February 2015 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

February 27, 2015

Notarization on the Steve Harvey Show

STEVE: I have a surprise for you. Do you know why we invited you here today?

CAROL: I have no idea, honestly no idea.

STEVE: Well, I’ll give you a hint. Have you ever had anything notarized?

CAROL: No, I can’t think of anything that I’ve ever had notarized.

STEVE: Well think harder. Think fifteen years ago.

CAROL: Hmmm. I’m coming up with a blank.

STEVE: Well, you might not remember this notary, but he remembers you. And he has something of yours that you gave him when he last saw you back in 1994.

CAROL: 1994?

STEVE: Here he is!

CAROL: Oh my god, Oh my god! Randy. I remember you, but forgot that you were a Notary. And that’s the necklace I gave you. I remember it all now!

STEVE: Well, brace yourself. You better sit down. Because Randy has something that he wants to ask you!

CAROL: Oh my god. I can’t believe this is happening. Yes Randy. What did you want to ask me.

RANDY: Carol, I met you almost twenty years ago, and I have never forgotten you. You have been on my mind ever since. I realized that when we talked, back in 1994 the conversation was so meaningful. But, there’s one thing that has been on my mind that I have been needing to ask you ever since.

CAROL: One thing? Sure, ask anything you want. I just am not prepared for what you might ask.

RANDY: Carol… will you…ummm… how can I put this. Remember the notarization I did for you back in 1994. My journal said that it was for an Affidavit of Occupancy.

CAROL. Oh yeah, now I remember. That was to lock in a particular interest rate on that house.

RANDY: Well, we got so wrapped up in conversation that I forgot to ask you one thing. Carol, will you… um… will you complete the Oath that I forgot to ask you for that Affidavit of Occupancy? I kept a copy of that document all these years with the necklace you gave me.

CAROL: Oh my god, you still have that?

RANDY: Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that the information in this Affidavit of Occupancy are true and correct and that you agree to the conditions in the document?

CAROL: I do.

RANDY: I’m so relieved. Because, in my notary career, I never violated notary law, not even once. But, I realized that failing to administer an Oath for a Jurat on an Affidavit is grounds for suspension, termination, or revocation of your notary license. I’m so glad that I administered that Oath, and got it out of my system.

CAROL: You came all the way to have me on TV, just for that?

RANDY: Oh, and one more thing.


RANDY: Carol…. will you marry me?

CAROL: Oh my god! Yes I will, well, at least we can start dating. But, on one condition.

STEVE: The sister has conditions? I gotta hear this!

RANDY: Sure, that’s fine

CAROL: I will need a notary statement stating that you want to date me and that you will take me out for penne arrabiata at Carmino’s Italian Restaurant.

RANDY: That’s a little odd. Would you like the notarization to be a Jurat, Acknowledged signature, Protest, or an Oath.

CAROL: I’d prefer a Jurat with an accompanying Oath. And yes, I’ll keep a copy of that document to show you in 2034!

STEVE: This is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like this in my career. Just one question for Randy.

RANDY: Ask away!

STEVE: Randy, I’ve never been notarized, ever. I just want to know what it is like being notarized, just to get it out of my system. Can you notarize me?

RANDY: On camera? The camera adds 10 pounds to any signature you know.

STEVE: That’s okay. So, what’s the first step.

RANDY: I’ll need to see some ID sir!

STEVE: What, you don’t know me? I’m Steve Harvey — I’m famous. You don’t need to ID ME!

RANDY: Well, actually it is a legal requirement here.

STEVE: Oh allright. I was just playing with you. Here’s my ID. Which one you want. I got five of them.

RANDY: Your driver’s license will work.

STEVE: Allright, now what do I gotta do. Do you want me to sign something?

RANDY: If you don’t have a document, you could have something typed up.

STEVE: Well what do you want it to say?

RANDY: It can say anything you want just as long as you sign it.

STEVE: Hmmm, I’m gonna have to think about that. (he looks to the left, looks up, and looks around) I thought about it and I know what I want to say now.

RANDY: What is it?

STEVE: I wanna say, I’m Steve Harvey, and I’m smooth like butter.

RANDY: We can do that. Just sign the journal here. (staff hands him the typed up paper) Sign the document here. I’ll attach an Acknowledgment certificate, stamp it… we’re done!

STEVE: That’s it? That was easy. I didn’t feel a thing.

RANDY: It’s a fairly standard act.

