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July 1, 2014

I’ll stay here all day until I get paid!

I was speaking with one of our fellow notaries and in that conversation he shared a little story on collecting funds that were due to him from a particular company. I don’t remember now if it was a signing company or not but it really doesn’t matter. He like the rest of us know that times are lean. There are very few signings now and when you do get a signing and perform the duties asked of you, naturally you expect to be paid for them. Nonetheless, he like many of you have had problems collected fees that are due to you after the job is completed.

So it seems that in this particular case this company owed our notary quite a bit of money. The notary had tried to no avail (phone calls emails, etc) to get this company to pay. Nothing worked. So the notary felt enough is enough. Time to take action! He had a plan.

He got up early, packed up his ‘mobile office’ along with his lunch and proceeded to go to where the company’s office was located. He walked into their office announced himself to one of the person’s behind the desk and asks to speak with accounts payable. He was told they were unavailable. So he tells the office clerk, ” Ok, well, I’ll wait”. He then proceeds to go sit down, takes out his equipment (which included a small portable table) and commenced to working as if he was at his own office. (now I am laughing so hard, I am almost on the floor. I am loving this so much). The folks behind the counter are bewildered/shocked to say the least.

He begins answering calls, booking appointments, doing his emails, etc. A girl behind the counter who is watching him, leaves (we assume to go into the back office to tell ’somebody’ what was going on. When she returns she told him that he’ll have to leave and come back. He polietly refused. He let her know he would stay all day if it was necessary….he had done the work, needed to be paid and would not be leaving until somebody cut him a check.

He continues doing his work….even asks to use their copy machine and printer. (Now, I am just dying of laughter.) But guess what, after about a couple of hours of them seeing that he was serious about not leaving…somebody in the back office cut him a check so he could be on his way…and yes, it cleared the bank! 🙂

All I’ll say is BRAVO! Well done!

Until next time…..be well and safe! — Carmen

Tweets:
(1) He said he would stay in their office until he got paid. He answered phones, printed docs in the mean time.
(2) They decided to cut him a check to get him to leave their office. It worked!

You might also like:

How to get paid by out of business signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8646

Getting what is due, a clever plan!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

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December 1, 2013

How to get paid by out of biz signing companies!

Many notaries ask us how they can get paid by signing companies. Dealing with signing companies can be tricky. But, there are some basic rules of thumb you need to understand.

(1) You need to screen companies before you work for them.
That way you avoid the really bad ones and cut your losses. No notary gets paid 100% of the time, but if you avoid bad companies, you will raise your percentage for how often you get paid. Notary Rotary and 123notary have excellent resources in our lists of signing companies and the forum. You can read the gossip about hundreds of companies before you get involved. Stick you toe in before you jump if you don’t want to get in trouble!

(2) Don’t give too much credit to companies
Notaries get in trouble when they let a company rack up a huge bill. You need to keep track of the payment regularity for each company who you work for. If someone is delinquent on even one payment, don’t work for them until they clear that up. You need to keep your personal records for all signing companies on your person at all times just in case they call offering you work. I wouldn’t offer more than $400 credit to companies with a good rating on our list of signing companies. Don’t offer more than $200 credit to others who are either not ranked, or have mediocre rankings. If they want more work from you, they can paypal you funds up front or pay faster. No money, no honey!

(3) Visit our resources page.
There is a “how to make sure you get paid” page in our resources page. In that page there is a letter from hell which is a template for a demand letter. It works most of the time. But, if the company is out of business, even our demand letter might not work. Don’t get strung along to that point. Settle your finances quickly so that you don’t end up with a company owing you $3000 who is out of business. Keep track, and stay out of trouble.
http://www.123notary.com/notary-public.asp

(4) Your attitude makes a big difference
When I talk to notaries who have trouble getting paid, I notice a few things. First of all, all notaries have trouble getting paid from time to time. But, if a company is low on funds and can only pay a few of the notaries they owe money to, they will pay the ones they intend on using in the future. If you are a bad notary, or are a headache to deal with, you are LESS likely to get paid. Keep that in mind. Be pleasant and professional. One guy who didn’t get paid interrupted me each sentence. I couldn’t finish my thought without being interrupted. No wonder he didn’t get paid. The signing company must have gotten complaints about him. That is not a legitimate excuse not to pay him, but signing companies typically don’t care about what is legitimate or not! They do what they feel like.

