January 2012 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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January 31, 2012

What is Signature by X or by Mark?

What is a signature by X — What is a Signature by mark?
 
Please check your state notary rules to see what is allowed in your state.  Many states allow for people to sign by x, or sign by mark. This procedure is generally only for very frail and elderly people who are bedridden.  We have a number of posts about this topic, and we invite you to view these posts to learn about the details regarding how to get a notary for a bedridden signer, and what the procedure is.
 
Please see these posts for details:
 
Signature by X from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=203
 
Dragging the person’s arm – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=610
 
A tale of four notaries in hospitals – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463
 
Hospital notary jobs from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76
 
 
 
Please note that you need 2 subscribing witnesses for a signature by mark.  Also, the signer of the X needs to be able to sign the X without someone moving their arm for them which is sometimes a challenge.  This type of signing normally happens in a hospital room or nursing home where the signer is bedridden.

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January 28, 2012

Information about various notary procedures

This blog entry will contain links to information about various notary procedures.

Credible witness notary procedure
Credible Witnesses from A to Z
 
General notary public procedure
There are various types of notary acts which are common such as Jurats, Acknowledgments, Oaths, and Affidavits.  Please click on the link of the notary act you are interested in.
 
Jail signing Procedures
Jail signings are not that different from other signings except for the fact that inmates typically do not have identification that is acceptable to notaries.  The next difference is that the person who coordinates the jail signing and meets the notary at the jail is generally a relative, girlfriend, or attorney for the inmate, where most notary jobs are booked by the signer themselves.  It is possible that inmates could be moved from jail to jail which is another issue. Please read out blog about jail signings.
 
Notarized Affidavit Procedure
An affidavit is a document like any other, and it is generally notarized using a Jurat which requires the signer to sign in the presence of the notary, and for the signer to swear under oath that the contents of the statement / document are true and correct and perhaps that they will abide by the terms in the agreement. Please read our entry about Notarized Affidavits
 

Notary Witness Procedure
Notaries can act as witnesses in their capacity as individuals.  Please see our blog entry entitled,”can a notary be a witness“.  Notaries can notarize signatures of witnesses, and can also use credible witnesses to identify a signer in many states. In addition, there is such a thing as subscribing witnesses for proofs of execution and for signing by x.
 
Procedure for notary by mark
Please see our blog entry about signing by x
 
Procedure for Affidavit of Support
Please see our blog entry about Affidavits of Support. In short this is notarized like any other affidavit and uses a Jurat which requires the signer to sign in the presence of the notary and take an Oath regarding the truthfulness of the document and their willingness to abide by the terms stipulated in the document.

You might also like:

Notary Procedure for Affidavit of Support Documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1421

Credible Witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

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January 21, 2012

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person
 
I have written a lot on this topic, and posts relating to this topic are in the hospital category on the right.  There are no special notary laws for notarizing a bedridden signer. However, there are a few important things to know that are common when notarizing hospitalized or bedridden or elderly signers.
 
The identification must be current
A few states allow an ID to have been issued five years before the date of the notarization, when the ID technically expires four years after it was issued.  However, elderly signers will commonly have an ID that was used between Christopher Columbus’ time and the French Revolution.  If you do a signing for an elderly person (or anyone else), make sure their identification is current before you drive to that location (if you are a mobile notary). 
 
The patient / bedridden person must be coherent and sober
It is common for nurses to drug a patient right before the notary arrives.  Unfortunately, it is not legal to notarize someone who is so out of it that they can’t think or function.  So, if you want that notarization to happen, put the morphine on hold for now! Keep the valium in it’s syringe for now!  Additionally, if the signer can not move their arm to sign, you have a problem. If the signer can not talk enough to acknowledge that they understand the document, you are in trouble too. 
 
Elderly people get scammed regularly – notaries beware!

Elderly people fall prey to all types of scams, and the “nice” people who you assume are the signer’s children could be scam artists who are conning the drugged patient into signing their assets away.  The notary will (could) end up in court if someone gets scammed, so beware, and make sure the signer knows what is going on — or you (the notary) will be very sorry when the justice system hijacks you for two weeks without pay a few months or years down the road. It is not worth it!

You might also like:

Power of Attorney at a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

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January 19, 2012

Notary income in various areas

Notary income in various areas
 
How much do notaries make? 
Notaries typically do not do notary work full time.  Notaries usually work in an office doing some sort of office work, and have a notary commission just in case someone walks in who needs a notarization.  Sometimes the notarization might be related to their dealings with the company in question, and other times it is not. 
 