STEVE: Well, I want to wish you and Carol the best of luck on your first date. In fact, we are going to pay the first $200 of your date’s expenses for dinner for two at Maggiano’s in Los Angeles. That is the fanciest, most amazing Italian restaurant anywhere in California. I love that place! Then, get this — are you ready? You can have another $200 for your next date and a gift certificate for two to see a 3d movie or movie of your choice at IMAX in Universal Studios.

CAROL: Wow Steve. This is the best day of my life. I never expected any of this.

RANDY: Thanks Steve. I don’t know how to thank you.

STEVE: Well, you can thank me with a notarized statement if you really want to know how to get to the bottom of my heart!


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Yes, it’s the Notary Dating Show


February 22, 2015

Point (3) RTC (4) Closing Disclosure; Story: The Starbucks Signing

The Starbucks Signing
Marcy hadn’t completed her certification test yet. After all, why should she. A little test couldn’t be that important, right? But, she was anxious to get started. She completed her notes section on her 123notary profile. She wrote:

I am reliable, prompt, punctual and professional. Call me for any mobile notary job!

She got her first call a few days after signing up. She answered the phone as her infant was screaming. The screaming was so loud that the person on the other end of the line couldn’t hear what she was talking about. The client decided that Marcy wasn’t very professional.

Then, another call came in. She answered it and got the job. She was to notarize a Grant Deed. She had never seen a Grant Deed, but how hard could it be to notarize. She knew how to fill in an Acknowledgment form. Her baby started screaming right when she was leaving. She left the baby with her husband and went out to do her job. She arrived 20 minutes late as a result of her baby having a fit. The customer said, “Your profile claims that you are punctual, but you are 20 minutes late!” Marcy said, “But, I am punctual, it was just this one time!”

Then a third call came in. They needed a loan signing done. Their house was under repair, so they agreed to meet at a local Starbucks. Marcy’s husband wasn’t around, so she decided to take her baby with her. Luckily for her, the signers loved children, particularly infants. The signing started off okay. Marcy had received a FedEx package of the documents. Everything was in order. She put the documents on the table, and kept the borrower copies in the FedEx. She didn’t know how to introduce the documents because she had never studied loan signing. Her course book was sitting on her desk collecting dust. She would soon learn that book knowledge would help her out of a very serious bind that was about to happen. Ooops!

The couple was signing away, when the toddler spilled Marcy’s mocha all over the Right to Cancel. All Marcy could say was, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” Marcy decided she had the Right to Cancel and obligation to cancel the appointment and have them start all over another day with another notary. She went home feeling mortified and devastated. But, she didn’t have to. Marcy made several simple mistakes. What were they?

(1) No drinks on the table. Drinks spill all the time. If you have drinks on the same table as documents, you are going to have a problem, it is just a matter of time. Drinks go on a separate table or a chair as a matter of policy. If Marcy had obeyed this signing policy, she would not have gotten in trouble.

(2) Don’t bring your three year old to a signing no matter what. It is not reliable or professional to do so, not to mention the trouble they could cause.

(3) The Right to Cancel was damaged, but there was a borrower’s copy of that document in the FedEx which Marcy could have used to substitute for the damaged one. An easy fix to a common problem. It is also common that borrowers sign in the wrong place on the Right to Cancel. You need to swap that document out if that happens as well.


Point (3) The Right to Cancel

The Right to Cancel (Right to Rescission) gives the borrower in a non-commercial / non-investment refinance three calendar days not including Sundays or Federal holidays to read over the documents and consider their options. If borrowers want to spend three hours reading every page of the document, the Notary is encouraged to inform them that this is a signing appointment, and that they can review their borrower copies over the next three days and cancel within that time period if they have any dissatisfaction with the documents.

Dating: (Chaperone Not Included)
In addition to having the borrowers sign this document, it is often the Notary’s responsibility to make sure it is dated correctly. On the top of the document there should be a section that reads: “The date of the transaction, which is ____________________”. This is where the Signing Agent places the current date; this is known as the “transaction date”. Towards the bottom of the document it states: “no later than midnight of________.” This date is called the “rescission date”, and it states when the Right to Cancel period is finished. In this blank you would write the last day for the borrower to cancel, which is three days past the current date (excluding Sunday and major holidays). If it is Saturday the 20th, and Monday is a holiday, the last day to cancel would be Thursday the 25th.

What if the lender dated the document incorrectly? Cross out the incorrect date, write the new date, and have the borrower(s) initial the change. Never use white-out.

