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January 28, 2017

WFG National Title Insurance Company

Here is a condensed version of the more interesting comments about this company on our forum.

(1) Penny
“I have not received payment since my assignment and invoice to WFG on November 28. Despite numerous emails saying it’s in the mail, or will be in the mail, zero.
Penny 1-17-17”

(2) Joan
“WFG in Westlake Village, CA is giving me the run around with my fee being received. Completed signing on 9-30-16, it is now 11-29-16. Unacceptable. They claim they are going through a transitional period since Michael Crowder is no longer with them. What has that got to do with A/P getting my money to me?”

(3) DanNotary
“May not be dealing with them again. Huge packages, lots of work, difficult to get through to anyone and get a response. They pay $125 but if I do anything again its going to be $150.”

(4) 29993
“I have noticed that the loan packages are getting very large…so I have begun to notify, particularly WFG whose files average 170 copies…that my minimum fee is increased by another $20.00..As I mentioned before I have had no problems getting paid and have asked each time if the file is larger than 120 pages to add in another $20…but I’ve had to followup to make sure that it was…..so this week I am sending out notifications to most of the companies I work for to increase my minimum fee to include the $20. Whenever I accept a signing…they will need to include it in the order or I will return the assignment right there and then………We all have to begin to hold the line on our fees or if you accept less then you only have yourself to blame….Good Luck!”

(5) Garyw148
“I agreed to perform a signing for WFG for 10:30am the next day. At 8am I had yet to receive any documents. WFG did not answer any of the 4 phone numbers I called. Nor did they respond to the emails I sent to 3 different people. My last email was that I was going to call the borrower and let them know the signing was cancelled. Moments later (10am) I received a response not to call the borrower that the documents were coming. Then I got an email stating the day would be changed. I called the borrower and basically said to stand by. I requested to be paid via PayPal. I got a call from Mike stating they never pay via PayPal and he would remove me from there list of notaries. I said fine. Be carful here folks. Read the other reviews.”

You might also like:

See our string on WFG on the forum
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5117

See our string on NEW signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=new

National Preferred Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16669

Are you a Yes-tary or a No-tary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3241

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December 23, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

You might also like:

The Opposite: How George Costanza changed his Notary career
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17017

Shark Tank: 123notary wants to sell 10% of its shares
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16021

Compilation of Notary sit-com episodes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15949

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(The two of them go upstairs)

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

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

DAVE: Yes you were.

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

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

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

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

(ring ring)

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

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

TOM: Yes Greg, we do.

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

TOM: What are you, a professional negotiator?

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

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

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

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

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

TOM: What?

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

JULES: Put your weapons down!!!!

ED: Put your weapons down…

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

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

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

ED: Yes, put the seal on the table.

GREG: Do you have the solution?

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

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

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

TOM: I need that machine.

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

TOM: No, I won’t!!!

GREG: Okay…. Scorpio

(blast)

GREG: What was that?

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

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

JULES: You came inches from it.

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

TOM: You will? Gee thanks!

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

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

Ed: That won’t be necessary.

NOTARY: I also do weddings and bar-mitzvahs.

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December 22, 2016

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

It is common to need a Notarized Power of Attorney. The issue is that many people don’t know where to go for help. You need to either find a Power of Attorney form, or have a customized one drafted by a law firm. But, be careful. If you have the wrong Power of Attorney form, it might not be acceptable to whomever the custodian of the document is, or to the courts. I am not an Attorney and can’t advise you, but I suggest you first talk to the agency you are submitting the Power of Attorney to and see what their requirements are. After that, talk to an Attorney.

Step 1. Check with the Document Custodian

Many banks want customers to use their own Power of Attorney for Banking document to be used. This Banking Power of Attorney is sometimes not on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. I have seen them printed on card stock in such a way where there is not enough room for a Notary seal. Banks often insist that the Notary seal is on the actual document and won’t accept Attorney written documents. So, talk to the entity you are submitting the Power of Attorney for before doing anything else.

Step 2. Draft your Power of Attorney

If necessary, get your Power of Attorney drafted by an Attorney or someone who your Attorney recommends.
If you use a standardized form from an office supply store, make sure you get it all filled out before calling the notary.
You will need to have an Attorney in Fact (Agent or Grantee,) a Grantor, and you need to specify what powers you are granting, and for how long, and under what conditions. It’s complicated and critical, which is why you need an Attorney at $200-$400 per hour!

