July 2015 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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July 26, 2015

10 tight points on Loose certificates

I have not written about this topic for a long time because I take for granted that Notaries are experts on the topic. In real life, it is possible that many Notaries do not know how what to do with a loose certificate. So, here are the correct steps to take.

(1) Purchase Certificate Pads from the NNA
Why the NNA? In my experience, they are the best source of 1-stop shopping for Notary supplies. They have great journals and pads. You cannot attach a loose certificate if you don’t have one, so keep them in stock and guard them with your life. Your career as a Notary rests on having the correct forms. You need Acknolwedgment Forms, Jurat forms, and perhaps Copy Certificate by Document Custodian forms. Make sure the wording is acceptable according to the current laws of your state!

(2) Keep the Pads in your Notary Bag
Having the right forms is no good if you don’t keep them with you. Clients don’t want to hear the old, “I left it at home” routine. It sounds like your dog ate it. We are not in junior high anymore! Keep your law primers, journal, pads, seal, and anything else you need on you at all times and remember to keep your journal and seal under lock and key when not in use!

(3) When to use Loose Acknowledgments
If you need to notarize a document and the document doesn’t have notorial wording, it is time to use a loose certificate! If a document has incorrect notary wording for your state, you need to consult your state laws to see if they will allow out of state wording. Most states will allow out of state wording providing that the wording isn’t substantially different. If the venue or the name of the signer(s) is wrong or has an extra signer, or leaves the name of a signer out — you might want to attach a loose form.

Also See: Do you Notarize loose certificates as a Notary?

(4) Fill Out the Form
Filling out forms is not rocket science, but more than 50% of notaries omit crossing out the he/she/they and the capacity(ies), etc. If Joe signed the document, then cross out the she/they unless you know more about Joe than we do. You might cross ou the (ies) too. Don’t forget to fill out the venue, stamp, and sign the form. If your state doesn’t require a stamp, consider moving to a better state!

(5) If the Glove Don’t Match, you Must Attach!
Certificate forms must be attached to corresponding documents by law in many states. This means by staple, otherwise it will most likely be detached which could lead to a lot of confusion and potentially to law suits. You should also indicate the document name, date and length on the certificate as well as any other pertinent and identifying information about the document just in case the certificate gets separated. Many Title companies detach certificates which is completely illegal, but they don’t care because they are above the law — or think they are — or never got caught — yet…

(6) NEVER Send a Loose Jurat in the Mail
You can go to jail and lose your commission if you send a loose certificate in the mail. Lenders often ask you to just send a loose “Jurat” in the mail if the one you sent is not acceptable for one reason or another. You can request that the original document is sent back to you. That way you can destroy the original Acknowledgment or Jurat and add another one and staple it to the document. If you send a loose one, it could be attached to a different document and used for fraud, and you might end up in court.

(7) Some People Create Their Own
Some notaries who are penny foolish create their own Acknowledgment pads. You could put company branding on it to gain attention for your company. Just make sure you don’t goof as this is a legal document.

(8) Thumbprints?
Most Notaries only put thumbprints in their journals if they thumbprint at all. But, the NNA’s certificates have, or used to have (I’ve been out of the loop for a while) room for thumbprints. It looks more official for really critical documents if you get that extra thumbprint. For documents going overseas, I recommend this as foreigners think you are the best Notary in town if you give thumbprints — and embossing looks really official too!

(9) Two Certificates?
Sometimes you might need to attach multiple certificates for a single document. This is fine. One for his, and one for hers. They might even be notarized at different times. The custodian or recipient of the document might or might not like that, but it is all perfectly legal! You might have a lot of staples if you attach them at different times, but that is how the Notary business works.

(10) Jurats with Oaths
Sometimes if you are administering an Oath on a short statement, you can write the statement right on the Jurat form. In this case, you don’t need to staple the form to a document as the form includes the contents of the document as well as the Notarization. Don’t forget to have them raise their right hands and swear under Oath!

You might also like:

2014 excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

Sending loose certificates is illegal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2470

What goes where in your notes section?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1076

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July 20, 2015

Getting on board with signing & title companies

At 123notary.com we come into contact with a lot of newer notaries. Unfortunately, few of them ask for advice, and few of them do the right things. Most are just either confused or not that interested in really making their notary career work. So, what should new signing agents do?

Get on board! But, with whom?

(1) Advertise…
First of all, you need to be seen. Advertise on the major notary directories like 123notary, Notary Rotary, Notary Cafe, and Signingagent.com
If people can’t find you, they can’t use you

(2) Pass at least three certification tests.
We lecture people all the time about this, but few budge an inch. Get certified by ALL companies who you intend to advertise with in the long run. Notary2Pro also offers notary training although they do not have a notary directory as far as I know, and their training is one of the best. Don’t be afraid to get certified three or four times. You learn more each time you study and test. You also prove yourself more. If you want people to respect your knowledge, stop fighting it and just pass everyone’s test. For a professional notary, this shouldn’t be a big deal and it doesn’t cost that much either.

