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

Over my dead body! A signing that was one person’s last!

“When I was just starting out as a Maryland notary, life seemed to dole out challenges I have never seen since. For example, there were houses with cockroaches–big ones, ” recalls our Maryland Notary Public. “At one home, I encountered a blind man; I had not been told the man was blind, and I had to read every single word of the documents to him, and make sure he understood it all. Suddenly, I felt something crawling up my back. ‘Oh, don’t worry about those,’ the old man’s son said. ‘Those are just the cockroaches. We had a hurricane, and they all came out…’ For the hours it took to go over the documents, there were roaches everywhere. I was totally uncomfortable and near tears at several times during the signing. I was extremely relieved when it was time to go home!” recalls our Maryland Notary Public.” “I called my husband and wailed, “Have my robe ready!” I stripped down in the garage and got into the shower as soon as I was in the house. The car had to be cleaned because apparently some of our little friends came home with me. In general, I felt disgusting and the whole experience was bizarre.”

Another time, our ever-ready Maryland Notary Public arrived at a home where the handyman had died; there was a dead body lying there! “The signing company knew about it and did not tell me,” she recalls. “It was a closing for a man in his 50’s, a very nice house. When I got there and called them, the company offered me an additional $25 and I did the closing!” our successful Maryland notary says. “The coroner came and took the body…all while we were doing the documents…”

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October 30, 2012

Do they refinance haunted houses?

Once upon a mountaintop near El Paso, Texas, a Texas notary found that suddenly everything electronic stopped working!

Having finally arrived at the home of an elderly borrower who was refinancing, our Texas notary public was dialing their number on her cell phone while she let her car idle. All of a sudden there was a weird “e-o-e” sound, and the car died. The cell phone would not work, and the portable printer went off. Just for the heck of it, our notary in Texas tried her ipad. It also wasn’t working! Then, she took out her laptop: nope! Not that, either.

“Well, I went up to the house. I was pretty upset by that time. The old woman in the house saw I was a bit rattled, I think. She asked me right away if anything was wrong,” our Texas notary recalls. “My car just shut off, and so did my phone and all my electronic devices,” this notary in Texas told the borrower.

“She looked me straight in the eye, laughed, and said, ‘We have some sort of situation here. Things in this house move around. Lights go on and off. Nothing electronic works right all the time’. By this time, I was in a panic,” says our Texas notary. “The house looked pretty normal–not paranormal–inside… but she said this right at the beginning! How was the signing going to go, I wondered? I tried to call my husband from the house phone, but he wasn’t home yet. So I rushed through everything, and made sure to check my work…but all I could think of was how I was going to get home. I also watched everything carefully, to see if any furniture would move. It didn’t,” the notary says with relief.

“I went outside several times to check if the car would go on, but it didn’t. I called my husband from the woman’s landline again, but he still wasn’t home,” sighs the notary in Texas. “Finally, at the end of an hour, he was home. He said he would send AAA. But then the house phone shut off suddenly!” our Texas notary recalls. The strange electronic “eee-oooo-eee” sound she had heard outside crackled throughout the room. “Lucky that’s all that happened,” the borrower told me. “She told me then, ”This house is haunted. I have lived with this for 30 years, and it doesn’t bother me anymore. No one has ever been hurt. They are just playful ghosts,’ our Texas notary remembers the borrower saying. “Once, the ghosts scared a burglar away. He came in the back door and this table moved right across the room like it was making right for him at top speed. I was right glad,” the old woman said. “He ran like a jackrabbit out o’ this house and down the mountain road. Those old ghosts saved my life and who knows what else. After all, it’s their home, too,” the borrower concluded. “And they have a sense of humor.”

“At the end of the signing, the old woman came outside with me. But my car suddenly started right up by itself! I hadn’t even pressed the remote starter I have (my husband is disabled, and we have one). AAA was already there, and I had to pay them anyway,” remarks our notary in Texas. “There was a single penny on the driver’s seat. For luck,” says the Texas notary. “To remind me I was in luck this time.”

“I still do not believe in ghosts,” says the Texas notary, “but I do believe to this day that there was some kind of force field there. It had to be. Also, there have been UFO sightings in some of those mountains in Texas. Who knows what causes this kind of electronic malfunction? There are certainly strange electrical storms in El Paso.”

Was it a coincidence it was October 31 ?

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October 20, 2012

A notary gets sued, but E&O won’t help out!

We had a notary public whose name will remain anonymous. I will not disclose her location either. But, she is being sued because a lender pulled a fast one on a borrower. The borrower is suing everyone connected to the loan. But, the borrower should know that the notary public has nothing to do with the loan, doesn’t know the lender, and doens’t benefit from the loan other than to collect their small fee.

The story gets worse though. This notary’s E&O insurance policy wouldn’t help out with any of the legal expenses, or potential damages simply because they claim that the notary never made a clerical error which is true.

