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September 21, 2013

$10,000 per month on a bad month

I just got off the phone with a notary who is doing really well who advertises on our site. Business has been better for most notaries recently, but not as good as for this husband and wife team. I will not mention their names or locations to protect their identity.

I talked to them about their renewal. Since our prices can go up or down for a particular position at any point in time, some notaries complain about their new price. If the price goes up, they argue and try to reason with me about how it was less last year. If the price goes down, then they think I was cheating them last year. Either way they get upset and criticize me.

This husband and wife team had a different approach. He said something to the tune of — You doubled my rate, but that is okay! Your site is amazing. We get almost all of our business from your site. I don’t know how you do it. We are making more than $10,000 a month in our notary business.

I was flabbergasted. I had heard the story of the new notary company making $35,000 per month which was an amazing story. But, now another notary making six digits. Unbelievable! So, my faith is renewed in a mobile notary public’s ability to make the type of living that makes other people drool.

Please take this blog entry as an opportunity to take a leap in faith that YOU can make six digits in your notary business. Yes, you have to do everything right, but you can do a bang up job, right?

You might also like:

A detailed look at the Ninja Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4621

Uncertified and not a single call
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3887

From 3 jobs per week to 3 jobs per day!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3940

Notary accidentally arrested for robbing a bank?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6541

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September 7, 2013

Companies that will hire NEW signers!

Here are some companies that typically hire new notaries. As a new notary, your primary responsibility to yourself is to get some experience under your belt. Don’t be too picky about how much you pay or how pleasant it is to work for some of these companies. The outfits that typically will hire newbies low-ball, require fax-backs, and micromanage you to the point of exasperation. But, tolerate this, because that is how you pay your dues and get your experience. Once you have 1000 signings under your belt, the higher paying Title companies will start to take you more seriously.

Companies that hire new signing agents:

Countrywide
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=155&Countrywide+Home+Loans+%2F+Full+Spectrum

Express Notary
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1066&Express+Notary

FASS
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=725&First+American+Signature+Services

Firma Signing Solutions
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=786&Firma+Signing+Solutions

Global Notary
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=762&Global+Notary

HVR Notaries
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=849&HVR+Mobile+Notaries
Loan-Closers.com

Mortgage Connect
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=814&Mortgage+Connect

Nations Direct
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=101&Nations+Direct

New Milleneum
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=834&New+Millennium+Title+Group

Notary Direct
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=113&Notary+Direct

Signature Line
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=855&Signature+Line+Closing+Services

Skye Closings
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=798&Skye+Closings

The Closer, LLC
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=973&The+Closer%2C+LLC

Vital Signings
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=85&Vital+Signing

.

Tweets:
(1) As a new notary, your primary responsibility to yourself is to get some experience under your belt.
(2) Outfits that typically hire newbies low-ball & micromanage u until u get enough experience to attract higher paying co’s.

You might also like:

Read about low-ball signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=745

Read about fax-backs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=fax-backs

Best signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=best

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July 3, 2013

How to get something notarized if you don’t have ID

If you don’t have ID, many states allow the use of credible witnesses. Two people could identify you before a notary public, sign the notary’s journal, and produce identification themselves.

But, honestly, if you need to get notarized, go down to your DMV and get a state issued identification card. You need it to go to a hotel, rent a car, get notarized, and more. You might need a copy of your birth certificate to get your ID. So, be prepared to figure out how to get your birth certificate. Don’t waste time. It is a hassle when notaries have to deal with clients who don’t have proper identification.

Personally, I have notarized many people. Some lived in bad areas where they got mugged, and the mugger took their identification. Others were old and had expired identification. Get with the program and get your identification ready.

It is sometimes hard or impossible to get something notarized if you don’t have current government issued identification.

Some states will allow the notary to notarize you if they know you well. But, most states have changed their laws, and no longer allow the notary to claim to know you as a form of identification.

Now you know how to get something notarized if you don’t have ID.

You might also like:

Show me your identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6353

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3823

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March 19, 2013

How to write a notes section if you have no experience

People ask us this question every day. What do I put in my notes section if I have no experience. So many notaries leave their notes blank. Nobody will hire you if you leave your notes unfilled. If you don’t have any experience, there are still many things to write about.

You can write about what types of notarizations you are willing to do. Be specific — readers love specifics. You can also write about what you used to do. Readers love to get to know you by reading your notes. The more they say, the more they like you.

Here are some examples.