What if the transaction date is correct, but the lender is giving them too many days to cancel? Sometimes lenders are generous and give one or two extra days. Don’t correct that because it’s not an error; it is an act of generosity.

If the borrower carelessly signs where it says, “I wish to cancel”, the best way to remedy this situation is by using the borrower’s copy of the document (by the way, this question is on the exam); doing this will save everyone a great deal of trouble. If that is not possible, cross out the signature and have the borrower initial it. Then have them sign in the correct location.

Cancellation by Fax. The borrower always may cancel their loan by fax with all lenders by law within the (3) day right to cancel period.

Here is a list of all Federal holidays:

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Washington’s birthday AKA and observed on Presidents day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veteran’s Day
Thanksgiving Day ( the Friday after is a regular day unless the lender states otherwise )
Christmas Day


Point (4) The Closing Disclosure (formerly The Truth in Lending)

The Truth in Lending is now antiquated.

Notaries have become moderately familiar with the new Closing Disclosure. I want to stress some important points about this document that you should memorize.

1. The Closing Estimate
Previously there was a document called the Good Faith Estimate whose current replacement would be the Closing Estimate. Although these two documents are not even close to being identical, they go over the estimated costs of the loan among other information.

2. The Truth in Lending
This is now an antiquated document. The Truth in Lending had some bizarre and unhelpful verbiage about the prepayment penalty. It said you, “will, won’t or may” have a prepayment penalty. The Closing Disclosure states if you will or won’t but omits the ambiguous word, “may” from the document.

3. The APR
In addition to going over the APR, there will be a new figure discussed on the Closing disclosure called the TIP which is the total interest percentage.

4. Taxes, Insurance, Escrow Fees
Estimated escrow costs, insurance, taxes, servicing, assumption, and appraisal costs will also be covered in this new and exciting document.

5. The property address
Many loan signing courses claim you should look for the property address on the Deed of Trust or Mortgage. You can, but it is also on the Closing Disclosure on the upper left corner.

6. The Loan Amount & Rate
This is also covered on the upper half of page one.

7. Fees associated with the loan
The Closing Disclosure replaces the TIL and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. So, items from the Settlement Statement such as fees or costs associated with the loan will be covered on this document.

8. Calculating Cash to Close
This is a very practical section that covers total closing costs, closing costs financeed, down payment, deposit, funds for borrower, seller credits, and adjustments. The bottom line in this section is the cash to close total amount.

9. Summary of Transactions
The sale price of the property, closing costs, HOA dues, deposits, loan amount, sellers credit, rebates, and local taxes are all part of the accounting spreadsheet in this section.

10. The additional information section about the loan
This section covers other specifications about the loan such as whether or not assumption is allowed, if there is a demand feature, negative amortization, late payments, partial payments, escrow accounts, and more…

11. Next, there is a basic loan calculation similar to what the TIL had with the total payments, finance charge, amount financed, APR, and the new figure which is the TIP.

12. There is a section listing other disclosures which will list the appraisal, contract details, liability after foreclosure (keeping it positive), refinance, and tax deductions.

13. And last there is contact information of the Lender, the Real Estate Brokers, and the Settlement Agents.

Sign below.

——————————————— ———-
Applicant Signature Date

Eventually I will create some test questions out of this material. I already have one, but I will derive some others as well.


You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents

30 Point Course (5-7) HUD, Occupancy Affidavit & Deeds

The Right to Cancel done Wrong!

Notary information for beginners: Best Posts

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?



Point (2) The Note; Story: Background Noise

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 6:14 am

Marcy, The Baby, and the FHA Signing

Marcy was a little big traumatized after her last signing, but she wouldn’t be able to face her neighbor Patricia if she quit now. So, she decided to just do it. She waited patiently by the phone as she watched her toddler. Her husband often worked nights, so she was all by herself with the exception of her screaming child.

And then the phone rang. It was Nicole from Hawaii Title. They needed a loan signed that night and couldn’t find anyone.

NICOLE: Hi, this is Nicole from Hawaii Title.

MARCY: Aloha. (child screaming in the background, radio playing loudly too)

NICOLE: I hope that’s not a dissatisfied customer.

MARCY: No, he’s a little cranky tonight. I just told him a bedtime story called Snow White and the Seven Lenders. Don’t get me started on Grumpy.

NICOLE: Oh, is this the one with the wicked Escrow officer who gives her a poisoned prepayment penalty?

MARCY: No, that part was too scary.

