December 2017 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 11, 2017

Following directions — what’s the big deal?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:53 am

Many Notaries think that other people’s directions don’t matter. The other people are just being anal. There is no intrinsic reason for all these nitpicky rules, right? Not true. Many brokers use our site and lose big when Notaries refuse to follow directions. A broker can lose $3000 to $5000 just because a Notary does not follow directions. However, when I give quizzes, experienced Notaries do not follow directions roughly half the time. How can people survive in this industry without getting complaints when they just don’t do what they have been asked? Maybe they are just lucky. Maybe they have avoided situations where there are consequences.

Part of following directions is communication. Most Notaries do not answer questions the way they were phrased. It is a sign of poor mental discipline and can also lead to problems down the line.

When I ask how many loans have you signed, the answer is normally in years, not loans. When I ask how many journal entries, the answer is often an incomplete answer where I have to do the math or a lecture about how their state doesn’t require a journal. When I ask my famous question about the green pen, the answer is always to second guess the instructions by calling when the instructions specifically said not to call.

In real life, there are no green pens, there are no brokers who don’t want you to call them, and there is no guy named Chad who never answers his phone. These problems only exist in Jeremyland. However, in real life, there are guys named Dave who fire you for not following directions and other guys named Jeff who offer you less because you carry on like an idiot who can’t answer simple questions.

If you want to get paid well, you have to discipline yourself. You need to know your notary procedures and documents inside out. You need to communicate perfectly, not ramble, not argue, etc. You need to be on time, dress well, and get documents back on time. You need basic judgement and communication skills too. Most Notaries have none of these skills and just spend a lot of time complaining. It is getting a bit old. You don’t get ahead by complaining and being resistent, but so many Notaries act this way.

The moral of the story is to place a bigger emphasis on following directions. Your reputation could be ruined because you did not follow directions even once. Bad reviews stay on your listing for three years — no exceptions unless they are blatantly fraudulent. You might also cost someone $5000 because you did not follow directions or did not get back to them. Their directions might mean nothing to you, but they mean something to the person paying you.

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December 8, 2017

The Notary Police

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:22 am

Have you ever been pulled over by the Notary police? The problem is that there is no such thing. But, if there were, then there would be one more thing to gripe about. Can you imagine if there were Notary police? If you gave an Oath the wrong way or forgot all together, you might get a citation — I swear it. And if your seal was smudgy you might get a warning. What if you identified someone incorrectly because the ID did not match? You might have to spend the night getting booked at the Notary jail.

I think that the Secretary of State should pretend to be a customer and see how many things you do wrong and then book you. That is my idea of what the Notary police should be like. California used to audit people’s journals. That was the one type of Notary procedural checks and balance that they had. I am not sure they are still doing that.

I do a little Notary policing to make sure people know their basics. The sad part is that only 5% of our Notaries on 123notary are up to my standards for minimal Notary knowledge acceptability. That is really sad. But, what can I do? I can’t force people to learn who refuse to know their job (yet brag about how great they are because of how many years they have been doing their job probably incorrectly.)

In the mean time — licensed and commission certificate please. Keep both hands on your seal.

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December 7, 2017

You’re putting me on! No, I PUT you on!

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 3:51 am

I put hundreds of new listings on 123notary every month. I call them and they don’t know they are listed on 123notary. They say, “I’m not on 123notary, you’re putting me on!” Then, I inform them that I put them on. The sad thing is that 95% of these people don’t know how to be Notaries, so I have to put them off by taking them off. But, don’t be put off by that. They can always study and learn to be a real Notary. It’s not rocket science. NNA has a Notary essentials course that is quite popular.

The problem is that now I am testing people on certificates. If you don’t fill out certificates correctly, you can put a loan on hold. Therefore, that type of knowledge has to be mandatory which means I have to remove most free listings from the site. On the other hand, having a few mandatory questions makes my life easy because I don’t have to ask ten questions which is time consuming. I can just start with one, and you get that wrong, and I remove you — easy!