(1) Someone with no experience
I am available to perform any type of notarization for any type of document or loan signing. Deeds, Affidavits, Contracts, Refinances, or any other type of loan or document is fine. I provide service from 9am to 9pm six days a week. I’m fluent in Malay & English. Call any time!

My professional background is very varied. I worked in a Mortgage company for five years, but was an assistant to a well known comedian before that. I also worked in Real Estate for three years. I have a BS in Chemistry. I also play the violin and flute (No, not at the same time).

(2) Someone with a dozen loans signed
I have signed many refinances, and a few reverse mortgages. I am happy to assist you with any type of loan or document signing 24 hours a day! Just give me a call and let’s get started.

I have 30 years of experience working in an insurance company. I have a Masters degree in photosynthesis.

Call me today!

(3) Someone with notary experience, but no loan experience
I have been a notary for 12 years and have completed hundreds of document signings for a wide range of clients. I have signed Deeds of Trust, Grant Deeds, Warranty Deeds, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Affidavits, Contracts, Permission for minors to travel, Affidavits of domicile, and many other documents. Call me any time for a loan or document signing.

I am a real go-getter, and a hard worker. I put in that extra effort to get the job done right. I also help the clients understand the notarization process and what their options are. Legally, I can not decide what type of notarization to offer, but I educate the signers as to what the different types of notarizations mean, and how they are most frequently used.

I used to work as a stockbroker at Tuna, Jones & Barney for three decades. I have an MBA in Marketing

——————————

We are trying to train the notaries to put their selling features at the top of the notes. Selling features are any facts that make you stand out such as experience, or familiarity with certain types of documents or loans. Or, a selling feature could be a smoothly written line about who you are as a person that makes you stand out in a nice way. Detailed personality descriptions should go in the 2nd paragraph as a rule. If you want to talk about your professional background before you were a notary, please put that at the bottom. So many notaries put their real estate or insurance information at the top of their notes, and it simply counts against them as the clients are more interested in reading about their notary skills, since they want to hire the notary to do notary work — not real estate work!

Twitter:
(1) Write about what types of loans & docs ur familiar with & what you did for a living before you were a notary.
(2) What are your selling features as a notary & how do you communicate them in your notes?
(3) Notaries who get ahead put hard information in their notes, not bragging or unverifiable claims.

You might also like:

What goes where in your notes section?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

Winning techniques for getting reviews
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2625

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August 12, 2012

The Mannequin Signer

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The mannequin signer

AKA — Notarizing a weirdo!

The notary went to the signing, and the signer came to the door. The notary had this bad feeling — something just wan’t right. When she walked in, she saw a site she had never seen before. There was a man who was just — so — strange. And the guy had a female mannequin in his living room. He said he had it there because he felt alone.

Interruption — comment from the editor — “Get a cat buddy!!!”

The signer said he wanted the notary to stay longer after notarizing because he enjoyed the notary’s company. The notary was very uncomfortable with this situation. The signer had a dark and dirty energy about him. It was really a weird situation.

The signing went fine, but the signer just didn’t want to let the female notary go!

Moral of the story — never do a signing with a single person at their home — especially if the signer is a man and you are a woman. Find a nearby Starbucks — because — you never know!!! You might bump into the mannequin signer!

Tweets:
(1) The signer had a dark & dirty energy about him.
(2) Moral of the story – never do a signing w/a single person at their home, especially if they’re male & ur female.
(3) The notary had this bad feeling that something just wasn’t right.
(4) The guy had a female mannequin in his living room. He said he had it there because he felt alone.

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May 8, 2012

California notaries with complaints

Notary Public California – complaints against local notaries 

It is easy to hire a notary public in California that you found online. But, how do you know they are reputable, or any good?  You don’t.  You take your chances. However, some notaries on 123notary.com have reviews about them.  You can read who has good reviews or bad reviews.  It is not always safe picking a random notary. As far as horror cases go, we have only had a handful of serious nightmarish notaries over the last decade, and we remove them once we have determined that they are a source of endless trouble!
 
The Kinko’s story
We had a California notary public fail to print out documents and have the borrower’s pick her up, drive her to Kinko’s where she could print the documents and then driver her to their home.  Borrowers are not chauffers, and this notary got dropped off once the borrowers got a hold of the lender.  A year later — the drama continues.  The California notary public in question is operating under a business name, and hiring other notaries to do tasks for her such as obtaining apostilles in Sacramento.  The problem is, that when checks come, they all have an elastic characteristic.  Notaries have complained on the forum about this company several times, and this particular California notary is one of the worst notary nightmares we have ever experienced and goes down in history as a legend.
 
Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143
 
Affordable Notary Service – http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4880
 
24 hour service?
Another California notary public advertised 24 hour service.  An individual calls them at 6am with an emergency.  The notary hangs up on the individual claiming that it is “too early”.  If you are not offering 24 hour service, don’t CLAIM that you do.  It is a requirement that if you want the 24 hour icon, you have to be willing to answer the phone after midnight whether you feel like it or not.
 
The white out story
A notary in California goes to a signing. She forgets to have the wife sign the Mortgage (oops), and then uses white out to change some information in the loan documents.  The worst possible thing you can do during a loan signing is to use white out which voids the usability of the document.  It gets better — then, the notary blames the Title company for not hilighting the signature areas in the documents where the wife was supposed to sign.  When she was requested to return to the borrower’s house to finish the incomplete signing, the notary recommended that they find someone else.  The notary replied to this complaint against her by stating that she used the mother-in-law as a required witness to the signing. Then, the Title company asked her to use someone else at which point she used white out to remove the mother-in-law’s signature and go and get a neighbor. 
 
123notary’s opinion: There is no crime in having an additional witness.  The problem is using white out, and cross outs also look unprofessional in a loan signing and can cause a loan not to fund. Additionally, a witness should be a party who doesn’t have a beneficial interest in the transaction — they should be uninvolved like a neighbor or stranger.
 
The four hour rule
Another California notary accepts a job for a signing.  Then she cancels at the last minute because she learns that the company who hired her doesn’t pay their bills.  There were a few forum posts about the company stating that the company didn’t pay their notaries.  In any case, the notary could have researched the company simultaneously while talking to them by using www.123notary.com/s and would have learned that they didn’t pay BEFORE accepting a job from them. Or, the notary could have researched them soon after the phone call and then cancelled.  The last minute cancellations cause a lot of grief to many parties and are not acceptable. The Lender emails me stating that the notary cancelled 2 hours after the signing and said that she was, “not able to help”.  Then, the notary replies to me stating that she EMAILED the borrower 45 minutes before the signing (that is considerably sooner than 2 hours after like the lender stated).  The notary claimed they called the borrowers but couldn’t get an answer or a voice mail. I’m not sure I believe all of this story, do you?  How many people do you know who don’t have an answering machine or a disfunctional one?  I think that the notary should have given four hours notice in a case like this and should have kept trying the borrowers every 30 minutes until she got them. You can’t just leave people high and dry!

Tweets:
(1) A notary had the borrowers pick her up, take her to Kinkos where she printed the docs & made them pay for it!
(2) 1 Notary claimed 24 hour service & hung up on a client who called at 6am saying it was “too early”
(3) The Notary forgot that the wife had to sign & then used white out to modify the documents!
(4) A Notary accepted a job, then cancelled right before the signing when she learned the signing co. had a bad payment record.

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April 10, 2012

Can a notary sign on a different day?

Can a notary sign on a different day? 

This is a tricky question and a bit vague if you ask me.  The date of a notarization corresponds to the date that the signer signs the notary journal (according to me).  Some signers will sign for an acknowledged signature a minute, day, week, month, year, or decade before the notarization, and that is legal according to California notary law, and probably in most if not all other states.  For Jurats, the signature must be made while personally appearing before a notary public.  Oaths should ideally have an accompanying journal entry, however, there is no signature on a purely oral Oath (BTW… jurats are used with written statements that have an accompanying oath).
 
So, in all types of notary acts, the signer should ideally sign the notary journal, and the date and time when they sign the journal establishes the notarization date.  Please keep in mind that a signing where the signer signs the document at 11:59pm and signs the notary journal at 12:01am the following day could be dated either day, but I prefer my golden rule of dating the notarization when the journal is signed.
 
The document date can be the date of the notarization or before, but is generally not after.
The signing date for an acknowledged signature can be the date of the acknowledgment or before, but never after
 
So, there are three dates that might concern the notary.  It is a crime to backdate a notary certificate, but putting a previous date in the certificate wording. It is also a crime to post date the date in the certificate wording.
 
So, what does it really mean to ask, “Can a notary sign on a different day?”
 
If the notarization takes place on Monday, where the signer signs the document by Monday, and signs the journal on Monday, can the notary stamp and seal the certificate wording on Tuesday if the notary has possession of the document?  This is not recommended, and is neglegence. However, if the signing was a late night signing on Monday, and you sign and affix your stamp to the document in your possession early Tuesday morning, that is still unacceptable, but sounds less unreasonable than letting it slide 24 or 48 hours!
 
