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November 15, 2016

How to spot fake ID at a notarization

Most Notaries study Notary law. But, do we keep handbooks that are up to date about spotting fake ID’s? Perhaps we should . Our primary task as a Notary is not to make people feel good, and is not to get the job done either. It is to identify signers and make sure that fraud doesn’t take place. It is better to say “no” rather than to get a Notary job done wrong — hence the name “no”–tary. Otherwise we would be yestaries and the world would go down the tubes.

ID Handbooks
The NNA and other vendors have books going over every state’s identification documents. They can tell you about distinguishing features, new watermarks, and other telltale signs that the ID is genuine.

Jeremy’s Solution — an online ID database
Personally, I think there should be a computer system to let the Notary look you up on a Federal or state database — but, that’s just me.

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Things to look for one the ID

(1) Physical Description
Sometimes the physical description doesn’t match the signer. With ladies changing their hairstyle frequently, it is hard to tell their identity.

(2) Mispellings
Then, there could be misspellings in the name or a wrong name variation.

(3) Tampering
Obvious signs of tampering are almost a guarantee of a fake ID. I saw one of those once and only once.

(4) Watermarks
Finally watermarks are used in identification documents and currency to prove authenticity. It is possible, but hard for a fraud to replicate an authentic watermark. In China I’m sure they’ll figure it out as faking things is their specialty. But, for the rest of us it would not be so easy.

(5) Lack of raised lettering
Many of the newer ID’s have raised lettering. However, without a guidebook, you won’t know which states and which identification years of issue have raised letters.

(6) What’s your sign?
Ask the signer their sign. If they are using a fake ID with wrong DOB it will be very difficult for them to immediately recite their sign. You can also ask for their zip code to spot a fraud.

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Most Notaries do not inspect ID’s carefully. They just record the information in their journal. Unless something fake is jumping out at them, they will not notice that something is wrong. It pays to get a handbook and become and expert. After all, the whole point of being a Notary is to deter fraud. In my opinion, each state’s Notary division should require all Notaries to be experts at spotting fake ID’s in addition to other critical related skills. Maybe one day technology and training will improve.

Smokey bear says — say no to forest fires. Notary Jer says — say no to fake notary identifications — if you can spot them.

You might also like:

Seven error free ways to identify a signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15288

Notarized document expired identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8294

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November 1, 2016

Can you charge a 2nd trip fee?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — Tags: , — admin @ 11:29 pm

Technically, Notaries can charge a 2nd trip fee. You get paid for what you do, right? But, signing companies are not always willing to pay for this. If the Notary made an error, the Notary should go back for free. But, if the Title company or Lender made a mistake, they will expect you to go back out and then often try not to pay you.

You need to keep accurate records of who paid for what job and with what check number. Signing companies send lots of checks out, but the record keeping system is based on the check number. They’ll try to sleeze out of paying you by referencing a check number.

Paypal is a nice way to pay for things because the records are queriable and you can mention what job or jobs you are paying for. That way, after the fact, you can quickly verify that you in fact were paid.

Another question is — should you stand your ground to collect that 2nd trip fee? If you have a good client, do they deserve a favor from time to time? Or are your fees by the book with no special gestures? If they need a second trip from time to time and they are a good company, then I might do it. But, if they are always late paying you and taking liberties, then perhaps not. You have to calculate this on your own. But, a good client is worth gold, so try to be nice to them in their hour of need.

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A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing
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Many Notaries who wouldn’t leave the house for <$125 are working for peanuts http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14953

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July 13, 2016

Are you a Yes-tary or No-tary?

It was a month or so ago. I was asking Notaries Notary questions about what you can and cannot do. Unfortunately, Notaries often don’t take Notary rules seriously or have just never been adequately trained. The “more, but not less rule” is no good unless you understand which direction the rule runs. The ID can have more than the document, but 40% of Notaries think that it is okay if the name to be notarized on the document has more meat on it than the name on the identification. Good God! My point here, is that the whole point of having a Notary is to verify people’s identity who signed documents. The Notary profession helps to deter and prevent fraud as a result. But, if Notaries do whatever, and don’t follow state rules, then the purpose of having a Notary is defeated or undermined.

