August 2017 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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August 20, 2017

A Notary claimed that NNA refered him to us because we offer free listings

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:52 pm

123notary has been offering free listings for a long time. But, should we. I think we should charge a small fee for the low placed listings. After all, they have a value, and they require maintenance on my part. But, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that NNA refered our directory. We at 123notary also recommend the NNA for all types of services such as E&O insurance, journals, Notary supplies, carry all bags, advertising on signingagent.com and more…

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August 18, 2017

Mongolian Notary

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 9:34 am

Mongolian Notary

I just saw an advertisement for a Mongolian Notary Public.

“Mongolian Notary Public. I travel to jails, hospitals and yurts.”

SAM: So, how is it being a mobile Notary in Mongolia?

MONGOLIAN GUY: Oh, the distances are huge. I had to drive 600 miles to a signing. Since there are no services we have to travel in pairs of two and both know how to repair vehicles, not to mention having a lot of spare parts.

SAM: Ouch. So, what else is unusual about your job?

MONGOLIAN GUY: It is customary for them to offer me yak milk at the signing. Otherwise they would be considered rude. Almost as rude as yacking over someone while they yack.

SAM: Maybe a few yak ribs with some yak milk to wash it down? Or Yak McRibs or a Big Yak.

MONGOLIAN GUY: And perhaps yak soup. It’s very fatty. Gotta survive the Mongolian winter.

SAM: What for? It’s the Mongolian winter. So, after you moved to West Virginia, what part of the state did you get your commission in?

MONGOLIAN GUY: There is a county called Monongalia County. I moved there so I wouldn’t get homesick. Then I found out the elevation was only 1000 feet, so I moved to Colorado. Too much oxygen doesn’t work for me. I need altitude. Either that, or I move to Bejing. There’s not too much oxygen there either.

SAM: Well, the way the economy is going these days we might all be living in yurts here soon as well.

MONGOLIAN GUY: You are preaching to the choir. By the way. Just call me Genghis!
SAM: Beats “Kahn Man.”

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August 17, 2017

I was forced to forge my own signature in India.

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:35 am

As a Notary, forgery is illegal. But, what if you are forging your own signature? Why would you need to do that? I was in Mumbai or Bombay in 2005. I was cashing traveler’s cheques and the clerk was really antsy. I had signed slightly differently on one cheque than the others because I was signing a lot and fast. Signatures change over time, and that is fine in America — but, not with this guy.

India is a country where everyone does their work their own way. There is no standardization of anything other than unsanitary air & water. Subsequently I never had any trouble cashing Amex traveler’s cheques. It was a one time thing. And after that I brought lots of C notes with me just in case. It’s easier to convert cash to rupees than traveler’s cheques. Less can go wrong.

So, I was sitting in this office with the fan going, cars honking outside. In India there is always lots of honking sounds. You get used to it. I practiced signing exactly how I had signed. Finally when I knew I had it right, I signed it for real on the cheque and got my money with a 1% commission. Boy, what a headache. It’s one of those experiences that make you not want to go back to India. Dysentery is another one of those special experiences. Thank God that medicine in India is holistic and costs about two bucks with a nice doctor aunty to help you.

So, after this crazy experience, I went to the railway station and hopped on a local train up to Mulund in Northern Mumbai.

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August 16, 2017

Lets stop undercutting each other….

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:45 pm

I won’t name names. I don’t do that. You know who you are. But once again, it has come to my attention that someone in my area is undercutting our fees for general notary work. In our area (Los Angeles) most of us have fees that are pretty much unified. Fees generally will only vary by type of assignment (loan, general notary work, etc) and any special requests. But we have a defector, lol. Maybe they don’t know that they are selling themselves short. Maybe they don’t know that they can get and are worth more. But 25.00 travel fee is VERY low for the Los Angeles/Santa Monica area. Just think of the time, traffic and gas. Think of what it costs you just to be a notary and stay in business. You can’t make any money at that rate. Every state and county will be different. But, no matter your area if if you all stick together everyone wins.