Mobile notary income varies a lot
The mobile notary profession used to be very fast from 2001-2006.  Since 2007, things have slowed down quite a bit.  There used to be many people who made a full time income as a notary public / loan signer.  Now that things are slower, there are less full time notaries.  But, what is their notary income working half time or full time?  I can guess that a serious part time notary might make $1000 to $2000 per month doing regular notary work on the side such as loan signings. But, a full time notary might have a notary income of $3000 to $5000 in this slow economy, when it used to be above 100K per year in the old days for the notaries who really knew what they were doing.
 
Notary income in New York?
If you live in Manhattan, you might be able to make a lot of money.  NYC has a lot of opportunities for mobile notaries because there are so many transactions going on, and so few mobile notaries.  You could take the subway or cab around town, and make a mint.  There is little competition, so the key is to get the word out that you are around
 
How do I become a mobile notary and make money?
Call us at 123notary at 888-838-1458. We train people how to enter this profession every day.  Please do not try to be full time until you have built up a loyal clientele over a few years, but as a side gig, this is the way to go!  We have loan signing courses, certification courses, and more!

You might also like:

The top 1% and the 99% of notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4168

2013 analytics: which notaries are getting more business?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4117

Techniques for getting more reviews
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2625

Pricing formulas for mobile notary work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=84

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January 17, 2012

How to fix notary mistakes

How to fix notary mistakes 

Notaries often make mistakes.  Many make notary mistakes due to lack of education and lack of skill.  Those notaries will not likely catch their mistakes, and will not understand if others point out their mistakes. However, a knowledgeable notary public, will be likely to catch their own mistakes.
 
The point of having notaries in society is to have some sort of record keeping for the signing of documents, and the identifying of signers.  The notary hopefully keeps a journal (required in most states), and also fills out certificate sections, or attaches certificate forms to documents.
 
So, most notary mistakes that could be made would likely be in the journal, or certificate area.  If there is a mistake on the journal, it might be that the notary didn’t properly indicate what type of document was being notarized, or left out some critical documentation information.  Or, the signer might have “forgotten” to sign the journal which is much more serious.  If a signer forgets to sign, the notary can try to call the signer and have them come and sign the journal, or the notary can go to them.  An experienced notary wouldn’t let such a thing happen, but if there is a lot of confusion and people are in a hurry, then something could go wrong.
 
If there is a mistake in the notary certificate, then a new certificate can be made without seeing the signer, providing that the old certificate is destroyed.  You can not legally have two certificates for the same document for the same signer — unless there are two journal entries for the same signature by the same person on the same document which is very fishy indeed!
 
What about forgetting to administer an Oath to credible witnesses, or forgetting to administer an Oath for a Jurat?  In such a case, first of all, the notary could lose their commission or be fined by their state government for such a blatant infraction of notary law!  But, the notary could try to find the affiant and try to make them take their Oath after the fact.  Better late than never. I don’t think that makes it “okay”, but is better than nothing.

You might also like:

Fixing Botched Signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1246

Minimum Competency Test Study Guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4337

Rude notaries and what they do
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2198

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January 16, 2012

Official 2012 list of GOOD signing companies

Filed under: Best Signing Companies,Ultra-Popular — admin @ 2:59 pm

Here is our official 2012 list of good signing companies. Some of these are older companies by the way. Thanks!

800 Notary4u

A1 Signing Services

Akeen Signature Services

All Star Title

AMC Settlement Service

Amtrust

Angi Notary Signing Services

ASAP Signing Services, Inc

ATM Corporation DBA Service Link

ATS Document Service

Avenue 365

Bilingual Notary Network

CDS Signing Service

Central Florida Closing

Central Signing Service

Century Document Services

Close-it, LLC

CMD Mobile Notary

Continental Title

Convenient Closing Services

CRES Closers

Eclipse Services

emobilenotary

Express Signatures

Fidelity Title / LSI

Finish Line Signing

First American Signature Service & Title

First Preference Signing

FNP Document Services

Global Notary

Gold Coast

Hatton and Associates

Hourglass Notary

HVR Mobile Notaries

Inscribing Pursuits Document Services

Integrated Loan Services

Integrated Title

JDR Title

Lewis Notary Service

LSI

Madison Credit Management Services

Meymax Title Agency of Ohio

Mobilesigning.com

National Settlement Services

Nations Direct

Nationwide Appraisal and Title

Nation’s Signature Closers

Notaries Now

Nations Signature Closers

Navy Credit Union – NFRES

New Millennium Title Group

Notary Junction

Peachtree Settlements

Phoenician Closing Services

Placer Title

Premier Reverse Closings

Premier Signing Services, LLC

Progressive Closing and Escrow

Pro Sign Document Services

Professional Settlements

Reliaclose

Safe Signings

Service Link

Sunshine Signing Connection

Superior Notary

Texas Litigation Services

The Notary Diva

Time Share Relief

Timios Title

Todaro National Notary

Universal Document Express

UST Global

X Marks the Spot

Your Notary On The Go

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January 15, 2012

Free valid and phony government issued photo ID

Free Valid and Phony Govt issued Photo ID

I have been a notary for well over a decade. I am not often shocked. Today I had a phone call and learned of a threat to notaries everywhere. It’s an amazingly illogical and frankly astonishing situation. Read very carefully what follows; it happened to me moments ago.

