June 2018 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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June 30, 2018

What does it mean to be Fidelity Approved?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 9:42 am

I talked to a bunch of Notaries who were Fidelity Approved. Most of them were a lot better than average in terms of knowledge, but not all. Apparently, Fidelity scrutinizes them in particular ways, and asks a few questions, but not that many of the questions are Notary questions. I would like to know what their screening system is.

Fidelity approved Notaries do a little bit better on 123notary quizzes, but rarely score high grades because their notary and document technical knowledge is rarely proficient. In my opinion, a certification or approval means very little unless it is specified what qualifications or knowledge it is verifying.

My recommendations are that if they have any individual company type of requirements, that makes sense. But, there should also be requirements based on general notary and document knowledge, otherwise that is a risk to all parties involved. Can someone fill in the blanks for me about what their requirements are?

You might also like:

Studying to be Elite Certified is worth $533 per minute
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I heard that someone lost their Fidelity approval because…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20061

Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1043

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June 29, 2018

Shark Tank — Notary Traffic Freezer for Notaries

Filed under: Sit-Coms — Tags: — admin @ 9:14 am

ANNOUNCER: Next into the tank is a way to make traveling a breeze.

ALICE: Hi Sharks, my name is Alice and I’m seeking one million dollars for 5% of my company.

ROBERT: Woah!

ALICE: How many times in traffic and thought, this isn’t a way to spend our precious time on earth! What if I could adjust the traffic around me and get to where I need to be! Well sharks, now you can. With Notary Traffic Freezer, you can get traffic to stop around you, and get traffic lights to always turn green when they sense you coming. You would have to get around on a motorbike so you could weave in and out of the stopped cars. It’s a little bit like being in an ambulance assuming people are obedient and pull over and stop.

Mr. WONDERFUL: That’s interesting, but right now in the Notary industry, Notary jobs are frozen and nobody’s getting paid on time. Maybe you should have a signing company check unfreezer, so the checks start coming in on time. Your product isn’t going to do any good until people start getting some jobs.

ALICE: Well, the economy could turn around any minute. And notaries who are seasoned pros, don’t have any trouble getting work.

ROBERT: I have trouble getting to work, can non-Notaries use this too?

LAURI: Isn’t that illegal to use space age technology to freeze the actions of people around you? It sounds like something aliens in space ships would do.

ALICE: That’s exactly where we got the technology from. They sold it to us in exchange for liking them on gallactic Facebook. I guess they are so advanced that they think this type of technology is cheap.

Mr. WONDERFUL: I think that you’re going to get arrested. But, other than that I like the idea. I’m out for legal reasons.

LAURI: I’m out too.

ROBERT: I’m out as well, but can you take me to your leader?

ALICE: I would, but Trump doesn’t like aliens. But, don’t worry, my alien friends are talking about returning in 314 earth years, so they’ll be back. And besides, if the cops come to arrest you, you can just freeze them and run away.

LAURI: That’s a very good point, but I’m still out, unless you’re going to beam me up.

ALICE: We are also working on a time machine where you can get to any GPS coordinate in real time or another time without freezing anyone.

LAURI: Well that fits into my schedule. Just set the coordinates to ten minutes ago, and I’ll get paid well if I’m getting paid by the hour. I like it. Let me know when (no pun intended with the when remark) you have your time machine ready.

ALICE: Okay, It’ll be ready yesterday! I’ll have to contact Zorbon about that though. I’m not sure if he’s as flexible about sharing his time technology, at least not this time.

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You might also like:

Shark Tank – 123notary wants to sell 10% of its shares!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16021

Driving – Notary Ed similar to Driver’s Education
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19132

Shark Tank — Self Driving Notary and other posts (popular string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=shark-tank

The Towles Booth
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9456

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June 26, 2018

Which rules are laws, Lender practices, or best practices?

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Notary Rules or Industry Rules?

It is confusing with all the standards in the Notary business. When 123notary teaches Notary practices, we are not teaching laws, but solid practices. Many Notaries argue with us about our practices because they are not required by law. That is the whole point — we are not teaching law because we are not authorized to, and because we don’t know it. We do know solid notary practices, and teach it as you can get into trouble for not knowing your basics. However, notaries have many misconceptions about the rules of the industry. So, let me clarify.

