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November 30, 2017

Why are older Notaries so argumentative?

One of my clients who hires Notaries says there are three types. The new ones who know nothing but want to learn. Those who are six to twenty-four months in the business who know a lot and are still trying. That client thinks that after two years people stop wanting to learn. My take on the situation is that after four years people stop learning. So, what happens after people’s will to learn atrophies? They get worse and forget things.

Older Notaries forget more every year and their attitude gets worse too. I just had a Notary with 24 years experience argue and argue and argue by email with me. If she wants to get ahead on 123notary, you get ahead by proving your knowledge and good attitude, not by fighting. The other problem is that with age, people get a little nutty in the head and cranky. So, old Notaries can sometimes be some of the worst.

So, what is the solution? Old Notaries cannot become new Notaries. However, can an old Notary learn the spirit of a New Notary? Can they make a new beginning?

This reminds me of the saying that there are old pilots and bold pilots but there are very few old bold pilots.

Carmen and I are trying to get the older Notaries to go back to the books and study more. It only works when we spoon feed people, because Notary old wants to study. But, during a discussion with Carmen I realized that we are part of the problem.

I started this business when I was thirty with great dreams, spirit and a desire to make a huge impact on the world. I had no idea what would happen, but I had a ferocious work ethic that kept me going 70 hours a week every week. I am 48 now and believe me I do not have the energy to do more than 40 hours a week. At my age I have learned the art of efficiency because I don’t have the energy or the will to do what I did when I was thirty. I admire the person I used to be and I admire the skills I have learned in the past eighteen years. I have really grown up, but I have also become a cranky old man in the making. So, how can I too learn the spirit of young Notaries?

Our whole site 123notary has the spirit of old Notaries. Our high placements are almost exclusively owned by cranky old Notaries. Carmen and I are cranky and old. We need some hard working new people with some spirit. Where are those people? Oh, and by the way they have to pass my test too which narrows it down.

The Notary profession is one that appeals to those who cannot get a real job. That is why we have so many apathetic people who don’t cooperate. To succeed in this business you cannot be that way. You have to be responsible. Where are the people who are responsible, and study and succeed?

Maybe I need to take some time off and try to re-become what I was when I was thirty. Do something by going out on a limb not knowing what the final outcome would be but basing my risk on pure desire, commitment and hope. It’s not a bad way to begin. America began that way.

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I’ve been doing this 20 years
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Are folks with 20 years experience getting more clicks or less in 2018?
Who is getting clicks in 2018?
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Answering the call and then not wanting to talk
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November 28, 2017

Five things a Notary must do

This article is sort of like — how to be a notary in a nutshell. But, if you were a Notary in a nutshell, would your seal fit in the nutshell? Notaries are a bunch of nuts anyway, so they probably were inside a nutshell at some point in their evolution. In any case, what does a Notary do?

1. Identify
2. Journals
3. Filling out certificates
4. Giving Oaths
5. Understaning the difference between a legal and illegal request.

The most important thing a Notary does is to identify the signer and make sure they are the one who is intended to sign the document. Many Notaries take liberties identifying people which is dangerous and could come back to them. There are fake ID’s and people who impersonate others with the same name or variation of the same or similar name. If you think this will never happen to you, guess again and then you will understand the reason why the Notary profession exists — to deter fraud and safeguard transactions. If you are not safeguarding transactions through proper identification, you might as well not be a Notary.

Not all states require a journal, but if you are in front of a judge or FBI agent and don’t have a journal, you will be in a ton of trouble. So, there is more than just your sec of state to be accountable to. You need a journal in case there is an investigation and if you don’t keep on, you should not be a Notary. Period!

Filling out certificates seems easy enough. But, what if there is a snag? What if the certificate was filled out by the lender and one of the signers cannot show up or what if the state is wrong? Then, you have to make a change. But, what if you don’t know who initials the change, or forget to initial altogether? Then, you will be in huge trouble and will deserve it. What if you don’t know how to add a loose certificate with a staple to a document and fill out the “additional information” section. If you don’t know, then you are taking a huge risk being a Notary. That is mandatory knowledge.

Giving Oaths is something Notaries are generally legally required to know, however, no state audits people’s Oath giving abilities. The result is that 70% or more of Notaries do not know how to give an Oath. Some rely on their cheat sheets, but not knowing how to give an Oath off the top of your head is as ignorant as needing to consult a manual every time you tie your shoe. A real notary would not need a cheat sheet.

