July 2013 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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July 30, 2013

A Tough Act to Follow

Filed under: Andy Cowan — Tags: , — admin @ 11:05 pm

1923 was a year that made history. President Warren G. Harding unexpectedly died in office, and Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the thirtieth president by his father, John Calvin Coolidge, Sr.

The public hadn’t exactly been in love with Harding’s scandalous administration. And “Silent Cal,” as the new Prez came to be called, wasn’t exactly Mr. Excitement. But Cal’s old man? Now there was a significant figure. The first and last notary public to swear in the leader of the free world!

Notice I said last. Toss aside the fact there was concern over whether a state notary public had the power to administer the presidential oath of office, which is why Cal repeated the oath after he returned to Washington. For a “silent” guy, he sure liked to take oaths.

No, the real reason John Calvin Coolidge was the last of his kind: His ego exploded.

Recently released transcripts (not authenticated by a notary public, but don’t hold that against me) indicate John Calvin rubbed the noses of his fellow notary publics in his rarified accomplishment.

JCC: “How’s work treating you?”

Fellow notary public: “Fine.”

JCC: “That doesn’t sound too ‘fine’.”

Fellow notary public: “I certified a transaction today.”

JCC: “I swore in the President.”

Fellow notary public: “I swore in the shower. It involved your name and a blunt instrument.”

JCC: “Come again?”

Fellow notary public: “I know you swore in the President. You won’t let anyone forget you swore in the President!”

JCC: “How could anyone forget? It was unforgettable. I put my stamp on the book of history. You put yours on, what was it again?”

Fellow notary public: (mumbling) “A transaction.”

JCC: “Sorry, I forgot.”

Fellow notary public: “Why don’t you take a page from your silent son I’ll gladly certify, and shut your trap?”

JCC: “I don’t need your seal of approval, my little man. The President I raised and whose right hand I raised gave me his, or I wouldn’t have been chosen to raise it!”

KABOOM!

That wasn’t the fellow notary public’s weapon silencing his detractor. It was the sound of an exploding ego.

Andy Cowan is an award-winning writer, producer and performer, whose credits include “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” He can be reached through his website, http://upanddownguys.com

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If Edward Snowden had been a Notary
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The Notary, the Realtor and the Half Bathroom
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Notary accidentally gets arrested for robbing a bank?
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July 28, 2013

Tomorrow’s Notary Publics

no·ta·ry public

noun \ˈnō-tə-rē-\
plural notaries public

————————————

The kids who grow up to become doctors or lawyers have it easy. Oh sure, they have to get into med school or law school. They have to avoid getting thrown out of med school or law school. Physicians have to breathe the germs of sick people. Lawyers have to address curmudgeons as “Your honor” if the curmudgeon is wearing a robe. (Unless it’s Hugh Hefner wearing a robe.) But all of this is a cakewalk compared to growing up to become a notary public. You can study pre-law or pre-med. Pre-notary public? Dream on.

Kids who become doctors or lawyers are conditioned to become doctors or lawyers. Their parents and teachers dangle those career carrots from an early age, encouraging any signs of medical or legal predispositions. What are the signs of a budding notary public prodigy?

“Hello, class. I’m your teacher, Ms. Morrison.”

As Ms. Morrison writes her name on the board, all of her students slavishly continue to zone in on their handheld devices, except for one pimply kid she notices “witnessing” her signature.

“Young man, have you ever thought of becoming a notary public? You just might have the right stuff!”

A teacher’s seal of approval one day. A notary public’s seal of approval years later.

Doctors and lawyers have role models: Doogie Howser … Dr. Oz … Dr. Dre … Perry Mason. OJ’s lawyers. (Not the ones who got him off for murder. The ones who got him locked up for sports memorabilia.) Most notaries are forbidden from offering legal advice or preparing legal documents. Remember L.A. Law? Remember L.A. Notary Public? Me neither.

“Tonight, on L.A. Notary Public, Ted affixes a certificate!”