Step 3. Find a Notary on 123notary.com!
Any notary can notarize a Power of Attorney. They can also notarize a Durable Power of Attorney, or notarize a Health Care Power of Attorney. Certain states even allow the Notary to make certified copies of a Power of Attorney. 123notary offers a wide selection of mobile notaries who can come to your home, office, hospital room, or jail cell and get your Power of Attorney notarized. Make sure you have current photo-ID issued by government agency.

Step 4. Submit your Notarized Power of Attorney
Once your POA is notarized, you might need to submit it to a particular party, or have it registered at some government office. Ask your Attorney what to do. Keep in mind that banks often have their own forms for Banking Power of Attorney which are often very simplified forms on card stock which would be significantly below the standards of an Attorney. But, if it is for their bank, they have the right to request any type of form they like. Just make sure your Attorney doesn’t object too terribly much. It’s complicated! Be prudent and consult the right people and Attorney before making your decision what to do.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Health care Power of Attorney documents which are often called health directives, medical power of attorney forms or living wills. These are normally very long documents written by an Attorney who specializes in these matters. These types of documents often specify what to do if the Grantor becomes mentally incapacitated, or have to be put on life support.

Limited Power of Attorney documents which grant authority to the grantee to perform certain actions on behalf of the Grantor.

Durable Power of Attorney documents which could stay valid even after the Grantor becomes mentally incompetent (ask an Attorney for details.)

General Power of Attorney — gives broad authorizations to the agent

Special Power of Attorney — gives specific and special powers and authorizations to the agent

Final Note
Don’t ask legal questions to Notaries or other non-Attorneys. First of all, Notaries are not trained to answer legal questions. Secondly, they are not allowed by law to answer legal questions. Get your legal questions out of the way with your Attorney before you make your initial call to the notary. Nothing is worse than keeping a notary on hold while you resolve issues that a responsible person would have resolved long before they called in a notary! Also, Notaries are not normally authorized to draft legal documents, so find someone who is legally authorized to draft legal documents which is normally someone who works as an Attorney or perhaps in the legal field.

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December 17, 2016

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?

When most of us see a website, we see the front end and are absolutely oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. The fact is that running 123notary involves all types of work that you might not be aware of. Here is a breakdown of what gets done and who does what.

Hosting
123notary is hosted by Connectria and has been for eight years. They keep the site online and help solve technical issues with the servers. You might be surprised to know how much it actually costs to host 123notary. The cost is about $1500 per month and that is before a single hour of programming is billed.

Programming 1999-2010
123notary has had many programmers over the years.

Mark — was our main programmer and he built most of the functions on 123notary.

SzeWan — worked with Mark and did a lot of the phone lists and other functions of 123notary.

Peter — The original programmer for 123notary was actually Jeremy’s dad Peter who is a retired Ada Compiler programmer. Peter worked on much more sophisticated projects during his day and figured out web programming from the ground up. All of Peter’s work had to be rebuilt in newer languages such as ASP, and once again ten years later needs to be rebuilt in a newer version of ASP. When does it end?

Programming 2010-2016

InvitraTech — after Mark quit, which was a huge tragedy for 123notary, we used some programmers in India who we had used on another project. Due to some technical reasons logging into the server, we had to transfer programming to someone in Phoenix.

Phoenix Programmers –Unfortunately the guy in Phoenix had such a temper problem we had to cancel a very critical migration the day it was scheduled. We tried many programmers after that, but found them to be either incompetent, or to be unwilling to work. After that, it many months of trial and error to find another programmer who I liked and who would be loyal to us, and about two years of paying for two servers to finally get the migration to go through since I was so busy (and frustrated.)

Fred — Now, we are laying low on programming and Fred does small fixes for us. Fred was responsible for finally completing the migration and got it done very smoothly I might add.

Brent — In addition to Fred, Brent and his team help us out with fixes from time to time. This is a very long list of programmers. I think my life would have been easier if I could have found one who would stick to the job. Maybe I should have learned programming.

Sales

Carmen — has been with 123notary since 2003 which was the year our business started to really pick up. I remember sitting in the car in March 2003 answering a sales call and my friend (ex-friend) tried to get me to shut the phone off. I explained to him that my business is finally taking off, and why stifle myself? After a few months of the phone ringing off the hook which was a welcomed form of over-work after years of poverty — I came to my senses and realized I needed help. So, in 2003, I pleaded with Carmen to get her on board. She was very resistant at first believe it or not, and then developed a love and loyalty for the job which has lasted until today and hopefully for many years to come. Carmen became full-time with 123notary in 2005.

Jeremy also does outbound sales from time to time.

