December 2017 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 31, 2017

A dream about the red van

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:06 am

I had a dream. I was driving, perhaps in Massachusetts going North through some very poor area. In my dreams I think there are certain areas I routinely go through that do not exist in real life.

I stopped to go to a cafe. I parked in a large parking lot. I went to the cafe which was mostly very poor looking white people. I asked someone if blacks were treated okay there, but I kept backing up in the cafe because I was uncomfortable that others would hear me. Then I saw some discheveled homeless looking guy with a huge beard lying on the floor with his long hair and a cat and two dogs sprawled out near the exit blocking the exit. I walked more or less on top of them to get out.

Then I could not find my car in the large parking lot. Where I had parked there was now a red van and my key opened the door. It had one of those doors that opened in parts, each part opening a different way. One part opening like a door, and the other flap opening pointing towards the back of the vehicle. I wanted to find my car so I walked around the parking lot but only found some 70’s looking blacks with afros and some white guys with long hair who looked like drug addicts. I felt uncomfortable and left.

The next day I went to the supermarket in Pacific Palisades and some crazy homeless people were talking loudly to themselves and anyone who walked by. I wonder if the dream was a premonition.

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December 30, 2017

Why does it have to be so difficult?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 10:12 am

It is like pulling teeth trying to get Notaries up to standards. I want Notaries to know how to keep a journal, thumbprints, fill out forms correctly, and ID people correctly. This is not rocket science and you are supposed to know this stuff anyway for your safety and the safety of society.

Title companies use 123notary to find Notaries. 123notary is better than the other directories. However, we still have a majority of highly stubborn and incompetent Notaries on our site. Frankly I am sick of the endless nonsense. Why is it so hard to get people to study and take a quiz and pass. I get so much arguing. It is like dealing with children. There is always a reason why I shouldn’t have to be tested because I really do know what I’m doing. People would rather argue for half an hour rather than take a two minute quiz and pass.

The fact is that people are hiding something. They are hiding the fact that they don’t have a clue what they are doing and have gotten away with it for the most part so far. This is horrifying and I’m taking a stand. I am no longer tolerating difficult people and stubborn behavior. You will be expected to measure up to a particular standard as a Notary so that we do not endanger the end users who use our site. I owe the users something and so do you. They are the ones who pay you so that you can afford to pay me. Without them, none of us get paid!

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December 29, 2017

The Notary Union raises it’s rates and alienates its notaries!

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 11:05 am

Notaries who had joined the Notary Union did so to make their lives better. They were not getting enough work, and not getting paid enough. The union seemed like the only way. But, these Notaries were wrong.

A year after a few thousand Notaries joined the Notary and Signing Agent Union, the union started raising its fees to $600 per year. How were Notaries who were barely working going to afford $600 and also afford background screening and the yearly certification requirements from various agencies. It was just too much.

Additionally, the union set Notary prices so high at $100 per signing that many signing companies chose not to use the union. After all, most of the Notaries in the Union couldn’t even pass Jeremy’s easy test. How can Notaries who don’t follow directions, don’t communicate clearly and don’t even know the difference between an Affirmation and an Oath command such fees?

Notaries were dropping out of the union like flies (or like seals in an oil spill due to offshore drilling.) What was the solution? The problem is that most Notaries do not know how to handle situations and do not know Notary law that well either. The common excuse is that they know what they are doing if you put the documents in front of them. But, when I ask simple quesitons about what they are allowed or not allowed to do, the distinctions between what is legal, ethical, safe, or preferred by the Lender get blurred and this is very dangerous.

Meanwhile on 123notary, Elite Certified Notaries are getting monopoly on work. While the uncertified Notaries are not even trying to learn anything to pass this test. Unions won’t get you work — knowledge and the proof of knowledge will. Some people will pay more for skilled Notaries and those people use 123notary more than any other site. Pleasing them means taking your profession seriously and learning to communicate well.

Looking for shortcuts to success like market bending unions does not lead to success in the long run. It is temporary market manipulation and the long term results are evident in places like Ohio which is a burnt out shell of the once great American manufacturing empire.

