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October 30, 2017

A follower with two Masters

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 10:50 am

In the spiritual game, we are told that we can only have one spiritual Master at a time. The reasoning is that multiple masters would cause confusion, differing ideologies, and might do conflicting spiritual work at you at the same time not knowing that some other master had done some other spiritual work on you recently. The result can lead to a mess, conflicting loyalties and other bad side effects.

Running 123notary is a little like having two masters. Since the Notaries are paying me, they feel that they can behave as they like, be as ignorent about Notary procedure as they want to be, and get away with it without even being questioned because after all, they are paying me. Even Carmen claims that I am not business minded because I care more about the quality of the people being added to my site than what they are paying me. However I beg to differ.

Title and Escrow companies prefer 123notary over any other site. Why? Because we offer the highest quality of Notaries around. No other site offers the same average quality of Notaries. However, after testing many of our Notaries, I will vouch for the vact that most of our Notaries are far from my minimal idea of quality. We have roughly 25% quality Notaries on our site while signingagent.com has about 2%, Snapdocs has 1% and NotaryRotary might have about 15%. We also get rid of the really unacceptable Notaries which is something no other site has done before. So we have a higher percentage of top end Notaries and a much lower percentage of the “F” quality Notaries.

I have to please the Title & Escrow Gods or they will not come to my site as much. To please them I have to maintain as high a quality standard as possible. It is also pleasing to me to have a quality site, and as of October 03, 2017 when I am writing this article, I am not completely satisfied with the quality of my site’s quality. There is much room for improvement.

If I please the Notaries who are paying me but upset the Title Gods, then nobody will come to our site and then the paying Notaries will stop paying soon after. If I upset the Notaries but please the Title Gods, most of the Notaries will feel that if they want business they will have to stick with 123.

I would like to please all parties as much as possible. But, if quality is an issue, I will err on the site of pleasing the Title Gods. Without them our ship is sunk!


October 25, 2017

Does 123notary have the authority to quiz people?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 1:05 am

In the old days, I had to quiz people by phone but got tired of it because people were so slow and didn’t know their stuff. Then, I invested in technology to test people, but so many people failed, or cheated on the test, that the results were not practical. Now, I am back to testing people by phone. Since most people won’t volunteer to be tested, I call them up and ask questions. Most people comply although the quality of their answers is horrible. But, people have questioned my authority. Here are some common complaints that I get normally from people who get 20% or less on my test and have anger issues.

1. Who do you think you are to ask me questions?
My response: If you are listed on my site I have the right to ask questions. If you don’t like it, ask me to remove your listing and I will.

2. Do you think you are the NNA?
My response: The NNA is a nationwide Notary organization. So are we. They do not call people and ask questions, but do remote testing for people who want to be tested as a Notary or Signing Agent. We at 123notary also have Signing Agent certifications, so we are similar to the NNA in many ways. We do many of the same things they do except that they sell supplies and we don’t.

3. You are not a state licensing agency.
My response: The states do such a bad job commissioning completely unqualified, incompetent people that I have to take over where the states left off which is educating people and testing them. I am not authorized by any state to teach Notary issues, however nobody who is qualified will lift a finger for me so I have to do the work myself and it is tedious. I am a web site licensing agency. I offer the license to be listed on my website and I will take it away from you if you can’t function as a Notary Public.

4. We are paying customers, therefor you don’t have the right to ask us anything.
My response: Your last payment was in 2014 which was three years ago. You now have a free listing. But, even if you were up to date in your payments, I have a reputation with the people who use our site. If everytime you went to 123notary you got horrible Notaries who ruined your loans and cost you thousands of dollars, you would avoid my site. If every time you used 123notary you got angry jerks who were rude to you, you would only use NotaryRotary or some other site. I have to have competent and polite Notaries on my site or people will stop coming. That means I have the necessity to ask you questions to verify your competence. And if I learn that you are not competent as a Notary Public, I should probably remove you although I remove very few people for incompetence.

