December 2016 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 31, 2016

2016 Notary Timeline – a year in review

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Facebook (A little) — admin @ 11:13 am

2016 was a great year for Notaries. Here are some of the highlights of what happened at 123notary and in the Notary industry in general.

Jan 2016 — The Notary industry was slow for most of the year, but worse in the last quarter. To the point where some short of change for the laundry didn’t even have a last quarter.

Feb 2016 — Snapdocs becomes a force to be reckoned with and Jeremy writes many snappy blog posts over the next several months about them. Snap becomes jealous. Crackle & Pop couldn’t care less.

June 2016 — Jeremy visits Facebook headquarters to see where his Facebook advertising money is going. But, Facebook refuses to give him a tour after a seven hour drive, which Jeremy tells them he didn’t like. Since they’re used to seeing a thumb down instead, they have no idea what he’s saying.

Sept 2016 — 123notary introduces mobile pages for city and state search results pages. The pages still need to be tweaked.

Nov 08, 2016 — Trump elected. Half of Americans made America great again while the other half made America grating again.

Nov 09, 2016 — 3253 of Minnesota Notaries applied for a Notary commission in Saskatchewan. The Somalis in MN wanted to make America great for the first time by legalizing Shariah law, while Notaries in Colorado are staying put as notarizing while stoned remains legalized.

Nov 10, 2016 — 123notary removes many reviews in an attempt to motivate people to get new reviews.

Dec 10, 2016 — 123notary puts old reviews back online as many Notaries got upset and Google rankings fell.

Dec 11, 2016 — Carmen stubs her toe on way to Affidavit signing, and feels better after the ID for the signer had a really funny photo where the lady looked surprised and her hair was a mess. When Carmen diplomatically told the lady she took a nice picture, the lady looked surprised and her hair stood up just like her picture.

Dec 14, 2016 — Interest rates go up a quarter of a point and are expected to go up two to three times more. We could be looking at a very slow 2017. Which is good news for people living paycheck to paycheck and can’t believe how quickly the next month’s rent check is due.

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You might also like:

The history of 123notary.com
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17458

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

My best 100 days and Carmen’s worst
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20030

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Notary New Year’s Resolutions (Suggested)

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 7:11 am

If you are a Notary, it behooves you to have a few New Year’s Resolutions. But, what would they be?

1. Re-ink your Notary seal

2. Check your mileage on your car and record it in a book for the IRS

3. Rewrite your notes section on 123notary.com and have Jeremy proofread it to make sure it is good.

4. Exercise more…. (in terms of discretion at Notary signings)

5. Ask for more reviews for your 123notary listing. The link to your review page is above your name.

6. Lose twenty signatures.

7. Pass the 123notary Certification exam. NNA’s certification doesn’t get you more work on 123, but ours does!

8. Appreciate life more.

9. Read more Notary blogs to enhance your knowledge whether you are a beginner or expert.

10. Brush up on your Notary terms. see our GLOSSARY for that.

11. Swear less off the job unless you’re under Oath

12. Call up your old clients who you haven’t heard from in a while.

13. Get listed on the databases of a few new signing or title companies.

14. Save up and buy a top spot on 123notary.com in your county!

Happy New Year’s!!!

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Industry slow on all sites

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 1:35 am

I checked web stats in September and October. I thought that 123notary was going downhill. But, our competitors are also going downhill. Everybody’s stats were down about 15-20% in September and October. Then, during the holidays it is normally slow. I’m just hoping that we have a good next year. But, my stock broker told me that interest rates are probably going up based on the rumors that he is hearing.

If interest rates go up, that means less refinances. On the other hand, if rates go up, then if they come down, you will get a rush of refinances all at once which will keep you busy. In the last few years, Notaries have had to do more reverse mortgages and purchases as there are less refinances to go around.

Let’s hope that 2017 is a better year as 2016 was sluggish for 123notary. On a brighter note, all of the new reviews that Notaries are getting is going to have a very positive effect on the popularity of the site, so there is hope!

