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January 4, 2017

How Carmen dealt with some Alt-Right customers

Many of you do not know this, but in addition to doing sales on 123notary.com, Carmen is also a Notary. Carmen was chosen to help us here at 123notary because she knows the Notary and signing business inside out and has great oral communication skills. Carmen normally picks and chooses which customers she takes to avoid the riff-raff. But, this last drama was out of the ordinary.

(ring-ring)

PAUL: (on phone) Hi, my name is Paul, and we will need some documents Notarized at Maggiano’s.

CARMEN: Fine, I charge $50 travel fee plus $10 per Notarized signatures. I give a discount if you have more than five signatures.

PAUL: Well, we only have one, and we have cash, so you are in luck.

(Carmen drives to the Maggiano’s location)

GROUP: Hail Trump!!! (raising right arm to do Nazi type salute)

MAGGIANO’S STAFF: Oh, my God, what an embarrassment. We gave them a Cesar salad, they should be hailing Caesar, not Trump! Besides, what will our politically correct left-wing customers who control all of our thoughts and actions say?

CARMEN: I’ll tell you what they’ll say. For starters you need to screen your groups just the way Notaries need to screen their signing companies. Otherwise, there’s no telling what type of bozos you’ll get. Second, you need to take a closer eye on people. That’s what I do. The minute I see someone doing a Nazi salute — that’s a warning sign right there! If you’re not watching, you’ll find out after the fact!

PAUL: Hi Carmen, thanks for coming.

CARMEN: What type of group is this? Are you Gestappo Trump supporters?

PAUL: We are just trying to protect our legacy and inheritance.

CARMEN: I understand exactly how you feel — I’m trying to do the same — in my own way.

PAUL: By voting against Trump?

CARMEN: That’s one of my methods. Checking people’s ID’s is another. Let’s see some ID please.

PAUL: Here it is. You might not realize that’s me, because I had the photo taken during my skinhead days. I hope you don’t take offense at that.

CARMEN: That will do. And by the way, the problem is not the skin on your head. The problem is what’s under the skin. So, this is an Affidavit of protection for the motherland. A document that makes you swear to protect your land against all enemies foreign and domestic and not to abandon your cause for light and transient causes. Okay. Sign here!

PAUL: Got it.

CARMEN: Now, raise your right arm and say hail! Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and that you will protect the motherland to the best of your abilities come hell, fire, damnation, or hail-storms?

PAUL: Hail… I mean, yes I do.

CARMEN: Okay, I’m affixing my official seal courtesy of the State of California. You can consider yourself legally Notarized.

PAUL: Here’s $80.

CARMEN: You only owe me $60.

PAUL: I know, but you’ll need some extra on the boat going back to you know where!

CARMEN: You racist!!! I can’t believe you said that! By the way, I had a dream about that boat. It was the longest boat ride of my life, and the only doctor on board was Dr. Pepper. What a bunch of loons! I’m so upset, I’m calling Jeremy to tell him what happened.

JEREMY: Yes Carmen

CARMEN: You wouldn’t believe what happened. I did a Notarization for Alt-Right, and (blah blah blah, etc.) I just wish I could press a magic button and have these people disappear.

JEREMY: Well you can. Just go to your computer and say, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home — and then click the keys CTRL-ALT-RIGHT-DELETE three times.

CARMEN: Okay, I’ll do that.. There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…. click… click.. click… Where am I?

TIM: You were just having a bad dream mom. It must be that whole Trump election and everything that’s going on in the news.

CARMEN: From now on, I’m being careful about who I notarize!

———————————-

The next job Carmen took was from Black Lives Matter

DeSHEA: Hi Carmen, I need 200 documents notarized for the cause.

CARMEN: I’m with you brother!

DeSHEA: When can you be here?

CARMEN: I’m on my way. I have a package rate of $50 travel, $10 per signature, and $5 per signature after you are on your sixth. But, for you, I will work for a package rate of $300 for the whole stack!

