January 2016 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
123Notary

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – 123notary.com Control Panel

January 30, 2016

11 Best Title & Escrow Companies

We publish regular information on signing companies, but here is a refreshing new list of great Title & Escrow companies to work for!

A-1 Title Professional Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=914&A%2D1+Title+Professional+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

AMC Settlement Service
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=148&AMC+Settlement+Service#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Homefront Escrow, Inc.
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=977&Homefront+Escrow%2C+Inc#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Meymax Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=309&MeyMax+Title+Agency+of+Ohio+LLC#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Midwest Mortgage Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=937&Midwest+Mortgage+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Old Republic Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=906&Old+Republic+National+Title+Insurance+Company#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Performance Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=39&Performance+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Professional Debt Settlement Services
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=1076&Professional+Debt+Settlement+Services#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Timios Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=864&Timios+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Title Source
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=610&Title+Source#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

True Concept Title
http://www.123notary.com/signco-idv.asp?sid=833&True+Concept+Title#sthash.DHyIFJGm.dpuf

Share
>

January 29, 2016

Pastor Notary – can you Pastorize a document?

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:08 pm

We have many Notaries on 123notary who are members of the clergy. I always wonder when we will get a good Rabbi who can specialize in Kosher notarizations. But, I don’t think that the laws of Judaism discuss notarial acts just as long as you don’t notarize false gods or golden bulls. But, we have many Christians clergymen who are in the Notary business. The preform marriages, and do general Notary work as well.

One borrower found it nice to have a member of the clergy at his signing. He had been waiting his entire life to say something to a clergyman during a signing. “Forgive me father, for I have rescinded!”

But, my question (sorry to sound tongue and cheek) is if these religious types only notarize documents, or can they Pastorize a document as well? And if so, what would the Pastorization process be like. Would they plant some grass on the document to make it more like a pasture? Add a few cows? Or cook it briefly to kill the germs. I guess the world will never know. But, if you ever come across a Pastor Notary, as him/her/them and relay what you learned to us over here at 123notary. We’re dying to know.

.

You might also like:

You know you’re a Notary when…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

Welcome to the Notary Zoo
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15994

Share
>

January 28, 2016

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun

Notaries have very conflicting attitudes about carrying guns. Some are violently against it, while others just see guns as a fact of life. For people growing up in Haiti or Israel, there are people with machine guns everywhere. It is just a fact of life. But for Americans, guns are not so common unless you are a gangster, or drive a pick up truck in a red state. So, how can Notaries defend themselves?

(1) Some Notaries let their husband know where they will be and to call the police if they don’t hear back from them by a particular time.

(2) Other Notaries carry pepper spray. Pepper spray is nice because you don’t do any real harm to the victim. It is not expensive, and not difficult to use. Additionally, you can use it on dogs. In my experience, dogs are more of a realistic threat to Notaries (and mailmen) than humans

(3) Some Notaries always place themselves between the signer and the door so they can run if the going gets rough. You would be surprised how much anger the APR can cause!

(4) At 123notary, we recommend getting advanced training in Okinawan Japanese style Notary-jitsu. Notary-jitsu teaches you how to defend yourselves from the tactics of violent borrowers. You learn to protect yourself from knife attacks, beatings, and small dogs that say “yap.” Yes, this all-inclusive training could save not only your life, but your dignity.

(5) Having a gun. Guns are dangerous. If you use a gun, you will end up in court, and possibly in jail. I am not convinced that having a gun is a good idea, however, in dangerous areas, you might not have a choice. Even in “safe” areas, you could encounter trouble at any time. There are many psycho people out there. They don’t come out all at once — only when you are not expecting it. For some reason, our local taco place has the nicest employees, but the freakiest customers. I have had to call the police once, and on another occassion a woman was beaten so that the thief could steal her mobile phone and then casually walk away — not run, but walk away.

A gun could save your life in an emergency, but pulling a gun could also get you shot. If you can’t pull your gun in time, the gun won’t save you either. Or if someone has you at gunpoint, it is too late to draw. It is up to you to figure out what to do.

(6) Bringing a large flashlight
I used to have a huge flashlight with me when I was doing pizza delivery back in the day. Military flashlights are the only method for being able to read the numbers on someone’s house. They can also be used as a weapon. I used such a weapon to kill once. Don’t get your hopes up, the victim was a rat, not a human. The rat had invaded my bedroom and jumped into bed with me and then ran away. I cornered it and herioically bludgeoned it with a bash to its head. It was all over in a second. He/she felt no pain.

