November 2016 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

November 30, 2016

Notary Acknowledgment Wording

If you are a Notary, or want to get something Notarized, you will have to deal with Notary wording and perhaps Notary Acknowledgment Wording. There are various types of Notary acts, and Acknowledgments are the most common with Jurats in second place. The process of getting something notarized normally involves the signer personally appearing before a Notary Public, showing ID, signing a journal, etc. The Notary needs to fill in the notary wording on the certificate and then sign and stamp the paperwork. Here are some facts about Acknowledgments.

(1) Certificates
The instrument that contains Notary Acknowledgment wording is called a “Certificate.” A certificate can be a separate piece of paper that is added by staple to a legal document. Or, the certificate wording could be embedded in the document below the signature section. In either case, the Notary certificate must contain notary verbiage specific to the state requirements where the notarization is taking place. The format of the certificate typically includes a venue, body of the acknowledgment and then a signature area at the bottom. There is often an additional or optional information section as well. The Notary’s seal must be affixed near the signature section of the certificate whether it is a loose certificate or boiler plate wording embedded in the actual document.

(2) State Specific Wording
If the notarization is being recorded in one state, but being notarized in another, then the Notary Acknowledgment wording must be substantially similar to the approved and required state wording where the document is being recorded. Notary Acknowledgment Wording differs from state to state. You can Google your state’s Notary wording if you like, or visit our find a notary page for more detailed information.

(3) Jurats
Please also keep in mind that some people call all Notary forms a “Jurat” while a real Jurat is substantially different from an Acknowledgment as it contains an Oath (by definition) and requires signing in the presence of a Notary. State rules for Jurats also differ from state to state, so you need to find out what the rules are in the state that you are being Notarized in are.

(4) Sections in an Acknowledgment

(a) Venue (State of Nevada; County of Clark)
(b) The words, “Appeared before me”
(c) The date (i.e. 08-04, 2012)
(d) That the signer acknowledges signing the instrument that their name is subscribed to within
(e) Name of the signer and the notary.
(f) Proof of identity of the signer
(g) Signature (seal) of the notary
(h) A place for the notary to affix their official notary seal.

(5) Optional Information
There is also an additional information section on Acknowledgments where you can indicate the number of pages in the document, the document name, and other identifying factors. To deter fraud, it is a prudent habit to fill out as much additional information as possible and even get a thumbprint on the certificate as well as in the journal.

(6) Sample Acknowledgment Wording

State of California
County of Los Angeles

On 5-15-2011 before me, John Doe, notary public, personally appear Joe Barber who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and who acknowledged to me that he executed the same in his authorized capacity and by his signature(s) on the instrument the person, or entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY of PERJURY under the laws of the state of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal

—————————————— (affix stamp here)
(Signature of Notary)


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November 29, 2016

Subordination Agreement

Filed under: (4) Documents — Tags: , — admin @ 10:24 am

What is a Subordination Agreement?
A Subordination Agreement is a notarized document that establishes the order of liens against a property. If the property owner defaults in a payment resulting in a bankruptcy, the lien mentioned first in the subordination agreement gets paid off first from the proceeds.

If you are refinancing your first mortgage and have an existing second or home equity line, one could “subordinate” the second mortgage: request that your second mortgage holder go back into the second lien position when you replace your existing first mortgage with the new refinance loan. The Subordination Agreement is the document used for this purpose. The Subordination Agreement always needs to be notarized and recorded with the county recorder.

How can you notarize a Subordination Agreement?
The Subordination Agreement is commonly notarized with an Acknowledgment. You would need to personally appear before a Notary Public with this document signed by you. Then, you would sign the Notary’s journal (in most states) and acknowledge that you signed the document. You would need to be identified by the Notary with a driver license, passport, or other current government issued photo ID with a physical description. Then the Notary would fill out the Acknowledgment wording, sign and seal the paperwork, and you’re done. This document needs to be recorded at your county clerk’s office as stateed above!

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November 26, 2016

I felt like I was being used (Snapdocs assignment)

Another Notary worked for Snapdocs and had an emotional reaction after the fact. She got one of those low-ball assignments, took it, and then complained she felt like she was being used. If you don’t like working for below market rates, nobody is putting a gun to your head! This new signer was concerned about wear and tear on her car, ink, paper, gas, etc. The bottom line here is that anyone who uses you is using you no matter the price. You sell your services for money. The question is, do you know the value of your time and do you know the itemization of your expenses for various types of jobs?

