March 2015 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

March 30, 2015

The state of notary ADVERTISING in 2015

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Linked In — Tags: — admin @ 4:13 am

Every year or two I’ll write a very general article about Notary advertising. In general, things don’t change that much from year to year, but there are a few changes worth noting.

Physical Yellow Pages
Every year that goes by, physical yellow pages become more and more obsolete. I’m not saying not to try them, but they are used less and less as more people get online. People looking for jail and hospital notary help might still use the yellow pages. But, I can’t even say that for sure anymore. There are still poor people, and old people who don’t have access to the internet. Some can’t afford it while others just don’t want it or can’t figure out how it works.

Online Yellow Pages
I haven’t heard too many good things about online yellow pages. A few people claim to get work from them. However, those people generally do not advertise with 123notary and don’t do so many loan signings either. There are always a few reviews in any area that have a handful or more reviews on online yellow pages, and perhaps those are the ones getting the business.

Online Directories
When I started 123notary, online directories were starting to really pick up speed. I had no idea it would turn into the monster that it did. I created my notary directory to advertise for myself in 1999. Fifteen years later, I am so glad I started it. But, online directories are not all created equal, and their respective strength in the industry has really changed in the last few years.

123notary has maintained its strength in the last four years and has grown in usage from 80,000 to 150,000 visitors a month. Our forum has slowed down quite a bit, but our Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ presence has really grown. The Google+ is under Jeremy Belmont for now.

Notary Rotary has maintained its strength. They have a similar amount of notaries on their directory as They have about 7000-8000 while we have around 7000. I don’t know exactly how many they have, so I have to guess. Notaries claim they get regular work from Notary Rotary, although some of the more expensive work often comes from 123notary for those in top spots.

Notary Cafe has maintained its position. My gut reaction from all the stories I hear from notaries is that their effectiveness has slowed down to some extent, but they are still a viable #3 in notary advertising. has really taken a sudden dive recently. They used to have tons of new notaries signing up all the time. Recently, they are only getting a trickle of new sign ups which is very sad.

Where should you advertise?
One person coined this expression — “Sell your car and buy a high spot on” That was really funny. You don’t need to sell your car to get a high spot with us, but the value of the spot might be worth selling your car. But, then without a car, how would you get to signings? In 2015 I am recommending 123notary and Notary Rotary for advertising. You can try others too, but don’t invest too much hope in any large return on your investment. Additionally, the good old handing out your business card to businesses in your area, to clients, to colleagues of clients, people in hospitals, etc. works well too. Good luck!


March 29, 2015

Point (14) Explain or Don’t Explain? Marcy Hires a Babysitter

Filed under: Loan Signing 101,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: — admin @ 9:37 pm

Poor Marcy needed a babysitter. She called one of her regulars named Amy. Amy was a nice girl from the neighborhood. Marcy’s husband was getting on her case about spending too much money on babysitters.

HUSBAND: Why are you running all around town chasing notary jobs when you should be watching our kid?

MARCY: I’m trying to create a career so we’ll have a better future.

HUSBAND: Our future’s just fine. You just stay here, and we’ll make it. We made it so far.

MARCY: I’m tired of just sitting around the house. I’ve done a few dozen signings, and I’m getting the hang of it. There’s money in this!

HUSBAND: Okay, but I don’t like it. I have to work late and our baby will be all alone with a complete stranger!

MARCY: Oh, It’ll be okay.

HUSBAND: I hope you are making more than $20, because that’s what the babysitter is charging us.

MARCY: If I get paid I will.

HUSBAND: IF you get paid? What kind of business is this? I’m putting my foot down! I bet Patricia down the street talked you into this.

MARCY: I already have the appointment and Amy is coming over.

AMY: Hi, I’m here. But, one small thing.

MARCY: Anything.

AMY: I need to have someone come over while you’re gone. Only for a minute. Will that be okay?

MARCY: Well sure. But, who is it?

AMY: It’s for business. It’s not a friend.

MARCY: What kind of business? And at your age? Business?

AMY: Hmmm. To explain or not to explain. I would feel more comfortable not talking about it.

