May 2018 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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May 31, 2018

Cramming and forgetting before your quiz

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:02 am

I learned this the hard way. I thought that because I do not forget notary knowledge that the rest of the world also does not. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Notaries who passed our certification test in the past passed either by having someone else take the online quiz for them, or by gaming the system taking the test multiple times and memorizing the answers without understanding the concepts.

For my purposes, I want 123notary certified members to always be at the top of their knowledge. If you are in business for 12 years, but only know what you are during the night before a quiz and the day of the quiz, but not for any of the other days during that time period, then your knowledge is virtually useless. I want you to be an expert at all times.

So, now, 123notary will be quizzing certified members every year or two, or how ever often is necessary. The problem is that people are not studying enough, and in many cases, not at all. So, if you are 123notary certified, keep studying. Notary Public 101 is a great free course to study from.

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May 30, 2018

An index to notary articles

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 2:27 am

We have so many articles, that it might be beneficial to index them. Our most popular articles are part of courses where there is an organized structure to the collection of information.

Although we do have a good categorization system, perhaps an index or our articles in order of article type and how good the article is might make sense.

You can also use the search box which is on the right (scroll a little bit) on our blog to read about particular topics.

I think an index might be popular and I could also edit it from time to time.

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May 29, 2018

Notary Felons — whose dilemma is it?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:01 am

It has come to my attention that when I quiz Notaries, only 30% give Oaths regularly, and the other 70% do not. Of the 30% who claim they administer Oaths, the Oaths are normally irrelevant and incorrect. It is really only about 10% of Notaries who sign up on our site who give correct and relevant Oaths with a degree of proficiency. So, why is this a problem? Nobody is checking up on us, right? Generally right.

When a loan is called into court (which doesn’t happen that often) the Judge might ask the Notary if he/she indeed administered an Oath to the borrower. If the Notary says no, or has no proficiency at giving Oaths in front of the Judge, the Notary could be accused of Perjury.

Lying under Oath can be considered perjury. However, filling out a Jurat that says “sworn to me” when in fact nobody swore to anything at the Notarial transaction — can be considered perjury on the part of the Notary Public. This is a federal crime with a possible jail sentence of up to five years per incident. Yet, Notaries throughout the nation are going about committing perjury almost every time they do a signing without a care in the world. This is a serious legal matter that you should be concerned with.

Why am I concerned with this? Because I am advertising people who might be felons. I cannot prove who the felons are or when they committed a felony, but it seems that many of our notaries based on my quiz are committing perjury on Jurats on an almost daily basis. If they were audited, they might go to jail.

I did not realize I was doing business with a criminal class of people, but that is the case. Please be an expert at Oaths, because I am not confident about listing Notaries who are engaged in serious crimes such as perjury which is what you are committing when you sign a statement saying you administered an Oath when you did not.

If I find out that you do not give Oaths, I might have to remove your listing temporarily or permanently.

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May 27, 2018

You have only One Objective

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:24 am

You have only One Objective
Some have had many objectives, concurrently; and all of them critical. Picture a front line medic or doctor in a war zone. Surrounded by the dead and dying. Some can be saved, but there are decisions to be made, and made very quickly. Some must be ignored, just a quick shot of morphine to ease their suffering. Perhaps, if there are adequate supplies, a few shots of morphine; a merciful quick end…. Rapid life and death decisions to do the most good.

You, on the other hand have lots of time to process the documents. Oh, sure, there might be some other assignment following; but certainly not an issue of life and death. You might be late, or lose that subsequent job. Even with careful scheduling, time conflict can develop. But, your focus must be on the work in front of you. You have only one objective, unlike the harried medic. You are to do your personal best. My audience of readers are professionals. I know that you know how to process the silly docs. Most Squirrels can process a loan package; in fact many do, working for peanuts.

Back to the concept of One Objective. What is that objective? Well, as I have often stated the highest of all objectives is to work legally. Everything else is subordinate. You must properly redact the printed state in the venue, if necessary. And neatly write in the state where the notarization is taking place and initial the redaction. Of course that is just a trite example; you know there are many other mandatory actions you must perform. I’m not going to list them.

