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January 13, 2022

A notary gets sued, but E&O won’t help out!

This was originally published many years ago.

We had a notary public whose name will remain anonymous. I will not disclose her location either. But, she is being sued because a lender pulled a fast one on a borrower. The borrower is suing everyone connected to the loan. But, the borrower should know that the notary public has nothing to do with the loan, doesn’t know the lender, and doesn’t benefit from the loan other than to collect their small fee.

The story gets worse though. This notary’s E&O insurance policy wouldn’t help out with any of the legal expenses, or potential damages simply because they claim that the notary never made a clerical error which is true.

The notary public went to get legal counsel, and a neighbor / friend of the notary public offered to help at a discounted rate. But, the discounted estimate for the entire case was $30,000. It doesn’t make sense to me why a notary should pay $30,000 to defend themself from a false accusation.

In any case, we should pray for this notary public, so that she can get off the hook of being falsely accused. She did nothing wrong and shouldn’t suffer like this.

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December 8, 2021

If you are offered a job at 7:45 and the phone just rings?

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 11:59 am

Here is a scenario that Jennifer gave to me. I really like it because you can see how people handle situations in less than twenty seconds with this question.

The Title company offers you a job to do a signing at the Anderson’s at 7:45. It is already confirmed, but not by you.

It is 7pm now. You just called the Andersons, but they are not answering. If you leave now you will be exactly on time. Should you:

(a) Just wing it and go to the signing. Perhaps make more calls on the road.
(b) Make a quick call to title letting them know you are going but that nobody is answering.
(c) Keep calling all related parties and wait for a response before going.

There is no correct answer here. The issue is — who do you want to please? Do you want to make sure you don’t waste a trip? Or do you want to make sure you get there on time. Hmmm. This is sort of a personality quiz.

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November 24, 2021

Notary loses NNA certification due to speeding tickets

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:17 am

I think I have heard it all now. But, to get NNA Certification, you need to successfully complete their background screening. Apparently, we no longer live in a free country. Big brother is constantly watching you, and the citizens like this — at least most of them. If you fail your background screening you can lose your certification as well.

I heard that another Notary suffered the same fate.

In real life, the way our industry works, is that the newer Notaries typically go for the NNA Certification and LSS and perhaps some of the other certifications. As Notaries progress in age and experience they drop the other certifications and keep the NNA as that is the biggest name in the industry.

But, many Notaries when they have ten or more years of experience think they no longer need to keep up their certifications. I learned this by going through people’s notes sections and contacting them regarding omissions of what I think belongs in a notes section.

The most important thing you can discuss in your notes is your notary experience, and the second are your designations — assuming you have any. Fidelity, RON, other title companies, signing agent certifications — they all look good on your listing. I recommend having as many as possible, especially the less common ones because that will get you more clicks.

I study what gets Notaries ahead, and designations are part of it.

So, for God’s sake — don’t speed, or you could lose your designations (certification).

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November 6, 2021

Doggie notarizations. Doggy do or doggie don’t?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 8:08 am

Do you do signings for people with dogs? I just talked to an ex-military notary who doesn’t like dogs for the same reason I don’t. You don’t know what they are going to do. They might jump on you while you are wearing a $1000 suit and the owners instead of apologizing will say, “Oh, he’s just being friendly — what’s wrong, are you afraid of dogs?” You are helpless and at the mercy of the owners at these signings.

I remember a signing where I asked them to put their growling little doggie behind a locked door. For ten minutes he was behind a door, and then mysteriously the door came open and a vicious predator was antagonizing me from several feet away. The owners were not even slightly sympathetic to how violated I felt and on top of that were rude to me.

Dogs can bite you. Dogs can upset you by being hostile. The friendly dogs can make you feel violated by molesting you which means touching without consent. There is not much that you can do.

But, there are things you can do. Here is my list. However, my list might get you blacklisted or in trouble. But, in my opinion it is good to set your terms and stand your ground if you feel strongly about something because your safety and feelings matter and dog owners don’t seem to get the message from members of the wishy-washy persuasion.

1. Set your terms. No dogs allowed within 20 feet of the notary. They should be behind a locked door at all times.

2. If any dog approaches you, you will not hesitate to leave the signing and they will not get their loan. You will get fired for this, but if you value your dignity, this is the only way you will get it. Many dog owners don’t really understand what “behind a locked door” means. They think that means for a few minutes until they let rover out so he can jump on nonconsenting people like he always does.