So, the official answer to the above question is — NO!  Sign the certificate within a minute or two of when the journal is signed if humanly possible.

You might also like:

Can you notarize a Birth Certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2300

Can a notary perform a wedding?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1891

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April 8, 2012

Don’t put the Fedex in the drop box!

Please, no drop boxes!

I know a lot of you use drop boxes (Fedex, UPS, etc) to drop your documents. And before you say it, I know some of you have no other options that are close to you. In this case your options are limited. You are forgiven. Maybe you have had issues with this or maybe you haven’t. But, irregardless, it is something to consider, if at all possible please don’t drop your packages in drop boxes. Because, if it goes bad and the documents get lost; and you have no documentation; It can cause you a great amount of grief, stress and aggravation; and  in the end it could cost you a valuable client.

Loan package with a hefty cashier’s check thrown in a drop box

To give you an example, here is one story of several that has been shared with me. I had an Oregon notary just the other day call in to 123notary. From her tone she was obviously very upset. It seems she had completed a signing successfully and had dropped her documents on a Friday in one of those infamous drop boxes of Fedex. It was now Tuesday, and she got that dreaded call: the title company still hadn’t received the package.  I thought to myself, this is going to be bad. When this Oregon notary public and title went to track the package, there was no tracking information available. To make matters even worse there was a substantial amount in a cashier’s check also in the missing package. The assignment that had been given to the Notary in Oregon was for the paperwork that was to be used to purchase the property. So,  now everyone is upset and confused as to what to do.

Get your tracking — people!

Now in my mind, I’m thinking why in the world would you drop a set of documents in a drop box, especially with a large amount in a cashiers check. This to me this is a disaster waiting to happen.  The first thing I let our Oregon notary friend know is that unless absolutely necessary, you should always hand your packages to a driver and ask him to scan them or take them to hub or staffed service center, have them scan them and  get a receipt. This way YOU are off the hook. Which brings me to another point…

Hand fill the shipping labels

PLEASE remember when you are required to hand fill out the shipping labels with the client; title-escrow etc  account numbers you should always list the person that you are shipping to as the recipient and as the shipper. Do NOT use your information at all. This will serve two purposes. One-if the envelope is lost, it will not come to you it will just automatically go to the company that hired you. Two- if the company has not paid their bill you will not get charged for the service. Currently I have about 3 notaries battling with Fedex on this matter (cause they put their name as the shipper)and they are in collection status with them. Be careful! This can cause you a great deal of trouble with UPS, Fedex etc. and worst of all it will effect your credit if you cant straighten it out. You will have to pay it if you cant prove to their satisfaction that, you were hired by a 3rd party.

Now I understand that some of you may not be near a hub or have a location that you can go into to get a scan or receipt near by. But for those of you that do. It is better to safe then sorry. Always try to get a receipt or have driver scan your packages for you. This will protect you. For me, I need to know where my documents are at ALL times.

Now,  unfortunately as of today I haven’t heard back form the notary in this situation so I cant give up an up to date  but I am confident if those documents didn’t turn up everything would have to be redone…and all I can say is what a mess. If and when I hear from her I will let you know….Just remember: No drop boxes if you can help it…

Thank for reading and be safe…until next time!

PS — Jeremy did a signing ten years ago that was put in a drop box.  The documents were missing for a week.  The signing company eventually called Fedex — and you will never guess where the documents were.  They were still down there at the bottom of the drop box, and getting very cold by this point!  The driver who was assigned that drop box had quit and his replacement wasn’t given good instructions as to which drop boxes to pick up from every day!

Tweets:
(1) You could lose a client if you put a FedEx in a drop box on the off chance it never gets picked up.
(2) Sooner or later, the FedEx you put in a drop box won’t get picked up. Be safe & take it to a hub!
(3) If you put a FedEx containing a cashier’s check in a drop box, that is a recipe for disaster!
(4) Once I put a FedEx in the drop box that never got delivered. FedEx found it a week later still in the box!

You might also like:

Are you a man or a mouse? – a story about Fedex drivers and how they knock!

What tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?

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April 5, 2012

Your purpose is NOT to notarize?

You DON’T go to Notarize

Many notaries have lost sight of their primary responsibility, and feel it is their primary mission to go to the assignment to notarize the signatures. This is not the case. The primary mission is to determine if the documents / IDs – qualify for notarization. Only then can the client’s desires be accommodated.