In short — get ahead using knowlege and studying. Stop complaining and start mastering your trade. It’s not that hard.

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December 28, 2017

The secret to happiness — is it all in your mind

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 3:54 am

I was listening to a lecture from a Buddhist nun on youtube which incidentally is my source for knowledge about the universe as of 2017. She claimed that happiness derives from having a particular state of mind. This type of idea is rooted in Hindu ideology and is passed down like gospel.

However, I disagree. On Friday my state of mind was positive. I did all the things I wanted to do. I encountered a little traffic going to meditate but got there only a little late considering there was a bad accident on the 101 downtown. I had a good meal and tried a new restaurant as well. That evening I got lots of work done on my computer. My state of mind was positive, but I wasn’t happy. But, why?

Luckily I am smart enough not to listen to a bunch of dumb brainwashed Buddhists. What do they know? Happiness doesn’t come from the mind. It comes mainly from the heart.

Decisions should be made with the gut, especially when danger is involved (like dealing with the opposite gender.)
Happiness comes from the heart.
Consciousness comes from the soul and the brain.

What happened was my planets were all bad on Thurs and Friday. Really bad planetary combinations. I follow an astrologer who does my daily charts and has done so for a decade. She has 30 years experience. The result is that on good days, I get more done, feel better, and have better luck in general, although there are exceptions. On bad days, I might feel drained of energy. Good vs. Bad is not based on the kindergarden type of astrology you read in the newspaper where Leo’s need to watch their step (whatever that means.)

So, I felt horrible because my planets. My heart was also not feeling great. So, that evening I had some pasta with herbal pasta sauce which is mostly tomato. Tomatoes are super for the heart and can give you an improvement within hours as the fire element energy of the tomatoes sinks in. I am well versed in what foods represent what element. And what you eat affects your health in ways you can’t even imagine. And yes, it is complicated but interesting. So, don’t eat random foods. Eat what your body needs at a particular time. Trust your feelings.

But, for Notaries, I will make this suggestion which is based on what the Dalai Lama regularly says. If you think you life is horrible, you can feel better by comparing it to other people’s situation which could be worse.

Are you poor? People in foreign countries are a lot worse off. Even in Europe, gas is $9 per gallon and it costs $2 to park anywhere while in America it is generally free.

Are you single? Married people’s lives are horrible. All they do is argue and then fight with their kids.

Are you married? Think of how much better you are than single people who are lonely and have no stability in their relationships.

Are you black? Just think about what bad dancers white people are and you’ll feel better. Just say, “Thank God I’m not like that — I know how to shake it.”

Are you white? Just think about how much better off you are than the Chinese who can’t even use plural(s) correctly.

Are you a Notary? Just think about how much better of you are than non-Notaries. After all, your job is honorable and secures the integrity of million dollar transactions. Your job is the most important job in the whole wide world — assuming you do it correctly which is a lot to assume. But, Carmen will snap some sense into you if you talk to her so there is hope.

Happiness is partly derived from not wanting more than what you can have. Too many desires lead to misery. But, heart health matters a lot too. If you have a good state of mind, but your heart is not in good shape that is a problem. The heart is a very sensitive organ that can be hurt by a single harsh word or angry glance. Unfortunately, your heart health is only partly up to you, but highly sensitive to your external environment which includes the people you keep around you.

And last but not least, your planets affect your happiness, at least on a day to day level. So, try to have good planets and keep them in orbit.

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December 27, 2017

The immigration debate; both sides are missing the point

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 1:20 am

The standard points of view about immigration are as follows.

PRO
People who are pro immigration want more immigrants. Maybe their family came from somewhere else and want their extended family to relocate to the United States, etc.

CON
People who are selective about immigration only want people who can fulfill certain economic roles in the United States that cannot be easily filled by the locals. People who are against extensive immigration want to limit people’s extended families from coming over.

Neither point of view makes any sense. When you let someone into your country to work in a system that doesn’t enforce laws, they will never leave. If that person jumped a fence or swam across a river to come here .They will stay indefinitely and bring their entire family over and create a huge presence. It is true that we have a labor shortage in many parts of the United States. But, the reality is that many parts of America are being taken over by people who share no cultural integration with society.

