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

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

April 30, 2011

Delaware acknowledgment Certificate

Delaware acknowledgment verbiage; Delaware acknowledgment wording; Delaware acknowledgment form

Below is a sample of a Delaware acknowledgment form.

State of __________

County of ____________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by

_____________________ (name of person acknowledged).

(signature of person taking acknowledgement) (title or rank)

(serial number, if any)


April 27, 2011

Low Ball Signing Companies

Low Ball Signing Companies 

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

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

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

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

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April 26, 2011

My best teaching experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:56 am

For those of you who do not know, before I ran 123notary, I had a history. No, not that kind of a history. Oh? That’s not what you were thinking? Well, then what were you thinking? Okay, in any case, I majored in Chinese in college as I had always had a strong urge to learn languages. In High School, I studied classical music a lot because my parents had many connections with music teachers, music schools, etc., and insisted upon it. When I got out of school, I found that there were no jobs that would involve Chinese unless I moved to China or Los Angeles, so I moved to Los Angeles from Boston which was quite a cultural adjustment.

Everyone and everything I knew from back home was no longer there. Even cultural things I took for granted like sarcasm didn’t exist over here. There were no more big Irish guys named Sully who whistled loudly when they wanted somebody’s attention (or said HEY really loudly.) I was surrounded by a California culture where people didn’t care about much of anything. And then there was a pervading gang culture near where I was living with Mexican gangs, gang guys, gang girls, bandanas, tattoos, low-riders, and Chinese kids who knew nothing except this type of environment. Sometimes the gangs would give people lectures right outside my window on the driveway. I remember hearing, “You gotta lot to learn esse! This barrio forgives nothing vato!” Okay, I’m mixing reality with Cheech and Chong, but you get the point.

I tried to get a job doing import export, but with few available jobs and no experience my search was a failure. Seattle and Shanghai had more jobs for people with my skill set, but I had family & friend (only 1 friend) here and was terrified of being alone in some other city. So, I started doing landscape maintenance, something I had done as a child. I realized I only knew how to do easy things and had little or no skill at doing harder landscaping tasks which got me in a little trouble. After that I started tutoring English again. That was something I had done while I was in Taiwan a few years earlier.

Tutoring was rough because people would cancel at the last minute, and the adults were not serious about learning. But, the children were good and proved to be reliable clients since their parents forced education on them (just like my parents forced music lessons on me which helped my life a lot.) After a while, my aunt pressured me to get a teaching credential and be a sub. I worked teaching kids and ESL adult school, and in all different parts of the county. I would drive to Fontana, South Los Angeles, East LA, El Monte, and more. And then it happened. What happened?

I was asked to teach a 10 week summer night school class in downtown Los Angeles. I couldn’t believe they assigned the class to me. Why me? I didn’t ask to teach it. I had very little experience at that district and in general with classroom teaching. I had done tutoring and small classes. Was it because it was a summer class? Were the other teachers on break? Was it because someone dropped out at the last minute? Speculation, speculation, and guess work. So, this class was every night for two and a half months. I got to the class the first day. There were about fifty people. I was overwhelmed. I had never taught a class that size. The room was huge too. It took three weeks to learn everybody’s name. Most of the people were from Mexico, but there were Salvadorians (or as I call them: Salvadortecos or Salvadorenos), Guatemalans (Guatemaltecos), two Koreans (Koreanos is how Mexicans say it), a South Indian, a Russian, and a few others. But, when you teach ESL in Los Angeles, it is generally 90% Latino.

I had learned a little Spanish and was going to learn more at work. Grammar was an issue, and my vocabulary was tiny. I speak Chinese well, but Spanish has always been a challenge even though it’s seven times easier to learn Spanish as an English speaker than it is to learn Chinese. So little by little I learned more Spanish words from my students which I needed for teaching. Because, when you teach a particular verb tense or topic, you need to make sure the slower students are on the same page with you so you don’t lose them.

So, I got to know the class better and better, and got more comfortable teaching them. The subject matter was my favorite: Beginner ESL (English as a second language). As time went on I noticed that there were more and more people in the class. I was disturbed. I didn’t know how these people would fit, and where they would sit. But, I got used to that. Then, I noticed that the population in my class kept growing like a cancer, little by little. I guess word got around that I was a good teacher, or perhaps there were no other options because there is a teacher shortage during the summer. By the end of the class I counted 120 people in my class. They loved me, I had most of their names down, and half the class valued me so much that they were willing to stand for two hours. I have never had an experience like this in my life and I think I should look back with price and gratitude. Because my other gigs of which there were over 100 (which were generally subbing less than a handful of times) were very disappointing and the classes did not love me.

Looking back, I would say that having your own class with a flexible student base is the best. That way new people who love me can join the class and I can accumulate a following of people who like my style.