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April 12, 2013

Late documents equals more money?

I pulled up to the Exxon station with my little Honda. “Fill it up?” asked the attendant. “Not yet, I’m not ready”, was my reply. A moment of stunned silence followed by “Move it buddy, this ain’t a parking lot”. “Open wide” said the dental hygienist who cleans my teeth. “I took an aspirin on the way over – let’s wait half an hour for it to take effect”, I replied. “You will have to schedule a new appointment and pay for this one” was her reply. Later that day I received an email from an escrow company, “the HUD has some problems, please stand by…..”.

I doubt that you initiated events similar to the first two examples above, I am also positive you have experienced the docs delay. Delay, interesting word – it assumes that something was supposed to happen at a specific time, and that schedule is, or will be, broken. Delays happen all the time, in various aspects of our daily lives. This article will discuss how to “recast” a delay to minimize your financial loss, and quite possibly turn said delay into a financial gain.

“It’s about time” – a phrase we often use. Most commonly, to express displeasure with someone being late at honoring a commitment. Pros in this business always ask “when will all necessary documents – including the final HUD be in my inbox”. If the reply is “we don’t know” – that is your signal to take charge of the situation and manage your time. I tell “them” I require the complete set 2 hours prior to the appointment. I add it takes me an hour to print/review and an additional hour due to NYC traffic. Thus their “we don’t know” has been changed to 2 hours prior to the scheduled appointment. Log who, when, their contact number, and person spoken to.

Now a scheduled time exists, they may not be happy about it, but you must establish a “due time”. Without it you are exposing yourself to endless wait time, loss of other assignments, uncertainty; loss of income and a genuinely rotten day. Some will fight tooth and nail against making or agreeing to any “due time”. Fine with me – if they are willing to pay – an hourly rate – starting now – till the docs arrive. Unlikely you are thinking, and you are right. So you counter with “if you are unwilling to pay me to wait endlessly – I must have a docs due by time”.

The “due by” comes and no docs. Immediately call and ask if they were sent. If they are “not ready yet” or “soon” or similar – you must seize control of your time. If your schedule allows, offer to wait for a dollar a minute; till the docs are in your inbox. Extreme, perhaps, but the major item (in addition to skills) that you are selling is your time. If you put no dollar amount on someone taking an endless amount of it; what you are, in effect saying: My time is worthless – take all you need.

I know, there are “business relationship” issues, especially with a good client. But let’s continue on the basis of a “cold call” from a (checked out payment history) new client. Your focus should be, due to the delay; on receiving a payment. Something not nothing. If they absolutely refuse to pay for your waiting time; you can retreat to a very justifiable “fall back” position. Ask for job payment now, not an assurance that you will be paid even if the job is cancelled (we all know that never will happen). Let’s say they refuse that too….

Now the situation is: The docs will either be very late or never, they have refused to pay for your waiting time. They have refused to pay “up front” for the project. Do you really think they are worth any more of your time? The reason you must get some payment is the real likelihood that they are already “shopping around” for a replacement notary. You have acted like a lion and not like a lamb in defending your time. They prefer to deal with lambs. When you receive some payment “they” are “on board” and a fair mutual commitment exists to getting the job done; if at all possible. If the job “folds” you have payment for waiting and/or for the time slot that they requested to be placed on your schedule.

If they still refuse all payments, abandon ship. Your obligation expired when the docs did not arrive on schedule. If you don’t respect and treat your time like the precious and valuable commodity it is – and they are unwilling to “recast” the deal – you are probably better off without them. Put them on your “duds” list.

You might also like:

When to dump a signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3491

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

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April 11, 2013

Getting what is due! A clever plan!

I love it when we can get what is due us without resulting to collection actions or a courtroom.

It seems that one of our notaries was owed a considerable amount of cash. Approximately $500.00 or so. He had done several signings in a short period of time for a deadbeat signing company and was having no luck in collecting from them. They had given him the run around, and he was fed up.

He, of course, was not going to work for them again until he had been paid in full. However, in his haste upon receiving a phone call he accepted a job from this company and when he became aware of his mistake he was of course very upset with himself, and was so inclined to give it back. But, it was at that defining moment that he had an idea. He decided that he would do the job. But he had what I consider a brillant idea! A ingenious way to collect for the new signing plus all of the other outstanding money that was owed to him.