Although we need labor in the United States, the bigger issue is the long term effects of immigration. When a person comes in legally or otherwise, they normally have children or import their children. Then, their children have children, etc. If those families are intrinsically nice families, that that will be a favorable outcome. If those families are criminals or hate America, or hate Americans, it would be very negative for them to be around.

When you let an immigrant into the United States because they know how to do a particular job, you are not only letting them in, but their children, children’s children, and children’s children’s children and so on and so on and so on (sounds like an Amway distritributorship.) If you let in one guy because he knows how to fix jet engines, but his family is horrible, in the long run we all lose. But, if you let in some really wonderful person who does not know how to do any special job, he might be more likely to have wonderful children.

Immigration is like a marriage. If you marry someone who is a horrible person just because he makes a good living, or is part of your religious sect, in the long run you lose even though your short term goals will have been met. If you marry someone who makes a passable living but who will love you and be a good partner in the long run, your family will probably be better off. With marriage you are stuck with that person until death do you part. With immigration you are stuck with that immigrant’s children and descendents who might be model citizens or gansta’s. Do the math!

My solution
It is more sensible to have two types of immigration. Those who move here to become part of society, and another type for those who fulfill some short-term economic necessity for the United States like knowing how to do neuro-surgery. For those who are economic in nature, having a separate economic zone would be a great way for us to get services of foreign nationals where the nationals could live in their own cultural areas. Having tens of millions of people live in our society who want nothing to do with our society in the long run creates frictions and doesn’t seem worth it. For those who wish to live in our society, they should embrace it and accept us –otherwise the entire United States will end up like Los Angeles where nobody will talk to you unless you are from their country! I’m exaggerating, but it is very much like this a lot of the time with many of the residents here. Food for thought!

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December 26, 2017

Affirmations – Pleasing the politically correct while offending the traditional people

The politically correct movement has become so strong. We have lost our freedom of speech and are controlled in so many ways that it is upsetting. However, it applies to the Notary world too. Those who don’t believe in God or don’t want to mention God have been so adamant that Notaries had to change how they did their job in terms of Oaths and Affirmations.

What was supposed to happen was that those who did not want to swear, could choose a different yet legally equal notary act called an Affirmation to replace the Oath. However, most Notaries do not understand the rules and principles of Oaths vs. Affirmations. What many Notaries do is administer an Oath with affirmation wording which is as stupid as doing and Acknowledgment with Jurat wording or going to a urinal in a female bathroom. It doesn’t work that way.

Oaths are Oaths and Affirmations are Affirmations. They are interchangeable but you cannot mix the verbiage from one to another.If you do an Oath you swear whether that offends people or not. If you do an Affirmation you affirm or state whether that offends people or not. But, you cannot affirm during an Oath to spare people the offense. And by the way, affirming during an Oath offends me because it is wrong.

It is the customer’s choice if they want an Oath or Affirmation. As long as your state recognizes it, it is up to the client.

Many Notaries say, “I don’t do Oaths, I only do Affirmations.” That is not your choice. You have to offer all Notary procedures that your state says are on the list. It is up to the customer to choose any type of notarization your state recognizes.

So, get it straight people because I test on this stuff and I take it very seriously. In fact I’m writing a few other articles on the topic that clarify the matter.

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You might also like:

Airline meals vs. Oaths & Affirmations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19549

Notary Public 101 – Oaths, Affirmations, Jurats & Acknowledgments
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19500

Should you give book wording for Oaths or improvise?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19660

Oaths – how Notaries completely screw them up
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19369

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December 25, 2017

123notary’s certifications will get you more business than before

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:01 am

A certification is only as valuable as the knowledge it represents. In the past, I thought our certified members were great and did not need to be tested. Then, things changed and I found I was wrong. I had to remove certifications from many people’s listings. So, now there are fewer 123notary certified members. However, the ones that have the icon have a higher level of knowledge than before. Therefore, having our certification icon will get you a bigger advantage now than ever before.