Close to the end of the class, my birthday came. The students collected money for a huge cake. I was concerned that they were going to spend too much because (1) I like to keep it simple and (2) these were very poor people. After class was over on that day, they unveiled the cake. We had drinks, cake, music, and good conversation. It was somewhat hard to socialize with people who hardly speak English, but we managed. And then it was picture time. Two of the students put cake frosting all over my face and then took a photo of me. The posted a copy of it on the classroom wall so that we would have a happy memory. The principal came in a few days later and congratulated me on having a great class. But, I didn’t do anything special. I was just doing what I always do — I had just stumbled upon really really good luck!

So, that concludes my little spiel about my test beaching experience which incidentally was one of the best experiences of my life. I hope that I have some more amazing life experiences in the future.

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April 24, 2011

Business Licenses

Does your business have a business license?

Having a “real” business like a store or restaurant requires you to have a business license and perhaps some other permits.   Being a notary public is easier.  You don’t need a liquor license unless you want to offer unique wines from Mendoza that you stash in your trunk to your notary clients. It might help them get through a stressful signing, you never know.  But, most notaries do not have a business license, and legally, you should probably have one.

Company names?
Its good to have a notary company name / notary business name.  It gives the impression of professionalism.  Our notaries often put a company name on their listing, but many keep changing the name every several months.  I begin to think that they are not licensed, and they just improvise on the name as they please.  This can get you into a heap of trouble. We already had a threat of a law suit because one notary used someone else’s name (gulp).  Notaries with a company name get about 17% more clicks than those that don’t.  Removing your personal name to replace it with a company name can lose you some brand recognition in the short run though.

Business licenses
Its doesn’t require a degree in nuclear physics to ge ta business license. Just waltz down to your county clerk’s office with a check and register your business name.  You have to check to see if the name is already in use.  If not, then register your choice of name. Its good to think for a few weeks what you want to name your business, so you can start off with an auspicious name.  Registering your business on a lucky day will help your business for life too, so have a good astrologer pick a lucky day for you with some good constellations. Make sure Mars is in the right house.. or else!  You have to list your business name in one or more newspapers in your area, but the county clerk will take care of that for you.  You fill out a few quick forms and write them a check, and then you are done.

Name ideas
Its sometimes a good idea to have a unique name.  Many companies in our industry have a name so similar to someone else’s name, that when the “other” company does something wrong, the new company is effected by the bad reputation of the other company.  Unique names are good, and names with geographical terms are sometimes a good idea too.  Its best to pick a good name, and then keep it for life.  Many companies like to keep changing their company name, and this causes a lot of confusion for the customers.  There is a train station in Bombay that changed its name three times in the last several years.  I don’t know whether to call it “Fort”, “VT”, or “Victoria Station”, yikes.  I’ll have to call it, “The railway station formerly known as Victoria Station”.  That will not help me when I try to look it up on the internet.

Do names have energies?
The mystics think that names have powerful energies, and that if you pick a good name, that will help your business. Personal names have karma too, and if you want to change your karma, the first thing to do is to change your name.  Number combinations have energies too.  Names also make quite an impression, so if your name seems unique and also gives the client confidence in you, you are on the right track. Considerate Notary Services, Astute Notary, Meticulous Signing Services, Simi Valley Signatures…  These names may be a bit funny, but they are good names in my opinion because of the impression they give.

When you are ready!
Think hard about what type of notary company name / notary business name to get. Ask your friends and your cat or dog what they think too.  Meditate on it.  Then, when you are ready, register your business name!

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Jury duty vs. human trafficking – they are more similar than you might think

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:26 am

When we think of jury duty we think of doing our duty to our country in order to ensure one of the facets of due process in that we provide the opportunity to a defendant to have a fair trial that is free of bias, partiality, and prejudice. The down side of the way jury duty is practiced in the United States is that in order to ensure the rights of the accused, regular citizens are stripped of their freedoms for an indefinite period of time while they are trapped in long and arduous court cases — and often without financial compensation other than $15 per day which does not even cover lunch or a cab fare.

However, upon further and closer inspection it seems that jury duty is not only a sacrifice of the juror’s short-term rights for the benefit of a defendant, but much worse. Jury duty has many parallels with human trafficking and actually meets the definition of human trafficking to a T.

Human trafficking can be defined as the transport of human beings from one location to the other in order to perform forced labor or sexual exploitation. Although it normally includes various other types of abuses as a matter of practices, those other abuses are not part of the definition.

Jury duty involves what I call “self-abduction under duress” as a primary stage of the process. This means that a jury member or prospective juror forces himself into a vehicle of some sort because he or she realizes that he/she will face a $1500 fine or possible incarceration if he/she doesn’t comply with the request made in writing by the court administration. The mafia also makes threats when they want you to do something. They threaten you with physical harm or threaten to harm loved ones or your possessions. Maybe the supreme court is more similar to the mafia than we think.