Notaries need to be aware of the dangers they can cause by filling in a certificate incorrectly.

In any case, some of the better people I put on, get elite certified right away and get promoted to the top of the site if they are any good. This is how we have always found our winners. Free listings turn into top level listings and sometimes ten years later they will still be there.

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December 6, 2017

The signer claimed they never signed the Deed

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:18 am

If you went to someone’s house to notarize a letter that says that little Tommy cannot go to school today and also notarize a Deed for the same person — most Notaries put the two documents in the same journal entry. If the signer only signs once, you don’t know which document they signed for and you cannot prove which document they signed for in court with any probability.

The signer could say, “I never had that notarized, I must have been forged.” or “I signed the document, but I never requested to have it Notarized. The Notary must have seen it on the table and attached an Acknowledgment without my knowing — after all, I didn’t sign for it in the journal.”

I have only heard of a case like this once where the signer claimed not to have signed anything and the Notary had to go to court. But, a signer or borrower could claim not to have signed more than one of the documents if you keep your journal using the multiple documents per journal entry system.

Additionally, the Lender could be accused of adding extra documents with extra terms to a loan signing that were added after the signing to the journal. Using the multiple documents per journal entry system of journal filling it looks very suspicious. Eventually you could get nailed.

So, play it safe and do one journal entry per person per document. Two signers each signing twelve notarized documents = 24 journal entries and yes, you will have to buy a new journal every several weeks and no, it is not that expensive and yes it is necessary.

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December 5, 2017

If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 1:19 am

If you are named as a conspirator in an identity theft ring or identity theft case, you might be looking at some serious legal costs. Being a Notary is not safe, especially when you refuse to keep your books correctly (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to.) Excuses will not get you off the hook when you are a suspect in an identity theft case and when your journal doesn’t has a fake ID documents and no thumbprint (oh, but my state doesn’t require me to). Your state’s shoddy lack of requirements could cost you $20,000, but only if you choose not to keep proper records. Your state is not forbidding you from keeping good records. They just don’t require good records. It might be fun to just stamp things without keeping a record of what you did. But, the fun will go away when you are named in a law suit.

Legal costs might only be a few thousand, but could be as high as $20,000 in a worst case scenario.

Keeping a journal properly with:
1. One entry per person per document… i.e. if two signers each sign five documents that is ten journal entries.
2. Keep journal thumbprints as that is the only way the FBI can catch frauds if a fake ID is used (in many cases.)
3. Keeping additional notes about the signers might help in court such as mentioning tattoos, a nervous twitch, or anything else noteworthy.

Keeping good records is your responsibility as a good Notary whether required by law or not. Your refusal is pure obstinance and I won’t tolerate it for a minute. If you don’t understand good record keeping, the NNA teaches journal filling procedure quite well. So, consult them or risk possible legal consequences! Keeping your journal correctly doesn’t keep you out of court — it just normally shortens your time dealing with investigators and the court system to a few minutes instead of a few months. Take your pick!

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December 4, 2017

No matter how good your work is…

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 3:53 am

I had a Notary who did some work for people. She was to do 400 Acknowledgments. They wanted to pay her an hourly rate, but have her finish the paperwork at her home. Then, they wanted her to only bill them for hours done on site. They wrote a complaint about her claiming she tried to overcharge since she wanted to charge for all her hours.

I wrote her back saying that no matter how good your work is, people will still complain. People appreciate good work when they have had a bad experience one too many times in the past. If you had a bad meal several times, you will appreciate the good meal. If you had a bad Notary or a late Notary you will appreciate the punctual one who knows his/her/their stuff(s).

On the other hand, no matter how bad a Notary is, they always spend a lot of effort trying to convince you that they know everything despite that fact that they cannot give intelligent answers to any of my questions.

On the other hand. If you have had a really top-notch Notary, and then another comes along who is just okay, the okay one will look like an incompetent nitwit in comparison.

