September 2013 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

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September 28, 2013

Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they can’t find food

Self-defeating strange behaviors….

Are you a self-defeating notary? People who are small in business tend to be this way. Little shops owned by mom and pop get a shop on a street, and don’t get business. There is no parking. Why not get a shop in a place with parking? No money? How come no money? Because they have a shop where there is no parking. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Notaries have this same problem. They have no money. They don’t want to invest in certifcation or writing a great notes section because that will take time or cost money. After all, why should they spend money, when they are not making money? The truth is that you have to invest money before you get anything back. Sometimes you have to put in years of work to get a harvest. Web business is like this. I worked on 123notary for three years without making a profit — and I was working a lot of hours too. Think about it.

Certification today is only $67.95. It is free to write a notes section. Reviews are free if you do good work. These are things that will drive business to you, yet most notaries just won’t do any of these three. And those notaries fail, and they should fail. If you put conditions to doing what is necessary for you to succeed, you are guaranteeing failure. Don’t engage in self-defeating behaviors. Do what you need to do to get ahead today! If it doesn’t work, you will not be bankrupted. Investments in this business are tiny and amount to little more than a few trips to Starbucks.

Speaking of Starbucks, I need to go! Good luck!

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September 26, 2013

Buddhist notaries say, “Be at one with 123 “

I once called a notary who said, “I can’t talk now, I’m practicing mindfulness”.

My remark was, “Well, if you are practicing mindfullness, then why are you answering the phone?”

He said, “Oh, I thought you were someone else!”

My remark was, “You were wrong — aparantly you were not mindful enough to know who I was. And besides, if you were at one with the universe, would you really care who it was?

Can you be mindful enough to pay your renewal bill on time?

“Listen, I’m busy, can you call another time?”.

This notary was about to embark on a spiritual journey to the mystical kingdom of Shambhala. Nobody knows where Shambhala actually is. You can get there through traditional means in any case. Some say it is in Tibet, more informed people have an actual location next to a large lake in the Northern part of Xin-Jiang province in Western China. Others say it exists only on the etherial realm. Rumors of this place are that it is up in the mountains. There are people who have meditated on lightness so much, that they have to wear chains just to not leave the earth when they run (google this one). The problem is that if your spiritual condition is not acceptable, you will meet with a tragic death in the mountains and NEVER be found again once you get close to this mystical kingdom. The kingdom is purely etherial, and not visable by human eyes — even though it also has physical coordinates symultaneously. Fascinating.

Anyway, this notary wanted to go there so badly, that he planned his trip. He practiced hiking until he was an expert. He practiced living in high altitudes. He practiced meditation, so that his spiritual condition would be suitable. He booked his flight to China, and then to the mystical part of Xin-Jiang near Mongolia. He asked the locals where Shambhala was. He had canned food and trudged his way through hundreds of miles of mountainous territory. He passed by those snow runners who appeared out of nowhere. He saw many mystical entities too. They were not angels. But, they were etherial creatures that made themselves visable to him. And they guided him to the kingdom. Finally, he was there. It was just a valley between magnificent peaks. One might be inclined to call it the valley of the Gods from the looks. Maybe this was a sort of playground for the Gods. It was not like being on planet earth. The air was thin, and the spiritual atmosphere was light.

Then, there was a shift. The notary sat and meditated for a few minutes, changed his consciousness. He was in that state of mind necessary to see Shambhala in all its grandeur now. It revealed itself to him. A glimmering kingdom. There were people walking back and forth. One came up to him and said, “They are waiting for you. Shambhala is mainly BELOW the surface. Go into that cave.”. He followed orders and went into the cave. There were rooms and more rooms, and passage ways that went forever. There was light in that cave, but yet there was no source for that light. It was purely etherial and other-worldly. Finally, he came to one of the main rooms. There were 200 buddhist beings there in meditation. They had astrol bodies only, not physical bodies. After an hour, they stopped, and wanted to meet the notary. The head monk Kai-Ping asked if the notary public had any spiritual questions. The notary said he did. The notary asked:

“What is the secret to enlightenment and unraveling the truth of the universe”

The answer was
” Be conscious of what you are doing when you are doing it. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t fail to do basic tasks which are central to your existance. Pursue your work with a mindful attitude and be compassionate to others.”