NICOLE: Well, we have an FHA loan we need…

TODDLER: Wahhhhh! Wahhhh!

NICOLE: Is something wrong?

MARCY: Oh, well Chuckie doesn’t like the word FHA. You see, in the story, the evil Escrow Officer did mostly FHA loans.

TODDLER: Wahhhh! Wahhh!

NICOLE: Okay. No problem, I’ll call it a Federal HA loan. I know it can’t be easy raising a young child. But, it’s not easy for callers to endure any type of distractions. I noticed that not only is your toddler screaming, but there is also a radio playing in the background. Putting aside how difficult to hear you over this noise, it is also considered very unprofessional to have any type of background noise on a professional call. I’m sorry to give you a lecture on this, but I think you sound serious about this business and you need to know. Many companies just won’t hire you if they sense any unprofessional behavior on your part be it oral communication, if your notes section has spelling mistakes on 123notary, or mistakes on loan documents.

MARCY: Oh, I had no idea. But, that makes sense, now that you tell me. I’m just so used to Chuckie, that I don’t realize that other people might not be so immune to his antics. I’ll put the baby in the other room. And my husband will be back soon, so I can go out to do a signing the minute he returns.

NICOLE: Okay. Just keep in mind that FHA… oops, I meant to say Federal HA loans, take considerably longer to sign than straight Refinances. But, I will be on the other end of the line the whole time in case you have questions. And we require fax backs.

MARCY: Okay, 123notary told me that companies that require fax backs do so to ensure that the loan is correctly signed when a beginner is working for them. This makes sense as I am a beginner — a very enthusiastic beginner. So, I won’t complain about fax backs like the other notaries!

NICOLE: That’s what I like to hear.

MARCY: Bring it on!!!! I’m ready for your FHA

NICOLE: Wahhhh… Just kidding.


Point (2) The Note
The Note (also called ‘the agreement’ by some companies) is the basic contract between the borrower and the Lender; it includes the basic terms, conditions, and information about the loan being signed.

The Note includes:

(1) The Rate

(2) The Prepayment Terms (these are usually explained in two paragraphs on the first or second page)

(3) The Payment Amount of Principal and Interest (this doesn’t include taxes and insurance).

(4) The day that monthly payments are due.

(5) Penalties for late payment

(6) The amount of the loan

The Note also specifies that it is secured by a ‘security instrument.’ (This will be discussed in the next section, specifies where to make payments to — many other kinds of information are also in the note. It is simplest to understand the note as merely a list of agreements, as previously mentioned. Adjustable Rate Notes. This document is a note with information about what the adjustable rate is based on and how it can fluctuate.

Please note that the best place to look for information about the prepayment terms are in the Note or a Prepayment Rider if there is one, and NOT on other documents as other documents do not have thorough information about this topic. Please also note that The Note is not normally a notarized document.


You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents

Point (3-4) The RTC & TIL

The Mortgage & The Note



February 19, 2015

Websites from some of our best notaries!

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 10:51 pm

Many notaries email us to ask if they should start a website. The answer is always that creating a website is like a marriage. It is expensive and time consuming, but if you are committed to it, there can be many rewards! Not all notary web sites look the same, but here are a few of my favorites for notaries who advertise with us!

Frank Tabacca
Frank is certified by about nine different notary agencies. He is a top notch notary and loyal client of 123notary. Additionally, he is an estate planner and has a background in the insurance industry.

Palm Desert Notary Services
Here is a well designed notary website that describes their notary services, legal services, and more. They seem to be very familiar with all of the major legal documents.

Shannon Ziccardi
Shannon is a very active mobile notary and has multiple Twitter profiles as well. He is a loyal customer, and you can see his very unusual web page on active rain. Getting a web page on someone else’s platform is a lot cheaper than starting your own website, and his looks well formatted too.

Stockton Mobile Notary
This site ironically did very well on Google if you looked up 123notary in Jan 2015. They explain identification requirements very thoroughly as well.

Tim Gatewood
Tim is a member of the NNA, GoGetNotary, NotaryRotary, 123notary, National Mortgage News, and the American Society of Notaries. If you want to impress clients, have lots of professional memberships. It proves that you are serious and dedicated!

After Hours Notary
This notary organization is very active on all sorts of social media channels and blogs herself!
Read their interesting article: How to get started as a Notary Signing Agent which explains the process thoroughly and explains SPW standards as well. Then, she goes on to introduce a handful of large notary organizations including 123notary.