DeSHEA: You’re my kind of sister!

CARMEN: Okay, here I am.

DeSHEA: There’s a problem

CARMEN: What problem is that?

DeSHEA: We’re concerned that although you black, you ain’t black…. eeee-nuff.

CARMEN: Not black enough? How black I gotta be brutha?

DeSHEA: We do blood tests here from ancestry.com, and if you are less than 87% of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, you can not be affiliated with our group, nor can you work for us. I’m afraid this is a policy.

CARMEN: So, if I’m more than 13% something else, I can’t work for you? Oh my God. This Trump election is making people more crazy all around the country!

——————————-

Finally, a job offer comes in from Mulatto Lives Matter.

KIM: Carmen, we need your help for the cause.

CARMEN: I’m with you sister. I just had a horrible experience with the, “Let’s make America white again” group as well as the Black lives matter group who disowns you the minute you are 13% or more something else according to ancestry.com. I’m with you sister.

KIM: We we’re more flexible here. You can be 13.1 to 87.3% black and we will accept you over here. We need ten documents notarized.

CARMEN: I’m there.

KIM: In the mean time while we wait for the signers, would you like a vanilla latte in a zebra cup? It’s symbolic of our movement.

CARMEN: A vanilla latte… what? Next thing you’re going to ask me is if I want the whole cup or just 50-50.

KIM: Hi Carmen. Thanks for coming. There are ten different signers and not all of them can come at the same time, so you’ll have to wait.

CARMEN: I charge waiting time by the way at the rate of $20 per twenty minutes payable up front as well as my $50 travel fee.

KIM: Oh. I didn’t know that up front.

CARMEN: I didn’t know you’d keep me waiting all day up front either. You could have warned me.

KIM: Well, I don’t think we’re a good fit.

————————————

CARMEN: Jeremy, these’ political groups are killing me. They’re either racists, or completely irresponsible or both. The Alt-Right wants to deport me, but they sure tip good. The Black LIves Matter openly discriminated against me and Mulatto Lives Matter wanted to keep me waiting all day without any guarantee of payment. I think I was better off with the Alt-Right — at least they were on time and gave me extra, but I deleted them!

JEREMY: Carmen, I know how you feel. I’ve been through similar things in my life. Sometimes everybody is bad in one way or another, and it’s hard to figure out who NOT to CTRL-ALT-DEL. But, I have a solution. I call it, “The final solution.”

CARMEN: That’s sounds Nazi, but lay it on me.

JEREMY: The final solution is not to work for any of those groups. Work for ALT-123. We are even handed, moderate, and judge you by the content of your merit, and NOT by the color of your ink.

CARMEN: I heard that! Dr. King would be proud.

JEREMY: And Dr. Pepper too.

CARMEN: Dr. Pepper? Oh. I must have told you about my dream. Anyway. I’m going to take a nap now.

———————————-

(snooze)

CARMEN: Oh, no. I must be dreaming again. I’m on the boat. But, this time it’s worse. They’re out of Dr. Pepper which I’ve heard has healing properties. What will I do. Oh, there’s some people drinking Snapple. Can I have some Snapple?

TYZONE: It’s 13.1% juice.

CARMEN: First of all, how did you get that name? Did your mama give birth you in the bathroom of a pizza parlor when her car broke down on the way to the hospital? And Second — 13.1%? Am I allowed to drink Snapple if it’s 13.1% juice, or does it have to be under 13% juice, or under 13% something other than juice. I’m confused. Let me go to my computer.

TYZONE: There’s no computer on this boat baby.

CARMEN: I brought my own. CTRL-ALT-RIGHT-DEL…… ALT-123… There’s no place like 123!!!! Oh, that was fun, I want to do that again!

(Meanwhile Carmen drifts off again and has another dream. This time David Duke was on a refugee boat filled with Alt-Right people on a one-way journey to Europe while Carmen was on land in America watching him drift by.)