MARCY: Well, if you are having someone come to my house while I’m not here, I need to know who it is.

AMY: Well, it is sort of a guy who helps with paperwork. He stamps stuff…

MARCY: Is he a Notary?

AMY: Oh my God! How did you know?

MARCY: I’m also a Notary, and I’m going out to an assignment right now. I can notarize you for free when I come back.

AMY: Well, it’s kind of private. I’m not sure I want you to see the paperwork.

MARCY: Private? How private are we talking? Something you don’t want your mom to know?

AMY: If she finds out, I’m grounded for life.

MARCY: So, you’re in trouble? And you’re babysitting my kid? What kind of trouble?

AMY: Oh, it won’t affect you. It’s just for a test.

MARCY: Test? Are you on drugs? Or… Oh no.

AMY: I missed my period last month.

MARCY: Oh. I understand. You teenagers need to be more careful. Boys aren’t a game. You can ruin your entire life in an instant!

AMY: I know that now.

MARCY: Okay, you can have whomever you want notarize you, but no boys coming over here tonight or any night. Got it?

AMY: I understand. I’m glad I explained it to you.

MARCY: If you can’t explain, you have nobody to help you. But, if I can’t explain something. I just call the Lender!


Point (14) When to explain and when not to explain

The points in this section are not too much different from point 13. But, we will go into more detail here. The main point is that general questions about loan documents are for the Notary to explain if your state laws allow for that. Specific questions about the loan require you to call the Lender or Title company.

What should the Notary do under these situations?

(1) Where is my prepayment penalty explained?
Show the borrower the correct page where the information is located.

(2) Why is my prepayment penalty so unfair?
Call the Lender or refer the borrower to the Lender.

(3) What is my loan amount?
Refer the borrower to a document that has this information.

(4) I thought my loan amount was $365,000 and now it is $390,000 with fees. I had no idea it would be so high.
Show them the HUD, and then perhaps call the Lender.

(5) I am supposed to sign my name as Theo T Tango, but my ID only says T Tango, what do I do?
Unfortunately, the Lender can’t help with Notary law issues as they will most likely encourage you to break the law in order to get the loan signed. Try to find a legal way to get the loan signed. Call the Lender if you want to know about using the Signature Affidavit though.

(6) Where is my APR?
Show them the Truth in Lending Disclosure

(7) I was told my APR would be 4.6%, but it is 4.7%
Call the Lender

(8) The signer wants to introduce you to their girlfriend
Politely say hi

(9) The signer wants their girlfriend to join you at the signing — naked
Call the Lender!!!


You might also like:
30 Point Course Table of Contents

30 Point Course (15) The Prepayment Penalty

Loan signing process & Pitfalls: explain the documents, not the loan



March 28, 2015

Signing Companies that went down hill in their reviews

These companies used to have reasonable reviews. In the last year, their reviews took a plunge with many more negative reviews being added to their profile.

North American Signature Service
A post dated check and a package of 175 pages. The notary asked for a fee adjustment and as told, “I’ll see what I can do.”
This company had reviews that were not that bad before, but they slid into the negative zone recently.

Ratings just went downhill. One notary claimed they always paid him on time until the last two years. Another notary comments that you now have to bug them a little bit to get paid while in the old days they would just pay.

Land and Law Group
Just got a bunch of new bad reviews for late payment.

Client First
Has some new reviews for payment issues

Got a few new bad reviews about payment issues

Nations Direct
More complaints about micromanagement, low pay, and other issues



March 27, 2015

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie

AKA: How to be polite when you’re in Affix!

Atheist etiquette
If you are notarizing an Atheist and he/she sneezes, don’t say God bless you.

Don’t sell people’s signatures
If you are notarizing a celebrity — Don’t rip out the portion of your journal with their autograph on it and sell it on ebay. That is considered to be bad manners in certain circles and is also a violation of notary law! Don’t sell your roommate’s notary seal on ebay either.