The notary asked if there was anything else he should be aware of. The monk replied
“Pay your renewal bill on 123notary, and be at one with 123!”

Suddenly the notary was back in his apartment in America. There was no hike, no return plane trip. It was like it had all been a dream. For more similar and compelling stories — purchase the Elite certification which comes with the accompanying NINJA notary marketing course which is filled with amazing higher level notary information, and stories filled with subtle Eastern philosophy!

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September 24, 2013

4 reasons the Notary Industry will pick up in the next 18 months

4 reasons the Notary Industry will pick up in the next 18 months

Many notaries are upset, depressed, afraid, and just plain distraught because the notary industry is so slow. The thing that most notaries don’t understand is that the industry is cyclical. It has always gone up and down. What goes up must come down, and what goes down must come back up. Notaries typically think that good times will last forever when times are good. But, when things are bad, they also assume it is forever. The economy is changing and several things are in the horizon that will pick the loan industry right up again.

(1) The Real Estate market is due to rise
Real Estate prices typically rise over time. They fluctuate in cycles just like everything else, but in the long haul, the price always goes up. The worst low in American Real Estate happened during World War 1. That continued throughout the Depression, and WW2. But, eventually, the market came back up again in the mid-forties. Inflation also results in higher housing values. With the uncertain state of the economy, inflation is a distinct possibility. Even if inflation remains low, in the long run, it results in higher housing prices. The problem is that we do not know exactly when housing values will rise, exactly which metros they will rise in, or by how much! It is likely that there will be a significant change in the Real Estate market in the next 18 months!

(2) The general economy is coming around
Although the economy is not perfect, we are not in a recession. A better economy can result in more loan transactions and higher real estate prices. The economy could really pick up. You never know.

(3) Banks are slowly liberalizing loan terms
Banks become very reactive after the Real Estate and loan crash in 2008. It became almost impossible to get a loan unless you had perfect credit. As we get farther and farther from 2008, it becomes easier to get a loan. Banks are loosening their restrictions little by little. Less restrictions = more loans.

(4) Interest rates could fall
Interest rates rose a bit recently. But, they could also fall. America will either go broke, or sell huge chunks of land to China in exchange for pardoning our debt. We will all be eating xiao-leng-bao with chopsticks soon (some of us are already). But, whenever interest rates dip, there is a huge surge in signings.

(?) Even if interest rates go up
Americans were born to borrow. Personally, I believe that living on credit is a bad idea, and the Bible suggests against usury as it has bad consequences. Little did the ancients realize that usury could cause a global economic collapse. Even if interest rates go up, as long as Americans are offered loans, they will take it. I remember notarizing loans for people with bad credit back in 2003. They agreed to pay 10-12% interest on second loans. Can you believe it?

In the mean time
The market these days is heavily oriented towards Purchases, Reverse Mortgages, Hospital Signings, and what Carmen calls “General” notary work. Learn to do these other types of things. Also, notaries who offer 24 hour service and understand all notary procedures and common documents tend to do better than those who only do loan signings from 8am to 8pm. Become an expert at your field, get certified by all agencies who you are associated with. Also, do what Sally suggests — Sell your car and get a top placement on!

(1) Many notaries are upset, depressed, afraid, and just plain distraught because the notary industry is so slow.
(2) The thing most notaries don’t understand is that the industry is cyclical. It has always gone up &down.
(3) Banks have liberalized loan terms, so it is easier to get a loan = more biz for notaries!

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September 23, 2013

Where do you document Notary Fees?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — Tags: , — admin @ 8:27 am

Notary fees vary from state to state. Although there are many similar types of notary laws across state lines, the requirement to keep a journal varies from state to state as do Notary Public fees. Some states have minimum or maximum Notary fees set by their state’s notary division. Other states have no specified Notary fee and leave it to the notary (I want to move to THAT state!). But, where are the notary fees actually charged for particular transactions documented?