The notary public went to get legal counsel, and a neighbor / friend of the notary public offered to help at a discounted rate. But, the discounted estimate for the entire case was $30,000. It doesn’t make sense to me why a notary should pay $30,000 to defend themself from a false accusation.

In any case, we should pray for this notary public, so that she can get off the hook of being falsely accused. She did nothing wrong and shouldn’t suffer like this.

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October 14, 2012

Did you know? Random interesting notary facts…

Filed under: (5) State specific — Tags: , , — admin @ 6:43 am

Did you know?
 
Did you know that Louisiana Notaries are required by law to carry Errors and Omissions insurance?
 
Virginia and Kentucky notaries can notarize outside of their state providing the documents are to be recorded in state.
 
Commissioners in West Virginia can notarize in or outside of the state for documents to be recorded in the state.
 
In Washington DC, you can become a government notary if you work for the federal government, no matter what state you live in. You could live in Alaska and be a DC Government Notary!
 
Notaries in North Carolina are not permitted to charge ANY travel fee.  Notaries in roughly eight other states have severe restrictions on travel fees that would make it impossible to legally make a living as a mobile notary!  See details in the forum if you look up the term “travel fee”.
 
Notaries in Maine, South Carolina and Florida can solemnize marriages? Did you know that?  I do!
 
North Dakota allows out of state notaries to apply for a notary commission in their state if they live in a county that borders on North Dakota!

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October 9, 2012

The lady and her sick husband

Filed under: Carmen Towles — Tags: — admin @ 6:20 am

Sometimes I just don’t get one some folks are thinking!!!

It seems that a notary accepts a signing for the same day that her husband was being released from the hospital. But, rather than not accepting the job or making other arrangement for her husband she decides to pick him up and take him to the signing with her. And, of course she feels that she cant watch him if she leaves him in the car she drags him to the front door Introduces him to the borrowers explains that he has just been released from the hospital and she had no other choice but to bring him along.

The man is on oxygen and from other information that I was able to get out of her he was not well at all. So, not thinking any thing about this behavior she drags him on in the borrowers living room sits her husband down in an arm chair and tells them lets get to it. She doesn’t want to rush them but she has to get her husband home. I am listening to this story and I am think “WHAT, Is she serious??? I asked her, Do you see anything wrong with your behavior? She says, “No, what was I supposed to do? It is obvious she has no clue. She felt that she had no other options. I saw a couple but hell it was to late now. Damage had been already been done.

It seems that the borrowers had complained BIG TIME…ummm, duh… I asked her, ‘Did you think for one minute that they wouldn’t”. She actually didn’t think so. Its funny how folks seem to think they can say and do anything they want but are surprised that there are consequences for their behavior.

I asked why did she just find someone to take her place, She said bottom line she need the money….

So needless to say she lost a very valuable client.

Thanks for reading Be safe!
Carmen

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October 8, 2012

Out of work with no prospects

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: , — admin @ 6:23 am

Out of work with no prospects

It has been a strange and unfortunate couple of years for 50+ year old Lee Richan. Laid off from a lucrative job when the economy suddenly tanked, he found himself out of work with no prospects of being hired due to his age. Trying all possible avenues to secure a job, he finally turned to the bedrock of the American tradition – hard work and ingenuity to start a business capable of supporting him and his family. After scrimping, working countless hours, and inventing, he became a notary and produced a business capable of providing support services in court cases at far lower costs than is currently available. In addition to notaries being lower cost, Lee used technology to provide far superior recordings in cases to reduce error, time, and other problems inherent in litigation. “My goal,” Lee stated, “was to provide a way for everyone hit hard by the economy to be able to afford access to justice, or, if they were out of work like me, to have a business model they could turn to in providing for themselves.” Lee rolled out his company, AVLawDepot, and was able to achieve all of these goals.

Operating without a license

Things suddenly took a surprising turn, however, when the Utah government issued a citation and ordered Lee to cease and desist from operating his business. The government claimed that Lee was operating his business without a license, yet there was no license available for the type of work he did. “I honestly thought that sitting down with the appropriate officials would clear up any misunderstandings that were present,” Lee said, “but doing so only added to my confusion because the government could produce no solid grounds to prosecute me but they continued to do so.” Lee was being forced into bankruptcy by the Utah government as he had to hire an attorney to defend himself and turn his attention and time from his business to defending frivolous claims pressed by the Attorney General’s office. In two key meetings, first Lee showed state law declaring the notary commission was paramount to a court reporter. In a second key meeting the prosecuting Department was handed a printout of their own rules that specifically authorized Lee to do his work, and without a license. The Department’s only response was “[We] hate it when you use our rules against us.” Yet, nothing changed and the prosecution continued.