However, I was auditing the people who passed my online test. Many cheated by memorizing the answers or having someone test for them. So, the only way to keep you certified is to ask a few questions by phone to make sure your phone score is consistent with your online score. If you got 90% online and a 60% phone score that is close enough, but what if you get a 20% phone score? If I give my certification to people who cheated, then the certification loses its meaning and becomes worthless. All I ask is that you passed legitimately and I do not want to test you every year like the NNA. They have their way and I have mine.

Just because you are paying me $99 per year doesn’t give you the right to ruin my reputation with users. And just as you pay to go to a restaurant you have to behave properly or they can throw you out. When you pay for an air ticket you sit down when the captain tells you to even though you are the one paying. When you pay to go to school you follow their rules. It is the same on 123notary. All we ask is that you maintain your listing and behave politely on the unusual occassion when I will ask you a few questions. I also request that you know how to be a competent Notary.


October 9, 2017

The 24 hour icon and what it means

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:57 am

Many people list hours of 8am to 8pm and want a 24 hour icon. This sounds a little odd. Aren’t you a 12 hour Notary? Others are open from 4pm to 8pm and want the icon too. So, who is the 24 hour icon for, and what does it mean?

The hours you post on 123notary are the hours that people can contact you. This might not be made clear, but that is what I mean. But, it can get complicated.

Many Notaries will go out on jobs at 2am, but only if notified ahead of time. These Notaries normally sleep during normal human hours and don’t want to be bothered unless they know you are paying and they know ahead of time.

Other Notaries really are 24 hours and do not sleep much. They don’t mind if you call them at 2am.

The problem with our icon is that lots of people want it as it attracts lots more business and makes you look like a serious player. The problem is that many people who have it simply don’t answer the phone after hours and some even get belligerent if you call them late.

THEM: “Do you know what time it is?”

JEREMY: “Yes, it is 9:20pm and you are a 24 hour Notary. The night is young!”

THEM: “Well, me and my husband are just setting down for bed, so call back during business hours.

JEREMY: “But, I AM calling during business hours — namely YOUR business (click)… hello, are you still there?”

So folks, please only get a 24 hour icon if you meet the following criteria.

1. You enjoy being called at all hours of the night.
2. You don’t mind if the call is merely a price inquiry from someone shopping around.
3. You are willing to get dressed and leave the house at any hour.
4. If Jeremy at 123notary calls you between 9pm and 11pm (and he might) that you don’t get made.
5. You actually answer your phone at night instead of just letting it ring like most people.



October 4, 2017

123notary. We’ll have to rename it 123fakenotary.com or psychonotary.com

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:39 am

I don’t mean to sound like Donald Trump, but there is a huge problem with fake Notaries. The complaints we get about Notaries are not that they don’t know how to do Notary work unless they are brand new beginners. It is more that they don’t communicate well or follow directions. Sometimes people leave clients high and dry or are rude as well. Rudeness is a bad problem and the rude notaries also systemically accuse me of being rude. I am expected to be polite when others are spitting all over me. They don’t know me too well aparantly.

In any case, by calling thousands of Notaries asking them Notary questions to make sure they know what they are doing, I run into psychos. I ran into one guy who was so upset, that he called and texted me 200 times over a four day period. He would just call and then a minute later call again and keep it up. The only thing I didn’t get was, when is this maniac going to quit.

His motive was to scare me. It worked. I called his local police in Michigan and my local police here as well. They told me not to fill out a report unless he was in front of my house. I think I’ll fill out a report anyway. I don’t like psychos.

My psychic counselor told me that it is good I found that guy, becuase if I had kept him on the directory he would have terrorized my users which I cannot afford.

The main thing Notaries need to understand about 123notary is that the reason we get high quality traffic is because we maintain a level of quality on the site. Those who have free listings who are below a particular standard get cut from the list. Those with high level listings who do not know how to be a Notary get priced out of their spot. We have ways to make it difficult for bad Notaries to survive on our list because we are a directory for good Notaries with cooperative attitudes.