Your Notary Journal
Most notary journals have a section to the right of each entry where you can enter the Notary Public fee that you charged the client. You can also indicate how the client paid you, i.e. check, cash, isquare, or for notaries in the Vatican City, they sometimes get paid via!

But, not all states require a Notary Journal
Yes, but there is no penalty for keeping a Notary Journal. After all, you could be held legally responsible for what you notarize, especially if fraud is suspected, so it behooves you to keep a Notary Journal EVEN if your state’s notary division is too foolish to require the use of one! Remember — think “above and beyond” if you want to stay alive in this game!

What are my state’s Notary Public fees?
Look them up at:

What if a Notary charges more than the state appointed maximum notary fee?
You can report them to your state’s Secretary of State or Notary Division.

Good luck!


September 22, 2013

Getting Acupuncture For Notarial Sclerosis

Getting acupuncture for Notorial Sclerosis

It happens to the best of us. You use your stamp too many times and it happens. No, not all at once — gradually. Repetitive arm motion is what causes this disease. Those who use share-a-ride through the Sumner Tunnel might get car-pool tunnel syndrome. But, those who make repetitive stamping motions with their right or left arm are leaving themselves wide open to what is popularly known as “Notary Elbow” or Notarial Sclerosis. Since I am not a physician, it is hard for me to accurately define what this condition is. Is it a muscle condition, nerve condition, or permanent ligament damage?

Is there a cure?
Yes, you can find an acupuncturist on who specializes in treating Notary Elbow. Just look up by state and then by city. A few treatments involving thin needles never killed anyone before. You might find out that you have some other health situations that might be cured by acupuncture as well. Acupuncture has been used for 3000 years in China and can cure almost any type of medical problem — it can even be used to treat cancer and diabetes!

Which acupuncturist is best for you?
Just call around until you find someone you like. Many of these outfits don’t answer their phone, so leave a message!
Good luck!

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September 21, 2013

$10,000 per month on a bad month

I just got off the phone with a notary who is doing really well who advertises on our site. Business has been better for most notaries recently, but not as good as for this husband and wife team. I will not mention their names or locations to protect their identity.

I talked to them about their renewal. Since our prices can go up or down for a particular position at any point in time, some notaries complain about their new price. If the price goes up, they argue and try to reason with me about how it was less last year. If the price goes down, then they think I was cheating them last year. Either way they get upset and criticize me.

This husband and wife team had a different approach. He said something to the tune of — You doubled my rate, but that is okay! Your site is amazing. We get almost all of our business from your site. I don’t know how you do it. We are making more than $10,000 a month in our notary business.

I was flabbergasted. I had heard the story of the new notary company making $35,000 per month which was an amazing story. But, now another notary making six digits. Unbelievable! So, my faith is renewed in a mobile notary public’s ability to make the type of living that makes other people drool.

Please take this blog entry as an opportunity to take a leap in faith that YOU can make six digits in your notary business. Yes, you have to do everything right, but you can do a bang up job, right?

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September 18, 2013

Uncertified and NOT a single call

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 4:43 am

We had a young lady sign up on She knew that we were a very powerful marketing tool. She got a 7th place listing in a big metro. However, she was not certified by Whenever we bring up the topic of certification, people want to argue with us and talk about their NNA certification. All I want to know is:

Does your NNA certification show up on
I didn’t think so!
That is because WE are NOT the NNA. We are and we recognize certification.

This lady has been online for a month and not gotten a single call. She emailed me to ask why. I looked at her notes section, and it was fine. The rest of the listing looked fine. Her placement was fine. Everything was fine. But, there were zero reviews which is suicide, and no 123notary certification.

The area she is in has the first 12 notaries ALL certified with her as the exception. She is the only one who doesn’t have a certification icon. There are a few regular green certification icons, and a handful of elite certifications thrown in. So, what can we learn from this?

123notary is gradually getting a lot of people certified. If only a few people are certified in your area, you can can argue with us and “GET AWAY” with not having it for the time being. But, as more and more people jump on the band wagon — you might soon find out that you are the only one in your area in a prominent position who doesn’t have it — and your phone will stop ringing.