All you have to do is actually know how to be a Notary, know your loan documents, and know how to handle situations. Being 123notary certified is pathetically easy. I am shocked how many people cannot pass our test. It is easy. Most people would rather fail in their career than study a few hours. Studying is not that hard, and this is much easier than studying for a real license. So, what is the problem.

In the old days, 123notary certificaiton would get you roughly 2.5x more business. Now, that I am cleaned up my cert icon and where I put it, it will logically get more than that. I would estimate it would get people 4x more business. However, I need to wait a few months before I get formal readings. In any case this is huge. You would be a fool not to have our icon. The studying involved is only a few hours. It won’t kill you.

Additionally, the Elite icon is being scrutinized. It is not so easy to get, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Ask us how to get the elite icon. And if you don’t believe me then ask Santa (if he’s real.)

Also read – Compilation of certification posts

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December 23, 2017

But, I’m not comfortable answering questions over the phone

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 11:04 am

People get upset with me all the time because I ask them questions over the phone. I think it is the perfect way to ask questions in this business for the following reason.

In the Mobile Notary business signing and title companies assign work by phone normally. Snapdocs uses mostly texts, but 123notary channels work that is mainly dispatched by phone. So, what does this mean?

If you either don’t answer your phone, don’t want to talk when you answer your phone, or don’t like answering questions over the phone, then you are completely useless!

Bottom line — if you are free enough to answer your phone then you are free enough to talk for a few minutes without protesting.

I get so many excuses why someone can’t talk, yet they have time to answer the phone. I can’t talk because:

Semi-legitimate excuses:
I’m at a signing
I died
I’m sound asleep

Unacceptable excuses:
I’m cooking
I’m eating
I’m at a birthday party
I’m at a barbecue
I’m on my way to church
I just got out of church
It’s 8:30pm for crying out loud
I’m in the hospital
I’m just going to bed
I’m in the shower
I’m driving
I’m just about to get to a signing
I have to leave to go to a signing
I am just between signings

Very illegitimate excuses:
I’m at church (shouldn’t be answering in the first place)
It’s Sunday

If someone offering you money called you and you did not want to talk for any of these reasons, they would call someone else and dump you unless they thought you were the best signer in town. Blowing people off is not a good business decision.

The only semi-legitimate excuse not to talk is because you are at a signing.

If you are on your way to a signing and you answer your phone while driving, then you have a few minutes to talk otherwise why even answer. What business do you have answering the phone during church unless it is Jesus on the other end of the line? If you are in the shower why would you answer a call and then say you can’t talk? Why interrupt a birthday party to answer a call only to tell the other person you can’t talk.

Honestly people, this is BS, and very unprofessional. You are telling the other person that you do not value them when you behave like this. It is insulting, stupid, and will lose you a lot of jobs. What is worse, is that I need to quiz all of the people on 123notary, and if I can’t get a result from you, I have to mark you as failing which I don’t want to do unless you really failed.

So, if you are a Mobile Notary and someone calls you. If you decide to answer the call then offer them at least two minutes as a courtesy. And if you don’t answer, then respond to their message as soon as you have a chance.

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December 22, 2017

Notarization in The Trang

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 11:07 am

In a previous Notary story, a Notary who was stationed in Vietnam had to go with Johnny, a hardened warrior on an undercover mission to a prisoner of war camp to do a POA for a POW. Wish them luck.

JOHNNY: “Okay, men. Now this mission is dangerous, and it will take twenty days on foot to get where we are going. Any questions?”

HARRY (The Notary): “Several things. First of all, is there a Baskin Robbins on the way and second, you behave like an ape in the morning.

JOHNNY: “I’m a Guerilla, not an ape. I learned to fight from the finest of Vietcong soldiers… before I killed them. I killed 120 soldiers in my career — most of them with my bare hands or by carving their heart out of their chest with my knife.

SIMON: “Sounds charming. Do you have any objections to just shooting someone with a semi like the rest of us?”

JOHNNY: “I have nothing against it. I would do it if I had to. I just prefer doing it with my hands. It’s amazingly theraputic.”

JURATSTITUTE: “Hi, guys. You need Notary? I do for you. $5, notarize you long time. You like.”