October 2, 2017

Additions to policies regarding listings, certificaiton and elite

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 12:37 am

Here are some new official policies for being listed and having various certifications. Please note that in addition to testing Notaries on general competency in the areas we test them in, we also keep score for general communication skills. Notaries who exhibit various forms of incompetency, bad attitudes, or listening comprehension issues will be written up in our notes which are private and not accessable to the public in any way shape or form.

(1) Requirements for being listed on 123notary.com.
In addition to being a current Notary Public, you must exhibit a certain level of competency to us at 123notary by means of a phone quiz. We require a minimum of 70% passing to ensure being willing to list you on the basis of competency. For those that score less than 70%, we might make exceptions if they are in an area with not so many other Notaries, or not so many other Notaries who passed our test. Issues that we expect Notaries to be competent in include:

Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.

(2) Requirements for getting or keeping certification from 123notary.com.
Our previous rule was that if you were certified by 123notary, that the certification fee was a one time fee only. As of October 2017, we will require Notaries to recertify every (2) years. This will be at a small cost to those who purchased certification after Oct, 2017 and at no cost for those who initially got certified before that date.

All certified Notaries will be quizzed by phone no more than once per calendar year. The quiz for certified Notaries will include questions about:

(a) General Notary Knowledge: Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.
(b) Handling situations before, at, or after loan signings.
(c) General knowledge of basic loan documents which normally include questions about FAQ’s borrowers have and what information is in which document.

(3) Requirements for keeping our Elite certification on 123notary.com.

All elite certified notaries on 123notary will be quizzed by phone no more than once per calendar year for quality standards. The quiz will include.

(a) General Notary Knowledge: Identification, Journals, Notary Acts, Oaths, Certificates, and Seals.
(b) Handling situations before, at, or after loan signings.
(c) General knowledge of basic loan documents which normally include questions about FAQ’s borrowers have and what information is in which document.
(d) Advanced Notary knowledge such as advanced vocabulary, Apostilles, less common documents, and generally harder questions.

Grading for elite certificaiton will be at a higher standard than for the regular certified Notaries although we do not have a set standard for a passing percentage due to the fact that the difficulty of questions can vary from test to test.

(4) It is possible we might have a Platinum certification with an even higher standard in the future. However, during 2017 we will focus on maintaining set standards for the regular certification and elite. Please keep reading the blog to see if Platinum or Platinum Gray is mentioned.


August 29, 2017

123notary Silver Certification (coming soon)

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:48 pm

123notary has tried various certifications over the years. We tried the basic, and elite. However, the basic one was good for life. The problem with that is that I could not check up on people. So, many Notaries had the basic that it would be too hard to check up on people anyway. Additionally, many cheated on the online test by having others do the test for them while many also memorized the answers rather than learning the concepts. The elite test was far too advanced for 98% of our Notaries, so that was not an idea that revolutionized the site either. So, my new idea is to have a silver or gray certification for serious Notaries.

In the old days, the emphasis was on knowing the documents. We quizzed people on documents, the Right to Cancel, initialing, and handling issues at signings. However, we have been finding that the biggest problems with signing work these days has more to do with not being a good Notary rather than not being a good signing agent. Not getting documents back on time and being rude or not following directions are also serious problems. So, it seems that knowing the documents is the least important thing these days, especially as Lenders are doing such a much better job explaining the documents to the borrowers themselves. So, now the emphasis is on being a good Notary.

123NOTARY SILVER CERTIFICATION will differ in its branding from the Green or basic certification and Elite in various ways.

1. The book will be online in the blog and free.
2. The test will be by phone and 24 or more questions. Questions will be on mandatory topics and will not come from a pool of general questions. There might be a pool for each specific topic of question such as multiple questions for Jurats where I would only ask one particular Jurat question at a test.
3. A 90% test average will be necessary to pass and in a limited time period for questions that range from easy, medium and a few hard ones.
4. Questions will be based on:
(a) Notary Work (Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, Journals, Identification, Prohibited Acts, Seals, etc.)
(b) Power of Attorney (technical terms, signing procedures, etc.)
(c) Loan Documents and signing procedures
(d) Handling situations and following directions.