Knowing what is legal and not is a must. Different states have different laws. By rejecting legal requests, you are no longer a Notary Public, because a Notary Public accepts all legal requests from the public. Most Notaries reject legal requests on the basis that they don’t feel personally comfortable with the fact that someone already signed a document to be acknowledged or that the document is in a foreign language. In California, the document can be in Slobudian. You are notarizing the signature not the language. Then, the very same notary who declined a legal request will stand in line to do something completely reckless and illegal out of carelessness or stupidity like mailing a loose certificate in the mail simply because — it’s okay because the Lender told me it was okay or, it’s okay because I always do that. Always doing something doesn’t make it legal or safe! The law decides what is legal and acceptable — not you!

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Confirming the Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

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November 22, 2017

Notaries who have gone down hill

Filed under: Business Tips,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 3:47 am

I am full of sadness writing this article. I had many elite certified Notaries who have gone downhill. The reasons for their demise very. We had a few who got cancer and lost much of their thinking skills. And these used to be our very best Notaries on the site. I almost wanted to cry after testing some of these people who are Elite Certified yet cannot fill out a journal correctly. I guess they are good with complicated documents, but not good at simple procedures.

This is why my testing is more comprehensive these days. I have to test on basics which I previously assumed that everyone would know. Boy, was I wrong.

Then, there were people who sounded like they were on drugs whose communication was a combination of babbling and incoherent nonsense. A few others just got old and senile.

It is sad that a person’s mental condition can go from good to horrible so quickly. The truth is that the human brain does degenerate, and the energy levels and neurological connections in different parts of the brain can grow or shrink. The secret is walking an hour every day and having brain foods.

Grape Juice
Grape Seed Extract
Wine
Walnuts
Fish
Ginko Biloba

Whether young or old, work daily to maintain your brain and heart. I don’t want to see others go down hill like a few names that resonate in my head. I don’t want to cry anymore that my former best Notaries have become flunkers.

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Why are older Notaries so argumentative?
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Notarization for an exorcism
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November 21, 2017

13 ways to get sued as a Notary

Many people become Notaries to make a few extra bucks and don’t realize there are liabilities in this profession. Here are some ways you can get into trouble as a Notary.

1. You name your business a particular name, advertise with that name, but the name is not registered with your county clerk. Someone could sue you for using their business name.

2. You notarize loans in an Attorney state and the local bar association sues you. This has happened to a few Notaries in Massachusetts, and in Georgia the bar association antagonizes Notaries from time to time.

3. You make a mistake on a signing and your E&O doesn’t cover you. E&O is for NOTARY MISTAKES and not for business mistakes you make with loan signing. If a document is not notarized, your E&O will not cover your mistake. For example if you sign the note wrong, that is not a Notary mistake, that is a document signing mistake.

4. You return documents back late and the Lender sues you because the borrower lost their lock.

5. You make a comment to the borrower about their loan, they cancel, and then the Lender blames you and sues.

6. You decline to Notarize someone whose name on the ID does not match or prove the name on the document. One Notary did exacty this and got sued and lost because her communication skills were so bad, but judge could not understand her side of the story.

7. You get in a car accident on the way to a signing and get sued as a result of the accident.

8. You make a mistake in a loan signing and then don’t answer your phone or email for days after. The Lender is pulling his hair out and sues you for his bill with Bosley hair transplants.

9. You don’t follow directions on an assignment. You don’t show the documents in the order the client asked you to. As a result, the client changes their mind about signing the document that will get the client their commission. The client loses $5000 because of you, sues you, and wins.

10. You forget to administer an Oath and your state fines you for malpractice. In California there is a $750 fine for each Oath you forget. Fining and suing are different, but the end is the same — you lose. Or should I say, I swear you will lose!

11. You give legal advice or something that can be construed, misconstrued as legal advice. Then, you get sued for UPL. If you give legal advice to a courier company you could get sued for UPL by UPS.

12. You put the wrong date on the Right to Cancel, the borrower thinks they have an additional day, and find out after the fact that they don’t. Good luck. You would be surprised how many Notaries do not know how to date a Right to Cancel.

13. You misrepresent yourself as an immigration expert and defraud some poor and helpless immigrants. Or you advertise as a Notario. You will be cracked down upon by many state governments for this.