DAVID DUKE: Hey Carmen, two things. Can you toss a Dr. Pepper on board? And one more thing. Can’t we all just get along?

CARMEN: That’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to ask you all of these decades!

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December 23, 2016

Flashpoint — Notary job for a hostage with a multimillion dollar contract

Dave had a multimillion dollar contract for a very rare biotech machine that was one of a kind. He was to meet the buyer in a high rise downtown. But, Dave was taken hostage in the lobby 10 minutes before the signing. The subject (Tom) needed the machine to save his brother who was dying of a rare disease.

TOM: (Pointing gun) Drop the briefcase and come with me.

DAVE: I can’t, this is a very important contract.

TOM: I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.

SECURITY: Help, 911, there’s a man with a gun. Send a strategic response team immediately!

TOM: Drop your cell phone and slide it over to me. Now, Dave, I need that machine you’re selling for my sick brother. I have no choice. I have to do this. Let’s go upstairs to where the buyer is waiting.

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(The two of them go upstairs)

NOTARY: Hi, I’m the Notary, and by the way, did you find me on 123notary.com?

TOM: I wasn’t the one who made the call.

DAVE: Yes you were.

NOTARY: Oh great, can you write a review for me on my listing.

TOM: This is not the time to be talking about reviews (waving gun around.)

NOTARY: Oh, did you want me to notarize your gun?

TOM: NO. I want the biotech machine to save my dying brother.

(ring ring)

TOM: Don’t answer that. I’ll get this.

GREG: Hi, this is Sargeant Greg Parker from the strategic response unit. I understand you have a hostage up there.

TOM: Yes Greg, we do.

GREG: That was a smart thing to do, taking a hostage. That really changes the game.

TOM: What are you, a professional negotiator?

GREG: Yes Tom, that is what I am. I’m here to try to work out your situation. Would you mind telling me your name?

TOM: Um, I can’t. I didn’t want to do this. I just need the machine to save my dying brother. I’ve never done anything like this (waving gun) Stand back!

GREG: Is the machine in the building where you are?

TOM: They won’t tell me where it is. And even if I have it, I don’t know how it works.

GREG: Sounds like one of the guns our team uses that’s in storage. I don’t know where it is, or how it works. If I press the wrong button, only God knows what will happen.

TOM: What?

(crash — Jules rams the door and barges into the room)

JULES: Put your weapons down!!!!

ED: Put your weapons down…

JULES: There’s only one weapon, so let’s use the singular.

ED: Copy that!!! Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to put your gun down.

NOTARY: I have a seal, should I drop my seal? I think of it as kind of a weapon.

ED: Yes, put the seal on the table.

GREG: Do you have the solution?

ED: I have the solution, and Jules has eyes on the subject although he’s nothing much to look at.

JULES: Hey, I like him. It’s just that I’m (oops) not allowed to talk about them… Sam… since that’s a conflict of interest.

GREG: I’ll pretend that I didn’t hear that so I don’t get fired. Now, put down the weapon so that we can talk this over.

TOM: I need that machine.

GREG: That’s not going to happen. We can’t give you that machine. But, if you don’t put your gun down, we’ll have to use lethal force against you. Do you understand that? They your brother will die and so will you.

TOM: No, I won’t!!!

GREG: Okay…. Scorpio

(blast)

GREG: What was that?

ED: It seems to be a gas explosion in another part of the building.

TOM: Okay, I’ll put my gun down. I don’t want to die.

JULES: You came inches from it.

DAVE: You know what, I can let your brother use my machine. But, only under my supervision.

TOM: You will? Gee thanks!

ED: And you can see the whole thing from a monitor — in jail. Put your hands in the air. You have the right to remain silent.

NOTARY: I can give him an Oath of silence. That’s one of my duties as a Notary Public.

Ed: That won’t be necessary.