A recent situation that I experienced will illustrate. And, as you will see the affiant DID have “Government issued Photo ID” but did NOT qualify for notarization. In the example that follows, for privacy purposes; the last name has been changed.

I receive a “piggyback” assignment from a very reputable Title Settlement company to process a very high dollar refinance. They stressed that the client appointment was difficult to arrange and that they were willing to pay a higher than usual rate for very careful processing of a large number of documents. In other words: It had to be done right the first time. I had requested a borrower contact number, but was asked to NOT call; just arrive on schedule.

When I received the appointment confirmation the names of the borrowers were Susan and Moe Rice. I immediately replied that Moe was more commonly used as a “nickname” and they should verify that indeed was the true borrower first name. I received no response other than an immediate pre-payment of the full amount to my PayPal account.

The document set was truly huge, over 500 pages (counting the borrower copy), and required many notarizations. It arrived barely in time to print and dash to the signing location. Still literally hot from the LaserJet printer, copies in hand – off I went with 2.5 hours allocated to process.

On location, after greetings; I requested the borrowers IDs. Hers was fine, his was a showstopper! The docs had “Moe” but his NY driver license had “Mortimer”. “Mr. Rice” I asked, “What is your legal name”. He replied that “that is a complex issue”. He said that his birth name is not translatable into English. Further discussion revealed that his legal name (at least in the US), came from his Naturalization document, and that Mortimer Rice was also on his passport. He offered me several other New York issued IDs, with photo, that had the name “Moe Rice” on them. I again asked him what was his legal name. He replied “Mortimer Rice” but prefers to use “Moe Rice” and that virtually all of his dealings are in the “Moe” name. He did have a prior driver license in the “Moe” name; however as it did not have his true legal name (per his statement) I could not accept it.

The documents all had “Moe Rice” everywhere. I thought about the “Name Affidavit” but that requires me to notarize “Moe Rice” and enter “Mortimer Rice” as an AKA – the reverse of the Name Affidavit function. Furthermore the existing Name Affidavit would have required me to notarize “Moe Rice” and, of course; that not being his stated legal name, is impossible.

I took a picture of his New York State Driver License “Mortimer Rice” and sent it to the Settlement Company explaining that I had no option but to adjourn the session. In email correspondence with Settlement; they determined that a legal procedure will be necessary to change his Title. The first thought was having me notarize a Quit Claim Deed, but I pointed out that I would have to notarize the seller “Moe Rice” to transfer the property to “Mortimer Rice” – also impossible.

You might also like:

New York Notary Public Search Results

Power of Attorney at a nursing home

Two notaries assigned the same job?

Illegal notarizations due to bad identification

When not to notarize

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March 21, 2012

Background Screening for Notaries?

Background Screening – who needs it?
 
Notaries are never quite sure whether background checks and background screening are an important part of the industry, or just a way for the agencies who provide it to make more money.  The state and DOJ screen you when you become a notary, right?  You can not be a felon and still be a notary, right?  So, why a redundant background check?  Does it make the signing companies feel better? Do they even want it?  The reality is that few companies ever ask notaries for background checks, but a few do.  How much work will you lose by not being background checked?
 
In California or Out of California – it makes a difference
If you are outside of California, aside from getting more inches of rainfall per year, the standards for becoming a notary are different.  California has been more
stringent in commissioning notaries for more than a decade, than other states in the country.  After 2005, it got even harder… a lot harder.  Its now very difficult to become a California notary public.  The test is murder, and then you need to get live scan fingerprinting (last I checked — and this is always changing), and checked by the DOJ and the FBI, and in some countiesof California maybe even the KGB.  Okay, maybe not the KGB, but I’m trying to illustrate how picky things are here.  Nobody who is the least bit sketchy or questionable will be able to become a notary, unless they didn’t get caught yet.  But, what about other states?  The rules change from state to state. It is possible that many states are very lax about background checking their notaries, and in those states, maybe the NNA should background check notaries!
 
A popular topic on the forum
Background checks are a very popular topic on the forum simply becuase there is so much confusion and emotion tied to the subject.  There is nothing notaries hate more than having to do something redundant.  Personally, I do redundant things daily, and I don’t mind providing I’m getting a benefit from it.  Others don’t see it the way I do based on these blogs. 

You might also like:
If you visit the forum and use the search box you can look up many more strings about background checks, but these are the strings that I thought you would like the most!
 
Question 13: Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2673
 
Background check standards 2010
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4035
 
2nd Background check by Service Link
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4007
 
Nations Direct and Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3518
 
Background Screening?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=328
 
Its back, background check requests
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3442

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