Don’t second guess family relations.
If you notarize who you think is the guy’s mother, but the woman is the guy’s wife, keep it to yourself. I once asked a guy, if I was going to notarize his mother, then he said, “That’s my wife.” — awkward… Oh, and don’t ask people if they are lesbian lovers even if you are asked to notarized an affidavit of domicile. Let them volunteer that information if they care to do so.

Guns & Religion
If you bring a gun to a signing, don’t talk about other loaded subjects like religion. On the other hand, if you go to a signing in a church, circumvent the issue of circumcision. If the phone rings during a Church signing, if it ain’t Jesus, don’t answer it.

If you are doing a signing for a hunter, should you bring up guns?
It’s worth a shot!

Tips for Notarizing Assassins
Avoid asking an assassin any direct questions such as, “What do you do?” Rather, ask more roundabout open ended questions, such as, “Have you done anything interesting recently with your career?” After all, if their deeds were done in some African country, they can speak freely in the United States about it with no fear of an awkward moment at a party.
If you make a mistake notarizing an assassin, don’t say, “SHOOT!”
If you are doing a signing for an assassin, make sure you include their middle name in the document.
I once asked an assassin, what is the difference between a murder and an assassination — where do you draw the line?

Loud televisions
Instead of bluntly asking someone to turn the TV down, you can say, “It’s very hard to hear you — did you say you liked your rate, or that you were having trouble staying awake?”
If you are mumbling under your breath, “What an idiot” in the context of asking someone to turn their TV down: make sure you say that with a safe margin of error before they actually turn the TV down.
If an elderly relative is watching a loud television. Politely let them know that you don’t want to let them know that you don’t want to become as deaf as they evidently are.

Notary Notes Sections
Rather than write the regular stuff in your notes section, you could write, “I will never insult the borrower, and I have a policy against parking in people’s lawns.”

Going to the bathroom in an outhouse
Notaries should never make a signer feel uncomfortable about having an outhouse. You should gracefully address the issue, but only if you actually are forced by natural causes to use that infrastructure. “I just loved the quarter moon in your outhouse, how quaint.”
“I just loved the latest issue of Outhouse & Gardens that I read while I was doing my business.”

Signings with beautiful women
If they ask you to do a Deed, it will be far more disappointing than doing “The Deed.”

Tips for Notarizing Zombies
It is considered bad manners for the notary to participate in the chanting, especially after they bring out the dead chicken, unless given express permission, otherwise it might cancel out the curse. Never tell a zombie that they look deathly ill — rather, tell them that they look deathly well. If you are having a zombie swear to the authenticity of a curse, it might be wiser to have the swear to a written version of the curse verbiage rather than to have them do a completely sworn Oath (otherwise you might become cursed or start hearing voices.) If asked to notarize a zombie’s death certificate, rather than claiming that it is against notary law to do so, ask them, “Which one?”

Popular Zombie Documents
It is common to have a formal Affidavit of transfer of Custodianship of Soul. This is where the zombie officially grants Power of Attorney to the “Bokor” or sorceror to have full control over their soul and body (or what’s left of it.) Please be advised that many zombies only have half a soul.

If a zombie commits perjury, it is punishable by life in prison. But, it is not stipulated which soul will inhabit the body during the sentence.


You might also like:

Borrower etiquette from A to Z

Notary etiquette from A to Z


March 23, 2015

Removing a negative review for a notary

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: — admin @ 3:55 am

I just did something for the first time. I removed a negative review from a notary’s profile. I didn’t do it because the notary was innocent either. It is because of a new policy. If a review is three or more years old, the notary has the right to request that 123notary removes it. We won’t do it on our own though. If we remove a 3 year old negative review from a profile, we might remove 3 year old positive reviews as well just to be fair.

The next question is, how long should we keep positive reviews on the site? My hands are tied here. If I remove people’s positive reviews, they will come to my house and lynch me. Hmmm. I don’t want that to happen. There is no harm done in having old reviews hanging around on your profile. The harm is not having more recent ones. 123notary’s page ranking on Google goes up if there are more positive reviews in the area. So, if you are in Detroit, and you get a few reviews, you are helping not only yourself, but the entire Detroit page!

