February 2011 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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February 28, 2011

What do you do to advertise your notary business?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , — admin @ 2:59 am

There are the “traditional” ways of marketing your notary business which have mostly remained unchanged for generations such as online advertising on directories and online yellow pages, and even using Google. When I say unchanged for generations, it is because grandma and grandpa are now also using online technology and have been for years!

There are more low-tech ways such as handing out your card to those you have worked for and their office-mates, attorney offices, convalescent homes, etc. Getting on the list of as many signing & title companies as you can think of in a systematic way helps too. But, besides these ways, what other things can you do? I have been reading discussions on the various forums and have some new tips to add to my old bag of tricks.

Google Adwords
Use caution. This method of advertising is probably new to you, and the costs can rack up. It is hard to know what to bid on keywords, or even which keywords you should use. I recommend a combination of notary terms and geographic keywords such as: notary public los angeles, or san jose mobile notary. Google adwords just pulled a fast one on me and started advertising my terms in their “Display Network” which cost me an extra $1000 last month. So, login regularly to make sure your costs are not skyrocketing. On a brighter note, if used moderately and effectively, adwords can make your business. 123notary would not have made it without adwords (by the way.)

Join your local chamber of commerce
I’m not sure who queries the chamber of commerce when looking for a notary, but some people might, and it doesn’t hurt to have your name out there.

B2B Networking and Social Events
Going to social events is time consuming, so make sure you actually like being there! Yes, you can make new and potentially valuable contacts, but think of the hours you spent in acquiring them. So go, hand out your card, make a few notary jokes, and have fun. Tell them the joke about how your last client asked if he could sign with invisible ink, and you said, sure, if I can notarize it with my invisible notary seal. Then, tell them the story about how you notarized at an asylum for someone who claimed to be Abraham Lincoln! They will get a laugh out of your stories If you go to social events, you need a repetoire of crazy notary stories that will keep them laughing. Then, they will definitely remember you when they need a notary.

Social Media
Craigslist is the most practical way to advertise or find common services. But, some notaries use Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and others. The problem with social media is that your followers might be in Uganda, and if they need a notary job, it might be a little too far for you. Craigslist on the other hand segments their advertising to your metro, or your part of your metro which makes it very usable.

Websites
Notaries have been creating websites for years. But, hosting is expensive and so is promotion. I don’t recommend a website unless you are going to really invest some time and money to learn to do it right. You can get a lot of mileage out of our website at very little cost if you create a highly optimized profile which is not that hard!

Newsletters for senior communities
Seniors need mobile notaries. You can call hospitals and convalescent homes directly, or let them find you in the yellow pages, or newsletters. Targetting this specific age group is a very smart idea for a mobile notary, since they are not always that mobile themselves.

Web directories
123notary, notaryrotary, notarycafe, and signingagent.com are traditional choices for those who want to do online advertising for their notary work. I also want to note that 123notary has been getting record breaking traffic recently, and we anticipate that this trend will continue!

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Florida notaries with complaints

Notary Public Florida: a complaint story
 
Here is a complaint from soneone who used a particular Florida notary:

“This is the first time we have used this Florida notary public for a closing. The Notary made a mistake on the documents where she had the borrower date everything 5/7/2011 instead of 7/5/2011 which was a notary mistake that ended up costing the broker $1000.00. Two weeks after the closing the notary called the title company directly demanding her payment of the full signing fee because she had bills to pay. She threatened to sue everyone involved with the transaction even though we were the company that hired her. This Notary was very unprofessional. The Notary was paid at 30 days by our company.”
 
The notary claims that the borrower signed the dates incorrectly and that she asked the borrowers to put the correct date, but they refused.  Then, the Florida notary claimed that the borrower wouldn’t sign where it said borrower, because she considered herself to be the co-borrower. Additionally, the notary claims that the borrower was very rude and condescending to her. The notary claims that she spent two hours at the signing and that the borrower couldn’t read the small print and wouldn’t cooperate. It is hard to know who is right or wrong here.  Was this a notary mistake or just the borrower acting crazy — or both?
 
The bigger issue is that the notary threatened to sue everyone before her payment was even late. It is professional to allow people 45 days to make payment before you start making legal threats.  Also, suing someone for $60 doesn’t really make sense in the real world.
 
Another Florida notary public wrote a complaint about 123notary.
The notary was late confirming her listing, and I called the notary to see if she was still alive and in business.  We have notaries move, quit, and end up in the hospital, and die all the time without even informing us. If I ever die, I will have the consideration to inform everyone within (5) business days. In any case, I called this Florida notary’s phone, and her message stated that she was no longer doing loan signings.   I assumed from this message that she was out of business as a mobile notary — boy was I wrong.  Rather than contacting me and politely informing me that she was still in business, she started slandering us on forums telling the world about the horrible crime that we had commited by temporarily removing her listing.    She created all types of drama over nothing.  I think that her MISLEADING phone message should have stated that she is still doing mobile notary work, but not doing loan signings.  That way, anyone calling her about work would have a clear impression that she was still in business. I hate being blamed for other people’s bad communication skills. People need to take responsibility for their own incompetent actions.  In any case, her listing went right back on the minute she asked me to reinstate her.  Unfortunately for her, I documented her zany behavior in the review section.  I stated that she committed no acts of misconduct, but created an unnecessary drama over nothing!  This case was  a business mistake on her part, not a notary mistake, but it is still ridiculous!