I remember on 3 occasions in the late 90’s, I needed to have mobile/traveling notary services for my ailing mother. I was not a notary public at this time. All the notaries that we used (who didn’t even know each other btw) charged 50 travel fee. That was over 15 years ago. Currently, most of us are at 60.00 for travel.with a few others even higher at 75.00 just for travel. IMO, this is quite modest considering, time and gas, wear and tear on your vehicle. Remember people time is money. Ask yourself what is your time worth? If you need the service, the convenience of having a notary to come to you at your connivence is ‘priceless’. I know this to be true as my clients tell me this daily. They love and appreciate it. Know your worth and your value. I know mine.

Think about it…

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August 15, 2017

Which Dual Tray Printer do Notaries like? And what does 123notary say?

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 10:47 am

There was a conversation about Dual Tray Printers on the NNA Linked In page.

Nobody had a twin brother, but someone bought an older brother. That solves my problem of being an only child — buy a sibling. Available at Walmart and Amazon.

Recommendations by Notaries

Brother MFC-9970CDW. It’s a workhorse!

Brother MFC-8710DW. I’m happy with it.

Brother multifunction model is 8850

Brother 5200. and it’s AWESOME

Brother HL-L5200DW

Brother HL-L8350CDW and like it. It allows you to purchase the second tray separately (as an addition)

brother HL6180-dw I have tried many different ones this has been the best I ordered on Amazon

HP Laser Jet 4350 DUAL tray 10,000 per cartridge black only same as my Bank uses, it is a work Horse

Warning:
One Notary says that Brother printers aren’t easy to set up with a Mac.

123notary recommends
When starting out, a less expensive, but reliable printer might do the trick. But, if you get good business you should consider having two printers. A fast one for home and a small one with a good power source for your vehicle so you can print on the road which saves tons of time going home to print. Here is what we think you should look for:

1. A reliable brand.
Notaries in the business seem to like Brother best with HP as a second choice. Model numbers that experienced Notaries like are above.

2. Dual tray
means that the printer has two trays. You can use one tray for legal and the other for letter sized paper. Title companies prefer dual tray. It is more professional and means that you don’t need to use special software to sort out the different sizes of paper using a single tray.

3. Speed of printing.
You will be printing a lot if you do loan signing. If you do four packages a day that are 100 pages per package, and all need borrowers copies, that is 800 pages. If you have a printer that prints 45 pages per minute, your job will be done fast. Otherwise you will be sitting and watching for a very long time while your assignments print.

4. Replacement ink or toner
I do not use dual tray printers myself and have been out of the signing game for a long time. If you have a printer that uses ink, make sure you have a few good sources to get replacement ink, order in bulk, and have it in your pantry ready to go. Make sure it is affordable too, otherwise your yearly ink bill will be a tax deduction that is a little too good. If your printer has a toner cartridge, research replacement parts and their costs and how many pages it covers to estimate your costs over the life of the printer.

5. Repair
If you buy from a well-known brand, it will be easier to find places to repair your product. Hopefully, you will never need a repair. You might have a back up printer too just in case you have to leave your printer in the shop for a few days.

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August 14, 2017

What are all these quizzes all about from Jeremy?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:32 pm

Many Notaries are complaining bitterly on the various forums about me calling them and asking them questions. Many Notaries are extremely rude or evasive with me which makes me short tempered. I can deal with one or two bad apples per days but 80% bad attitudes is too much and that is why I might be short tempered with people. It is easier when you do as instructed and just answer questions the way they were asked without making a fuss.

Many Notaries cheated on our online test back in the day. Others took the test five times and memorized the answers from the pool of questions. Both of these techniques are considered unethical and cheating. I estimate more than 10% of people had someone else take the test for them which is a more serious act of cheating. Many others forgot what they learned while still others had more serious problems like becoming addicted to drugs, having memory loss from old age, etc. I now see why NNA requires yearly testing.

I do not want to test people yearly. I think that a pop quiz every few years is enough. The only reason I’m testing people is because the average over the phone test result for our certified Notaries is 45%. How can I hold my head up high and speak well of my site or certified Notaries if they are failing. Only 20% can pass my test with a 70% or higher. How pathetic.

I wish that Notaries would brush up once in a while. The only people who brush up do so because they are NNA members and the NNA makes them recertify. That knowledge helps them do better on my test. However, what Notaries don’t seem to get is that NNA is testing them on loan documents and NOT on basic Notary procedure. The area Notaries have the most trouble is basic Notary procedure. They don’t know how to do the job they are commissioned to do.