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You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
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Help, I’m being sued and E&O won’t help!
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The FBI is at your door and names you as a suspect!
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Find Notary Services Near Me
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November 15, 2017

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title

Many Notaries think they can be stubborn and difficult with me during our interactions. The fact is that I assume that if you are rude to me, that you will also be rude to title companies. Then the Notaries say that because they are paying me, they have the right to be rude to me. What an attitude! These are the same people who think they have the right to claim to know what they are doing when they don’t.

Then I talked to Jen who confirmed my theory. She had many title clients and she said that if a Notary is rude to me, they will be rude to others too. I was thinking that since Notaries get paid by title they will start out polite. But, if anything goes wrong, that the rudeness will come out fast.

My spiritual master says that if someone is rude to one person, then they are just rude and will eventually be rude to everybody. I have no way of proving this true. But, I have seen behaviors of friends who were hostile to strangers. This hostility came to me too, but not right away. I had to wait six years to see that hostility come back to me, but it came loud and clear.

So, if you see red flags, don’t discount those flags. They are real, and the consequences of the behavior is real too.

123notary is a directory that caters to Escrow and Title. We need professional Notaries who take their job seriously. Otherwise, the end users will get a bad impress of me, and I can’t afford that. So, treat me professionally, otherwise I will assume you are unprofessional towards everyone sooner or later.

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November 12, 2017

What gets you in trouble as a Notary fast vs. slowly

Filed under: Etiquette,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 3:50 am

As a Notary, there are many ways to get in trouble. Here are a few.

SLOW TROUBLE

Journals
If you don’t keep a good journal, you might get into trouble. But, people will only find out how bad your journal is after you are in court which won’t happen too quickly unless you have bad luck. But, many notaries do eventually end up in court, and you will find out then if you are in trouble for not keeping a good journal. Honestly, being in front of a judge is not the time you want to learn how you should have been keeping your journal. Find out before you are in trouble and save yourself the grief.

Identification.
If you identify people and take liberties doing so, it might take a while before you end up in court. Even if you do so correctly, you can still get in trouble. If the name on the document is not provable based on the ID, then you are going out on a limb notarizing. Also, if you do not thumbprint all signers, if they gave you a fake ID, then you have no paper trail leading to their arrest. You might get away with this for twenty years of sloppiness, and then on year twenty and one day you end up in court as a suspected accomplice in an identity fraud ring. Then you will be sorry. Be prepared and take a thumbprint. Only you can prevent forest fires and identity fraud (not necessarily in that order.)

FAST TROUBLE

Certificates
Not completing certificates will get you into trouble faster than wearing a Rolex in the South Bronx. If there is an error on a certificate, it might not be recordable or acceptable to the document custodian. That can hold a loan up and get a Notary fired or even sued.

Not following directions
Not following directions can ruin a job and get you fired quickly. Signing companies, brokers, and lenders want you to follow directions, so take that seriously. It can cost them thousands if you screw up.

Not answering your phone.
After you are done with a job, you are still on the hook. If you are needed for after-service but just don’t answer, you can get in trouble. Answering email is important too. If you go on vacation or are hospitalized after a job and are not responsive, trouble will follow.

Arguing with Jeremy
If you argue with me about how you don’t need to take my dumb quiz, you get into trouble fast with me. Many people have lost their certifications with 123notary purely due to stubbornness. How unnecessary. But, then if you are impossible with me, you will be impossible with the title companies who use 123notary and who needs that?

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November 7, 2017

The grace period after your signing

Filed under: Best Practices,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 1:03 am

Most Notaries are only concerned with making a living. It makes sense. I was the same way. This is why Notaries should get paid more so that they can be more conscientious and less worried about making a living.

After you do a signing, you might be needed for what the Japanese call, “Afta-sahvice.” That is their way of saying After-Service. After you do a signing, you might get emails and phone calls if there is something wrong. The Lender might need a tracking number. They might want to know about the ID of the signer. What if your stamp didn’t come out clear enough or what if you botched a notarization or missed a signature. Maybe the recorder objected to your seal which was too light in the corner. Even the best of Notaries make mistakes from time to time. The point is not to be perfect, but to be available (kind of like being a foster parent.)

I asked many Notaries this question:

“If you do a signing and want to go camping after the signing, how many days (if any) after you drop the Fedex in the drop box should you wait before you go camping or out of town, etc?”

Here are the answers.

1. None
(My commentary) You are leaving the signing company high and dry, but they are probably only paying you $60, so they deserve it.