Houston Mobile Notary Service
This Notary is 123notary Elite Certified, and also a member of many other well known notary organizations. See how they write in detail about their memberships and experience.

Joe Ewing
Joe is one of the most sophisticated and experienced notaries on our site. His site explains his Notary & Apostille services.

A Notary on the Go
This company has several notaries working for them and a site that shows their certifications.

Fred Herrera
It is very sad, but I heard that this Notary passed away recently. He was one of my favorite clients and a real trooper. He survived Pancreatic cancer for many years. His website has a lot of information on it. More graphics and formatting would have been nice though.

Joyce Walters
This notary site is easy to read and navigate

A1 Mobile Notary & Bookkeeping
Another interesting notary site of a customer of ours.

Jacqueline’s High Desert Mobile Notary Public Services
This notary specializes in a long list of types of documents.


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February 15, 2015

Point (1) Deed of Trust; Story: Marcy Becomes a Notary!

Marcy the housewife becomes a Notary!

Marcy was a normal Midwestern housewife. She enjoyed all of the normal aspects of life. She had a small child, her first. She enjoyed the local festivals, corn mazes, county fairs, and married life as well. But, her family seemed to always be behind the eight-ball financially. What was Marcy to do? She tried temping for a while, but that didn’t pan out. Then, she tried being a substitute teacher since she liked kids, but the assignments weren’t regular enough. She had tried all her options and couldn’t think of anything else to do. So, she went next door to Patricia’s house to see if Patricia had any helpful words. Patricia was known in the neighborhood as the go to person if you had a problem. She could help anyone out of any slump and knew the right thing to say in any situation. Marcy picked the wrong day to go to Patricia for help. Of all the days in the year, this was the worst possible day.

Marcy went over and knocked on the door. Patricia answered, but said she was waiting for someone. Then, a nicely dressed guy showed up with a briefcase. What could he be here for thought Marcy? “Oh, this is the mobile notary for my loan documents,” announced Patricia. Marcy said, “Okay, I’ll bother you another time.” Patricia asked her to come back the next day.

Marcy returned the next day. Patricia had only one thing to say: “You could totally do this!” “Do what?” “Be a mobile notary — you’d love it!” “I would?” “Yup!” It is odd how people become mobile notaries. It often happens when they or a friend have a loan that needs to get signed. Then the career opportunity light bulb flashes in their head, and the rest is history.

Marcy marched down to the county recorder’s office, filled out the paperwork, waited a few weeks to get her commission, seal, journal and forms, and she was in business! She was officially a state commissioned Notary Public and a mobile notary because she drove to her appointments. Just one small thing… She didn’t have any appointments. So Marcy went back to Patricia again to ask for help. Patricia suggested calling the notary who had helped them. Maybe he would know how to get work. Except they would be competition for him. Oooh. A touchy subject. Should they call? I guess it couldn’t hurt. In the worst case scenario, he would just decline to help them. After talking to Tom, he recommended calling 123notary and Notary Rotary. Those were the two most reputable sources of notary work at the time. That sounded easy enough. So, Marcy got herself listed on 123notary.com and the calls started coming in. (Obviously Marcy didn’t show up in 2014 because not so many calls came in that year!)

Marcy purchased the 123notary loan signing course. She didn’t study it that hard in the beginning, because she didn’t realize how important the information in it was. She decided to learn the hard way. You’ll see when you read the stories of all the trouble she got herself into.


Point (1) The Deed of Trust — Quick Facts!

(1) The Deed of Trust is the security instrument. BTW: The term Instrument means document.

(2) The Deed of Trust must be notarized. Make sure you have thumbprints in your journal for any deed.

(3) The Deed of Trust is recorded with the county recorder of the county where the property is located. The people at the County Recorders Office can often be picky and will not tolerate: cross-outs, smudgy or light seal impressions, or incomplete notarizations. Some recorders are pickier than others, so assume that they will all be very picky. If your notarization is rejected by the County Clerk, someone will have to notarize it all over again, and the borrower could experience a costly delay in their loan.

(4) As a general rule, the borrower must sign the Deed of Trust as their name appears on Title. If you use a Signature Affidavit, you might be able to have them sign in a different way, although the loan might be rejected by the Lender, in which case you might have to start all over again after a redraw.

(5) It is often required for the borrower to initial each page of the Deed of Trust

(6) The Deed of Trust is referred to as The Mortgage in many states, which is similar in essence, although there are some legal differences between the two documents which we will not discuss here.


