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April 13, 2019

How to deal with dogs, messes, and other signing nightmares

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:47 am

As a signing agent, you have to deal with more than identification, documents and signers. You have to deal with people’s unstable mental condition, dogs, guns, kidnappers, sexual harassment, anger problems and more. So, how do you deal with all of this?

1. Messes
If you are a Notary confronted with a mess, keep in mind that there are different types of messes. Some are just a nuisance. Others are dangerous because you might trip on something. There could be insects or vermin. What’s worse, a house might have diseases or bacteria in it which could prove deadly. It is not worth risking your health. If a house is too messy for you, meet the signers at Starbucks. Do the signing with a Jurat-accino, but no drinks on the table.

2. Dogs
Dogs can be annoying or dangerous. Yet the owners see the dog jumping all over you and licking you and see you extremely upset and say, “Oh, he’s okay.” If a human touches you that is molestation, but if a dog does it, “Oh, he’s okay.” You need to give them the lecture that just because they love dogs doesn’t mean that you gave permission for their dog to jump on you or come near you. Dogs need to be behind locked doors. I remember going to a signing long time ago. I had them put the dog away. But, the door never latched. Ten minutes later the dog came out of the room and was creating havoc again. Dog owners get really mad at me for not liking their dogs. Rather than being mad at me — keep your dog quarantined! I am a cat in a human body and cats don’t like dogs.

3. Children
If children are running through the house, you can tell the signers that they need to be fully focused on the documents and the children need to be somewhere else having quiet time. It is too distracting having children buzzing around.

4. Naked people
This doesn’t happen that often, but it is possible for you to go to a signing to have a naked person walking around. Perhaps someone got out of the shower, or perhaps someone is an exhibitionist. There are also children who don’t know any better. You could ask them to put on clothing or you could just pack up and leave if it is too disconcerting.

5. Guns
We have a Notary who did a signing for the Klan. The wizard guy asked, “Is that a gun you have in that there bag?” Our Notary said yes, so as to appear normal to the wizard, although she didn’t really have a gun. It’s moments like this you feel glad or relieved to be white (or hwite as the case may be, not sure why the h comes first… must be a Southern thang.) The important thing to understand about this situation was that it is good that the wizard did not say, “What did you say about my daddy?” Then you know you are in trouble.

6. Single Men
If you are a young lady in the house of a single man who shows interest in you, just understand that men cannot get married unless they express interest in ladies. Ladies always complain about men showing interest in them. In the last several years with all of the new technology and social media, men are ignoring women more and more. It is hard to get married now. Women were better off with men interested. But, if you are in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, or you just want to take precautions, here is a list of things to do:

(a) Let your husband know where you are so he can call the police if he doesn’t hear back from you.
(b) Carry pepper spray and brass knuckles
(c) Sit at the table closest to the door in a position where you can see the door as well. You never know who will come through that door.
(d) Don’t go to a part of the house where you could become cornered.
(e) Don’t respond to the interest shown in you if any.
(f) Learn self defense at one of those schools where you learn to elbow people and stomp on their toes.

7. Kidnappers
I did a signing for a kidnapper. Or at least the people with him suggested they had been kidnapped. I don’t remember the details. This was in Monterey Park, CA. I think they were his family and didn’t want to go with him, but they had no money and no place to stay. So, what could they do? I don’t know what their real situation was. If you are notarizing people who are under duress, you might end up in court, so be careful.

8. Russian Spies
Don’t worry. We need them around to make sure Trump wins a second term. And if you ask them who they are, they always reply, “My name is Nicholai, I am Russian, I love taking walks and I play the violin.” If they ask you if you are the Notary, tell them, “I am, or at least… that is what people want me to think I am.”

9. People who resist being thumbprinted
Whether it is legal or not in your state to refuse to notarize someone who refuses to be thumb printed — it should not only be legal, but should be require to thumbprint your victims. In any case, that is a red flag if someone doesn’t want to be thumb printed. It means they might be shady or up to something. But, there is nothing you can do if the law in your state doesn’t protect you.

10. Hurricanes
If you are going to a signing in bad weather, consider that you might get stuck there. Do you want to spend eight hours with complete strangers and their signatures? On the other hand, if you get a signing and it starts raining ice, you need to think twice about whether or not you will get there at all. You might get fired if you cancel a job, but you might be saving your life as well.

