November 2017 - Page 2 of 3 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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November 15, 2017

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat Title

Many Notaries think they can be stubborn and difficult with me during our interactions. The fact is that I assume that if you are rude to me, that you will also be rude to title companies. Then the Notaries say that because they are paying me, they have the right to be rude to me. What an attitude! These are the same people who think they have the right to claim to know what they are doing when they don’t.

Then I talked to Jen who confirmed my theory. She had many title clients and she said that if a Notary is rude to me, they will be rude to others too. I was thinking that since Notaries get paid by title they will start out polite. But, if anything goes wrong, that the rudeness will come out fast.

My spiritual master says that if someone is rude to one person, then they are just rude and will eventually be rude to everybody. I have no way of proving this true. But, I have seen behaviors of friends who were hostile to strangers. This hostility came to me too, but not right away. I had to wait six years to see that hostility come back to me, but it came loud and clear.

So, if you see red flags, don’t discount those flags. They are real, and the consequences of the behavior is real too.

123notary is a directory that caters to Escrow and Title. We need professional Notaries who take their job seriously. Otherwise, the end users will get a bad impress of me, and I can’t afford that. So, treat me professionally, otherwise I will assume you are unprofessional towards everyone sooner or later.

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Bad customers are a pain in the liver
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Why are older notaries so argumentative?
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Do you talk back to people?
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Compilation of posts about Notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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November 14, 2017

That will never happen to me!

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 3:49 am

There was a Notary who generally did a good job, but didn’t understand that the Notary profession isn’t completely safe. He knew that other people went to court from time to time but thought — that will never happen to me. He did his job faithfully day after day. One day he did a routine job for Annette Rockafeller. Little did he know that the ID was fake. Since his state law did not require thumbprints, he notarized Annette based on her fake ID which looked real. Several months later, our Notary friend had to appear in court. He was in court for a month because he did not have incriminating evidence to nail the suspect in the case who had committed identity fraud and robbed someone of half a million dollars.

The judge finally figured out what happened and convicted someone names Judy who was pretending to be Annette. My only question is that if Judy was pretending to be Annette, then who was pretending to be Judy? In any case, the Notary lost half his loyal clients because he was tied up in court for a month with no pay. He was frustrated and upset that this had happened. After all, his state didn’t require thumbprints so he had done nothing wrong.

The judge sat his down and explained that India does not require seat belts but you can still get killed if you don’t wear one. The law allows people to drink alcohol, but you can still die if you drink too much. There is nobody forcing you to take a thumbprint and nobody forcing you not to. But, next time YOU could be named as a suspect as a conspirator in an identity theft ring if this happens again. Guess what the Notary said to the judge?

That will never happen to me!

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November 13, 2017

Notary loses $4000 in legal fees because fraud adds name to Acknowledgment certificate.

When I was a Notary and was handed some other Notary’s work, I normally saw that the he/she/they and capacity(ies) that needed cross outs did not have cross outs. By omitting the cross outs you cannot know if the signer is a single man, woman, or multiple people. California no longer allows Notaries to verify capacity which leaves one less thing to cross out.

If you as a Notary omit to cross out the she/they on an Acknowledgment for a single man, someone could add another name to the certificate and get away with it undetected. Notaries can be extremely negligent and don’t get caught — usually. But, I catch them by the dozen every day and penalize them on my site. I throw hundreds of Notaries off my site for failing my over the phone Notary quizzes. And others stay on the site but I deduct points from their point algorithm results which makes it very hard for them to upgrade. You might not take doing your job correctly seriously, but I do.

And then the Notaries who take their job seriously, but have been doing it wrong for 20 years and think that their work is flawless. I will catch you. I will expose many things you are not doing or are doing incorrectly. Better that I catch you rather than ending up in court with legal fees for not filling out forms correctly. Being a Notary is not rocket science. There is no reason for such negligence!

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Penalties for Notary misdeeds and misconduct
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13 ways to get sued as a Notary
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10 risks to being a Mobile Notary Public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

The FBI is at your door and names you as a suspect!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20013

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November 12, 2017

What gets you in trouble as a Notary fast vs. slowly

Filed under: Etiquette,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 3:50 am

As a Notary, there are many ways to get in trouble. Here are a few.

