November 2018 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice -

Notary Blog – Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice – Control Panel

November 30, 2018

Good Notarial Bacteria vs. Bad.

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 12:30 am

We all have read that there are different types of bacteria in our gut. There is good bacteria and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria thrives on junk food, creates stagnation in your colon and leads to obesity not from the calories, but from the conditions it creates. Good bacteria creates flow in your colon and kills the bad bacteria. The idea is so simple, even a three year old could understand it.

But, now researchers are finding a new type of bacteria that only Notaries have in their gut. There is the Predatella, and the Notaroides Fragilis. These types of gut bacteria are so numerous in the bellies of Notaries, that they influence the thinking patterns of Notaries. You are probably thinking — how can a few bacteria affect your thoughts? Ever get a gut feeling? Sometimes the ganglia in your gut make better decisions than the ones in your brain. And your bad bacteria tell you that you want to eat ice cream rather than an apple — scientifically proven.

In any case, these bad bacteria, in particular, the Predatella strain of large intestinal bacteria sent messages to the Notary telling the Notary to backdate to satiate their feelings of satisfaction while, the notary himself would not have this urge if he had healthier bacteria.

The solution is not what you would think. Fermented foods feed good bacteria. Foods like yogurt, kefir, wine, South Indian dosa (type of fermented pancake), Korean Kimchi, kombucha, etc. These foods are readily available and are the best thing for gut health which is a neglected aspect of health. It is not so much how many calories that go in that affect obesity, but the nature of what you are putting into your body.

So, yesterday I went to have a masala dosa. The meal was great, but when I got my bill, the waitress put the wrong date on it. I think that perhaps she is not eating what she is serving — just a gut feeling.


November 29, 2018

Attorney States in the Notary Profession

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 11:57 am

What is an Attorney State? Is that a state where everyone who resides there is an Attorney? What would they do all day long besides wake up, have breakfast and sue everyone? Or does it mean for an Attorney to state a fact about something? Neither.

An Attorney State is a state in the USA where only Attorneys are supposed to be able to do loan signings. Anyone else who facilitates a loan signing could be convicted of the unauthorized practice of law — or so I’ve heard. However, in these states which currently are Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Georgia (possibly a few others too) we do have Notaries who do loan signings for a living. They often do signings for out of state properties and think that they can get away with it.

One Attorney in Georgia that I talked to told me that if your two feet are on the ground on Georgia soil (or perhaps a hardwood floor) that you cannot conduct loan signings unless you are an Attorney — regardless of where the property is. Hmmm. Looks like people are breaking the law.

One Notary listed on our site got fined $40,000 over ten years ago or almost got fined that amount. They had to hire an Attorney to defend them in court. What an ordeal. And this was for unauthorized practice of law because they were doing loan signings.

If in doubt, consult an Attorney to see what your rights are as a notary to do loan signing in your state and ask what constitutes UPL as the definitions are frequently very arbitrary and convoluted.

You might also like:

UPL — Unauthorized practice of law in the notary profession

Penalties for Notary misconduct, fraud and failure of duty

13 ways to get sued as a Notary


November 28, 2018

Don’t be intimidated

Filed under: Technical & Legal — Tags: — admin @ 9:18 am

Don’t be intimidated. Know the laws and stand your ground. Be an empowered Notary!

1. My lawyer said that you don’t need to attach anything. Just sign it and I will get out of your hair.
2. The other Notary I went to did not attach anything to the same document. Why are you?
3. Look, I used to be a Notary. Don’t give me a hard time.
4. I am a Lawyer…I do this for a living. Please don’t question me.
5. Look, if you don’t do it there are a hundred other notaries who will be happy to have my business.

At the end of the day, you need to be confident in the Notary Laws. Take the 123 Notary exam and be listed as an Elite Certified Notary. At the beginning of every year print out the Notary handbook with any new law and us e it as your bible and source of reference when you are questioned. It will add to your credibility and boost your own confidence when you interact with the public especially an attorney who thinks he is the repository of all knowledge and just miraculously knows more than you a licensed Notary.

I have had encounters of the worst kind with Lawyers, Doctors, Real Estate professionals and even other Notaries who have repeatedly challenged me and when they did not like what I had to say took to the internet and unfairly left me and my company bad reviews spewing the most vituperative and vile stuff. I responded in a cool and calm manner on why the reviews were without basis and let the readers decide for themselves.