1. You can always over sign — industry practice (not a law)
Is this a Notary law, industry practice, or what? This statement means that you can sign a document with a name that is longer than the name typed in the signature line. However, that does not make it legal to notarize that longer name unless you can prove the name with an ID. Pleasing the Lender is one aspect of being a Notary. Obeying the law is a much more important one. If you displease the Lender you get fired. If you get in trouble with the law you can end up in jail. Pick your poison.

2. The name on the ID has to match
Please keep in mind that there are four names we have to keep track of:
(a) The name on the ID
(b) The name typed on the signature section of the document.
(c) The name signed on the document
(d) The name on the acknowledgment.

In theory these names could all be different variations, but it is cleaner if they are identical. The critical points are that:

(e) The name on the Acknowledgment must be identical or matching but shorter than the name on the signature line of the document. If the signature on the document says John W Smith, you can put John Smith or John W Smith in the Acknowledgment to please the law, but the shorter name might not please the client.
(f) The name on the Acknowledgment must be provable based on the name on the ID, but does not have to be an exact match. The ID could say John W Smith and you can put John Smith in the Acknowledgment if you like.
(g) The name signed on the document can be identical or matching but longer than the name typed on the document to please most Lenders, but legally notarizing the longer signature or shorter signature is dependent on proving all of the components of their name with an ID.

3. The Lender is the boss of the Notary Public (true for signings, but not for the actual notary work)
The Lender is your boss as to the general assignment, and what happens with loan documents. They are NOT your boss about Notary issues and you should not ask them for Notary advice ever as they might have you do something illegal out of ignorance or greed. You ask your state’s notary division if you have a Notary question and perhaps the NNA hotline and that’s it. The Notary can ask the Lender their preference in how something is notarized if there is more than one legal way to do it, but you can not ask a Lender how to do your job. You are the appointed Notary, not them. If they want to do it their way, they should come over with their stamp and do it their way which hopefully is legal — but, it is their commission at stake if it is not legal. Don’t risk your commission depending on the Lender or Title for Notary advice.

4. The Notary is the boss of the Lender?
The Notary is a state appointed official who represents their state, although the state is not the entity that pays them. If there is a discussion between the Lender and the Notary as to how a Notary act is done, the Notary dictates how it should be done. If there are multiple legal ways to do something such as fixing a mistake by crossing out and initialing vs. attaching a loose certificate — then, the Notary can ask for the Lender’s preference, but not for advice. However, there are liability issues with doing cross outs and initialing. It looks like tampering and you don’t want to end up in court. So, once again, it is the Notary’s discretion as to how problems are solved when there are multiple methods to solve. You can ask the Lender what they like or you can dictate to the Lender what you are going to do. But, the Notary is the boss of Notary work. If they don’t like it, they can find another Notary. It is best if you explain the reasons why you want to do something a particular way. If your reason sounds prudent, there is a chance you might get some respect for your decision. Most Notaries don’t think issues out carefully and do not have well thought out reasons for anything they do. Read our course more and become reasonable! Your commission might depend on it.

5. Send me a loose certificate or jurat in the mail (illegal)
Acknowledgment or Jurat certificates must be stapled to the documents they are associated with. If there is one floating around, you cannot create another one until you destroy the original yourself. Some states do not allow creating new certificates for botched notarizations and require you to do the notarization all over again. Consult your notary handbook on this issue, especially in California where there are many new rules created in the last few years that I have heard about but not actually read to my satisfaction.

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You might also like:

The ID says John Smith
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19953

What is the cleanest way to rectify an error on a certificate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20018

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

5 books every notary should own (and read)
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3668

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June 23, 2018

Fass to use Snapdocs

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 12:27 am

I heard through my sources that FASS is about to start using snapdocs as of May 2018. I cannot confirm whether this is true or not. I also do not know if that outfit is associated with First American Title or not. Although we at 123notary offer quality, most of the notaries on our site are anti-quality which makes it hard to compete. My personal business model only works when the Notaries value knowledge, study, and good business etiquette like answering the phone, responding to emails and being agreeable. I cannot change the world.

You might also like:

Compilation of posts about snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21531

Good signing companies – a thorough list
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21091

Fass has a brand new app
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17477

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June 22, 2018

How do you get a Power of Attorney Document?

I run a Notary directory, and people who hire Notaries often have Power of Attorney documents of various descriptions. It is important to understand that not all Power of Attorney documents were created equal and there are legal standards as well as preferences of the document custodians that need to be taken into consideration.

Legal Considerations
Legally, you probably need to consult an Attorney to figure out what rights to grant to another person (grantee) and under what circumstances and what legal language to grant such powers. I cannot assist with this because I am not an Attorney, and even if I were, I would probably not be practicing in your state.