Digging deeper, Lee soon discovered that national interests were attempting to shut him down. While Lee had found a successful business model, he had accidentally ventured into the middle of a nationwide dispute taking place that is driven by a group behind the scenes of most litigation – the court reporters. The court reporters have sensed that their profession and skills become obsolete when technology enters the courtroom, and they have turned like vicious lions to destroy any attempt to better the judicial system by employing technology. Never mind that technology speeds up the process and the notary significantly lowers costs, the court reporters seem to say, we are intent on keeping the judicial system dependent upon our ability to manually record everything that takes place in a court proceeding. At $140 to $280 per hour paid to the court reporters, that’s quite a dependency.

Amazingly, Lee soon discovered that court reporter associations from across the nation were pumping money to Utah to help put him out of business. These associations were not using normal means of competition though. Rather, they used the Utah government to prosecute Lee and then to push bills in the legislature to change licensure requirements so that Lee could no longer operate his business. “It’s one thing to face honest competition in business,” Lee stated, “but it’s completely different to try and defend against attacks taking place through backrooms in government offices.”

While Lee recognizes that he is a small player in providing these services, he is concerned about the larger implications across the nation. “The courts are actively trying to improve justice, access to justice, and the overall judicial system,” Lee states, “and the court reporters are actively opposing this progress.” The court reporters seek a monopoly on providing recording services by requiring a license to make a recording. “In addition to stifling justice, these court reporters are stopping the free market from functioning, purposely driving up government expenses, and abusing governmental powers to ensure that their pocketbooks remain padded.” “It’s simply atrocious,” Lee says, “and the thing that scares me the most is that they care this much about a little guy like me. When national interests turn and let their sword fall on a one man operation in Utah, I just can’t imagine the havoc they’re wreaking throughout the rest of the nation.”

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October 5, 2012

How to get low ballers to stop bothering you

How to get lowball signing companies to stop bugging you for good!
I just talked to a Vermont notary who gave me some very common sense solutions to a problem she had been having for  a long time.  For years, low ballers had been bugging her offering her not enough money. Then, she put in her NOTES SECTION, what here minimum charge was.  Immediately, the nuissance calls stopped! 

Wow! What I recommend, is put it high in your notes section, because the first 100 or so characters of your notes show up on the search results.  If it clearly says: $90 minimum for loan signings, the low ballers will ball somewhere else.  It’s that easy!

If that doesn’t work, then change your business name to, “Elite Mobile Notary” and hope for the best!

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October 3, 2012

The Pros and Cons of eNotarizations

The Pros and Cons of eNotarization

As the technological world continues to evolve on a regular basis, more and more industries are looking to go from the paper route to the electronic route, allowing them to save time and money while providing more convenience to their customers.

One such industry that is following the technological advancements is the notary industry, which is looking to utilize eNotarization on a more frequent scale.

For those who are not up to speed on exactly what an eNotary does, they are quite simply a Notary Public who notarizes documents electronically. One of the means to do this is through utilizing a digital signature and notary seal to notarize electronic documents and validate with a digital certificate.

With electronic notarization, a notary puts an electronic signature and notary seal in place using a secure public key to an electronic document (such examples would be a PDF or Word document). When the signature and seal are affixed, the piece is looked upon as being tamper evident, meaning that any unauthorized attempts to alter the
document would be noticeable to relying parties.

eNotarization Focuses in on Security

In taking a look at the short history of electronic notarization, the National Notary Association (NNA) saw the need to put rules and standards in place for a workable, accessible, and, most importantly, secure system of electronic notarization.

As a result, the NNA came up with Enjoa (the Electronic Notary Journal of Official Acts), which allows both electronic and paper-based notary acts to be recorded—and that record should be free from tampering in an electronic database.

With Enjoa, notaries can electronically gather both a holographic signature and a fingerprint of each document signer, also providing the added choice of capturing within its database the signer’s facial image via a Web camera. Whether it be recording eNotarizations or paper-based transactions, Enjoa offers proof of a signer’s personal
appearance, a detailed database of the notarial act, and a level of security that is not available in a paper-based recordkeeping system.

It was some six years ago that the NNA partnered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in unveiling the nation’s initial Electronic Notarization Initiative, a comprehensive eNotarization program. All Pennsylvania notaries participating in the initiative utilized a digital certificate to perform electronic acts that were subsequently
made available for recordation in the four original participating counties. Other counties throughout Pennsylvania were quick to enroll in the program.

So, what can be seen as some of the pros and cons of eNotarization?

On the plus side:

* Electronic versatility offers benefits for both the notary involved and the business and legal communities. One of the more notable benefits is the time in which documents can now be notarized via a computer. Such documents include power of attorney paperwork, affidavits, deeds, title loans, wills, and prenuptial agreements, among
others.

* eNotarization makes it easy for the notary to adapt to changes in the document in just
minutes.