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December 30, 2016

Home a Loan

Filed under: Movie Themes — Tags: — admin @ 9:41 pm

Most of us have seen the movie Home Alone, but have you seen Home a Loan? A ten year old kid’s parents foolishly signed a loan that would ruin them financially. The kid intuitively knew it would be a disaster, but his parents ignored his protests. The rates were too high, the APR made no sense, and the items (fees) on the closing disclosure were completely unreasonable.

One night, the child’s parents went out for dinner and left him all alone. Little did they know what would happen. There was a terrible earthquake that divided the city in half. They had no way to get home, and no way to call. Meanwhile on the home front, the creditors were trying to invade the house like zombies in a horror movie. Mr. Smith who worked for Fidelity National parked his SUV, and was walking towards the house with his arms held forward. The little boy was terrified, and locked the doors and windows. Then, Mrs. Finkle from Wells Investments came — also in a transe and her face was completely gray. After forty minutes, there were twelve vehicles parked in front of the house, all SUV’s, and all with zombie loan officers or lenders.

The little boy was very brave. He grabbed a samurai sword his parents had purchased during their trip to the East. He went after those crazy lenders and threatened to cut their heads off if they didn’t beat it. Luckily for the little boy, the lenders walked back to their SUV’s and drove off.

What actually happened was that a voodoo priestess had done a magic spell and put it in some ashes in her house not far away. The spell on the ashes was to bring terrible luck to any Lender who had acted in a corrupt manner, and that they would all be turned to zombies. After walking around town, the little boy heard a rumor about the magic spell. He went to the priestess’ house and begged her to reverse the spell or do something so that these zombies wouldn’t come back.

She said that the spell was irreversible. The boy panicked. But, on a brighter note she said that she could round up the zombies and put them in her basement. At this point, the zombies were wandering around in their SUV’s completely lost, and unable to get passed the broken roads that were damaged in the earthquake.

MOM: Wake up Brian

BRIAN: Mom, there was a terrible earthquake, and you couldn’t get back home and…

MOM: It was a small earthquake and we came right back home to make sure you are okay.

BRIAN: And what about the zombies?

MOM: You were just having a bad dream. You left the heater on and all that heat can cause nightmares.

BRIAN: So, your loan is okay?

MOM: We’re a month behind on payments, but we will be okay!

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You might also like:

Best virtual notary comedy compilation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693

Compilation of notary sit-com episodes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15949

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December 29, 2016

Are eDocuments history?

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Facebook (A little) — Tags: — admin @ 12:39 am

I remember the good old days when documents came to you by Fedex. After some time past, eDocuments became popular. More time passed and electronic documents became the norm. Next, eSignings started catching on, but Notaries didn’t like them because it was too hard having three people looking at one little screen of a laptop.

But, now the wheels of time are turning backwards. Now, eDocuments are getting fewer and fewer and there are more Fedexed packages. I wonder why this trend is happening? I guess there is less that can go wrong when you Fedex a package to someone. You don’t have to worry about their printer breaking.

Rock & Roll is dead.
eDocuments are history.
What is the world coming to?

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December 28, 2016

Credible Witnesses

Credible Witness requirements vary from state to state. However, a vast majority of states allow the use of credible witnesses to identify a signer when the signer has no ID. Some states allow the use of one credible witness if the witness knows both the signer and the Notary. Other states allow the use of two credible witnesses if the credible identifying witnesses know the signer (but, not the Notary.) You can find out your state’s rules on credible identifying witnesses on the internet in your state notary handbook. The NNA often has technical information on state-specific Notary issues as well.

There are many situations where signers do not have identification on them. Here are a few.

1. The signer is in Jail. Laws for identifying jail inmates have changed recently in California. But, before, we needed to have the Attorney, girlfriend or mom bring two credible witnesses to the jail. Don’t depend on the wardens for this as they aren’t always nice. If they were nice, they’d probably be a bar tender or work at Starbucks and not be stuck in a jail — think about it!

2. The signer is in a hospital. Elderly people don’t always have drivers licenses. They often have expired licenses as well which cannot usually be used for notarizations. It is common to use a credible witness or two at a hospital or nursing home for an Acknowledgment or Jurat.