The secret here is to try to be better than everyone else in all ways. Claiming to be better is unfortunately not part of the equation. You have to actually be better to the point where other people point out to you things you did that were better than the other guy.

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December 3, 2017

Oath, what oath?

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 10:48 am

So it has come to my attention and honestly to my surprise that most notary signing agents don’t give oaths. And whats even worse they don’t seem to know that it is part of the job. (btw, I give them regularly) I asked those that don’t, “Why not?” Most replied that, ‘they aren’t required to give oaths in their state’ and others didnt know anything about them at all. Really? Then I went on to ask, “Don’t you know that most sets of loan documents have a few documents in the loan package that require an oath be given?” Such as, for example; the signature name affidavit, correction agreement? And that all ‘jurats’ certificates require an oath. Most tell me that they were never trained that this was necessary. But, here and now I remind you that It is part of your job description. So it may be time to get those handbooks out for your state and take another look. Just remember that anytime you see the notarial wording that begin with, “Sworn or affirmed before me”, will always require an oath to be given. And it should go something like this: ‘Please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm to the truthfulness of the document that you are are about to sign?’ Feel free to make your own, this is mine.:). They undoubtedly will say yes and you can proceed with having them sign the document, Remember these documents typically require the signer to sign in front of you. (If they have signed the document already you can have them resign in front of you or use a fresh copy) State notary law regarding this may vary.

Now, I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for not giving an oath. But it is part of your job. And it could have the potential to render your notarization void if a judge asked you if you gave the oath and you didnt. So it is better to know what your duties are and do your job. It is better to be safe not sorry.

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December 1, 2017

A Notary guest speaker gets harrassed by students

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:20 am

A Notary who was big on Notary education and prudency went to lecture for a bunch of college students. Back in her day, students were interested in learning. But, the students of the day were only interesting in heckling and harrassing her mostly about false accusations and politically correct nonsense.

Mrs. Hucklesworth spoke about the importance of Oaths for a few minutes. The crowd immediately started booing and told her that Oaths were a form of tyranny because they were under God and how they didn’t believe in God. Then Mrs. Hucklesworth told them that there was an alternative called an Affirmation which was made on your honor. The students booed again because they claimed they had no honor. Some crowds are just hard to please.

Then she spoke about the importance of having good ID. A member of the crowd said that ID’s were a form of tyranny because black people couldn’t get an ID on voting day. Then Mrs. Hucklesworth explained that nobody could get an ID in certain counties on voting day black or not, but that they could get one on other days.

Mrs. Hucklesworth: Young man, do you carry an ID?
Loudmouth: Of course I do
Mrs. Hucklesworth: Then you are partaking in tyranny yourself!
Loudmouth: I guess you have a point. So, can you notarize me then?
Mrs. Hucklesworth: I am not a practicing Notary any more my dear child!

Next, the topic at hand was variations on a Power of Attorney. A feminist asked if there were a Power of Maternity. Then another feminist said that would be sexist because women are capable of doing a lot more than just being a mother. Then a third feminist said that if all females thought like that, then the human race would die out! Then, there was a variation on that document for people who live in fear called a Cower of Attorney.

Finally, the talk degenerated into a discussion about thumbprints. Finally, the crowd was happy as Mrs. Hucklesworth handed out NNA inkless thumbprint pads to the crowd and they started thumbprinting each other. The proceeding looked more like apes playing with a new toy at the zoo, but at least happy apes.

The moral of the story is that the talk went well by 2017 standards because the studends didn’t try to drown the speaker out with noise machines. For people who love freedom of speech so much, why would you use noise machines? That is the line that separates liberals from leftists. Liberals like the idea of a free discussion of ideas and will entertain any idea no matter whether it is offensive or not to them or their peers. Liberalism seems dead in America and more tolerated by Rightists at this juncture in history which is ironic — don’t ya think?

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