* eNotarization allows notaries to stay on top of cutting-edge technology, meaning they can compete with others in their business who are also using this manner to notarize documents. For those who choose not to, it could mean losing potential or current customers who opt for the more technologically advanced means to notarize paperwork.

On the negative side:

* eNotarization is not available everywhere, meaning you may or may not have it as an option where you live.

* Some worry that security could be compromised when using eNotarization. If that happens, the notary could lose business from customers who fear their private information leaking out. Whether with traditional notary usage or eNotarization, both the notary and customer should make sure private data is as protected as possible.

* eNotarization is still evolving, meaning some parts of the process are not entirely up to speed. As the process evolves more, eNotarization will become commonplace for both notaries and customers.

With more and more processes going the electronic route, is eNotarization in your plans?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/73736449@N02/6649009139/

About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from office cubicles to starting a small business. http://www.arnoldsofficefurniture.com/

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October 2, 2012

Top 5 books every notary should own (and read)

In any career, being the best means that you have to participate in professional development and be aware of new developments in your field. This is even truer for notaries who can face fines, suspended licenses, lawsuits, and other consequences if they make a mistake. Whether you’re new to the notary industry or a seasoned professional, make sure that you stay on top of your game with the books listed below.

The U.S. Notary Law Primer

Published in June, this book by the National Notary Association provides up-to-date information that every notary, or aspiring notary, needs to know. For those interested in becoming a notary, it lists the necessary qualifications and gives contact information for notary regulating officials. For those new to the profession, this book includes a variety of basic information including signer identification, notary journal maintenance, and misconduct penalties.

2012 – 2013 U.S. Notary Reference Manual

In the 11th edition of this manual, Charles N. Faerber has compiled the most current notary regulations from all 50 American states and six U.S. jurisdictions. Faerber, the National Notary Association’s Editor-at-Large and Vice President of Notary Affairs, makes sure to include detailed information for each state as well as the overarching laws that govern all notaries. This information is especially useful for national companies that use notarized documents and notaries who practice in multiple states.

How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Notary Business

In this guide, Kristie Lorette and Mick Spillane not only review notary basics, but they also offer advice as to how to grow a notary business. This thorough book contains checklists, case studies, an appendix of state-specific information, and even comes with a companion CD-ROM of customizable professional forms. This how-to has invaluable information for notaries at any level in their careers.

101 Useful Notary Tips

Written and published by the National Notary Association, this handbook delivers the answers to frequently asked notary questions. Topics range from the basic (e.g., stamp expiration dates) to uncommon situations like notarizing a spouse’s document. Filled with practical advice, this book is a helpful reference for both new and experienced notaries.

Twelve Steps to a Flawless Notarization

As the title implies, the National Notary Association offers readers the twelve steps they should take each time they notarize a document. This book also includes helpful tips that notaries public should follow in order to guarantee that the notarization process is accurate as possible. The information provided will guide beginning notaries through their first notarizations and assure that practiced notaries don’t miss any steps.

These books are just a starting point in ensuring your success as a notary public. Since rules regulating notaries vary from state to state, always make sure that you are familiar with the exact laws within your jurisdiction and pay attention to any changes that may affect your notarizations. New developments in state-issued identification or the mortgage lending process affect how you do your job. Stay current by reviewing updated versions of your state notary handbook, talking with colleagues, and visiting industry websites such as this one.

Stephanie Marbukh is a freelance blogger who writes about a variety of topics including legal matters, education issues, and the importance of maintaining your home gutters. http://www.gutterhelmet.com/

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(1) Being the best #notary means keeping up on industry trends & reading these top notary books!
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New Jersey Commissioner of Deeds – Information

New Jersey Commissioner of Deeds – Information and History

The title of Commissioner of Deeds was established in the 19th century because only a judge could acknowledge an out-of-state deed, and it was difficult to find a judge to acknowledge a deed for a property located outside of the state. At this time, property deeds could be acknowledged only by a notary belonging to a particular state, New Jersey, for example, and a deed for a property from another state could not be acknowledged by a notary from New Jersey. The office of Commissioner of Deeds might thus be seen as a higher rank than a notary.  When states came to accept the acts of notaries from other states, the office of Commissioner of Deeds was no longer needed.
 
In New Jersey, the person is sometimes called a Foreign Commissioner of Deeds because he could acknowledge even deeds to property outside of the U.S.  These days, the Department of State strongly suggests that Secretaries of State not appoint commissioners of deeds to perform acts in a foreign country until it is made clear, with the Department’s help, that the foreign government would not object. In other words, the office of Commissioner of Deeds is outmoded.  There is no evidence that the State of New Jersey is still appointing Commissioners of Deeds, and no information on how to apply for such a position; the neighboring State of New York is no longer appointing such Commissioners.

Please see our New Jersey Notary Public Search Results!

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