So, he did the signing as requested but instead of using the return company’s UPS number, he filled out the UPS label asking for over $600.00 plus dollars COD. Yes folks, CASH ON DELIVERY. So, when the UPS driver came knocking on their door the company was faced with a serious dilema. Either they pay the requested amount and get their documents or lose them. They would of course be returned to the shipper. Well….they paid the fee in full and the notary received every penny that was owed to him.

Now, I don’t know if this is considered doc highjacking… and truthfully I don’t care. Due to the notaries quick wit he got what was due to him and that is WONDERFUL in my book!!

Until next time

Be safe

You might also like:

Late documents equals more money?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4239

Pricing formulas & time spent
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=588

Low ball signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=745

Protecting yourself with a contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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July 17, 2012

Fees at the door MISUNDERSTOOD on Facebook

Fees at the door MISUNDERSTOOD on facebook 

Tisk tisk: notaries on Facebook.  You mostly misunderstood my discussion question about getting fees at the door for signings to prevent beneficial interest. this discussion took place in Jan 2012. I was NOT talking about loan signings.  At Loan signings they pay you three or four months AFTER the signing if you are lucky, not in cash at the signing. It is very obvious that I was talking about doing a traveling notary job for an individual person.  The problem is that most of you depend solely on loan signings for your living when there are many jobs for individuals which you either don’t know how to handle or reject because you are not familiar with it.
 

A typical botched jail notary job
Let’s say you drive 45 minutes to a jail to meet the girlfriend of a criminal.  You meet her in the parking lot or in the front door of the jail.  Let’s say you don’t collect your travel fee of $50 at the door.  Let’s say that hypothetically you walk to the guard, fill out the forms, but lo and behold, the prisoner has been moved to another jail 90 miles away.  Then you say, may I have my travel fee please.  The girlfriend says, “BUT YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING”.  And then you say, “Sure I did, I drove 45 minutes, talked to you on the phone, walked in here, and now I have to drive 45 minutes back home, and also go to the gas station which takes more time and money.  Pay up!!!  You will get stiffed, because they will feel that they do not owe you if you didn’t quote unquote DO ANYTHING. 
 

Yet another hospital notary job
Let’s say you drive an hour to a hospital at 3am to accommodate some desperate people.  You don’t get your travel fee at the door in cash like I recommend.  You go upstairs with the signer’s son in law only to find that the signer is on morphene, fast asleep, and in no position to sign anything or even sit up.  You ask for your travel fee for your 2 hour round trip, and the son in law says, “Sorry, but I’ll pay you when you come back next time, I didn’t realize that the nurse drugged Shelly’s dad”.  You just got stiffed again.
 
This isn’t rocket science. If you work with the public, they will leave you high and dry if you don’t protect yourself.
 
3rd example… beneficial interest
Lets say you go to a notary job.  You do NOT collect travel fees up front. Let’s say that the signer’s name on their ID doesn’t match the name on the document enough for you to legally or ethically notarize them.  They say, “Oh come on — you are being unreasonable”.  They say they won’t pay you a penny unless you notarize the signer. They have you by the balls because you didn’t think ahead.  If you have the travel fee up front, then you are in control and will not be pursuaded under duress to break the law so you can get your lousy fee!
 
Last example:  The law office.
You are called into a law office 10 minutes away. You are instructed to show up at 1pm for a signing. Your trip fee is $30 and your waiting time fee is $20 per half hour with the first ten minutes complementary.  Let’s say that you never collected your $30.  The attorney says they won’t be ready for another 10 minutes.  But, 10 becomes 20, and 20 becomes an hour, and then finally after 90 minutes, you finally do the signing, and then they pay you, but they won’t pay for the waiting time.  If you had gotten your $30 at the door, you could threaten to leave if they don’t pay the wait time up front for each 30 minute increment.  If you don’t have the trip fee, you have no leverage. This has happened half a dozen times to me in my notary career!

