December 2013 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 27, 2013

Notary Suicide Hotline

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:04 am

This blog entry seems appropriate now that the holidays have set in. I’m sure many of us have a solid dose of holiday related depression with less sunlight, and an interruption of our daily routines.

“Hurry — we have a level 3 on line 2!”, said the neurotic manager of this organization. What organization was this, you might ask? It is none other than the Notary Suicide Hotline. But, I have never heard of this, you might say! It all came to Jeremy in a dream…

The dream…
It was a few days ago. Jeremy had a dream that he and a few notaries were having sandwiches. The bread was a foot long, but each sandwich only had a small cutlet in it. Then Jeremy went up to the 7th floor of a haunted mansion to hide, because he felt bad that the notary industry was so slow, and felt afraid too! So, Jeremy went to his psychic to do dream interpretation. The sandwiches had lots of bread which represented hard work, but very little cutlet which represented nourishment. That meant that the notaries were working too hard for not enough money!

Another dream
Then, the next night Jeremy went to sleep there was another dream. In the dream, the NNA had become very concerned about the emotional well-being of notaries throughout the country. Many were depressed, and a few even contemplated ending it all. Something had to be done. So, the NNA created the Notary Suicide Hotline.

The call
Notary: “Hello… (sob) It’s too upsetting”
Frank: “I’m sorry about what you are going through. Would you like to talk about it?”
Notary: “Yes… well… It was another $40 signing… boo hoo hoo!”
Frank: “I’m so sorry to hear about that — please hold”

Frank “Hey Sully, we have a level 3 on line 2, can you handle it?”
Sully: “I got it!”
Frank: “Sorry to keep you waiting, I am going to transfer you to Sully — he specializes in exactly this type of crisis”
Notary: “Oh…okay”
Sully: “Hi, this is Sully, I heard that you were offered yet another $40 signing”
Notary: “Yes, it is terrible — we deserve more, especially with fax backs!”
Sully: “I’m so sorry about that. How many fax backs were there?”
Notary: “There were 12. I can’t figure out why they need so many!”
Sully: “Maybe they are insecure. Just remember — it’s THEM, not YOU”
Notary: “Really?”
Sully: “Yeah, they are the guys with the problem, not you!”
Notary: “Do you really mean that?”
Sully: “Sure, we get this all the time. they are paranoid that someone didn’t sign ONE little document on one out of a hundred loan documents. My attitude is — deal with it. Don’t put the notary through hell. If the notary makes a mistake, just don’t use them again unless they have a good track record.”
Notary: “That makes me feel so good. You are really on my side!”
Sully: “Hey… we have been dealing with this for a long time. It never ends. And for $40. It is ridiculous. They should pay at least $90 for those types of signings. But, don’t feel bad, just ride the wave until the economy picks up. They, maybe you’ll get lots of $125 signings, especially if you have experience.”
Notary: “I feel so hopeful now. I pictured everything being gloomy forever!”
Sully: “Nothing lasts forever. What goes down, must come up again, right?”
Notary: “That’s true. When the economy was good before, I thought it would last forever. Now that things are slow, I am depressed thinking that things will be slow forever. But, that isn’t true. Everything in the notary industry is cyclical!”
Sully: “You got it. So… you’re not thinking of ending it anymore, right?”
Notary: “No, you talked me out of it. How can I ever thank you?”
Sully: “Well, this week we are having a special, buy three NNA journals, get a half-price ticket to one of our seminars, what do you think?”
Notary: “Well, how much are three journals?”
Sully: “$40, but without the fax-backs!”
Notary: “It’s a deal!”

So, ends our level 3 suicide hotline call. Thank got it wasn’t a level 10. Level 9 is when a notary is standing at the edge of a bridge holding a stack of pre-fax-back loan documents. I’ll leave it to your imagination what a level 10 is. You need a lot more experience handling those types of calls.

Tweets:
(1) The Notary Suicide Hotline — making sure notary commissions expire before the notaries do since 1932.
(2) Notary Suicide Hotline: “I have a level 3 on line 2, can you handle it?”
(3) Notary Suicide Hotline: “May I help you?”
Notary: “I’m tired of $40 signings w/fax backs!”
(4) Don’t put the notary through hell. If the notary goofs, just don’t use them again.
(5) Dream: A long sandwich w/3 little cutlets inside.
Interpretation: Notaries doing too much work for too little money.