Please don’t flood me with emails over this issue. Read the date on your review. Wait until the review hits the three year make and then contact me. I will remove it upon request. Your jail sentence is over! You are released for good behavior!


March 22, 2015

Point (13) Call The Lender? Finding the Prepayment Penalty

Marcy had been studying up. She didn’t want to make a fool of herself anymore. She went to her next signing prepared.

MARCY: Hi, I’m Marcy, and I’ll be your Signing Agent tonight.

GLORIA: Oh wonderful. It is so nice to see a well prepared Notary.

MARCY: We can start here with the Deed of Trust and I’ll explain the documents as we go along unless you want to start with the HUD and work our way back.

GLORIA: Oh, very sophisticated. You sound like one of those really experienced Notaries who has signed 3000+ loans and advertises on

MARCY: Well, I’ve signed about 20 by now, and I’m only 2980 short of 3000. I am working on the 123notary course, but haven’t finished it yet, but I’m almost there.

GLORIA: Great. The Deed is fine, the Note is fine, now, why is my APR higher than my Rate in my Note?

MARCY: I just studied this… I know the answer. The APR is the annual percentage relationship between the payments and the amount borrowed, minus the fees. This rate is often used to compare the different loans borrowers have to choose from. The APR is almost always higher than the rate. The rate, on the other hand, is a monthly percentage relationship between the payments and the total amount borrowed, including fees.

GLORIA: Wow, very professional. You are even better prepared than the notaries who signed 3000 loans. They just told me, “It is the cost of the loan expressed as a percentage rate.” Your answer was so professional.

MARCY: I spent two hours memorizing it and I practice daily so I won’t look like a fool.

GLORIA: Oh, no, you don’t. I’m going to tell your boss that you are the best Notary I’ve ever had, and we refinance every five years. Now, where is my prepayment penalty?

MARCY: Oh, just look on the Truth in Lending.

GLORIA: Okay… It says that I will, won’t or might have a prepayment penalty. I’ve gotten more decisive answers from a magic 8 ball. Can you do any better than this?

MARCY: Oh, hmm. I thought it was there. Do you want to call the Lender?

GLORIA: Sorry to lecture you after I complimented you, but aren’t YOU supposed to know this?

MARCY: We could call the magic 8 ball? Better yet, let’s call the Lender.


FRANK: Yeah, Frank here.

MARCY: You are the first Lender in human history to actually answer his phone.

FRANK: Glad to be of help.

MARCY: Your customer wants to know what the terms of her prepayment penalty would be.

FRANK: You mean my BORROWER. Never call them customers. Gloria DiStefano. She doesn’t have one.

MARCY: Where is that documented – In the Prepayment Rider?

FRANK: No, if there is no prepayment penalty, then there definitely won’t be a rider. Check the Note. Anything else?

MARCY: We’re good. That was fast. 45 seconds exactly not that I’m counting.

GLORIA: I’m on it. I thought we went over the Note. I guess I skimmed it too fast. Here it is. It says I don’t have a prepayment penalty. Great. I’ll pay the whole thing off tomorrow. That was easy.

MARCY: Sorry, I’ll study harder. But, I am doing so much better than three weeks ago when I first started. I hadn’t a clue then, but now I get most of the questions correct.

GLORIA: That’s good, but you need to get ALL of the questions correctly and handle all situations like a pro if you want my business!

MARCY: Sadly, you are right. I’ll finish my course and review it regularly. I might even take a few other courses too.


Point (13) Calling the Lender
Notaries are often confused about when to call the Lender. Some Notaries are over-confident and never want to call the Lender while other Notaries call whenever the borrower sneezes. A high quality Notary knows when to call the Lender and when not to bother the Lender. You have to understand many of the common situations that arise when you have a small problem. If you call the Lender, leave a message, and wait 20 minutes and then call again. Call other entities related to the loan too if you can, such as the Signing Company, Escrow, Title, etc. If the Lender does answer, the borrower might talk to them for 45 minutes while you are running late to an appointment. You will save a lot of time and aggravation if you ONLY call the Lender when you absolutely need to.