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July 14, 2012

Protecting yourself with a contract

Protecting yourself with a contract 

It is common for big companies to make the little guys sign a contract with many terms for doing business. One common term is to have an arbitrator resolve issues, and the arbitrator is probably picked by the company in question — how fair!!! ……. Not!    But, how often do the little guys think far enough ahead to protect themselves?  I say that notaries need to make signing companies sign something that will protect the notary’s interests.  But, will anyone sign it out of desperation? If they like the notary enough, they might, but if you are a novice with no experience, you will not have such good luck.
 
Here are terms that I would discuss.
 
Trip Fees
If I am assigned a signing agent / notary job by your company, and travel to an assigned location, and the job is cancelled while in travel, I want a $50 trip and preparation fee.  I want $75 for jobs more than 40 miles from my house according to mapquest’s mileage estimates.
 
Printing Fees
If I am assigned a signing agent / notary job by your company , print out documents and borrower’s copies, and then your company cancels, I want a $40 printing fee.   (it might not be worth this much, but you have to factor in the hassle of billing these clowns and trying to collect).
 
Payment regardless of funding
If I am assigned a loan signing job by your company, and I complete the signing, but the loan doesn’t fund, your company must pay me $100 per signing.
 
Payment regardless of if the borrowers are willing to sign
If I am assigned a loan signing job by your company, arrive at the specified location, and start a signing with the borrowers, and then they change their mind about signing and refuse to sign, your company must pay me the entire fee agreed upon.
 
Waiting time
If I am assigned a loan signing job by your company, I will allow up to 60 minutes for the job.  If the borrowers want to read every letter of every word in every document and take in excess of 60 minutes, I require a waiting time fee of $40 for every additional 30 minutes, or any fraction thereof.
 
Late payment penalties
I expect to be paid within 30 days for all loan signing services.  If a payment is post-marked late than 30 days from the date of the signing, I will charge a late fee of $25 per signing, and then an additional $25 for each fifteen days after.  If you fail to pay this late fee, I will terminate services with your company.
 
I think that notaries are fools to just be willing to do business with anyone without even background checking them.  On the other hand, a contract like the one I drafted (written in informal language and not legalese) might be too demanding, especially the waiting time.  Perhaps a more liberal contract should be drafted, but notaries need to take protecting themselves a lot more seriously and get more professional and methodical about it.  Bigger companies almost always make you sign a contract, why shouldn’t you?

You might also like:

Getting what is due: A clever play!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

Pricing formulas & time spent
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=588

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December 8, 2011

Scary results when a notary uses our letter from hell

Scary results when a notary used our letter from hell 

We get complaints from notaries every single day who are not getting paid on time, or not getting paid at all.  Since I care deeply about this situation, I have networked with Carmen (who I work with), and a few other very seasoned notaries to create a system for getting paid which is almost foolproof.  Nothing is perfect, but this system is as good as it gets.
 
Please visit
How to make sure you get paid signing agent  
Our system starts with the notary background checking ALL companies they work for.  Asking for references, and checking the company on the BBB website is a must.  If you already accepted the job, you could cancel if they have a margin of a few hours.  Otherwise, take your chances.  Keeping faxes and work orders in order is critical, and keeping the stub from company checks is a life and death issue. This is all talked about in detail on the how to make sure you get paid page. Notaries need to fax fills regularly with all pertinent information on the fax.  But, if you did everything right and STILL didn’t get paid — there is the template of our demand letter.
 
A notary used our demand letter, and the company threatened her with a LAW SUIT!!!
Oh my gosh!  Is it really true?  Actually, the notary only sent a “watered down” version of our template letter, but the reaction was almost postal…  The notary stated that they repeatedly contacted the company by phone and email, but never got paid for various jobs done. Then, the notary said that they would take the following actions by a particular date if not paid:

a.         Notify the Attorney General of the details and circumstances of the occurrence.
b.         Notify the Secretary of the State of Texas to look into the matter
c.         Notify other notaries public of the details of non-payment.
d.         Register the details of the occurrence with the BBB.
 