To put it shortly, the entire point of a Notary is to say No. If you feel uncomfortable or awkward saying No, then you should not become a Notary. In many Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures it is considered bad manners to say no, so they say, maybe, or later, or perhaps next time, or make up some excuse for not saying yes. Since they can’t outright say no, they beat around the bush. But, as a Notary, you might be facilitating fraud by not saying no. So, get used to saying no. Stand in front of the mirror and say, “No…. NO…. NO!!!!” Do it the way Joey from Friends practices saying, “How you doin’?” in front of the mirror dozens of times mastering his facial expression and verbal inflections. Take pride in saying no. However, for those Notaries that don’t like saying no, worry not! There is a solution. Become a Yes-tary.

But, what do Yes-taries do? Yestaries say yes to illegal requests. Unfortunately they cannot be commissioned and don’t have a stamp. But, maybe they should have an unofficial Yestary Public stamp just to make their job more comedically offiicial. What would be the duties of a Yestary? If someone wants to be Notarized as Mickey Mouse but lacks sufficient ID, you say, YES. If someone claims to be Kim Jong Un and looks Korean enough to you, say yes and stamp his document. If a Taiwanese client wants you to stamp a loose piece of paper because their government requires such a Yestary act, you can do it as a Yestary, but not as a Notary. Because a Notary’s job is to say No!

But, what if they won’t pay your travel fee if you say no? It is actually illegal in many states for a Notary to notarize a document in which they have a beneficial or financial interest. I feel that if the Notary will not get paid a travel fee if they refuse to notarize, then they now do have a beneficial interest of a sort and would be willing to break the law so they would get paid. Get your travel fee up front before you see the signers or the documents or the identifications. That way if a signer isn’t there, or if the name on the ID is not matching, or some other problem, you can forfeit your Notary fee, but still get paid for your trip. Remember, your job is not to please the client, but to uphold the law even if that means hurting someone’s feelings by saying no. Hurting someone’s feelings is better than going to court as a result of facilitating fraud or having your commission revoked!

One last note, it has been reported that some Yestaries have gotten a rare intestinal disease from saying yes too much to illegal requests. Some call it an illness, I call it karmic retrobution. The disease is called “yesentery” and comes from ingesting unclean Notary requests. If you get this disease, just consult your doctor and take some prescribed antibiotics. Good luck!

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Seven error free ways to identify a signer
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ID: a growing problem
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Credible witnesses: The process explained
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16695

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June 9, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing

It’s been a long time since I have written an article on pricing, so I feel it is high time! Most Notaries want to have a fixed fee and make tons of money. This is not always possible. The Notary market is a market with lots of little ups and down that a smart Notary needs to constantly adjust to. It’s smarter to have systems and formulas worked out ahead of time so you know how to react to these fluctuations.

There are fast days and slow days, monthly highs and lows, as well as changes in the market that happen over the years. There are also changes in who is competing with you in your area at a particular time. The key is to be flexible and learn how to charge accordingly. Here is how I would set my prices.

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1. Time Involved
A smart Notary should charge based on how much time is spent. Notary jobs during rush hour involve more time. Jobs that involve printing more than the average amount of pages should be billed accordingly. Smart Notaries ask who the Lender or Bank is. This is because the name of the Lender can determine with some accuracy the size of the package. Signing companies lie about package sizes which is why smart Notaries ask. Additionally, there are many loan types and some require more time. Refinances are faster, while Construction Loans are longer but have more professional and businesslike signers. Reverse Mortgages, VA, and FHA take more time. Piggy Backs are double signings and have double the pages and double the Notary work. Time for doing a signing is based on these components:

Negotiating Time — Some companies are easy and pleasant to deal with. If it is fast getting assignments faxed or emailed to you and easy to confirm with the borrower, take notes of that time. It can differ from company to company.

Printing Time — Notaries should charge by the page for e-documents. Printing takes time, and often involves waiting for documents to be ready which can be hours if you work with irresponsible companies.

Driving Time –Factor in how much time it takes to get from point A to B. Keep notes so you’ll know how to charge for jobs to particular cities in the future.

Signing time — Some Lenders have loans that get signed quickly. Some Lenders answer the phone and get situations handled quickly while others don’t.

Loan Type Influences Time Spent — VA & FHA signings are just plain longer. Reverse Mortgages are for the elderly who are less businesslike and might need a lot more time to sign. Power of Attorney signings are the most likely not to fund, so take that into consideration. Piggy Back loans are double the signatures and double the notarizations. But, once everyone has sat down and you have your journal out, it goes quickly.