Jury duty involves the transportation or trafficking or “self-trafficking under duress” of jurors or prospective jurors from one location to another (home to a court building) for the purpose of forced labor in the form of decision making shoddily performed intellectual labor. The irony is that most jurors do not have the intellectual capacity nor care enough about their cases to give the defendant a fair trial.

Here is a satirical line from one of my comedy routines:
“Your honor, I believe that jury duty is similar in essence to human tracking. Both involve the transport or self-transport of individuals from one location to another for the sake of sexual exploitation or forced labor. I am relieved that I am here for forced jury related labor and not for sexual services because quite frankly your honor — you’re not my type.”

Kidnapping is the unlawful abduction, transport, and holding of a person against their will. But, is it lawful for the court system to hold people against their will in a court room? If a juror does not complain about being there it does not appear that they are being kidnapped. But, what id they do announce that they do not consent to being strong-armed into staying there? Denying a person their freedoms as a law abiding person is a violation of their human rights. Is it legal for a court to cheat you out of your human rights? Is holding someone in court against their will hostage taking, kidnapping, or none of the above? I am not an Attorney and don’t know, but it seems that a lot of these accusations are up to interpretation.

Since America has a policy of offering a public trial by jury to criminals and also sometimes for civil trials, that necessitates having a jury. Whether the jury is assembled by paying them, giving incentives, or forcing them to come under duress seems to vary. But, putting aside whether jurors are consensually performing their duty or paid is one issue — whether they should be allowed to be required to wait for five hours in a room doing absolutely nothing is a very different consideration.

Imagine a brain surgeon whose time is worth $2000 per hour is summoned (or as I call it “drafted”) to do jury duty. But, all he does is sit in a room all day long. That is a gross waste of the individual’s time. And that waste is justified because the law stipulates that a jury needs to consist of a cross section of society. But, to get the higher level members of the cross section of society, is it fair to waste $1600 of their time having them just sit around? That seems criminal to me, yet society in its incompetence allows this.

The duration of trials is another point to be considered. Some trials go on and on and on with new evidence and witnesses being called in slowly day after day. If you have a critical job, you will get very behind while you are trapped in a court room which could affect your co-workers, boss, and customers. It seems that there should be limits as to how long a trial should last. It also seems logical that those with critical jobs be put on shorter trials. The courts used to honor hardship, but these days they do not which is dangerous.

Personally, I feel that for smaller cases, there should be an option to have a very quick trial where all witnesses come at once, there is almost no waiting time, and you get in and out in a few hours. Jury selection is another topic that takes time. But, a pre-selection could be done online or over the phone to see what a juror’s prejudices are which would help the court choose what type of case to put them on.

I wasted two hours in a court room where a police man was on trial a few years ago. I spent five hours waiting in the waiting room, then spent two hours in a court room only to find out that they couldn’t use me, perhaps because I mentioned having had several bad experiences with Los Angeles Police Department members. If my style of jury preparation had been used, all of the screening would have happened by phone the night before and they would have picked a nice short trial the next day for me to go to with no waiting time. Efficiency saves a lot of money, but the court system is government run and therefore not very good at erring on the side of efficiency.

I hope that my article was thought inspiring. I am very frustrated with having to do jury duty. I like being on a jury, but cannot stand being virtually kidnapped by the court system and than having my time wasted. When bank robbers rob a bank and then find themselves surrounded by the police, the hostages in the bank do very much the same activities you do on day one of jury duty — namely sitting in a room for hours on end doing absolutely nothing — oh, and having to ask permission to go to the bathroom.


April 20, 2011

Hawaii Acknowledgment Form

Here is an example of Hawaii Notary Acknowledgment Wording

State of Hawaii
County of ___________

On this ______ day of ____________, 20_____, before me personally appeared___________, to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that he executed the same as his free act and deed.


Signature of Notary Public

Print Name:____________
My commission expires: _____________________


April 19, 2011

Judge Duty vs. Jury Duty

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:27 am

Once upon a time there was a mean judge who never gave jurors a break. Many of the jurors on his cases had hardships meaning that nobody could replace them at work or that they didn’t get paid for even one day of jury duty. He caused so much suffering to so many people and didn’t even care. But, one day his luck changed.

The judge woke up in the morning, went to the kitchen to find a little box of chocolates on the kitchen table with a note. The note said that some people needed his help in Mexico to decide on a disagreement between cartels. He would receive instructions later. Someone had picked the lock and quietly entered, turning off his high-end alarm system somehow and getting out without making a sound. Obviously the work of seasoned professionals.

