December 2017 - Page 2 of 3 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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December 19, 2017

Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI, or 123notary?

Most Notaries do not keep a journal because their state doesn’t require it. This is a mistake. Your journal is your only evidence in court. Many Notaries who list with us end up in court. However, since most of our Notaries keep some sort of journal records, their time in court is normally just a visit to the judge’s chambers where the judge might dismiss the case due to good evidence provided by the Notary.

Some Notaries keep a journal, but do so in a fashion I call minimal, where they do not keep the book according to NNA best practices and do not record thumbprints. Since their law might not require any journal, the Notaries often figure that they are already doing more than necessary so why do the maximum?

The answer is that your journal thumbprint which most of you refuse to keep is the ONLY way a judge or investigator can figure out who the signer is in the case of a falsified ID given to the Notary. You don’t know if an ID given to you is real, fake or falsified. But, the thumbprint is real. So you accept ID that can be falsified but refuse to take ID which is genuine — stupid! Take both.

The bottom line is that the real reason you should keep a journal is NOT to please your state (although you must uphold the laws of your state.) California is the only state I have ever heard of who audits people’s journals. If you live outside of California, the chance of your state ever seeing your journal is minimal. However, it is very likely that a judge, an investigator, or the DOJ might need to look at your journal in the case of identity theft. So, keep your journal with the intention of making their lives easier AND making sure that they don’t consider you to be a suspect! Keeping inadequate journal records is suspicious, do don’t be shoddy — be thorough!

Additionally, Jeremy (that’s me) at 123notary is sick and tired of Notaries who are shoddy and don’t keep good records. Keeping a journal is not good enough. You must keep one journal entry per person per document and thumbprint for serious documents such as deeds to please Jeremy. Jeremy wants investigators to be able to catch bad guys, so if you deny them the critical piece of evidence (a thumbprint) to catch the bad guys, then in my opinion — YOU are a bad guy! I would personally throw you in a lion’s den for not keeping a thumbprint if I could have it my way. But, I am not in charge of the world — I’m only in charge of my site.

So, if 123notary gives you a little phone quiz and asks you some questions and we find out that you don’t keep your journal correctly we will deduct points from your score. If we find out you make excuses for your abhorrant behavior, you lose even more points. Why act like a disobedient third grader when nothing prevents you from keeping good books! Only you can prevent forest fires and only you can provide the missing link to catching identity thieves — so do a good job otherwise you will get into a little trouble with 123notary. But, your state won’t care because states other than California don’t seem to take the Notary profession at all seriously! Food for thought!

Summary
Don’t keep your journal to please your state. In real life they will never see it unless you live in CA. Keep your journal using the best practices possible to please a judge, jury, the FBI, KGB, the Mossad, and Jeremy from 123notary. I will penalize you if you don’t keep good books as that reflects poorly on my reputation!

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You might also like:

Notary Public 101 – Journals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19511

Do you keep a journal? Don’t wait until you get a call from the FBI.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19377

How many journal entries do you use for two signers on three documents?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19391

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December 18, 2017

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk. Reasoning.

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 10:55 am

Many Notaries answer when I call them and then tell me that they do not have time to talk. Many are so rude that immediately upon answering they tell me — I’m at a party, I’m in a signing, I can’t talk. Why answer if you can’t talk.

The common excuse is that they thought it was the Lender or someone else. How insulting. That means you want to talk, but you just don’t want to talk to me.

As I’ve said before, if you are free enough to talk, have the consideration to give the other person 90 seconds or more before you tell them that you are in the middle of something. If you are in the middle of a signing, you won’t get your next job if you don’t answer your phone or if you refuse to talk.

Talk Schedule
At a signing — offer 90 seconds of talk before you tell the other person you are at a signing if it is a business call.
At a party — offer several minutes before you cut the other person off
At dinner — if you refuse to talk when you are eating, you might lose a lot of work. We are not French or Spaniards here who have long interrupted dinners and a semblance of quality of life. We are Americans damn it! We live for work! If you want to have a pleasant life, save up and live in Greece where their debt situation is out of control. It is because they spend too much time enjoying life and not enough time balancing their budget!

Personally, I do not call people that often. But, when I do, if you refuse to talk, that means I have to track you down and call you up to five times just to ask you a simple question. Making me run around just to ask you two or three questions is insane and unbusinesslike. Please consider my end of the bargain. I have thousands of people to call and any unnecessary avoidance just makes my life a lot more difficult and unpleasant.

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You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & Communication Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

Notary etiquette from athiest to zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Confirming the signing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19976

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December 15, 2017

He was on his way to a Notary appointment when….

Filed under: Best Humorous Posts,Humorous Posts,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 11:08 am

For the last several years I have been looking for my black equivalent. Someone who is a brotha who is just like me in all ways. I lost home in ever finding this person until…

It was a few days ago. I was late to a Notary appointment and in line at Starbucks. I am addicted. I know. Too much sugar and caffeine, but we all have needs. And there he was.