Here are a few examples of things you are asked to do that you should not do under any circumstances if you want to be a trusted Notary and keep being an advocate of best notary practices.:

1. A Doctor wants you to put your seal on the photo when the Notary Laws prohibit you from doing so.
2. The name on the document does not match the name on the ID
3. An Attorney does not want you to even glance through the document to check if it is complete complaining that it is an invasion of his client’s privacy.

You are licensed and knowledgeable. Don’t let people push you around. Enjoy what you do and help people in the process.


You might also like:

Cross out and initial, or use a fresh form?

The ID says John Smith

The one Notary that used the embosser was the one Notary that…


November 27, 2018

FAQ’s that a signing agent might want to ask 123notary

Filed under: Business Tips — Tags: — admin @ 9:26 am

Q. Can a Notary help draft documents?
A. You should not unless you have authorization to draft legal documents. Ask an Attorney for details.

Q. Can I notarize for a person who doesn’t speak my language?
A. As a general rule, a Notary needs direct communication with the signer, so sign up for Berlitz courses today!

Q. Can a Notary also be a witness?
A. As a general rule you can, and in some states it is even an official Notary Act to be a witness.

Q. Can a Notary assist in filling out an I-9?
A. This sounds like it might be a legal document and you should ask an Attorney if you can help fill it out. I would decline filling out forms for people unless you are a professional at doing exactly that.

Q. Can you amend a document that has already been notarized?
A. No, but you can have your client draft a new version of the document and notarize the new version from scratch.

Q. Do I need to keep a journal?
A. That is a state specific question that varies from state to state. However, since your journal is your only evidence in court if fraud is committed, it is suicide not to keep one. We also recommend journal thumbprints since some signers might be using false ID.

Q. How can I get more business?
A. 123notary has written a new course called Notary Public 102 which discusses how to get more business. Additionally, being the master of your trade and knowing your Notary basics inside out really help. Paying your dues working for low paying signings is another way to get experience which in turn helps attract more business.


You might also like:

Loan Signing FAQ’s that Borrower’s Ask

FAQ How much do Notaries charge?

Notary FAQ based on recent search queries


November 26, 2018

Five things a Notary can do worth $1000 per minute

Asking for reviews
Each minute you spend asking for a review can come back to you in the form of gold. It only takes a minute to ask, and if you ask enough people, you will get a handful of reviews which will double your incoming calls from 123notary. The next thing you know you will have repeat clients from those initial calls which you earned based on your reviews and you will be making lots more money.

Studying for certification
It takes a few hours to study for certification. But, the results can last a lifetime. Each minute of studying might be worth $1000 in the long term. So, whatever else you are doing. is it worth $1000 per minute? And what if I’m wrong and your study time is only worth $50 per minute. That is still more than a neurosurgeon makes. Speaking of neurology, my sciatic nerve hurts.

Call your old contacts
If you haven’t heard from someone, you could revive a long term client. That could be worth thousands.

Fix up your notes section
If I spent three minutes fixing up someone’s notes section, they get 55% more clicks. But, you can put more content in your notes and read up on what we recommend. We have a vast section all about how to fix up your notes. It takes very little effort, but could change your career.

There are many things a Notary can do to better themselves. The problem is, that Notaries have established habits, and don’t see the value of doing what 123notary says they should do. Those who listen to us often prosper in a huge way. What is the harm in going through a check list and just doing what makes sense? Getting more reviews could get you an additional hundred clients per year which could translate into thousands of jobs. What is that worth? And how much time did it take to get those extra clients? Two hours of asking for reviews, and you get $100,000 in extra income? That translates into about $1000 per minute. If you do the math, you will be kicking yourself for not focusing your time on priorities.


You might also like:

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

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business

How long should you wait to get paid?

123notary elite Certification Study guide


November 25, 2018

Can a Notary notarize a photograph?

Can you notarize a photograph?
Can a notary public notarize a photo?

You can not notarize a photograph. If you have a document that pertains to a particular photograph, you can staple the photo to the document and notarize the signature on the document. Something that not all people understand is that a Notary’s job is to administer oaths and notarize signatures… signatures that are on documents. A Notary cannot notarize a signature on a document unless there is notary verbiage acceptable to the state wherever the notarization is taking place.