Wait… sounds likes last week’s L.A. Notary Public. What do you expect? He’s a notary public!

Kids want to grow up to become firemen … astronauts … rock stars… glorified karaoke contestants who follow in the footsteps of American Idol, Carrie Underwood, and dodge the footsteps of American idle, Lee DeWyze. Remember Lee? Me neither.

As The Lone Ranger rides again, kids continue to play “cowboys and Indians.” No child on record has been caught playing “notary publics and document holders.”

Presuming notary publics reproduce future generations of notary publics, how can we help ensure their not so livelihoods latch onto enough sex appeal to generate the action required to reproduce future generations? Dim the lights…

“I’m Ryan Seacrest… and this… is American Notary Public!”

Randy Jackson: “Yo, what’s your name?”

Bill Dudley: “Bill Dudley.”

Randy Jackson: “Are you the next American Notary Public?”

Bill Dudley: “Definitely.”

Randy Jackson: “Okay, dawg, do your thing.”

Bill Dudley: “Can I have your autograph?”

Randy hands Bill a piece of paper with his autograph. Bill stamps said piece of paper.

Randy Jackson: “Bill Dudley’s in it to win it!”

*

Andy Cowan is an award-winning writer, producer and performer, whose credits include “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” He can be reached through his website, http://upanddownguys.com

Tweets:
(1) You can study pre-law or pre-med. Pre-notary public? Dream on.
(2) What are the signs of a budding notary public prodigy?
(3) “Young man, have you ever thought of becoming a notary public? You just might have the right stuff!”
(4) Kids play “cowboys and Indians.” No child on record has been caught playing “notary publics and document holders.”

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http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

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July 27, 2013

Mobile Office: Will it void your warranty?

Filed under: Business Tips,Popular on Twitter — admin @ 10:30 am

An important upgrade to make to your mobile notary service is having a mobile office, an office in your car. This means, at the very least, having a laser printer wired into the car; for some, it can mean a laptop and a scanner as well. It is expensive to keep going home to get documents printed, and our most successful notaries these days have a mobile office. You can write it off as a business expense (IRS Publication 463), and it will help you save time and make a great impression on the borrowers. We had a forum discussion about having a mobile office in 2010 http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2770 and in 2011:

Blog posts about mobile offices
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=mobile-offices

But, here is some more information to consider.

Recently, GM dealers told a mobile notary that to wire a laser printer into the car will void the warranty. It might cause a power train failure. Wiring in a laptop or a printer could void the power train warranty by altering the engine, and a mobile office is certainly a drain on the power of the vehicle. I assume that is why one of the notaries we spoke to in 2011 described the need for an extra-powerful alternator and battery, and why he puts the laptop on battery only while printing documents.

HOWEVER, another mobile notary who has a Dodge and an extensive mobile office just told us that to avoid the warranty issue, you have to install a second battery and a second alternator– which should actually not cost you more than $150, and does not void the warranty. Get information from a shop that installs car stereos, for example, says the notary who owns a Dodge. You can also google “How to install a mobile office in your car.”

Toyota, however, has said nothing official about such installations voiding the car’s warranty– and another mobile notary just went ahead and installed a printer and laptop through a friend who works on cars. The difference is–his Toyota is out of warranty anyway.

So if your vehicle is still under warranty and you plan on installing a mobile office–check with your dealership or with corporate for the company that makes your vehicle.

Or, you could just get a custom vehicle. Just ogle these new vehicles– made for anyone who wants the ultimate mobile office: http://www.automotto.com/entry/10-cars-that-bring-your-office-to-wheels/

Tweets:
(1) Having a mobile office in your vehicle could cause a power train failure
(2) You need a 2nd battery in your car to handle a mobile office w/o warranty issues

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July 26, 2013

The Notaries! Having Emmys for Notaries!