Fax Back Time — Fax Backs are a pain in the rear, but they serve a purpose. Signing companies can hire newbies and get away with it, because the signing company can check your work before it gets sent back to Title. They no longer need experienced Notaries. However, fax backs take time, so if your time is worth something, charge for each page faxed back.

Cancellation Rate Time Waste — Factor cancellation rate and billing time into the price.

Billing Time — Some companies pay on the first request while others require hounding.

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2. Expenses Itemized

Printing Documents — is not only time consuming but costs money. You are using up paper, toner, cartridges, ink, and using up your time to restock what you used up. Charge accordingly.

Car Expenses — Driving a car is not free. Tires wear down, brakes wear out, plus you need to change the oil, filters, shocks, transmission, and more. So, in addition to time, try to work a mileage fee into your pricing in addition to charging for time.

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3. Track Record & Risk of Not Getting Paid

Late Documents — If the signing company or title company was late getting your edocuments in the past, make a note of that. Keep detailed records of each company. Record how fast they paid you on each job. Recalculate their average days to payment every month just to keep records updated. Also, keep records for how late they are sending edocuments or how incompetent they are about keeping their borrowers informed. If you are dealing with a flake, charge more.

Unknown PartiesIf you accept a job from an unknown lender, or one with a bad reputation online, you might charge more, or make them pay up front. You should always charge extra when there is any type of risk involved. . These signings assume risk. Some of the risk is spending an unpredictable amount of time or not getting paid at all.

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4. Payment Terms
If a Lender will only pay you if the loan funds, you need to charge more. Some Lenders will not pay your printing fee if the job gets cancelled, so make sure you know what the terms of the agreement are. Some will pay part of a travel fee if the job gets cancelled mid-way. However, the signing company booked your time, and you can’t give your leftover time to some other company at the last minute just because they needed to cancel. You have to commit your time to them, but do you make companies commit to paying you?

I personally feel that Notaries should set their own terms. You are not a bank, and it is not your job to gamble on whether or not a loan funds. You should be paid before, or within 72 hours of a signing in my opinion. But, you can make your own terms. Beginners have to accept the terms dictated to them, but old pros can make their own terms and get away with it. However, if you do accept terms that limit your ability to guarantee payment, charge a lot more.

Recommended Reading:
Issues to consider when creating a signing agent services contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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5. Travel Fees for Non Loan Signing Work
Most Notaries charge $25 to $50 travel fee, and more if it is for jails or hospitals. You also charge by the signature on top of the travel fee. Charge based on how valuable your time is worth. If you are desperate for work, charge less. If your time is limited, charge more. If you have lots of other things to do, you have less supply of time so you can charge more — this is a strategy to consider — so stay busy my friends.

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6. Jails & Hospital Notary Jobs
Charge more for jails and hospitals because these are the jobs where there is a lot more that can go wrong. You also will not be dealing with the cream of the crop. You can get stood up at a jail. Inmates do not have ID and your credible witness or ID carrier might not show up. ID’s might be expired. Hospital patients are often drugged making it impossible to notarize them. Half of them can’t even hold a pen, so how can they possibly sign? Consider this when deciding upon your jail & hospital travel fees which should be $60 to $150 depending on how greedy you are! Some Notaries are afraid to go to jails, but it is safe, and that is where you can make money fast. Just make sure you have them read their ID to you over the phone including expiration date or you will be very sorry. Also, get your travel fee in cash at the door BEFORE you see the signer. They might not be available or might not want to sign! Be prepared!

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7. General Pricing Models
Keep in mind that a few years ago, Notaries could get paid a lot more. With Snapdocs and lower demand, companies can pay a lot less and get away with it.

Situations where you charge more or less
(1) Charge less during the first 17 days of the month. It is slower, and you have more time.
(2) Charge more during the end of the month. Additionally, you can charge more if you schedule a job several days in advance because you might miss out on a better offer. Additionally, jobs scheduled in advance in my day had a 25% cancellation rate which will wreak havoc on your schedule.
(3) Charge less if you are having a slow day and someone needs a last minute signing. If you are doing nothing, why not sell that time.
(4) eSignings have less physical pages, but often take longer because the signer and their spouse need to take turns looking at the computer screen not to mention the chance of delays due to technical issues.
(5) Charge extra if there are three or more signers on a loan.
(6) Charge more if the company cancels a lot
(7) Charge less if a company has a good track record and is easy and fast to deal with — or pleasant!
(8.) Charge more if there are lots of signatures to notarize.

