourself so that you merit more pay a few months down the road!

You might also like:

Minimum Wage for Signing Agents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16276

A Notary Union — how would that work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18878

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April 3, 2017

How do you create a seamless Notary experience?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 7:10 am

These days, customer service is never that great. If you call your bank, you talk to a robot for a long time pressing three because your credit card has been turned off and then two because you did not pay your bill and then four because of some other reason. They are there to give you the run around and then put you on hold to talk to someone in India who you can’t even understand.

Most Notaries as a lot better than that. But, how many customers could claim that they had a seamless experience with your notary service? What are the components of a seamless experience?

1. The initial phone call
Good: You said, “Hi, this is Marcy” instead of “Hello.” You were polite, friendly and answered all of the questions the way they were asked without trying to boast.
Bad: You didn’t answer the phone the first time. The second time there was a baby screaming in the background. You answered saying, “Hello” instead of stating your name. You answered all of the questions in a round about way while rolling your eyes.

Also read: Answering questions the way they were asked:

Answering questions the way they were asked

2. Negotiating
Good: You asked for a reasonable rate — not too expensive and not too cheap, just right. You based your rate on time and distance and explained your rates fully including any potential extra charges.
Bad: You asked for too much money and complained about how there might be fax backs or other snags.

3. Confirming
You confirmed the signing an hour or two before you were due to let them know you were coming and to make sure they were going to be there.

4. Dress
You dress professionally. Business casual is fine: Formal shoes, long pants, tie optional, dress jacket a plus. Your hair should look good, your tattoo of skeletons should be hidden, and you should smell good.

5. Arriving
You arrive on time, park on the road (not the driveway) and announce yourself at the door? You find a nice place for you all to sit down and put the documents nicely on the table. You explain how the signing process is going to be managed and then you start signing.

6. Signing
You answer all questions about the documents that you are legally allowed to and refer all other questions to the Lender whose phone number is in your list of phone numbers which includes Title, The Lender, The Signing Company, etc. You don’t talk about politics, religion, or make inappropriate jokes or statements at the signing. You could also offer to answer any Notary questions or do an extra notarization at no cost just to be nice.

7. After
You confirm with the Lender or whomever hired you that the signing is done. You deliver the documents to a staffed Fedex or UPS station and drop them off as promptly as possible. If allowed, you might consider getting the signer’s email address so you can email them an invitation to write you a review.

A seamless experience means that it was good from start to finish with no problems, snags or headaches in the process. Most Notaries are not perfect. So, if you can provide the perfect service almost every time, you might get lots of reviews.

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