The Deed of Trust states:

(a) The loan amount

(b) Who the lender is (and their contact information)

(c) Who the borrowers are

(d) The location and description of the property.

(e) When the loan matures (or when the loan expires: e.g., 05-31-2031)

(f) Who the trustors and trustees are

(g) The loan is secured by the property.

(h) A Description of the Property

The Deed of Trust also mentions that the borrower has to pay taxes, principle, interest, late charges, etc. It doesn’t list figures other than the loan amount, but those will be in the note and/or other documents. Deeds of trust usually range from being 2 to 30 pages. Various other terms and explanations are in this instrument, however, those terms are not of much importance to the Signing Agent.

Riders. The Deed of Trust could come with various riders. We will not discuss the riders in this section since they are numerous and self explanitory. There are little check boxes in the Deed of Trust that will indicate which riders would be included.


You might also like:
30 Point Course Table of Contents

Point (2) The Note

Deed of Trust (glossary entry)



30 Point Test Course Book: Synopsis

30 Points in Your Favor!
The 30 point course book is yet another certification course offered by 123notary.com. But, this one is different. Our original certification course was a very dryly written quick course designed to teach notaries basic competency in loan signing. Our Elite course was written in late 2012 and was designed to teach very sophisticated aspects of doing business as a mobile notary such as communication, marketing, hiring others, and the finer aspects of notary and signing agent work. This new 30 point course will have some elements from both of these previously written courses, but will focus only on the technical aspects of notary and signing agent work of all levels ranging from basic to very advanced. Also, be sure to read about the new loan document which goes over facts and figures about the loan called, “The Loan Estimate” which is similar in information to the TIL & HUD-1.

Required additional reading

Best blog articles for advanced Notaries – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14736
Mobile Offices from A to Z – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=535
Signing Agent Best Practices – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315
The Prepayment Penalty – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4429
The Loan Estimate (New) – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15437


Table of Contents

(1) Deed of Trust – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14245
(2) The Note – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14270
(3-4) Right to Cancel & Closing Disclosure — http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291
(5-7) HUD, Occupancy Affidavit, Grant & Quitclaim Deeds – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14546
(8-9) 1003 Loan Application, Compliance Agreement – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14335
(10) The Signature Affidavit – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14356
(11) Following Directions – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14379
(12) Cross-Outs http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14406
(13) When to Call the Lender (and when not to) http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14421
(14) Explain or don’t explain http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14440
(15) The Prepayment Penalty http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14447
(16) Initialing http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14463
(17) The APR http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14483
(18-24) Technical Points for Notaries http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14492
(25-27) Identification, Wrong Venues, Fraud http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14514
(28-30) Beneficial Interest, Negligence, E&O http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14532
30 Point Final QUIZ http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14557

Page Titles

Each post about the 30 point course will have a story and several points which could make the titles appear a bit long.
Titles might look like this:
Point (13) The Automatic Payment Disclosure; Story: Marcy’s Babysitter

Use this link to see all published posts in a string in reverse order:

How is it different from the Elite course?
The Elite course was designed to get its students an upper arm in the notary business. It was designed to help them be a pro at negotiation, growing their business, and handling difficult strategic situations. The overall aim of the course was to help them make more money, grow their business, and gain attention from having the Yellow Elite Certification Icon next to their name on the search results. Notaries who passed are far more intelligent, sophisticated, and get a lot more work than their competitors in high spots on 123notary who lack the Elite designation. Based on my personal experience, I would vouch for the fact that a 123notary Elite signer has quadruple the signing agent knowledge as an uncertified signer. Although they don’t know everything, the depth and breadth of their knowledge is quite noticeable if you talk shop with them for more than a few minutes.

This 30 point course is only designed to teach notaries how to deal with technical situations like a pro, but not designed to help them get rich (although more knowledge never hurts). If you do well on the 30 point test, you can consider taking our Elite course. It will be easy for you if you got a high score on the 30 point test.

Summary of the 30 point course
The 30 point course will cover a wide range of notary and signing agent technical topics including following directions, best practices, understanding what information is where in the documents and more. Additionally, we added some entertaining stories to help make the text more enjoyable for the reader. There will be many stories which are designed to drive certain technical facts home in a pleasant and absorbing way.

Please Note
Not all of the questions covered in the 30 point test are taught in this course. Please rely on your personal experience as a notary to answer test questions not addressed in this course.


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From 3 jobs a week to 3 jobs a day!

