June 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

June 29, 2015

Unique phrases from the Ninja course

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 11:04 pm

Here are examples of unique things our notaries have said:

(a) I specialize in services for high-profile figures and celebrities: confidentiality and respect for privacy.

(b) I’m the original mobile notary of Jefferson County.

(c) My bag is always packed and by the door ready for your call.

(d) We work with a mobile laptop allowing us to perform your closing as though you were there–when you can’t be.

(e) I introduce the critical documents before the signing begins to make sure that we are all on the same page. (no pun intended)

(f) I am a bar tender turned notary public. Small talk & signings. I give feedback right away, and you will know within SECONDS if your line of credit is on the rocks. I’m experienced with every type of loan signing and have completed 5000 signings to date. All I need to know from you is — shaken or stirred?

(g) I am always happy and others tend to become happy when around me. My extensive signing experience allows me to know exactly how to handle any type of situation that comes up in a loan. I have seen it all from name discrepancies between documents & identifications, wrong figures in the HUD, unwilling spouses, you name it.

(h) I always place my clients’ interest before mine.

(i) Former cop turned notary. I keep the clients at ease even in the most turbulent situations as that is part of my professional training. I understand all notary laws and loan signing procedures and give thorough descriptions of the documents before beginning the signing. I often ask, “Would you like to just begin the signing, or should I read you your rights… I mean go through the documents first?” Fingerprinting the borrowers is no problem either. I just tell them they are being booked. Call me for an arresting experience!

(j) I give each job 110% and my track record proves it.

(k) As a former bar tender, I have my own name for each type of signings. 1st & 2nd combos: I call them double mortgages. Then, there is the VA cocktail and the FHA spritzer. For a better rate on signings, call me during happy hour!

(l) I am a transplanted Native New Yorker with Southern charm.

(m) Technology is my soul. I am the notary of your choice. I think three steps ahead.

(n) With a background in stress management, I notarize accurately and in a relaxing manner.

(o) I continuously do on-line webinar education to stay abreast of the ongoing changes in the mortgage loan industry.

(p) Most of my business is repeat business. Many borrowers informed me that their signing with me was the easiest part of the loan process. Dozens of frustrated borrowers told me that if I had not been there, that they never would have completed the signing.

(q) We cover 19 counties in the mountains with two notaries two 4 wheel drive vehicles, both with GPS. We go places you don’t even know exist and get your loan closed!

(r) As a funeral home owner, I am used to somber occasions like loan signings. People enjoy my morbid sense of humor. Call me seven days a week, but not before 10 am, because I am not a “mourning” person.

(s) We are part vampire and never sleep. Call us for your late night signings. We’ll bring the Dixie cups for our night-cap after the signing is over.



June 23, 2015

Loan Signing FAQ’s That Borrowers Ask

Many notaries go to the signing table unaware that there are many frequently asked questions that they might not know how to answer. I’m going to list a few here, but our list might expand as time rolls on. Feel free to contribute some FAQ’s of your own that you came accross.

(1) Why is my APR higher than my Rate?

(2) Do I have a prepayment penalty and where can I find that information?

(3) Where are my settlement fees and the costs of the loan documented?

(4) When is my first payment due?

(5) Can I cancel my loan? How many days do I have? How do I cancel my loan?

(6) Do I sign my name with my middle initial?

(7) Why do I have to sign my name this way?

(8) Do you know how to reach my lender now? I don’t have his number in front of me.

(9) Am I in a flood zone?

(10) Do I have mortgage insurance?

(11) If I am a spouse, which documents should I sign? I thought I was on the loan.

(12) Does this property need to be my primary residence?

(13) Can I lease this property out to others during the Mortgage?

(14) What is the penalty if I am late on any of my payments?

(15) Why is my information wrong on the 1003?

(16) How come the information is different on the Good Faith Estimate and the Settlement Statement?

(17) How much can my rate go up if interest rates for up for my Adjustable Rate Loan.

(18) When my Adjustable Rate Loan graduates, will it still have a cap, but not a gown? (sorry for the bad humor)



June 22, 2015

How to write an email to ask for a review

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , — admin @ 11:02 pm

It is so important to have reviews on your notary profile. Most notaries don’t have a single review, but the people high on the list typically have a few. Notaries are shy and don’t always know how to ask for a review. Here are my tips.

(1) Don’t ask anyone for a review unless they compliment you on what a great Notary you are, and perhaps how thankful they are. If they mention how you are so much better than those other notaries, that is a good sign. If they like your service — ask for a review. Otherwise, don’t waste your breath.