5. The silver certification will also consider having a proper attitude, and communicating well. If you ask me to repeat half of what I say, you cannot qualify for silver.

6. The silver certification will be good for four years with mandatory pop quiz questions by phone every year to ensure that you answer your phone, still have a good attitude, and haven’t forgotten everything you are supposed to know.

7. The silver course will come with tutoring from Jeremy and Carmen to ensure that the students learn the materials well enough to pass our tough test.

1. A take home ecourse or physical course.
2. Online testing
3. 15 questions that are random.
4. 86% pass rate on relatively easy questions.
5. No recertification necessary although I do ask pop quiz questions from time to time to make sure you did not cheat.

1. A physical take home book.
2. An over the phone test on only the most sophisticated aspects of loan signing. Elite is not such much practical as it was for the most elite caliber of Notaries.

The problem with our Green certification is that after the fact during pop quizzes we only require a 60% knowledge rate on the basic questions, although over the phone we ask harder questions so we are not comparing apples to apples. Too many people forget what they knew or cheated on the test. The other problem is that many Notaries are getting very old and senile. Some have Alzeimers or dimentia while others have had strokes or serious health problems that affect their thinking, level of motivation and attitude. We need a certification where we have less of a quantity of certified notaries, but keep track of them regularly and require high standards.

123notary will network with signing companies and get them to endorse our silver certification. We will train their notaries for them as a reward for referring people to us. Since our silver standard will be highly manicured and well maintained, it will be to the advantage of signing companies to use these Notaries. We predict that we will only be able to get about 400 silver Notaries, but that they will be hand trained and be the best Notaries on the market.

My rules for using silver certified Notaries will be as follows. If you officially endorse the silver standard, you must pay $100 minimum per signing to silver certified Notaries and pay within 15 days. Otherwise you will get in trouble and 123notary would have to reject your endorsement. If 15 days is too hard to enforce, I might have to extend the policy to 30 days. I’m not sure how this is going to work as we have never tried anything like this before.


August 23, 2017

Letter to the NNA about Notary Testing

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 12:10 am

Dear NNA,
It has come to my attention that the focus that both of our organizations have put on loan document knowledge seems to be a somewhat wasted focus for two reasons. First, the people we both have certified don’t know their loan documents that well. Second, Notaries tend to know their loan documents better than they know their Notary procedures.

When we get complaints about our Notaries, the complaints are normally that a Notary was rude, left someone high and dry after a botched signing not returning emails or calls, or that the notary made a Notary mistake (more common with beginners) or did not follow directions.

To certify someone as a loan signer who cannot function as a Notary is a mistake we have both made. I can show you many examples of individuals who have an intimate and flawless understanding of loan documents who cannot answer basic Notary questions.

For example, if you called your members up one by one and asked them the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat two things would happen. First, they would be offended that you called them and second, 90% would not give a thorough or correct answer according to my findings.

Notary knowledge trumps loan signing knowledge as the most common errors that happen at a loan signing are notary errors. Notaries commonly stamp where they see the word “seal” whether there is notarial wording or not. Notaries stamp over wording. Many Notaries decline legal requests for foreign language notarizations in California. The most common misunderstanding is that in 44 states, an Acknowledged signature can be signed prior to appearing before the Notary Public. There are many other issues as well.

The main point of this letter is to let you know that we are testing people on the wrong things. We need to know if someone is a good Notary and if they have a good attitude first. If they don’t know the difference between an Occupancy Affidavit and a Compliance Agreement, that will probably not come back to haunt anyone. But, if you identify someone incorrectly and notarize someone with an ID that says John Smith as John W Smith simply becuase you are “supposed to” have the person sign as their named is typed in the document, you could end up in court on an identity theft case for months without pay, and possibly be named as a defendent in addition to merely being a witness.

