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December 2, 2011

How much can a notary charge in 2014 / 2015?

How much can a notary charge for a …

Q. How much can a notary charge for a witness signature?
A. The notary can charge whatever your state’s maximum notary fee is if you are notarizing a signature of a witness. Please visit our find a notary page, and then look up your state.
http://www.123notary.com/find-a-notary-public.asp

Q. How much can a notary charge for travel?
A. Most states allow a notary to charge whatever the client will pay for travel, but a handful of states have travel fee restrictions such as New Hampshire, Arizona, and a few other states. Please visit
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4231

Q. How much can a notary charge for a copy of a journal entry?
A. In California, 30 cents per journal entry. However please visit the state notary division website of the state in question for a state specific answers. This type of notary act does not have a fixed fee in most states by the way! Californians are lucky that they get to capitalize on this rare opportunity!

Q. How much can I charge to notarize for an inmate? How much to charge for notary services in Jail?
A. The actual fee for the notarizations is whatever your state maximum fees are. However, travel fees and waiting time fees are whatever you and your client agree on unless you are in a state that has travel fee restrictions.

Q. How much should a notary charge for swearing in a witness or a signer?
A. Most states have a set fee for administering an Oath… you can charge that fee.

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for an Acknowledgment in 2014 or 2015?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for a Jurat in 2013, 2014 or 2015?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum charge for a notary in my state?
A. The fee depends on the notary act, so please look your state up on our find a notary page on 123notary.

Note to readers
This blog entry was written in 2011, but modified in 2013 & 2014. Prices in 2015 & 2016 should be the same as in 2014 in most states. Find a great notary on 123notary!

Tweets
(1) How much can a notary charge for Travel, Copies of journal entries, Witness signatures & more!
(2) How much can a notary charge for an Acknowledgment, Jurat, or notarizing an inmate?

You might also like:

Q & A about various notary fees in 2013
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4291

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

Read blogs about California Notary issues!
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=california-notary-public

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November 22, 2011

Make your own notary certificate forms!

All the right words in all the right places
 
Many notaries call us and can’t find good notary forms.  We say, “You’ve been lookin’ for forms in all the wrong places, lookin for supplies in too many faces, searching the internet and looking for traces….”.  Honestly, we send many people to the NNA.  They make / sell excellent notary forms, supplies, journals, acknowledgment pads, jurat pads, bonds, etc.  But, what about the obvious alternative?  Forms are expensive, and acknowledgment pads and jurat pads are space consuming in your little notary bag, right?
 
Make your own
It’s not hard to typeset an acknowledgment form or Jurat form on your computer.  Just put your state notary verbiage or notary wording in the correct order, a venue, a place to sign and seal, or whatever your state requires.  You can photocopy this very cheaply at Kinko’s or wherever.  Make as many as you want.  Copying someone else’s copyrighted form is not legal, and not worth it.  You can’t copyright notary verbiage, and that works to your advantage!

There are other advantages in creating your own Acknowledgment Pads / Jurat Pads / Notary forms with your state notary verbiage too.
 
Branding?
If you create your own notary forms, and make them attractive, you can also put your notary company information and phone number at the bottom.  This is very smart branding.  Then, whenever anyone looks at how beautiful your notary forms are, they will think of you and call you too.  You could even put a company logo at the bottom of the form under the notary verbiage.   Times are tight these days, so you need every edge you can get, and this is not that much work to coordinate.

 How much can you save?
Notary pads of professionally made forms can cost you $9 per notary pad more or less, plus tax and shipping.  It adds up.  If you buy in bulk, then you might get a slightly better price.  There are generally 100 certificates per pad.  How much would it cost to have 100 pieces of paper copied at a discount printing place?  If you did 500, you might be able to get away paying $10-15.  Or just print them out on your laser printer, and print as many as you need, and when you need it.
 