SLOW TROUBLE

Journals
If you don’t keep a good journal, you might get into trouble. But, people will only find out how bad your journal is after you are in court which won’t happen too quickly unless you have bad luck. But, many notaries do eventually end up in court, and you will find out then if you are in trouble for not keeping a good journal. Honestly, being in front of a judge is not the time you want to learn how you should have been keeping your journal. Find out before you are in trouble and save yourself the grief.

Identification.
If you identify people and take liberties doing so, it might take a while before you end up in court. Even if you do so correctly, you can still get in trouble. If the name on the document is not provable based on the ID, then you are going out on a limb notarizing. Also, if you do not thumbprint all signers, if they gave you a fake ID, then you have no paper trail leading to their arrest. You might get away with this for twenty years of sloppiness, and then on year twenty and one day you end up in court as a suspected accomplice in an identity fraud ring. Then you will be sorry. Be prepared and take a thumbprint. Only you can prevent forest fires and identity fraud (not necessarily in that order.)

FAST TROUBLE

Certificates
Not completing certificates will get you into trouble faster than wearing a Rolex in the South Bronx. If there is an error on a certificate, it might not be recordable or acceptable to the document custodian. That can hold a loan up and get a Notary fired or even sued.

Not following directions
Not following directions can ruin a job and get you fired quickly. Signing companies, brokers, and lenders want you to follow directions, so take that seriously. It can cost them thousands if you screw up.

Not answering your phone.
After you are done with a job, you are still on the hook. If you are needed for after-service but just don’t answer, you can get in trouble. Answering email is important too. If you go on vacation or are hospitalized after a job and are not responsive, trouble will follow.

Arguing with Jeremy
If you argue with me about how you don’t need to take my dumb quiz, you get into trouble fast with me. Many people have lost their certifications with 123notary purely due to stubbornness. How unnecessary. But, then if you are impossible with me, you will be impossible with the title companies who use 123notary and who needs that?

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Can a notary get in trouble?
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10 risks to being a notary public
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19459

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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November 10, 2017

Protesters & A statue of a Notary who had slaves

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:09 am

There is a town in Virginia where there is a statue of Franklin Bends. Franklin was a Notary Public in his day and also had slaves. A group of leftists surrounded the statue and wanted to either vandalize it, or take it down entirely. Meanwhile another group called, Notary lives matter got word of this protest and went to defend the statue. Their argument was that this man was an important part of history even though he had committed some sins according to the modern way of thinking. The second argument was that five hundred years from now when there are statues of violent and irratic protesters, those statues will be knocked down because five hundred years from now they will be prejudiced against people do drugs, act crazy and destroy things.

The the protesters asked, “How do you know that?” The NLM leader said, “I just made that up — no just kidding, I asked my psychic.” Then the protesters asked, “Well how reliable is he?” NLM retored, “He’s accurate a lot of the time.” The head of the protesters asked, “Do you have his card or something. I need a psychic right now. My last one skipped town.” Then the NLM guy said, “I knew you were going to ask that… okay, I didn’t, but my psychic did, or at least I predict that he would.”

The NLM leaders said that destroying the statue would not change the past, or improve the future — it would just be an act of destruction and erasing our history and heritage. Can you imagine a world where history has been twisted or completely erased? Would you want to live in that type of world? History could not repeat itself because it wouldn’t have happened yet, plus there would be one less category on Jeopardy.

Then the protesters explained that we already lived in that type of world because history is taught from the point of view of the people who won wars, and that Native Americans are always represented as savage fighters or helpless victims simply because that is the only information the historians had on them. If the Native Americans had written history, they would have shown life as normal and then Custer coming out of nowhere and destroying them.

NLM rebutted that the protesters had a good point but were digressing, but not regressing. NLM decided that they would compromise by having the protesters create a statue of protesters protesting the statue of the Notary instead of smashing things down. The protesters agreed and so did the birds (tweet tweet) who were protesting that there were no transgender statues for them to go to the bathroom on — an interesting twist on transgender Avian bathrooms.

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Finding your roots — Notary edition
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Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual
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November 8, 2017

10 reasons why the State Notary divisions should be nationalized.

Filed under: Public Interest — admin @ 1:23 am

Normally I am in favor of state rights. But, as far as Notary Public issues are concerned, the states are not doing a good job except for California for whom I would give a C. Here are some compelling reasons why the notary divisions should be nationalized.