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Popular on Twitter — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:58 pm

With yet another Hollywood awards season and mutual admiration society of back-patting waiting in the wings, it’s time to say enough already! How hard is it to act like other people? I act like I care how you are when I ask, “How are you?” You act like you care how I am when you respond, “How are you?” Where are our awards? Where are our mantel dust collectors that equate with our self-worth? (Does my CableACE Award count? It’s defunct. It better not equate with my self-worth.)

It’s time to shine an overdue light on the people who truly deserve recognition. It’s time the notary publics went public. Move over Emmys, and get ready for… The Notaries!

“I’m Andy Cowan, and I’m here on the beige carpet. It’s The Notaries, you weren’t expecting red? It’s a veritable who isn’t who of never weres, wannabes and probably never will be’s! Oh look, there’s the guy who stamped something I needed him to stamp once for a reason that’s long since escaped me. Who are you wearing?”

“A Sears catalogue original.”

“I should have known. Good luck tonight! Can you tell us a little about your next project?”

“Been promising the wife I’d clean out the garage.”

“We’ll look forward to that. Or at least she will.”

Announcer: “From the entertainment capital of the world… give or take a thousand miles… it’s the first annual Notary Awards! … Here now, your host… Andy Cowan!”

“Thank you. Sorry I’m out of breath. I was on the beige carpet. I’m the pre and actual host. I’m also supposed to clean up later, and beige shows the dirt, so it’s gonna be a long night. Since they also saved by not hiring monologue writers, let’s get right to it, shall we? The nominees for best notary public in a supporting role are… Jim Diggles, in “Sit down, and I’ll stamp that for you” … Maria Isaacs, in “Here’s the paper I stamped for you” … and Larry Kreps, in “This stamping will just take a second” …

And the Notary goes to… Larry Kreps!”

Announcer: “This is Larry Kreps’ first Notary Award. Duh! These are the first Notary Awards.”

Larry Kreps: “Oh, my, this is surreal. Thank you so much! Wow. This simulated gold-plated paper with a stamp on it is kinda heavy! First, let me thank my fellow nominees. I’d mention their names, but I only just heard them a moment ago and didn’t memorize them. I share this award with each of you, but the piece of paper I’m reading this on right now hasn’t been certified, so don’t hold me to that.”

Andy’s kazoo signals him to wrap up.

Andy Cowan is an award-winning writer, producer and performer, whose credits include “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” He can be reached through his website, http://upanddownguys.com

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(1) From the entertainment capital of the world… give or take a thousand miles… it’s the first annual Notary Awards!

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Notarizing an Ax Murderer in San Ysidro

“PSST: Can you notarize an affidavit of citizenship so I can get an ID and get back in the country?” the hand whispered. Well, the voice seemed to come from the hand, which was behind the fence. It was at the border–the border between Mexico and the United States, and the hand was waving at me and snapping its fingers through the rough poles. Somewhere near San Diego I will never forget. San Ysidro.

I happened to be there as a notary. I had been called by someone I knew from San Diego State University, and was enjoying a three-day vacation at the home of this friend, in exchange for notarizing a loan document for her family. They were happy to have my help, and I was happy to leave Los Angles for a few days. I had never seen the border, so I went to see it. I was shocked that here I was, and that someone could gesture and speak right through the fence– and beg me this way to do something that I felt might be wrong, illegal, and personally dangerous. If I thought living near downtown Los Angeles was scary, this area was 100 times more frightening. The land to the North of the fence seemed peaceful…like a room where everything is in its place…a place where everything good was possible, guarded by officers who made tried to protect us from harm. The side of the fence to the South seemed like another world–smog, cigarettes, noise, and many many people who were obviously poor or looked desperate. There was nothing that even pretended to be glamorous. It was as if the real world I believed in disappeared here, and behind that fence lay a counterfeit world that was a cheap, sordid copy of the worst aspects of the world I knew, all thrown together and somehow waiting to suck the life out of my world. The man behind the fence tried to look me in the eye and hold my glance. But I didn’t walk away.