He was wearing a gray t-shirt, blue jeans, and flip flops, just like me. He looked cynically at the croissants in the display and looked like he could stand to lose a few pounds.

I exclaimed — “I’ve done it — I have finally found my black equivalent. You are just like me in all ways.”

BRUTHA — “What????”

JEREMY: “We dress exactly the same way, have the same body type, you are my black equivalent!”

BRUTHA: “Because I’m wearing a gray t-shirt? Please. That don’t mean nothin’.”

JEREMY: “YES IT DOES — you’re the guy. I have been looking for my brutha of anotha culla for years now. And you’re it.”

BRUTHA: “You crazy man! (mumbling) White people. I’ll never figure them out…”

JEREMY: “So much for equivalents and racial equality. I guess you’re saying we’re not equal.”

BRUTHA: “You wanna see EQUAL? See this little blue packet that I’m putting in my coffee. That’s the only EQUAL I care about…. Please….”

(an hour later — Jeremy runs into another brutha, but this time is wearing a Russian fur hat.)

JEREMY: “I think we have another prospect. Yup, gray t-shirt, flip flops, ooh, even the same kind I wear from Adventure 16, and yes, of course Levi’s. Gotta have Levi’s unless you are going to a high end Notary appointment then wear business casual. Who am I kidding. HEY, you are my black equivalent. Look at us (standing next to him.)

IVAN: “You are right. (thick Russian accent.)

JEREMY: “Is that a Russian accent? Are you a black Russian?”

IVAN: “Yes, and I am your black equivalent. We fought for equality for years and I am glad to be your equal. Think of me as a COMRADE FROM ANOTHER MOMRAD.”

JEREMY: “All right. Strasnitzie (hello) my brutha! ”

IVAN: “Strasnitzie tavarich (hello), my main comrade.”

JEREMY: “But, it’s 90 degrees and you are wearing that Russian fur hat.”

IVAN: “Comrade please, you think I’m trying to hear that? Oh Hell Nyet…. HELL NYET!!!”

JEREMY: “You better not be late otherwise your grandmother might burn the Pyrogies.”

IVAN: “What did you say about my babushka?”

JEREMY: “Okay, I’m glad I met you. Tell your babushka or grandmother that I said hi. Dasvidaniya playuh!”

IVAN: “See you next time. Oh, and by the way, we prefer to be called — African American Russians, not Black Russians.”

JEREMY: “That is because your ancesters come from near the African American Sea near Armenia. My client and his Grant Deeds are waiting.”

IVAN: “You got that right!”

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You might also like:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries Comedy String
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=black-notaries-versus-white-notaries

Secretary of State Hacked by Russians
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19110

Protesters & A statue of a Notary who had slaves
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19696

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December 14, 2017

A Notary’s membership ended on NR

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 8:25 am

This was sent to me by a loyal client of 123notary. I will not say who it is about or who sent it. But, this is history making in the Notary world. The irony is that we list this Notary on 123notary and are keeping her. The reason is that there are so many Notaries who are bad news that she is the least of our worries!

After being a member of Notary Rotary since 2009, off and on, and being a real trouble maker on Notary Rotary for as long, Harry and Traci Shoemaker finally ended this particular notary’s membership October 16 when she posted derogatory comments about them, personally, and their website. Christine Oldham’s derogatory post was deleted as well, but it was not quite as bad as this other particular notary’s post, which was also deleted. As you may know there are only three other notaries who have been cut from NR since the board came into existence in 2003: Becca/FL, Kelly Robertson/CA, Cheryl Meril/CA. I’m not sure if Becca and Kelly are still notaries, but Cheryl Meril is still notarizing in San Francisco. Not being a member of these two outstanding websites is a tremendous disadvantage if an NSA wants to be actively accepting work in a highly competitive environment.

The other day I signed on to Notary Cafe and saw that this particular Notary posted a derogatory comment about you personally, and your website. Then this Notary went over to 123notary and posted a comment, but not of derogatory nature. Just to be posting, I guess. But will she in the future, just to be mean and hateful?

I just thought you’d like to know that a free member of your site is posting derogatory comments about 123notary on other forums, and it is not her first time. You would totally be within your right to remove this particular Notary who lives in Chicago from free membership and being able to ever have the opportunity to post negative remarks about you personally and your website.

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December 13, 2017

My Reply to Vague Incoming Email

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 8:23 am

My Reply to Vague Incoming Email
We receive email that is vague, but asks for specific commitment on our part. Some examples:

How much is a notary? Can you notarize my document? My boss wants to know how soon you can be here to notarize some stuff? Where are you located? Do you charge a fee for your services? What are your office hours? Can you open a few hours early, I can only be at your place at 7AM?