Other forms?
I had a detailed permission to travel form for minors traveling with accompanying adults.  It was easier to do it with a form instead of writing it out for people each time. There is so much content that goes on that form.  BTW, in Florida, notaries should not offer to write documents.  The name of the child, who their parents are, who they are traveling with, when they were going, where they were going, and when they were coming back. I had signature lines for everyone and little places for thumbprints.  The feedback was that the security at the airport appreciated the thoroughness of the forms and my embosser’s impression.  Very professional!  They were probably used to handwritten confused looking letters and sick of it!
 
Designs?
If you have a good designer, you can add designs to the paperwork.  This is for full-time mobile notaries only.  It can get expensive using designers, but you will make a great impression if you have great stationary!  Think of your Jurat pad as a stack of resumes!

Tweets:
(1) You can purchase notary forms from the NNA, but if you make your own you can put your biz name & Phone #.
(2) If you make your own certificate forms, you can put your business name & phone number at the bottom!
(3) I used to make my own permission to travel for minors form with blanks for dates, names & thumbprints!

You might also like:

Index of posts about Notary certificates
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20268

Everything you need to know about notary journals

Notary Acknowledgment Information

The signing from hell

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September 12, 2011

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names

Companies that change their names
 
If you read the forums much, and you are advised to, you will have some idea of what is going on in the notarial world.  Signing agents are being low balled, not paid, strung along, and worse.  Some of the players or characters in this drama either change their company name, or transfer to another company, whose identity is unknown to the notaries as a group. This is very sneaky and deceptive, but the notaries are a fast group to catch on to scams and publish information on the forum.
 
Moving to a new company
From time to time, notaries will post about this phenominon.  An agent from a signing or title company of a particular name, will leave one company and start working for another company.  A notary, or more than one notary will find out, and post about it on the forum.  Believe me, if Jill at XYZ company didn’t pay you, then the fact she is working for a new outfit won’t make her pay you.  Of course Jill will give you the run around and say that it was out of her control, and that it was up to payroll or accounts payable.  How can you blame Jill for what was out of her hands?  My opinion, based on spiritual knowledge and common sense is that like and like attract.  If you are a screwball, you will be likely to work for screwballs. If you are honest, how long will you stick around with crooks once you figure out who they really are?  So, if the problem is in accounting, I think you are guilty by association.  What do you think? Additionally, how can I be sure that accounts payable calls the shots of who gets paid. In companies with ten or twenty people, it could be anyone. 
 
Changing company names
Sometimes companies will do business under one name, and then perplex everyone and pick a new name.  Nobody can figure out who they really are anymore. Notaries will tell endless stories on the forums, but there is always confusion, no matter who says what, or when.  I met someone by phone on the East coast who had a small signing outfit who wanted to change their name and enlarge their scope.  I told him to get a unique name, or keep the same name. Don’t fool around with names.  Names are how people know you and identify you.  If you pick the wrong name, you will be confused with crooks for the rest of your career and you will regret it.
 
Trading places?
Some companies have a similar name to other companies.  The only way to identify the company is by their town.  But, what happens when they move from Irvine to Simi Valley. Then, you completely lose track of who they are.  The confusion is unbearable.  You have to ask them if they “used to be” located in Irvine just to keep them straight.  With my luck, if I’m trying to figure out who a company is, I’ll see all of their various addresses, look them up on google, try to guess which years they were in which place, and then I will find out that they are out of business.
 
Similar names
How can you keep these companies straight?  I give up. It gets too confusing.
 
Notary Direct, & Notaries Direct
 
ASAP Processing, ASAP Settlement, ASAP Loan Docs, ASAP pro notary services & ASAP signing services,
 
Cal docs notary Vs. California notary and doc signers
 
California professional signing group, California signature service, California signing services
 
Central escrow & Central signing service
 
Doc Pro & Doc Pros
 
National Title & National titlenet
 
The bottom line
If a company has a confusing identity, just make sure you get their address.  The address proves who they are, unless they move around a lot.  I would be less inclined to trust a company that moved around too much.  Background check all companies on 123notary.com/S on your mobile phone and then you will know if they have a good track record.  A good history doesn’t guarantee you payment, but its ten times as safe as working for an unknown company!