He held a black satchel in his right hand. With his left, he pushed at the fence and motioned for me to come. A citizenship affidavit? Was that all he really wanted?

“Wait–please–” he pleaded, sounding less suspicious, more emotional. “I lost my passport. I need to get back into the U.S. to go help my family in Compton. My mom is real sick…” he began. “I need a notary…Can you help me find one?”

“Do you have the paperwork?” I asked suspiciously, annoyed. I didn’t mind notarizing some documents for my friend’s family, but who was this guy–and how was he going to pay me? How was I going to find proof that he was who he was? What information would he be able to provide–and was he really someone I ought to be dealing with anyway? There was a sickening feeling in my stomach. I suddenly realized it was hot. I wanted to throw up.

Instead of walking away, I said, “I am a notary. Do you have any ID?”

The man’s face changed. There was something in his eyes that made me sorry I had told him I was a notary. Something ugly. Something frightening. Like he was going to jump out and grab everything in his way. But there was no going back now. I was a notary.

“I have a California driver’s license. I lived in Palo Also. I am from Palo Alto, California” he said, as if he had memorized that. “My family is in Compton. I have money to pay you.” He reached in his pocket, took out a roll of bills, and pushed a one-hundred dollar bill through the fence. I just looked at it.

“Show me your ID,” I told him grimly. He almost immediately pushed a driver’s license through the fence–carefully holding on to one corner tightly, as if he believed I might try to steal it. His eyes looked evil. His ID seemed real. It did say Palo Alto. “You need a second ID, ” I told him. “What else do you have?”

“I have a resident alien card, but I do not have it here. I can get it and come back whenever you say. Later today.”

“Can you get front and back copies of the two IDs? Can you do this and come back in a few hours? I can get the document printed out and meet you at the border gate.”

“Ok. I will be waiting there by 1 pm. I will bring my IDs. My name is Malo.” Great, I thought. Just great.

I wanted to just disappear and not return, but I had given my word. I printed the affidavit of citizenship–the “citizen affidavit page” as it was called on the form–and came back with my friend’s brother. What had I expected to happen at the border? This was what the border was about– getting in, getting across. Then what?

“Malo” was waiting at the guard station. I filled out all of the paperwork, and the section that says, “Subscribed and sworn before me on this day…” I applied my stamp. Then I told Malo, “Look, you need to follow the instructions on the form. You need to email this or mail it as soon as possible. Follow the instructions on this page…” In the meantime, the guards let him in with his two forms of ID and the notarized citizenship affidavit… I took the $100 and handed him $50. The words “Blood Money” flashed in my mind. “Idiot” I heard my father say. I had the feeling this had been a bad, bad choice on my part.

A few weeks later, the newspapers and Internet exploded with pictures of this man, who apparently murdered a family with three children in Compton. He had used an ax. The pictures were horrible. Only three weeks after I had notarized the affidavit of citizenship. I didn’t sleep for about a week. I felt I had used my power as notary improperly, without good judgment–just because I had been asked to, because I was frightened…not because it was right.

How is anyone to know what someone will do after the documents are notarized?

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July 23, 2013

Interview with Jennifer: From Zero to 40

Filed under: Other Guest Bloggers — admin @ 10:19 am

From Zero to 40 Loans Signed–part time–in Seven Weeks: No Longer a Newbie

123: I’m happy to hear that things are going so well! A few months ago, you had done zero signings! What happened? Did you take our advice?

Jennifer: Yes– I did my Notes section as you suggested. I highlighted my background as a notary for a venture capital firm, and my experience with documents and technology; also, I described what kind of person I am. I took a chance. Once I got that first signing, it all changed. For a few weeks, when I would tell a company on the phone, “This will be my first one,” they would say, “No thanks.” But finally, one escrow company hired me. I told her, in desperation, “I just need someone to give me a chance.” I guess she heard the sound of my voice, and she said, “I’ll give you a chance.” That’s how it started.