The 1003
The 1003 Universal Residential Loan Application is the one document that is universally wrong. There are always mistakes on everybody’s 1003. I’m not sure if there is a law requiring it to always be wrong, but it seems like there is some sort of cosmic law mandating that. Since the 1003, and the Good Faith Estimate are not final documents, don’t worry too much about it. Just make sure that the HUD Settlement Statement is correct, otherwise you’ll have to redraw your loan!

Many borrowers ask why the APR is higher than the Rate. If you study and rehearse explaining the APR, you can save yourself the time and aggravation of calling the Lender only to find out they are not able to answer their phone. The borrower will feel a lot better, and you will have one less problem at your signing.

The Prepayment Penalty
Borrowers ask about their Prepayment Penalty all the time. Look for it either in the Note, or the Prepayment Rider if there is one (and once in a while there is) The borrower can read the terms themselves instead of being frustrated that they can’t find it.

Letter of Instructions
Consult the letter of instructions before beginning any loan. That way you will know what to do if there is a problem. There might even be phone numbers in the instructions.

Specific Questions
If a borrower asks a question that is specific to their loan, call the lender. If they ask a general question about what information is in what loan document, you should know. Study up!

What if the borrower signs in the wrong place on the Right to Cancel? Just go to the borrowers’ copies and get a fresh copy. You just saved yourself a lengthy discussion with the Lender.

Errors on Certificates
If there is an error on a Notary certificate, this is purely for the Notary to resolve. Don’t get the Lender involved in your job as you should know your job.

When is my first payment due?
Look in the TIL, HUD, Payment Coupon, but don’t call the Lender unless you have to.

Power of Attorney Signings
Call the Lender regardless. Even if you know exactly how to sign, call the Lender to confirm. Power of Attorney signings are rejected 70% of the time in my experience even if they are done correctly.

If the names printed on the documents are spelled wrong
If there are any problems with names of signers on the documents, you should call the Lender. If the ID doesn’t match the borrower’s name printed on the document, you have a problem. The Lender might not care about what Notary law says, but does want to get the loan signed. If the signer is not comfortable signing the way their name is typed on the document, the loan will probably not fund otherwise, but you can call the Lender or read our section about the Signature Affidavit.

Missing docs or docs the borrower won’t sign
If you are missing any of the loan documents that normally appear in a package, sign the ones that are there, send them back, and call the Lender immediately upon discovery that you are missing a document. Or, if a borrower won’t sign a particular document, call the Lender. You can send it back unsigned at the top of the stack. Or, if the borrower wants to keep it and send it back after talking to the Lender, that is another common option.


You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents

30 Point Course (14) Explain or Don’t Explain

Industry standards in the Notary business



Point (12) Cross-Outs; Marcy & The Flood Affidavit

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — Tags: — admin @ 10:06 am

Our friend Marcy is very flustered by now. Everything she does is just plain wrong. But, she has no other way to make a living, so she just continues to, as her friend puts it, “Go out there!”

MARCY: Hi, I’m Marcy, and I’ll be your Notary tonight.

SALLY: Thanks for coming Marcy. Let’s get this signing started.

MARCY: Sounds like a song the way you say it.

SALLY: I listen to a lot of music. I’ve looked over the documents, and everything looks good except for the Flood Affidavit. I refuse to sign this no matter what.

MARCY: Oh boy. I’ll call the Lender. (ring-ring) Nobody answers. I’ll leave a message. “Hi, this is Marcy the Notary for the Rodriguez Signing. Sally Rodriguez is refusing to sign the Flood Affidavit.

SALLY: And one more thing. I don’t like one of the names in the Name Affidavit.

MARCY: Well, in my first Signing Agent course it teaches us to just cross-out any wrong information. Not sure what my second course says as I am only half-way through reading it.

SALLY: How reassuring. I hope it was not the part that was crossed out. I’ll just cross it out.

MARCY: Great. I’ll send these documents back with a note.