The signing company got back to her and said…
 
I feel obligated at this time to inform you that Ck # 15533 for $45 cleared your bank on 7-11-11, presented on 7-8-11 for Account #134554 (for a particular name).  That was less than 13 days after i sent you the email asking you to do the notary job in the (name of town), TX area.  Your email is making libelous or slanderous threats against myself and my company for which you can be sued in civil court  (i.e. notifying others in the industry that I do not pay my bills).  I feel it is now my duty to report you to the Texas Notary Division of Austin for making such threats when I can prove that you were fully paid within 2 weeks of the service provided.  I will be forwarding a copy of this email to them immediately.   It is a shame that you did not do your own research regarding payment of this service, before making such libelous threats…. (name of owner),  (name of business)
 
My opinion
I think the notary should have listed the particular jobs that were not paid for, i.e. the names of the borrowers, loan numbers, addresses, etc. I think that the notary should have kept track of all payments and all of the check numbers of all payments in the past, so that she would know what that check was for, and if it even existed.  It is easy for signing companies to scam notaries by making up fake check numbers. Most notaries don’t keep good enough records to keep track of it all — but you have to — or you might never see your money…

Tweets:
(1) Carmen, a few seasoned notaries & I developed a fool proof method for getting paid every time no matter what!
(2) A notary used our almost foolproof letter from hell to request payment & the company threatened to sue her!
(3) Our scary demand letter threatens to report the late paying signing co to the SOS, Attorney General, DA & more!

You might also like:

Getting what is due! A clever plan!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

Protecting yourself with a contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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December 1, 2011

Best excuses why a signing company didn’t pay their notary

Filed under: Tips for Getting Paid — Tags: , — admin @ 2:34 am

Top excuses why a signing company doesn’t pay the notary 

After looking through my list of signing companies today, I saw that the majority had more negative reviews than positive ones.  It is a shame.  Please do your homework BEFORE you accept a job from any of these characters.  However, if you ever want to start a signing company of your own, and string notaries along, you need to learn the ropes.  Here are some basic stringing along techniques.  If you follow these techniques to a tee, then I can almost guarantee you that you will get in trouble with the BBB, the FBI, ripoffreport, perhaps even the district attorney and even the Secretary of State if you are lucky! Additionally, you will win the grand prize of having everyone hate you, creating the worst possible karma imaginable,  and going out of business for sure which is the goal of 90% of signing companies – or so the evidence makes it seem.
 
Excuses for not paying notaries
 
1.  We pay the second Friday of each month… that Friday hasn’t come yet.
2.  Oh, sorry, my accountant is out sick this week (and probably every week)
3.  My Quickbooks keeps crashing
4.  My brother deleted the email you sent asking for payment
5.  My apologies, I lost your fax invoice… and the one before that… and the one two weeks ago on Thursday too (oops!)
6.  The check was sent out three days ago… check your mailbox
7.  Sorry, the loan never funded, so I can’t pay you
8.  Sorry, I’m not in charge of payment, please talk to Marsha (who never answers the phone or emails by the way)
9.  Sorry, but you made a mistake on the HUD-1, and we are telling you now!
10. Sorry, but we took over for XYZ company, and our new name is ZYX, and we can’t assume responsibility for their business with you.
11. We sent the check and here is the check number (a number which doesn’t exist)
12. You never sent us an invoice!
13.  Oh, sorry, did the check we sent you bounce?
14. Sorry, the check must have gotten lost in the postal system.  Maybe it’s because of their pay cuts!
15.  Sorry, checks are being sent out late, we are experiencing a “temporary” cash flow issue.
16.  We pay 60 days after the closing (take your chances!)
17. We are having a hard time getting in touch with the accounting department!
18.  Sorry, our phone is disconnected!!!
19. We can’t pay you until we get paid!
20.  Sorry, we don’t have a copy of your W-9 in our files! (even though you faxed it six times)
21.  Conversations always begin with – I have the easiest job for you today — but then it’s not so easy to collect on it.
22.  Sorry we were rude to you on the phone!
23.  Sorry, but the title company refuses to pay for second visits, even though it was because the documents weren’t drawn correctly the first time!
24.  The check will go out in the “next batch”.
25.  I am owed more than $100,000 and am paying as fast as I can.
26.  You were supposed to collect from the borrower for this signing — that was the arrangement (even though we didn’t tell you beforehand, and even though the borrower’s settlement statement shows a $175 fee for notary on it that already was paid.)
27.  You will get an answer in 10 business days!
28. It takes 3 months for the loan to fund.
29.  Please call back in five weeks because we have a “change in our system”
30.  An “email” will be sent to accounting
31.  Sorry, you must have been faxing to Gary… Gary is no longer with us.  I am the new contact person… just fax me your invoices for the $600 we owe you… It will get paid right away… I promise!!!
32. Sorry, we can’t pay the whole thing, we’ll send a partial payment!
33.  Please hold…….
34.  The check is in the mail…
35. Sorry, we didn’t have your current mailing address!
 