I receive a call for mobile notary work. The caller identifies himself as a former prisoner who has been “just released”. He needs a property pickup form notarized to receive the items taken from him prior to incarceration. He tells me that he has his Social Security card, his Birth Certificate and his prison release ID. Of course the first two are not photo ID, but he states that the prison release ID; of which he has the original – does have his photo.

It sounds OK so far. But now the anomaly: The name on the Government issued prison release Photo ID differs from the name on the other two items! He “explains” that when he was arrested he gave the police a phony name! So the name on his Photo ID is fictitious! He wants me to notarize his real name, as on the Birth Certificate & Social Security card.

Whoa, this does not make sense. If the prison has his property under the phony name, how can the “property claim” form work with a different name? Even scarier is that he is in possession of “Government Issued Photo ID” – with a fraudulent name! Naturally I could not notarize anything for him as one name has no photo; and he has stated to me that the other is phony!

My message to fellow notaries: Do not accept a “prison release photo ID”. The name on that ID is the name given when the person became a “resident” of the facility – apparently without any further verification. This is a really weird situation – the New York City Police Department is issuing photo ID – to convicts with any name of their choice!

You might also like:

Identification requirements for being notarized
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4299

Notarization dates, document dates & signature dates!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2421

Backdating from A to Z in notary work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2424

Seal forgery — it happened to me!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=724

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January 13, 2012

Borrowers and their filthy homes

The notary who was very ill
A while back I had tried to reach one of our notaries (and she has become a dear friend as well) for some time but with no response I started to worry. When I did finally reach her she shared a horrifying story with me. She confided in me that she had been quite ill. In fact she expressed to me that she was very near death.  I could hardly believe my ears what she had begun to tell me.

Coming down with a flu
She had had a busy week with notary work and she became ill with what she thought was the flu/cold. She did not quite know what was wrong but knew that her body was telling her something was not quite right. This was more than a cold. She eventually ended up in the hospital and with her stay her body continued to slowly shut down. She was literally dying right before the doctors and staff’s eyes. They ran test after test and could not come up with anything.

But, what was her illness?
They were baffled. What they did know for sure is if they didn’t do something and do something fast she would surely die.  They were clueless, was this an infection or was airborne or contagious?? They continued with the tests but nothing. They were afraid to give her any medication for fear that it would kill her. If they didn’t know what was wrong how could they treat her. So they quarantined her and everyone that tended to her wore masks, gloves, etc. They were stumped/baffled to say the least.

A test for Legionnaires disease
Now, If it weren’t for what she would call her ‘angel’ she would not have lived to tell this story. There  just so happened that there was a young intern at the hospital (who’s sex it still unknown to her to this date; not that it makes any difference) suggested for them to  run the test for Legionnaires Disease. Why he or she suggested or thought to test for this is still unclear but as far as our notary and I are concerned, it was our heavenly father above. The doctors ordered the test and what a shocker those results were, positive-BINGO-that is exactly what she had. Now you may ask what exactly is Legionnaires Disease?? I have posted a summary below.

Legionellosis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by gram negative, aerobic bacteria belonging to the genus Legionella.[1][2] Over 90% of legionellosis cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila, a ubiquitous aquatic organism that thrives in temperatures between 25 and 45 °C (77 and 113 °F), with an optimum temperature of 35 °C (95 °F).[3]

Legionellosis takes two distinct forms:
Legionnaires’ disease, also known as “Legion Fever”,[4] is the more severe form of the infection and produces high fever and pneumonia.[5][6]

The disease was traced to a borrower’s home
If it sounds scary well it is…When the notaries test came back positive the CDC was called in.  Can you believe it! Haz-mats and all. And they wanted to know EVERY place she had been., Every detail.  Being barely able to communicate she let them know all of the places she had been. They traced her steps, they checked her home and all the places that she had been after she had became ill and low and behold the LD was ultimately traced to a BORROWERS home that she had closed a loan for. It seems the borrower had never cleaned/serviced their air conditioning unit and whenever it was warm and they turned it on it was blowing the LD bacteria into the air and our unfortunately notary had breathed this deadly bacteria in while she was there closing her loan. Our notary let me know that the house itself was filthy and she says now with her near death experience she will never enter a filthy home again.