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Interview with a Title company



Signing Stream makes notaries sign a contract that they won’t write anything on forums

Signing Stream is a signing company that is written about from time to time on our forum. On our list of signing companies, the reviews of this company are more negative than they are positive. But, what is unusual is that this company has a contract that forbids the notaries from writing anything electronically about their company. As you know, many notaries enjoy posting on our forum as well as on Notary Rotary’s forum. Posting on forums is how notaries learn critical information about signing companies as well as how they share information with other notaries. It seems like this company wants to tie the notary’s hands and put them in a bind.

One notary told me that they don’t always get documents in time from Signing Stream and don’t always get paid on time. But, she also said that she knows other notaries who are always paid on time by them. So, it looks as if you need to be popular or lucky to get paid on time on a regular basis. I also heard that they don’t want to hear about payment inquiries until the payment is at least sixty days due. I can understand that they don’t want to be badgered and hounded by a bunch of broke notaries, but sixty days? I think that forty-five days is more reasonable. After all, notaries have a legitimate right to know if they will have any food on the table.

My question is: should notaries be willing to work for any company that prohibits them from publishing their opinion on a forum? Such terms seem very unreasonable and very questionable. I think this would be a good Facebook discussion!


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February 10, 2015

Notary Technician or Flub A Dub?

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Technical & Legal — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:21 am

As a notary professional you are expected to “know your stuff”. But, exactly what knowledge does knowing your stuff comprise? The obvious first component is your states’ notary laws. Yes, they vary from state to state, sometimes county to county. Commonwealth and Parish; the same. You must know your local laws; REALLY know them. Start with the “become a notary” study guide if your area offers such a document, then read the actual statutes. Confused by the “legal mumbo jumbo” – then ask the ones who issued your license for clarification. They want you to follow those regulations, and will answer questions. The laws change. You need to review them at the very least twice a year; all of them – to find the changes. In New York State it’s prohibited to notarize a civil deposition on a Sunday. Break this rule and when the document is thrown out; then someone will want compensation. My E&O will offer sympathy but not coverage.

“Sworn to and Subscribed….”, note the first two words. Do you just ask “something” such as “is what you signed true?”, or do you use verbiage mandated by your jurisdiction. I know, the “raise your right hand” is done only by a small fraction. But the oath!

Do you always carry a tiny pocket notary stamp? They are available about the size of a pack of gum. In addition to fitting into a really tight spot; you will be able to notarize most documents (even though embossing is best) without your full “notary kit”. Mine snaps open with a press of the thumb and is very light. They do require practice to affix a clear and proper image.

Most of us know enough to decline to include a few additional ACKs not related to any specific signature. But the ACK on the page following the signature (unless “locked down” by page number, loan number, etc.) – is exactly that. Do you know how to associate your notarization with a specific signature when necessary? Half an (additional) notary stamp on each page is one technique that works for me.

Certification of Copy requests are common. But, in some states it must be your clients’ statement as to the accuracy of the copy; that’s the rule in NY. It is also prohibited in NY to notarize (no matter who makes the statement) copies of Birth, Death and Marriage certificates. The state sells these in a tamper resistant format and forbids notaries from notarizing photocopies. Do you know the “no no” list as to photocopies in your area? Educational documents are also difficult.

Do you know how to obtain an Apostille? Every Secretary of State, under the authority of the US Secretary of State issues them. It’s often hard to find the procedure on the internet. It’s an easy revenue stream as many are frustrated when they try to do it themselves. Some nations, the UAE for example, require an “Apostille” issued at the Federal level. Do you know how to obtain it quickly? Do you know why the word Apostille is in quotes when discussing the Federal level?

As a http://newyorkmobilenotarypublic.com mine is a particularly demanding market. The work varies from simple signings to complex foreign documents that must be processed in a manner to meet the local laws, and be acceptable at their foreign destination. Your ability to process the unusual and complex leaves a lasting impression. Those who only know how to stamp and sign will be relegated to the lowest profit simple assignments. Learn more leads to earn more.


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February 7, 2015

Feb: Signing Company Gossip

Here is more signing company gossip for your reading pleasure!

Premiere Notary Service
45 days to payment – but, they were friendly!

Don’t accept work unless you are prepared to wait 60 days says one notary! But, are their numbers disconnected?

Notary ASAP
One notary said that their justification was: You should really try to just be happy in life and stop having so many restrictions on yourself. You would be surprises how much happier you would be..

Service Link
Service Link lowering fees to $45? base fee? Ken asked for $150 paypal-ed in advance. The result was a dial tone!