Last but not least, journal thumbprints are a hot topic of debate among myself and the Notaries. Many Notaries are being discouraged from taking thumbprints simply because it seems invasive or offensive to some Notary customers. However, the thumbprint has been the one piece of information that has helped the FBI nail some really scary ponzi schemers and identity thiefs. Not all states require journal thumbprints yet, but people who lead Notary organizations should do more to encourage people to take thumbprints as a measure to protect society from frauds.

Thumbprinting should be encouraged by scaring Notaries into realizing that without a thumbprint, they might be in court for a very long time, or named as a defendent and conspirator in an identity theft ring. Unlikely or not, the truth is that the FBI does treat Notaries like suspects as a matter of practice whenever anything goes wrong that requires their attention. Keeping good records is a way to wrap up situations quickly and without being blamed as a shoddy record keeper.

So, let’s both invest more in testing Notaries better on what really matters which is the fact that Notary knowledge takes precident over loan signing knowledge, and that following directions, getting back to people and being nice in the face of adversity are the most important things! Knowing the details of the Correction Agreement is actually the least important thing to know. According to lenders I know, the POA is the only document in a loan package which they stress that I test people on!

Thanks for your support, and I recommend your Notary educational products to all although I am out of touch with what the current names for your courses are as I studied from you in 1997. I think the Notary Essentials is what people have mentioned they were studying.


August 9, 2017

A sluggish Notary industry affects commenting on Facebook & Forums

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:04 am

What is happening in the Notary industry? I remember the old days when tons of Notaries would comment on our forum all day long. They would discuss so many interesting topics to no end. But, it just started slowing down around 2009 after the lending bust. Many of our best signers have slowly been weeded out of the industry. Low-ball companies became the dominant force of the industry capitalizing on untrained newer Notaries who have the absolute worst stats on our site. SnapDocs became the ringleader of the art of low-balling.

We knew starting in 2009 that our forum would be a thing of the past, but that Linked In, Facebook and other mediums would grow in its place. This didn’t work out to be exactly true. The forum remains an effective and organized way to discuss signing companies by querying strings with keywords relating to particular companies. So, people still use the forum, but only for one purpose.

Facebook commenting is sluggish too. Back when we had 2000 followers we had lively conversations. Now we have 25,000 followers, but few posts get good interactions and creating discussions without posts is generally a losing proposition. Even our competitor Notary Rotary is slower, although they are the dominant force in Notary discussions, but the quality of the discussions isn’t necessarily good enough for me to want to read all the lame commentary.

I think it just shows that the dominant players in notary discussion groups were the seasoned players in the game. Half of them have been weeded out. The newbies comment at a rate of less than 1% per capita of how the experienced folks commented. This leads to an across the board decline in commenting on Facebook, Forums, Linked In, and anywhere else Notary discussions happen.

I hope that as a group, you can put a little more effort into making informative and polite comments to the various posts and discussion topics that we and others post. It makes the industry much nicer for society as a whole!


July 31, 2017

When a Title company lies to you

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:46 am

In real life, people lie. It is unethical, and should be avoided. After all, your actions determine the type of world you live in. Every time you perform an action, you should ask yourself, if everybody did what I am going to do, would that be the type of world I want to live in?

But, what types of lies do Title companies tell you? You would be surprised.

One Notary had an incident where she was told she forgot to put a stamp on a particular acknowledgment for a document. After checking her records for that particular loan, it turned out there was no document by that name in the package — she had been lied to! (gasp)

Another Notary was told that they did not need to have the borrowers sign the 1003 Universal Loan Application. There are multiple places to sign. After the fact that Notary got in trouble for not having it signed. If you get unusual instructions that don’t seem right, better get them in writing, or perhaps just rely on your instincts (if you have instincts — what am I a cat?)

One Notary keeps a copy of all the documents in a package on a flash drive to prove if a document wasn’t really in a particular package.

Once an Escrow officer with bubbly handwriting forged my signature and made a photocopy of my seal. I explained to the investigating officer that I don’t make bubbles to dot my i’s, and that it must have been done by a 19 year old girl in his office who goofed on something and had to get something notarized fast!