(7) If you were Crocodile Dundee you would bring a huge knife to the signing table. If the signer offered you an apple and was cutting it with a knife, you could say, “That’s not a knife — THIS is a knife!”

It is up to you what types of weapons you use. In my opinion, all women should know some type of self defence. If someone has you from behind, you should know how to stamp on their food and elbow them. You never know when trouble will come, but you should be ready.

.

You might also like:

Borrowers with guns
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3329

Bond. Notary Bond
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8720

Share
>

January 27, 2016

Best Resources for New Signing Agents & Beginners

Are you starting out as a mobile notary and don’t know which direction to turn? We know where you should turn and what you should read. So, indulge yourself in this reading list.

The 123notary 30 point course
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

Signing Companies that hire new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7059

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13340

Is having an NNA background check necessary for work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

How to write a notes section if you have no experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4173

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8484

Signing Agent Best Practices
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4315

Basic technical information for new Notaries
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

Cattle Call Notary Offers
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9841

$30 loan signings — is it worth it?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

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

Wannabe #1 on 123notary? Consider this first
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9332

What’s your monthly marketing plan?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9683

.

Share
>

January 22, 2016

Can I bring my 12 year old to a signing?

Linked In Sums it Up
One lady on LinkedIn asked this question and the crowd loved it. Should you bring children to a signing? In my opinion it is grossly inappropriate to bring anyone to the signing who is not part of the loan process. Sometimes a Lender will accompany a Notary to a signing. And sometimes relatives of the borrower will show up at a signing table — that is their right. But, for the Notary to bring their children looks very unprofessional.

The Deed of Macchiato
Small children can make noise and cause trouble. One of our best stories is about a Notary who brought her toddler to a signing at Starbucks. The three year old accidentally tipped over a mocha which turned the Security Instrument into a Deed of Macchiato. I’m sorry to take “shots” at this Notary, but I want to milk (or latte) this story for what it’s worth. After the signing company found out what this Notary did, they got steamed, and the Notary got lightly roasted.

So, Where to Put Your Children?
It is not uncommon for women to bring their husbands to signings, but the hubby always stays by the wheel, otherwise they might spoke the wrong type of attention. Relatives normally stay in the car and read during the signing. Many women employ this procedure as a security measure to make sure they are not abducted, murdered, or harmed at the signing. Children can also wait in the car if they are mature enough to. If you have really little children, you need a babysitter and a few backups just in case. You will lose all of your clients if you bring your toddlers

Screaming Children
As we stated in our 30 point course, if you answer the phone and there are screaming children in the background, you will lose a lot of clients. It should be quiet when you answer the phone, otherwise people will feel you are grossly unprofessional. If there is noise, apologize for the noise, and move to another room where it is quiet, or find a way to put the client on hold while you stop the noise.

Another Solution
Just wait for six years and then your 12 year old will be 18. Then, he/she/they can get his/her/their Notary commission and join you as an apprentice — with permission of course — and pretend he/she is not related to you(s). [don’t cross out the (s) if you’s guys are New Jersey residents]

.

You might also like:

Notarizing for a minor
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=6947

You know you’re a notary when…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16038

Share
>

January 21, 2016

The CA Sec of State has a list of nicknames acceptable for notarization

I have never heard this before, and it sounds horrible. But, I was was told (I hope this is true information) that the California Secretary of State will allow you to notarize someone with a nickname when their ID has their formal name — or vice versa. They have an entire list of these name equivalents. Personally, I believe that a name should match exactly unless the name on the document is a shorter version of the same name.

I wonder if Mugsy is on the list, and what his real name would be? Montgomery? Sounds like one of those 1940’s names from gangster movies (yes, both variations on the name.) I wonder if they include Arabic names. I knew two guys named, “Sam.” One was short for Ousama, and the other was short for Samir. I can see how Ousama would want to be something other than Ousama, but personally I prefer “Ous.”

I have a friend with kids. When I go to his house, my name changes from Jeremy to Jer-Jer. He asked if I have ever been called that before. I said no. But, then I don’t hang around with families who have kids. I have not been in a family environment since childhood with the exception of brief visits to houses of particular people in my meditation group who had kids.

