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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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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My Date with Jeremy
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Are you a Yes-tary or a No-tary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16626

You know you’re a notary when
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

Tweets:
(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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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 10, 2013

6 FREE things 123notary does for its clients

123notary does all types of free things for its clients. Why? We want our clients to
do well so that they stick with us year after year. Here are some things we do:

(1) Free Listings
We offer free listings to many new notaries. We typically do not offer free listings for more than a year unless you are in a very remote area or have 123notary certification

(2) Free Help with Notes
We offer free help with your notes section. You can email us and we will help you add unique content to your notes section as well as organize your existing contents.

(3) Free Strategical Help
We offer strategical help that can mean the difference between making it and breaking it in the notary profession.

(4) Free Educational Materials for Signing Agents
We offer free educational materials in our blog. We do not publish those every day, but when we do, they are very useful.

(5) Free Guidance for Getting Reviews
We offer guidance to help you get reviews. Sometimes asking for reviews is not enough. You need to know who to ask, how to ask, and how to follow up.

(6) Free Signing Agent Tips
Carmen has made it a tradition to help notaries out with their loan signing questions. What other agency does that for free — or does that at all?

What other notary agency does all this for free if at all?

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July 9, 2013

The Power of Attorney was rejected by a bank

I was reminded of this situation as I looked through our retweets. Apparantly, our followers like tweets about Powers of Attorney. So, I decided to come up with some real stories about Power of Attorney signings that can inform and inspire notaries everywhere.

It happened many years ago. I remember many of the details. I went to someone’s home to notarize a Power of Attorney for banking. They had a fancy Attorney draw up the document and it looked very professional. Please note: non-Attorney notaries are probably NOT ALLOWED to draft up Power of Attorney documents or other legal documents in most if not all states. I had notarized many types of Power of Attorney documents in the past. Durable Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Limited Powers of Attorney, Correction Agreement Power of Attorney, and many others too. Yes, a Living Will is a form of Power of Attorney where it gives someone authority to make medical and other decisions for the principal should they become incapacitated.

In any case, I notarized this Power of Attorney, and the client took it to his bank, and it was rejected. But, why? Nothing was wrong with the document or the notarization. So, what was it? The bank had THEIR OWN form of Power of Attorney. We learned the hard way. After spending hundreds on an Attorney and $50 on me, he now knew what to do. So, I had to meet the client at the bank. I forget which bank it was. One of the big ones. Perhaps Bank of America, Chase, or some other big name. They had a form on card stock that had a carbon copy. There was no room to put my stamp. It was idiotic. They wanted the stamp on the form itself and no Acknowledgment Certificates stapled on. So, I filled out the Acknowledgment wording and notarized the form. Voila — acceptable.

So, the lesson for today is — what the law says is acceptable is very different than what the document custodian (the person receiving and keeping or holding onto the document) might see as acceptable. Sending notarized documents to China, the stamp has to be on the document, but try explaning to them that the California Notary Verbiage needs to be on the document too if they want their stamp. Good luck. Warn your clients of the fact that their bank might not accept the Power of Attorney. The moral of the story is to ask the document custodian what type of power of attorney THEY want.

.

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The Power of Attorney was rejected 2017
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18954

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

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July 6, 2013

Notary Verbiage varies from state to state

Filed under: Notary Acts & Certificates — admin @ 9:00 am

Notary verbiage varies from state to state. We have a lot of information about this if you visit the Find a Notary page on 123notary.com, or the state specific pages of our blog.

Basically, each state has various notary acts that they allow. Each notary act has standardized “boiler-plate” notary wording or notary verbiage for each act.

For example, California notary acknowledgment forms have a standardized notary verbiage that they follow. Notaries can buy a pad of acknowledgment forms and attach them to documents that they are notarizing.

Sometimes notaries are given out of state notary verbiage and expected to perform a notary act when the notary wording is not the same as their state’s. What should they do? Most states allow out of state notary wording PROVIDING that the wording is not substantially different from their state’s notary verbiage.

Jurats in each state have particular Jurat notary verbiage or Jurat verbiage as well. The Jurat wording can vary from state to state.

Notary verbiage for Oaths is typically left to the notary which is a mistake, considering that notaries receive no thorough training on administering formal Oaths.

Find a great notary on 123notary.com that can perform any type of notary act allowed in their state. They will know the notary verbiage or notary wording for their state as well!

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July 5, 2013

Notarizing a Name Affidavit

Most loan document packages include a name affidavit which could also be called a Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement. There are many variations for what this document is called.

Or, should I say that there are many NAME variations for what this document is called?

In any case, this document is notarized the same way that any other notarized document is notarized, EXCEPT, that the signer is signing more than once.

In the notary verbiage, there will be the word name(s) and signature(s) — typically, for a notarization of a single individual, the (s) will be crossed on in both cases. But, on the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement, the (s)’s should NOT be crossed out as a single person will have multiple name variations, and multiple signatures — one signature per name.

If the signer is a jazz musician, then the Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement might get really long with all of the name variations.

Here is a sample of some of the interior notary verbiage in a California Notary Acknowledgment Certificate Form..

….. On _________ before me, ________________________________________,
(name of notary public )
personally appeared _____________________________________________
who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and who acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in their authorized capacity(ies), and by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument….

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July 3, 2013

How to get something notarized if you don’t have ID

If you don’t have ID, many states allow the use of credible witnesses. Two people could identify you before a notary public, sign the notary’s journal, and produce identification themselves.

But, honestly, if you need to get notarized, go down to your DMV and get a state issued identification card. You need it to go to a hotel, rent a car, get notarized, and more. You might need a copy of your birth certificate to get your ID. So, be prepared to figure out how to get your birth certificate. Don’t waste time. It is a hassle when notaries have to deal with clients who don’t have proper identification.

Personally, I have notarized many people. Some lived in bad areas where they got mugged, and the mugger took their identification. Others were old and had expired identification. Get with the program and get your identification ready.

It is sometimes hard or impossible to get something notarized if you don’t have current government issued identification.

Some states will allow the notary to notarize you if they know you well. But, most states have changed their laws, and no longer allow the notary to claim to know you as a form of identification.

Now you know how to get something notarized if you don’t have ID.

You might also like:

Show me your identification
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6353

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

Signature Name Affidavit: Not a substitute for an ID
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3823

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