1. Education
Most states either do not have educational programs for Notaries, or don’t have very good educational programs. The state notary handbooks have a variety of laws and practices, but do not generally spell out exactly how to interpret or apply laws or what to do in particular situations that arise regularly that could cause confusion or danger. Some states have too many laws which make it hard to learn them all. While other states have too few laws. If we would have just the right amount of laws, and those laws would be nationalized, and well taught, there would be a higher percent of highly informed Notaries who do their job correctly at all times which is my goal.

2. Testing
Not all states have a Notary Test. Those that do have a Notary test normally have a multiple choice written test. Testing people on nitpicky legal issues is fine and dandy, but if a Notary cannot fill in a journal or forms correctly then what good are they? Hands on testing and testing people to see how they handle curve-balls such as legal requests that seem illegal or illegal requests that seem legal is absolutely necessary in my opinion.

3. Auditing
Notaries get away with all sorts of mischief in all states. Most Notaries not only omit legally required Oaths, but claim not to understand my instructions when I ask them to give me an Oath on a document. Many Notaries do not keep their journal correctly which is a danger to society. If there is identity theft, the journal is the only means to know what happened at a transaction and the journal thumbprint is the only way the FBI can catch the bad guys in many cases. Notaries nationwide need to be checked up upon once or twice a year to make sure they are not doing anything wrong. For the government to have time to check up on everyone, there needs to be fewer Notaries otherwise the job would take too long.

4. Standardization of Notary Acts
There are many variations on Notary Acts from state to state. It can be confusing for interstate transactions and for people who run nationwide Notary associations. It is easier if there are standardized acts nationwide and standardized laws.

5. Thumbprinting
Many Notaries on 123notary helped the FBI catch some awful criminals who did Ponzi schemes, identity theft and more. It was the thumbprint that was the critical piece of evidence that helped catch the bad guys. Most Notaries outside of CA feel they should not have to take thumbprints. Having national laws requiring thumbprints is the only way to safeguard society from cons.

6. Quality Standards
Before a prospective Notary takes a course, they should take a quick IQ test and personality test to see if they are well adjusted to be a Notary Public. Someone with an IQ of 100-120 who is anal, picky, has tremendous integrity, and follows the law to the letter and fills out forms correctly every time would be the ideal candidate to be a Notary. People who have screws loose are dangerous as Notaries because they will accept illegal requests becuase they can’t keep the law straight in their head. I find this out during testing as my over the phone test asks people which situations are acceptable to notarize and more than half of our Notaries decline legal requests while accepting illegal requests. Quality control is easier on a national level to make sure all Notaries know what they are doing to a T.

7. Notary Fees
Most states have ridiculously low Notary Fees. To attract good Notaries, Notary fees need to be at least $20 for the first Notary act and at least $40 for a travel fee for jobs more than 25 minutes away. Notaries in states that pay 50 cents for a Notary act tend not to be very good Notaries. Can you imagine why?

My recommendations

1. Four days of Notary education training that covers laws, processes, identifying people, administering Oaths, form filling, journals, and dealing with legal vs. illegal requests. One day of training is not enough to do a thorough job of covering all the bases here. Additionally, a refresher course for a few hours once or twice a year might help keep knowledge solidly in a Notary’s head as well.

2. A written and hands on test that could be one on one makes sense. What good is knowing the law if you don’t know how to fill in necessary forms?

3. Higher fees to become a Notary. To weed out applicants that are not serious, higher fees and more days of school will weed out people who don’t absolutely want to become a Notary Public.

4. The government should check up on Notaries at least once per year to make sure they are not skimping on responsibilities or accepting illegal requests. An undercover government worker could coerce the Notary to do something illegal to see if the Notary would comply and then fine the Notary if the Notary complied.

5. State websites (taken over by the Feds) should spell out all Notary situations and applications of laws. Identification standards should be the most emphasized as that is a huge area of contention. Names on ID’s do not always exactly match names on documents and formal standards for handling every type of mismatch should be documented on websites.

6. Most states do not make it clear that an Acknowledged signature can be signed (in 44 states) prior to appearing before the Notary Public. Most Notaries are falsely under the impression that they need to witness acknowledged signatures. What good are laws if the laws are not clearly explained? This is the most clear cut example of a law that is misinterpreted more than it is correctly interpreted. Thank God I went to a good Notary school when I became a Notary!

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November 7, 2017

The grace period after your signing

Filed under: Best Practices,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 1:03 am

Most Notaries are only concerned with making a living. It makes sense. I was the same way. This is why Notaries should get paid more so that they can be more conscientious and less worried about making a living.