(3) Get on board with signing companies.
Most beginner notaries want to make big bucks working for high paying Title companies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like this. Title companies like to hire seasoned pros. You are an unseasoned non-pro unless you are from Southern Louisiana in which case you might be seasoned (Cajun perhaps.) But, that’s the wrong kind of seasoned in the Notary business. Work for low-ball signing companies. Work for the companies that everyone is complaining about on the boards. Make sure they pay their notaries, but work for the annoying ones. We compiled a list of signing companies who will hire beginners. I strongly recommend getting on board with them as they can jump start your career and get your phone ringing.

You can also look at our list of signing companies and start contacting them one by one. Not all of them specialize in hiring beginners, but you can talk to them. Most of them will have some sort of a contract you will have to sign. They might want you to fill out forms, submit your E&O, Bond, and some other information too. Don’t send this to us. Notaries mistake us for a signign company daily, and we throw out all of the useless information they send us. We don’t want your E&O, we just want your money… (and your address, hours of operation, county, additional counties, two or more paragraphs of notes about your service, # of loans signed, # of RAM of your laserprinter, etc.)

As a new notary, if you follow these three easy steps, your business will get jump started. You will go from zero jobs per month to dozens overnight. Yes, it might take four months to get on a 50-100 signing company databases, and it might take some bugging them to get your first job. But, do it. People who listen to 123notary tend to do a lot better than those who are either too lazy, or too argumentative to listen. Follow our proven path to success and reap the benefits! You won’t get rich, but at least you’ll be making a huge supplement to your income!

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Signing Companies That Hire Beginners
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Low Ball Signing Companies
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July 17, 2015

Honey, You Can Kiss my App!

GPS: You will be approaching the Deed of Trust in 3 seconds… You have arrived at your destination.

MARCY: Well, I’m a new notary, so what do I do now?

GPS: What do you think is next, do you want me to tell you to wash your hair and then repeat?

MARCY: I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

GPS: Never mind. Have the borrower initial all of the pages of the Deed of Trust in the small horizontal line in the bottom corner.

MARCY: But, this has 15 pages!

GPS: You heard me girl.

MARCY: Okay, we are going to sign the Note now, and then these other documents…. Okay, we finished signing the HUD-1.

GPS: You go girl! Okay, now let’s take a look at that Flood Affidavit.

MARCY: Gee, the app says you can explain this to me in Chinese, but I don’t speak Chinese. Hmm, I wonder what happens if.

GPS: Qing ni zai qian ge ming zai zui hou de ye.

MARCY: Yet another thing that was made in China. I better switch it back to Chantelle.

GPS: Do you realize what you just did?

MARCY: Yeah, I switched you to Li-Wen for 30 seconds. I didn’t know what that button did.

GPS: Well, you should be more careful. That app doesn’t exactly steer you towards the nearest Chinese restaurant, and if it did, it would steer you to the type of restaurants with dishes that the owner says, “you no like.”

MARCY: I think you’re right. I went to one of those restaurants. I ordered something called “zhu chang” and the owner said, “You no like.” I asked what it was and he said, “Pig intestine with ox brain.” And I said, you’re right, I no like! And then he said, “you think you no like? how you think ox felt?” And then I said, “You’ve got a point. Let’s stick to kung pao!”

GPS: Yeah, and if you had kept on with Li-Wen, should wouldn’t direct you to the fork in the road. She would have directed you to the chopsticks in the road. Then, you’d really be in trouble!

MARCY: Yeah, because I don’t know how to use chopsticks.

GPS: Yeah, but Li-Wen could probably hook you up with some training sticks.

SIGNER: Less talk, more signing please.

GPS: I saw that in a fortune cookie once.

SIGNER: Gee, Chantelle, you do seem to know a lot about China for a GPS. Have you been to China?

GPS: Honey, I was born in China. My parents were nine year old kids who didn’t get decent child labor laws for Christmas.

SIGNER: So, you grew up in Peking, not Pittsburg.

MARCY: Gee, I never thought of you as Chinese.

GPS: Well, think again! I grew up in the basement of a electronics chop shop in An-Hui province. I got plenty of love, but my parents were mad at me for not being a boy.

MARCY: Well, couldn’t they have made you into a boy?

GPS: Don’t think they didn’t try! They didn’t have the voice overs to do that, so they were stuck with what they had. And they had to keep me due to the one-child policy.

SIGNER: Well you seem very polite.

GPS: I had to be. My parents said that if I acted up, they would export me.