Pricing Recommendations For Beginners. 0-500 signings

Basic Signing $60-$80
E-Documents: $10-$25 extra per double set or 7 cents per page
Pickups: $25 extra
Dropoffs: $20 extra — there is less waiting time during dropoffs
Reverse Mortgages: $100
Piggy Backs: $100
Regular Notary Work Travel Fee: $30 if within 30 minutes
Jail & Hospitals: $50

Pricing Recommendations for Intermediates. 500-3000 signings
Basic Signing: $80-$120; E-Documents: $20-$40 or 10 cents per page; Pickups: $30 extra; Dropoffs: $25 extra; Reverse Mortgages: $125; Piggy Backs: $125; Regular Travel Fee: $40 if within 30 miles; Jails & Hospitals: $70

When to charge in advance
You are not a bank and you should not offer endless credit to any signing company. Some of them will string you along and not pay you or play games with payments making it unclear which job they are paying for. Decide in advance how much credit to give each company and keep records. If you have a six month track record with a company and they pay you on time, you might offer them credit for six jobs. For all others, do one or two jobs, but don’t do any more until you get paid. It is not a bad idea to charge up front with Paypal, but few companies will pay a beginner up front. Ken, our seasoned Notary always gets paid up front, but he is a pro.

(1) New Companies — do one job, but don’t do a second until you get paid for the first unless they have a stellar record for payment on the forums.
(2) Some Track Record — do two jobs, but don’t do a third until you get paid for the first.
(3) Good Track Record — Watch out: good companies can turn bad if they experience financial difficulties or labor shortages. Do not offer credit for more than six jobs no matter what. A good track record should be over at least six months.

Don’t complain
There are many Notaries who have gone out of business because there is too much competition for too few jobs. If you are getting paid, getting experience, and staying afloat, you are ahead of the game. Many Notaries have this idea that they should get $125 per signing ever time. Unfortunately, it no longer works like this. So, take what you can get and just do your best! If you get more experience, you will be worth more in the long run. Additionally, the market could have an upswing at any time, so keep a positive thought.

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April 1, 2016

Barack’s Notary-Care — are you covered?

Notary Care

Hello, this is Barack from 123notary…

We have worked tirelessly to ensure Notary-care, a necessity, be available to all families across the nation. Additionally, there will be no fee for Notary-care. Families will be able to get the benefits at absolutely no cost after the bill has passed. Benefits will include free Notary education on the 123notary.com blog in the form of a 30 point test. Other benefits include discounts on higher level listings not to exceed 14% off for those who pay ten weeks early. Furthermore, I would like to remind everybody that there are no deductables. You get the full discount whether you are healthy or not, and whether or not you have a preexisting condition whereby you need to learn how to become a notary. And you won’t get sick of waiting for the website to work, because it already does! So, my fellow American Notaries. Please enjoy the benefits of Notary-care. If the Republicans have a better idea, I’m all ears. No Mr. Spock jokes. They already tease me about that.

Notary care isn’t a privilege. It’s a right. We have the right not to have documents screwed up. It may not be in the Bill of Rights. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. Let’s not forget the most noble document our forefathers created and most assuredly did not screw up was the Constitution – something they had the foresight to know would evolve over the course of history. Maybe it’s time for the right to notary care to be etched within it. Or maybe not. Figured it was worth a shot.

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The 2016 Notary Public Debate
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State ofthe Notary Industry Union Address
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March 27, 2016