Tweets:
(1) Some of the most infamous signing companies in the business changed their names. But, the notaries caught on!
(2) Some signing companies have almost an identical name to other ones. The only way to tell them apart is their address.

You might also like:

Business cards & registered business names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=36

Business licenses & company names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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June 17, 2011

Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion

A Louisiana notary on our database was murdered in his Louisiana home by an armed gunman in June 2011.  Two adult residents and a three year old were at home cooking gumbo when a young man aged 19-23 entered the house and opened fire.  One of the residents covered the three year old with his body to protect it from gunfire.  That resident named Keith Hamilton was shot, but lived after a brief stay in the hospital.  The other resident, who was a well known Louisiana notary public and loan signer named Anthony Wilmore was shot twice in the chest and lower back and died.

Anthony has been listed on 123notary for several years now on our Louisiana Notary search results, and it is very sad and tragic to learn of his untimely death.  We have never had anything like this happen to any of our members before.  We have had members fall victem to cancer, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires, but nobody died so suddenly like he did in such an unusual situation.  Most notaries are afraid of going to someone else’s house who might be psychotic, but this notary got into trouble staying at home cooking dinner!

Anthony lived in Orleans Parish in Louisiana in New Orleans.  That is a city that is filled with a festive energy, great food, great music, and great people.  Unfortunately, tragedy seems to hit that city on a regular basis.  Hurricanes, oil spills, high unemployment, and a high homicide rate as well plague the area.  I visited New Orleans briefly and enjoyed it thoroughly. Luckily, my four days there didn’t permit me to see anything tragic other than the aftermath of their hurricane.  The only reminders visable were the waterline on some of the houses that was still there. The damage had all long been cleaned up when I got there.  I have been told that some of the better restaurants relocated to Baton Rouge as well.

We grieve for Anthony and those who were close to him.  For the other notaries, I hope that nothing like this ever happens again.  Cancer, strokes and heart attacks are common killers of notaries though. So, please take lots of antioxidants, exercise, eat healthy foods, and see the doctor regularly.  Most of these health issues can be detered with a healthy lifestyle.

Tweets:
(1) A notary in Louisiana was murdered in his home by an armed gunman while he was cooking gumbo!
(2) The housemate of the notary threw his body over the 3 y/o to protect him from the gunfire!

.

You might also like:

Murder in a building a week before the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19272

Attorneys bullying Notaries – when does it end?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19383

I’d rather stop being a notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

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May 17, 2011

Fax Backs are a Pain!

Fax Backs are a pain!
 
Notaries want to make easy money, and why not?  Everybody else wants easy money too!  But, the realities in the notary world are not fair.  A handful of notaries walk off with unreal amounts of money for doing easy signings. Maybe they have a nice manner, or have experience?  Maybe people swear by them?  They are the lucky and the few, and they are not complaining about anything.  But, for the rest of us, we have to hustle for our money.  Some jobs involve putting up with cancellations. Other jobs are for companies that don’t always pay you, or string you along while you wait for payment.  Some notaries end up with “Readers”, who are borrowers who read every letter of every word in every document and ask a total of about three dozen questions, call the lender three times, and take forever.  But, these cases are mild compared to signings with fax backs.  Fax back has become  a dirty word in the signing agent business!
 
Commentary from notaries
I love reading forums and hearing what notaries have to say.  One notary says, “I don’t usually do these fax back signings”. Another notary states that after downloading, printing, driving, coordinating, and signing, its just not worth it to do fax back jobs for $60.
 
Why do companies require fax backs?
After running a Facebook profile for over a year, and a Forum for years, I realize that some notaries really know their stuff well, while the majority really do not even know what they are supposed to explain to the borrower, and what to refer to the lender.  Most notaries do not know what a “Document Date” is, or how to distinguish it from a document creation date. A few, can not even distinguish it from a signing date or notarization date.  Even if a notary is certified by NNA or 123notary, it doesn’t guarantee that they know their stuff. Our certification allows two wrong, and if one of the questions you got wrong was regarding what you can tell the borrower, then you could cause a lot of trouble.  The simple fact is that something like half of the mobile notaries out there do not know what they are doing, have not been trained, and need to get educated fast.
 