If you fail your quiz with me, you can study up and try again. I am not trying to punish people or fight with people. I just want to maintain a low standard. But, 45% is below my low standard. I will accept 80% for a full pass, and 60% for a pass with a few points taken from your algorithm results. I am asking for very little here. The other problem is that I expect Notaries to know how to be a Notary — otherwise you should hand in your badge and your gun to the secretary of state in your state and quit.

Understanding Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Journals and Identification is far beyond most Notaries. Many have the gaul to tell me that they don’t NEED to keep a journal because their state doesn’t make them. That is as stupid as saying you don’t need air bags or seat belts in your car in India because the government doesn’t require it. When you are in the hospital with a tube coming out of your throat you might think differently. And when you are on trial for being a suspected accomplice in an identity theft ring as a result of not keeping a journal, you will also think differently.

All I’m asking is for you to do your job and have a good attitude. That means being polite, answering questions, not blowing me off, and studying from time to time. And once again — it’s not rocket science!

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August 13, 2017

The journals with check boxes? What does Jeremy say?

Filed under: Journals — admin @ 11:27 pm

Don’t use it!
Any time you check a box rather than writing something in by hand, you are risking making a mistake. You are dealing with legal documents here. Being a Notary is not the same as working for the circus. The consequences for a mistake could end you up in court.

Additionally, many document names have variations. If you check the box for an Errors and Omissions document where the real name is Errors and Omissions Compliance Agreement, you did not reference the correct document.

The more serious problem with check boxes is that many Notaries feel that the laws affecting proper journal filling procedure suddently change the minute you use the check box journal. Many Notaries feel you no longer have to obey the one document per entry law or principle. Not true! The principle is still the same. The signer or borrower has to sign for each journal entry and for each document in a separate journal entry — no exceptions and don’t cry about how much longer it will take you. You are Notaries, not clowns!

My suggestion is to use the regular NNA soft cover Official Journal of Notarial Acts. It is good for any type of Notary act, has room for a thumbprint, notes about the signer, room for credible witnesses, etc. It was all I ever needed and I went through about six dozen in my career.

I first saw a real journal with check boxes recently when Carmen showed me hers. She fills hers out by hand instead of checking boxes by the way (which is correct). However, the journal doesn’t mention that many choices of documents (only about 18) so if yours is a variation on a name of a document or not on the list you still need to write it by hand. The check boxes only encourage bad bookkeeping. So, no more check boxes. We don’t like it. It is not professional, safe or a good practice!

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August 12, 2017

Official New Standards at 123notary

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 11:25 pm

After thinking long and hard, I have decided to have some notarial standards here at 123notary. As you know, we are a national organization based in California. We list Notaries throughout the nation. Since most of our Notaries are very weak on Notary knowledge and almost equally weak with loan signing knowledge, it behooves us to ask them questions from time to time to see if they know what they are doing. The more they assure me that they know what they are doing, the worse they do on my quiz. What a con job. But, I’ve heard it all a million times and don’t fall for it.

I have had it with Florida Notaries who shove it down my throat that their state doesn’t require journals and therefor it isn’t necessary. We have a handful of Notaries that are currently being investigated by the FBI, court system or criminal justice system and their journal was their only piece of evidence to defend them. Your change of ever showing up in court is probably only one in a thousand or perhaps 1% for a very busy Notary. But, why take chances. Do your homework and keep your records straight. We don’t want to list a bunch of unprofessional idiots. We want professional Notaries here, not stamperizers. A three year old can stamp documents, but does that make him a Notary? Many of the Notaries we list are not much more advanced than a three year old. And that is why I am requiring these new standards.

1. Identification — Proof of identity required for quizzing purposes.
Not all states require the Notary to prove a signer’s exact identity. Many states allow missing middle initials or don’t spell out exact identification requirements. 123notary requires Notaries to know how to PROVE an identity. If the identification card does not prove the name you are notarizing, then you do not have proof. i.e. if the name on the document is John W. Smith, but the ID says John Smith, then you cannot notarize him according to best practices under the name on the document as you cannot prove the person is John W. Smith. In real life, our Notaries can do whatever their states require, but for quizzes, they must answer according to our standards which match the NNA for identification standards.