2. Until they get the package.
(My commentary) The Title company might not realize there is a problem until a day or two after they get the package. Additionally, Title companies are notorious for unstapling notarized documents and losing acknowledgment forms stapled on. So, after they get the package isn’t long enough if you want to be considerate.

3. A day
(My commentary) The Title cmpany might not even get the package after a day. If you missed the Fedex cut off, and Fedex is slow, it might be two or three days before Title gets your package.

4. Two days
(My commentary) The Title company might just have gotten your package after two days. They won’t know there’s a problem until they review your work and it might sit on the secretary’s desk for a while.

5. Seven days
(My commentary) Why seven days? If the Title company gets the package it will be processed and the loan will close and fund within three to six days. Seven makes no sense at all. The person who said seven days did poorly on other questions.

6. Three days or until the rescission period is over
(My commentary) This answer is much more intelligent and well reasoned. If there is a problem, the processor will probably find it before the end of the rescission period which might be three or four days depending on whether or not a Sunday or Federal holiday.

7. Indefinitely
(My commentary) What? You are the servant of a signing company forever for a dumb $60 signing. This is like self-induced slavery. You can’t possibly mean that. Illogical. That person who said indefiniately failed my test by getting other answers wrong.

The “Correct” Answer
It seems to me that if there is a problem that requires the Notary to go back to the signing, it would reveal itself within the period of day two to day five. If the package did not arrive, on day two someone might request a tracking number which you should text them upon completion in any case — but, they might lose the text or the text might not go to the recipient but to the signing company. If there is a problem with a notarization it might be discovered on day two, three, or four, but most likely on day three. If there is a problem with the county recorder, it might not be detected for five to ten business days. The best answer for time sensitivity would be three to five days. However, if you need to go camping, you cannot just not do any signings for three to five days because you have to make a living. So, just let everyone you work for know your schedule ahead of time and let them know that they are responsible for the risk they are taking in hiring you when you will not be around to clean up any messes.

Use at your own risk!

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November 6, 2017

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Many Notaries complain about how little they get paid. And then I complain about how little they know. The two tend to go together and the pay is not going to go up before the knowledge does. However, there are negotiating techniques that can help.

1. Let them name their price first
In a bargaining game, it is better to let the other person bid first. You can always raise your ask price if they don’t offer enough. But, if they offer far too much, you would never get it if you asked first and asked too low.

2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125, you can always go down on your price, especially if the job is close or fast. You can ask how many pages, fax backs, and notarizations are in the package. If it is quick, then give them a quick price.

3. Never whine
If you whine about the condition of the industry or how low the fee was, people will think you are a low life. Professionals don’t whine. Professionals operate! So, if you are offered $60, ask for $85 and see what happens.

4. Decline the low-ball offers
If you spend all day working for peanuts, then when the good jobs come, you won’t have time. Decline bad offers so you are free for good offers.

5. Answer your phone
If you only offer when you are not in a signing and not driving or cooking or thinking, you will miss 80% of your calls. How can you negotiate a good fee if you don’t take the call in the first place?

6. Act professional
Try to impress them without trying to impress them. Most Notaries try to do a snow job and brag about how great they are. Seasoned operators don’t do this. Smart professionals will engage you in an intelligent conversation about the job, the industry and the state of the union. Ask them questions about the job, where it is, who it is for, what type of loan it is, and about their career and industry working in title or escrow. But, whatever you do, don’t talk about your zero percent error rate and how reliable and experienced you are — nobody can verify your claims and nobody wants to hear it.

7. Never say hello
Unless you work for an aloe vera companies, don’t answer the phone saying “aloe?” Answer stating your company name and personal name. It sounds professional. If you have screaming kids in the background that sounds horribly unprofessional. Have a quiet place to answer the phone and if you are in a noisy place, try to go to a quieter place and apologize about the noise. Just because you don’t mind noise doesn’t mean the title company enjoys barking dog and screaming three year old.

8. Talk about real life
Sometimes I talk to Notaries who tell the Title company that you can call me to clean up the mess after you hire one of those $50 signers. Over half my work is clean up work. That sounds real to title companies unlike all the nonsense about how experienced and knowledgeable you are which just sounds like fluff. Tell real stories about how you handled complicated situations that others might have goofed. Mention that split signing where you did some complicated manouver on the Acknowledgment certificate and how you went out to sign the wife at 3am because she could only see you at that time due to her busy schedule as a nurse. This is impressive and much better than fluff.

9. Negotiate timing
You can offer a better rate if they get you late after rush hour. They might prefer to just offer you more and get the job booked.