3. Pepper spray. You can let people know you carry pepper spray and will spray any dog that comes close to you whether he looks dangerous or not because after all, you don’t know which dog is dangerous until it is too late.

4. Making a scene. This is not a very professional thing to do, but then having you menaced by a dangerous predator isn’t either. If you are being attacked or menaced, professional behavior goes out the window. Taking the upper hand and defending yourself is paramount.

5. Kicking. If a dog attacks you, there is no time to pull a gun, knife or pepper spray. The one effective weapon against smaller dogs is kicking. You might break their face, but when a surprise attack happens in less than half a second, this is your only reliable and effective weapon. Dog owners rarely respect the feelings of those who don’t like dogs.

NOTE
I just had a situation in my apartment. I went out into the hall outside my front door. The neighbor in apartment A opened his door a little. I thought, “Oh God” because the last time that happened I was startled by a vicious dog who abruptly started barking out of control. But, this time two tiny dogs came out of the door at 20 miles per hour and started jumping all over me. I started yelling really loud and kicked one of the dogs. Six hours later I saw the owners in the lobby downstairs. They were holding their dogs, and their dogs once again WERE NOT ON LEASHES. The lady said in her thick Russian accent, “What kind of neighbor are you?” I responded that I am the type of neighbor that doesn’t like being jumped on by your dogs. Keep them on a leash!!! As usual, someone violates me, I react, and then I am treated like the bad guy. Next time I’ll kick ten times as hard and there will be an injury. Enough is enough. I told the woman that next time I’ll report them and I yelled at her very loudly.

Dog owner psychology
Since dog owners are generally reincarnations of dogs, they relate to dogs. I relate to tigers and cats for the same reason — and cats hate dogs. Dogs are normally vile creatures (but, some act nicely), so if someone is a dog lover, they will probably have or accept vile behavior as a result. Humans have a facade of civility, but beyond the veil of etiquette, the vile behavior will eventually show.

Dog owners love dogs, and they normally assume that the rest of the world loves dogs too. They have tremendous trouble understanding that many of us don’t like dogs, feel threatened by dogs and freak out if their dog jumps on us. Even people over fifty can’t understand this. I like Chinese food, but I get it that not everyone likes it. I also know that if somebody doesn’t like Chinese food that doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. Dog owners will treat you like you are abnormal if you don’t like their ferocious and poorly behaved little friends. It’s insulting.

SUMMARY
If you stand up to irresponsible and inconsiderate dog owners, you might get fired from several jobs, blacklisted, or even fail your background screening if you pulla knife on little mugsy even if mugsy is the bad guy showing his teeth and growling at you from three feet away. On the other hand, if we don’t stand up to these jerks (nice dog owners are not jerks by the way — just for the record) then they can walk all over us for the rest of our lives. My apartment complex used to have a no dog policy. This changed two years ago and I have had incidents almost every day since then. I have been bitten once, and jumped on twice which I consider an attack if it happens suddenly. For me this is woof war. What do you guys think?

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October 31, 2021

In 2028, will there still be a notary industry?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 7:32 am

I am working so hard, that sometimes I often lose track of how what is going on in the world is going to play out. I feel that the Messiah is going to reveal himself in 2034 (my guru says that is the year. I feel that society as we know it will be wiped out before that. Of course not all of it will be destroyed. God likes to wipe out civilizations with wars, invasions, plagues, diseases, floods, earthquakes.

All of the crazy things happening now have historical precedents in the bible, or were discussed in the Bible. Isaiah discusses a lot of the social realities of today, believe it or not, and that was written about 2700 years ago.

Covid was the appetizer. People were all afraid of Covid but not the economic consequences. Inflation, labor shortages, supply chain backups — who would have guessed. I thought we would have deflation, unemployment problems, and warehouses full of stuff that nobody wanted. Boy was I wrong. I think whenever I predict the future, I should just reverse what I predict, and that will be the accurate representation of the future. Just like the Seinfeld episode — The Opposite.

I feel that in this unpredictable environment, if there is something I really want to do, I better do it now, because I might not be able to later. On the other hand, going to China was my long term goal, and now is by far the worst time to go to China with all of the vaccine nonsense going on.

So, if Covid was the appetizer, then what is the meal? Asteroids, Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, WW3, starvation? All of these thoughts run through my head. My psychic channeled the angels and they said we would also have volcanoes — good God! If these things happen, they will happen in the next ten years. My guru said that the asteroid will come in 2028 and it will rain fire and God knows if our satellites will survive this. Our banking system is tied to satellites, so I wonder how safe our assets will be.