A third notary told some great stories.  He heard from R&R that they thought the check was in the mail.  The next excuse was that their Quickbooks crashed.  The manager’s brother deleted his email, and they kept losing incoming faxes.  Boy… I should write a book of excuses why signing companies can’t pay their notaries.
 
I have also learned that you can get convicted of wire fraud for engaging in crime via the internet! 941 18 U.S.C. 1343
 
Tell us your favorite (or least favorite) excuses.  It makes for good conversation.  If you RESEARCH your companies before you work for them, you won’t ever hear these type of excuses to begin with!

You might also like:

When to dump a signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3491

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November 22, 2011

Bounced Checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports: Learn which companies are involved!

Bounced Checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports…

For some of you, this is old information that you have already been following. However, many notaries do not have time to read everything that goes on on the forum, and this news about signing companies will be of interest and a convenience to them!  It is hard for me to keep up with what is going on on the forums on a daily basis, but I have noticed that a lot of bad things happened in September 2011.  There were a few loan signing companies that had a reasonable reputation that suddenly stopped paying notaries.  One or more companies was reported to be out of business.  I am going to summarize the more important events of the last month or two here. I will only mention the more noteworthy signing companies here.
 
All Service Notary & Signings
Sept 16 – A notary gives up on trying to collect their bill and hands it over to a collection agency. Additionally, this notary reports the signing company to a credit bureau!  Another notary reports trouble getting paid from this company.  A third notary says, that after a long time, they finally received their check — but, that was in early August. The situation looks like it has deteriorated since then.
 
CRES Closers
One notary says that they are the BEST to work for!  Another says they met his fee and that they were great to work for. A third notary claims that they sent payment super fast!  Wow, it is nice to hear good things about a signing company these days!
 
Equifax Settlement Services
One notary got paid, but says the company says that they will take THREE MONTHS to pay for jobs in the future because they have to wait until the loans fund.  Another notary discusses the letter they sent to the BBB about this company. A third notary discusses the difference in what this company offers different notaries for the same work.  One gets $85, while another is offered $125!
 
FASS – First American Signature Services
Notaries are complaining, but not about payment issues.  One notary was taken off the list because FASS found a less expensive notary.  Back in 2010, FASS took over service for a big Title company and dropped the notary who had been servicing the signings for that Title company.  Another notary feels that they were treated rudely after some sort of argument about “quality issues”.  Although there is a lot of complaining going on here, I don’t see any wrongdoing on the part of FASS. They are just shopping around to find the best notaries for them — and trying to get high quality service as well. America is a free country and nobody is obligated to keep the same notary for life.
 
Final Link
Three notaries have complained that this company doesn’t do a good job of getting back to people. Not returning calls, etc.
 
First Preference Signing
Four notaries all claim in unison that this is the best company that they have ever worked for. 
 
Harvard Abstract
Three notaries are claiming that this company is easy to work for and that they pay quickly.
 
HVR Notaries
Two notaries claim that this is a good company to work for.  One says, “They met my fee”, which is a very good sign these days with all the low balling.
 
Insured Closings
Notaries claim that there have been several reports of BOUNCED CHECKS from this company.  Watch out!
 
National Loan Closers
This company is reported to be asking for $25 to keep notaries on their list. This is causing a lot of disturbance in the notary world.  Notaries feel that companies should be paying them, and not vice versa. 
 
Nations Direct
We have gotten many complaints about low-balling and micromanagement. One notary’s signing was interrupted by a phone call, where she was asked if she was using a blue pen.  On the other hand, it is prudent for a signing company who uses many newer notaries to call and check up on people. Obviously, many of the notaries they hired screwed up and ruined many loans which is the reason for all of the babysitting.  Please try to look at things from the signing company’s perspective. They are trying to get the job done.  Also see: Nations Direct has been around for more than a decade!
 
Nowclosings.com
Many notaries are claiming that this is one of the BEST signing companies they have ever worked for.

N3 Notary
A few notaries are complaining that company has badgered them too much during their signings. 