I heard that once a Title company claimed that a copy of the ID was not included in the package. Keep in mind that multiple hands touch loan documents at title companies, and it is possible for one of those hands to misplace a document in the shuffle.

Lost cashier’s checks? I always attach these to a piece of paper and put it in the front of the package so they won’t get lost. But, title companies still lose $10,000 checks. You just can’t just Mortgage professionals. Half of them are a bunch of dummies! And they normally fail my test too after they convince me how smart they are!

The truth is that you might be asked to go out free of charge to redo the document that you “missed.” What a corrupt way to con a Notary. I missed two seals in 4000 signings in my signing career. So, I might not believe them if they claimed I missed something. I triple checked my work. Only when there was a confusion on a day I was tired and running around like a chicken with its head cut off — that is the only time I might have made a mistake of some sort.

And by the way — it is illegal to send a loose Acknowledgment in the mail if it is stamped. It needs to be stapled to the document it is associated with.


July 26, 2017

Most of what Jeremy & Carmen at 123notary offer all day is FREE.

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:54 am

People complain that prices on 123notary are expensive. But, they are complaining that the top placements are expensive. They should be. There can only be a single #1 spot in any particular area, and lots of people want it. Limited supply, and plenty of demand. But, lots of other things on 123notary are free. Here are some free things that 123notary offers.

We have no official helpline, but customers call in and talk to Carmen, and write in seeking help with technical Notary and signing agent issues as well as marketing strategy. We are happy to help because that is our reason for being (in addition to having the sea bass tempura sushi roll at Robata Grill down the street — my other reason for being.)

Free listings
People who are not sure about 123notary can usually get a free listing. We restrict free listings in busy areas, but we do make exceptions if you write a great notes section for your future listing. Whomever said there is nothing for free out there doesn’t understand the directory business. Most online directories offer most of their listings for free, but not the good listings at the top. Your free listings also offer you freedom — another way to be free, as you can write what you like in your notes section as long as it is appropriate, topical, and as long as big brother doesn’t mind.

Notes Makeovers
Jeremy is happy to give your notes section a free lookover and make suggestions on what to add, or reorganize it for you. People who get makeovers get about 50% more clicks on average simple because their listing makes a much better impression after the fact and is so much easier to process the data when organized well. Notes makeovers are free — get one today! (eyeliner and foundation sold separately)

Most Notaries have to pay to get courses so they can learn something. However, at 123notary, we feel that what people learn in courses is not enough. If you take a course, your brain will close up after you finish studying. It is better that you keep learning and learn a broad diversification of Notary and Signing Agent topics. Our blog covers marketing, technical, industry news, Notary comedy and much more to keep you at the top of your game. Many Notaries learn more from our blog than they learned from any course — and it’s free! We should probably create a test based purely on blog topics to make sure people are reading! Just don’t get your mind “blogged down” by overdosing on our content!

Contacting Delinquent Listings
Jeremy contacts people daily who have not logged into their free or paid listing. We also contact people with blank notes sections. If anything is wrong with your listing, we will eventually contact you. We are always watching. It’s easier if you just login to your listing more than a logger named Tim Burr does logging in to his listing (if they have listings.)

Answering dumb questions for the public
Since we have such a comprehensive list of signing companies, and since our number is on the left site of the page template, we get dumb people calling in all day assuming we are FASS, or Nation’s Direct. It takes a lot of reasoning to convince them that we are not, and that if they want to sue a particular signing company for not paying them, to have their Attorney find the correct signing company to sue and to stop bothering us. This work is courtesy of Carmen. Part of the problem is that we don’t always list the phone numbers for the signing companies on our listings, while we do list the address and web address. Maybe we should be more comprehensive.

In short, most of what Jeremy and Carmen do all day is free for the public. So, how do we make our money? People buy fancy top listings from us. Ask us if a top spot is available in your area. And remember, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody heard it fall, it didn’t really make a noise. And if you have a listing at the bottom of the list that nobody sees, it is as good as not existing until you upgrade to the top spot!

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