And if these things happen, what will happen to the Notary industry? If half of Americans die in the next ten years due to the various plagues, will there still be a Notary industry? What will I do? Will I do business with China? How many Chinese will still be alive? 98% of Chinese are atheists. I don’t think God will let too many atheists survive the plagues before the coming of the Messiah or as the Hebrews call him, “Mechiach Ben David.”

I think there will be a remnant of what once was in 2028 as far as the Notary industry goes. There will be a lot fewer people if my prediction is correct. I predict that America will have a population of 140 million in 2028 which is generous compared to what I think God will do to most of the rest of the world, especially places that lack faith in God or decency. Most of Asia will be completely wiped out including most of Israel if I guess correctly. But, some of Israel has to survive otherwise where will the Messiah live. There has to be a logic to my train of thought.

So, I am afraid. Sometimes I want to just scream in terror. I don’t know what to expect. Perhaps I should just not think about it. The death of an industry and a nation — both of which are my home and economic stability.

When my father was in his early 50’s, my mother died. His friends told him that he was getting older — and that if there was anything he really wanted to do, he should do that now. I am giving this advice to myself. I think I want to spend more time with the cactuses in Tucson and work on my health.

I’m not sure what I will do for a living in 2028 if the Notary industry is over. I better learn more Chinese so I can do some trade work. That has always been my dream.

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July 16, 2021

Our quiz email — how it started, where it is going

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:30 am

123notary has always done quality control on its members. Some people don’t like that, but the people who use the site do. We keep track of who gets clicks, who edits their notes, who answers their phone, and who has difficult communication skills of which there are many. On the other hand we have some real personalities who are very professional too.

People who answer my emails are much more likely to get good reviews, and people who ignore my emails are very likely to get bad reviews. So, I use my quiz email not only as a way to assess how you handle tough situations, but if you answer emails in a punctual way or at all.

The quiz email asks Notary questions, but also questions about how to handle situations where things go wrong, or where people don’t return calls. It can get complicated and the answers are complicated too. Sometimes all the answers look right, but there is only one that I will accept.

After I looked at my quiz, I wanted to try to improve it. I tried to think of what I could do better. After an hour of thought I decided that the questions were good, but the answers needed a little refinement. Some of the answers were too tricky or misleading. So, I edited the answers a little. To some questions I removed some of the possible answers to focus on the main question and not whether you read the question carefully enough which is an entirely different skill set. And then on other questions I added answers to see if you knew your stuff or if you were guessing.

Unfortunately, the average score on my quiz is 30%, so for free people I am forced to accept a 20% to keep you only. It is kind of pathetic, but most people don’t even answer the quiz. Only 1 in 5 people answer the quiz email. If I send it out twice, I might get 35%, but that is still not good.

If you are in a quiz mood and want to take my quiz, assuming you have not taken it already, you are welcomed to email me.

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July 12, 2021

1 Million E&O is common as of Dec, 2020

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:17 am

Every week I do my welcome calls to some of the new Notaries. I no longer have time to call them all, but I call many. More and more are getting 1 Million Errors & Omissions or 2 Million in E&O Insurance. It is a shock to my system.

I joked that one day there would be a 6 million dollar Notary that would be called — The Bionic Notary would could notarize twenty documents in three minutes flat including journal signatures and then jump over fences.

It is a lot less expensive to get high E&O limits these days and that is why it has become more popular. So, I might suggest upping your E&O if you have signed at least 1000 loans so the title companies will consider you more.

Just wanted to share the news.

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July 4, 2021

Kaizen – constant improvement applied to the Notary profession

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 3:09 am

Toyota uses this Japanese concept of Kaizen. That means that you are constantly trying to improve yourself and how you do things. I am always trying to improve myself too. This is how we attain mastery.

As Notaries, what happens is that the new people tend to be very motivated, pass a bunch of tests, get background screened, get a million in Errors and Omissions, and try hard to do well.

The problem is that once people are in the door, they tend to stop trying as hard. I think that constantly reading up and trying to master Notary principles, sharpening up your marketing techniques and passing new certifications is a good thing. If you want maximum market share, you have to make a list of things you can do that you are not already doing — or, a list of things that you could try to do better.

Always making your notes section better every two or three months is another critical thing to do. Always asking people who like you for reviews is essential as well.