You might also like:

California notaries with complaints
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2485

I make mistakes too
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3639

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February 27, 2011

My date with Jeremy

He was striking and utterly took my breath away–like a traffic accident. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He had deep, penetrating gray eyes that seemed to notice everything. His shirt was the color of numbers.

We got out of the car at the restaurant. He took the ticket stub the valet handed him and scrutinized the numbers. “These add up to 33, an excellent number for business,” Jeremy noted. “I hope my good fortune extends to this restaurant as well. Let’s go in and see what’s on the menu.”

The sign above the entrance said Le Jurat.

“How did you pick this restaurant?” I asked.

“I have an algorithm for restaurants,” Jeremy said, opening the door for me.

“How chivalrous!” I replied. I was in awe of him, and I didn’t know what else to say.

“I assess the restaurant according to reviews, how they answer the phone, and zip code… and then I try the food,” he explained. “I test the food before bringing a friend here. Sometimes the reviews don’t match the quality of the service provider. In my opinion, good reviews don’t necessarily translate to good service–but I don’t know if you subscribe to that opinion, Sealia.”

As we were being taken to our table, a woman with frizzed red hair like the bride of Frankenstein ran up to Jeremy, tapped him on the shoulder, and demanded–“My password! I need my password! I can’t get in to update my page!”

Jeremy looked her in the eye and said sternly, “I’m having dinner. I emailed you your password three times in the last few months. You need to request it by email. Not now.”

I wondered exactly what the woman was talking about…and whether this man ever had any time to himself.

The decor of Le Jurat was elegant, parchment beige with traces of pink and gold, and there was no waiting line, yet the restaurant was full–an amazing combination for a Saturday night in Los Angeles. On all the tables, a little sign next to the placemats read, “Customers who subscribe to our newsletter have sworn by us…” The music playing in the background was “I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery…

“When I was choosing restaurants,” Jeremy said slyly, “it was a choice between this place and a Christian Korean place called the Hyung Moon Temple where the signature dish was Stained Glass Noodles.”

I laughed. “So tell me about this business of yours,” I asked. “What exactly do you do for notaries?”

“I provide advertising, education, and entertainment for notaries–visit us on Facebook! I also use algorithms to assess the notaries’ performance and knowledge.”

“I didn’t know Al Gore had rhythm,” I smiled and nodded.

“I didn’t know he had rhythm, either.” His phone rang. “123notary, this is Jeremy” he stated automatically.

“It’s Vicki from Hyung Moon,” he said aloud; “Sorry, Vicki, I have to cancel…I will not be able to make it this evening. I wish to rescind.”

He hung up quietly and said, “I kind of double booked…”

He was just about to smile again when the phone rang–again.

“Hullo,” screeched a voice.

“123notary, this is Jeremy.”

“Are you a notorizor?”

“I used to be a notary but I’m not anymore. Please look on 123notary. I’m the site administrator. Please call a notary on the site. Have a nice night. Goodbye.”

Again the phone rang,
but this time, he glanced at the number and said, “I’m not going to answer now because I’m with you, but I’ll have to call them back in exactly one hour and 56 minutes. That will be the best time to speak with this person who wants to take a phone test. I remember their number and the exact time they said would be optimal to call. That gives us enough time to have our meal and a dessert…before we go to FedEx to finalize the date,” he said, focusing on a tiny spot on the tablecloth.

“FedEx?” I said. “Why FedEx?”

“That’s where my dates always end–at a FedEx drop box.”

We tried to catch the waiter’s attention. “Hey–the waiter didn’t even acknowledge us!” Jeremy quipped. “Do you think our waiter will personally appear before us? I would like to order the Soup du Jurat…and a Certified Angus Burger…I like this restaurant because it’s 24 hours…although they don’t answer the phone after 11…if you want late-night service you have to call before 11… ”

I decided on the Rack of Lamb. “Is that a dual rack or a single?” I asked the waiter, who had finally appeared.

“Well, technically it’s a single rack….but we put in a separator program…so the legal size chops can go on a legal-sized plate.”

“If I don’t like the entree, do I have the right to cancel?” Jeremy demanded.

Finally the waiter delivered the food–and not a minute too soon.

“This lamb is delicious!” I said.

Jeremy ate his certified burger. “This stuff is as good as Kobe beef!” he replied.

“So what is it really like running 123notary?” I asked.

“It’s like dealing with a series of situations that never end,” he said.

“So it’s like marriage,” I said.

“That’s a good analogy. Trying to get people to do what they’re supposed to is like separating ribs. I need people to answer their phone, or write their Notes. They don’t all do it.”

“So it’s like a cross between babysitting and marriage…”

“Another good analogy! We’re really on the same page here. Would you like to have dessert at Le Venue down the street?”

“I’d love to!”

“Waiter, would you bring our settlement statement? Was my appetizer amortized over the life of the dinner?”

The waiter brought the check.

“When is my first payment due?” asked Jeremy.

“In five minutes,” the waiter answered. “The term of your loan is 45 minutes–with no accrued interest. The final payment is due tonight as well.”

“Is my APR different from my rate?”

“They are the same–due to the fact that we are not adding finance charges to your transaction,” the waiter explained.

“I see your point.”

“There are no points– because points would be considered finance charges–and no origination fee,” concluded the waiter.