OK, so you work legally. What’s second most important? And, it’s not a surprise that you know that one too. It’s to do the job accurately and completely. Sometimes “field decisions” must be made; and they may go opposite to the instructions you were given. Jeremy is big on following the stated directions, I am not. Perhaps an example: “under no conditions are you to call the borrower”. OK, I’m generally paid in advance; so if you arrive at an address that is a vacant lot, and none of the given contacts answer; what to do? I would call the borrower – it’s happened to me and the “forbidden” call to the borrower saved the day. Following instructions would only allow going home. After legal considerations; my next priority is to get the job done.

Are your shoes shined, fingernails trimmed and clean, haircut recently, etc? Sure, some of the packages have downright demeaning wording. Ignore the BS. We become heroes when the job that we submit funds. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind said “land is the only thing that matters”. Talk to any loan officer – “funding is the only thing that matters”. When you return, on time, a fundable package (legally notarized) you met the objective they had in mind when they selected you. Great faith and trust was bestowed upon you – don’t disappoint. Certainly not because some cretin mistyped a meeting address and does not want to risk you talking to their client. Break The Rules (set by the “unreachable unknowing”) – and get the job done!

Back to that harried battlefield medic. Let’s change the venue, now the doctor is working in a world class hospital with the best tools, drugs and lots of time. You are unconscious on the table, you cannot see the concentration in the eyes of the doctor. Nothing else matters, the procedure will be done to the best of the surgeons ability; and, if at all possible; will be successful. Can you concentrate on the task at hand with the intensity of an ER surgeon? If not, learn how.

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You might also like:

Dress British, Think Yiddish
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8643

Ken’s list of things Notaries goof on
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19427

Life at the bottom of the food chain
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19419

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May 25, 2018

Psych episode — busting the Russian Mafia with help of a Notary.

Filed under: Sit-Coms — Tags: — admin @ 11:06 am

Psych Episode — custom’s agent is dead, but who is the killer?

SHAWN: We have a new assignment. But, we might need Lassie’s help.

GUS: I hate working with him, that arrogant prick.

SHAWN: But, we need him. We work well together. A custom’s agent is dead. It is up to us to find the killer. But, it’s still unclear how he died and who killed him if anyone.

(Shawn and Gus go to see Woody for the autopsy)

WOODY: Still working on it. Oh, wait.

SHAWN: Wait a second (putting finger to his head), I’m getting something. Yes, I’m definitely getting something. The spirits are telling me something. The custom’s agent did not die peacefully… he was injected with something, but what?

WOODY: Here it is. His inner thigh has needle marks. He could have been poisoned. I’ll have to send a sample to the lab.

GUS: Meanwhile, we need to investigate. We need to know who the last several people were to have seen Mike Williams, the custom’s agent.

(three hours later after seeing some police investigation files)

SHAWN: The last person to see the custom’s agent was Anatoly Kruscionov, a known mafia henchman. My senses are telling me he is the killer.

GUS: Don’t you mean Kruschevnov?

SHAWN: No, it’s Kruscionov.

GUS: Shawn, I’m pretty sure it’s Kruschevnov, I know the name..

SHAWN: What are you eating?

GUS: Cheeze bits.

SHAWN: They look more like Cheetos.

GUS: That’s because that’s what you want to eat right now. It’s psychosematic.

SHAWN: No, you’re psychosematic.

GUS: I am not!

SHAWN: Are too!

LASSITER: Gentlemen. May I disrupt your valuable dialogue here for a moment? Anatoly Kruscionov is leaving the country in three hours. We absolutely have to get to his office before his limo picks him up. We haven’t a minute to spare.

(all three get in the car and rush to Anatoly’s office)

NOTARY: Now, please sign my journal right here? Hey, why are you looking at the other entries?

ANATOLY: I was only staring at the page. (jotting something down)

NOTARY: Just out of curiosity, what’s your sign?