NOTARY: I also do weddings and bar-mitzvahs.

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December 9, 2016

Disney Notary World

If there were more Notaries in the United States, in addition to having lower rates due to increased competition, there would be a market for Disney Notary World!

Welcome to Disney Notary World
Start your tour by entering the park — get your ticket notarized. You could take the Notarial tram whose path is very twisty and turny as it is an exact giant replica of Mickey Mouse’s signature! Next, go to the haunted house for a signing. The problem is that the signers — are dead, or at least — they will be, and so will you!

Welcome to the Future
In the futuristic section there is a Robot that can notarize documents. He is trained to spot a fake ID faster than a human Notary. Warning, this means you might all be out of work, or have to carry a robot with you in your car.

Pirates of Pen Zance
Next, on to see the Pirates of Pen Zance. These pirates stole a gold pen from a very prominent Attorney Notary from the 1600’s and hid it in a cave in an island. But, everybody who came to find this pen ended up dead because of a curse. Can you find this pen?

Hyperspace Mountain
After that, get into a floating Notary seal, and go down hyperspace mountain until you go straight down into a pool of ink. Please leave all cellphones in a secure dry area.

War of Balloons
Fulfill your wildest fantasy. At this attraction you get to throw a water balloon at someone who works at a signing company who didn’t pay you. They will say, “The check is in the mail.” Then you throw a balloon. If you hit your target, you win a Daffy Duck doll and a giant check.

The Secretary of State
Bring your kids to this realistic Sec of State building. Wait in line (what else is new) and get your kids an official Disney Notary Commission and Notary Seal. They can get notarizing today! Just make sure they get proper ID and use the Disney Notary Journal,

Hall of Notaries
See photos and paintings of famous Notaries from history. You will find Notaries from Italy during the Renaissance, China, England, and other countries as well. You might even find yourself there. Don’t be surprised if you find Mickey Mouse in the hall of records as he was a Notary before he became a famous star. You have to start somewhere.

The Gift Store
For all of your unhappy customers who wrote a bad review about you claiming that if your tired of “Mickey Mouse Notarizations,” then don’t hire this Notary. You can get a Mickey Mouse doll with a notary seal, where you can get real Mickey Mouse Notarizations.

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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.

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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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October 12, 2016

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — comedy edition

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Man, what’s the difference between white Notaries and black Notaries? I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Notary until I was 19 and had to get a car title notarized. That was six months after I found out that isn’t is another way of saying ain’t. I would just assume that a bruthah would sign more smoothly than a white Notary.

CHRIS ROCK: In an ideal world, a white Notary would witness signatures, but a black Notary would have a body camera to make sure of what he witnessed.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: You’re making the Notary sound like the Dallas Police force. If I were a black Notary, I’d be more worried about being pulled over by the police. “Registration and Notary seal please, you know the drill.”

CHRIS ROCK: Yeah, but if Notaries were really like police, at loan signings, they would say, “Now reach for your ID, nice and slow — no sudden movements.” while they had the borrowers at gunpoint. I can’t imagine a signing like that — unless it happened in Detroit.

JERRY SEINFELD: And if you did a signing by X, if you knew who the signer had been seeing while married to his ex, then you’d know why she became an ex.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: I don’t think that signing by x is exactly like that, but I’m digging the way you think.

CHRIS ROCK: And by the way — black Notary lives matter, especially if they’re listed on 123notary.

JERRY SEINFELD: But, if you’re signing with an X, you didn’t come from the greatest school, unless you’re Malcolm X.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: With my luck, the minute I became commissioned as a Notary and got in my vehicle, within minutes of leaving the county clerk after taking my Oath, I’d probably get my ass pulled over by the Notary Police — but, for what I don’t know.

POLICE: Do you know how fast you were signing, son? Can I see your Notary Seal Please?

EDDIE GRIFFIN: I just got my Notary commission, I haven’t even used it yet. How come you didn’t pull that white Notary over?