All Notaries listed on 123notary must know how to adequately prove a signer’s identity using identification documents. We also strongly suggest journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch someone with a fake ID. You must know the more than but not less than rule correctly. Most Notaries scramble the rule and it does more harm than good.

2. Journals — Required
Not all states require journals, but 123notary requires you to know how to fill out out correctly. Our standard is one journal entry per person per document. So two people signing three documents each would be six journal entries. We also do not accept journals with check boxes for loan document names. So, don’t use one as they create more room for errors.

3. Oaths
All states require Notaries to administer Oaths for Jurats, and do purely verbal Oaths and Affirmations as well. However, most Notaries we talk to get very confused when we ask them to do an Oath. If they did their Oaths daily as required, the Oath verbiage would flow off their tongue. Most either don’t do Oaths or have to look up the suggested verbiage. There is nothing wrong with reading from a script, but you are required to improvise from time to time, so if you don’t know how — you are in trouble.

4. Acknowledgments & Jurats
You have to know the rules for both Notary acts.

5. Certificates
You need to understand the parts and compontents of Notary certificates, as well as the rules for filling them out.

6. General Notary rules and knowledge.
Yes, there are rules that change across state lines, but you need to know the powers of a Notary and general rules.

I am sick and tired of how hard it is to just get a Notary to know their job and do their job. Carmen doesn’t like this either. If you can’t function as a Notary, you cannot be a loan signer.

123notary reserves the right to quiz you on Notary knowledge. If you don’t comply with our questions or get the answers wrong, you will lose points in our point system. If you get less than an acceptable percentage, we reserve the right to suspend you until you study for at least ten hours and learn to do a better job as a Notary.

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August 11, 2017

Notarizing Jeff Sessions on Torture

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 9:25 am

JEFF SESSIONS: Hello. Can you swing down to the White House? They want me to sign a bill endorsing waterboarding, but I don’t believe in that. So, I want a sworn statement saying that I don’t like waterboarding.

NOTARY: Well, I got a call from the others saying that they’re going to make you sign a bill approving waterboarding. And if you don’t sign it, they’ll waterboard you until you do.

JEFF SESSIONS: I’m not afraid. I used to do a lot of underwater diving in my day. I’m a guy who can really hold his breath. Even when smothered by a sheet, but let’s leave KKK jokes out of it.

NOTARY: So, when are you going to sign the affidavit?

JEFF SESSIONS: Don’t hold your breath!

NOTARY: That joke was torture. What about in the next few minutes?

JEFF SESSIONS: I’m a man of principle, not in my lifetime! If I were a younger man, that would really mean something.

NOTARY: Okay, so do you have your document ready?

JEFF SESSIONS: Yup. I’m in the West Wing of the White House. Just come on over, I’ll tell security that you’re coming. Just one thing. Don’t carry any metal objects on you. Or ties longer than the President’s.

NOTARY: What about my crowns and my embosser?

JEFF SESSIONS: They’ll take it apart and put it back together. Like Obamacare. Oh, and they’ll want you to take off your belt.

NOTARY: So, it’s kind of like going to the airport.

JEFF SESSIONS: Recuse me?

(The Notary arrives.)

NOTARY: Mr. Sessions, how are we going to pay off our 20 trillion debt. This will cripple America when there’s a domino effect of nations defaulting on their debt in Europe.

JEFF SESSIONS: I’ve given the matter a lot of thought. I’m very anti-debt. It’s not good to owe anything, including explanations for why I first told Congress I didn’t meet with the Russians. Another reason debt is bad: We could lose our entire economy and be plunged into a horrible depression. But, there isn’t much I can do, as other Americans don’t value moderation and sensibility.

NOTARY: Well, I’m not afraid, because I just invested in Palladium. So, when the dollar crashes, I have hard assets — and I mean hard!

JEFF SESSIONS: Just as long as you didn’t purchase platinum at The Palladium in Hollywood. They sell it at far over market there. So, here’s the document and my ID.

NOTARY: Okay, sign my journal here, sign the document there, and raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear that you agree with the contents of this document in its entirety?