There is no set value on your time, so you have to create your own value. If you don’t know your value, how will you accept or reject jobs. For newbies, the value of getting work under your belt is much more than the value of your dignity. An inexperienced Notary in my book is not worth much. If you have less than 1000 signings and no certifications, I personally wouldn’t use you for anything. If you have 5000 signings and three certifications, then you become valuable as long as you have a good track record.

SIGNING CO: Would you do this modification for $100?

NOTARY: I will not – I have morals

SIGNING CO: How about $1,000,000?

NOTARY: Well, okay…

SIGNING CO: How about $150

NOTARY: What kind of Notary do you think I am?

SIGNING CO: We’ve already determined that, we’re just haggling over the price.

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November 20, 2016

Power Of Attorney Documents – Submitted as a double credit document

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (shares) — Tags: — admin @ 9:22 pm

Power of Attorney vs a Will
There are many types of Power of Attorney documents. However, the general theme is that someone is granting authority to someone else. A Will contains the maker’s words, directives and decisions. The executor of a Will is not a decider of asset allocation, rather a facilitator of the deceased’s allocation desires. In contrast to a Will, the Agent of the Principal (of a Power of Attorney) “may” have the authority to “call the shots” – or, the Agent may be severely constrained. Usually the Agent has “some” authority to sign for the Principal. In almost all cases, the authority granted by a Power of Attorney ceases upon the Principal’s death. The Principal granting power to the Agent may revoke such power at any time unless incapacitated. A Will can also be revoked, until Probate…..

Lifespan of the Power of Attorney
The Durable Power of Attorney – (General or Limited) remains in effect when the Principal becomes incapacitated. If the Power of Attorney is not Durable, the authority of the Agent does not exist if the Principal is in no condition to revoke the authority.

The Springing Power of Attorney – Similar to the Durable, the Springing only “comes into effect” when the Principal is incapacitated. As the definition of incapacitation can vary, the specific definition of the “trigger” should be specified in detail in the document itself.

Scope of the Power of Attorney

The General Power of Attorney – This allows the Agent to sign the name of the Principal unless it’s illegal for them to do so. One example: you can’t grant power for someone to sign your notary signature. If the word Durable is included, the power remains unless revoked or death of the Principal.

The Limited Power of Attorney – (sometimes called a Special Power of Attorney) grants from Principal to Agent authority to perform specific actions. Often this format contains an expiration date. Commonly used with loan documents, authority is granted for the Agent to sign various paperwork related to obtaining real estate.

Entitlement of Agent to Receive Payment

Unrelated to the “Gift Rider”; when the Agent manages (in some jurisdictions) property, they have a statutory right to be paid. Amounts vary, but a very rough guideline (unless otherwise specified) is:
3% of money received by the attorney,
3% of money paid out by the attorney on your behalf, and
3/5 of 1% of the average annual value of the assets covered under your power of attorney.

In personal transactions, the Agent has no right to be paid unless specified by the Principal. In some cases, the Agent applies to the Court to allow payment for Agent Services. In the vast majority of what we will see as Notary Publics, payment is rarely a concern or specified. When a payment arrangement exists, it will usually be part of a separate contract and not contained in the distributed Power of Attorney.

How the Agent uses their Authority

Assume Lock is giving Key an Agent relationship. Key would probable use one of the following formats:
Lock by Key as Attorney-In-Fact
Key as Attorney-In-Fact for Lock
Opinions vary, I prefer the first example because Lock is written first matching the “under the line”.

Considerations for the Notary

ID – Follow your jurisdiction requirements – To The Letter. Power of Attorney documents can easily be litigated in a court. Look very closely at the ID, if it’s a 35 year ago picture does it look like the affiant?

Capability – a tough one, but I like to ask why they are signing, what does this document do?

Initials – Almost never required, but let’s think about it a bit. Initials are mainly used to acknowledge seeing a page. But, I submit they also “mark” a specific page as having been accepted. While I don’t suggest affiants to initial each page (Principal, Agent(s), Monitor(s) and Successor Agent(s)) – I would insist upon it if I was the Principal and not the Notary.