You know you’re a notary when…

You know you’re a Notary Public when…

(1) You go to a bar and ID the bartender before he has a chance to ID you.
(2) You ID every girl you date even when their high school yearbook is over 18
(3) You like Oreo cookies because they’re embossed.
(4) Your favorite ice cream is from Jen & Sherry’s, Rescinded Rum Raisin
(5) You background screen your golf buddies before going out into the course with them
(6) You have a bumper sticker that says “I’d rather be signing”
(7) You spend so much time with your GPS that you make Siri sign a prenup.
(8) You spend so much time with your GPS that you know all of its most intimate pieces of information such as favorite foods, birthdays, favorite roads, and mother’s maiden name.
(9) You become famous, people ask for your autograph and you’d rather have theirs
(10) Your mailbox and inbox are cluttered by twelve different notary organizations.
(11) Your Jewish son meets a nice Jewish girl and you ask, “Is she a notary?”
(12) Your favorite seafood is squid because it never needs an ink refill.
(13) When you get your parking validated, you rip the stamp out of the person’s hands so you can stamp it yourself.
(14) You comment, “Gee, your hairstyle doesn’t match your ID,” when you meet someone at a bar.
(15) You compliment people on their signatures — “Gee, that’s a lovely cursive.”
(16) You take pawprints of the animals in the neighborhood just in case they get lost.
(17) You spend your spare time last weekend writing a letter to the State of Nevada criticizing them for allowing drivers licenses to be valid for 20 years.
(18) When you go to court (for whatever reason) you correct the bailiff’s Oath wording.
(19) You wear a T-shirt saying, “I’m not your husband’s mistress, I’m the Notary!”
(20) You have an NNA towel that you take to the beach (if such a thing exists)
(21) All guests entering your house must personally appear before you and sign the journal, put a date and time, plus reason for entry.
(22) Your favorite California wine is the Notary Public Cabernet – You’d swear under oath it’s the best vino there is if you weren’t busy slurring your notary verbiage
(23) When your friend asked you, “Can I turn left here?” You respond, “I am not an Attorney and may not answer legal questions or perform loan signings in the state of Georgia. I am just a Notary.”
(24) When you go to cocktail parties and people ask what you do you respond, “Next question.”
(25) When you go to a bar, you always order their signature drinks.
(26) When someone asks how old your young children are, instead of measuring their age in weeks or months, you measure it in fractions of a commission. Oh this one? Judy? Yeah, we got her during my 2nd commission. But, Fred over here we’ve had since before I was commissioned at all. He must be getting old now.
(27) You ask your Jewish friends if they need their kid’s Bar-Mitzvahs Notarized.
(28) If your friend invites you to a party and then calls you to change the venue, you offer to initial the change.
(29) You have a bumper sticker saying — Warning, I brake for Mortgage Brokers.
(30) You have another bumper sticker saying — Notary on Board
(31) You have a happy hour menu with special prices for Jurats.
(32) Your favorite Chinese restaurant has fortune cookies that read — He who backdate live long life, but have short commission.
(33) You have a special credit card that gives double miles if you stay at The Notary Hotel
(34) When you see a girl with a nice tan, you comment that she must have used a lot of toner to get that look.
(35) When you go out for steak you only get certified Angus steak.
(36) When charitable organizations send you 500 labels with your home address on it, you throw them out as you prefer to use a customized stamp.
(36) Your favorite movie was — Honey, I Notarized the Kids.

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Notary Aptitude Test
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30 point quiz: Jeopardy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14557

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March 18, 2016

Shark Tank — 123notary wants to sell 10% of its shares!

123, IT’S SHARK TANK!

First into the tank is the inventor of a directory that will help notaries vastly improve their business.

JB: Hi, Sharks. My name is Jeremy Belmont. And I’m seeking an investment of $500,000 for 10% of my company, 123Notary.com. How many times have you needed a Notary public, and thought “Damn. Where can I find me a decent Notary Public?” Sharks, your searches are over. With 123Notary.com, we get the most serious customers, because we have the best quality notaries. We get 170,000 visits per month. That’s 170,000 more visits per month than Mr. Wonderful makes to the barber.

MR. WONDERFUL: I’d much rather see my money grow than hair.

ROBERT: So walk me through the business model, Jeremy.

JB: We use a lot of social media and search engines to gather up steam, to get good traffic, and we also keep the site well organized. Make sure people have good notary public note sections, reviews. We spend a lot of time making sure people improve their knowledge and pass their certification.

BARBARA: How is that different from other sites?

JB: They don’t put as much attention into the marketing and organization as we do.

LAURIE: Tell us a little about you. How did you get into this line of work?

JB: I started out by being a notary public.

MARK: Good for you, man.

JB: Starting from the ground up is okay as long as you don’t get ground up.

BARBARA: I get a good feeling from you, Jeremy, and I’m going to make you an offer. But I need a little more skin in the game.

MR. WONDERFUL: Hopefully not the skin around your neck.

BARBARA: I wasn’t talking to you, skinhead. I’ll offer you $500,000 for 20% of the company.

MR. WONDERFUL: Ouch. She just cut the value of your company in half.

JB: I appreciate your offer, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to respect the other sharks and hear if anyone else has an offer.

MARK: I like what you’re doing. I like that you started from the ground up. As you know, I own the Dallas Mavericks. And every time they swear to me they won’t blow a shot, I’d like them to swear in front of one of your top-notch notaries, so I’ll tell you what. I’ll go in with Barbara if she’ll have me.