“This conversation is completely irrelevant, considering there is no security instrument,” said Jeremy.

The waiter returned with the credit card statement.

“What color ink would you like me to sign with, black or blue?”

“Either. Just as long as you are personally appearing before me, I can accept your signature…but I could give you an oath…because I saw you were raising your right hand as you were trying to hail me,” the waiter replied.

“Shall we leave?” I asked Jeremy.

“Let’s go,” he said.

We walked down the street to Le Venue, a Restaurant for Notaries, for dessert.

“What county are we in?” Jeremy asked the hostess.

“Why do you need to know?”

“You always need to know what county you’re in when you fill out a venue. You’re not a notary, are you?” Jeremy told the hostess.

“Is everyone here a notary?” he asked the waiter.

“Pretty much…except the hostess,” the waiter replied.

I noticed the placemats read, “State of California…”

We looked at the menu anyway, even though we were only there for dessert…and saw “Roast Seal with Ink.”

Jeremy considered the mousse for dessert…

“What county is the mousse from?” Jeremy asked.

“It’s not from a county, it’s from a province, sir” the waiter replied.

“Can we get an Alaskan mousse?” …

“How about this dessert made with oreo cookies– what a great raised seal they have!” I suggested.

“Does the seal on the embossed cookie have an expiration date?” Jeremy asked.

“It doesn’t expire until 2015,” the waiter attested.

“How about the analytics dessert? It’s a graph… It’s in the form of a pie graph…”

“Oh, I can’t eat a whole pie…” I said.

“Well, most of the pieces are missing…the anayltics weren’t very good…” Jeremy pointed out.

Jeremy got the mousse, and I asked for the Locus Sigilli Sundae.

“Today is Friday. Do you serve the sundae today–or only on Sundays and federal holidays?”

“We serve this sundae with the oreos every day, sir,” the waiter replied.

The food was perfect.

“I can’t finish my dessert,” I said. Can you finish it for me?” I asked.

“I think we have to get a power of attorney for me to finish your dessert,” Jeremy replied.

On the way out, he went up to the hostess and asked, “Can you validate us?”

“You’re a very nice person,” she told him, smiling.

“No, I mean stamp our parking receipt…Can I stamp it myself? I’m a notary; that’s my thing. Can I backdate it? We’ve been here quite a while…”

“No, sorry sir, we don’t allow that…”

“I enjoyed eating the date stamped on my oreos…” I said, wondering what to expect next.

“I enjoyed eating my mousse…but I would have enjoyed it more if the antlers hadn’t been crushed by the car that hit it in the dark, ” Jeremy laughed. “Can I take you home?” Jeremy asked softly.

“No….just drop me off at the FedEx drop box.”

Tweets:
(1) “Waiter, would you bring our settlement statement? Was my appetizer amortized over the life of the dinner?”
(2) The waiter brought the check. “When is my first payment due?” asked Jeremy.
(3) “Does the seal on the embossed oreo cookie have an expiration date?” Jeremy asked.
(4) The notary asked, “Can I get an Alaskan moose with Russian dressing. They’re our next door neighbors!”
(5) Running 123notary is more like babysitting than you think,
“Did you update your listing? Did you update your notes? Did you renew yet?”
(6) “FedEx?” I said. “Why FedEx?” “That’s where my dates always end–at a FedEx drop box.”
(7) Running 123notary is like a cross between babysitting & a marriage. A bunch of situations that never end!

You might also like:

My 2nd date with Jeremy
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7074

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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February 25, 2011

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 10:16 am

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

A year or more ago I wrote a blog about notary etiquette from A to Z. The topic arose from a very interesting and detailed discussion about where it is polite to park. The discussion went on and on, and everybody made really interesting points! But, a discussion on NR broke out about borrower etiquette, and I’m surprised that I didn’t publish this topic first, since I love the topic of etiquette (even though I don’t have very good etiquetee myself). In any case, there are many points to consider in borrower etiquette — so, here they are.

PREPARATION

(1) Make sure you finish your meal and clean up your kitchen before the notary arrives. Make sure the smell of your cooking is somehow ventilated.

(2) Make sure you have communicated adequately with the LENDER before the notary arrives. You should be off the phone, and have listened to all of your messages before the notary arrives, especially messages (if any) from your trustworthy lender.

(3) Have all dogs, cats, snakes, birds, cockroaches, vermin, and other creatures behind a securely closed door at least 30 minutes before the signing — for good luck. Many notaries do not like dogs jumping on them. Additionally, if there is an angry or over-zealous dog in the driveway, the notary might be afraid to get of of his/her/their car.

(4) Tell your children not to come into the room of the signing. If they must come, then make sure they are quiet, dressed, and don’t make any sudden movements. Please find a way to deal with screaming babies too as that can be very distracting during a signing.

(5) The TV, radio, and all other noise should be silent during the signing so that people can focus and not make mistakes

(6) There should be a clean surface for the signing, preferably a dining room table. The ENTIRE surface should be free of any clutter and have been cleaned with 409, or Fantastic, etc., immediately prior to the signing.

(7) Make sure that all of the parties involved in the signing are there 30 minutes in advance and have their ID’s ready.

(8) Make sure you know what your rate and APR are supposed to be BEFORE the notary shows you the corresponding pages with that information.

COMMUNICATION

(9) Leave your outside lights on for night signings, so the notary can intuitively know which house to go to.