3. The signer lives in a bad neighborhood and got mugged. I notarized a young lady who didn’t look behind her enough. She got jumped in her driveway and lost her ID. When I notarized her, I needed the Oaths of two credible witnesses to identify her. I also thumbprinted her in my journal just to be on the safe side.

4. The signer doesn’t drive. Normally people have a state issued ID if they don’t drive, but a few elderly people just don’t have anything current.

5. The signer forgot their ID at home and you are meeting them somewhere else.

6. The signer’s name is Susie Johnson, but wants to be notarized as Angel Johnson. It might not be legal to use a credible witness in this circumstance unless she can’t find her ID. Hmmm.

Note: A subscribing witness is one that watches a signer sign or in the case of a proof of execution signs for them. A credible witness identifies the signer, and signs the journal as well. The credible witness must swear under Oath to the identity of the signer — which is something they don’t always know. “I just know him as Joe — I don’t know his full name.” — how “useful” from a legal point of view — but, most states allow this!

You might also like:

Types of witnesses in the notary profession
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5664

Credible witnesses from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=452

When can I use 1 credible witness?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2105

Glossary Entry — Credible Witness
http://www.123notary.com/glossary/?credible-witness

The sexist Notary dentist
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16513

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December 27, 2016

The Care and Feeding of Mentors

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (shares) — Tags: — admin @ 11:01 pm

The Care and Feeding of Mentors
Jeremy published an excellent article on finding a Mentor – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16793 OK, you followed the advice and found one willing to work with you. Now what? That is the essence of this post.
“I’m in a hurry, I don’t have much time in my schedule to devote to study or research; the bottom line is this: I want to know specifically, using my Notary License, exactly what you can do to make me rich”.

Believe it or not, that is essentially what several Mentor requesting notaries have asked me. A common theme is that they want the “fast path” to the Big Bucks. They perceive their Notary status as having the deed to a gold mine, if only they could find the exact location of their mine, to pick up the nuggets lying about for the taking. In a similar manner, when I go to the NY State Dept. offices (which administer Notary and Real Estate Broker license tests) I often hear the prospective Brokers discussing the “killing” they plan to make by selling the Empire State Building – “that commission alone will set me for life”.

There is nothing wrong with having high aspiration, but it’s real life that it also requires a large amount of perspiration to “get there”. Delusional can be defined as a false or mistaken belief or idea about something. I don’t use that word to be critical, but rather to stress the point. A Mentor devotes their time, and shares their skills and knowledge; generally without compensation. That is not always the case. I had a request to teach how to process some rather complex documents – it took a full “hands on” day; and I was paid accordingly. However, that is a rare exception.

Most requests for me to Mentor come via email and start with a liberal dose of flattery. OK, it makes sense to say something nice to someone you want to do you a favor. As covered in the above mentioned blog; I really don’t want to create competition “across the street”. So far, that has not been the case. It’s a heavy lift to train someone to be a Signing Agent from “scratch”. So I usually suggest they take a course on the subject and really learn the material. There are several sources for “basic training”. It’s just too time consuming to cover the Venue, ID requirements, Oath, and such. When I was learning to fly an airplane, initially I read about theory, and then flew simulation on my PC, graduating to renting a plane and an instructor. Getting in the plane with instructor and not knowing anything would be inefficient.

The following scenario has repeated itself several times over the past decade. I receive the request, with flattery, to help someone who wants to grow their business. Rarely is there a specific question included, just the general goal of self improvement (scores intent points) and, of course, the desire for more money. That’s fine with me – they are, in my mind, a “contender” wanting to better themselves. So, with my very first email reply I want to determine if they are willing to really WORK for their goals.

I give a “homework assignment” – it’s always the same. I ask that they read my last dozen, or more if they wish; blog entries. Then, citing which blog they are referring to: ask 12 detailed questions that relate to an issue or concept in that blog that is unclear or should be expanded upon. Why? If I’m to spend time being a true Mentor, I have to “know” the person I am working for (yes it’s working for). They have to show me that they really will put “skin in the game” and work for their own benefit. I also want to see their writing skills and get a sense of what they consider important to learn. This dispels the myth that I have a bucket of knowledge that I can simply pour in their direction. As Jeremy mentioned, there is a vast wealth in the blogs, of which my stuff makes a minor, but often useful contribution.