After you do a signing, you might be needed for what the Japanese call, “Afta-sahvice.” That is their way of saying After-Service. After you do a signing, you might get emails and phone calls if there is something wrong. The Lender might need a tracking number. They might want to know about the ID of the signer. What if your stamp didn’t come out clear enough or what if you botched a notarization or missed a signature. Maybe the recorder objected to your seal which was too light in the corner. Even the best of Notaries make mistakes from time to time. The point is not to be perfect, but to be available (kind of like being a foster parent.)

I asked many Notaries this question:

“If you do a signing and want to go camping after the signing, how many days (if any) after you drop the Fedex in the drop box should you wait before you go camping or out of town, etc?”

Here are the answers.

1. None
(My commentary) You are leaving the signing company high and dry, but they are probably only paying you $60, so they deserve it.

2. Until they get the package.
(My commentary) The Title company might not realize there is a problem until a day or two after they get the package. Additionally, Title companies are notorious for unstapling notarized documents and losing acknowledgment forms stapled on. So, after they get the package isn’t long enough if you want to be considerate.

3. A day
(My commentary) The Title cmpany might not even get the package after a day. If you missed the Fedex cut off, and Fedex is slow, it might be two or three days before Title gets your package.

4. Two days
(My commentary) The Title company might just have gotten your package after two days. They won’t know there’s a problem until they review your work and it might sit on the secretary’s desk for a while.

5. Seven days
(My commentary) Why seven days? If the Title company gets the package it will be processed and the loan will close and fund within three to six days. Seven makes no sense at all. The person who said seven days did poorly on other questions.

6. Three days or until the rescission period is over
(My commentary) This answer is much more intelligent and well reasoned. If there is a problem, the processor will probably find it before the end of the rescission period which might be three or four days depending on whether or not a Sunday or Federal holiday.

7. Indefinitely
(My commentary) What? You are the servant of a signing company forever for a dumb $60 signing. This is like self-induced slavery. You can’t possibly mean that. Illogical. That person who said indefiniately failed my test by getting other answers wrong.

The “Correct” Answer
It seems to me that if there is a problem that requires the Notary to go back to the signing, it would reveal itself within the period of day two to day five. If the package did not arrive, on day two someone might request a tracking number which you should text them upon completion in any case — but, they might lose the text or the text might not go to the recipient but to the signing company. If there is a problem with a notarization it might be discovered on day two, three, or four, but most likely on day three. If there is a problem with the county recorder, it might not be detected for five to ten business days. The best answer for time sensitivity would be three to five days. However, if you need to go camping, you cannot just not do any signings for three to five days because you have to make a living. So, just let everyone you work for know your schedule ahead of time and let them know that they are responsible for the risk they are taking in hiring you when you will not be around to clean up any messes.

Use at your own risk!

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Notary Public 101 Scenarios: The Frank Camping Trip Question
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How to lose half your clients while on vacation!
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Be your best at all times
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21025

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November 6, 2017

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Many Notaries complain about how little they get paid. And then I complain about how little they know. The two tend to go together and the pay is not going to go up before the knowledge does. However, there are negotiating techniques that can help.

1. Let them name their price first
In a bargaining game, it is better to let the other person bid first. You can always raise your ask price if they don’t offer enough. But, if they offer far too much, you would never get it if you asked first and asked too low.

2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125, you can always go down on your price, especially if the job is close or fast. You can ask how many pages, fax backs, and notarizations are in the package. If it is quick, then give them a quick price.

3. Never whine
If you whine about the condition of the industry or how low the fee was, people will think you are a low life. Professionals don’t whine. Professionals operate! So, if you are offered $60, ask for $85 and see what happens.

4. Decline the low-ball offers
If you spend all day working for peanuts, then when the good jobs come, you won’t have time. Decline bad offers so you are free for good offers.

5. Answer your phone
If you only offer when you are not in a signing and not driving or cooking or thinking, you will miss 80% of your calls. How can you negotiate a good fee if you don’t take the call in the first place?

6. Act professional
Try to impress them without trying to impress them. Most Notaries try to do a snow job and brag about how great they are. Seasoned operators don’t do this. Smart professionals will engage you in an intelligent conversation about the job, the industry and the state of the union. Ask them questions about the job, where it is, who it is for, what type of loan it is, and about their career and industry working in title or escrow. But, whatever you do, don’t talk about your zero percent error rate and how reliable and experienced you are — nobody can verify your claims and nobody wants to hear it.