Blank Lines – The Principal should consider a N/A in each not-applicable area. For example: there is usually an area for the “second agent”. If this was subsequently completed, and a “loose ack” added to the document – it might appear that the second agent was approved by the Principal.

Oath – I know, many do not bother to administer an oath. On Power of Attorney documents ya better!

Suggest More, Earn More – Under most jurisdictions, a photocopy of a notarized document – is Not a notarized document. One copy will suffice for a task specific use, as in a Signing. However, a general care giver might need many copies. It is likely that a financial institution will require an original for them to permit the Agent to use their power(s). Your client might not know this, often they assume a photo copy will work the same as an original that was “wet signed” and embossed. A few dollars for each extra copy is a value to your client and might add up to some Sesame Chicken for you.

Witnesses – rare for Power of Attorney but does occur. I feel the witnesses should also be notarized whenever possible. The California “Long Form” Acknowledgement is perfect for this as it has specific areas to associate the “loose ack” to witnessing the document.

Closing Thoughts

I receive many calls for processing Power of Attorney documents. Often the caller is somewhat angry about their recent notary experience. They relate that the notary at the bank refused to notarize a totally legal to process document, it’s bank policy – they relate. The bank does not want their “deep pockets” as part of litigation. These are much more likely to be contested than an application for a passport.

It’s not often, but sometimes someone wants me to notarize their self written Power of Attorney. Of course I can do that, but I caution them that, in the majority of my experience – the document is not in a state specific standard form. Furthermore, your document might not be accepted as you intend. I am willing to proceed, but you have been cautioned that it might not suffice. They can make an informed decision.

Sometimes for a Power of Attorney signing I receive a copy (photocopy or via email) of the relevant Power of Attorney. They send it so I can “verify” and “accept” the Agent signing for the Principal. It is my opinion that I have no requirement to see that document. First, I am not an Attorney, and “technically” am not qualified to judge, read, or take any action; even if the original “wet signed” was submitted. Nor would I be in a position to know if the authority had been revoked, or if the Principal is deceased. When I notarize “Lock by Key as Attorney-in-Fact” – I am notarizing Key – only. Key is stating explicitly, and under oath (I think – it gets a bit fuzzy here, I’m not an attorney) that Key currently has AIF authority.

At the start of this blog entry I mentioned Lifespan and Scope and covered the more commonly used documents. Note that their characteristics can be combined in multiple ways. I think there could be, of the ones covered Four Factorial permutations: 4 * 3 * 2 *1 = 24 variations! This is one document that I never want to have to read and explain (with liability!) to those I will notarize.


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November 19, 2016

The Uber principle at Snapdocs. New blood!

Snapdocs has grown in popularity in the last half year. Many of our clients have gotten a lot of business from them. One guy got 350 signings from them while another got 150 last year. Most Notaries are fed up with the low-balling and hand-holding. But, the ones who can tolerate the low-ball practices are getting volume. At low prices after you deduct your toner, paper, gas, and phone-time, you might not end up with much, but at least you get something.

My question is, can these guys stay in business with this business model of low-balling the Notaries? So many Notaries are so sick of it and drop out as a result of these practices. The answer lies with Uber. Uber burns out their drivers very quickly. I forget how long the average driver lasts, but it is not more than a few weeks. They just can’t stand the low pay and difficult situations they are put in. Snapdocs seems to pray on new blood too. Although most Notaries we know have dropped Snapdocs (we should call them SnapDrops) there seems to be an infinite supply of new Notaries with no knowledge, no experience, and most important, no self-respect who work for pennies.

On the other hand, perhaps the signing and title companies will get sick of bad quality Notaries and come back to 123notary where we deliver the highest quality search results in the business. I manicure my directory daily for accuracy of data and quality of Notaries. People value quality, but do they value it enough to pay for it?

I estimate that 123notary is losting 7% of our search volume due to Snapdocs. On the other hand, we are not losing revenue simply because we make our money from Notaries who get paid for high paying Title work for the most part. The Notaries who do low-ball work don’t have much money, don’t spend much money, and won’t lose us much money if they wandered into other pastures. So, we’ll keep our business model of quality search results and quality Notaries over here and hope for the best.