Sad to say: to date not a single “student” submitted their homework – not one! My intent was never to “chase them away” – If I wanted to do that I would simply reply that I was too busy. Beginners: let your prospective Mentor know that you are willing and able to WORK hard “with” them, for your gains.

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You might also like:

How to find a Notary mentor
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16793

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

Notary information for beginners – best posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10472

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December 26, 2016

The link is the missing link

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 9:40 pm

Do you ask people for reviews for your 123notary listing? Do you have any luck? Many people say that they ask, but nobody actually writes a review. Or people say that they wrote a review, but the review just doesn’t show up. If it doesn’t show up, chances are that it was never submitted. We publish all reviews unless there is a very good reason not to.

The missing link in your failure to get a review is a link. Send people a link to your review page in an email after asking them for a review. The link is right above your name on your listing.

You might have to ask more than ten people who like your work to get a single review. But, reviews are worth their weight in cyber-gold and you only need a few.

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December 23, 2016

Flashpoint — Notary job for a hostage with a multimillion dollar contract

Dave had a multimillion dollar contract for a very rare biotech machine that was one of a kind. He was to meet the buyer in a high rise downtown. But, Dave was taken hostage in the lobby 10 minutes before the signing. The subject (Tom) needed the machine to save his brother who was dying of a rare disease.

TOM: (Pointing gun) Drop the briefcase and come with me.

DAVE: I can’t, this is a very important contract.

TOM: I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.

SECURITY: Help, 911, there’s a man with a gun. Send a strategic response team immediately!

TOM: Drop your cell phone and slide it over to me. Now, Dave, I need that machine you’re selling for my sick brother. I have no choice. I have to do this. Let’s go upstairs to where the buyer is waiting.

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You might also like:

The Opposite: How George Costanza changed his Notary career
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17017

Shark Tank: 123notary wants to sell 10% of its shares
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16021

Compilation of Notary sit-com episodes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15949

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(The two of them go upstairs)

NOTARY: Hi, I’m the Notary, and by the way, did you find me on 123notary.com?

TOM: I wasn’t the one who made the call.

DAVE: Yes you were.

NOTARY: Oh great, can you write a review for me on my listing.

TOM: This is not the time to be talking about reviews (waving gun around.)

NOTARY: Oh, did you want me to notarize your gun?

TOM: NO. I want the biotech machine to save my dying brother.

(ring ring)

TOM: Don’t answer that. I’ll get this.

GREG: Hi, this is Sargeant Greg Parker from the strategic response unit. I understand you have a hostage up there.

TOM: Yes Greg, we do.

GREG: That was a smart thing to do, taking a hostage. That really changes the game.

TOM: What are you, a professional negotiator?

GREG: Yes Tom, that is what I am. I’m here to try to work out your situation. Would you mind telling me your name?

TOM: Um, I can’t. I didn’t want to do this. I just need the machine to save my dying brother. I’ve never done anything like this (waving gun) Stand back!

GREG: Is the machine in the building where you are?

TOM: They won’t tell me where it is. And even if I have it, I don’t know how it works.

GREG: Sounds like one of the guns our team uses that’s in storage. I don’t know where it is, or how it works. If I press the wrong button, only God knows what will happen.

TOM: What?

(crash — Jules rams the door and barges into the room)

JULES: Put your weapons down!!!!

ED: Put your weapons down…

JULES: There’s only one weapon, so let’s use the singular.

ED: Copy that!!! Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to put your gun down.

NOTARY: I have a seal, should I drop my seal? I think of it as kind of a weapon.

ED: Yes, put the seal on the table.

GREG: Do you have the solution?

ED: I have the solution, and Jules has eyes on the subject although he’s nothing much to look at.

JULES: Hey, I like him. It’s just that I’m (oops) not allowed to talk about them… Sam… since that’s a conflict of interest.

GREG: I’ll pretend that I didn’t hear that so I don’t get fired. Now, put down the weapon so that we can talk this over.

TOM: I need that machine.

GREG: That’s not going to happen. We can’t give you that machine. But, if you don’t put your gun down, we’ll have to use lethal force against you. Do you understand that? They your brother will die and so will you.