(10) It is polite and helpful to let the notary know where to park

AT THE SIGNING

(11) Offer the notary a drink right away. Most borrowers are cheap and inconsiderate — it takes them 30 minutes to figure out that, “Oh, did you want something to drink?” And then, they offer you tap water. Why not offer the notary something of a higher quality such as fruit juice, soda, or coffee? Unless you are so poor that you are dying of malnutrition, it is cheap behavior to only offer tap water.

(12) Keep drinks off the table. We have had in-depth discussions about spillage, and what happens when you spill your latte on the deed of trust. Check our forum and blog for older discussions on this topic. Keep the drinks on a chair, or an adjascent table.

(13) Don’t read documents for two hours. The notary came for a signing appointment, not a reading appointment. Your borrower’s copies are for reading. Behave in such a way that the signing will take 45 minutes or less. Read the key points, and the rest can be read on your own time.

(14) Don’t blame the notary for the faults of the lender doing the old bait and switch, or for other problems you have with the lender.

(15) Don’t make phone calls or leave the room during the signing except to go to the bathroom.

(16) Smoking during the signing shouldn’t happen. If it is a really long signing, and after an hour you need a smoking break, perhaps one quick smoking break might be reasonable.

(17) (State specific for MT and TN) It is poor etiquette to expose a gun or other weapon at the signing, or to discuss guns. Notaries usually don’t feel comfortable around guns — at least the notaries that I know!

(18) Don’t discuss politics, gender issues, or anything else controversial at the signing.

(19) Don’t have an argument with your spouse, kids, or anyone else at the signing.

(20) Sign your name as it is typed below the signature line — don’t argue with the notary about this. This should have been discussed with the lender a long time ago.

(21) Don’t make a fuss about being thumbprinted

(22) After it is all said and done, visit the notary’s page on 123notary.com and write a very glowing review about how wonderful and capable the notary was.

You might also like:

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

Compilation of posts about Notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

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Notary pushed off stairs PART 2

For those that remember my last blog about the notary that was brutally pushed off the steps of a disgruntled borrower by the borrower himself. I have an exciting update.

Click on the link below to see the original story part 1
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1097

A few weeks ago,  I got a call from our notary that had been pushed from the stairs with some pretty great news. First off, she is healing well and is in good spirits. Our notary went on to thank me for writing her story because some good had actually come from me telling her story. After reading my blog  about her ordeal she decided to send it to the  the signing company that had treated her so poorly.  To her surprise the owner got hold of it and upon reading the blog she received a call from him. He told her that he knew nothing  whatsoever of what had happened to her. He stated that he had not been informed by his employees at the time of the actual attack but only after receiving  a copy of my blog had he became aware of the incident. He stated he was shocked. (To refresh your memory the girls in the office treated her as if she was lying about being pushed off the stairs and in essence accused her of making excuses for why the closing hadn’t been completed.)  He offered his apologies and asked her had she revealed the signing service to 123 or anyone else for that matter and she assured him that she had not. He asked her to please continue not to reveal his company in the future because he was ashamed of his company employees behavior. He then went on surprizingly to offer her 500.00 toward her medical bills.  ( I told her it sounded like hush money to me :))  She said that she kindly excepted his offer but held off sharing it with me because she wanted the money in hand and in the bank. Cant blame her on that one.

She then went on to tell me that per the DA who was handling the case of the borrower that had viscously pushed her had him  formally charged with several counts such as assault with intent to do bodily harm, (and a couple of more serious charges that escape me) and that the borrowers  employer had somehow found out about all of this and had suspended him from work pending the outcome of the trial. So,  it looks like he has major trouble to deal with which he rightfully deserves IMO. I hope this will teach him a lesson he will never forget. Unfortunately for him it looks like he is about to lose everything because I am guessing not only is he about to lose his job he is about to loose his freedom as well.

In closing remember to be safe and watch your circumstances. Although this is not an usual occurrence we now know it is a possibility.

Until next time… be safe.

You might also like:

Notary pushed off stairs part 1
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1097

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

Racial issues at a signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19220

Artificially inflated rates at a signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16128

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February 24, 2011

Erica’s Mobile Office Story

Erica’s Mobile Office Story
 
Erica has been a full time mobile notary for 17 years in California’s central coast.  She enjoyed driving her BMW to signings, and the gas mileage was not that bad.  But going all the way up to Northern San Luis Obispo county and all the way down to Santa Barbara Couny, and then all the way up and down and up and down for e-document signings got to be ridiculous.  She said to herself, “I’ve been doing this business for a long time, and there must be a better way to do this”. 
 
A few years ago she decided that a mobile office was the way to do business.  That would eliminate all of the traveling back home each time she needed to print documents.  She could print on the road while driving and multi-task which would make her time work even more efficiently.  There was a particular vehicle that she had had her eye on for a long time — the Chevy HHR.  It was a cross between a SUV and a Hatchback.  But, its main feature was that it’s battery was in the BACK, making it easy to add an inverter and power strip.  This would allow her to have printers, computers and other equipment in the back receiving enough power to all function at once!!! 
 
Long distance travel
Although her BMW got better gas mileage than her new “truck”, she didn’t have to go all the way back home each time she printed docs using the truck!  Erica’s range was 120 miles up and down the coast, and many times she would have to go up and down multiple times per day when business was faster (in the old days).
 