POLICE: We don’t judge a Notary by the color of his ink, but by the content of his character.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Yeah, you’re a character all right.

POLICE: And by the way, the paper might always be white, but the ink is always black which in my opinion kind of evens the score.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Yeah, some things ain’t never gonna change.

POLICE: We just wanted to make sure you weren’t notarizing by text and driving at the same time. Just a routine check.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Yeah, stoppin’ brothers. What could be more routine than that?

JERRY SEINFELD: So, what’s the deal with white Notaries?

CHRIS ROCK: Isn’t that redundant? That’s even whiter than Conan O’Brien’s non-tan lines.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Man, what is it with white Notaries, ya know what I’m saying? I bet a white Notary would go to a signing in his nice family SUV, and he would park on the street just to be polite. And then he would knock on the door being exactly on time and say, “Hi, my name is Mike — I’m white, and I’m happy and I’ll be your Notary today.” I don’t want to white-wash this, but that’s how I see it.

CONAN O’BRIEN: Yeah, I bet if it were a black Notary he would say, “Hi, I’m Jermaine, and I’m the Notary with the smooth conversation. Check out this alligator skin briefcase. And you’d never believe the story behind it. I was down the street at my brother’s house and his kids were playing in the back yard. Then an alligator came out of nowhere — we live in Florida by the way. I rushed out at ninja speed to get those kids out the yard and got there just in time before that gator damn near bit my nephew’s arm off. Then, I drove home a block away and came back with my samurai sword. I bought it in Tokyo during a vacation and had it shipped to me as a decorative piece. I never dreamed that antique sword from the Mei-Jin period that was used by the great Zatoichi would ever be used again for practical purposes. So, I ran into the backyard with my samurai sword and said — hayyyyyaaa!!!! And I done chopped the gator’s jowels off. I sold the meat to a local taco place and had my neighbor make a briefcase out of it.

And… I got the smoothest pens you ever signed with. They’re like butter. These cost $200 and no — you may not keep them. But, enjoy the signing experience, my stories, and enjoy the ride. By the way — my ride is a stretch limo that I have parked outside. We can continue the signing there if you prefer — drinks included, but not until after you finish signing. And remember — sign responsibly!”

CHRIS ROCK: Yo Conan, you rock!

CONAN O’BRIEN: Ha ha, I’m a brutha with some street knowledge! And by the way, you not only rock, you are a Rock!

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Conan’s a brutha now? What????

JERRY SEINFELD: Black, white, yellow, brown, orange – believe me, none of us are happy.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Brother, you just made me happy to hear that.

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September 29, 2016

Notary Aptitude Test 2

(1) Notary Stamp is to Notary Seal what Attest is to:
(a) A test and a verbal verification (b) swearing and stating (c) The 123notary signing agent online test and proof (d) Oath and affirmation.

(2) Document Date is to Signing Date what Match.com date is to:
(a) Ditching date (b) Marriage date (c) Engagement date (d) Backdate (e) No relation

(3) Backdating is to signing what _____________ is to lying about your age.
(a) Match.com profiles (b) rescission date (c) Notary Applications (if you’re under 18 or not a US citizen) (d) notarizing an acknowledgment an hour before your signing appointment.

(4) Name on Title is to Name on a Document as name on Birth Certificate is to:
(a) Name on your ID (b) Your street aliases (c) Death Certificate (d) Mother’s maiden name

(5) Jurat is to Oath, what Oath is to:
(a) Quaker Oaths (b) Oath written text (c) Swearing (d) Attest

(6) Original document is to wet ink signature as commission paperwork is to:
(a) Secretary of State’s seal (b) name of your state (c) Felony conviction (d) Commission impossible

(7) Venue is to State what State is to:
(a) Secretary of State (b) City (c) County (d) Zip code