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December 20, 2013

Hospital Signings

“Many notaries say they do not do hospital signings because they are depressing,” admits a Virginia notary. “However, these notarizations do provide an opportunity to give hope to people who may not be around much longer, and allow the notaries to see a side of life that makes them grateful for whatever they have.” “It’s always worth doing something for someone in pain,” adds one Tennessee notary who did the following notarization.

“It was for a diabetic who had had some kind of complications. She asked me to come to the hospital. She was on a gurney, but she needed cash out from her home, a refinance, and she was desperate,” recalls this accommodating Tennessee notary. “Every time her blood sugar dipped, we had to stop.” It is hard to imagine that nurses and doctors would allow a signing to take place under such conditions… but, I guess when people need money, they allow for all sorts of things. The woman got her money out of her home so she could pay her medical bills. “I wonder if she got to do anything else with some of that refinance money,” our Tennessee notary asks. “She was a fun person, but I guess all that sugar caught up with her. I try to avoid hospital signings, but will do them if people can’t find anyone else,” she says.

One Maryland notary signed a veterinarian at an animal hospital. The refinance took place right on the operating table after the young doctor had finished operating on a cocker spaniel who had a cyst. Operations on dogs cost anywhere from $1000 on up, so this knowledgeable young vet was able to purchase a new home in an area of Maryland from which lots of dog lovers commute to D.C. This particular dog belonged to a retired army colonel, and was his pride and joy. “It was the only ‘hospital signing’ where I wasn’t working for the patient,” our Maryland notary recalls.

A more dismal hospital visit was made by a mature male Virginia notary who was shaken by what he saw. “It was in the middle of a hurricane, well, during one part of a hurricane. Getting there was awful. But I was asked to go notarize a will. Well, this guy was in the hospital bed…and I realized he had been amputated from the navel down. But it gets worse,” says our Virginia notary. It seems they “had amputated one leg–but it was the wrong leg…so they ended up amputating both legs.” The notary pauses as if he is sighing. He asks me not to include the name of the hospital, and adds,”You have trouble sleeping after seeing something like this. This man didn’t know how long he would live, and he had pretty much lost his faith in doctors, the military, and everyone else but me. This put a lot of weight on me, and I tried to be as kind as possible and not show how truly upset I was. That man never recovered, but I have never recovered from seeing him and hearing his story,” says our Virginia notary.

A slightly more upbeat hospital signing was for a ‘cash out,’ a refinance, and the notary was asked to come to the hospital. “I ended up signing this woman on the commode,” says our undaunted Maryland notary. “Sometimes,” she points out, “you just have to go the extra mile… even if it just means sitting still.”

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December 18, 2013

Notarizing For a Minor — Identification!

It is not that common to notarize the signature of a minor, but at some point you might be asked to. A minor who needs to be notarized must be positively identified just like everyone else even thought their signature is not legally binding. But, if you need a notary for a minor — what type of identification can they get? The DMV can issue them a state ID card if they are not licensed to drive yet. If they are old enough to drive, you could get a drivers license. Another possibility is to go to the Post Office and apply for a passport which is another acceptable type of identification for being notarized. One benefit of passports is that they are valid for ten years while state issued ID’s are generally only good for four or five years!

So, if you are asked to notarize a minor, you can give the parents a tutorial about acceptable types of identification for their benefit! And remember — when notarizing a minor, please document in your journal that the signer is under 18 — and you might also document their exact age as well! Be professional when you do an “underage notarization”! Do it right!

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December 15, 2013

Advice to new notaries: Interview with a Veteran Notary

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Linked In — Tags: , — admin @ 8:20 am

I love doing loans signings, and have done them for ten years. I have been in Real Estate for 30 years, but I like the loan signings better. I’ve met all kinds of people, and the NSA has a chance to help them all.

RE new NSAs: Notaries have to know when to keep their mouth shut. If there is something on the loan docs the borrower wants to know about, always give them a general answer– but if you say the wrong thing, forget it!
For instance, a notary could say “I can get you a better interest rate!” But we don’t know why those figures are there– why the person has the rate he/ she has. Don’t comment! That particular loan can fold. But the notary may not know the workings of the escrow to get it to that point. ALWAYS have the borrowers contact the Loan Officer. I am old enough to know that if that borrower is so upset, I can handle it.