I was terrified. I didn’t sleep the whole night before. I arrived a half an hour early for the signing. The people said, “You could have come to the door early. We saw you sitting there in the car.” It went ok, although I made a few mistakes. I made quite a few mistakes at the beginning. I did not write my name on the acknowledgement…and one time I forgot to write my commission expiration date…once, on the Right to cancel, I put the transaction date instead of the rescission date. The escrow company fixed it for me.

I had six signings from that company. Then, I had some from a signing company that contacted me–from 123notary. All they asked me was how many signings I had done. I exaggerated a bit (not recommended), and got the work, fifteen jobs over the course of a month. The documents were different from what I had been signing. Sometimes there are new documents I have never seen– a Loan Summary. I called the company that hired me. The company ended up calling Wells Fargo, and they said “Oops, that was not supposed to be in there.” The biggest challenge I have had is that some lenders wait until half an hour before the signing to get the documents. I have to print the docs, put in signature flags. Once, there was no Note! I called and said, “There is no Note. I am at a signing. Did I screw up?” They checked–and they had not included it. Also, the signing co said, when I asked about payment, “YES– we are going to pay you. But what notaries do not realize is that sometimes notaries do not show up and that costs us money.” They pay in 60 days. But I checked their reputation and got all their policies in writing when I signed up. I am willing to wait to be paid in order to start out.

If the signing is far away, I barely get the documents before I have to print and leave. Some places require copies of the IDs, and borrowers do not always get these. Somehow taking pictures with my phone does not come out well. I am going to try a different method to get this done.

The hardest thing, I think, for me was I didn’t realize how much prep work I would do before each signing. I may be one of the few who do so much prep, but I feel that’s the only way to really be prepared at a signing. The prep work includes printing docs if needed, (which also reminds me that I go through much more paper and toner than I thought I would), going through and dating everything, putting signing stickers in appropriate places, logging all notarized pages in the journal and then the business tracking aspects. For example, I have a log to keep track of all mileage – and it took a while to train myself to look at the mileage reading BEFORE I left for the signing, sending invoices to those who require them, sending out confirmation messages that closings are complete when required, or going to designated sites to update the status of closings, etc. And then finally, staying on top of who has paid and who hasn’t, tracking supplies, advertising and other expenses for taxes.

You have to learn to NOT have expectations when you do these signings; you have to not be afraid to ask questions (of the company I work for). I have seen at least 5 or 6 different forms of signature affidavits. And you have to be prepared for everything. How do you treat the borrowers? How will they treat each other, and how will I handle that? I have tried not to call the company at a signing, so I go over all the docs before I get there. And you never know who you are going to run into: I did a signing for the brother of a college boyfriend, someone I had known many years before. It was fine with him, but I did give him the option of using another notary.

But it is working out! One of the companies I found out about at 123 calls me practically everyday now!

I also met someone at a course I was taking. He said, “Oh, you’re a notary? My son works for a title co; here is his card.” They gave me quite a bit of work, and I worked very hard. One time, the wife said she did not know the husband was supposed to sign, and I went to meet him at a baseball game to get his signature. The company offered to pay me $125 (more than I had asked) because I went the extra mile!

40 signings in, I had a signing where the person was not very friendly. I would not have done well with that 30 signings ago. But by the end, the person told me how much personality I had and how much she appreciated my comments! I feel so much better now about the whole process. Seven weeks– and I am getting one job a day by now! It’s great. If I hadn’t started following the advice of 123, who knows how it would have gone?

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July 19, 2013

Interview with a Title Company

We recently had the opportunity to speak with a seasoned escrow & title officer at a reputable title company that hires the very best notaries from 123notary. He had a number of interesting things to say about how the escrow-title-mortgage industry works, why those darn documents are sometimes late, and what a title company looks for in a notary.