The inverter
Initially, she wanted to get a generator, but thought it would be too loud for night signings.  But, then after she bought her more powerful vehicle, the generator was no longer necessary.  She started out getting an inverter on ebay for $79, but it didn’t have enough Hertz.  Then, she got serious and made a pilgimmage to Oxnard, California to get a heavy duty 2000 watt inverter for $129 which did the trick.    This inverter had enough power for all of her equipment.
 
Her equipment
Erica’s arsenal of equipment includes: (1) a netbook, (2) a three-in-one scanner, printer, and fax (3) HP Laserjet 2430dtn printer that prints a whopping 35 pages per minute! Wow! That’s the fastest I’ve ever heard about.  She has SIX of these and gets them for pennies on ebay, but they might cost up to $1000 in a store.  She get’s her toner for $20 on ebay which costs over $100 in stores.  The other things she stocks in her “truck” include extra legal paper, letter paper, toners for each weapon, staplers, tape, rubber bands, shipping supplies, post-it notes, and dozens of pens.  She also keeps an extra journal in her car just in case!
 
The warranty
Erica is a seasoned electronics customer and gets a square trade warranty whenever she buys something online.  Personally, I would go with the triangular one (to keep things simple), but the square one seems to be the industry standard.
 
More work capacity
The bottom line of this story is how Erica refined her operation to have maximum efficiency.  She can now accept last minute assignments.  And, by eliminating the back and forth, she can now do nine signings per day, when the maximum she was able to do in the old days was five.

You might also like:

Which dual tray printers do Notaries like?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19351

Mobile Offices from A to Z

12 points on e-notarizations

Elite certification will help you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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February 21, 2011

Notarizing for an adoption

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:16 am

Being a Notary not only helps people with their transactions, but we are also touched by many of our clients’ lives. My story is about the worst situation I have heard of, much less been a part of, caused by the recession.

I was called to act as a mobile notary for an adoption proceeding. The man told me it might take some time because the agency had to read the contract to him, section by section, to ensure he understood the ramification of the provisions in the adoption agreement. I just assumed he was adopting a child. When he asked me my price, I surprised myself with the low offer I gave him. WAY lower than I normally charge, and I didn’t know why.

When I arrived at the house, it was obvious that he was getting ready to move out and packed boxes were everywhere. He had two sons, one 11 and one 14. The client and I went into one of the empty rooms and he told me that he had moved here last year to work for a large corporation, then the recession hit and it was last one hired, first one fired. He picked up part time jobs but not enough to stay afloat. The house had been foreclosed and he was moving in with his mother, who was not in a strong financial situation either. That lead to his decision to adopt out one of his children because he could not afford them both. The younger son had some medical issues, and he could not afford his treatment, so he picked that child. He fortunately found an older lady on the East Coast with lots of time and money to spend on the child.

As we went through the provisions, I could hardly keep from tearing up. At the end of the contract, he was asked to write something that the agency will give to his son when he turns 18. He explained how much he loved the child–so much so that when he realized he couldn’t care for him, he found a wonderful home that could provide all the things that he could not; and his son was never to think he “gave him away” or didn’t love him. It was because he loved him so much he was making this, the ultimate sacrifice. By now I was crying, he was crying and the woman from the adoption agency was crying.

After the signing, he pulled out his wallet to pay me, and I said “I think you need that money more than I do.”

Michelle LaMontagne
Boise, Idaho

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$400,000 cash at a signing. Can I have some?

$400,000 cash
I went to a closing and the client showed up with $400,000 cash, wanting to close on a condo without having his wife or anyone else know about it. I was really uncomfortable with it so I told him that we had to reschedule and I couldn’t take the cash. The man was really persistent, insisting that he trusted me with the money and that it would be ok but I refused. I had to get his wife to sign off on it anyway. I was shocked that had that much cash on hand!

Commentary from Jeremy. If the cash got stolen, lost in the mail, or stolen by the Lender or his helpers, there would be no way to track where the loss occured and the Notary could get blamed. Only the Mafia deals with that much cash unless they pay you electronically using MafPal.

3 refinances in a row!
I had a very convenient signing once where I had a bunch of refinances to do all in a row – the Dad, the Mom, and 3 brothers who all lived next door to each other. So I would do one, and move to the next house, and then the next house, and then the next! It was super convenient and I wish I had more signings like that!

A divorce signing
One Sunday, I had to do a signing with a husband and wife who were divorcing. The husband wanted to refinance his house as he still had payments on it. A brand new Porsche sat in the driveway. For some reason they refused to let me in the house! So we did the signing outside on a trash can while the father and mother in law stood watching us. The new car was totally worth more than the refinance! Such a funny situation!

As I live in the South, I once had a day where it was so humid in my breakfast sunroom, the ink on the papers printed on my ink jet printer started moving! I had to go to the library that day to print all my docs out! So when it’s hot and humid, don’t keep your ink jet printer in the sunroom!

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Waiting for Santa on a Christmas Signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16134

Married for 62 Years — an “golden” signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16124

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February 20, 2011

A Seinfeld Episode about a Notary

Filed under: Sit-Coms — admin @ 12:26 am

Jerry – Hey George, lets go get a bite to eat down the street.
George – Hey Jerry, I’d love to, but I have to go.
Jerry – Why? What’s the rush?
George – Ah… I gotta get something notarized.
Jerry – Notarized? Wow, that sounds important.
George – Oh, it’s nothing really, just some stuff for work…. I do it all the time.
Jerry – Work? You don’t have a job.
George – Well, I sort of do now. Gotta go.