JOHNNY: “Maybe another time. We’re on a mission. Okay men. Now, remember, the prison camp is not called ‘The Trang’, nor is it located in De Trang which orally sounds similar to The Trang. We are going to a remote village in the hills West of Danang.”

JURATSTITUTE: “Oh, I have friend in Danang, she specialize in Affirmations. You want to look her up?”

HARRY: “I’ll do the affirmations for now. But, thanks anyway. And, I like the word The Trang. It sounds like a place where you go to the bathroom — turn out the lights if you use The Trang.. Or maybe a jungle prison camp where they torture people with bamboo slits and other gruesome methods.”

JOHNNY: “Okay, as a decorated soldier in the United States Military, I now officially pronounce that we will call the location we are going to — The Trang, even though it is not normally called that. I am agreeing with Harry even though he is an idtiot, because the name sounds cool. That way I can tell all my buddies back home what it was like to be locked up in The Trang, before I escaped and killed all the guards with my bare hands, and the help of a few poisonous snakes I found outside who were a real help.

SIMON: “I like the fact that you give snakes credit when credit is due.”

HARRY: “I think that Jeremy at 123notary.com would like to know if you acknowledge, state, swear or affirm that we will call this location The Trang?”

JOHNNY: “What difference does it make?”

SIMON: “To us, no difference, but Jeremy is a stickler for semantics and diction.”

JOHNNY: “Well, I’ve never thought of myself as anti-semantic. I love the Jewish people. Their culture is the bedrock that our society is built on. The belief in one God, rules of conduct, the ten commandments.”

SIMON: “No, not anti-semitic, anti-semantic. Never mind.”

—– (the next day) ——

JOHNNY: “Okay men. Now we are on day two of our trip. We need to set up the booby trap for the night. We don’t want anyone sneaking up on us while we sleep. Happens all the time around here.”

HARRY: “Why don’t we make them swear to an Affidavit that they won’t sneak up on us… Aren’t you being a bit like the Vietcong?”

JOHNNY: “My motto is when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I learned from the best snipers, booby trap makers, and hand to hand combaticians in the business. In fact, I don’t stop there. I meditate on the consciousness of the best Vietcong soldiers because they have 25 years of jungle war experience while Americans want to solve their problems by carpet bombing. Such a lack of commitment cannot win a war. You have to mean it. But, my whole skill set changed dramatically one year ago.”

SIMON: “What earthshaking event happened one year ago where you learned some sudden skill?”

JOHNNY: “I was reading a book about the Sioux, the Mayans and some of the other indiginous peoples who were known for their excellent war skills. Every tribe I read about said that you should either wear the skin or horns of the type of animal you want to be more like to enhance your hunting or fighting skills. However, you can also eat part of the animal. So, one day, I ate part of the brain of one of the most talented Vietcong soldiers I ever had the pleasure and honor of killing. I would have eaten more, except I’m watching my cholesterol.”

HARRY: “I’m a little worried. We are a little short of food for a twenty day journey. What are we going to do?”

JOHNNY: “We’re going to have kung pao tonight. If our booby trap yields us any results, we’ll have more meat than we can handle. Plus, I can hang the body in the trail to scare the other Vietcong. I call it — psychological warfare.”

SIMON: “I call it being psycho. But, I’ve heard that stuff really works. They have recurring nightmares because of that type of stuff.”

JOHNNY: “If you can mess up their minds enough for several weeks before battle, you gain an edge in the battle men. Now it’s time for sleep. Don’t step on any pungi sticks — they’ll cut right through you.”

HARRY: “How will I know where they are?”

JOHNNY: “They are hidden under banana leaves beneath the surface. Just step slowly and see if the ground holds you — or better yet — don’t move!”

(the next day)

HARRY: “I guess no kung pao for us.”

JOHNNY: “We’ll just have to pray for some tomorrow. We need something to give to the prisoners to rejuvinate them. They only get half a bowl of rice per day. And we have to notarize a POA for the POW to have his motorcycle released so his wife can sell it — and also let the wife know that Sam is still alive.