Document Custodian Considerations
Document custodians are another party that you have to please with Powers of Attorney. A document custodian is the party that accepts your document. For example, if you get a POA for a particular bank, they will want a Banking Power of Attorney done their way which often means using their forms and not some form you got at a stationary store that looks equally good to you. The custodian has the right to choose what type of form they want in many instances.

Recording Documents
I am not an Attorney and do not know if/when/how/why Power of Attorney forms are recorded at your county’s county recorder. But, find out if you need to record it in their files ahead of time. There is normally a fee for this and it involves a visit to a government office, standing in line, not knowing what room to go to, etc.

Types of Powers of Attorney.
There are Medical Powers of Attorney, Durable Powers of Attorney where you can switch powers on an off sometimes, Banking Power of Attorney documents, and Limited Powers of Attorney as well. Living Wills are yet another specialized type of Medical Power of Attorney that deal specifically with what happens if the Grantor becomes incapacitated or is unable to make their own decisions while bedridden, etc.

Drafting of Documents
Normally, it is a good idea to consult with an Attorney before creating a Power of Attorney. Since it is a legal document, you cannot have any old person draft it for you. It should be an Attorney, or someone legally authorized to draft documents which rules out most Notary Public practitioners. Banks normally use their own forms, so ask the bank what form they require. Additionally, there are legal support firms who employ Legal Assistants, Paralegals, and a few who outsource low paying legal work to New Delhi where they do a very good job at a third of the cost. You can ask these types of agencies what they recommend and who is authorized to draft your document. Your best bet however, is an Attorney if you can afford it. Even if the Attorney doesn’t draft the document him/herself, at least he/she is supervising and taking responsibility for it which makes it potentially a lot safer for you to get a quality output.

Notarizing Documents
Any commissioned Notary Public can notarize your document in their state of commission. Please do not expect or ask the Notary to explain or understand any legal document. Non-Attorney Notaries may not give specific interpretations or explanations of documents other than general statements (in certain states) about what the document is generally about with no specifics mentioned. The Notary’s job is simply to check your ID, make sure you signed the document, the journal (required in most states, recommended by us in any state as that is your only written evidence of the notarial transaction), and fill out certificate forms that correspond to your document.

Legal Technical Terms
If you are creating a Power of Attorney, there is a lot of legalese which an Attorney can help you understand. The main terms are:

Grantor — the person giving power to another
Grantee — the person receiving special powers from the document
Agent — another name for the person who receives power and can complete tasks for the Grantor.
Principal — the main person signing the document who is the Grantor by definition.
Attorney in Fact — the most commonly used term for the agent / person receiving power of attorney.
Capacity — If you have special powers or a special position in a company, that can be described as a capacity. Being an Attorney in Fact or AIF is considered a capacity that can be indicated on certain Notary forms.

Signing in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.
There are eight ways that I have seen to sign as an Attorney in Fact. Please be advised that the particular verbiage is very particular and can be decided by an Attorney or document custodian. If they want it one way, and you sign with even one comma out of place, the entire document might be rejected and need to be resigned. Here are some common ways to sign, but ask your contact person before you sign anything, as the verbiage does matter.

John Smith, as Attorney in Fact for Sally Smith
Sally Smith, by John Smith, her Attorney in Fact
John Smith, POA for Sally Smith
John Smith, AIF for Sally Smith

Summary
In some of these variations, the signer signs the name of the other person (which I am not comfortable with) and then describes their capacity. In other variations, you sign your own name, and then indicate your capacity after a comma after your name. As always, I cannot and will not give legal advice, so, ask an Attorney before you have a Power of Attorney drafted, and before you sign the document and before you sign in your capacity as Attorney in Fact.

If you need a Mobile Notary Public, visit the advanced search page of 123notary.com and lookup by zip, city or county and find about 7000 Notaries Public nationwide, many of whom are very knowledgeable and experienced.

Good luck!

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You might also like:

Index of posts about Power of Attorney
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20255

Power of Attorney of the Future
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18948

Logic errors can cost you as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20110

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June 20, 2018

Should 123notary sell background screening?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:39 am

Notary Background Screening

We normally like selling items with a high profit margin otherwise our time gets zapped for minimal profits. Carmen doesn’t work for free and her sales commission could eat up profits from selling books from other vendors or other acquired products. Then, the credit card companies want their fees. And then there is shipping, handling, and charge backs on 1% of our average sales, but perhaps more like 2% of new sales. I guess background screening doesn’t have shipping thank God, but you do have to get people’s information and shuffle forms around. For this reason, I am not doing background screening at this time — maybe later.