The companies requiring fax backs hire inexperienced notaries
To safeguard their loans from inexperienced notaries, the companies requiring fax backs read the faxes to see if documents were notarized correctly and signed correctly, so that they can have another notary go out and take care of business if there is a problem.  And, there could be more problems than you might think. For the notaries who do know what they are doing, they feel insulted being required to do fax backs. Its a waste of time and an insult to their intelligence, right?  Experienced notaries should work for outfits that make it a practice to work with experienced notaries and stay away from this type of babysitting job!

Tweets:
(1) Why do so many companies require fax backs? It is because notaries often miss things which could ruin a loan!
(2) Companies requiring fax backs generally hire inexperienced notaries.
 
Here are some related posts on the forum!

Low Ball Signing Companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=745

How to get business directly from title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14950

Fax Backs
 
FASS and fax backs
 
New Milleneum and fax backs 

Countrywide huge fax back

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April 27, 2011

Low Ball Signing Companies

Low Ball Signing Companies 

Notaries are always complaining about low ball signing companies.  My advice is to just say yes or no. As long as its quick and they pay you, you have nothing to lose, but your dignity.  Sometimes a quick $40 is not so bad.  If it takes you an hour or slightly more for the whole affair, that is not bad pay.  Just don’t take a low ball job and have to do fax backs, and wait for two hours while the borrower reads each phrase of each page and asks a million questions.
 
Tough times are here
We are living in tough times, and people in foreign countries live on a quarter of the income you have.  They have simpler habits and smaller cars or mopeds.  They eat less meat and more beans and rice or “Rad Na” if they live in Thailand.  Its better to take what you can get and save up for a rainy day.  I used to work for very little. When I was booked, my prices would go up.  When things were slow, I would accept jobs for very little, no matter what.  My bills didn’t care how many dollars per hour I made.    My mistake was not to ask for high amounts of money.  Some people and companies will pay you double what you think they will. Just ask.  If they say no, then take less if you have to.  Its better than starving.
 
Your lives are not that bad
Assuming you don’t have a health emergency and are not having your life threatened by your local gang, and assuming that a tsunami didn’t visit your neighborhood, your life is not that bad (I’m guessing).  As a world traveler, I see how middle class people live in India.  Broken roads, clunky cars, the other drivers’ purpose in life is to run you off the road and kill you, food that gives you dysentary, traffic from hell, salaries 20% of what Americans make, expensive rent, cab drivers that always try to rip you off.  Just crossing the street in Pune, India is an ordeal that most of you will never have to face.  Additionally, they have terrorist attacks on a regular basis and its not safe for women to go out after dark.  Few of you have any of these situations to contend with.  So, count your blessings.  Even in America, I know many who work for minimum wage who ride a bicycle to work through dangerous areas.  If you own a car, you are doing better than my bicycle riding friends who can barely pay their rent.
 
Forum posts on the subject:

The text below is written by notaries, and does not represent the viewpoints of 123notary.com

If you accept $50 signings
If one accepts $50 signings, then it’s obvious one has not taken into account everything that is involved in the signing, from consumables to time to depreciation of equipment ……
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2993
 
 
Vital Signings
……If you want to support Vital signings be aware YOU will not make any money. After a dozen signings I calculated I made $18.00 per signing. They get the bucks, you don’t.
The best micro-managers in the business. What a pain. They can’t pay me enough to work for them again.
If make an error, they take away YOUR fee and make you pay their fee as well…..  (scroll down for this one)
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=26
 
Firma Signing Solutions
…..So, you can imagine how hard my chin hit the floor when he quoted $35.00 for the whole thing! The low ballers fail to remember what all it takes to become adept at this job, you have to know what you’re doing. You’re not “just a notary” but a certified signing agent, which takes training and education to fully understand this process. I will just decline the job if the price doesn’t meet my fees, it’s just not worth it…..
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3170
 