The next day when the judge went to work he noticed some shady looking people walking slowly through the neighborhood. He called the police, but the police informed him that they were not in fact committing a crime, so they could do nothing. That night he got a phone calls from a man with a Mexican accent telling him that he should get up early tomorrow and await further instructions.

By this point the judge was terrified and called the police again. But, the police said that no crime had been committed and that there was no evidence of a break in and no fingerprints either.

The next day, the judge woke up to find his car was missing, but there was a brand new Cadillac SUV in his driveway with keys on his kitchen table. There were instructions to drive to a particular municipal airport and not to call the police, otherwise there would be trouble. Fearing for the safety of the wife and kids he did what the instructions said and drove to the airport. From there he was escorted onto a small plane that flew into Zacatecas province in Mexico.

He was to do a quick trial between the Zacatecas cartel and the Sinaloa cartel. They ad a disagreement over money that would lead to a huge shoot out if not resolved quickly. The cartel guys who hired him informed the judge that although this is inconvenient for him, it will greatly benefit society if he provides his service. The judge agreed although he didn’t want to be there.

The judge was given free hotel accommodations courtesy of his contact person Juan who was very polite to the judge. Meals were provided by Juan’s sister Carmelita who made the best tamales in Zacatecas. But, tamales were not for free. They charged the Judge 32 cents per Tamale. Juan explained that at court snack bars, the jurors are not there by choice, but at least they get snacks for a reasonable price so he would extend the same courtesy to the judge.

The next day, the judge was informed that the expert witness would be delayed and the that court case would be delayed for two weeks. No phone calls were allowed during this time. Finally, the witness showed up, and there was another delay because the Sinaloa cartel couldn’t show up. So, a few more days waiting time. After 17 days, finally they were ready for a trial. The judge listened to both sides of this crazy argument and worked out an agreement.

After that the judge asked why they wanted him of all people. They explained that they didn’t like Mexican judges because they were all corrupt and that they wanted a nice gringo judge. It took the judge five hours to work out their problems. Then they flew the judge back to Los Angeles, gave him his car back and left him alone.

The next day, there was a thank you present once again on the kitchen table with cash paying the judge $15 per day for his service — exactly what California jurors are paid for their service. He also got paid 34 cents per mile radius from his hotel to the court room plus mileage fees for the flight to Mexico which was paid for by Juan. $468.26 cents was what the judge got for his service.

Meanwhile the judge lost his job due to being absent. The judge’s wife left him because she was terrified and his own kids were not allowed to talk to him. All for $468.26. On the other hand, he probably single-handedly prevented dozens of people from being gunned down which makes it worth while in some way, shape or form.

The moral of the story is that jury duty can be very beneficial for society and justice, but it also causes severe problem to people’s lives, their bosses, customers and family. The courts think they can pay pennies for disrupting our lives, but they don’t seem to understand how much harm they exact on us for some benefit to society.


Notary Lives Matter

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:48 am

Notaries frustrated with the oppression of not being paid by signing companies decided to create a new group called, Notary Lives Matter or NLM.

They took over a signing company in Orange County and declared the entire block a police free zone. Their demands were that the police would help them get paid. But, the police didn’t want to bother.

One signing company worker who made the mistake of putting in overtime came out of the bathroom to find these unruly Notaries demonstrating in the entrance and parking lot. They made her “take a knee” and say, “I can’t breathe.” Then she turned on the air system and said, “I can breathe a lot better now.”

The police didn’t want to confront such a large number of disgruntled Notaries, so nobody got arrested. But, on the other hand nobody got paid. The moral of the story is to research companies on Notary Rotary and 123notary’s forum to make sure that companies pay. Otherwise you might be saying, “Hand up …. hand up…. don’t shoot…. don’t shoot — Notary Lives Matter!”


April 18, 2011

Jan 23 = 123notary day.

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:17 am

I have decided to designate January 23rd as 123notary day because that day is 1-23. I am surprised it took me twenty years to think of this. I am considering having sales on particular items every year on or around this day. In 2020, we are doing to be having a sale on certification, elite certification and upgrades. I plan to bundle these products for a sales promotion. We did exactly this in 2013 and the sales were fantastic.


April 17, 2011

Alaska Acknowledgment Wording

Here is the official Alaska Acknowledgment wording. Please keep in mind that Alaska has a network of boroughs and does not have official counties or parishes like other states.

State of Alaska

Judicial District (or County of ________________)

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this ____________ day of ___________, ________________ by ____________________________________________ (signing party) ___________________________________ (marital status).

Notary Public

Print Name __________________________
Serial Number, if any: _________________

My commission expires:


There is also something called Alaska Corporate Acknowledgment Wording which includes the capacity of the signer.

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