(2) If they like your service ask them, “Would you mind writing a one sentence review about my service on 123notary.com? It’s easy.” If they say sure, then tell them, “I can show you how to do it, or I can send you an email.”

(3) Next, you need to write down their email. Remember, that asking verbally and then following up with an email is a good combined approach. Doing one without the other is much less effective. I call it the old 1-2.

(4) Writing the email.

Dear Samantha,
I am so glad you enjoyed my Notary work. I enjoyed working for you too, and hope that I will hear from you in the future. I’m only a phone call away. If you would like to write a review about me, just click on this link, and fill out your name, email, company name, and write a quick sentence or two.


(5) I put the link to Carmen’s review page. But, if you look at your personal page on 123notary.com, right above your NAME, you will find the link that says, “Write a review about (your name)” Just cut and paste that link into an email and you are set.

(6) Problems.
I get emails once a week claiming that their client wrote a review about them, but that I am at fault for not publishing it. If I am in town, I publish reviews daily. I get a huge SEO benefit from each review so trust me — I have no reason not to publish your review. If I am out of town, you might have to wait five days or so until I get to a computer. I work very hard and need to leave town to clear my head in the mountains or desert. Sometimes people say they wrote a review when they didn’t. There is no proof here.


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123notary’s comprehensive guide to getting reviews

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June 21, 2015

Seven Error Free Ways To Identify a Signer

When it comes to correctly certifying to the identifying signers, Notaries typically resort to one of two methods. First is the standard state issued identification (valid Driver License or State ID) that is current and the second is where the more experienced notaries resort to using credible witnesses when the signer does not have proper identification. On rare occasions, notaries who are confident in their work will use a subscribing witness to identify a signer who cannot physically appear in front of a notary to sign documents.

1. State issued ID or Driver License from any of the 50 states in the United States.
2. Valid International Driver License from Canada or Mexico only.
3. Valid U.S. Passports issued by the Department of State. Valid Foreign Passports stamped by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services.
4. Using two credible witnesses to identify the signer. Used when the notary does not know the witnesses and the witnesses does not have a beneficial interest in the transaction. The witnesses vouch for the identity of the signer when the signer does not have proper Identification.
5. Using one credible witness to identify the signer when the notary knows the witness and the witness can vouch for the identity of the signer.
6. Using a Subscribing Witness when the signer cannot appear in person to sign in front of the notary. Because of the susceptibility of fraud, a subscribing witness cannot be used for Real Estate transactions.
7. Valid Military ID that contains the name & picture of the signer, signature of the signer, serial or ID number as well as the issue date and/or expiration date.
Note: The only time a Notary can accept an expired ID or passport is if it was issued within the last 5 years.


1. Alien Registration Card (Green Card) for non-immigration documents (§ 8230. Identification of affiant; verification). This can get tricky because the Green card issued by the Federal Government contains everything required in the military ID, but still is not approved by the Secretary of State.
2. Employment Authorization Card/Work Permits
3. Matricular Consular ID issued by the Mexican Consulate or many Central American countries.
4. International Driver License from any country other than Mexico and Canada.
5. Voter Registration or Election Card with picture and other biographical details from any country.
6. Birth Certificate with Social Security card
7. Department of Homeland Security Notice issued as temporary identification that has all the required elements in a military ID.


June 20, 2015

Un-TIL they make the change! — CFPB’s New Mortgage Disclosure Rule

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: , , , — admin @ 10:22 am

Know Before You Owe!
“The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until October 1, 2015.”
You can owe without knowing for the time being!

Currently, loan document packages include a Truth in Lending and often a Good Faith Estimate. The problem is that these documents are confusing. The Good Faith Estimate, TIL and HUD-1 have overlapping information and it is often hard to know which document has the final information unless you are a seasoned Notary.

The New Document will be Called “The Loan Estimate.”
This document will cover the loan ammount, interest rate, monthly principal & interest, prepayment penalty info, balloon payment info, estimated monthly payments, tax, insurance, closing costs, and more.

The APR Revisited
In addition to starting the APR on page three, there will be yet another figure to make Notaries crazy called the TIP which is the Total Interest Percentage which reflects the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan as a percentage of the loan amount.

Other Considerations
Late payment fees, servicing, assumption, and appraisal costs will also be covered in this new and exciting document.