———————————-
George – Hi, I brought the document…. and my ID. Here it is.
Notary – Great George, you’ve finally got your act together, no spending half an hour fumbling through your briefcase anymore.
George – Well, you live and you learn, hah!!!
Notary – So what kind of document do you have today?
George – It’s an affidavit that I agree to do some deliveries for my employer.
Notary – Deliveries, you’re moving up in the world.
( notary opens his journal )
George – Hey, what’s that, you notarized a document in Chinese? You don’t understand Chinese.
Notary – I can do that … hey! Why are you looking at my journal, you’re violating MY privacy. Do you mind?
George – Sorry, it’s just that you opened it and I couldn’t help noticing. It was in my “range of vision”, right?
Notary – Okay, please sign the document. Please raise your right hand. Higher… that’s good. Do you solemnly swear that you agree to the statement in this document?
George – I do.
Notary – Okay, here’s your Jurat.. Let me staple it.
George – Ummm… could you use the round seal.. I was just thinking.
Notary – This is the seal I use, okay? Hey, whose business is this anyway?
George – Okay… but, could you thumbprint me?
Notary – Thumbprint?
George – Yeah, you know… a journal thumbprint. I heard that was supposed to be good. You know.. Deter fraud.
Notary – I’m sorry, but you’re not… thumbprintworthy.
George – What? Not thumbprintworthy?
Notary – It’s running low on ink. I only have a dozen or so impressions left in the pad, I’m SAVING it for a Deed or something important.
George – Hey, I have people who can vouch for me. I’m thumbprintworthy baby!
( George calls Elaine )
George – Elaine – I’m at the notary, and I want him to thumbprint me, but he says I’m not thumbprintworthy?
Elaine – What? Not thumbprintworthy? I would thumbprint you any day. In fact. You are as thumbprintworthy as they come. Give the notary the phone…… Hello? Mr. Notary? I formally vouch for George — he is the most thumbprintworhty person that exists.
Notary – You and your friend are a lot of trouble. George — You’re BANNED!!!
George – Banned? You can’t ban me, you’re a PUBLIC notary, you are obligated to serve the public
Notary – How do you know that? Public Schmublic. You’re banned from my services. Pay me my fee…thats $10.. and get out!
George – Hey, look out the window!
Notary – What?
( George SWIPES the thumbprinter and leaves while the notary is looking out the window )
————————————————————————–
Kramer – Clarissa, Clarissa, how can I describe my love .. for you… oh… Clarissa.
Clarissa – I told you before, I don’t date guys from Brooklyn.
Kramer – But, wait a second, you think I’m from Brooklyn. No, no… you’ve got it all wrong. I’m from Manhattan. I just hang out at
a friend’s house there. He lets me use the house while he’s away. He gave me key privileges.
Clarissa – You expect me to believe that? Key priveleges. Nobody gives their key to anyone in New York, not even their own parents.
Kramer – Oh,… he gave me the key. My friends are like that. Look, I even have Jerry’s key. I go over there whenever I feel like it. You see, Jerry and I… we understand each other. And he’s cool about it too. He doesn’t even mind if I eat his FRITOS once in a while.
( phone rings )
Jerry – Hey Kramer
Kramer – Hi Jerry, how’s everything? I’m with Clarissa now.
Jerry – Oh…. Clarissa. I remember her (unenthusiastically). Hey, by any chance, you didn’t happen to have eaten any of my FRITOS, did you?
Kramer – Fritos, oh, yeah, I didn’t know you needed them.
Jerry – If I didn’t need them I wouldn’t buy them. You’re violating your key privileges. Keep this up. and I’ll de-key you.
Kramer – No… not that. I need my key.
Jerry – Well, I’m going to have to draw up a “covenant of the key.”
Kramer – A covenant? Nobody does that.
Jerry – They do now. Keep this up, and you will be in violation of … the covenant of the key!!!
( Jerry hangs up )
Kramer – Clarissa, Clarissa, what can I do to win your love.
Clarissa – Okay, you seem like a nice guy, so I’ll give you one chance. Get me a notarized affidavit stating that you live in Manhattan and give me your address. I’m leaving at 7pm for France, so get it to me by then!
Kramer – Anything for you.. my Clarissa.
————————————————————————————–
( Kramer calls George up.)
Kramer – George, you gotta help me. I’m in trouble, It’s urgent.
George – What, are you having appendicitis or something?
Kramer – No, its not a health emergency, its a … a LOVE emergency.
George – Oh… Love.
Kramer – Clarissa wants an affidavit saying that I live in Manhattan. She doesn’t believe me. You know that notary guy on the West side, right?
George – Oh, yeah, yeah.. But, um.
Kramer – What?
George – There’s a small problem.
Kramer – What?
George – I’ve been banned.
Kramer – Banned? No, you can’t be banned. You can’t be banned by a notary.
George – Oh yes, I’ve been banned.
Kramer – Well, he doesn’t know me, you gotta help me.
George – Okay, I’ll give you his number. But it’s 4pm now and he leaves at 5pm.
Kramer – I need to get it to Clarissa by 7pm… It’s … an emergency!
George – Okay … here’s the number. Call him now and make an appointment.
Kramer – Thanks … you’re wonderful.
——————————————————————–
( George drives Kramer to the appointment because there is no parking there )
Kramer – Hello, are you the notary?
Notary – Yeah, how did you hear about me?
Kramer – Oh, the yellow pages.
Notary – Yellow pages, eh.. Well I don’t advertise in the yellow pages. Only by word of mouth.
Kramer – Oh, maybe it’s the OTHER notary I found in the yellow pages.
Notary – Alright wise guy, what do you want?
Kramer – I need an affidavit notarized. Can you squeeze me in?
Notary – Okay. Be here at 4:15.
Kramer – Okay
——————————————————————-
(kramer arrives at the notary office)
Kramer – Hi, I’m Kramer
Notary – Paul…. let me see your ID.
Kramer – ID? I don’t think I brought it with me.
Notary – No ID, no notary, pal…
Kramer – Hold on, I think I left it in the car.
Notary – You got a parking place here? You must be a genius. Where did you park?
Kramer – I got lucky, I guess.
( Kramer runs down the stairs and comes back huffing and puffing with the ID )
Notary – I looked out the window. You didn’t park. You’re WITH someone.
Kramer – Oh, that’s just a friend.
Notary – Okay. Where’s the document
Kramer – Here it is.
Notary – An affidavit swearing that you live in Manhattan. What kind of a nut would want you to sign this?
Kramer – Oh, she’s a nut alright. You should see her.
Notary – I’ll pass.
Kramer – Hey, by the way, my friend usually has this done with a circular seal, do you have one?
Notary- (thinking out loud) Circular seal, didn’t the guy yesterday ask me for that?
Kramer – Oh, and could you … thumbprint me? I want it to look official.
Notary – Thumbprint? and circular seal, that sounds just like the last guy… WHO GOT BANNED! George was his name. It’s right here on the previous page. George Costanza. You know George.
Kramer – No really, I don’t know him.
Notary – Yes you do… He’s the one waiting for you in the car.
Kramer – No he’s not.
Notary – I’m going down, I want to see for myself.
( Kramer and notary go downstairs )
( Kramer motions to George to go and makes a motion near his throat )
( George shrugs his shoulders in confusion – then George sees the notary and bolts )
Notary – So it is George.
Kramer – I don’t know who that is. You didn’t even see him
( Kramer’s phone rings – the notary grabs the phone )
George – Kramer, he saw me.
Notary – AHA! It’s me. You’re the guy that got banned.. Well now your friend is banned too!
Notary – and YOU took my thumbprinter, it’s been missing ever since you were here last. Give it back!
Kramer – No… no…now what am I going to do.