(8) Witness is to bank robbery what Notary act is to:
(a) Acknowledgment (b) Jurat (c) Protest (d) Unmarked Bills

(9) Subpoena is to testify what credible witness is to:
(a) Busy-body (b) Bank Robber (c) Subscribing Witness (d) Identify

(10) Middle initial is to document what ___________ is to identification
(a) Name (b) Middle Name (c) Matching or longer (d) Name on Title

(11) Digital signature is to an eSigning what a/an ________________ is to the future of the Notary profession.
(a) eDocuments (b) Notary (c) eNotary (d) 123notary

(12) SnapDocs is to the Notary Profession what Walmart is to:
(a) eBay (b) Retail (c) Amazon (d) Life

ANSWERS:

1. Note to readers, seal has two meanings. It could mean a stamp, or a signature). Answer (a) is correct even though it is part joke and part true.

2. (e) is the correct answer as the document date is arbitrary and could be any date, and has no relation to the signing date although it is commonly the same date as the signing date by convention.

3. (a) Match.com profiles typically have women who lie about their age and roll back the years about five to ten years. But, do men also backdate their age?

4. The name on Title is your official name that the property is registered to which carries a certain amount of official merit to it and permenance just like the name on your birth certificate. However, people do change their names after the fact that could lead to different names on the document or ID. Correct answer is (a).

5. (c) Swearing is a part of the Oath just like an Oath is a part of the Jurat process.

6-12 Figure it out on your own! That was fun!

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August 24, 2016

Trump — Making American Notaries Great Again

Trump – Making American Notaries Great Again

We’ve heard a lot about Trump wanting to make America great again. But can he make your notary practice great again if it isn’t already? Or have you hit the wall? Or does he have to build the wall and then make Mexico pay for it? He says America doesn’t win anymore. Are you winning? Thanks to NAFTA, Mexican notaries are allowed to enter the United States and perform work as notaries. But because they charge so little, the only way Americans could survive was to build a wall made of used notary seals.

THE DONALD: The notaries love me. And by the way, the notaries love me. I repeat myself a lot. And by the way, I repeat myself a lot.

NOTARY: I’m undecided about who to vote for. Why should I vote for you?

THE DONALD: Our leaders don’t know what they’re doing. I will make American notaries great again. I’m gonna bring notary jobs back to America. I will be the greatest notary jobs president God ever created.

NOTARY: Would you swear to that under oath?

THE DONALD: I will swear to Justice Roberts on a bible on January 20th. Until then, I’ll swear at my campaign rallies.

NOTARY: Well, you have been married three times. You know a lot about witnessing signatures on divorce papers.

THE DONALD: More than Hillary! She’s a disaster. She could have at least left Bill during MonicaGate, but no. She stuck by his side. Pathetic.

NOTARY: Why shouldn’t I vote for Ted Cruz?

THE DONALD: Lyin’ Ted? He wants to shred Iran’s nuclear deal on day one. Shredding signed documents takes away notary jobs. He’d be a disaster as president.

NOTARY: Wouldn’t you need to hire more notaries to witness the signatures on the deal that replaced it?

THE DONALD: Absolutely. And I’m fine with that.

NOTARY: Hold on. A minute ago you said you were against it.

THE DONALD: I’ve evolved. Which is more than I can say for Cro-Magnon Man Cruze. Have you seen his wife? Compared to mine, she looks like a Gargoyle.

NOTARY: Well, I’m still not convinced you’re good for notaries. What about Bernie?

THE DONALD: The Communist? The only time I “feel the bern” is when I pee. Elect him and all the notaries will be getting free health care.

NOTARY: What’s wrong with that?

THE DONALD: Living longer means fewer wills to witness. When I’m elected president, believe me, half the country will jump off buildings. And if they’re lucky, one of mine. You’ll be witnessing will signings till the cows come home. Speaking of which, did you see Lyin’ Ted’s wife?

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A Notary runs for president
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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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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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