You can look around the home and know how to handle the signing. For example, at Christmas, I went to a home where the borrower was disgusted. They were packing to go on a trip, and a lot of things were set up to go. They had a baby. That tells me “Say some reassuring things.” I mother them. The loan had taken 7 months, and it was Christmas eve day. It had taken so long! I told her I understood, and that I could leave if she wanted me to. She saw I was experienced and that I cared, and she calmed down and signed. She might not have signed for another notary.

One time a borrower did not show for about 30 mins– there was a girlfriend living in the house, and there was a wife– the man was buying her out! I had to tell them to stop the bad language, and she was also afraid that he was going to take all the money. I said “I’m out of here”— but then they calmed down and signed. A new notary would have panicked and left. But I got them to sign: their marriage was over, and they needed the money. I did a reverse mortgage for a man who sold Fuller Brush. The man wanted to read it all– three hours! I looked around the house, and he had nothing there! He didn’t even have enough income to support himself and his disabled son. I knew he needed the loan and I let him read. I asked him “Do you know what I just read?” He didn’t. I had to make him understand what the APR is (briefly; a generic answer–like you have on 123notary–in the Ninja book.) After the signing, he came to the house and handed my daughter a $50 gift certificate. He was so grateful. This was years ago.

Every situation is different. You need to adapt to that situation. You are doing the borrower a disservice if you just point and sign.
You should also never backdate. There is always someone who will talk if you do something wrong. The only person who is not going to talk is me. But you can never trust the company not to come back to blame you in the future–so don’t backdate!

These borrowers are real people– not just numbers. Be sure you know about the documents!
Instead of taking low-ball offers — take a course and study the loan documents! This will give you a lot of business. You do not need to take low offers to start out. Your printer and computer, phone, car insurance, gas– all these come out of what you make. You can’t print and do all this and do a loan for $60.

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December 1, 2013

How to get paid by out of biz signing companies!

Many notaries ask us how they can get paid by signing companies. Dealing with signing companies can be tricky. But, there are some basic rules of thumb you need to understand.

(1) You need to screen companies before you work for them.
That way you avoid the really bad ones and cut your losses. No notary gets paid 100% of the time, but if you avoid bad companies, you will raise your percentage for how often you get paid. Notary Rotary and 123notary have excellent resources in our lists of signing companies and the forum. You can read the gossip about hundreds of companies before you get involved. Stick you toe in before you jump if you don’t want to get in trouble!

(2) Don’t give too much credit to companies
Notaries get in trouble when they let a company rack up a huge bill. You need to keep track of the payment regularity for each company who you work for. If someone is delinquent on even one payment, don’t work for them until they clear that up. You need to keep your personal records for all signing companies on your person at all times just in case they call offering you work. I wouldn’t offer more than $400 credit to companies with a good rating on our list of signing companies. Don’t offer more than $200 credit to others who are either not ranked, or have mediocre rankings. If they want more work from you, they can paypal you funds up front or pay faster. No money, no honey!

(3) Visit our resources page.
There is a “how to make sure you get paid” page in our resources page. In that page there is a letter from hell which is a template for a demand letter. It works most of the time. But, if the company is out of business, even our demand letter might not work. Don’t get strung along to that point. Settle your finances quickly so that you don’t end up with a company owing you $3000 who is out of business. Keep track, and stay out of trouble.
http://www.123notary.com/notary-public.asp

(4) Your attitude makes a big difference
When I talk to notaries who have trouble getting paid, I notice a few things. First of all, all notaries have trouble getting paid from time to time. But, if a company is low on funds and can only pay a few of the notaries they owe money to, they will pay the ones they intend on using in the future. If you are a bad notary, or are a headache to deal with, you are LESS likely to get paid. Keep that in mind. Be pleasant and professional. One guy who didn’t get paid interrupted me each sentence. I couldn’t finish my thought without being interrupted. No wonder he didn’t get paid. The signing company must have gotten complaints about him. That is not a legitimate excuse not to pay him, but signing companies typically don’t care about what is legitimate or not! They do what they feel like.

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