People with thoroughly belled and whistled listings on 123notary often report the phone ringing off the hook. But, paying us is only a quarter of the battle. You have to get those bells and whistles or you lose. So, make a few calls, get some reviews, write a notes section, and for god’s sake, get our certification as soon as humanly possible.


September 15, 2013

Revisiting trouble with the Name Affidavit

Now here is a perfect example of the problems that we notaries face when working in the mortgage field, be in an escrow, real estate, title, etc.

I get a call from a lovely woman who has been working in the title business for a very long time. She works with many of the notaries on 123 and she pays very well. She is also a notary herself. And she has noticed that it has picked up greatly due to these Obama Harp (Heart, not sure as to the spelling) loans. She wanting to spend more time with her family felt that she would give the signing agent gig a try part time and see if she could make it as a signing agent herself. She was intrigued and most of all tempted by some of the handsome fees that we charge and that she is paying out. She was quick to point out that we make really good money…I told her some of us do and some of us don’t..but that is another story all together…LOL

I went on to explain that yes for the most part we do but only when we work with people like her that pay well. So, I go over all the advertising options with her and she signs up and we vow that we will speak soon. I tell her that if she needs anything at all feel free to get in touch with me.

A few days past and I do in fact hear from her. She is concerned and wants to leave a complaint for one of the notaries and needs instruction on how to accomplish this. I ask her for the details. It seems that she was in need of a notary and the assignment called for this notary to come into the title office to meet with their clients. The documents would be printed for the notary, so nothing for the notary to do but show up. The notary arrives as promised and the title girl introduces the borrower to the notary and she then leaves them to go on to other duties. Shortly thereafter, our title girl returns with a last minute document to be signed by her borrower and as she enters the room she is astounded that her borrower is crying. The title girl asks what is wrong and the borrower says the notary told her that she can not notarize her signature because it would be illegal at this point to do so. She turns to the notary and the notary begins to explain that the government issued ID does not match the documents. The title girl has now become somewhat angry with this notary and she told her that she could use the ‘signature name affidavit’. I’m thinking, What?? Here is a title person telling the notary to use this form, I stop her cold in the conversation. I ask her why she felt that this was OK? She says that that is what the form is for and that (remember now she is a notary) she uses it as well.. I am thinking oh boy, when the ‘you know what’ hits the fan….there is going to be hell to pay. I humbly explain to her that that is NOT what this form is for and even if it were a notary public cannot use it in place of government issued identification. Our title girl was shocked to say the least as she had been told by many that this was OK to use. She also expressed to me that the LENDER had checked them out so it was OK. I let her know that that the lender doesn’t really check anyone out per say, Except for employment, credit history, etc. But that it was the notaries job to as she called it “check folks out”. And this is why they use us in the first place..we are the real people checkers!! :). She also told me that that must be how they do it in California…I let her know that this applies to ALL notaries nationwide. PERIOD.

Obviously the signing with that notary went bad. And in my opinion on this notaries behavior is, that instead of upsetting the borrower to the point of tears. She should have politely excused herself and found the title girl and let her know. This way the borrower quite possibly been as upset as she was. The notary handled this very poorly.

So, in closing, even in some of the offices where they should know better, this document causes allot of confusion. And for those notaries that don’t know any better using the ‘name affidavit’ in lieu of ID, it is going to get you into a world of trouble which could lead to financial ruin as well as a jail term. So remember, please don’t let anyone tell you how to do your job as a notary public. That is your responsibility and yours alone. And if you don’t know or are not sure about something, ASK!!! Better to be safe than sorry! And take note, Just because a person is a title or escrow officer, broker, etc doesn’t mean they understand or know what YOUR duties are. It’s up to you to know what you can and cannot do. All they care about in the end is closing the loan….usually by any means necessary. Money for them trouble for you!

Until next time….be safe and prosper!

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September 14, 2013

Notary accidentally gets arrested for robbing a bank?

How can you “accidentally” get arrested for robbing a bank? You either robbed a bank or you didn’t. It should be painfully obvious, right?