ANATOLY: Me, I am Leo.

NOTARY: That’s not what your ID says, It says you were born in January — busted!!!!

ANATOLY: Hey you try to trick me. But, now I know address of guy who cheated me, I learned from your Notary journal, you lousy backstabbing Notary.

LASSITER: We are from the Santa Barbara Police Department and have a few questions for you.

ANATOLY: First of all, get out of here you lousy Notary. No travel fee for you. Next, Mr. Lassiter, I would love to speak to you, but I want to speak to Mr. Shawn Spencer…. alone.

SHAWN: Sorry, I never go anywhere without my sidekick Mr. Spock.

GUS: I’m not Spock, for the last time, my name is… Oh… Actually, who are we dealing with here. Hi, I’m Nelson Spock, pleased to meet you.

ANATOLY: (sends Lassiter out of room and locks the door.) Why do you fools chase me. Do you not know I am dangerous man?

SHAWN: We know, that’s why we came to see you. Danger excites us. We know that after you had a confrontation with Mike Williams, he ended up dead. You know, the custom’s officer. Could it be that he knew something about your operation that you did not want him to know?

ANATOLY: What operation?

SHAWN: Could it be that the twenty kilograms of heroine that are to be delivered in three days were discovered by Mike?

ANATOLY: How do you know this? That’s not supposed to come in for a week. Who told you?

GUS: You just did!

SHAWN: Busted!!!!

ANATOLY: You guys are dead. You tricked me. You and that Notary. Ugh… Now we play a little game. Put this gun to your head and pull trigger, otherwise my boys kills you.

SHAWN: He, this guy wants us to play Russian Roulette.

GUS: It’s not Russian Roulette unless the gun is a six shooter with one bullet in it. You don’t know how many bullets are in the gun.

SHAWN: Well if you don’t know how many bullets are in the gun, then it is Ukranian Show Down.

GUS: There’s no such thing as Ukranian Show Down!

SHAWN: Yes there is, I was reading about this online.

GUS: But, it’s not the same thing if someone has a gun to your head. Technically it’s still Russian Roulette

SHAWN: Is not

GUS: Is too, and that’s a far cry away from Siberian roulette which is a very different variation…

ANATOLY: ENOUGH!!!!!!! You two are idiots. But, you will be dead soon. Put gun to head… absolutnye idiot!!! Suca blatt!!!

(ring-ring)

SHAWN: Hey Woody, what’s up?

WOODY: It turns out that Mike was not murdered after all. He was a drug addict and he overdosed on regular Morphene. There are no other drugs in his system. Unless the killer knew he took morphene and wanted to make it look like an overdose.

SHAWN: Woody, we’re being held at gunpoint here, now is not a good time to….

ANATOLY: Enough!!!

SHAWN: We just found out that you are not the killer.

ANATOLY: I kill you any way.

(meanwhile Carlton Lassiter called for back up)

(HUGE CRASH — SBPD busts in)

LASSITER: Put your hands in the air. We have the place surrounded.

JULIET: No not you Shawn. Get over here.

SHAWN: Sorry, just an instinctive reflex.

NOTARY: Oh my God, look at all of the commotion. I would like to report that man. He is a very bad man and has a fake ID.

SHAWN: Oh, can you notarize something for Woody? An Affidavit of Autopsy?

NOTARY: I would, but my journal is being confiscated by the Secretary of State. They want to know about the criminal I notarized earlier today and also they think I am not keeping proper records.

JULIET: Let me see this… Oh my God? You didn’t put the document date? Such sloppy work. No wonder you are in trouble.

SHAWN: Hey Juliet, you aren’t supposed to look at that. It is under the exclusive care of the notary and must be kept under lock and key.

GUS: How come you know so much about Notary work.

SHAWN: I read, plus it’s always been an interest of mine. I heard that Notaries get to do jobs for interesting characters, many of whom are criminals like Johnny that British bloke we visited in jail.

GUS: The one who you imitated who knows where you live.