The most critical thing that motivated Notaries do is to email me and ask for tips. I remember the last Notary in Texas who asked me for tips. She was ALREADY doing a bang up job as far as I am concerned. She had a good notes section, reviews, and was getting experience. She had a good personality as well. She needed to get certified by us and a few other agencies for best results to impress people. But, she had a boring business name. So, I told her that a business name that has a feel to it would help. I made some suggestions of names that will have a warm and fuzzy effect on people. We’ll see what she does with the tips. The main thing is that she asked for tips, and she is always trying to improve herself.

The other thing you could do to improve yourself is to learn Japanese and visit the original Toyota manufacturing plant in Japan — and one more thing — don’t forget to bow, very important.

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June 4, 2021

RON — did you invest more than you made in revenue?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:44 am

The field of RON or Remote Online Notarizations is an unstable one. I have met many Notaries who do it, and a few who even like it. Some get tons of business, others get a job once in a blue moon, and many get nothing.

The costs of being a RON are hundreds and a lot of work. You need to get commissioned, perhaps get an online journal, and software, and approvals from the various platforms or agencies that deal with RON identification and other processes such as Pavaso and about six other popular options.

With Coronavirus abounding, people thought there would be more of a demand for RON. Many state governors made abrupt executive orders allowing it, and there were changes in legislation in various states (I don’t know the details) allowing more online notarizations.

Whether or not RON is secure, or whether you can identify people sufficiently was not much of a concern for the politicians. Their goal was to find yet another way to keep you at home. It’s like Yakov Smirnoff’s comedic commercial for Russian Express Card.

American Express Card — Don’t leave home without it
Russian Express Card — Don’t leave home…. ever…

How much work you get as a RON might depend on whether or not there is a virus. It also depends on how the culture adapts to new technology. People overseas who need an American Notary have to use it. Most of the clients for RON are in Dubai, London, Berlin, Israel, Italy, China, or some foreign place (that often has some sort of really long wall).

Worth it or not?
If you like dealing with all of the computer technology and think it’s cool, in the long run it might work for you if you can figure out how to market yourself. For others who are doing it just for the money, the money is not there yet, so don’t do it unless you can’t live without it.

People on 123notary who list that they are a RON get a lot more clicks. It is impressive and lets the world know you go above and beyond what the average Notary does.

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June 2, 2021

New Notaries vs. Veteran Notaries

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:36 am

The behavior of the newer Notaries doesn’t match the older Notaries on 123notary.com.

THE OLD NOTARIES
The old Notaries have been around for ten or twenty years.

Certifications
Many passed our certification test in the old days, but did not bother with the audit retest which consisted of a few Notary questions which are not easy, but you need to know it anyway. Older Notaries tend to be NNA certified which is the easiest of all the tests from prominent agencies, but they rarely pass the LSS, 123notary, or Notary2Pro tests which are hard.

Social Media
The old Notaries used to be very active on forums, linked in, facebook, but not so much on Twitter. But, in the past few years, the older Notaries got tired, died, quit, or stopped being so active on social media.

How They Maintain Their Listing
Additionally, the older Notaries do not do much with their profiles on 123notary. They let the profiles sit and collect cyber dust instead of asking for reviews. 123notary has a lot less online reviews than several years ago because people are not being proactive as much anymore.

THE NEW NOTARIES
The new Notaries are generally in their first or second year of business as a signing agent.

Certifications
Roughly 30-35% of the newer Notaries are LSS certified and close to 90% are NNA certified. A handful are Notary2Pro Certified and we get a trickle passing our 123notary online test as well every month. There seems to be more motivation to prove themselves so that they can make a name for themselves. This was not the case as much with newer Notaries even a few years ago.

Social Media
Newer Notaries seem to not do much on social media. NNA figured out how to get good interaction on their Facebook and a large proportion of the Notaries on there are new ones. The posts that good high quantities of interactions had yes/no answers. So, the quantity of the answers might look good, but the depth of the answers doesn’t compare to the veteran Notary crowd who have volumes to say. Not all oldsters are like this, but the people with long and thorough posts tend to have 15 years or more of experience, sonny.

How They Maintain Their Listing
Unfortunately, I have to get after most people to make their listing complete at least by my standards. A good presentation is life or death, but our Notaries don’t seem to have the motivation to do a quality job of their notes section on their own. This is sad. Even the people paying $400 per year need to be babysat in terms of their notes, reviews, and other aspects of listing maintenance.

SUMMARY
So, things have really changed. My wish is that people will put more effort into their career. I feel happier when people take life more seriously. I am not saying that people are not serious, but they tend to shirk what I consider to be reasonable responsibilities.

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