10. Double book and get a bad review
Yes, you’ll get bad reviews from this, but double booking makes sense. People cancel jobs all the time when they hire you, so why can’t you cancel a few jobs. If you book jobs tightly, the other person will cancel 20% of the time — at least. So, if you book a job for $60 and someone else offers you $150, you can ditch the first job and take the other. You will probably get a bad review that will last for three years, but you will have $90 extra in your pocket. It’s a dirty technique. Not recommended, but food for thought and great blog material.

11. Never let them see you sweat.
Appearing calm and collected are the way to go. If you seem flustered, that is bad. Oops, that was eleven rules and I promised ten. Okay, disregard point eleven and just use antiperspirant.

You might also like:

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A complete guide to getting paid
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November 3, 2017

Notary Sexual Harassment Issues

Many lady Notaries are afraid to go to a single man’s house for obvious reasons. But, the type of harrassment in this blog article will surprise even you guys who read my blogs regularly. Here are some bizarre situations that would happen.

The client wanted to get it on with the Notary. The Notary was offended, but NOT because the client wanted to get it on with him, but because the client wanted to do it do it with him and his stamp. The Notary said, “I’m not into that!”

The next situation involves the Notary chasing a woman around a desk (sounds like a Hindi movie) to get her signature. The woman resists because she claims she doesn’t know the Notary well enough to sign his journal. Sounds like a Beetles song, “Baby let me sign your journal.”

The last situation happened with Will from Will and Grace. Will had a male Notary who was straight who was offended because of how Will kept talking about how he wanted to be Notarized. Will: “Oh, NOTARIZE me, STAMP me, STAMP me all night long. Oh, whip out that embosser. Oh, you… Do you want me to SIGN something? I want to SIGN your BOOK. Oh please let me sign your book! Are you going to hold my thumb when we do journal thumbprints?” Then the Notary said, “Oh, my state doesn’t require thumbprints.” Then Will said, “in that case, you’re fired, but before I fire you, are you going to stamp me for approval?”

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November 2, 2017

One of our Notaries help put three dangerous felons away!

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 1:05 am

Most Notaries aspire to the most minimal standards and will not take an action unless required by law. Some Notaries don’t even do the legal minimum while a few will go slightly above the legal minimum when there is much more that they can do. As far as journal entries go, most states do not require a journal. However, the journal is your only evidence in court of what happened at your transaction. Additionally, the journal thumbprint which most of you refuse to ask for is your only ammunition to catch identity thieves. If someone uses a false ID, you will not have a paper trail leading to them. However, with a thumbprint, the authorities can catch the bad guys in many cases. Most of our Notaries say, “I’m not legally required to keep a journal, so since I keep one, that is good enough for me.” But, without a thumbprint or proper journal keeping, the Notary can be named as a suspect in an investigation which would be a huge nightmare.

One of our Notaries in Northern California helped the FBI catch three dangerous frauds! She did not catch them by doing the minimum like most of you out-of-state Notaries do. She kept journal thumbprints of almost all of her transactions. California requires a journal thumbprint for Deeds affecting real property and Power of Attorney documents. However, this Notary went above and beyond the law and kept thumbprints for most of her other acts as well.

The worst criminal caught by the FBI was involved in a Ponzi scheme who got 15 years. The FBI came to the Notary’s house, borrowed her journal with a warrant for seach and seizure, and gave the journal back after it went to forensics for a few days. It was the thumbprint that was the piece of evidence that nailed the bad guy.

The next criminal was an identity thief who got two years of hard time. Once again, this guy was caught based solely on a thumbprint.

There was a third fraud caught who I do not have information about. But, the cases I am writing about were documented in newspapers and were famous. I feel proud that one of our Notaries helped catch bad guys. But, what about the rest of you who negligently shrug their shoulders when ask to take journal thumbprints.

The common excuse is that the companies they work for or sometimes their states object to Notaries asking for thumbprints as it is invasive or upsetting to the signers. But, without a thumbprint, someone could drain the equity out of your home and not even get caught so easily. So, do you want identity thieves to rob you blind or would you prefer to have better record keeping practices? Without those thumbprints, those frauds would still be wandering around victimizing hundreds of other unsuspecting victims. The next victim might be you. So, start taking thumbprints even if your law doesn’t require it.

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You might also like:

Notice to Title Companies from 123notary about Thumbprinting
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19453

10 risks to being a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

Notarizing a kidnapper
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=676

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