Q. What is the need for a title company? When and how did the current system come about?

A. Before W.W. II, there was only an abstract about a property that you could get. The problem was, this abstract did not insure the results. As sales became more complex, they needed to find a way to remedy this. Title insurance guarantees that, if someone else owns the title to your property and you cannot obtain that title, you get all of your money back. So say you buy a property from a man, but it is actually owned by his sister, to whom it was given in a will. If you cannot obtain title, title insurance guarantees that you will get back all of your money–because the property wasn’t legally yours. The escrow company is the one that does the financials for the lender and sets up the closing, and the title company is hired by the realtors and builders. However, the states have set up the system differently. Some states have companies that do both the title and escrow work, and in some states these companies are separate.

Q. There seem to be a number of hands in the pie: lenders, title companies, escrow, signing companies. How does it actually work?

A. The top of the feeding chain is the realtor. He (or she) finds the lender and the title company. Some lenders want to work with certain title companies, even if the buyer wants to work with a certain one. Each state has its own laws governing real estate. In some states, a seller can use one title company and the buyer can choose another. So there’s lots of work for notaries. The escrow or title company must choose a notary who works in the state where the property is being sold. Since there is no national certification for notaries, the title company has to have a list of good notaries in each state, and in each area of the state. We are constantly looking for the very best notaries. The notary works for the title company or the escrow company. The lender sends docs to the title company (or escrow company, depending on how the state laws are set up). Escrow handles the closing; Title prepares the settlement statement.

Q. Notaries constantly have to deal with late documents. Why are the documents late or full of errors, and how do you personally help notaries avoid this problem?

A. Ninety-nine percent of the time, late documents are the fault of the lender. However, getting a loan is a group effort, and it’s really hard to point a finger at any one person. The lender did not realize, for instance, that something was missing. Maybe the borrower didn’t provide the lender with tax returns in a timely manner, for instance; there could be several pieces of information that were found missing. The loan officer is more or less responsible for the processing of the loan.

Q. What is the training and education you need in order to be a loan officer, and how much does he/ she get paid to do the job?

A. The loan officer is trained on the job. He/ she is not required to have a college degree–or even a high school degree. Of course, most do have such degrees. The loan officer might have started as a loan processor, or an accountant. A loan officer is well paid, and can make as much as a million dollars a year! I know one who does 42 closings a month. The loan officer is paid a percentage of the origination fee. Most lenders (banks) have a retail and a wholesale division. The wholesale division buys loans from mortgage brokers. A mortgage broker can do a loan in one month; a bank takes longer to do a loan. They don’t have enough employees, and maybe not enough good ones. These same employees can make much more money working for a mortgage broker, and lenders often lose good employees. This may have something to do with the errors that frequently appear on the documents from lenders.

Q. On the other hand, what kinds of errors do notaries make that are a problem for you?
A. The notary may miss a date or a signature. I put an X by every place I want signed. You can’t miss these. If a notary makes even one error, no matter what that is, I will never call that notary again.

Q. What about late documents? These can really mess up the notary’s appointments and affect income. If the notary is working for you (the title company), and you know the docs are coming in late from the lender…

A. I won’t call a notary until I have the documents; some title companies are different, and have notaries waiting and waiting. In fact, if I don’t have the documents, and cause a notary to change his/ her schedule, I think the notary has a right to charge me for the extra time and inconvenience.

Q. Now all our notaries are saying, “We like this guy!” What do you look for in a notary? What influences your decision to hire one or to not ever hire the notary again?

A. When I need a notary, the first place I look is 123notary. I look at the notary’s service area, background (profile), reviews, equipment, and hours. We also cannot hire notaries who do not answer their phones, of course. I am looking for experience. If a notary has years of experience, but has zero reviews, that’s a bit odd. I mean solid reviews that are specific, genuine, and obviously well written. It matters. It shows effort. Look at the top New York notaries’ reviews on 123 notary, for example. To any notary looking for work from a title company, I’d say, “Get listed on 123notary. That’s where I’m going to go.”

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July 17, 2013

Notary murdered in the last non-attorney state

NOTE: This particular article below is fiction, and a bit absurd, but we have another article about an actual Notary in Louisiana who was murdered in his home was cooking gumbo several years ago. Check the link below to read that actual real story.