It had been a long night and she was out of cash. This notary had just finished a signing for the Ramblers. These borrowers never got to the point and the conversations when on and on. Finally, the signing was over, and the notary left. It was raining hard and the roof to the notary’s jeep had a rip in it. But, she got a flat tire.

So, she made her way to a tire shop via tow truck 15 minutes before closing. They said she would have to leave the car with them. She asked if they had a wrench so she could do the work herself. The staff really wanted to go home. But, one guy wanted to help. So, he got a new tire on her jeep, and the bill was $200. But, she had no credit cards on her and her cash supply was low. This notary volunteered to have them take her to a bank. So, the tow truck drove her car to a local bank with an ATM machine and parked in the parking lot. She went to the ATM, and got some money and then…

FREEZE — put your hands in the air. You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. Face the car and put your hands on your head.

The lady said, “Okay”

The vibrations from the tow truck had set off the bank’s alarm and the police made it there within less than a minute. They figured out what had happened and let the notary go. What a crazy night!

The moral of the story is — NEVER go to a bank in a tow truck unless you park far away and turn the motor off.

(1) The stranded notary arrived at the ATM w/a tow truck which set off the bank alarm!
(2) The notary finished the signing & then made it to the tire shop to fix a flat.

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September 13, 2013

A great attitude gets the most jobs

A Great Attitude Gets the Most Jobs (If You Answer the Phone)

One title company told us recently, “I never believe notaries who say ‘error-free’ or ‘100% error free’– because everyone makes mistakes. But I would like to hear a notary say, ‘If I do make a mistake–I correct it. I will be glad to drive back to the borrowers if I need to.’ That’s the kind of positive attitude we like.”

The notaries who attract the most work again and again are the ones who may not be perfect, but do it all–try hard to learn everything, use best practices, get certification from several sources, get reviews, share stories–and keep attracting work because they have such a great attitude. And we can tell who these notaries are from the very beginning…and so can the companies that hire them. Here are a few notable examples.

This 60-ish man is a notary who had been in the collections industry and also a notary since 1985. From the very first time we spoke with him, he wanted to learn; he wanted to be the best. He has now been a full-time signing agent for a year, and has done 1000+ loans: he followed our advice and now has a thriving business and is training other notaries to help him. He bought a top position, took one of our courses, got certified, got reviews…and appreciated every experience. He says, of the notary work, “I’ve never worked harder in my life.” But he loves the work, and keeps on getting more and more. He always replies to an email. He always has wonderful things to say on the phone, and always finds a sincere compliment for everyone; if he is busy, he lets you know–without ever being rude. He just keeps taking our advice, and his business keeps growing. He is never cynical, and every company that calls him loves to work with him.

And–he always answers the phone.

Another notary who comes to mind is a woman who joined 123notary recently. She has extensive experience in the mortgage industry, but was willing to look at all the sample notes sections we recommended and created a fabulous notes section using everything she could think of in her background. She didn’t think she was above all this just because she had a lot of experience. Her notes were nearly perfect when she sent the first draft, but she was still willing to keep working on them. She also was eager to get our certification–despite her experience that includes almost 10,000 signings– and spent a lot of time studying our “phoninar” blogs; of course, she got the certification. She will do well on the site because of her positive attitude and willingness to make an effort. She always answers the phone.

Our final notary, a young woman, has barely started on her notary career, but is already getting a few jobs because of the energy she puts into everything she does. Her notes section really tells what kind of a person she is (does not mind pets at the signing table), and gives lenders an idea of why they should hire her–even though she has done fewer than 10 signings. For example, experienced in IT, she tells us “Technology is my soul,” and explains how her background in that industry supports her detail work as a notary. She can really have a great conversation on the phone…which often ends in jobs and good reviews. And, guess what? She always answers the phone!

(1) Is it better to say, “1000 error free signings,” or, “If I make a mistake I’ll fix it ASAP.”
(2) The notaries who get ahead are not the ones who brag, but the ones who really want to learn & do a great job!
(3) The notaries who attract the most work get multiple certifications, reviews, and have great attitudes.
(4) A great conversation on the phone often attracts jobs and good reviews, which attracts more jobs. Always answering the phone helps!

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