JEFF SESSIONS: I do.

NOTARY: I now pronounce you man and document.

JEFF SESSIONS: Guess where I’m going now and what I’m going to be doing?

NOTARY: I’m stumped.

JEFF SESSIONS: I’m flying to Miami Beach to go waterboarding.

NOTARY: So, you lied under Oath?

JEFF SESSIONS: Oh no, I love water boarding — the sport. I just don’t like it when it’s used for cruel and unusual measures of torture.

NOTARY: But, if you force someone go water boarding at the beach who hates it, that could be considered torture too.

JEFF SESSIONS: Not if they wear ample sunscreen. Otherwise — we refer to it as “After-torture.”

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August 10, 2017

Byron Allen – Notary Hot Chocolate!

Filed under: Sit-Coms — admin @ 10:41 am

Byron Allen — Notary Hot Chocolate!

BYRON: Welcome to comics unleashed hot chocolate, where the comedians go wild! Are you guys ready to go wild?

EARTHQUAKE: Man, you gotta know what you’re doing if you do Notaries in the ghetto. On Jeremy’s 123notary blog it recommends that you don’t park in the driveway. On my blog, I recommend that you don’t park anywhere. Unless you like seeing your car parts live on in another vehicle. You don’t want to park in the kind of neighborhoods I do my Notaries. you do not want to park. You’d be better off Ubering your ass down to the signing.

GINA: My ass, I’d need two Ubers.

EARTHQUAKE: That’s what I like, girl! Good luck trying to get one to pick you up on your way home. If you do, chances are it’s a stolen Uber.

GINA: What I recommend is have two cars. One nice car you use to go out on a date. And another one that is a junker that you use to do signings in bad neighborhoods — and get a good alarm.

STEVEN: My car alarm has settings: low, regular, highly sensitive, and ghetto times three.

EARTHQUAKE: Ha ha ha… Yeah, I tried that two car thing. It worked real good in the beginning until the junker broke down and then the minute I took my nice car out the garage I got pulled over within minutes. The “Make Honkies Great” bumper sticker probably didn’t help.

GINA: I’ve had it with getting pulled over for DWB. So, much for “Black privilege.”

EARTHQUAKE: Hey don’t knock it, we might have trouble in some facets of life, but I assure you not in others. Tell me a white 60 year-old lady who has the gall to put her face on her own magazine every month.

KYLE: Oprah! Where’s my frickin’ free car?

STEVEN: My car is the opposite of a chick car. It ain’t even a blowup doll car. Not that I haven’t used one in the carpool lane.

EARTHQUAKE: ha ha.. My love life blows too. Neither have I.

GINA: Try candles. Women like candles. Unless they’re over 35 and on their birthday cake. With the type of chicks you meet, get a candle of a Notary Seal.

KYLE: You should get a titanium Notary Seal, so you can run faster from the house you’re doing a signing in back to your junker.

STEVEN: Don’t overlook the idea of getting a hot air balloon. That way you don’t have to park it. Just tie it to the house.

GINA: You’re full of hot air.

EARTHQUAKE: I’m so behind on the bills for my two cars, I have bill collectors calling me daily. There are so many, they carpool to my house to collect. Those are the same people who “approved” me.

GINA: I wouldn’t approve you.

EARTHQUAKE: Thanks for the vote of confidence. But, anyway, yesterday I did a signing for a family called the Owens. I said, that’s a good name for you, because after you sign this Deed of Trust you’re gonna be Owen for the next thirty years.

KYLE: I had a signing like that in Ionia County, Michigan. I told them that’s a good thing you live in this county because after you sign the TRID…. the Lender’s gonna say Ionia!

EARTHQUAKE: You went to Ionia just for the bad pun, didn’t you?

KYLE: Why else would I go?

STEVEN: The thing I hate about being a black Notary is that when I deny illegal requests from black customers, sometimes they call me an Uncle Tom for complying with the man. I’m complying with the law that protects all of us…

GINA: Yeah, except in transit from venue to venue..

STEVEN: Good point…

GINA: It’s less of a point, and more of a line when you think about it. And it’s not as bad as being called an Auntie Thomassina.

EARTHQUAKE: Now, what did you say about my mamma?

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