You might also like:

The Signature Name Affidavit
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16298

Two guys with the same name; One cashed the other guy’s check!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16102

Share
>

January 19, 2016

Notary: Don’t confuse Observation with Opinion

Notary: Don’t confuse Observation with Opinion
“Hello, Police Department; I would like to report a crime in progress. I saw a person climbing a fence so he could rob the house”. The Observation is “person climbing a fence”, the Opinion is “so he could rob the house”. A trained police officer knows this. It’s not a SWAT Team, with heavy weapons job. Possibly the climber is a child after a home run hit baseball. In our work as notaries there is also a need for accurate reporting of Observations (things heard and things seen). Opinions are also “useful” but care must be taken to differentiate between the two.

When we observe we see facts, however it’s easy to internalize those facts; and warp them with our preconceptions and personal experiences. The migration from fact observation to opinion is not instantaneous. The moment you observe something that might be worthy of reporting later is the time to record that event. Police carry their ever handy “record book” and write down the silly things said to them at a traffic stop. They record Facts, as close in time to the event as possible. Hours later that recollection is tainted and skewed by opinions.

Hello Title? – They won’t sign because they think the numbers are “ripping them off”. It’s not likely that they used those exact words. Give Title the true facts: “They mentioned that the escrow is two hundred dollars too high and that the interest rate on the note is half a point greater than expected”. Of course it’s better to have borrower and Title converse directly.

Perhaps the most critical time for careful wording between Observation and Opinion is when you are reviewing the documents with a borrower. They are asking questions. Often the question is one that must be “kicked upstairs”; but many can be answered by a skilled notary. “Here you can see on the Truth In Lending Disclosure that your Annual Percentage Rate is 3.25%”. Good observation in answer to a specific “where is it” question. Adding “Wow, that’s a low one, the last few that I processed were over 4%”; that’s a very bad statement of opinion.

Being the “only face that they see”; Loan Officers are very interested in how the session “went”. Were they happy? Were there issues? Here you have a bit more leeway in answering. Though the LO is asking for your opinions; it’s best to mainly provide facts. We started on time, they had their IDs ready. Borrower seemed a bit nervous (common for big buck events), they asked me to find some specific numbers and had no objections. All in all, I feel the session went well. Notice the “I feel” – clearly separating observation of events from personal opinion.

As Government Officials we are expected to be accurate and impartial. That requirement goes beyond setting aside any prejudice or preconceptions. What we say, written or verbal should be factual; unless clearly stated as opinion. And, there is little room for opinion in the vast majority of our official duties. Officer, don’t you agree with me that the accident was caused by the other driver? The Police Officer will Never agree, or voice an opinion. They are highly trained in the art of recording facts. Possibly, the PO will record that you asked such a silly question!

Furthermore, the old “what you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” applies to whatever a Notary Public states. The public image of us is one of impartial truthfulness. A few casual or (I hope not) flippant words; might sway a decision. If that person loses money based on something you said, they will want to recover that loss from you. Stick to the facts.

.

You might also like:

Lifestyles of the rich and infamous signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16715

Wants to read all prior to any signature
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16478

Share
>

January 18, 2016

VA signings for $85? With 200 pages? No Thanks!

As a blog writer, I need to come up with ideas for interesting blog articles. So, I often go to Linked In and see what was popular there. I was visiting last night and saw that someone was offered a VA loan for $85. But, the package had about 200 pages! As new Notaries, you need to understand that not all packages are alike. Some Lenders have short packages while others have longer ones. Some Lenders have their documents ready on time while others don’t. Additionally, there are different types of loans — some are longer and more time consuming than others.

Large Loan Packages
VA loans are normally a lot longer than regular Refinances. FHA loans are longer and more complicated too. Additionally, Reverse Mortgages are longer and take longer partly because the signers are normally elderly. VA loans are for Veterans, and they might tell you some war stories about getting ambushed by the Taliban, but they are probably middle aged and able to sign in a moderate amount of time. But, the packages are long and take a long time.