SHAWN: Good point. Maybe I should just stick to what I’m doing. And a tip for the Notary. Don’t go immediately home after this.

NOTARY: Why not, are Anatoly’s guys following me?

GUS: I think they are following all of us.

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You might also like:

Psych Episode about a Notary. Did the body die from food poisoning or was it murder?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19397

Flashpoing – Notary job for a hostage with a multimillion dollar contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18798

Compilation of Notary sit-com episodes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15949

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May 21, 2018

Names for Notary Businesses with Commentary

Filed under: Business Tips — admin @ 8:15 am

Notaries love to read about names for Notary businesses. Some names are geographical, some are funny, and some get you in trouble. Others sound cliche and a few are catchy. Here are some names we see and a few we made up for fun.

Notary 4 U
Now there is a name that works well on an email address.

Signatures 4 Less
Sounds like a bargain

Notaries R Us
Sounds like a Toys R Us commercial. Affidavits are in aisle three.

Seals on Wheels or Notary on Wheels
This on is popular.

Seal the Deal Mobile Notary
Talk about getting things done.

The Notarizer or The Noterator
I think Arnold has registered this name already.

Have Stamp Will Travel
Brings back memories of the old West.

What’s Up Docs
This signing service ended up not doing that well. People thought their name was goofy. But, Bugs Bunny liked it and that’s all that matters to me.

A1 Notary Services
Try this service out when Worcestershire Notary Services is busy!

Notary 90210
Great service, but discounts are probably not their thing in that zip code.

Notary Now
On a busy day, they temporarily change their name to Notary Later.

Jesus (pronounced Hey-soos) & the 12 Apostilles 24 hour Mobile Notary
“We’ll get the job done come hell or high water.”
Sounds like a great name for a Hispanic Notary & Apostille / Authentication Service.

Vampire 24 Hour Notary
“We are Vampires and never sleep. Our price for a Jurat is half a pint of blood with a straw.”

Right on Time Mobile Notary
If you worked for Domino’s Pizza you’ll have an in getting a job from these guys.

Prestige Mobile Notaries
I think the 90210 is still a better idea. Don’t say it — show it…

Royal Notary Service
I’m sure this is where Queen Elizabeth gets her Affidavits.

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Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble

Names for Notary businesses that can get you in trouble

Geographic Notary Business Names

Geographic Notary Business Names

Meao Notary Service Revisited

Meao Notary Service Revisited

Notary Business Names

Notary Business Names

Meao Notary Service

Meao notary service

Choosing a name for a business license

Choosing a name for your business license

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names

Deceptive Identities – Companies that change their names

Stealing a Business Name

Stealing a Business Name

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May 20, 2018

Tips for avoiding liability with the elderly

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — Tags: — admin @ 9:37 am

Elder Notarizations

If you are a Mobile Notary, you will undoubtedly get calls from people in hospitals, convalescent homes, and jails. The problem with jail signings used to be lock downs and the lack of an acceptable ID. I’m not sure if ID rules have changed or jail practices have changed in the mean time because I keep hearing rumors that there is some formal jail ID card now.

But, the problem with elder notary hospital signings are different. Here are my points and recommendations for notarizing the elderly and bed-ridden.

1. Read the ID over the phone
Not all elderly people have an ID, and not all have a current identification. Have someone read the identification information and expiration date to you over the phone. That way you will know that they:
(a) Have an ID
(b) Can find the ID
(c) That it reads a name that proves the name on the document (which should already have been drafted)
(d) That the identification for notary work has not expired.

2. Ask if the signer will be drugged within several hours of the notarization.
If the signer is not sober, you should decline to notarize, and let the family of the hospitalized person know that your travel fee is paid in cash at the door. If you feel for any reason that it is not prudent to notarize the signer, that you will walk out for reasons pertaining to legal liability. Here are some reasons to decline service.

(a) The signer is sleeping

(b) The signer communicates incoherently or in a tone you cannot clearly understand.

(c) The signer cannot orally summarize the document in a way that makes you feel sure they understand what they are signing.

