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 30, 2015

Strike Three, Notary is Out – No Pay

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,NSA Pricing, Fees & Income — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:29 pm

Strike Three, Notary is Out – No Pay
It’s your turn at bat. You’re walking from the dugout and glance at the scoreboard. You notice that, even prior to reaching the batter’s box; there is one strike against you. Many notary jobs start exactly the same way. You are going to a new client to notarize “some documents”. But, you did not receive your payment in advance. Yes, there is a “strike” against you; you are in route, burning gas and using time. Perhaps you will receive your Notary fee. Order something on the internet, as most of you have; you had to pay in advance, they did not include an invoice for you to pay. So, starting with one strike against you; let’s continue to pay notary baseball.

Strike two comes when you arrive, and the client(s) are not there (yet?) or unavailable. You probably arrived 10 minutes early to the Starbucks to secure a table. Meeting a “big shot”? Well, their gatekeeper informs you they are “running behind” and offers you some coffee and asks that you “take a seat” while you wait. I once waited, with one strike against me, in the lobby for a “penthouse” person to tell lobby security to admit me. Half an hour later, “Mr. Screwya said your services will not be needed, please use the revolving door on your way out”. Ouch! If he had prepaid I would have charged him trip + waiting time. But, silly me, went on “hope”.

Strike three is the inability to make contact. You have to be careful with this one. Sometimes the client (in New York City) can be in the subway. Or, driving a car and not able to answer their phone. It is a good practice to call the contact number when you are “about” to travel to their location. Call it a confirmation call, the idea is to make sure you can reach the client. It’s also a good idea to inform them you will be making that call when you book the assignment. Let them know that if you are unable to reach them to confirm; you will not be arriving. The confirmation call also limits or eliminates “waiting on site” as you confirmed the time shortly prior to meeting.

Hmmmm, three strikes against you. You have no payment, have tried to make contact to no avail, and waited a reasonable amount of time. What to do? Well, this exact situation happened to me yesterday with a “regular” client. After half an hour (my personal maximum no contact wait time), I just left for my next assignment. I had to. Lateness of one client cannot be allowed to cause my lateness to the next scheduled appointment. My client did arrive almost an hour late and called me to proceed. As he did not call prior to being late, and did not answer the cell phone, I assessed an additional trip fee; if he wished to reschedule for the following day. He agreed.

That “trip fee” went to pay for my parking, fuel for the trip and keeping the engine in the car running to keep warm on a very cold day. Added together, those costs were about 5$, but the major portion was for my time. Yes, my time. Personally, I think my time is more valuable than any other person’s time. If you feel differently, I suggest you reflect a bit on your self image.

On the other hand; if you don’t start with one strike against you; the outlook is brighter. I have had many “cancellations”, for various reasons after receiving my fee. Generally they tell me to “keep it” and are disinterested in a discussion of prorating. I consider this fair. Travel and waiting time is equivalent to travel and processing; timewise. What never happened is a case where the affiant was unable to “make it” and subsequently made a payment. Human nature I guess. Most notaries are gentle creatures, performing a legal and necessary service. However, the loan shark’s expression, when payment is lacking and a limb must be broken; applies to us too. “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” (The payment, not the limb!).


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The 90 days no payment list of signing companies

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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 26, 2015

George Lopez Gets Notarized

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:36 pm

ANGIE: Now, you know the notarization is due at work in two days. We need to get a Notary here.

GEORGE: Okay, okay, okay. I’ll do it. Call someone from 123notary.com. They’ll send someone. And have them send someone who speaks Spanish.

ANGIE: But, you speak perfectly good English.

GEORGE: I know, I know, but if I offer them some chips and salsa de chile arbol after the notarization, if they speak Spanish, they won’t give me funny looks.

CARMEN: Everybody gives you funny looks.

GEORGE: Now, you watch your mouth Carmen. You remember who put you here on this planet.

VIC (Angie’s father) : It is so ironic, that he could put you here…. on this planet… when he himself is from an entirely different planet…

ANGIE: Where are you going in such a hurry?

VIC: I have a hot date with my 27 year old girlfriend. We are going to a five star buffet. Don’t tell her anything. She thinks I’m not a day over fifty-five…

ERNIE: I brought my mobile internet. Look, you can get 123notary.com/m right on my iphone. You never know when you need a Notary.

GEORGE: Funny you should mention that. I need a notarized affidavit, contract, and deposition tambien!

ERNIE: All of that? I hope they give you a package deal and throw in some tickets to the Lakers game too for what they are going to charge.

CARMEN: Do they have notaries who are cute?

BENNY: Yeah, I’ll settle for a younger guy, maybe around forty… who doesn’t drink too much, and doesn’t have any neck tattoos. Or at least not too many.

(the next day…)

NOTARY: Boy, the traffic here is terrible. George, you have all the documents we talked about right?

GEORGE: (shows up in white beard and looking 80 years old) Yes, I’m ready to notarize my son’s permission to go on a trip form.

NOTARY: I thought I was notarizing George.

GEORGE: Just kidding. Here I am and here is my ID.

NOTARY: You really had me there George!

GEORGE: That’s nothing. Check out what I got from one of the guys at Whole Foods. It’s the new thing in fashion for those in the food industry. A beard net!

NOTARY: Tan Loco George! But, I like it!


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June 25, 2015

Notary Housewives

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:42 pm

You’ve heard of Mafia housewives, Mid-Western houswives, well now there’s Notary housewives.

WIFE #1: Honey, I thought we talked about that before.