Fax Backs
…. (scroll to the bottom) Has anyone else had jobs recently where they want the whole package faxed back? I have had two from Nations Direct. Of course, as usual, they are low balling the price and then state that the whole package needs to be faxed back. Both times I have told them I will not do a job for their low price, especially with all of the fax backs. Yesterday, for example, they asked me to go 30 miles away with edocs and fax back the whole package for $70. I don’t think so.
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3902
 
Question 2 Price Formula
……Rule of thumb: The lower the offer, the bigger th PITA it will be. It never fails….when you agree to a lower fee, docs will be late, the closing will go awry somehow, you will have a ton of fax-backs and need permission to ship…AND…you’ll wait at least 60 days to get paid the low ball fee. HONEST !!  ………
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1872

Tweets:
(1) Notaries are always complaining about low-ball signing co’s. Don’t complain, just say no!
(2) We are living in tough times. Maybe those low-ball signing companies keep you from starvation!
(3) Read real stories about four low-ball signing companies.

You might also like:

Good signing companies – a thorough list
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21091

Getting what is due! A clever plan!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3221

Bounced checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1765

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April 12, 2011

Pricing for notary work: different strokes for different folks

Pricing for notary work – different strokes for different folks
 
Notaries argue endlessly about what to charge and what others should charge.
Some notaries wish that there could be a set fee in the industry for certain jobs.  That is not legal or possible.  Other notaries complain when low-ball signing companies offer them work for $40 or $50 which is better than nothing.  Many notaries complain that they did lots of work and didn’t get paid, which is a very serious issue.  So, what should you charge and why?
 
What fancy signers do
I know of many signers who will not leave the house for less than a particular set fee.  One notary public I know will not leave the house for less than $150, while others will not leave for less than $125.  They figure that they have to put up with getting dressed nicely, traffic, borrowers who want to take forever reading, lenders, and then trying to get paid.  It’s just not worth it for less.  But, these notaries have something that some of the rest of us don’t always have:  something to keep them busy during the rest of their time when they are not doing notaries.  If you rely exclusively on mobile notary and signing agent work to keep you busy, you have to take almost every job that comes your way. If you sell insurance, real estate, or have some other type of job, then you can pick and choose what type of notary work you do.  If the company has a bad reputation, or doesn’t pay enough, or if the job is even one mile outside of your coverage area, you have the luxury of saying no.
 
Additionally, many high-priced signers will not leave the house to notarize single documents for less than $50 travel fee no matter how close the job is.  Finding notaries who are available, close, and answer their phone is hard, so you can often get high travel fees if people can find you.
 
FYI: Notaries who are in the high price range generally have experience and finesse to back up their high prices. They are normally very reliable, well trained, well dressed, and have good business skills.  Those of us who don’t have all of our skill sets polished will have trouble commanding such high prices for signings.
 
What desperate signers do
Anyone who is not a convicted felon can be a mobile notary .  This profession is open  and easy to get into which means that there will be a lot of competition and a lot of newbies who will do anything to get work.  Some people become mobile notaries who are successful in what they do, but prefer the free lifestyle. Others get into this because they have mouths to feed, and this is the only way they can think of to sustain themselves.  Desperate signers are often new in the business, lacking experience, and are poorly trained.  They will often not be certified by 123notary, or NNA.  They will not know what they can get away with charging, and the quality of their work?  Who knows?  Desperate signers will work for $40 per signing, do fax backs, drive long distances paying a lot for gas, and then often not even get paid.  We wish these desperate types would consult us.  We would tell them to research all companies before working for them.  No matter how hungry you are, working for somoene who won’t pay you doesn’t make sense. You would be better off at home twiddling your thumbs.
 
What makes sense
We have another notary blog entry that goes over the components in price computations.  Its very complicated and goes over many factors. The biggest factor is how desperate you are.  If you don’t have enough work, then you need to become a regular for more companies.  It makes sense to accept lower paying work until your schedule is filled slightly more than you can comfortably handle.  Once you reach that threshold, then raise your minimum a notch or tighten your radius a notch.  Supply and demand is the ultimate deciding factor in what you charge.  No set fee schedule or recommendation from a friend can help you here.
 