(d) The signer has been drugged recently perhaps with morphine.

(e) The signer cannot sign their name. If you know how to do a signature by X procedure that might be a substitute, but check your state laws and procedures before doing a signature by Mark or X.

(f) The signer cannot sit up or move their arm to sign.

If there is a problem with a hospital notarization, it is better to find out before you get in your car. Have the family communicate with the signer, have the signer practice signing a blank piece of paper with the family before you commit to an appointment. There is a lot that can go wrong, so try to anticipate common problems and solve them before you drive over.

3. Legal liability
If you notarize for a person who is bed-ridden, the chances of the transaction ending up in court are at least twenty times as high as for loan signings, so you should charge a lot more for hospital notarizations due to the unseen costs of doing business, not to mention the waiting time and other inconveniences. If you are a sloppy Notary, I would suggest not doing hospital notarizations at all as they will come back to you and your sloppily kept or not kept journal will be the only thing that will save you or not save you in court. Here are some things that can go wrong at hospital notary jobs that can get you in trouble.

(a) The signer claims that they were tricked into signing something that gave their money away.

(b) The signer may be conscious when you are doing the signing, but afterwards might not remember signing something.

(c) Someone might investigate and question whether the signer really signed the document or really knew what they were doing.

(d) Someone might questions the identity of the person who actually signed. That is why I kept thumbprints. However thumbprints for the elderly often are like tires with no tread which makes them hard to differentiate.

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You might also like:

When to ask for ID over the phone & fees at the door
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15282

A tale of 4 notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

Do you like your job? A story of being kept waiting forever at a hospital.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

Hospital Notary job tips from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=76

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May 17, 2018

Contacting the authorities

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 10:53 am

Many people ignore the requirements on 123notary such as logging in and passing our Notary test. Some people get their listings paused by us too for these reasons. Many people are treating me as a criminal or scammer simply because I have rules and standards for quality control on my site.

Why should I get blamed for your dysfunction any more than the meter maid should get treated like a criminal for writing you a parking ticket when you have been in a one hour spot for three hours.

Listings on 123notary are for one year unless specified otherwise. However, there are terms that you agree to at the time of sign up. These rules are not hidden. They require you to check a box saying you read and agree to the conditions.

What a few people have done is to go to the BBB after I have removed their listing. I ignore the BBB as they do not represent better businesses. They represent customers who whine when they are not happy with how they have been treated But, if the customer violated our terms and conditions it is not my wrongdoing. The result of contacting the BBB is that I ignore the complaint as it amounts to nothing more than glorified harrassment and the listing does not go back online.

As Notaries, it is not unreasonable to ask that you are experts at all aspects of Notary work (and none of you are) and that you have a good notes section on your listing and login every 120 days. I ask very little, and my conditions are rarely met. When I remove Notaries, I only remove those who did not login for 120+ days but also who had horrifying quiz scores with us or a severe communication disorder. I do this to protect those who use our site, because if they get the worst notaries on 123notary, they will remember us as a site with horrible people.

If you don’t like our terms and conditions that is fine. But only advertise with us if you will comply, otherwise it leads to a lot of trouble for all of us.

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May 15, 2018

Know YOUR State Notary Law

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:23 am

Know YOUR State Notary Law
Groan, I just passed off an assignment to a different Notary. Not just any assignment, and it goes to a Notary+ I write this on Nov 5, 2017, it’s a Sunday and also the day of the New York City Marathon. The fact that it’s Sunday is no big deal, usually a quiet day. But the Marathon is one of the few events worse (for traffic) than the first week of the UN General Assembly. The one with all the leading diplomats with the closed streets and Police caravans. But I stray.