(a week later)

JOHNNY: “Don’t move… I hear rustling. There might be an explosion. Don’t budge a nanometer.” (boom — crash, crash, bullet sounds, firecrackers, boom, pow, silence…”Gentlemen, it looks like we will be having kung pao — finally. Let’s see if he is already cooked or if we have to cook him.”

HARRY: “Don’t you feel sorry for the families of the Vietcong you have killed?”

JOHNNY: “I know, what about their husbands and kids. Oh, and some of them are male soldiers too who might have wives. I almost forgot. The way I look at it is that my tactics might be brutal, but my way of fighting removes the necessity for bombing sprees in areas that have civilians making my way of fighting highly moral. No little children get burned my way — only bad guys, and a few low flying birds, and a monkey once (delicious) and a few squirrels.

HARRY: “A point well made. Speaking of points, where did you bury the pungi sticks?”

JOHNNY: “They are near the trail… tread lightly. Now let’s cook this guy. Would you prefer a leg or a wing? And let’s leave some leftovers in a bowl to freak out other VC guys who come wandering around here later. We’ll put the bowl under the hanging body. It’s sort of a — you mess with us, this is what happens to you type of a not so subtle message.”

(another week later)

SIMON: “I think this meat we have is holding up. The salt really preserves it. We need to strengthen the guys out if we are to walk twenty days with them.”

JOHNNY: “There is no time for that unless you want to camp out and feed them every night, sneaking in and risking our lives. It is easier to just kill all the guards and make a clean break. We’ll be at The Trang in one hour. I’ve walked this trail many times before and obviously lived to tell about it.”

HARRY: “The question is, do we subdue the guards with poisoned darts, spiders, snakes, hand to hand combat, or just shoot them?”

JOHNNY: “I like the way you think. Or maybe the guards will need something notarized too. If we throw a tarantula at the guards, they will be focused on the spider, and not us, so we can do our thing without too much opposition. Or maybe the spider will finish them off.”

HARRY: “How do you know which spiders are poisonous? Did you read up on spiders at the base or take a nature walk while your commander taught you about each one?”

JOHNNY: “If only I had a commander like that. Only the VC’s teach them men real fighting skills like that. If only we lived in a perfect world we would learn that. Once again, I had to learn on my own. Okay, we’re here. Let’s round up the spiders and put them in this case. Good. Okay. You guys wait here. I might not come out alive. This is a profession with a high attrition rate due mainly to decapitation, incareration in POW camps, loss of limbs, and sometimes spider bites — knock on wood. If I don’t come back — drink this.”

HARRY: “And what is this?”

JOHNNY: “Spider venom. It will kill you fast. No pain. You’ll never survive around here without me.”

SIMON: “Ummm.. Thanks… I guess.”

JOHNNY: “That’s the biggest favor anyone ever did for you. Otherwise you would die slowly in a prison camp. The only reason I lived was because of my impenetrable will to live — and also my will to kill more enemy soldiers with my hands — so theraputic! Men… I’m going in.

Johnny hid in a tree. A guard came close. Johnny dropped from the tree, slit the VC guys throat and never saw it coming and never felt a thing. Johnny threw a throwing star at another guard’s throat. Then he went in and threw spiders at everyone, took cover, and shot all the guards one by one. The whole operation took only six minutes. Going out, he had to disable a few wires that would have spelled death for his escape. Then he went in and got what was left of Sam the POW. He was so skinny.

JOHNNY: “We are leaving The Trang now. Let’s get you to where our guys are camped out and then we’ll notarize you.”

SAM: “The what? this place is not called The Trang. How did you know I needed a Notary?”

JOHNNY: “Well we call it The Trang. It’s Harry’s idea. We heard from some other guy who was released and was on TV back at the base in South Caroline. He announced you were still alive and needed a Notary. So, I brought Harry.

SAM: “Oh, thanks, but I already got my paper notarized by someone yesterday who I found on 123notary.com.”

JOHNNY: “You mean I travelled twenty days on foot, killed six people in cold blood — which I enjoyed immensely, and risked getting blown to shreds in a booby trap or too, and you have already been Notarized?”

SAM: “I’m just puling your leg. There is no 123notary.com in Danang. At least not yet.”

