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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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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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