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Notary in Louisiana murdered in home invasion (real story)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=925

Notarizing a female accessory to murder
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Notarizing an ax-murderer in San Ysidro
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6448

Notary pushed off stairs by a borrower
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1097

.
Notary murdered in the last non-attorney state

The minute we left Starbucks after the signing, they ganged up behind us. Suddenly there were two of them, then five. Five men dressed in black, with black hoods over their heads. The Klan, all dressed in white (we had studied about them in school a long, long time before MUD took over) were angels compared to these guys. They followed us down the street. It was after 10 pm, almost time for curfew.

As we walked down the darkened street, my mentor and I were suddenly goaded into an alley. “Git–you filthy NSAa. We know what you are,” one of them threatened. Then it began.

“What are you carrying there? Oooh, your notary bag. I’ll bet you have a really big stamp,” taunted a tall one with a nasty growl. “What creeps,” I thought. “How are we going to get out of this?”

There were five of them circling around us. There was a tall one who seemed more agile, and more vicious. He kept slapping his side with his leather-gloved hand, which made a nasty sound every time it hit.

“What do you want? Who are you idiots?” I blurted out.

“Now you’re gonna wish you hadn’t said that,” a shorter one slurred. He whipped a knife from his belt and held it up. It gleamed in the dim light. “We’re your competition from the top of the list,” he snarled. “We call ourselves– the attorneys. Prepare to die, bottom feeders!” They were the kind who would steal your company contacts off your reviews, the kind who always seek out new clients, even at a funeral. And charge outrageous fees, and intimidate the borrowers–and then retaliate against you for taking even one client. But they didn’t care. All across the country, groups of these men in black had succeeded through intimidation. My mentor, Steve, was an esteemed elder notary, the kind of person everyone had learned from and revered in the industry. Harming him was unthinkable.

Steve and I were NSAs, notary signing agents trained before the 2008 mortgage meltdown–a dying breed living in what had become the last non-attorney state in the U.S.: California. Between 2014 and 2018, all of the states had gradually become attorney states. Steve and I lived and worked in California, the last free state with reasonable laws and practices for notaries; my mentor and I were able to make up to $50 per electronic signing– a great accomplishment in these days of hardship. Still, the vicious gang that roamed the rest of the country intimidating and eliminating the notary population had come to monopolize what was once called “the industry”– any job opportunities for notaries, particularly anything to do with signing paperwork for loans. In California were situated some of the last properties owned by individuals– while in other states, properties were owned by individuals in “partnership” with the state. California was now the last state in which notaries could do what used to be called closings. In all other states, attorneys and title company employees were the only ones allowed to close loans or have anything to do with real estate closings. All transactions were supervised by MUD, the Managers of the Union Deficit, the huge private corporation that had taken over after the collapse of the Fed. It was essentially run by– well, you can guess who ran it. Backdating had become a common practice, through loopholes in laws that were constantly changing in favor of whatever influential group was in power at the moment.

Two of the men in black grabbed Steve from behind and took his notary bag. “Great seal,” the tall one said, ripping the embosser out of the bag. He took a long ugly looking piece of steel from his belt and started to hack at the metal die that was the notary stamp. He then split it in half and removed the die from the embosser, then threw the pieces into two different corners of the alley.

“Steve!” I yelled. “Are you alright?” I could hear his breathing. He sounded like he had been hurt. The short one threw the tall one the knife. The tall man approached Steve while two others held him from behind, and the short one suddenly moved behind me and grabbed me. It was all happening so fast.

“You can see it coming. How long can you hold out? What will you eat, where will you go? We are going to take over all the business in Lost Angeles,” the tall man sneered. “You will never see a $50 signing again!” he snarled. “Call us– the attorneys. That’s what we call ourselves. We will bring high standards to what is left of the loan signing business, and make sure the loan signing process is safe for everyone. You notaries are stupid and you don’t answer your phones. You don’t deserve to do signings.”

