July 2011 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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July 6, 2011

Good companies gone bad

Unfortunately, over the last few years, it has been hard to find decent companies to work for.  Personally, if I were still a notary public, I would only work for about 20% of the signing companies out there and watch them like a hawk for payment.  I would keep a database on each one to see what their average wait time was and of any problems.  I would have the best data collection system in the industry.  But, the problem is that companies that we have known and trusted for years, sometimes go bad.  In this industry, everyone seems to go bad.  Signing companies are like milk.  If you keep the refridgerated, they still go bad — it just takes longer. There still are a few decent companies around, but you can count them on two or three hands only. 
 
I started noticing this trend in 2006
Companies with a solid payment record would suddenly become very slow payers.  Perhaps they were experiencing financial problems.  Personally, I think that if you are in a signing business, you should save your money, so you can pay your expenses on time. Any type of business involves cash flow, and keeping on top of cash flow means saving money.  I heard rumors that many of these signing company owners would drive the best SUV vehicles, have swanky homes, but not have money to pay the notaries.  Their priorities were their short term objects, and not maintaining their business.  The bottom line is that 95% of those companies that behaved like this no longer have businesses — and karmically that makes perfect sense to me.  Back in 2006, this trend began.  companies who always paid on time started slipping.  This trend continued, and is still continuing to this day five years leater.
 
Settling the score in 2008
This was the year when more signing companies went out of business than any other year.  2007 was the year when America started experiencing a financial disaster, but in 2008, that was the year that the bottom fell out, and companies folded.  Good companies started stringing their trusting notaries along for payment.  What I learned is that you can’t even trust companies with good payment records, because the minute they experience financial issues, the notary is the one who gets paid last. I have no idea why signing companies are almost all like this.  Is there a common gene that all signing companies have that causes this?  Maybe we should do some gene mapping to find the no-pay gene.
 
The depth of the crisis in 2011
By 2008, roughly 80% of signing companies that were around in 2005 had folded (educated guess).  But, by late 2010, the numbers had escalated to about 93%.  I know this because very few of our 400 signing companies on file are being gossiped about by the notaries.  There are a few new companies sprouting up in the doldrums to my surprise though.
 
A few companies that went from good reviews to bad
Here are a few companies that used to have good reviews or at least passable, that started getting a lot of really bad reviews lately. Please keep in mind that reviews are based on notary feedback and are NOT based on the opinions of 123notary or the people who work here.
 
American Freedom Assurance
Chase Title
Dynamic Field Solutions
Genuine Title
Greenbelt
Insured Closings
Notaries Express
The Notary Biz
Pacific Document Services

Tweets:
(1) Signing companies are like milk, even if you keep them refrigerated, they still eventually go bad!
(2) Many signing companies started out paying people on time, but these ones eventually started paying late!
(3) It is common for signing companies to pay on time, but then start paying late the minute they have financial problems.

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July 2, 2011

Threatening for payment?

Taking the job
I dont like to do a job and then have to threaten folks to get paid. It goes against my general fiber and overall nature. I excel at what I do and expect to paid accordingly.  I took a job toward the end of the month (May). It was a settlement company. You know the ones that broker the rich and famous insurance polices that are worth 4 or 5 million and they pay out  a fraction of what they are worth, and then wait for them to  die so they can collect the full value of the policy. This is similar to JG Wentworth’s policies.

Agreeing on a fee
Well, we agree on a handsome fee of 150.00. I successfully complete the assignment.  Nothing eventful and everything went well. I was even early..:)  After the completion of the assignment, I completed a W-9 and submitted an invoice and patiently waited. After about 2 weeks I emailed my contact on a Monday and was told that I would have payment toward the  end of the following week.  My eyebrows cautiously started to rise, but, I understand company billing policies, so I let it go. By the following week on Thursday there was no check. I emailed once again, and the reply I got was that they had missed the cut off and I would receive a check at least by the next Friday.

Contacting the signing company’s client for payment?
Now, I am becoming VERY angry. So I wrote back that this sounds very much like the run around to me and it is unacceptable . I also let them know that if forced I will have to take matters into my own hands meaning that if I don’t receive payment ASAP I will be contacting their client for payment. With correspondence sent I waited. The following afternoon I receive a brief response. and I quote  “Carmen, accounting pushed your check and it’s in the mail” And I thought to myself. Great BUT why did I have to be strung along and lied to in the first place. Why didn’t you just cut the check and be done with it.  It has been a month already. Why did I have to threaten you and worse  yet  now our relationship has been strained and severed. I am confident they will never call me again Nor do I want them to. I don’t want to have to put up a fight to get paid. If I perform a job without incident and give it 100% with no error on my part I except to get paid. PERIOD. I have every right to expect this. We have every right to expect this!!!

It is a shame that we have to resort to all sorts of threats, trickery, letters/emails phone calls, etc just to get our money. This is a job in itself and It is very time consuming to keep up with these slow or no pay companies.

In closing, I know the task itself is hard but you have got to stay on top of it. As one of our notaries expressed to me…the longer you wait to try an collect the more likely you never will see a dime…..and this is the sad truth. PLEASE Check out these companies when you can BEFOREHAND.  It is not entirely foolproof but it can help weed out some of the bad ones before it costs you in time and money! Be on top of your billing, comply with all their billing request, such as W-9’s and start the collection process early.

Until next time….(now lets play the waiting game and see if the check actually shows up…lol)

Tweets:
(1) Their excuse was that they missed the cut-off and would pay up next Friday!
(2) She threatened to go to the client if they didn’t pay ASAP & then they paid promptly!

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