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April 11, 2019

The lady who studied 30 hours for her elite test

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 10:46 am

I am very honored and pleased to announce that there was a very zealous lady in California who claimed that she loved my materials on Notary Public 101. She studied an hour or two per night for close to a month for my elite test. This lady aced my test and I was so surprised and pleased. I am so tired of people with bad attitudes, it is refreshing to see people who have an excellent attitude. I wish more people could have better attitudes towards learning.

Our new elite test is by phone and it is hard as hell. There are so many different sections of the test ranging from notary, documents, situations and advanced materials too. There is a lot to learn, and some of it is hard. Typically and ironically, Notaries have the hardest time passing questions about Notary acts, because so few of them know the rules for any Notary act.

Being elite certified raises your click average by 60% on your listing based on numbers I crunched in 2018. This is a huge boost in clicks and a huge boost in jobs not to mention that people get paid more who are elite certified. If you want to get ahead, spending a lot of time studying will pay off in the long run, and even in the short run. I wish I had more ladies like this one who studied so hard. It makes me feel good when people respect me, my materials and high standards. It makes our industry great (but not great again).

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April 9, 2019

He lost his 123notary certification and calls from Title dropped to nothing overnigh

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 10:02 am

I just talked to a Notary who is on our directory. He was certified, but failed his re-certification test. I had to ask him to study some more before I could recertify him. He said that the minute I took his certification away that calls from Title companies dropped to nothing right away. He was receiving four calls per week from title and then …. nothing…

When I talk to title companies the standard line is that they don’t care about certification. Their mouth says no, but their clicks say yes. The fact is that who they hire is based on a lot of things, and those criteria depend on the individual title agent. But, many people do value our certification especially now that we cleaned it up.

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April 5, 2019

What title says and what they do are two different things

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:03 am

When Carmen and I talk to signing and title companies the answers are consistent. Hiring parties want experience (a minimum of 2 years) and they generally like reviews. They care how many years you have been in business especially.

But, when I pulled a list from signingagent.com that was segmented on how many years you had been in business — I called those people and found that they had hardly signed any loans if any, and had no clue what they were doing. The two years of experience title and signing companies typically say they want is worthless and stupid. Additionally, these people fail our quizzes miserably.

Those who do well on our quiz typically have 5000 or 10,000 loans under their belt (or kimono if they are female.)

However, the people who have certification get a lot more high paying jobs and a lot more title jobs. Those with standards prefer 123notary certified members even though when they talk to us they claim not to. One guy on our site who lost his certification lost ALL of his title calls over night. Hmmm. He wants his certification back and all I ask is that he studies.

So, title says they want experience, but what they really want is knowledge. Experience, perceived experience, and knowledge of how to handle situations is different.

You cannot judge someone by how many years they have been doing this. Twenty years looks great until you find out they know nothing about notary law. And then # of signings is a better analytic but people lie. If they say 5000, it might be closer to 800 which is a big difference. I have no way to know if a person is lying, but if I ask them how many loans they have signed, and their profile says 10,000 and they say 2000 over the phone — I know they are lying — that is proof.

Title companies like our certification — they are too ashamed to say it but they like it. They like reviews and experience too. How you write your notes section really matters as well. Take this all seriously as this is how you get work.

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February 23, 2019

TEA — Trusted Enrollment Agent

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:30 am

What is a TEA, and do members of that profession get together once a year to have a TEA party in Boston?

The NNA offers a Trusted Enrollment Agent program. Those with TEA designation can do additional tasks that get additional jobs. TEA agents are trained to understand digital certificates which are used heavily in the biopharmaceutical industry. They also are trained to understand how to apply to obtain a digital certificate and do identity-proofing. They must also learn to identify and distinguish between different types of identification documents. I think they handle blood samples too, perhaps in a delivery function.

Word on the street is that TEA jobs don’t always pay well, but tastes better if you add a little sugar. But, any designation you can get will help. Personally, I feel there should be a choice between an Earl Gray TEA, and an Oolong TEA.

Q. Where does a TEA live?
A. In a TEA house.

Q. Which rap star is a Trusted Enrollment Agent?
A. I was thinking of Ice TEA, but I think he is doing mainly acting now.

