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Many Notaries complain that they don’t get paid on time. The problem is complicated. Many signing companies are also not getting paid because they are also not careful of what clients they do business with and their contracts are often not air-tight. The problem of getting paid is several fold. You have to do good work, otherwise you will be the last to get paid. You have to background screen companies, otherwise you will work for the worst. You also have to be aggressive in billing. Below are my formal suggestions.
1. Be the best at what you do
If signing companies value you because you are the nicest and most dependable notary in the business, they still might not pay fast, but they will feel motivated to pay you otherwise they will lose you. And nobody wants to lose their best Notary.
2. Ask for References
If a company doesn’t want to give you references they are probably not worth working for.
3. Screen companies first — Read about them on the forums
Notary Rotary and 123notary keep information on what Notaries say about companies on our forums. You can look up hundreds of companies. We also have a list of signing companies with reviews on our site you can reference from a mobile phone!
4. Keep good records.
If you keep stats on how long it takes companies to pay you, and do the math to create averages for how many days it takes, you can avoid the companies that pay slowly.
5. Have a credit limit for each company.
If a company has proven to pay quickly and on time, you can offer more credit. But, for newer companies or slow pays, I would not offer them more than $200 in credit.
6. Bill weekly
If you keep after companies that owe you money by emailing them bills and calling about the late ones, they are not going to enjoy being harrassed. They will be more likely to pay you.
7. The letter from hell
If you still can’t get paid, use the demand letter we entitle “The letter from hell” in our resources page.
8. Protect yourself with a contract
If you have a contract that goes over how much you get paid for last minute cancellations, printing, and if the loan doesn’t get signed, you will have legal grounds to get paid. There are many situations you can protect yourself from with a contract. Getting others to sign your contract will only happen if you are one of the best Notaries, so don’t get your hopes too far up.
9. Physically show up at the signing company
If you are within driving distance you can have a personal appearance at a signing company and camp out until you get paid.
10. Sent a letter from an Attorney
Many Attorneys send letters for cheap if you shop around. Nobody wants to get sued, so have a letter written and get paid fast.