Normally notaries perform Acknowledgments or Jurats when notarizing a signature. An Acknowledgment requires the signer to acknowledge having signed the instrument while a Jurat requires the signer to sign and swear to the truthfulness of the document, and do both actions in the physical presence of the Notary Public at the time of the notarization.

You could even put an embosser halfway through the photo with the other half going through the document as its attached to the document if you want to be a fancy and thorough Notary.

You migth also like:

Notary Just Say No #3

Loan Signing FAQ

Notary FAQ


November 23, 2018

Notaries on Facebook groups — the blind leading the blind

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , — admin @ 10:31 am

I hear this from multiple sources. There are a lot of Notaries on a lot of private Facebook groups who get together and bash people. I am one of the people who gets bashed the most because those Notaries were rude to me or failed my test, or both. If you are rude to me, I normally let it slide the first time, but if you just don’t stop, then I get forceful in return and then the Notaries who receive my reciprocal wrath run to Facebook (like babies) to slander me. This is a pattern that has been going on a lot in the last year, and somewhat less before that. You can’t just cause trouble, run away and stab someone in the back online. Those type of people get kicked off my site, get no work and drop out of the industry — it is their karma.

Asking Questions on Facebook
Since bad Notaries hate me, and wouldn’t turn to their Notary Handbook for knowledge if God himself told them to at gunpoint, they resort to Facebook. I do not monitor my personal Facebook group, so asking questions there will get responses from those who do use it. This is a nice network for discussions and opinions, but not for law and practices related questions. Here is why asking questions on Facebook is a bad idea.

1. You do not know the competency or level of experience of the person answering you. Even those with 20 years signing experience fail my test the majority of the time. So, the more experience you have, the worse you usually are. You get stuck in this industry since no other industry will have you. You don’t even know the identity of the person you are corresponding with on Facebook either.

2. People who use Facebook will give you wrong answers to Notary questions more than half the time and probably give you bad marketing advice too.

3. People on Facebook do, however know where their business is coming from (if they keep track) and what the gossip is about who is paying, and who is mean (I am generally on that list even though I am nice to those who treat me with respect which is a factor never considered by slanderers.)

4. People on Facebook can tell you what their experience is. They might not interpret their experience in a way that makes sense, but they know what they experienced, and whether they liked it or not.

5. I recommend against asking technical questions on Facebook. The NNA, your Notary Division, or perhaps 123notary (we do not know state specific laws though.) are not bad entities to ask notary questions. 123notary steers people in the right direction all day long in many aspects of the notary profession. But, those on the private groups on Facebook choose to ignore our help which is free of charge and bash us instead. It tells you what type of people you are dealing with on the private groups.

Basically, private groups on Facebook are for frustrated low-IQ people to commiserate, bash people and exchange a lot of erroneous technical notary knowledge. I recommend that your first recourse is to consult your state notary handbook. The NNA might still have their hotline which has state specific knowledge. There are notary law primers available for most states. Additionally, there are many articles online about various notary topics — but beware, those articles might also have wrong or outdated information. So, if the information is for a job that has legal liability, your state is the only official source for up to date and correct information — not Facebook.


November 22, 2018

Snapdocs — are the jobs just too far away?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:28 am

I talk to a lot of Notaries. I hear a lot of stories. The jobs that many people get offered from Snapdocs are often an hour, or two hours away. Considering how low jobs pay, how can someone who isn’t absolutely local take them? On the other hand, since pay is so low, the close people reject the jobs and people more far away keep getting offered these jobs.

That does not seem to be a realistic business model. Perhaps there should be minimum fees. Perhaps the Notaries would take more interest in responding if they could at least make a little bit of money.

The other thing that is deceiving about Snapdocs is that they are getting almost triple the clicks that 123notary gets. However, when we ask people where they get actual work, the high paying work is mostly from 123notary. Notary Rotary gets some work, but not as much as people get through our medium. And then people often say they get a little from Snapdocs, Notary Cafe, and perhaps or perhaps even Yelp which is my new and fierce competition.

Yelp has horrible Notaries, but they are masters of the art of the review, and that is what keeps them floating on Google along with us.

The bottom line is that there are very few active or serious notaries these days. Most people do a few jobs here and there, but do not specialize in it. In the old days there were a lot of very serious Notaries. That reality will not happen again unless interest rates keep coming down little by little. Right now we have the opposite effect. I wonder how long this will last. Hmmm.