NOTARY #1: I know, I know, I know. I was supposed to do this a month ago. Get an inkless thumbprinter so I don’t come home with ink all over my hands.

WIFE #1: The NNA sells them for only about $16. Just do it. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to take out the garbage — it’s stacking up.

NOTARY #1: So, are you still mad at me?

WIFE #1: About taking late night jobs? It’s not that. I just want to know where you are. It makes me feel uncomfortable that you’re with strange women at all hours of the night.

NOTARY #1: For your information, they’re not strange. And there are men too who I notarize.

WIFE #1: You notarize men too?

NOTARY #1: Of course I do. Men have notarial needs too. Didn’t you know that?

WIFE #1: Well, I’d just be more comfortable if you would call and let me know where you are and what you’re doing.

INTERVIEWER: I’d like to ask the other wives what type of issues they’ve had with their husbands. How about you Samantha. Tell us your story.

SAMANTHA: I met him five years ago. I thought he was the best guy on earth. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that he was a Notary. I didn’t know that had a stigma to it. It took me a year to find out why. We were at this party. They had a BBQ, kids, families. We were just hanging around mingling. It was nice. I liked it. That is the way weekends should be. Then, Bob got a call. I couldn’t believe it. And he actually answered it. It’s Saturday — how can you answer a business call on a Saturday? He told me the whole deal about how he had bills to pay. I said, your bills can wait. Enjoy yourself. They offered him $100 to come out and sign a few documents. So, he asked if I wanted to come with him. I foolishly said yes. It was horrible sitting there watching the entire family there fight while he signed some contract documents for them. I don’t see how he can handle that type of life. So, after we finished driving and doing the job, it was too late to go back to the BBQ. I wanted to make new friends. But, instead, I drove around town with my mobile notary boyfriend who I later married. Since then, it has only gotten worse.

INTERVIEWER: I’d love to learn how it got worse. But, we’re running out of time. I want to hear Gwen’s story. Gwen, tell us what happened last week with your Notary husband.

GWEN: You wouldn’t believe what happened to me yesterday. I told my husband that I wasn’t feeling like myself. I asked him if he had any suggestions. He recommended that I check my ID to see who my ID said I was. So, I did — and sure enough, I was myself. Then, he said perhaps I should have a separate ID for when I don’t feel like myself to reflect that person. What a nut! Then, I said to him — I feel like I don’t really know you anymore. He told me that I can be either personally known, or proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence. What’s that all about?

INTERVIEWER: It sounds like you’re growing apart. It’s normal for the excitement in a relationship to wear off — especially if that relationship is with a Notary.

GWEN: Tell me about it.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we’re out of time. Tune in next week for another episode of Notary Housewives called Housewives without Mortgages!


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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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Woody Allen Gets Notarized

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 12:33 am


NOTARY: Brooklyn Notary!

WOODY: Ah yes, I mean hi, I mean… um… there’s something I need to ask you. (pause) I mean if that’s okay. If that’s all right.

NOTARY: What type of question?

WOODY: Well, I need something notarized, but I wanted to meet you near city hall, so that I could file the document the minute I got it notarized. Kind of like one stop shopping, except it’s not exactly shopping… well, philosophically speaking. I mean in a Freudian way, it might be considered shopping but..

NOTARY: Brooklyn City Hall?

WOODY: Yeah…. Noon tomorrow. But, there are so many people there. I feel like I need to fight them off. I’m not the confrontational type. I’m very timid actually. Too timid. Last week I got beat up by Quakers.

NOTARY: Beat up by Quakers? Did you steal their oats… or steal their wife’s bonnets?

WOODY: Well, it’s a long story actually. You see I took one of the best parking spots outside of their Quaker Meeting hall. Well, it wasn’t me, it was my girlfriend — she was driving me. They go through this every week I guess. You know, the difficulty finding parking spots. It can be exasperating for anyone. It must have been easier for them back in the days of the horse and buggy. Simpler. They like simplicity. I do too. With me it’s more of a Zen thing though. But, the hostility. It must be all of the silent worshiping — keeps all of their aggression all pent up. I see how they could just explode… or Implode under those conditions.. It’s really very scientific when you think about it actually — except that (pause) well, I don’t believe in science.

NOTARY: Maybe they should have a sign saying, “Parking for Quakers only!”

WOODY: I’ll bring that up with them next time I see them, I mean, providing they don’t start chasing me down the street.

NOTARY: So, do you know where to park?

WOODY? Oh no, I don’t drive. I have too much hostility. You know. Something could happen. I would be like a Kamakazi. Swooping down on people. Like a Japanese Zero. Whoommmm!

NOTARY: Okay, so you know how to get there.

WOODY: Oh yeah. I go there all the time. Sometimes I go for fun. You know, seeing everyone so busy. It makes me start to think that there’s a purpose in this existence with all the running around.

NOTARY: Just make sure you bring your ID. I have a purpose in having ID”s.

WOODY: Oh… yes of course. I always keep my ID. On my person. It’s so important. My mother taught me that the worst thing you could possibly do besides failing to wear clean underwear was not to have your ID on your person — or for it to be expired.

NOTARY: Oh, was she a Notary?

WOODY: Well, actually not. She had a bad experience with a Notary. And then she started dreaming about him after the fact. She would wake up screaming. It was always a crazy looking guy chasing her around with a 12 inch wide Notary Seal. It was so surreal. But, I never had that experience. I love the idea of being Notarized. It seems like such a Kafka-esque experience.

NOTARY: You can say that again!

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