Pacific Document Services
Checks that they sent out have allegedly gotten LOST in the mail. One notary has filed an official complaint with the FBI to try to get this company shut down. Another notary received a check that BOUNCED.  This is one of the most serious cases I have seen all year!  The opinions expressed here are the opinions of particular notaries and not of 123notary.com.
  
Safir Signing Agents
Multiple notaries are complaining about no-pay and SLOW-PAY.
 
Service Link
This company has lowered their fees, and we have had many complaints from notaries about LOW-BALLING from this company.
 
Superior Closings
The people that run this company have been functioning under four different business names over the course of time.  They are reported to be out of business now.
 
The Notary Biz
Many notaries are discussing whether or not this company is still in business.  One notary had a discussion with the owner who claimed that they were no longer in business.
 
The R&R Group
Several notaries are complaining about non-payment, and one is owed $375 by this company
 
Trans State Services
Many notaries are really happy with this company.  Good working conditions and timely pay!
 
Vital Signings
This company has a good payment record, but many notaries are complaining that there are too many steps involved in the signing process and a lot of babysitting.

Tweets:
(1) Here is a list of companies that bounced checks, had FBI reports, or were notorious late payers to notaries!

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July 22, 2010

Getting paid – the ins and outs

Many notaries complain to us that they don’t always get paid for their work.

We are very sympathetic. However,  sympathy alone will not help. There are some
simple methods we teach that can save you a lot of grief in the long run. Just follow our steps and you will stay out of trouble.

Accepting jobs from new companies.
When offered a job from an unknown company, ask for references. If they don’t want to give references, that is an easy way to screen them out. If they seem legitimate, you can accept the job. However, immediately after accepting the job, you should do a background check. Background checks can be done on the net in minutes and are easy.

Background check companies that call you
Look companies up on the BBB, 123notary’s list of signing companies, 123notary’s forum, and Notaryrotary’s forum. If you are on the road, use 123notary.com/S where you can look up signing companies on your mobile phone in less than one minute. If a company has more than 10% of reviews posted about them that are serious complaints, think twice about working for them. You are likely to get cheated or have a bad experience.

Track how long it takes particular companies to pay you.
If you regularly work for a particular company, keep track of when jobs got done, and how soon you got paid. You can create statistics on the average amount of days it takes for each company to pay you. If they take more than 60 days, that is seriously delinquent, and you should not work for a company that is regularly delinquent.

Keep good records.
You need to have a separate file for each company that uses you. Its best to use a computer database. Always backup your work and perhaps printout paper records regularly. You need to know who assigned what job on what date, and then check off that job once it gets paid. Write down the date you received payment and the check number. Keep the check stub too.

Have a line of credit for each company.
If signing company “X” owes you $600 and wants you to do more jobs for them, I suggest having them pay you what they owe you before you do any more work for them. Give each company a maximum amount that they can owe you and don’t do any jobs if you are over that number. I suggest starting companies out with a limit of $200 total, and don’t work for them if they owe you anything for more than 45 days. If you have gotten three paychecks from them, you can raise the limit to $300. If you have gotten ten timely paychecks from them, raise the limit to $500. But, the minute a single job goes more than 45 days without pay, stop work for them ASAP, or you could get cheated out of everything. Many notaries get strung along by companies and get cheated out of thousands.

Bill regularly
If you work for a company, they will not always automatically pay you. You have to send weekly invoices for whatever jobs they haven’t paid you for. Make sure you mark off which job they paid for and what the CHECK NUMBER was. If you don’t keep this information and keep check stubs, you will get cheated. If they owe you money more than 30 days, start calling them weekly about what they owe. If they owe you for a single job for more than 45 days, stop working for them until you get paid.

Low pay?
Many notaries complain about companies that don’t pay much. Its better to get low pay than no pay. Times are hard and many people are out of work. Take what you can get. If you are a fancy notary with great connections, you can pick and choose what work you take. If you are desperate for cash, you should take low paying jobs from reputable companies. However, don’t take work from companies with a track record of non-payment, or you will be working for free.

What if companies still don’t pay?
Use our template of a demand letter on http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm
This letter works 90% of the time. The times it doesn’t work is when the company is basically no longer in business, or insolvent.

You might also like:

Protecting yourself with a contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

What tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4113

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