You might also like:

Compilation of posts about SnapDocs

See our string of posts about snapdocs

Snapdocs – racially disproportionate?


November 21, 2018

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations

I get calls frequently for Notarizations in Jails and Hospitals.
This blog will focus on things you must do to protect yourself from lawsuits and damages when you get a desperate call to go out to a hospital to notarize documents to be signed by a patient, moistly a Power of Attorney. The phone call invariably comes from the child who has a parent admitted to the hospital.
What do you do as the Notary when the person calling says they will pay you whatever you charge as your mobile fee? Remember Rule #1: It is not always about the money. It is about your ability to follow the Notary laws and perform your job without taking short cuts.
The following list of questions is a short summary of the steps I have actually taken when I got such a call.

1. What is your relationship to the patient?
2. Do you have any other siblings or relatives who have a beneficial interest in the transaction?
3. Is the patient conscious? Coherent? On any medication?
4. Does the patient have a current valid ID with him or can you make it available when the notary arrives at the hospital?
5. Is the patient able to sign his name without any help?
6. Does the patient speak English and can he understand and answer simple questions coherently?
7. Does the patient have an attending physician and a Nurse assigned to him?
8. Do you have the number to the attending physician and nurse because I need to talk to them to get an accurate idea of the health and overall condition of the patient?
9. When can I talk to the patient directly by phone with a nurse present in the room?
10. What type of document are you having notarized?
11. What dates and times work for the patient?
12. My mobile fees are _____ and $15/signature notarized. After I get there if I make the determination that the person is unable to understand anything I ask him or is being forced to sign, I will not be able to notarize the document but will still charge you my mobile fee for coming out based on your representations over the phone. Are you okay with that because I don’t want to get into any arguments after I get there?

Believe me there has been more than one occasion I can recall where I had to leave without notarizing a document because the patient was unable to understand anything I asked, was incoherent and simply could not sign or even hold a pen to just mark an “X”. It is better to walk away from a Notarization where you know instinctively that it is wrong because the signer is not aware of what he is signing and inevitably you will end up being a party to a litigation by interested parties who believe that the Notary failed to take into account the coherence and soundness of mind of the signer at the time of the Notarization. This would invalidate your notarization and worse yet force you to pay legal expenses to defend yourself. Is it worth it? Absolutely not!


You might also like:

The carrot, the stick, the notary, and the bag

When to ask for ID over the phone & fees at the door

A tale of four notaries at hospitals

Hospital Notary jobs from A to Z


November 20, 2018

123notary’s Index of Popular Notary Articles

I am not sure how this is going to go, because there are more than a thousand articles on our site. So, wish me luck and I hope this post is valuable.

Beginner Notaries 103 Course –
Notary Etiquette 104 –

Journals —
Certificates —
Notary Acts —
General Notary Information —
Documents —
Law Suits & Legal Risks –
Credible Witnesses –
Index of posts about Power of Attorney –

Notary Marketing 102 Course –
Index of Marketing Posts –
Snapdocs Compilation –
Phone Etiquette –
Compilation of certification posts –
10 rules for negotiating fees –
How to write a notes section if you are a beginner –

Find a Notary –
Posts about fraud –

String of guest blogs –
Compilation of guest blogs –

Best comedy articles 2010 to 2014 –
Stories on the blog –
Posts about Notary & Politics –
Compilation of mafia related posts –
Best Virtual Comedy Posts to 2018 –
Notary Restaurant Post Compilation –
Notary Dating & Romance –
Compilation of Notary Sit-Com Episodes –

Best blog posts since 2010 –
Posts about 123notary –

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations –
How to make more as a signing agent –
Notary Public general info –
How to negotiate signing fees like a pro! –
When to refuse a notarization – a comprehensive guide –
10 things a notary can do to screw up a notarization –
A comprehensive guide to notary organizations –
A comprehensive guide to notary pricing –
123notary’s comprehensive guide to getting reviews –
Everything you need to know about writing a great notes section –
10 tight points on loose certificates –
Notary journals from A to Z –
Notary Seal information from A to Z –
Signing Agent best practice 63 points –
Borrower Etiquette from A to Z –
Backdating from A to Z –
Mobile Offices from A to Z –

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