——————————————————————————-
( Kramer and George drive off )
Kramer – Now what am I going to do. It’s 5pm and everyone is closed. Do you know any late night notaries?
George – Yeah, but you’re not going to like this. He’s in Brooklyn.
Kramer – That doesn’t matter.
George – Okay, let’s go.
—————————————————————————-
Brooklyn Notary – Hi-ya fellows. How’s everything?
Kramer – Its been a long day.
Brooklyn Notary – Why? What happened?
Kramer – What didn’t happen? Listen I need this form notarized. You wouldn’t happen to have a thumbprinter, would you?
Brooklyn Notary – Well, actually, mine just ran out of ink. I got a bit carried away, and used it on people who were not… well you know.
George – Say it, say it…. thumbprintworthy.
Brooklyn Notary – Well, I never thought of it like that.
George – You would never believe this, but I happen to have .. a thumbprinter!
Brooklyn Notary – where did you get this?
George – From a friend.
Brooklyn Notary – Great. Just give me the document.
Kramer – Here’s my ID.
Brooklyn Notary – It’s okay, I know your friend, that’s good enough for me.
Kramer – But, the law… you gotta have an ID.. I want this to be legit!
Brooklyn Notary – yeah yeah sure sure. I’ll put this all in the journal.
Kramer – Can you do the thumbprint now?
Brooklyn Notary – Sure… Here you go. Your Jurat … Notarized and all.
Kramer – How can I ever thank you.
Brooklyn Notary – It’s nothing.
———————————————————————————-
( Kramer and George drive back over the bridge, battling traffic, and make it to Clarissa’s house by 6:55 )
Kramer – Clarissa, my love. Here it is.
Clarissa – Oh, I’m so touched, so you really do love me!
Kramer – You don’t know what I had to do to get this.
Clarissa – Oh Kramer, I ….. LOVE ….. ( she glances at the document )
Clarissa – KINGS County?… wait a second. If you live in Manhattan, why would you get it notarized in Kings County? That’s Brooklyn.
Kramer – It says Kings County on it?
George – Yeah, you see, this is the Venue, and on the Venue it says Kings County. That just means where it got done. It doesn’t matter. You live in Manhattan.
Clarissa – We’re through. I’m leaving. I’ll send you a postcard from Paris.
Clarissa – Hasta la Au Revoir – Baby
————————————————————————————
Kramer – No, no, no…. it’s all because you got banned. How did you? .. Oh…It’s the thumbprinter. He banned you because you took his thumbprinter.
George – No Kramer, that happened after he banned me. I swiped it while he wasn’t looking.
Kramer – No, it’s the thumbpriner, you got us all in trouble.
Kramer – I have an idea. You can give it back to him and get him a new one, then he’ll be back on good terms with you.
George – You’re crazy.
Kramer – I insist. I need a good notary in Manhattan. He’s close. You gotta do it.
———————————————————————————
( George and Kramer go buy a thumb printer and go back to the Notary – he is there late at the office )
George – I just wanted to say… I’m sorry. This thumb printer somehow got shuffled up with my stuff and I didn’t even realize… Silly me.
Notary – My thumbprinter, it’s back…. I needed you…. Oh thank you..HOW COULD YOU!
George – It was an accident.
Notary – And you contaminated it with your germs. Now it’s tainted.
George – Now wait a minute, it’s a thumbprinter, its job is to be touched by OTHER PEOPLE’s Thumbs.
Notary – You used it, didn’t you.
George – Listen, we felt so bad, we went all the way to an office supply store and got you a brand new one.
Notary – Thank you… I’m touched…
George – Now can you notarize my friend. I’ll pay you double
Notary – Sure, come by any time.
( The Notary notarizes Kramer with the rectangular seal… not the circular one… and thumbprints him )
Kramer – Thank you so much…. Now my document is legit and has New York County on the venue. Clarissa will come back to me… My Clarissa.
————————————————————-
( Kramer and George leave )
Notary – That’s funny, the ink doesn’t come off. I must have gotten some ink on my thumb when I thumbprinted Kramer. And it got on my shirt. My shirt is ruined. And it’s on my table too.
—————————————————————-
(Kramer calls Clarissa… she is at the airport and her flight delayed.)
Kramer – Clarissa, I got it renotarized by a notary in New York County in Manhattan in my neighborhood.
Clarissa – I’m still at the airport, I’ll be here until 11. Get it to me.
Kramer – Okay.
(Kramer and George drive to the airport and get there at 9pm.)
Kramer – Here it is. Notarized in Manhattan. West 88th Street!
Clarissa – Wow, you really do love me. I will date you after all. Give me a hug.
( Kramer and Clarissa hug good by )
Clarissa – I’ll see you when I get back.
——————————————————————
( the plane takes off. Clarissa goes to the bathroom and comes back )
Clarissa – Hm, thats funny, there is ink on the back of my chair. Do you see ink?
Flight attendant – Hm, that does look like ink. Have you been thumbprinted recently?
Clarissa – No, why would I be thumbprinted?
Flight attendant – You know, when you go to a notary. You get thumbprinted. You must have forgotten to wash off the ink.
Clarissa – I was never notarized…. wait a second…. When Kramer hugged me, he put his thumbs on the back of my blouse and that got on the chair. Does my blouse have ink on it?
Flight attendant – Yes it does. You’ll have to bleach that a few times.
Clarissa – No!!!
( Clarissa gets to Paris and calls Kramer )
Clarissa – Nous sommes finit!!! We are over!!!
Kramer – What????