Marcy made several more mistakes here. Her self-esteem must be zero right now. Poor Marcy. But, it is her fault for not studying more! First, she did not put the unsigned flood affidavit on the TOP of the package. It was not found until after it was too late. Sally lost her lock as a result and had to pay an extra half a percent interest which cost her $20,000 over the life of the loan. This is partly Sally’s fault for refusing to sign, but partly Marcy’s fault for not putting the note on the top of the package with the document, so whoever opened the package would know there was a problem right away.

The second mistake Marcy made was allowing a cross-out. As a general rule, you cannot make cross-outs on documents. On Notary Certificates you can cross-out, although recorders don’t like it and might reject a Deed with a cross-out. But, on Legal documents crossing something out is as good as shredding the entire document in most cases. White-out is even worst — never use white-out no matter what.

However, there are times when Notaries can and should use cross-outs, so read the text!


Point (12) Cross-Outs

Notaries are often too happy to cross-out and initial.
Some signing courses teach notaries to cross-out anything which is wrong and have the borrower initial. There are many Lenders (Provident Title being the most famous) that will not allow any cross-outs on any documents no matter what. You will ruin the loan by crossing anything out. So, ask your contact person for permission to cross anything out. If a contact person is not available, read the LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS. In any case, cross-outs should be done as a last resort if done at all. If the signer won’t sign the document in any case, and you can not find out if the lender will permit them, maybe it is worth the risk to cross something out, if the signer will at least sign the document.

Wrong Names?
If a signer needs to sign his name differently than typed (with permission of the Lender) do NOT cross anything out. The processor will make the necessary changes, just sign as instructed.

If the dates are wrong on the right to cancel and there are no borrowers’ copies with the dates left blank, you can cross-out and have the borrowers initial the change in dates. If the borrower signs where it says, “I wish to cancel” and there is no borrower copy, you might be forced to cross-out and have the borrower initial, and hope for the best as there is no other alternative.

Acknowledgment & Jurat Certificates
If a date or county is wrong in a Notary Certificate, it is better to start with a fresh certificate. But, if it is not possible or permitted by the Lender to use a new certificate, you are forced to cross-out and initial. On certificates it is the Notary, not the borrowers, who does the initialing.

County Recorders
The County Clerk is likely to reject a notarization if there are cross-outs in the notary section. For Deeds, be extra careful not to have any smudgy seals, cross-outs, or anything else wrong. Each County Clerk is different and some are pickier than others. As for those who insist on calling a tomato a fruit, don’t even get me started!

The 1003
Borrowers can usually get away with cross-outs on the 1003 as this is not a final document in the loan process. It is still unadvisable to cross things out as the Lender might reject the loan. Lenders often want to sell loans, and if there is anything wrong, then the 3rd party buyer might decline not only that loan, but all of the loans in the package from that particular Lender. So, try to avoid making a mess.


You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents

30 Point Course (13) Call The Lender?

Cross-out and initial?

Cross-out happy; Not a good idea

Common mistakes on 1003 and crossing out, RTC, TIL & APR



March 20, 2015

Pulling the plug – a notary story

There the notary was, at this ghastly scene. They were all standing over this person’s body. He was in a coma you see.

HUSBAND: Should we pull the plug?

WIFE: Over my dead body!

HUSBAND: Well, it is going to be Harold’s dead body, not yours. He hasn’t budged an inch in over a year. Seriously. We are playing God here, and it just isn’t right. He’s not coming back.

WIFE: But, what if he does. Pulling the plug would be murder.

HUSBAND: Not exactly, we are artificially keeping him alive. By pulling the plug, he can still live if his body permits him too.

NOTARY: This reminds me of Star Wars where Han Solo almost gets frozen for thousands of years. Or did he get frozen. It was so long ago that I…

WIFE: Oh my God, where did you find this Notary?

HUSBAND: Well, I found him on But, I don’t think we should blame 123notary for this guy’s inability to stay out of touchy conversations about touchy topics.

WIFE: Well, maybe 123notary should have a search filter for notaries who don’t blurt out stupid inappropriate things.

NOTARY: Oh gee, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by that. By the way, I hope you don’t want me to notarize Harold. I know he is appearing before me, but he doesn’t seem to be able to hold a pen, or have much of a conversation.

WIFE: No, you are notarizing our decision whether or not to pull the plug.