But, do you guys think we should sell Notary Public background screening?

The other issue, is that NNA and Notary Rotary sell good background screening. We just refer people over to them. NNA offers good one stop shopping and Notary Rotary has advertising, supplies, and more. It seems very efficient to get background screening through these other companies. If we offered it, how would we differentiate ourselves from the competition? I don’t even know anything about it and wouldn’t know where to begin. But, maybe one day I’ll learn.

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June 16, 2018

$14 more per signing

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 8:20 am

We have learned through an email based poll that we administered a year and a half ago that 123notary Elite Certified members make $14 more per signing than those who are not 123notary Certified. They also get more title company work and get close to double the work in general. If you are tired of not getting paid well and want to up your education, 123notary is currently offering free education for signing agents. You can read our study guide.

Many elite members have also informed me that they are more popular with title companies because of their refined skills and also have a lot more self-confidence and feel better about themselves and their abilities.

Studying to be elite certified might take up to 30 hours of work studying from our free materials. It sounds like a lot, but it will benefit you for the rest of your life.

You might also like:

Elite Certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

Elite Certification Study Guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20118

30 Point Course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Notary Public 101
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=4561

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June 15, 2018

Roseanne calls the NNA when she thought she was calling the NRA.

Filed under: Sit-Coms — Tags: , , — admin @ 9:10 am

Speaking of rebooting a show that doesn’t deserve to be rebooted. Here’s what happens when a Trump supporter becomes a Notary Public.

Roseanne was using Google to look up the NRA, but due to a typing error, found the NNA instead, and then started reading.

ROSEANNE: Hmm, this NNA organization sounds really helpful. They teach you everything you need to know to be a Notary, plus they sell ammunition… um, I mean supplies like Acknowledgment pads. I wonder if you can shoot an Acknowledgment.

DAN: Hey, shoot me over an Acknowledgment!

ROSEANNE: Oh, so you can shoot an Acknowledgment. Cool. I’m gonna call the NNA. (ring ring) Hey NNA, what would you carry if you were on a Notary trip?

NNA: Oh, well, we have an NNA carry-all bag.

ROSEANNE: I like these people already (yelling) Hey Dan, these folks have a carry-all bag! Hey NNA, can you fit a dead moose in one of your bags?

NNA: Um, I’m afraid that these bags are more for Notary supplies and can fit a journal, and a few pads of paper, seals, etc.

ROSEANNE: Well can you teach me how to operate one of them seals, take it apart, and clean it real nice… and reload it?

NNA: We can sell you some replacement ink. You just press the seal down to operate it.

ROSEANNE: Ahh (nasal), do I need any ear protection headset when I shoot your seal gun off?

NNA: I think you’re confusing us with the NRA.

ROSEANNE: I just want you people to know that I support second amendment — the right to bear Notarial arms.

DAN: Honey, you have the right to bear arms, but till you lose a little weight I’d wear long sleeves if I were you.

ROSEANNE: Stay out of it. If that ain’t the kettle calling the pot black. And then speaking of pot, can you operate a loaded notary seal under the influence of Marijuana?

NNA: Um, I believe that is a state specific question that is not covered by Notary law. Please consult an Attorney.

ROSEANNE: Do you know any Attorneys who smoke pot, or Attorney Notaries? Well, they’d have to smoke tons of pot if they would want to be Notaries, right?

NNA: The Notary profession is a very respected profession that has been around for hundreds of years. Please do not defile our profession. We gain tremendous pride from reading about our Notaries of the year as they contribute tremendous integrity to our profession.

ROSEANNE: Well, whaddo I gotta do to be Notary of the year?

DAN: Wait for a really crappy year when everybody else really sucks.

NNA: Well, let’s first start with getting a Notary commission and learning our Notary Basics, shall we?

ROSEANNE: Is there a way I can become Notary of the year on false pretenses? I’m a good liar. I lie about my age and my sex life. Hey Dan, I’m 30 right?

DAN: Yeah, and you’re really hot too, and I’m not just talking about your flashes.

ROSEANNE: See how good I am at telling the truth about myself in a deceitful way?

NNA: You see maam, the Notary profession is based on integrity. The role of the Notary is to keep accurate records, deter fraud, and be completely honest in all transactions.