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February 19, 2011

The lady and the handwritten will

Filed under: Carmen Towles — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:35 am

I got a call to go to a neighbors home. She said we just live a few blocks from you. She stated, my mother needs to sign a Will. She is not well so we will need to get this done ASAP. I tell her I understand. I ask her, does your mother have current ID and is she mentally coherent? She tells me yes on all counts. I tell her great, but I caution her that although we as California notaries are not prohibited from notarizing a Will. We need to make you aware that without proper wording (which only an attorney would know or an line service like Legal Zoom could prepare) you could ultimately do your family members more harm and dis-service than good. Bottom line — a judge could throw it out if the words are not up to snuff. She says that it was reviewed by an attorney and she said the he had given it the okay! I said, ‘ok, well great’. I then ask her, when, where and what time would you like me there? We set it for the following day.

I arrived at our scheduled time and good god the house is an utter mess, and the smell of impending death was clinging in the air. It was horrible. But, they needed me and it is after all what we do. I followed the daughter to the kitchen area where the mother (our signer) was seated. She was alert and coherent. I was offered a seat and sat down. That’s where the problems began.

I ask for her ID and the daughter hands it to me and you guessed it — it is expired. I tell the mother we have a little problem I need current ID. The daughter speaks up and says “oh, I thought it was current” I’m thinking “Yeah right, sure you did”, I ask the mother did she have any other government ID such as a passport, etc.? She says no. So, now I tell them that we can use 2 credible witness but they cannot be a party to the transaction or stand to gain any financial interest in this particular transaction . So the daughter gets on the phone and begins calling. I ask to see the document (the Will) and the daughter hands it to me. And I cant believe what I am looking at! It is a handwritten Will on a single yellow sheet of legal paper written or (I should say scrawled) with different colored inks and cross outs. It was a MESS! A hot mess!

I looked at the daughter in bewilderment and I am at this point a little cross to say the least. I ask her did she remember our conversation the previous day? She said yes, and I go on to re-cap our conversation. She tells me that she is sorry but she thought her mother had current ID and that their attorney HAD actually looked at her Will. I couldn’t help myself at this point and exclaimed…”Are you serious and attorney signed off on this?”. She said, “yes” and I let it go. Because what was the point in arguing with her. She was having it with the mother being ill, now the ID problems and obtaining witnesses at this late date. So I told her that once she got everything in order I would happily come back.

Surprisingly, the mothered offered me my fee, but I kindly refused. It was more than obvious that they were struggling and after all they were my neighbors!

They never called me back….and I never expected that they would!

Until the next adventure…be safe!

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