NOTARY: Got it. (to Harold) Hey Harold, what do you think about that?

HAROLD: (doesn’t budge an inch)

HUSBAND: So, are we going to sign this or not.

NOTARY: You know with coma patients, I just wonder if their soul leaves their body. Some people with cancer say they feel their body is a prison. Harold must be having the time of his life — hmm…. bad choice of words. He must be having a great out-of-body experience. I heard that is cool.

WIFE: There he goes again. This is not a situation for you to comment on.

HUSBAND: Well, we did invite him here when we were not ready — so, that one’s on us.

NOTARY: Finally, a customer who acknowledges that my time actually does have a value. You better make up your mind fast, before I have an out-of-body experience. Just don’t use my stamp if that happens — that would be a felony!

WIFE: Don’t worry, we won’t.

HUSBAND: So, do we pull the plug, or not.

WIFE: I can’t make up my mind.

HUSBAND: Well, spend a few minutes and think about it. The doctor said that the chance of him coming back are less than 1%.

(5 minutes later after some deep though)

WIFE: Should we have a medium come and try to communicate with Harold?

NOTARY: If you do, make sure the medium doesn’t charge you for waiting time, otherwise you’ll owe him a fortune!

HUSBAND: I think we should just make up our minds — just the two of us

NOTARY: Actually, technically, there are three of us.

WIFE: What is it with this guy? Okay… Let’s pull the plug.

NOTARY: Oh, wow, what’s that over there (looking at the elaborate fish tank — he trips over the IV tube) Oooops… Gee, I’m sorry.

HAROLD: (Opening his eyes) Uhhhh?

WIFE: He’s alive… He’s talking. Get that IV back in him. That careless Notary pulled the plug by tripping on it!

NOTARY: It was an accident, but you said you wanted to pull the plug. But, maybe this is a good thing. After all, you got the sign that you’ve been waiting for.

WIFE: Okay, plug him back in.

(a year later)

WIFE: Harold hasn’t budged since we pulled the plug. Maybe the only way to get him to be alive is to pull the plug.

HUSBAND: Yeah, maybe we should hire that same Notary. He was the only one who could wake Harold up.

NOTARY: I’m here… but, this time you are paying waiting time fees up front. I have wised up!

HUSBAND: Okay, this is for last year’s waiting time, and this is for the first 20 minutes of watching my wife be indecisive.

NOTARY: That’s more like it. So, are you ready to sign now?

HUSBAND: Yes, but first, what’s that over there? (trips on the IV)

WIFE: Now, you’re doing it. Someone’s always tripping on that IV line.

HAROLD: Uhhh… (lifts his head up) here we go again… (thud, as head falls down)

HUSBAND: The heart beat reader. There’s no pulse… Harold is officially dead now.

NOTARY: Just sign here… and sign the journal. Harold, you can sign here… just kidding. (Harold’s hand falls off the bed)

WIFE: Harold’s arm just went down. Is that another sign?

HUSBAND: At this point, I don’t know what to make of all these signs. (to Notary) Do you have a card?

NOTARY: Here’s my card. I also do Weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs.


You might also like:


March 17, 2015

Signing Agent Pitfall Avoidance by Mindset Awareness

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Notary Mistakes,Technical & Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 8:16 am

Signing Agent Pitfall Avoidance by Mindset Awareness

No, I’m not going to present to you for the umpteenth time the same old “must do” and “must not do”. They have been covered – extensively, in blog articles and on the forum. If you don’t know how to properly request the initials of Mr. Red Green-Blue III, or the difference between a Venue and a Jurat – you won’t find the answers here. Rather, I will delve into the notary mindset, and related mindset awareness. Don’t worry, no rants or religious dogma will follow. But, I do hope to get you to think about you. You, not the docs, not the borrower, not even your fee – You, are the most important component. Your body may drive the car and carry the package, but it’s above the shoulders that really runs the show.