ROSEANNE: You missed your calling in life, you should have been a church lady, isn’t that special? Or a mime, that way I wouldn’t have to hear you.

NNA: Well just let us know when you are commissioned, and we’ll take it from there. Just make sure you get this all done before the end of Notary season. (hangs up.)

NNA PERSON #2: There’s no such thing as Notary season.

NNA: You have to make hunting references when you’re talking to this lady otherwise she can’t relate to anything you’re saying.

NNA PERSON #2: Okay, time for lunch. Are you up for anything gamey?

NNA: In Chatsworth, CA? Good luck!

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You might also like:

Letter to the NNA about Notary Testing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19401

Need an NNA Alternative?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19234

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June 14, 2018

Do you talk back to people?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:06 pm

Is it a good business practice to talk back to people? Notaries argue and talk back to me all the time. Do you do this with Title companies? I suggest that you do not talk back to influential people in this business, because they can remove you from their list or write you up as being difficult and rude.

People are relentlessly rude to me, and then accuse me of being rude. This has become a regular occurrence and is completely unfair to me. How can I be expected to treat you fairly when you treat me like garbage? I expect that if I ask a few professional questions that you will answer like a professional instead of the predictable whining and arguing.

This behavior is unacceptable and I mark people up every time they are difficult with me. It is very difficult to move up the 123notary ladder if you have been marked as obnoxious or antagonistic. I start calls being polite. After you drive me up the wall multiple times by being difficult about answering questions — that is when I lose my temper. I have to talk to over a hundred people per day and half of them are difficult in one way or another. Think about how difficult it is for me to tolerate this completely unprofessional behavior.

You might also like:

The way you treat Jeremy might be the same way you treat title
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19590

Thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8882

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June 12, 2018

They want a refund

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 11:29 am

They Want A Refund
It’s a very routine start to the project. We agree on a time and a place. The document is sent to me via email and I am assured the affiant will be on site as scheduled with proper ID. It was a cold morning in Manhattan, wind chill about 25F, but the little Honda Civic cranked to life. Appointment was way downtown so I allocated an hour to reach the distant location. I had printed 3 sets of the document. One for the affiant to ship, one for affiant to keep, and a backup to recover from any mishap.

Arriving 15 minutes early, I take the elevator to the destination. There I am met by security that asks the purpose of my visit. Informing the guard that I am there to notarize a document for an employee, with whom I have an appointment. The response was something that truly surprised me. “We do not permit notarization on the premises”. “You will have to submit the document via registered letter to the legal department.”. Wow! I inform the guard that the notarization is for personal use by the employee and has nothing to do with their company. The guard calls legal and the edict stands!

It’s now 15 minutes past the scheduled time, and the affiant has not arrived. I call the person who gave me the assignment. I am informed that the affiant was delayed and would not be on site for “about an hour and a half”. Then the affiant calls and informs me that once “in the building, it would not be possible for us to leave and notarize at a different location”. Kind of reminds me of the old computer programming loop: Skip to Branch, Branch to Skip.

It’s now a half hour past appointment time, and the guard is telling me that I have no valid reason to remain on the premises. I know what that means; failure for me to leave puts me in position of being guilty of trespassing. Out I go, to call my “employer”. I do have another scheduled appointment and am unable to wait an additional hour, sayeth me. Can we receive a refund of the PayPal payment as you did not notarize the document – is the reply.

In a word no. I made the trip which took an hour in Manhattan morning traffic, and it will be the same for my return trip. You set the location, and assured me the affiant would be present as scheduled with proper ID. However, it is my policy to work with my clients. What I am willing to do is meet with your client, at a location close to me, anytime between 10AM and 10PM for no additional charge. I am not willing to return to this location for any reason as they do not allow me to notarize on their premises.

I put basically all of the above in an email, to document the events. Other than the affiant to be an hour and a half late, issues remain. Affiant can’t leave during working hours (odd?) and I can not return after being asked to leave. I’m also not willing to make another two hour round trip “on the house” in Manhattan traffic. All of this happened early today, it’s now at the close of business and no call to reschedule at the location near me.

There in NO option when/if I happen to be close by as affiant can’t come out and I can’t go in. I do wonder if it’s permissible to stop a Notary Public from performing requested duties in this manner. But am not willing to be arrested for trespassing and incur the expense of legal defense.

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You might also like:

If the world ends, do I get a refund?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=621

Bouncey Bouncey Paypal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21046

My next notary visit is free
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19298

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