The task was across Manhattan, at a hospital. Specifically, the task was to notarize a Will. It’s a good thing that I require What, Where and When to accept an assignment. In New York State it is illegal for me to notarize a will. That requires a “Notary+” someone who is both a Notary an also is an Attorney. That isn’t me. However, I do know of such a person and routinely provide contact information. I also explain exactly why I am prohibited. There is one weird exception to that rule. It’s called a New York State Attestation Section. With that as the signature page, then I only notarize the statements of the witnesses, but not that of the Testator.
Sayeth the caller: You can do it. The Will was prepared by a Virginia Lawyer, and it will be processed in Virginia. My Lawyer told me any Notary can notarize a Will. The Lawyer is using knowledge of Virginia Notary law; and projecting it as being applicable in New York. Such is not the case. A document needs to be notarized legally where the notary processes it. The Will could be for any location on planet Earth. The notarization follows local state law. Period, nothing else matters. Possibly an Apostille will be subsequently added, or translation, or embassy legalization; but the notarization is the foundation and follows local state law.

I mentioned today is Sunday, I must keep in mind a Sunday only restriction – one of the many strange New York State regulations. Today it’s illegal for me to notarize a Civil Deposition. Monday thru Saturday only for those. Perhaps the next caller might not be civil, they might be downright criminal. That’s OK today; notarizing a Criminal Deposition is just fine on Sunday.
This site, similar sites, legal opinions and internet gurus rarely specify the applicable state when they make their profound opinions known. Of course there are some valid generalizations; it’s likely that each state requires, for a routine notarization, that ID be shown. Some have mentioned on the Forum their state list of acceptable ID. That is good. My New York State Notary regulations cite that I must view “adequate proof” and leave me to wonder. So, I set my requirement as “Government issued Photo ID”, and ask each caller what ID they have.

Thus, even something so basic to notarization varies by state, probably a US passport is OK to use in every state. But, there might be a requirement out there for multiple IDs to be shown.
The take away from this installment is really knowing your license law. Everything other than what is in your state regulations is subordinate to those laws. Even the truly wise writings on http://123notary.com be it the blogs or the Forum, are just background information. Your state laws are “the only thing that matters”. When the LO or Title or the Signing Service or anybody else suggests something that conflicts with your state laws; tell them you are a “by the book” notary – “no can do what you want”. Of course you must not just be “familiar” you must know your state regulations. They can change, when is the last time you read ALL your notary laws?

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May 14, 2018

Clear communication is essential

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:04 am

If you quiz with us for certification, read this. We will be quizzing you on a clock, and if you give roundabout answers, or make us repeat ourselves many times, you will run out of time. So, practice answering questions with concise and accurate answers that are completely clear and do not require clarification.

Many Notaries quiz with us. However, when they describe notarial acts, I cannot make sense of what the Notaries are saying. Here is an example.

ME: What is the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat.

NOTARY: In an Acknowledgment you Acknowledge that the person signed and that the document is true.

ME: First of all, WHO is the YOU who acknowledges what person? Second of all, in an Acknowledgment, you are not verifying that anything is true, but only that it was signed. Here is a better definition:

In an Acknowledgement, the SIGNER acknowledges that they signed the document. The Notary does not acknowledge anything, but CERTIFIES (by virtue of filling out the certificate) that the signer acknowledged signing the document, personally appeared and was positively identified.

NOTARY: Oh…

ME: If you have two signers each signing three notarized documents, how many journal entries would you create?

NOTARY: If you have three signers signing how many notarized documents?

ME: We are really not paying attention here. What you did is called scrambling information here. Two signers each signing three notarized documents.

NOTARY: Are the documents all the same?

ME: No, there are different documents, hence the fact that there are three of them.

NOTARY: Oh, then one for each.

ME: One for each what? I asked for a number not an inconclusive statement.

NOTARY: One for each document.

ME: Once again, I asked for a number and did not get one.

NOTARY: You’re mean.

ME: Well you don’t answer questions the way they were asked which is exasperating for the other person who is trying to fill out a form with room for a number, not a story. For the last time, how many journal entries would you create?

NOTARY: Can you repeat the scenario.

Do you see how stupid this question and answer session is. If you act this stupid, nobody good will hire you. If someone asks you how many — give them a number. If someone asks a yes or no question, give them a yes or no, and not a long ear bending story.

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