Adine, Wendy, Sally, and Leah have also done sales, although they all got busy with other things and decided not to work for 123notary anymore.

Writers

123notary’s blog became very popular around 2012. Instead of the world ending like the Mayans claimed, 123notay’s world got filled with interesting articles. 123notary was able to find a few amazing writers to help out. Ken does writing mostly about technical and business advice issues. Since he is an accomplished Notary, it is easy for him to write about the finer points of Notary marketing, pricing, and documents. Jeremy does a little of everything at 123notary and writes the majority of the articles. Andy is a professional TV and screen writer who wrote for Cheers, Seinfeld and more. Andy helps write comedy articles for 123notary and also helps with idea generation. Andy’s blog articles became hits and we have a folder for him in our Guest Bloggers category on our blog.

So, who else?
Mrs. Meao helped 123notary guard its working quarters from unwelcomed intruders (mice.) But, there were no mice, so Mrs. Meao took naps most of the time. In the future, I’d like to see more variety of blog writers. The problem is that the blog writing applicants come up with such lame topics that I never hire them. They are simply not in tune with what people want to read. We tried to create a teaching program, but none of the Notaries who had teaching backgrounds wanted to cooperate. So, we’ll see how 123notary develops. Wish us luck!

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December 9, 2016

Disney Notary World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December 3, 2016

A Notary Union — how would that work?

One Notary wanted a Notary Union. But, would a union help? What would happen? He wanted rates fixed at $150 per signing. It’s not legal to fix rates and $150 is too high.

Contracts
Signing companies would have to sign a contract with the union if they wanted to get some of the better veteran signing agents. Most or many veterans would join the union. The companies that hired union Notaries would only be able to hire union Notaries, and with a long term contract at ridiculous prices. Meanwhile the non-union signing companies would be able to hire anyone who wasn’t a union Notary. The problem here is that Title companies are only willing to pay so much. And if the union had a meeting where they were going to raise their rate to $160 per signing, they would virtually put the signing company out of business.

This is similar to what happened with car manufacturers and manufacturing in the Midwest which moved permanently to China leaving the union guys without a job at all. Unions helped certain Midwesterners and people in other parts of the country make extra money for about two or three decades by artificially controlling market conditions — and then the mother companies discovered a place called Asia and the party was over which led to mass unemployment.

Union Fees
Notaries would have to pay union fees, and go to union meetings. Very few Notaries make it to the NNA annual conference, so how will they make it to meetings? Notaries have so little money already, how will they pay fees? Most are not even full-time?

Corruption
Unions basically give privelege to a few of the workers, but do not help workers as a whole. In Boston in the 1980’s, certain more established classes of workers gained privelege to union jobs while Blacks and Puerto Ricans were generally left out until affirmative action became more prevelant. There is also a lot of power politics going in within unions for control. To me, unions are mafia-like power grabbing organizations which force companies to pay an elite group of workers above market level wages. This leaves those without social favor out of the picture and bankrupts companies in the long run. In the long run unions lead to unemployment, unfairness and misery.

The Solution
So, what is the solution to unfair wages? Markets! Fair and open markets solve all wage related problems. With open markets you get paid what you are worth. The problems the Notaries are facing these days is that there are lots of unskilled people who can do Notary work. They might not do a good job, but they can function with guidance. The skills of highly skilled Notaries are no longer valued like in the old days, and that is why the market hires too many unskilled Notaries and doesn’t pay the worthwhile Notaries enough — at least until signing companies come to their senses.

The Cause of the Problem
Part of the reason this is the case is because there are SO FEW highly skilled and reliable Notaries, that you can’t base your business model on only hiring the best. You might get a few “best” notaries, and the rest will be slouches! That is not a consistent business model. Most Notaries on 123notary just don’t know their documents, don’t know what information is where, and don’t know what to do if there is trouble. Most of our Notaries make a lot of claims of how good they are, but really only 250 Elite Certified Notaries on 123notary are hot stuff in my opinion. Those ultra-experienced and highly educated stampers are worth $150 per signing in most cases. The “regular” 123notary certified Notaries are worth about $100 per signing (in my opinion) and the un-123notary certified Notaries are worth $50. If you don’t know anything and have hardly any experience, why should you be paid much more than minimum wage?

My issue is NOT that Notaries are not paid a decent wage. My issue is that the 250 Elite Certified Notaries on our site who merit a better wage are not usually getting it. As for the uncertified majority, the fact that you get work at all is a miracle. I personally would not hire someone who couldn’t pass my test. My test doesn’t guarantee that you are a great Notary — however, it determines that you are at least worth trying and have potential and know your basics.