TOM: No, I won’t!!!

GREG: Okay…. Scorpio

(blast)

GREG: What was that?

ED: It seems to be a gas explosion in another part of the building.

TOM: Okay, I’ll put my gun down. I don’t want to die.

JULES: You came inches from it.

DAVE: You know what, I can let your brother use my machine. But, only under my supervision.

TOM: You will? Gee thanks!

ED: And you can see the whole thing from a monitor — in jail. Put your hands in the air. You have the right to remain silent.

NOTARY: I can give him an Oath of silence. That’s one of my duties as a Notary Public.

Ed: That won’t be necessary.

NOTARY: I also do weddings and bar-mitzvahs.

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December 22, 2016

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

How do I get a notarized Power of Attorney?

It is common to need a Notarized Power of Attorney. The issue is that many people don’t know where to go for help. You need to either find a Power of Attorney form, or have a customized one drafted by a law firm. But, be careful. If you have the wrong Power of Attorney form, it might not be acceptable to whomever the custodian of the document is, or to the courts. I am not an Attorney and can’t advise you, but I suggest you first talk to the agency you are submitting the Power of Attorney to and see what their requirements are. After that, talk to an Attorney.

Step 1. Check with the Document Custodian

Many banks want customers to use their own Power of Attorney for Banking document to be used. This Banking Power of Attorney is sometimes not on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. I have seen them printed on card stock in such a way where there is not enough room for a Notary seal. Banks often insist that the Notary seal is on the actual document and won’t accept Attorney written documents. So, talk to the entity you are submitting the Power of Attorney for before doing anything else.

Step 2. Draft your Power of Attorney

If necessary, get your Power of Attorney drafted by an Attorney or someone who your Attorney recommends.
If you use a standardized form from an office supply store, make sure you get it all filled out before calling the notary.
You will need to have an Attorney in Fact (Agent or Grantee,) a Grantor, and you need to specify what powers you are granting, and for how long, and under what conditions. It’s complicated and critical, which is why you need an Attorney at $200-$400 per hour!

Step 3. Find a Notary on 123notary.com!
Any notary can notarize a Power of Attorney. They can also notarize a Durable Power of Attorney, or notarize a Health Care Power of Attorney. Certain states even allow the Notary to make certified copies of a Power of Attorney. 123notary offers a wide selection of mobile notaries who can come to your home, office, hospital room, or jail cell and get your Power of Attorney notarized. Make sure you have current photo-ID issued by government agency.

Step 4. Submit your Notarized Power of Attorney
Once your POA is notarized, you might need to submit it to a particular party, or have it registered at some government office. Ask your Attorney what to do. Keep in mind that banks often have their own forms for Banking Power of Attorney which are often very simplified forms on card stock which would be significantly below the standards of an Attorney. But, if it is for their bank, they have the right to request any type of form they like. Just make sure your Attorney doesn’t object too terribly much. It’s complicated! Be prudent and consult the right people and Attorney before making your decision what to do.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Health care Power of Attorney documents which are often called health directives, medical power of attorney forms or living wills. These are normally very long documents written by an Attorney who specializes in these matters. These types of documents often specify what to do if the Grantor becomes mentally incapacitated, or have to be put on life support.

Limited Power of Attorney documents which grant authority to the grantee to perform certain actions on behalf of the Grantor.

Durable Power of Attorney documents which could stay valid even after the Grantor becomes mentally incompetent (ask an Attorney for details.)

General Power of Attorney — gives broad authorizations to the agent

Special Power of Attorney — gives specific and special powers and authorizations to the agent

Final Note
Don’t ask legal questions to Notaries or other non-Attorneys. First of all, Notaries are not trained to answer legal questions. Secondly, they are not allowed by law to answer legal questions. Get your legal questions out of the way with your Attorney before you make your initial call to the notary. Nothing is worse than keeping a notary on hold while you resolve issues that a responsible person would have resolved long before they called in a notary! Also, Notaries are not normally authorized to draft legal documents, so find someone who is legally authorized to draft legal documents which is normally someone who works as an Attorney or perhaps in the legal field.

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You might also like:

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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