MARCY: It’s fun talking to you, but honestly, the way you explain the documents isn’t thorough enough. The app literature claimed that you would be a lot more detailed in your instructions.

GPS: Well if you don’t like it, then you can kiss my app!

MARCY: Well, I’m new at this, so I need a little more mentoring.

GPS: Fine. Have it your way. I’m auto-switching you to Charles. You’ll be sorry now.

CHARLES: (British Accent) Hello, this is Charles.

MARCY: Oh, you sound Brittish. So, what’s the next step in this signing?

CHARLES: Well, if you were Queen Latifah, I would courtsey.

MARCY: No, the signing. We just signed the Flood Disclosure.

CHARLES: Well, just sign the other documents and be done with it.

MARCY: Don’t you understand loan signing?

CHARLES: Well, there’s nothing to know actually. You just sign as your name is printed, and that is that!

SIGNER: I don’t know why Marcy opened her big mouth, but we were much better off with Chantel.

CHARLES: This was the way I was programmed.

MARCY: Well, we need more than this, and the app we bought was guaranteed to be thorough in its descriptions of documents.

CHARLES: Well if that’s the way you feel then Cherio. I’m switching you to Li-Wen.

LI-WEN: Ni hao, wo jiao li-wen. Wo zen-me ke-yi bang zhu ni?

MARCY: Do you speak English?

LI-WEN: Sorry, no English.

MARCY: The app said that the voices would be in English.

LI-WEN: Not all of them. 1.3 billion people speak Chinese these day.

MARCY: Well this is not going to work.

LI-WEN: If you no like, then — Honey, you can kiss my app!

.

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Apps that Notaries never heard of that could change your life
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July 10, 2015

Jane the Virgin Notary

Disclaimer: This post may not be appropriate for those of you who have lost their virginity, or their sense of humor!

Jane goes to her first signing for the Owens. They are going to sign a Refinance and get a better rate.

Mr. OWENS: Welcome Jane. So, you are going be our Notary tonight.

JANE: This is my first time.

Mr. OWENS: Gee that’s interesting. When the last Notary showed up, I asked, “Are you experienced?”

JANE: Wow, you have quite a record collection over there. I bet you have a lot of Hendrix.

Mrs. OWENS: Just make sure he doesn’t call you foxy lady.

JANE: So, I’ve never done this before.

Mr. OWENS: Oh, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ll be gentle.

JANE: Okay, so here’s the Deed of Trust. Just initial here, and sign here.

Mr. OWENS: So you haven’t done the Deed or the dirty Deed yet.

JANE: I can attest to the fact that I haven’t, and bear witness to the fact that I’ve never been with a bare witness.

Mrs. OWENS: But, he’s not bare!

Mr. OWENS: Is that the naked truth?

JANE: I’m going to affix my seal now. Brace yourselves.

Mr. OWENS: Oh, that looks very therapeutic, just like… well, you know…

JANE: Well, I wouldn’t know. I’m not only a virgin as a signing agent, but I’m also still a virgin in real life.

Mrs. OWENS: Well knock us over with a feather. If you dropped any more hints, I would have gotten out my chastity belt. Can we affix you up with someone? I know a nice Notary who lives not far from here. He’ll understand all of that mumbo jumbo you folks talk about at signings that confuses us like scilicit which is an archaic Latin term.

JANE: Oh, I thought you were talking about soliciting which I’ve never done because I’m a … well, you know.

Mr. OWENS: If you did that with another Notary whose term hasn’t expired, you’d be doing it in the commissionary position.

JANE: I don’t even know what that is.

Mr. OWENS: Don’t worry honey, after a few more signings, you’ll really be on top of things… unless of course you prefer to have the signers on top.

Mrs. OWENS: So, what comes next?

JANE: I thought you’ve done this before. We just need to sign these last three documents, and then we’re done.

Mrs. OWENS: Okay, we’re done. That felt good.

Mr. OWENS: Was it good for you?

Mrs. OWENS: I think this was our best signing honey. I really liked how you signed the HUD. Wow Jane, you look completely different. Look George, she’s glowing!

JANE: Wow, I feel completely different now.

Mr. OWENS: Does it bother anyone if I smoke?

Mrs. OWENS: Since when do you smoke?

Mr. OWENS: I always smoke after a signing, or after a book burning if the book is 50 shades of gray.

.

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Compilation of Notary Dating & Romance Posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17451

But, I’m still a virgin!
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How Notary work is similar to onine dating
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15763

Notary housewives
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July 7, 2015

Signing of the Absurd

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (A little),Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 9:58 am

Signing of the Absurd (by Notary)
No, I’m not referring to the contents of a document that you are about to notarize. You don’t have to read (except for the notary section) when you notarize the signature of the affiant. It’s their responsibility to determine if they agree with the content, not yours. Actually, I will be discussing documents that you, the notary, sign – and sign alone. Yup, you are signing “as a notary” but nobody else is present for you to check their ID or give them the oath.