No more dirty homes
She says that if she arrives to a house  that is not clean for notary work, she will not set foot in it. She immediately (but kindly) offers to take them for coffee and they sign the paperwork at the coffee shop. No exception! She told me that she had to learn allot of things all over things that we just do naturally and take for granted, like eating walking, etc. The disease had essential destroyed her immune system and left her weak…so she felt that no signing job was worth what she had been through..so NO more dirty houses.

The borrowers were immune
What got me is that the people that lived in the house never got sick…the CCD said that because it was their filth they were immune to the bacteria. But any friend, worker, etc that entered that house and stayed any length of time on a hot day with that uncleaned air-conditioning running would get deathly sick. So next time a house is really filthy you may want to think twice about entering it.
Until the next time. Be safe!

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January 12, 2012

Backdating from A to Z

Backdating from A to Z for Notaries 

Backdating is the act of putting a fraudulent date on a notarial certificate such as an Acknowledgment Certificate or Jurat Certificate, etc. Backdating is illegal and you can lose your commission, and perhaps face fines or even jail time if your crime is serious enough.
 
It is common for Lenders, or people who work in Title offices to have to close a loan by a particular date, or they will lose their lock and lose the interest rate that was agreed upon.  If the loan MUST be signed by the 5th, but there was a delay in getting the paperwork ready, or the notary couldn’t come until the 6th, then the notary might be asked to backdate!  Gulp!  You will feel pressured to do it to keep the client happy. You will/might lose your pay, and the client if you don’t do what they want — but, if you comply, you could get into legal trouble which could ruin your career or life, and perhaps your afterlife as well.  So, what are your priorities?  Do you want to oben the law and lose a client, or risk it all for a bunch of nitwits who don’t have their act together?
 
If a loan is signed on the 6th, and the journal entries for the signatures on notarized documents are on the 6th, then the date that goes in the journal and the 6th, and the date that goes on the notary certificate wording is also the 6th.  If the signing is close to midnight of the 6th, then you might be able to legally date it the 7th if part of the notary procedures went past midnight.  

Please keep in mind that the document date might be the date of the signing or earlier. The document date can be whatever the document drafter chooses, and it serves little purpose other than to identify the document and distinguish it from other similar documents.

You might also like:

Notarization Dates, Document Dates & Signature Dates!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2421

Seal Forgery — it happened to me!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=724

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January 11, 2012

Rude notaries?

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:56 am

Rude notaries? 

At 123notary, we have 6000+ notaries on board, and we talk to most of them at one time or another.  We take pride in how dedicated and professional our notaries are.  Our notaries answer emails promptly, and have a high rate of answering their phone.  But, once in a while we will get a complaint of rudeness.
 
Who are these rude notaries?
Rudeness is a two-way street.  Most of the time, if a notary is accused of rudeness, the borrower or signing company was unreasonable with them or harrassed them.  Is it the notary’s fault?  In my opinion, a professional should try to maintain their cool at all times.  The defining line that separates the men from the boys is how well you handle a difficult situation with finesse.  Can you calmly handle a difficult client?  Can you smoothly work your way through a difficult situation?  Can you keep your cool when others around you are screaming?  Its difficult to know what to do when a notary is accused of being rude.  I usually keep these incidents off the record, and only in my private records.
 
Incomplete information?
What bugs me the most, is that when I get a complaint about a rude notary, I  only see text such as, “The notary was rude”.  My question is, what did the notary say?  What did you say to them first to provoke this reaction?
 
Notaries who hang up on clients.
We get regular complaints that the notary hung up on someone.  Was the client rude? Did the notary have a cell phone that routinely drop calls?  Was the notary just being a jerk?  Sometimes clients call after hours and the notary doesn’t want to be bothered. 
 
Antagonistic emails
Be careful with this one.  Nobody can remember what you said, other than the fact that it was polite or rude.  However, if you write a rude email, it can be forwarded to me — and that is proof that you really are rude!
 
Threatening clients with lawsuits
When a notary and a client get in an argument, some notaries quickly start threatening clients with lawsuits.  This is really unnecessary and rude.  It reflects poorly on us and on you.   You should not threaten someone with a law suit unless you have serious damages which you can prove.
 
Criticizing the company you are working for.
If you work for a signing company, its not good manners to criticize them or their borrowers. If they are horrible people, just don’t work for them anymore!  If the borrowers are horrible, just try to put up with them.
 
Summary
99% of our notaries are fantastic, and this blog entry doesn’t apply to you. If put in a difficult situation, try to be polite and then refuse to work for the difficult company again!  Don’t criticize people (even if they deserve it), and don’t write threatening emails.  Just do your job, and go home!

You might also like:

What to say and not say: minimum competency guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4337

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4122

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

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