You might also like:

Augmenting your skill set to make more money as an NSA!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14150

Forum discussion on TEA
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2416

Antiquated Notary Rotary discussion on TEA
http://www.notaryrotary.com/archive/forum/2010/March/NNA_s_Trusted_Enrollment_Agent_TEA_.html

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January 21, 2019

A Notary discusses costs with Jeremy

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 12:37 am

JEREMY: So, you read my article about how studying to be elite certified is worth $533 per minute and worth $320,000 in extra income potentially over the next ten years?

NOTARY: Yes, but I have a more pressing issue.

JEREMY: More pressing than $320,000 in extra income which is enough to buy a four bedroom house with a jacuzzi?

NOTARY: Yes. I did a signing for XYZ signing company, and they had me print out documents and then cancelled the job. According to my calculations, I lose 67 cents in toner and $1.29 in paper. Should I try to collect?

JEREMY: Listen Spock, I think you should land the ship in a safe place before you try to collect your toner bill, and try to not interfere too much with the local population.

NOTARY: I’m considering suing for my $1.96 in lost costs.

JEREMY: Why don’t we spend half an hour talking about your $1.96 and completely ignore the $320,000 extra you could make if you studied.

NOTARY: I don’t like studying. I don’t feel it is necessary.

JEREMY: Yes, but the people who might hire you often do think it is necessary. Do you want to please fancy title companies, or enjoy not having to apply yourself? Studying to be elite certified has been estimated to be worth $533 per minute and instead you waste your time worrying about $2 that you will never get back? If you ask me, you have a problem identifying priorities and understanding return on investment. Families that get ahead invest in education, and Notaries that get ahead do the same. You don’t need to spend ten years on a PhD., only ten hours studying our free materials — you don’t even have to pay at this time!

NOTARY: Can you guarantee that I pass if I study?

JEREMY: Can you guarantee that you will do a thorough job studying?

NOTARY: Of course! I am always thorough!

JEREMY: No disrespect, but you got 40% last time I tested you. That is not very thorough.

NOTARY: Well, that is because of THE WAY you phrased the questions.

JEREMY: I phrased about forty questions the way I phrase them for a lady who studied thirty hours and earned an elite certification two days ago. She got 95% average and was not complaining. I think if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter, it doesn’t matter how I phrase the question, you will not understand it and not pass. I think you need to stop making excuses and hunker down and study if you intend to get ahead.

SUMMARY
It is clear that the majority of Notaries spend a lot of time complaining, making excuses, and a few even write hateful things in emails, blog commentaries and on Notary groups online. This negativity is very upsetting to me and drags the industry into a moral cesspool. Notaries focus on tiny things like small problems they had with companies rather than focusing on big things such as being experts in their field (and getting elite certified by 123notary.)

Additionally, most Notaries fool themselves and try to fool me into thinking they are experts in their field when they cannot adequately describe any particular Notary act in its entirety correctly, and normally have a 40% (average) understanding of Notary procedure. The deception, the arguing and the ignorance are not acceptable. This is why we request that you all study from our online materials on a regular basis. We publish free courses because you need to know how to be a good Notary rather than be good at pretending to be a good Notary. Start cracking the books instead of cooking the books so to speak.

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You might also like:

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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January 19, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 – Contents

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 1:26 pm

Doing well in the Mobile Notary business involves more than just stamping documents. You have to be on time, develop contacts, do more than claim to know what you are doing, and use proper etiquette. 123notary has written many articles on Notary etiquette before, but this one is a course with multiple sections that is intended to be a well organized reference guide.

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CONTENTS

1. Phone Etiquette for initial calls – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21134

2. Confirming the signing & At the signing – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21136

3. General Etiquette Tips – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21197

4. Answering questions the way they were asked – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21138

5. Miscellaneous – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21142

6. A humorous guide to Notary etiquette – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21208

7. Relevant links about etiquette – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

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January 18, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — Miscellaneous

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 10:32 pm

MISCELLANEOUS NOTARY ETIQUETTE TIPS
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104

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1. Don’t sell people’s signatures or personal information.
It is bad manners and possibly illegal, and definitely unethical to sell or distribute anyone’s private information.

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2. Don’t second guess family relationships.
I once thought the wife was the guy’s mother. Oops!

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3. Handling criticism
Notaries can get very rude or defensive if criticized. The psychology of a Notary is one who claims they know everything when in reality they typically know about 30% of what they need to know and manage to get by with this sub-minimal knowledge. If you make a mistake and someone calls you out on it, don’t argue, just try to understand what you did wrong or allegedly did wrong and learn from that experience. I sometimes quiz Notaries by phone and they get very hostile when I tell them they made a mistake. You won’t learn to be smarter or impress your clients by getting belligerent when criticized — treat it like a learning experience and it might just better you.