To sum it up. As long as SnapDocs has new blood and the Title companies will stoop to the level of accepting untrained, inexperienced and unqualified Notaries, SnapDocs will stay in business. Scary to think — but true! On a brighter note, they did an excellent job of harnessing modern technology in a way that nobody else did or wants to!


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November 16, 2016

Examples of great notes sections

Filed under: Popular on Facebook (shares),Your Notes Section — Tags: — admin @ 11:14 pm

Here are some notes sections that I feel are the best. If you stumbled upon a great notes section, you can recommend that I add it to the list as well. A good notes section is key to successful notary advertising!
To view these listings, just visit
And look up by n#

Thorough & Organized
9741 Saliva Tests

Short & Sweet

Good References & Lists of Capabilities

12886 Sand Ceremony



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November 15, 2016

How to spot fake ID at a notarization

Most Notaries study Notary law. But, do we keep handbooks that are up to date about spotting fake ID’s? Perhaps we should . Our primary task as a Notary is not to make people feel good, and is not to get the job done either. It is to identify signers and make sure that fraud doesn’t take place. It is better to say “no” rather than to get a Notary job done wrong — hence the name “no”–tary. Otherwise we would be yestaries and the world would go down the tubes.

ID Handbooks
The NNA and other vendors have books going over every state’s identification documents. They can tell you about distinguishing features, new watermarks, and other telltale signs that the ID is genuine.

Jeremy’s Solution — an online ID database
Personally, I think there should be a computer system to let the Notary look you up on a Federal or state database — but, that’s just me.


Things to look for one the ID

(1) Physical Description
Sometimes the physical description doesn’t match the signer. With ladies changing their hairstyle frequently, it is hard to tell their identity.

(2) Mispellings
Then, there could be misspellings in the name or a wrong name variation.

(3) Tampering
Obvious signs of tampering are almost a guarantee of a fake ID. I saw one of those once and only once.

(4) Watermarks
Finally watermarks are used in identification documents and currency to prove authenticity. It is possible, but hard for a fraud to replicate an authentic watermark. In China I’m sure they’ll figure it out as faking things is their specialty. But, for the rest of us it would not be so easy.

(5) Lack of raised lettering
Many of the newer ID’s have raised lettering. However, without a guidebook, you won’t know which states and which identification years of issue have raised letters.

(6) What’s your sign?
Ask the signer their sign. If they are using a fake ID with wrong DOB it will be very difficult for them to immediately recite their sign. You can also ask for their zip code to spot a fraud.


Most Notaries do not inspect ID’s carefully. They just record the information in their journal. Unless something fake is jumping out at them, they will not notice that something is wrong. It pays to get a handbook and become and expert. After all, the whole point of being a Notary is to deter fraud. In my opinion, each state’s Notary division should require all Notaries to be experts at spotting fake ID’s in addition to other critical related skills. Maybe one day technology and training will improve.

Smokey bear says — say no to forest fires. Notary Jer says — say no to fake notary identifications — if you can spot them.

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November 14, 2016

Trump caught on mike with a Notary

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Popular on Facebook (A little) — admin @ 11:10 pm

Trump Caught on Hot Mike with a Notary!

We’ve all heard the scandalous 2005 tape by now of Trump with Billy Bush talking about how he can grope women with reckless abandon, simply because he’s a star and can get away with anything. Well now 123notary has unearthed an exclusive tape from 2006 of Trump talking to a notary between takes on season 3 of The Apprentice!

Trump: Did you see that babe’s signature? That thing had more curves on it than she does. I give it a ten.

Notary: Of course I saw it. I’m a notary. Although I prefer the professional “witness” over “see”. I also prefer that other signature over there.

Trump: That’s a flat signature. A flat signature can’t be a ten. Speaking of curves, I’d like to grade her on a curve. I give her a nine. Put it this way: I wouldn’t kick her out of bed. And I can get her into bed, because I’m a star. Now, if I was grading Rosie O’Donnell on a curve, she’d be a negative three. Imagine how low she’d be if I wasn’t grading her on a curve?

Notary: Mr. Trump, why are you groping my seal?

Trump: I’m a star. I can grope anything I want to. I like how it’s not flat. Do you remember that contestant who made fun of my hair?

Notary: The one you said “you’re fired” to?

Trump: I’m suing her. I want you to notarize a demand letter.

Notary: Are you demanding I do that?

Trump: Notarize two demand letters.