If it were up to me, anyone who didn’t pass our elite test wouldn’t be allowed to do any signing agent work. After all, this is a serious profession where you routinely handle half million dollar loans. Why hire someone who is any less than highly qualified for such critical work?

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November 28, 2016

Strategies for efficiency in the Mobile Notary Business

For those of you who are mobile Notaries who want to get ahead, being efficient is half of the game. Here are some strategies that can help you use the most of your time, so you can make more money.

1. Take jobs that are close.
If you are running all the way to the other side of the county to make a lousy $75, you won’t have time to take job offers for closer jobs. Try to manage your distance and charge for it. Time wasted in labor-intensive work takes away from your availability which has a value.

2. Advanced payment
Tired of chasing down your fees? Are you tired of wasting time faxing invoices again and again? You will save a lot of time and grief if you require companies to pay up front. You migth not require all companies to pay up front, but at least ones with spotty track records should. Additionally, companies that use you a lot that you did several jobs for and haven’t gotten paid yet since it has only been a few weeks — you might have a credit limit for them and make them pay up front if they want more than three or four jobs done before you receive payment.

3. Fuel efficient cars
If you drive a car that guzzles your gas, that will eat into your profits. If you think that’s a problem now, think about ten years from now. Gas is more likely to be more expensive than less, unless China and India disappear from the face of the earth. With the rate of cancer in China, they just might disappear, but don’t hold your breath on that one.

4. Faster printers
Do you waste time waiting for your cheap printer to print stacks of documents? Perhaps you should invest in a really fast printer if you are committed to this industry. If you can print a set of documents in three or four minutes, that is fast. Each time you print two sets, you might save ten minutes. That adds up.

5. Faster eDocs
If you work for companies that send documents fast and don’t keep you waiting, you will save big amounts of time. The slow companies need to be charged extra, and unknown companies need to build a track record with you before you trust them. Not having to wait three hours for edocuments is actually a big deal. Waiting cuts into your time you will need for other customers, many of which will call at the last minute.

6. Know thy Fedex stations
If you know where all the Fedex stations are in your general area, you’ll know the fastest route to the nearest Fedex no matter where you are.

7. Mobile Printing
Instead of having to come all the way home to print, why not print on the road? Imagine all the time you’ll save. We’ve written several articles on mobile offices over the years. See if you can find those articles (good luck — they’re buried deep.)

8. Confirm the signing
Lots of time is wasted when you go to a Notary job only to find that people aren’t ready, don’t have proper ID, or didn’t ask their wife to come too. If you confirm and make sure everybody’s wife and ID are in order, your appointment will go more smoothly and you won’t have too many evenings ruined by a lack of preparation.

9. Shorter packages
If you know which banks have shorter packages, you can charge less for those. That way you get in and out of appointments fast.

10. Pray to the signing Gods
If you pray that your signers will sign fast, you’ll get in and out of appointments quickly. I said a similar prayer, but in a very different circumstance. I had to go meditate at a place that closed their gardens at 5pm. I prayed that they would not kick me out at 5pm. My prayer came true — and this was the only time I’ve been there out of dozens of times they let me stay so late. Unfortunatley, I got locked in and had to beg the nuns to let me go. If they hadn’t come so quickly, I would have had to pray to the nun Gods that the nuns would come. Prayer is tiring work!

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November 26, 2016

I felt like I was being used (Snapdocs assignment)

Another Notary worked for Snapdocs and had an emotional reaction after the fact. She got one of those low-ball assignments, took it, and then complained she felt like she was being used. If you don’t like working for below market rates, nobody is putting a gun to your head! This new signer was concerned about wear and tear on her car, ink, paper, gas, etc. The bottom line here is that anyone who uses you is using you no matter the price. You sell your services for money. The question is, do you know the value of your time and do you know the itemization of your expenses for various types of jobs?

There is no set value on your time, so you have to create your own value. If you don’t know your value, how will you accept or reject jobs. For newbies, the value of getting work under your belt is much more than the value of your dignity. An inexperienced Notary in my book is not worth much. If you have less than 1000 signings and no certifications, I personally wouldn’t use you for anything. If you have 5000 signings and three certifications, then you become valuable as long as you have a good track record.

SIGNING CO: Would you do this modification for $100?

NOTARY: I will not – I have morals

SIGNING CO: How about $1,000,000?