BARBARA: I’ll have you, Mark.

MR. WONDERFUL: Gross.

MARK: 500 K, 20%. But you get two sharks. Ten percent each.

JB: Would you be willing to split the difference at 15%?

ROBERT: I’ll take that deal.

JB: Would you agree to take that deal by signing this paper I have one of our top notaries witness?

ROBERT: I’m out.

LAURIE: You never told us. Why do you need the money?

JB: I want to buy an office.

MR. WONDERFUL: Where are you working now, out of your car?

JB: No, I’m working at home. I want to get an office, so I can have my staff all under one roof. It’s hard to stay unified when you’re all working in separate places.

MR. WONDERFUL: You live in your car?

BARBARA: You’re so mean.

JB: I don’t want to rent an office, because I don’t like the fact you can’t open the windows. I want to be able to customize it to my own needs, which includes having windows that actually open. I have a hard time working without oxygen.

MR. WONDERFUL: That makes you an “airhead” for the right reasons. I’m fine with that. Well, Jeremy, I’ll make you an offer. I don’t want any equity. Zero. Zip.

MARK: Here it comes.

MR. WONDERFUL: I want a 2% royalty for every signing you make. And after I make six times my investment back – Poof. I’m gone.

JEREMY: Darn. You’re still here.

LAURIE/BARBARA/MARK: For that putdown alone, we’ll match your offer.

JEREMY: I’m about to say yes in… 1…2…3!

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February 26, 2016

February 5, 2016

Welcome to the Notary Zoo!

Welcome to the Notary Zoo!

After visiting the Notary Zoo for the first time, I noticed that things were a little “different” there. There were animals that didn’t exist in real life, and situations that were often opposite of what they normally were.

Before entering the zoo, right before the entrance, you see a huge venue carved into the granite floor. The venue says, “State of California, County of Los Angeles.” I’m glad the zoo helps me remember where I am because at that place, it’s easy to forget. Then, I went to pay my entrance fee. There was a huge sign saying that all customers needed to “personally appear” before the ticket seller with the seal of approval, who won the crowd’s approval after the seal juggled a ball on its nose. I needed to produce positive identification, asked how much it was to visit the zoo, and the clerk said it depended on how many signatures I wanted. I wanted admittance for just myself, which would be one signature at $10 per signature. The lady stamped my ticket and let me in.

As Trump might say, the zoo was “huge.”

There were walkways going every which direction. To the left I saw the Juratffs. I had never seen a Juratff before. I asked what I was supposed to do there, and the guard said that people swear at this animal all day long. So, I said, “I solemnly swear blah blah blah.” But, the juratff ignored me and kept eating leaves. At least he stuck his neck out for me. In the next exhibit down the corridor I saw a giant refrigerator with a sign saying, “How can you fit a juratff in a refrigerator?” Then a baby juratff waltzed in the refrigerator, stuck its neck out the hole in the top, and munched on some low hanging leaves.

Don’t feed the Notaries

Next, there was an area where some Notaries were hanging around. The visitors were led down an underground passage and then up some stairs into a huge cage that had a sign: “Don’t feed the Notaries.” The Notaries just went about their business and ignored the tourists’ constant taunts and whistling. The Notaries sat at desks, walked around, ID’d people and stamped pieces of paper. I didn’t understand the logic of this as they were notarizing other Notaries and not getting paid. Later on I learned that this was some sort of an asylum for people who were convinced that they were Notaries, but never passed the state Notary exam for reasons unknown. They were NOTaries.

The next exhibit had a Notary comedian. Not only was there an applause sign. There was an applause signer.

He started cracking jokes. “How do you define a loose acknowledgment? It’s an acknowledgement that attaches itself to different documents — on the first date before it even knows your first name — at least the first name on your ID.” Then our comedian friend made another joke about pastry. “I just found out that a Mexican wedding cake is exactly the same thing as a Russian tea cake. They are both two inches wide and made from shortbread. I guess one man’s tea is another man’s wedding!”

An exhibit for Notarial owls.
They just sat in the tree all day long saying, “Hoo — is the signer?” Next to the owls was the judge from Noternity court who said, “Who is the signer? Who is the Notary? We’ve examined the DNA evidence and handwriting analysis and you ARE the Notary!”