Is Change Good?
Honestly, this new document is somewhat of a combination of the HUD-1 and the TIL with some elaborations and improvements. I believe it is not necessary to create a new name for a document. In my opinion, this information would be better off added to existing documents so that Notaries and borrowers don’t get any more confused than they already are.

What Do Notaries Think?
Deb on LinkedIn feels tha this new document will make life simpler.
Wendell on LinkedIn feels that the new forms are not any more complicated than the forms they replace.
Linda on LinkedIn feels the new forms will help Notaries as borrowers will have the chance to look the form over and learn the facts before the signing.
Kelly states that there will be a complete process change for loans in the industry and it will be more than just one new form.

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June 19, 2015

How much more does a 123notary certified signer make?

How much more does a 123notary certified signer make compared to a 123notary uncertified signer? The answer is roughly $8 per signing average. I hear a bunch of “buts” in the background. “But, I’m NNA certified, so I’m already certified.” Yes, but you will make more money if you have the knowledge and the show that only 123notary certification offers you. Our numbers are the proof. Not only do 123notary certified notaries get more than double the new incoming calls from our site than 123notary uncertified notaries in comparable spots, but they get paid roughly 8% more as well!

I did a poll of the notaries on our newsletter. I asked what their average signing yielded them. The answers were not always very precise and some round-about. However, I was able to crunch some numbers.

Crunching the Numbers
I crunched figures from the first 22 uncertified notaries who responded.
I crunched averages for the first 20 certified (by 123notary) notaries who responded.
I crunched numbers for 10 Elite certified notaries who responded or who I had talked to previously about fees.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but then who is.
My results are based on limited information, but enough to get a rough idea.

Average Results
The average Elite certified notary polled claimed they averaged $116 per signing
The average 123notary certified Notary polled claimed they made an average of $110 per signing.
While the average 123notary un-certified Notary polled made an average $102 per signing.

My Surprise
I was surprised that the 123 uncertified Notaries did so well. Most of them lack even the most basic of signing agent education. Most of them don’t know where to find the prepayment penalty or how to explain the APR intelligently let alone understanding the other documents. I am amazed they get paid so much!

$8 Extra per Signing Adds Up to Almost $30,000 in a Decade!
Many Notaries think that they don’t “need” our certification. However, Notaries who pass our certification test know approximately double what those who can’t or didn’t pass our certification test know. Additionally, Notaries who pass our test get double the new calls from our site, although our certification will not help you on other sites. Moreover, Notaries who pass our test get $8 extra per signing. If you do 30 signings per month for 10 years, you will make $28,800 extra as a result of having passed our certification test. So, when you ask yourself if you “need” our certification, also ask if you feel that you “need” an additional $28,800 extra over the next ten years. That can buy you almost a brand new Toyota Corolla after seven years!

$14 Extra per signing + lots more offers makes Elite a good investment
Our Elite certification is intentionally priced higher than our regular certification. We are charging $179 currently. Notaries comment on how that is expensive, but what they should be focusing on is what it can get them. Elite certified notaries have a monopoly on the market. We make it easier for them to get to the highest spot(s) on the list, and people who use 123notary vastly prefer our Elite signers as they are four times as knowledgeable (in my experience) as un-123notary certified Notaries. Getting our Elite certification will make you stand out, get lots more work, and get paid roughly 14% more for the same work! Your entire career could be changed by this one decision. We prefer if you have signed a few thousand loans before you take our Elite course, but that is up to your discretion!


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June 18, 2015

Do you carry a portable scanner?

Some of the more committed Notaries have mobile offices. They have a computer, printer, scanner, and other equipment in their car. Mobile printing allows you to print on the road instead of having to go all the way home just to wait two hours for documents that never come! But, what about scanning?

These days, Notaries sometimes need to scan identification documents. You might need to email or print out these documents. So, having a portable scanner and printer is a really good idea. These days you can get really small electronics equipment that can get the job done. Just purchase reliable products from good stores that offer customer service just in case. I was tempted to say reliable brands, but sometimes a particular manufacturer might be better at one product and then lose quality a few years later. The electronics industry is a tricky one!

If you use your car as a power source for electronic equipment, consider getting an inverter. Electronic equipment may also drain your battery more than you think, so consult an expert before you do anything. Make sure your vehicle can handle the load.


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June 16, 2015

The Right to Decline Notarization

The Right to Decline Notarization
Notary must officiate on request.

The Penal Law (§195.00) provides that an officer before whom an oath or affidavit may be taken is bound to administer the same when requested, and a refusal to do so is a misdemeanor. (People v. Brooks, 1 Den. 457.)