What to Charge?
The average Notary on 123notary makes about $105 per signing (interesting stat.) If your standard fee is $100, you need to charge more if it is going to be a slow signing or a signing with an above average number of pages. You will be using your printer more, and spending more time at the signing. So, how much more should you charge? In my experience, more pages won’t take you that much more time. It will cost you a little toner and paper, but an additional fifty pages might only take you an additional twenty minutes assuming the signer is not a slow poke. What does take time includes: sluggish signers who read every word, elderly people who can barely function, issues with the loan involving long calls to the Lender, multiple signers who don’t always show up on time, problems with the ID.

Before You Accept the Job
My suggestion is to call the borrower and ask if they will be able to sign within a sixty or seventy-five minute window for a longer package. If they say no, then you might consider charging more or cancelling the signing. If you have the luxury to call the borrowers before you accept a job, you can have a lot more flexibility. You should ideally charge for time, and NOT based on the length of the package. I signed a 200 page construction loan in 25 minutes because the borrower was a professional and had been through the process dozens of times. His time was worth a lot and he didn’t waste a minute. He was like an assembly line.

As a General Rule
For most Notaries on 123notary, I would recommend charging $115 or $120 for VA signings and Reverse Mortgages. If you are very experienced with more than 5000 loans signed, then add another $25-$50 to that figure. Notaries should not try to charge too much unless they are so popular that they simply have to turn down good offers daily. Try to be reasonable and accommodating while you earn some notches in your belt! But, $85 is just too low unless you are a complete beginner!

.

You might also like:

$30 loan signings. Is it worth it even in the best of circumstances?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10456

Signing services take a portion of the notary fee
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9315

Share
>

January 14, 2016

How much should a mobile Notary be paid?

This post was written by a guest blogger who is one of our Notaries on our directory.

HOW MUCH A MOBILE NOTARY SHOULD BE PAID?

This Forum debated the issue one hundred times. How to substantiate the answer? A coincidence of stimuli made me reflect yesterday on the life and profession of the so-called “mobile Notary”, the one who generously drives to the clients’ home to execute documents and, thus, save them the trip to his/her office.

At the beginning, the Notary received a call with the Order, the documents were sent UPS or FedEx and returned the same way. Today, the Notary receives the Order, documents are emailed to print 140-145 pages + Borrowers’ copy

I was reflecting on the notary fees while reading in 123Notary Bulletins messages from Notaries complaining about the low fees being paid…when suddenly my email received a new Order.

We cannot blame exclusively the payer (lender, title company) for the low fees being paid to mobile Notaries. Each “closing” is preceded by a contractual verbal agreement: Notary is to perform under the conditions and at a pay the “employer” offers. Whether “sufficient” or “fair” depends upon the fairness of the payer and mainly, upon the self-valuation of the professional payee. When the Notary bargains, companies (frequently) increase fees.

Explore two incidents: Notaries complaints and the Order I received while reading the 123Notary Bulletins. The Order: Refinancing, 6:00pm, house 20 miles away in rural area. Brief computation of Cost and Time.

OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE.

*Long distance. Three calls to company: $1 (add if documents faxed).

*Car. Round-trip to clients and shipping: 40+6 miles=46. If computed “for Reimbursement”, per 2015 Internal Revenue Service rules: $0.575/mile x 46 = $23.00. If computed as “strictly” Cost: (Notary has to estimate own car mileage use. Mine drinks 1 gallon/12 miles.) At $2.80/gal or $0.233/mile x 46=$9.33. Notary must add “other expenses”: maintenance, registration, insurance, tires amortization.

*Printing. About 260 sheets. If outside (Mail store, Office Depot) at $0.07=$18.20. If at home/office: $5.60, including paper and ink/toner, not maintenance, amortization or other expense.

*Other non-related [Notary] service.- Example: Some companies started asking Notary, “If client does not have IDs photocopy, not to worry; just take photos with your cellular and transmit to us”. Which reminds of that hypothetical proposal of the health insurance company to a physician: “Next time, if the patient does not bring his X-Ray or MRI, do not worry; just use the equipment at your clinic [without invoicing]”.

Estimated out-of-pocket minimum expense: $42.20 (or $15.93, per Notary practices).

TIME.

*(Driving measurable distance vs. actual driving time: 2 miles office-Interstate takes 10-15 minutes due to endemic heavy traffic; remaining 18 miles may take only 20-25 minutes). Total 40 miles; time 1h20m.

*Calling client, calling company to confirm, upon arrival, upon completion; print originals and copies, review and organize them; signing at clients’ home; updating company; delivering to shipping. Minimum 4h10m.
Total time: 5h30m.