7. Never say hello
Unless you work for an aloe vera companies, don’t answer the phone saying “aloe?” Answer stating your company name and personal name. It sounds professional. If you have screaming kids in the background that sounds horribly unprofessional. Have a quiet place to answer the phone and if you are in a noisy place, try to go to a quieter place and apologize about the noise. Just because you don’t mind noise doesn’t mean the title company enjoys barking dog and screaming three year old.

8. Talk about real life
Sometimes I talk to Notaries who tell the Title company that you can call me to clean up the mess after you hire one of those $50 signers. Over half my work is clean up work. That sounds real to title companies unlike all the nonsense about how experienced and knowledgeable you are which just sounds like fluff. Tell real stories about how you handled complicated situations that others might have goofed. Mention that split signing where you did some complicated manouver on the Acknowledgment certificate and how you went out to sign the wife at 3am because she could only see you at that time due to her busy schedule as a nurse. This is impressive and much better than fluff.

9. Negotiate timing
You can offer a better rate if they get you late after rush hour. They might prefer to just offer you more and get the job booked.

10. Double book and get a bad review
Yes, you’ll get bad reviews from this, but double booking makes sense. People cancel jobs all the time when they hire you, so why can’t you cancel a few jobs. If you book jobs tightly, the other person will cancel 20% of the time — at least. So, if you book a job for $60 and someone else offers you $150, you can ditch the first job and take the other. You will probably get a bad review that will last for three years, but you will have $90 extra in your pocket. It’s a dirty technique. Not recommended, but food for thought and great blog material.

11. Never let them see you sweat.
Appearing calm and collected are the way to go. If you seem flustered, that is bad. Oops, that was eleven rules and I promised ten. Okay, disregard point eleven and just use antiperspirant.

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How to negotiate fees like a pro
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Can you negotiate prices with SnapDocs?
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A complete guide to getting paid
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November 5, 2017

People can’t get it through their head — you have to study

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 3:57 am

I am in the process of retesting a lot of our certified members. Many are avoiding me while others are ready to test. But, most can’t get it through their head that they need to study to pass our test. Notaries think they can just wing it and pass. Notaries try to sell me on the fact that they have been in business for 20 years with no complaints. But, people with that much experience normally score about 40% on our test. Those who study instead of trying to sell me on how great they are normally do better.

When I became a Notary I studied 35 hours to pass our state exam. I studied from multiple sources including NNA materials, California Handbook, etc. I passed the test the first time with a 92% because I studied hard. It was not easy in the beginning because all of the terms and concepts were alien. The NNA materials really helped make sense of everything and the course I took from California approved teachers helped a lot too. I remember a lot of what I was taught twenty years after the fact which is fantastic.

123notary is now requiring that our Notaries score 70% on our Notary test. We are a Notary directory, so therefor the people we list should know how to be a Notary. Being commissioned in some backwards state doesn’t cut it because they don’t scrutinize you. You have to pass my test. It’s not rocket science, but I doubt you will pass if you don’t study.

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November 3, 2017

Notary Sexual Harassment Issues

Many lady Notaries are afraid to go to a single man’s house for obvious reasons. But, the type of harrassment in this blog article will surprise even you guys who read my blogs regularly. Here are some bizarre situations that would happen.

The client wanted to get it on with the Notary. The Notary was offended, but NOT because the client wanted to get it on with him, but because the client wanted to do it do it with him and his stamp. The Notary said, “I’m not into that!”

The next situation involves the Notary chasing a woman around a desk (sounds like a Hindi movie) to get her signature. The woman resists because she claims she doesn’t know the Notary well enough to sign his journal. Sounds like a Beetles song, “Baby let me sign your journal.”

The last situation happened with Will from Will and Grace. Will had a male Notary who was straight who was offended because of how Will kept talking about how he wanted to be Notarized. Will: “Oh, NOTARIZE me, STAMP me, STAMP me all night long. Oh, whip out that embosser. Oh, you… Do you want me to SIGN something? I want to SIGN your BOOK. Oh please let me sign your book! Are you going to hold my thumb when we do journal thumbprints?” Then the Notary said, “Oh, my state doesn’t require thumbprints.” Then Will said, “in that case, you’re fired, but before I fire you, are you going to stamp me for approval?”

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Compilation of posts about Notary dating & romance
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The Sexting Notary
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Don’t have unprotected Notarizations
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The sexist Notary Dentist
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You will be all alone with me
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The Mannequin Signer
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