We do a lot of preparation. Commission renewal, stamps, forms, E&O, gas in the car, printing supplies, and the list goes on and on. The car will stop when it runs out of fuel, so will you. Our fuel is nutrition and sleep. Is taking care of yourself high on your priority list? Or, do you grab junk food and accept a 3AM “plum” – knowing you have an 8AM edoc appointment. Sure, you are “in it for the money”, but take the mindset of the broader view. Drowsy driving after minimal or no sleep abuses your body. Even worse, those fees you earned are nothing compared to wrecking the car and a visit to the emergency room, or morgue.

How do you feel? If you have been taking care of yourself, the physical part of you should be in reasonably good condition. But do you like what you are doing? Or, is it drudgery. Most of the successful signing agents really like what they do, and it shows. They tend to be open, friendly and cheerful. You attitude does not require you to be a doormat for others to trample and take unfair advantage of you. A cheerful mindset does not negate proper business practices and using caution when appropriate. There are many ways to request the kid’s TV volume to be lowered.

While your mindset must be focused on completing the signing without error, how you proceed towards that objective, how you interrelate with the affiants, defines you. Everything you do is a component of the impression you make. Being well fed and rested, docs reviewed, adequate travel time, and sensible scheduling are a good start. Rushing both yourself (no double-check), and the affiants is the mindset for disaster. You are there to lead them thru the completion of the forms; obtaining signatures, initials; and sometimes other paperwork. Your goal is to deliver perfection of both your work, and the work entered by the affiant(s). A zero defect mindset requires to continually check their entries. Are they writing in the margins? Have they reversed the dates back to their native format? Is their required middle initial in each signature?

Ours is very much a person to person service. No signings are conducted over the phone. You arrive in “proper condition” to do the job; but “they” are the exact opposite. Perhaps they are nervous; after all it is the biggest financial transaction in their entire life. It could be that the baby cried all night and they are exhausted. Clearly these conditions and many similar ones; call for a mindset of empathy and toleration. However, as they are “not at the top of their game” you need to be even more diligent in checking what they do. You are an expert at finding where they must enter; you also need to be an expert at verifying that the entry (where possible) is correct.

I assume you “know your stuff”, but technical knowledge of signing procedures is only the foundation. You need to be prepared to relate and adapt to affiants who change mood as the pages turn. A mindset of competence and helpfulness, staying in control, but not in any way being manipulative works best.


You might also like:

Buddhist Notaries say, “Be at one with 123.”

Being at one with the universe as a Notary


March 16, 2015

What does a Notary charge in 2015?

What does a Notary charge in 2015?
What are notary fees in 2015? What do notaries charge in 2015? Notary fees are governed by the state. Each state has their own rates, and rates can change at any time. Some states only allow 25 cents for certain types of notary acts while others allow $10 for an Acknowledged signature or a Jurat. Try getting something on the value menu at McDonalds if you only get 25 cents per notarization. Those rates must have been set in the 1700’s.

Please consult our Find a Notary page so that you can view each state’s profile on our site. Click on the name of your state, and the pricing will be accessible from that page.

Loan Signings
Please keep in mind that most of the notaries on our site 123notary engage in the profitable career of loan signings. A loan signing is more than just a notary act. It encompasses the supervision of an entire loan package which includes generally over one hundred pages, dozens of signatures, and generally two to ten notarizations for each signer. Prices for loan signings range from $40 to $200 depending on what is involved and how experienced the notary performing the signing is.

Bilingual Notaries
123notary has notaries who speak all types of languages ranging from Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Farsi, and more. If you need a notary who speaks a foreign language, use our language filter on the top right of search results.

Odd pricing rules for notarizations
It is fun to see the differences in state laws for notary prices. But, one example that always sticks out in my head is the Florida pricing rule for Acknolwedgments. California allows a notary public to charge for each signature notarized. However, Florida allows the notary to charge for each notary act or certificate, regardless of how many signers are involved. If four people sign a Deed in Florida, the notary completes one certificate, stamps the certificate once, and can only charge $10 for that while his Californian equivalent could charge $40 for the same work! Notary pricing is a bizarre science, so good luck reading about it!


You might also like:

You don’t charge enough; HEY, you overcharged me!

FAQ: How much do notaries charge?

Older Posts »