The aquarium was next on my list.
I went down a dark hallway into a pitch black room, turned a corner, and then I was in the Notary Aquarium. I saw a guy swimming in the tank in a three piece suit with a briefcase. I asked the guard why the sharks don’t eat him. The guard replied, “Professional courtesy — that guy’s an Attorney.” Then I saw another guy wearing a suit who just got his leg bitten off by another shark. Blood was filling the tank. I looked at the guard and he said, “That one’s a Mortgage Broker. He’s the one who asked people to backdate, and didn’t pay his Notaries on time.” It cost him a leg if not an arm. I journeyed into the next room in the aquarium and saw a bizarre looking fish. It looked like a hammerhead, but on closer inspection it was a stampfish. His head looked like a huge rectangular Notary stamp. I said to the guard, “It’s too bad there is no paperfish that the stampfish can stamp.” The guard said, “Where there is one around here, there will be a squid just waiting to donate some of his precious ink so the underwater Notarization could happen.” Then, lo and behold, a paperfish appeared from nowhere. Instead of stamping the paperfish, the stampfish took a bite out of it. I asked the guard what happened. The guard informed me that the stampfish was offended that the paperfish hadn’t been signed and dated — this was his way of voicing his underwater displeasure. Then I saw another stampfish who looked like he was high. The guard explained that he had a constant supply of really good sea-weed, and one or two bites of that will get you very high. On my way out of the aquarium there was a huge underwater building. The sign on the building said underwater county recorder. Inside the building there was a huge line of stamp fish. My only thought at this point is — I hope these stampfish have waterproof journals!

On my way toward the exit I saw some lions swearing under Oath. Lyin’ and swearing to uphold the truth – Isn’t that an oxymoron? Then I saw some sheep being sheepish about their loan signing. But they couldn’t pull their wool over my eyes. There was a huge section where there were boars that specialized in 400 page signings where you read every page. It nearly boared me to death. And finally a bobcat who swore under Oath that he was legally Robert Cat.

Finally, I went to the aviary.
That place is for the birds! I saw some birds signing a health directive so they could fight against avarian cancer. I tried to explain that it is o-varian cancer, but they claimed that there are certain types of cancer that only birds get in their old age. Then, an eagle swooped down to avoid one of the guards who was trying to ID him for the Patriot Act.

In any case. I enjoyed the zoo. It was fun. I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t get a souvenir of a waterproof journal in the gift shop, but maybe next year.

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You might also like:

Welcome to the Notary Casino
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15255

Scribbles: A Notary Comedy Club
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15258

Notary Aptitude Test
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15853

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January 22, 2016

Can I bring my 12 year old to a signing?

Linked In Sums it Up
One lady on LinkedIn asked this question and the crowd loved it. Should you bring children to a signing? In my opinion it is grossly inappropriate to bring anyone to the signing who is not part of the loan process. Sometimes a Lender will accompany a Notary to a signing. And sometimes relatives of the borrower will show up at a signing table — that is their right. But, for the Notary to bring their children looks very unprofessional.

The Deed of Macchiato
Small children can make noise and cause trouble. One of our best stories is about a Notary who brought her toddler to a signing at Starbucks. The three year old accidentally tipped over a mocha which turned the Security Instrument into a Deed of Macchiato. I’m sorry to take “shots” at this Notary, but I want to milk (or latte) this story for what it’s worth. After the signing company found out what this Notary did, they got steamed, and the Notary got lightly roasted.

So, Where to Put Your Children?
It is not uncommon for women to bring their husbands to signings, but the hubby always stays by the wheel, otherwise they might spoke the wrong type of attention. Relatives normally stay in the car and read during the signing. Many women employ this procedure as a security measure to make sure they are not abducted, murdered, or harmed at the signing. Children can also wait in the car if they are mature enough to. If you have really little children, you need a babysitter and a few backups just in case. You will lose all of your clients if you bring your toddlers

Screaming Children
As we stated in our 30 point course, if you answer the phone and there are screaming children in the background, you will lose a lot of clients. It should be quiet when you answer the phone, otherwise people will feel you are grossly unprofessional. If there is noise, apologize for the noise, and move to another room where it is quiet, or find a way to put the client on hold while you stop the noise.

Another Solution
Just wait for six years and then your 12 year old will be 18. Then, he/she/they can get his/her/their Notary commission and join you as an apprentice — with permission of course — and pretend he/she is not related to you(s). [don’t cross out the (s) if you’s guys are New Jersey residents]

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You might also like:

Notarizing for a minor
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6947

You know you’re a notary when…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

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