What I am referring to are those incredibly one sided “sign up” packages that border on being Power of Attorney documents. You are relinquishing virtually all of your rights. One minor example: You grant “fee deduction” if “they” find a “cause”. Naturally you dress in proper attire for your visits. But if they ask the borrower if you were impeccably spotless, was there the slightest bit of lint on your coat, a smudge on your shoe, etc. Then they can claim the borrower was “horrified” by your slovenly appearance and cut the fee at their whim, by your agreement.

I am holding a rather large “sign up” package. The only aspect common among the multitude of rules and regulations is that your fee will be reduced. Remember you have signed to agree to: Be sure that the proper paper size is used depending on the specific document. How? Most of us have dual bin LaserJet’s and print the PDF letting the PDF choose paper size. We are often asked to follow conflicting instructions. The confirmation says blue ink, the cover page on the docs says to use black – and nobody is available on the other end.

A favorite: do not leave the borrower’s home if they stop signing. I have had this a few times. An irate borrower spots something and asks me to leave. I suggest a phone call to resolve the issue, the borrower demands I leave immediately. It’s trespassing if I refuse to leave. Almost as silly, I am asked to “be absolutely sure” that the required witnesses will be present. I informed the borrower of the requirement, received assurance they will be available. But, one had a personal issue and failed to show. “It’s your fault Notary, you were required to have them both”….

This particular set of rubbish, and many similar refer to a “trip/print fee” for refusal to sign and also for cancellation during the three day period. The amount is never stated; but it is, when greater than zero; about 15 dollars. Keep in mind you signed approving this .

Let me not forget to mention the Application and “required documents” – Lots of information flowing one way. Do you know “anything” about the entity you are sending all of your personal and professional information? I doubt it. All you have is an un-proven name as the sender of the email and (usually) a “working name” for the company. What’s a “working name” it’s the name they use to “deal with you” but is not the real registered corporation or business name. In other words you tell all, and receive nothing.

Of course you give much of the same information when opening a brokerage account or applying for a credit card. The difference is that you are dealing with “name” entities, not a “puffer fish” that presents a big corporate façade, but has their only office on the kitchen table. They require you to perform “information security” with the documents to a very high standard. Sadly lacking is their assurance as to how they handle your confidential information. Think before you submit.

.

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Augmenting your skill set to make more as an NSA
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July 1, 2015

I signed up with 200 companies only to get work once or twice

It is common for Notaries to be signed up with dozens of signing services / notary services. We recommend that you sign up with as many notary services as you can. But, being signed up with them doesn’t equal getting used. There is some secret magic in getting used. You can’t get used if you are not signed up, so do the signing up part as early as possible in your Notary career. We recommend starting your career getting signed up with at least 50 companies and then do a few more in the beginning of the month every month. Since business is normally slow in the beginning of the month, that is a good time to market yourself and make quick calls to companies who you haven’t heard from for a while.

The Secret of Getting Used
I remember long time ago I was signed up with hundreds of signing companies. Not all of them used me. Signing Companies are like humans. We get in the habit of going to certain restaurants which become our regular spots. I go to our local Ramen place all the time for noodle soup and go to another spot for Kabobs. Sure, there are thousands of restaurants in Los Angeles, but I tend to go to seven or eight on a regular basis and once in a while to others. You need to catch the attention of signing companies to get used.

Catching Their Attention
If a signing company you have never heard of offers you a job that is too far away, should you decline because it is too far? If you have time in your schedule, taking that call might get you in their good graces. You got them out of a bind, and they might remember you for that. Other ways to catch people’s attention is to personally pop in their office during the beginning of the month when things are slow. If you live near Orange County, California it will be easy to have access to dozens of signing companies. There are also Title companies all throughout our nation that you can visit. Giving companies quick calls and letting them know you are available and happy to work for them helps too. You need to stick in their head, so bugging them intermittantly is a sound strategy!

Doing a Good Job
If a new signing company uses you, that means their favorite person in your area is either busy, on vacation, moved, died, or screwed up. It is your job to get in that #1 or #2 spot in their database during this brief window in time. When they call you, you need to be very agreeable and do whatever they say. Don’t complain if there are too many pages, fax backs, or long drives. Just do the job with a smile, and they will remember you next time. I would not start trying to charge them more or have conditions until the fourth job.

Invoice Promptly
Many Notaries get into trouble because they don’t invoice fast enough. Invoice within 24 hours of completing the job and invoice with exactly the information the company wants. Then invoice again at the 30 day mark on a weekly basis until paid. Other than that — good luck!

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