Trump notices curvy contestant coming his way.

Trump: Ooh-la-la. I better down these Tic Tacs. Not that my breath isn’t the best breath that anyone ever had.

Notary: Better than a baby’s breath?

Trump: Please. My breath has it all over a baby’s breath. I like the formula for obscene wealth. Not the formula you suck on when you’re not busy sucking on… Hello, my darling!

Curvy contestant: Hi, Mr. Trump.

Trump: Good thing I’m between wives, but hey, if I can cheat on my taxes, I can cheat on wives, am I right? Don’t answer that question, I’m always right. I did have that threesome once when I was literally between wives.

Curvy contestant: I like your hair.

Notary: (Re: not having to sue her.) At least it’s not three demand letters.

Trump: Want to touch it?

Curvy contestant touches it.

Trump: It’s real. As real as what I’m staring at right now.

Curvy contestant: They’re fake.

Trump: Make that…

Notary: Three demand letters. (to curvy contestant) You just implied his hair is fake.

Curvy contestant: Would you sign my breasts?

Trump: I’d be happy to. Cancel the demand letter.

Notary: Would you like me to witness that?

Curvy contestant: Pervert.

Notary: No, I’m a notary. I can help make his signature on your breasts official.

Trump: Even if your rack isn’t “official,” am I right? Don’t answer that, I’m always right. Let’s see, where’s my Trump pen? Unbelievable pen. Every Trump University graduate gets one.

Trump signs away. A little too hard. In a beat, we hear… PHTTTTTTTTTTT. At this deflated moment, Trump responds…

Trump: Your nine just became a one.


November 9, 2016

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?

Filed under: Popular on Facebook (A little) — Tags: , — admin @ 11:04 pm




State of the Notary Industry Union Address

Alice in Notary Wonderland

You know you’re a notary when…

How Notary work is similar to online dating

Jane the virgin notary

The Towles Booth

Welcome to the Notary Zoo

Two and a half Notaries (string)

The Mayan Rescission Calendar

2016 Notary Public Debate

My Date with Jeremy

The Notary Hotel

Bartender Notary

Vampire Notaries

Family Guy

Noternity Court

Notary Hell — Yeah, but it’s a dry heat

Honey I notarized the kids




The five food groups of Notary Knowledge

Signing agent best practices 63 points

The Starbucks Notary wises up!

Two notaries assigned the same job?

A detailed look at the Ninja course

Unique phrases from the Ninja course

Good Deed Bad Deed — comprehensive guide to deeds

Trouble getting paid? Try our demand letter from hell.

How much more does a 123notary certified signer make?

The “Met my Fee” list of signing companies

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?




Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing

10 tight points on loose certificates

How to become a successful mobile notary from scratch

Interview with Timios Title

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie

Borrower eqiquette from A to Z




How good is your technical knowledge, should you learn more?

30 point course synopsis

Best blog articles for advanced notaries

Notary information for beginners: best posts.

Compilation of certification posts



November 6, 2016

For Background Checks, NNA & Sterling come highly recommended

The more seasoned Notaries know that they will lose a certain percentage of their business if they are not a background checked notary. Newer Notaries either are oblivious to this fact, or just get it without questioning the entire concept. While the ultra-seasoned Notaries with ten or more years of experience sometimes do not get background checked since their clientele trusts them and depends on them so much, that they can get away with no having it.

If you are a Mobile Notary Public and are not fully booked to capacity with great clients who deliver eDocuments on time, pay on time, and pay well, I strongly suggest getting a background check so that you won’t get weeded out by companies who have standards (which is a lot of them.)

But, whom do you get certified by? People in the industry told me that there are two companies whose background checks are highly prized. Keep in mind that not all background checks are created equal and the process of background checking and “What they are checking” in each check is not equivalent. Some checks are more thorough than others and some checks are honored more than others.

NNA & Sterling’s Background Checks are highly recommended
National Notary Association is a great place for one-stop Notary shopping. They sell Notary training materials, great supplies including Acknowledgment pads, The best journals in town, and more. Their Background Checks are recommended as well as they are highly recognized in the industry. Sterling is another quality source of background checks. A background check won’t do you any good unless it is recognized. So pick from the best. Background Checked Notaries get a lot more business, so it is definitely worth the cost.


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