NOTARY: Well, okay…

SIGNING CO: How about $150

NOTARY: What kind of Notary do you think I am?

SIGNING CO: We’ve already determined that, we’re just haggling over the price.

You might also like:

Do you compare yourself with others on the 123notary search results
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18882

What is a high spot on 123notary worth?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16720

The state of Notary advertising in 2016
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16738

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November 19, 2016

The Uber principle at Snapdocs. New blood!

Snapdocs has grown in popularity in the last half year. Many of our clients have gotten a lot of business from them. One guy got 350 signings from them while another got 150 last year. Most Notaries are fed up with the low-balling and hand-holding. But, the ones who can tolerate the low-ball practices are getting volume. At low prices after you deduct your toner, paper, gas, and phone-time, you might not end up with much, but at least you get something.

My question is, can these guys stay in business with this business model of low-balling the Notaries? So many Notaries are so sick of it and drop out as a result of these practices. The answer lies with Uber. Uber burns out their drivers very quickly. I forget how long the average driver lasts, but it is not more than a few weeks. They just can’t stand the low pay and difficult situations they are put in. Snapdocs seems to pray on new blood too. Although most Notaries we know have dropped Snapdocs (we should call them SnapDrops) there seems to be an infinite supply of new Notaries with no knowledge, no experience, and most important, no self-respect who work for pennies.

On the other hand, perhaps the signing and title companies will get sick of bad quality Notaries and come back to 123notary where we deliver the highest quality search results in the business. I manicure my directory daily for accuracy of data and quality of Notaries. People value quality, but do they value it enough to pay for it?

I estimate that 123notary is losting 7% of our search volume due to Snapdocs. On the other hand, we are not losing revenue simply because we make our money from Notaries who get paid for high paying Title work for the most part. The Notaries who do low-ball work don’t have much money, don’t spend much money, and won’t lose us much money if they wandered into other pastures. So, we’ll keep our business model of quality search results and quality Notaries over here and hope for the best.

To sum it up. As long as SnapDocs has new blood and the Title companies will stoop to the level of accepting untrained, inexperienced and unqualified Notaries, SnapDocs will stay in business. Scary to think — but true! On a brighter note, they did an excellent job of harnessing modern technology in a way that nobody else did or wants to!

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November 15, 2016

How to spot fake ID at a notarization

Most Notaries study Notary law. But, do we keep handbooks that are up to date about spotting fake ID’s? Perhaps we should . Our primary task as a Notary is not to make people feel good, and is not to get the job done either. It is to identify signers and make sure that fraud doesn’t take place. It is better to say “no” rather than to get a Notary job done wrong — hence the name “no”–tary. Otherwise we would be yestaries and the world would go down the tubes.

ID Handbooks
The NNA and other vendors have books going over every state’s identification documents. They can tell you about distinguishing features, new watermarks, and other telltale signs that the ID is genuine.

Jeremy’s Solution — an online ID database
Personally, I think there should be a computer system to let the Notary look you up on a Federal or state database — but, that’s just me.

.

Things to look for one the ID

(1) Physical Description
Sometimes the physical description doesn’t match the signer. With ladies changing their hairstyle frequently, it is hard to tell their identity.

(2) Mispellings
Then, there could be misspellings in the name or a wrong name variation.

(3) Tampering
Obvious signs of tampering are almost a guarantee of a fake ID. I saw one of those once and only once.

(4) Watermarks
Finally watermarks are used in identification documents and currency to prove authenticity. It is possible, but hard for a fraud to replicate an authentic watermark. In China I’m sure they’ll figure it out as faking things is their specialty. But, for the rest of us it would not be so easy.

(5) Lack of raised lettering
Many of the newer ID’s have raised lettering. However, without a guidebook, you won’t know which states and which identification years of issue have raised letters.

(6) What’s your sign?
Ask the signer their sign. If they are using a fake ID with wrong DOB it will be very difficult for them to immediately recite their sign. You can also ask for their zip code to spot a fraud.

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Most Notaries do not inspect ID’s carefully. They just record the information in their journal. Unless something fake is jumping out at them, they will not notice that something is wrong. It pays to get a handbook and become and expert. After all, the whole point of being a Notary is to deter fraud. In my opinion, each state’s Notary division should require all Notaries to be experts at spotting fake ID’s in addition to other critical related skills. Maybe one day technology and training will improve.

Smokey bear says — say no to forest fires. Notary Jer says — say no to fake notary identifications — if you can spot them.

You might also like:

Seven error free ways to identify a signer
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15288

Notarized document expired identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8294

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