Then I blacked out. When I came to, Steve was lying there dead in a pool of blood. The last good notary mentor in the state–maybe in the entire country. The hooded men were gone

On January 1, it would be 2020. What would happen now? What would be the future of property, of loans– and what would notaries do? What would happen to them in this last free state where some might make a living? Would the gang that called itself “the attorneys” take over the state of California as it had taken over every other state? Most notaries had been reduced to notarizing a handful of insignificant documents each week, or working for companies that paid them a third of what notaries had been able to get before 2014.

What happens at the end of this story? Do notaries in California succeed in keeping their state safe for notaries– or does the notary business collapse and cower in the shadow of the group that calls itself– the attorneys?

Write to us and tell us how you see this story ending. Or finish it yourself and send it to us. Tell us what happens!

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July 13, 2013

How much does a notary cost in 2013

Many people want to know how much a notary can charge, or what a notary costs?
It depends on whether you want to buy the notary public or rent them. (sorry for the bad joke)

Notary fees are set by the state they are commissioned in. As a general rule a notary can only practice in the state they have their commission in.

Notary fees could be based on a rate per signature that is notarized (in most states) while in Florida, they are based on a fee for each time the notary’s seal is affixed. Interesting!

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for notarizing an Acknowledgment in 2013 or 2014?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum fee a notary can charge for notarizing a Jurat in 2013 or 2014?
A. Please consult our find a notary page and then look up your state

Q. What is the maximum charge for a notary in my state?
A. The exact fee depends on the notary act, so please look your state up on our find a notary page.

Please note that each state has many types of notary acts that can be charged for ranging from Acknowledgments (most common) to Jurats (which have an accompanying Oath), Oaths, Affirmations, and more. Some states allow Safety box openings, Protests, Proof of Executions, and other acts. Each state is different.

Another great resource might be your state’s Secretary of State Notary Division, as they will have all legal information about the office of notary public in their site.

Find great mobile notaries on 123notary.com! Save time and have a notary public come to you!

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July 11, 2013

Being at one with the universe as a notary

Being at one with the universe as a notary

Most notaries run into problems in their business and problems at signings. The reason they encounter these problems and can not find answers is due to two causes:

(1) They are not at one with the universe
(2) They didn’t read the resources page on 123notary.com

To be a true Ninja Notary who can handle anything, you must meditate on one-ness. Unless your signing is for a husband and wife in which case you need to meditate on two-ness. But, in any case, without being in tune, your problems will not end.

See notary problems as effects, and find the original cause of them. It is only through such means that you can find real solutions.

Not getting paid on time? The reason is that you didn’t search within to research these dead-beat companies.

Getting too many fax-back requests? That is because you don’t have enough experience to work for clients who trust their notaries.

Not getting enough Title Company clients? Look at your notes section — do you convey that you are the type of notary that they are looking for? And do you communicate on the phone like a seasoned pro, or a an inexperienced and confused novice?

The solution is to look inward — and also to write a better notes section on your listing on 123notary.com. Also, get more experience and notary education. Good clients don’t deal with novices. For 16 pages on the nuts and bolts of mastering the ancient art of writing an optimal notes section on your listing on 123notary.com — get our Ninja Notary Marketing Course today!

Good luck — young one!

Oh, and don’t bring nunchucks to the signing. Keep those in your car or concealed in your notary bag.

Tweets:
(1) Many notaries run into problems at signings primarily because they are not at one with the universe.
(2) Notaries who have trouble do so because: They’re not at 1 w/the universe & they didn’t read our resources page!
(3) U must meditate on 1-ness. Unless ur signing is for a husband & wife in which case u need to meditate on 2-ness.
(4) Not getting paid on time? It’s because u didn’t look within to research these dead-beat companies.
(5) Not getting Title co clients? See if your notes section conveys ur the type of notary they’re looking for.

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