I used to waste time typing an answer to these generally unsigned, no phone number spam-like emails. Then I decided to reply with a canned “macro”. On the PC I use keyboardexpress, on the cell phone (Android) my Profimail email program has a similar facility. This is my reply:

Thank you for your inquiry.
I am a Mobile Notary and go to the location you specify; I do not have a walk in facility.
My fee is based on:
1. How many signatures are to be notarized.
2. Where I would be going to do the notarizations.
3. The date & time of day you wish me to arrive.
Please also include your phone number and the nature or title of what is to be notarized.
As soon as I know the 3 items above I will be able to send you a price quote.
If some aspects are not available I can make an estimate based on information provided.
I need your assurance that the person(s) to be notarized:
1. Have government issued photo ID (typically a driver license, non-driver ID, or passport (any country).
2. The name on the ID matches the name on the document to be notarized.
3. Is able to speak directly with me in the English language.
4. Is not impaired in their ability to sign and understand the document they are signing.
5. Have reviewed the document(s) and desire to sign them.
6. Will be available to meet with me when I arrive.
Note that not every document can be notarized, let me know if your requirements include:
A Will, Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce or Education related documents

Further information is available about me on my web site. Specifically:
My A+ Better Business Bureau Accreditation via hot link bottom left my home page – directly to BBB.
My 500+ positive reviews on 123notary.com (the Reviews link, in my signature, goes there).
You will also find a large amount of useful information (not sales hype) on the topics of:

Notarization
Apostille Processing
Embassy Legalization
Obtaining Birth, Death, Marriage and other official documents.
Fingerprinting Services
PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LVZJXNQQB2LV8
Web: http://kenneth-a-edelstein.com

.

You might also like:

Inappropriate phone behavior
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20104

Are you the notary people will wait for or the one who keeps people waiting?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20022

Answering the call and then not wanting to talk.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19640

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December 12, 2017

The Notary Profession is a Profession — act like it is!

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 3:52 am

Carmen and I are tired of Notaries treating the Notary profession as if it is a quick way to make some cash on the side — Make a few extra bucks — five bucks here, ten bucks there. This is a very bad way to look at the profession. First of all, there is liability in this profession. You can get sued even if you don’t do anything wrong. People are doing big deals that are being Notarized. If something goes wrong, they can sue you for a few thousand dollars. If the Lender did something fraudulent, you might get wrongfully sued too. If you put your package in a drop box that doesn’t get picked up and the borrower loses their lock — guess what could happen? You get the idea.

The root of the problem lies with the states who mostly have low requirements or no requirements for being a Notary. If you are 18 or over, not a felon and are breathing, you can be a Notary. Being a notary is a profession that safeguards the transactions of multi-million dollar estates. Any lack of integrity or caution on the part of the Notary can lead to disaster.

Imagine that you Notarize John Hancock only to find out he was a different John Hancock and syphened a million dollars of equity from someone’s estate. You might end up in court as a witness, accomplice, or get sued for negligence. You have no idea what you are playing with in this profession. You have to be careful what you put your stamp on. You might step on a mine.

Many Notaries also think that becuase their state has minimal requirements, that it is not necessary to go above and beyond your state minimum Notarial behavior — this is wrong. If you don’t keep a journal, don’t use an embosser and don’t thumbprint, you can get in huge trouble.

Think of state requirements like you think of speed limits. If the law says you can go 100 on the highway as was the case in Montana in the past and perhaps present, that doesn’t mean you are safe doing so. There could be deadly accidents. Just because you slow down to 95, you think you are being prudent, but are you really? You are still going faster than is safe. You can blame the state, but you are responsible for your own behavior.

Most professions have licensing tests that you have to take every year or two. Some professions make you take a test of 200 questions to make sure you understand all of the regulations and standards in your industry. The Notary profession has NNA tests that are taken every year or two. California has an exam you take every four years. But, people complain when I want to ask a few questions. People try to convince me that they know it all and don’t need to be tested because of all of the years they have been in business. These are the same people who score 20% on my quizzes.

Once again, the Notary profession is a profession — treat it like one. You should be quizzed every year on all the sites you are on. Since the states do not test your competency, I am forced to. It is a huge waste of my time and really frustrating dealing with all these resistent and incompetent people who think they are so smart.

If you really are so smart, just answer the questions, get an A, and then get on with your day. It would take two minutes to test people if they just knew the answers. The problem is that they resist, and then have to think about everything I ask, and then want to argue, and I need to teach them things and a simple quiz can take fifteen minutes that should take two minutes if I were dealing with professionals. How upsetting and what a waste ot my time.

To be a professional you need to do more than study. You need to master the art of being a Notary. You need to know everything and skip the snow job of trying to convince others you know everything when you don’t. The con jobs are getting very old. I have heard it all too many times. I really don’t even want to list such people. 123notary is a directory for professionals, not posers. At least that is the word young people use these days. When I was growing up we didn’t use that king of language, we said fakers.

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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,Popular on Linked In — 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: Popular on Linked In,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.

.

You might also like:

An absurd forgery of my notarization
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19974

A forged document vs. a forged notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10391

Compilation of posts about notary fraud
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21527

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