The above is from the handbook of law provided to New York State notaries. Not much “wiggle room” there. I am writing this wondering if I just committed a crime! Of course we decline to notarize when something is “not right”, as we should. However, the issue before me is a request to officiate at the opening of a safe deposit box.

I have never participated in a safe deposit box opening. From what I understand, the notary is present and verifies the contents. It’s often a time consuming procedure. Generally it is a low paying function. I have heard that sometimes the notary is notarizing the statement as to the contents made by a bank officer. Other banks require the notary to make the statement as to the content and, as a notary, stamp and sign. That second procedure is a self notarization and illegal in New York State, and probably most other jurisdictions.

For the sake of discussion; let’s assume the procedure requested is the former, notarization of the statement by the bank officer. That’s certainly legal. The real issue is can mobile notaries legally refuse assignments? It is my understanding that a notary in a place of public accommodation (eg: at a bank) cannot refuse often saying “you must be a client of the bank”, any legal request. However, the mobile notary does not have a walk in location open to the public. Thus, IMHO the “before whom” does not exist; certainly that propinquity is not achieved “over the phone”.

One approach to avoiding unwanted situations is to price them very high. Sure, I’m available for your safe deposit box opening and my fee, with travel, is $500. But, that is a sham; and is sure to put you on the bank’s “do not call” list; possibly precluding an attractive assignment. I did not “high bid” my recent caller. I simply stated that I choose to not accept such assignments. And, that is the heart of the issue. Was declining a proper thing to do?

I have had people, despite my advertising to being a “Mobile Notary”; ring my bell and wish to enter my residence to have their document notarized. All of these have been declined. One or two were irate, and indicated that they would file formal charges against me. If they did, my licensing authorities probably dismissed their protest. I doubt there is any requirement to allow persons into my home, with the exception of Police, Fire, Building Inspectors, etc.

Unfortunately, the real issue remains, in my mind, a bit murky. Can I refuse a valid mobile notary request? If my schedule conflicts, I consider that a valid reason. But, if I am “available” do I have the right to “pick and choose” what mobile notary assignments I accept? We certainly do that all the time with Edocs from lowball disreputable callers. Many notaries do not like to notarize Power of Attorney documents. Many clients tell me their bank refused because Power of Attorney notarizations are “against bank policy”; presumably to avoid potential litigation.

Do we as individual mobile notaries have the right to refuse service to individuals for whatever reasoning we employ? The law cited above appears to require servicing all legal requests. My “not before us” is probably on weak legal grounds; I am not an attorney. How do you respond to requests that you do not wish to accept; especially those from individuals with proper ID, etc.


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June 15, 2015

Does your notes section jump out at you, or just Fido?

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 11:01 pm

Does your notes section jump out at people? Or does it just sit there. I’ve seen too many notary notes sections. Some are well organized, others are informative, but they all kind of look the same. Is there any wow that you can put into your notes? Is there anything you can do to wake up the readers who have looked at 1000 notary profiles already? Please think of something.

I wrote some other blog entries about unique things other notaries wrote in their notes. You can read that. But, if you just copy what they wrote, that is not unique. You need to brainstorm and create 100 things you could say about yourself. Try to find the ones that nobody else can claim. Reliable and dependable — sorry, those have been overused — I wouldn’t even use those words in your notes. But, if you keep thinking about a cool catch phrase, or classy line you could have about yourself, your notes section might pop.

I’m sure that Fido jumps out at you. Train your notes section to be like Fido. Give your notes section a treat for good behavior if it learns to jump!

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June 13, 2015

JUNE New Signing Companies

Filed under: New Signing Companies — Tags: — admin @ 8:10 am

Here are some new signing companies that we added to our list.

Apple Law Group
ME/NJ did a job for them and then reported not getting replies to emails or phone calls.

Echo Team USA
SanKen/MN did a job for them, did not get paid in time and then emailed the company who ignored this Notary.

Ink Technologies
This company sells toner. But, according to one Notary, the quality of the toner went down hill as Julie/MI got a few defective toners from them. Hmmm…

Jet Title
Ireneky claims to have done a signing for this company a few years ago and got paid well and got paid quickly!

Malibu Funding
Has anyone worked for this company before? They offer Refinance notarizations.

Setco Services, LLC
Find out what it is like to work for them.

State Farm Insurance
Has anyone worked for this company before?

USA National Title
Has anyone worked for this company before?


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