Should I mention what I charge in my profile?
As a general rule, we say no.  Notaries change their pricing all the time, and with all the variables, you would have to write a novel to document exactly what you charge. Its easier if someone just calls and asks.  The low-ball companies call (bother) everyone, so you won’t be left out by them. The high-payers start with the top of the list and gravitate towards elite certified folks.  Changing your notes section to include fees doesn’t get you at the top of the list or elite certified, and won’t increase your business by much if at all.  Companies who know what you charge will still bother you to offer you jobs at half of what you charge. 
 
Marketing Marketing Marketing
The main thing to remember is to market yourself well. If you have a bigger net, you catch more fish, and then you keep the ones you like.  Even if you are busy, having more offers doesn’t hurt.  If you can take more jobs from companies you like, and decline jobs from companies who are less than your favorites, that is a beneficial way to go.

Tweets:
(1) Notaries argue endlessly about what to charge & what others should charge. Here’s what the pros do!
(2) How much is it worth to get dressed nicely, deal w/traffic, wait for borrowers who want to take forever, lenders & then try to get paid?
(3) The notary profession is easy to get into which means there’ll be lots of low priced competition!
 
You might also like:

Pricing formulas for mobile notary work. 
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=pricing\

Price Formulas and Time Spent
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=588

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March 31, 2011

Things that get notaries complaints

Things that get notaries complaints
 
Complaints are taken seriously at 123notary.com.  None of the notaries on board have voiced an opinion supporting our review system which allows browsers to post legitimate complaints about notaries.  Many notaries on board feel that they have a license to cause trouble, and that I have no right to ask questions or do anything about it since they pay us for advertising. Many notaries want the right to harm others without being held accountable.  My point of view is that if you cause misconduct while on our site, ITS MY BUSINESS, and you will be held accountable. 
 
I want to take a positive approach to this problem and let the notaries know what the common things that go wrong are, so that you can avoid getting a complaint in the first place.   I’m going to list types of complaints in order of how frequently they come up.
 
(1) Rudeness
Of all the complaints we have gotten, the largest category was rudeness which includes using bad words, hostility, hanging up on people, rude tones of voice, antagonism, harrassment, and threats.  If a signing company doesn’t treat you the way you like, DON’T WORK FOR THEM.  Don’t threaten to use their fedex account.  Don’t threaten to put a lien on the borrowers house if you don’t get paid.  Don’t withold a borrower’s documents until you get paid.  Have a policy for what you accept from others.  If others violate your terms, then stop dealing with them.  Period!
 
(2) No Show no call
It amazes me that notaries think they can completely blow off a signing without even calling. Then, the excuses notaries give remind me of being a substitute teacher in eighth grade. The excuses are clevely worded so that you will feel guilty for asking them any more questions.  Heartbreaking stories, grueling conditions, family crisises, and earthshaking emergencies.  Many of these excuses are true, but there is no way to verify, because not once have I ever been offered a scan of a document that proves someone’s argument one way or the other.  If you are offered a signing and you can’t make it, call at least two hours in advance.  If you are having a family emergency, in a snow storm, in WW3, in a flood, or are almost dead, you better call otherwise you will get a complaint, and I am not too interested in the excuses.
 
(3) Notary Mistakes
Many notaries make mistakes. The good notaries triple check their work and are willing to go back if they made even one small mistake.  But, not all notaries are good notaries. Many will be unwilling to go back to an appointment a second time to fix what they did wrong.   If you make a mistake, fix it whether you get paid to or not, otherwise you will lose clients and get complaints.
 