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4. When to call the Lender
Some Notaries will call the lender if they don’t know if they should sneeze or not. Calling the lender can end up in a forty minute phone call. You will have trouble getting out of the house where the signing takes place if you call the lender. So, only call if you absolutely have to. In the 30 point course on our blog we have a chapter all about when to call the lender and when not to.

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5. Is it rude to ask for a thumbprint?
This is a topic of debate and even hostility with the Notaries. For your safety you need to take thumbprints. But, many Notaries think that it is not only unnecessary but bad to take a thumbprint because what if you offend someone? I am more concerned with what happens if an imposter drains the equity in someone’s house, the Notary ends up in court for two months without pay, and someone goes to jail. To me that scenario weights a lot more heavily than if someone is offended because you ask them for a journal thumbprint. If the FBI is investigating you because you notarized an identity thief, the falsified information, fake name, fake ID, and fake serial number from the ID will lead the FBI nowhere and they can name you as a suspect in a conspiracy and you could end up in huge trouble. A thumbprint could save your life, so take it seriously.

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6. The document is not in English
You need to refer to your state’s notary laws. Many states will allow you to notarize a document in a foreign language providing the signer understands what they are signing. If you are going to upset someone by saying no to a transaction, make sure you have the right to turn down the transaction before you ruin their day.

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7. Notarizing the elderly
If you are notarizing people who are very old, or in a hospital, ask them some polite questions about current events. Make sure they know who they are, what the document means, and if they know who is in the White House these days. Some people are out of it, so find a nice way to drill them a little bit.

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8. Rude posts on social media
If you think that nobody is reading your social media posts, think again. There are a lot of very hostile and psychotic Notaries out there who are bashing all types of Notary companies including our own. This is rude and belligerent behavior. Many title companies will not hire Notaries who are involved in this type of behavior.

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9. Being obstinate about answering questions.
When companies ask Notaries Notary questions, many Notaries do not want to answer. They feel they are professionals and therefore should not be questioned. The sad reality is that most Notaries do not have a solid notary knowledge and that is why those questions are a necessity. So, be polite and just answer a few questions without trying to wiggle out of it.

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10. Answer emails and phone messages fast.
Keeping people waiting is very rude. Try to get back to people as soon as possible.

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January 17, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — General Tips

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 3:19 pm

GENERAL TIPS
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104
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1. Dress for success.
Business casual is great. People get complaints more for dressing poorly than for being a horrible Notary. So, go to Men’s Wearhouse first, and then buy that Notary course you were thinking of. And remember — it’s not what you know — it’s how you look! Notaries who show up in shorts and flip-flops get some serious complaints and even a bad review on their profile. In short, don’t dress like me.

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2. Forms you should carry
Carry loose Acknowledgment, Jurat and other certificates in your Notary Carry All Bag that you purchased from the NNA. Carry a thumb printer, wipes, and pens with you. Nothing is worse than a Notary that doesn’t have pens except one who wears flip-flops. Having good professional equipment makes you look like you know what you are doing even more than actually knowing what you are doing.

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3. Arrive on time
Nothing is worse than a late notary other than one who wears flip-flops.

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4. Follow up punctually
If you have to get the FedEx back, do so immediately. Do not wait to drop a package unless you are waiting for a callback. If you wait 90 minutes or more for a callback, consider that title needs their docs back and it might make sense to just drop it. That is a judgment call, so think carefully about it. If you get emails, answer them asap.

You have to be available after signings for up to the rescission date and sometimes later. If you become unreachable after the signing, you will get very serious complaints. The worst complaints we get about notaries are that they were rude, or unresponsive after they had completed work.

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5. Don’t be rude
If someone is rude to you, don’t reciprocate. Your reputation is on the line. You can get penalized for being rude even if the other person deserves it. So, watch yourself!

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6. Animals
If you are uncomfortable with animals in the room with the signing, you can politely ask if the animal can be put behind a firmly closed door. Dog owners assume that since they enjoy Fido jumping over them that it’s okay that Fido jumps all over you — after all, it’s okay because Fido’s a nice doggy.