JOHNNY: “So, you look a little skinny. Have some kung pao Thuy. I know it’s Thuy because I checked the ID and took a fingerprint.”

HARRY: “You took a fingerprint. Well where is the finger right now?”

JOHNNY: “You probably don’t want to know. The left finger is still in the jungle probably. The right finger. Well, let’s not point fingers…”

SIMON: “We’re cannibals! Mmm. This is really good! These prints look so artistic. Have you heard of the artist formerly known as prints?”

JOHNNY: I don’t think that guy will come into being until the 90’s with that name. At least that’s what I picked up in a meditation while I was meditating on the consciousness of a wild puma. I’d love to have a puma paw right about now. And some Baskin Robbins.

HARRY: “Now you’re talking. By the way, before we forget. Sam… Please sign here.”

SAM: “I’m so weak I can only sign with an X. Do you have two subscribing witnesses?”

HARRY: “Two what? No just kidding. I read Jeremy’s course so I know exactly what you mean. They have to sign the journal which by the way has mold on it from the trip. But, I kept it in a waterproof binder. Oh, you were just kidding. You can sign just fine. Sign my journal too please… Great. I will affix my stamp here. Done. You are notarized. You can die of exhaustion now and your wife will get to sell your bike.

SAM: “Just what I wanted. But, after this kung pao, I feel a sense of envigoration. Let’s walk 400 miles.”

SIMON: “Just for the record, we calculate distance in kilometers. We are in Vietnam now.”

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December 21, 2017

The Automatic Repayment Form

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 8:28 am

The Automatic Repayment Form
Many packages have this form. You have seen it dozens of times. It’s the one where the borrower is to enter their account information for automatic deduction monthly. IMHO there is only one field that must be completed: the signature of the borrower, and the date signed. Heads up reader; further down the page I will prove to you that, even though you write not a word on this form; you have been processing it “against the law” – honest.

Some borrowers hail this as a great convenience; others don’t like an “auto dip” into their account for any reason. Generally, and I have never seen one to the contrary, this is optional. In other words I have never seen acceptance of this arrangement as required for the loan to process. However, completion and acceptance “sometimes” is tied in with a deduction of cost to the borrower; therefore they should consider the option seriously.

In my experience, often the borrower does not have the “voided check or deposit slip” with them when we meet at a Starbucks; but still want the optional feature. Some technically savvy folks have all the information in their phone, others call a spouse. It’s not mandatory “at the table”, the information can be supplied at a later date to Title, LO, or bank.

Now to make good on my “against the law” issue. The pros who take the time to read blog entries to find a few grains of useful information are my audience. As a pro you are aware that if the borrower copy contains a Right to Cancel – the RTC in the borrower copy (in addition to the set returned) also needs to be completed. You do do that, right? Well, now I have in front of me a “Comical Bank – Automatic Transfer Services” form. At the very bottom it has “As required under Reg E, please provide a copy of the completed form to the customer”. Not having a copier with me I assume the borrower copy must be completed to meet that obscure requirement.

Then there are the “I don’t wanna” people. I stand with them – I just don’t like the autopay concept. The way I handle them is to request the sign and date – that proves that I did offer them the form. And also suggest to them (gasp! Is this legal advice?) that they write in big block letters the word DECLINE somewhere next to their signature. The “don’t want it” borrowers have not objected to this procedure when I explain my need to prove that the form was tendered.

If they want the feature – try to get, if possible the “fill in” information. Otherwise you are bouncing back to your employer the need to contact the borrower to complete the package. That is what they are paying you to do. Of course you remain neutral on the wisdom of accepting – your job is to offer the opportunity to “sign up”, not to pan it or to be an advocate. If the info is not available, a Post-It on the form with “Info not available at the table” is the best you can do.
The bank really really wants these automatic transfers; it saves them time and money. That is why they sometimes shave the interest rate or other cost – a clear benefit to the borrower. If you spot a financial incentive it’s worth mentioning to the borrower. That’s giving information the borrower can use to make their decision; again – present factually and impartially. It’s not a complex form. Doing your best to have it completed according to the borrower wishes is the goal.

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