(4) Failure to return calls or emails after a signing
This is another type of problem that people have every conceivable type of excuse for.  Personally, when I’m on vacation, I answer emails.  I had a vacation where I slept in my car, slept in a tent, and couldn’t find an internet cafe for half a day. I kept looking until I found it and answered as many emails as I could.  Signing agents will go on vacation, or say they did, and use that as an excuse not to return phone calls or emails.  I won’t accept this as an excuse.  You have to be available up to 48 hours after a job is done in case there is a problem, and the problem could very well be the fault of the title company, but you still have to be available.  No excuses.

 (5) Slandering or sabotaging companies you work for
One notary said that the terms of the loan were not good.  Another tried to sell the borrower a modification right at the signing.  A third threatened to use the lender’s Fedex account # because she said she didn’t get paid enough.  Another one sent porno spam to us and others. 
 
(6) Other types of misconduct.
Some notaries just cause a lot of various types of trouble.  Others are unwilling to fix mistakes they made.  Once in a while a signer will outsource jobs to another signer and then not pay them.  Last minute cancellations are completely unacceptable unless there is a documented health emergency or other type of uncontrollable circumstances.  One notary has a habit of double booking appointments and then trying to reschedule them at the last minute.  Two notaries walked out of an appointment.  One had a family emergency and flaked.  He forgot to even tell the borrowers who were in the other room that he was going to the hospital.
 
The moral of the story is to avoid all of these problems by being very careful to go to all your appointments, be polite even if others are not polite to you, and do a good follow up after the job is done.  I’m personally tired of all the complaints, excuses, the dramas, and irresponsibility.  We want good notaries on 123notary, and for the most part, the notaries on board are excellent. We do not want a few bad apples to cause a bad reputation for the others.

Tweets:
(1) Many notaries feel that since they pay us for advertising, we’ve no right to post bad reviews on their profile.
(2) Many notaries are rude to signing companies who manipulate them. Don’t be rude! Just don’t work for them.
(3) Many notaries just don’t answer their phone or email after a signing which can cause a nightmare.

You might also like:

Florida Notaries with complaints
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1870

A list of things that rude notaries do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2198

Bad notary reviews and the law on the internet
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18866

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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March 14, 2011

Dragging the person’s arm

Is your notary job a drag?
This job is like dragging arms man!
Are your hospital customers a drag, literally?
 
Dragging the signers arm
It was back in 2000.  I had had a Santa Monica notary job, and then was called from Arcadia.  I was informed that I would be needed to visit an Arcadia hospital to do a hospital notarization signing later that night. They were not sure. The patient would be awake and ready around 11pm, but maybe later… maybe much later.  I explained that I was a night owl, and that its no problem.  Just call while I’m still awake.  Once I’m sleeping, you have lost me. 
 
The phone call
So, I finished my Santa Monica job, got another job in West Covina, and drove back home through El Monte to Monterey Park where I was living at the time.  This was long time ago when I had first started 123notary to advertise my personal notary services to five counties in Southern California.  I was the only notary listed on 123notary at the time.  Ah, the memories of the good old days!  So, I waited at home watching television.  Finally the call came at 11pm.  They said they wanted to meet me at 1am at the hospital in Arcadia.  I said fine.  I’ll meet you in the lobby, I’ll be carrying a small black bag.
 
The lobby
I arrived at the lobby.  My client was early and waiting for me.  Clients always had ESP and always knew who I was without ever having met me before.  I guess my demeanor of looking like I was having the time of my life was what gave me away — NOT!  We went up to the hospital room, and there she was… the signer… and the family.  Fortunately the signer had ID.  It was time to sign.
 
I can’t move my arm!
The signer could barely move their arm.  In situations like this, the daughter of the signer always puts a pen in the elderly person’s arm, grabs the elderly person’s arm, DRAGS it across the page, and attempts to “help” them sign.  I had to stop them.   STOP!   Who is signing here?  You, or her?  The daughter said, “She is signing, I’m just helping her!”.  I said, PLEASE STOP helping her.  Lets have Ethel sit up a bit…there… thats much better.  Lets put the document on a hard surface so her pen doesn’t rip a whole in it.  Hmmmm… Much better!  Now, you can use your arm as a brace to guide Ethel’s arm, but let Ethel do the movements herself, otherwise you are more or less forging her signature even though she is the one holding the pen. 
 