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7. Where to sit
You are the facilitator of the signing, and you call the shots where people sit at the signing. It is often easier if you sit at the head of the table with husband and wife sitting next to each other. That way when person #1 signs and turns over the document, the second person can turn it over and sign it assembly line fashion.

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8. Tips for Jurats
In a Jurat, the signer has a choice of doing an Oath or Affirmation. Many Notaries today are very politically correct to the point where they assume that the borrower will be offended by an Oath and by default only do an Affirmation. This is offensive to those who want an Oath and also not legal. It is up to the borrower to choose which type of Notary act to choose, so just say,

“To execute a Jurat, we will need a statement made under the penalty of perjury as to the truthfulness of the document… would you prefer to swear under Oath under God or affirm on your honor?”

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9. Leaving a business card
At the end of the signing it is not bad manners to give them a business card. You never know when they will need another notarization.

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10. Do you answer the phone during a signing?
It is generally a bad idea to have phone calls during the signing. Some signing companies forbid this altogether. However, you might not be able to get your next job unless you answer your phone. So, if the phone rings, give the caller a minute before you cut them off. It is rude to answer the phone only to tell someone you can’t talk, and it is rude to the borrowers to have a long conversation with someone unrelated to the loan. This is a judgment call. However, it is sometimes hard to get a chance to talk to a Notary due to the fact they are always busy, because they are either at a signing, between signings, eating, or at church — with notaries this busy there is no good time to talk to them… ever!

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Please Also Read:

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This entry goes over active vs. passive marketing in detail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

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Notary Etiquette 104 — Humorous Edition

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 10:11 am

Here is a humorous version of our etiquette course for your laughing pleasure.
Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104

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1. Dress for success
Wearing a smile on your face, but if you are also wearing a polyester jacket from the 70’s with super wide lapels, you might be the only one smiling.

Ladies, if you’re dressed in such a way that on the way to the signing cars pull up to you and ask how much you charge and you say, “$50 for a signing and an extra $25 if it includes eDocuments. I don’t do oral Notary acts like Affirmations though.” — you might need a new wardrobe.

If you wear flip-flips to the signing, you might be able to flip through a lot of documents, but your business will eventually flop.

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2. Arrive on time
It’s okay to be fashionably late if you are going to a cocktail party, but not to a signing.

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3. Animals at the signing
If there is a parrot in the room that says, “Stop forging his signature — bock!” you might want to get out of there. You should avoid doing Oaths for dogs, they prefer to receive Affirmations (or wuffermations). Cats prefer to take a nap on the documents.

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4. Leaving a business card.
When you give clients your business card, if you crossed out the phone number and wrote in a new number in handwriting — it’s time to print out some newly designed cards. If the email address on your business card ends in “aol.com” it might be time to consider retiring.

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5. Answering the phone during a signing
Its’ a bad idea to have phone calls during the signing. It’s an even worse idea to have them hear your heavy breathing. It’s even worse if the phone call is from your borrower’s ex-girlfriend or mistress.

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6. Don’t discuss religion at the signing.
If you start the signing with, “Those damn Quakers, they’re not as friendly as they claim to be, and grey went ou in the 70’s.” — you might be in the wrong profession and should probably convert from Quakerism to Catholicism.

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7. If your signer’s mother tongue isn’t English
It is generally a bad idea to mimic your signer’s accent at a signing. Wait until after the signing. Unless you have a document that is going to the Russian Consulate… then read it with thick Russian accent comrade!

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8. Confirming the signing
When confirming the signing it is a good idea to ask, “Are you high? Are you going to be high at the signing? Can I have some, man?” But, only do that if you are in a state where marijuana is legal otherwise you might be sorry. If you are going over their ID over the phone ask, “Do you look high in your ID photo?”

9. Middle initials
If the signer doesn’t want to sign with their middle initial, give them the finger… the middle finger! Just kidding. Just explain why they need to sign with their middle initial, and then after you are leaving the house, then give them the finger. There is a proper order to these things.

10. Don’t give opinions about the loan.
When you are at a signing, don’t comment about their interest rate such as, “Wow man, that’s a great rate… My brother just got a loan and his rate was way higher than yours. I’m so bummed out about that. I wish we could have gotten 4.5%. I’m going to call my brother right now and tell him what a loser he is.” It’s also not a good idea to say, “Wow, look at those terms, you’re getting ripped off dude, totally ripped off.”

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