Accepting or declining an Order is the exclusive privilege of the Notary, how much he/she values the professional services, how high/low is his demand for respect (personally, professionally). How much 5 hours-30 minutes of work and $42.20 cash advanced are worth? Compare with other activities. The BLS (Bureau of Statistics of the US Department of Labor) released July 27, 2015 its 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages studies. Results are used by corporations, unions and workers to establish and renew fair compensation indexes. Its Mean Hourly Wage of selected occupations shows:

*Legal [administrative employee] is paid $48.61/hour (thus, Notary’s pay for the above sample Order of 5h30m could be $267.35 plus $42.20 expense=$309.55.

*National Business and Financial $34.81 (Notary’s pay: $190.35 plus $42.20=$232.55).

*Food Preparation and Serving, such as fast-food franchises, $10.57 (Notary’s pay: $58.13 plus $42.20=$100.33).

Compare now the average national hourly wage with the fee Companies pay you: Average ranges $35-$100; meaning, a range from a loss of $7.20 to an income of $10.51/hourly wage.

The sample Order mentioned above offered me a $35 fee. No “problem”. I just would decline. But there was a “problem”! When three minutes later I was ready to email “Decline” (low pay!), I was impacted by the screen that popped up: “Sorry, Order has been already accepted by another Notary”.

.

You might also like:

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16687

Share
>

January 12, 2016

Notary: The Art of the Decline — To new Jobs

Notary: the Art of the Decline – To new Notary Jobs
In a prior rant, I rambled on about declining to perform illegal activities; they definitely deserve and should always receive an unqualified NO. Here I will focus my oft grammatically incorrect scribbles at the decline. Nobody can accept every assignment offered, nor should they attempt to.

Why decline? The reasons are legion. For whatever reason, you do not want to accept the task that is being presented by the caller. Your key objective here should be to leave a pleasant and competent impression. Perhaps that 40$ lowballer will remember the great impression you gave and call you for a more realistic assignment at a later date. Your objective should not be to “get rid of the caller as soon as possible”. Each call is an opportunity to market your abilities.

It takes a lot less time to give some procedural advice over the phone than to do the job. Take a few minutes with the caller and showcase your knowledge. That works better with individuals than signing services. Perhaps your decline can morph into a postponement to a later date. As a minimum you should steer the caller to finding someone available. It’s not apparent to you, my reader; but that exact situation just happened to me. The caller needed a Will notarized, and unfortunately it needed to be done very soon. I do not qualify as the signature of the testator, the person who the will is for; must be notarized. In NY State, by a person who is both a Notary & Attorney. Having had similar calls in the past, I was able to direct the caller to a solution.

Sometimes the issues are much more complex. There are many ways to process the various documents that cross my path. Giving procedural, not legal advice is, to me; a proper form of public service. As notaries we understand our state laws and procedures. Sharing, to a caller some information on “what options you have that I am familiar with” does no harm. Of course some “trade secrets” are reserved for me to utilize. Giving “some” help is better than none.

Perhaps you have virtually no time at all to spend with the caller. It takes but a moment to tell them about http://123notary.com and perhaps Notary Rotary and Notary Café. Take a moment more to suggest the caller search using the zip code where the notary will be going. Often the caller thinks / assumes you are a walk in facility; and that is what they are seeking. I tell those callers that notaries are “sometimes” found at banks, pharmacies and law offices. No matter how little time you can allocate to the caller; you are always able to give some useful information. That will “mark” you as being helpful and caring; possibly the one to call for the next need.

No, I did not read “The Art of the Deal” by you know who; perhaps I should. But, I don’t think my notary function requires much deal making. Nor does it require declining many job requests. Some, yes; but not many. Thus “The Art of the Decline” will not be published by me. It all boils down to just being helpful. Make it clear you cannot accept the job, specifically say it’s not a money issue; you have “other” reasons for not being available. You really don’t need to give an exact reason; I simply say that I am “not available”.

Pay as much attention to your projected image with declines as you do with accepts. Think of it as contact with a potential future client. Perhaps a referral to a known to be competent “rival” is in order – and such arrangements often become bidirectional, a mutual advantage.

.

You might also like:

Decline profitable junk work
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15495

The Right to Decline Notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14664

Share
>
Older Posts »