40 minutes later
After 20 minutes, we got the first signature done. That wasn’t so hard, was it?  Then, we did the thumbprint in my journal to prove that the etch-a-sketch “scribble” wasn’t forged.  Elderly people grab on for dear life when you thumbprint them, their tension is like a brick.  Now it was time for the journal thumbprint.  I will bet money, that this won’t take any longer than another 25 minutes.  I was right!  We turned the journal almost completely upside down.  I had to supervise to make sure Ethel signed where she was supposed to and not on the “Name of document” section for Harry’s notarization that had taken place the previous day.  Thank god I watch everyone like a hawk.  The notarization was a “breeze”.  All in a days work.

Tweets:
(1) Doing signings for the elderly in hospitals is like pulling teeth or dragging arms!
(2) Whenever I arrive at a hospital lobby, the clients have ESP and automatically know I’m the notary!
(3) The signer could barely move her arm, so the daughter grabbed it, put a hen in her hand & moved the arm around!

You might also like:

Power of Attorney at a Nursing Home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2243

Just say No #2
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=just-say-no2

Grandma’s notary service & Paralysis notary service
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4231

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March 3, 2011

Mobile Offices from A to Z

Mobile offices and their advantages
 
One of our notaries in Maryland commands higher prices for his loan signing services due to his expertise in signings and also because he has a mobile office which facilitates last minute notary jobs and last minute quick changes to documents.  This notary has state-of-the-art equipment that comprises his mobile office in his pickup truck.  He has a scanner, regular sized printer, laptop, extra toner, paper, a special inverter, cables, a powerful alternator, and extra heavy duty fuses.  His internet connection is courtesy of Verizon Wireless Broadband.  Additionally, he considers it really important to have a really powerful battery because the equipment puts a heavy load on the battery.  Another interesting fact is that he uses a police squad laptop holder so he can work comfortably while in the drivers seat.   He prints by putting the printer in the back seat.  His wires are directly wired to the car’s electrical system instead of using a plug in that would go in the cigarette lighter.
 
What are the technical issues of a mobile office?
This notary started his mobile office in 2004.  He has lots of experience with mobile offices and the issues related to them.  He claims that someone with a regular car might not have enough battery or alternator power to handle the load of a laser printer.   He used to blow fuses to do overload, but learned that buying top of the line heavy-duty fuses and having a state of the art alternator he could handle the demands of the job.  Our Maryland notary public learned that it was not technically feasable to run a printer and laptop simultaneously using his mobile office.  So, what he does is to put the laptop on battery only while printing documents
 
Printing
With a mobile office, a signing agent can download documents while you are driving.  Imagine the time you can save multi-tasking.  Our Maryland Notary Public uses a regular sized printer without any issues.  However, the printer gets hot, so a firewall is necessary.  He uses wood covered by velcro to make sure that no fires are created when he places the printer on a seat or on the floor. 
 
How does this help his business?
You can get more money for signings having a mobile office because you can do last minute quick prints of last minute documents.  Imagine that the lender has a quick change to the Settlement Statement or other critical document.  No problem, it can be reprinted at the signing.  What if there is a quick name variation change, or change for a critical figure in the loan.  Again, this is easy to printout at the last minute.  Many loans have to be completely rescheduled due to the notary’s lack of equipment, but not if you have a mobile office!
 
What does it cost?
You could spend $2000-$3000 for a mobile office.  The inverter is about $100 and thats critical for good electrical flow.  Scanners and printers a few hundred each.  The biggest expense is the laptop, and those can run anywhere from $500 to $2000 per unit.

Tweets:
(1) One of our notaries commands a higher fee simply because he has a sophisticated mobile office!
(2) Having a mobile office is perfect in the “unlikely” event that a lender sends you docs late when ur on the road.
(3) You could spend up to $3000 for a really good mobile office. Don’t forget to start w/an inverter!
 
You might also like:
 

Erica’s mobile office story

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