Title Source
I put a “-” instead of a “n/a” and had to go back to correct this huge mistake!

Firma Signing Solutions
They want you to pay a $18 application fee to be on their network after you hit submit for approval?



February 6, 2015

All in the Family – notarization for a drug test

EDITH: Oh Archie, you’re home.

ARCHIE: Yeah Edith I’m home. And I can do without your usual yapping. I just want to sit in my chair, have a beer, and listen to the voices in my head.

EDITH: Is my voice one of them voices?

ARCHIE: If it ever stops yapping I’ll be sure to ask.

EDITH: All right Archie. I’ll get you your beer, and your newspaper.

ARCHIE: Don’t show me the newspaper. It’s just going to be more of those hippies slamming Mr. Richard Milhouse Nixon’s integrity.

EDITH: Integrity? That was in the news? I must have missed that.

ARCHIE: All of those hippy commies and their Mary Jane they keep smoking. I’m telling you Edith. It’s turning this country into a bunch of commie pot-heads. Which is why my boss questioned my unscrutibility by making this WW2 vet take a drug test.

MICHAEL: Arch, you mean inscrutability.

ARCHIE: Inscrutability you!

GLORIA: What’s this about daddy having to take a drug test?

ARCHIE: You heard right little girl. Because your whole generation is flying around high as a kite all the time, my boss is making red blooded Americans like your daddy get neuterized drug tests.

MICHAEL: That’s pretty funny arch. When I think of dope, you are the man!

SALLY: Michael, that’s not nice.

ARCHIE: So, where am I going to find a Noterary Republic?

MICHAEL: Where people find everything instantly these days. The yellow pages.

ARCHIE: Let your fingers do the walking. That’s the only exercise a lazy guy like you gets.

MICHAEL: Oh here’s one that looks good. 123notary. We come to you. Any type of document or loan signing. My psychic said that one day, 123notary would be on this new thing call the world wide web in about twenty-five years.

ARCHIE: Tell your psychic to look into the distant future when you finally find a job.

EDITH: (calling 123notary — ring ring) Hello yes, is this 123notary?

123NOTARY: 123notary, where the peace sign comes to you!

EDITH: Archie, do you want the peace sign to come to us?

ARCHIE: What are you talking about — give me that phone. (talking to 123notary) Is this your 1234notary?

123notary: 123

ARCHIE: Whatever. Am I talking to the Noterary?

123NOTARY: One of them.

ARCHIE: I need a notary to come to 704 Hauser Street. How much do you charge?

123NOTARY: That will be 20 cents per signature plus $4 travel fee.

ARCHIE: $4 travel fee? Rake me over the coals why don’t you. I have a drug test I need notarized.

123NOTARY: Do you have the actual paperwork?

ARCHIE: No, but I’ll get it on Monday.

123NOTARY: We can’t notarize the actual test results, but we can notarize a statement from you regarding the authenticity of the test.

ARCHIE: Yeah, authenticity, whatever.

(Archie goes to the drug test)

NURSE: We just need a blood and urine sample. Could you urinate into this container? Just do your business!

ARCHIE: Aw, couldn’t you be more discreet?

NURSE: Okay. Go tinkle. Is that better?

(2 minutes later)

NURSE: Great. This is a good sample. We’ll let you know your results tomorrow. Just come in anytime after 9am.

(the next day)

ARCHIE: Hi, I need to pick up the drug test results.

NURSE: You realize these results are strictly confidential.

ARCHIE: Tell the whole world, I don’t care. I never touched drugs in my life.

NURSE: (quietly) Your test results show that you have trace amounts of marijuana in your system, but you passed.

ARCHIE: Shh. shh… shhh… Did you grab the wrong cup? How is that even possible?

NURSE: It’s very common to accidentally inhale second hand smoke and it could happen anywhere… at work, at home, or even walking down the street.

ARCHIE: I’ve never been around Mary Jane in my life.

NURSE: Don’t be so soon Mr. Bunker. Drug tests don’t lie!

(an hour later)

123NOTARY: So, you want to sign a statement saying that you never used drugs. And that you don’t know where you accidentally inhaled Marijuana.

ARCHIE: Sure, sure, whatever I need to do to expungulate the record.

123NOTARY: Sign here, and then raise your right hand and repeat after me.

(later that night, Archie confronts Michael and insists that he must have inhaled Michael’s second hand smoke, and then demanded that Michael get a drug test to prove it)


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