August 2019 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com
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August 31, 2019

Travel fees if nothing gets signed

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 10:55 pm

It is common for Notaries to go to a job where the signer refuses to sign, or the job gets cancelled. What can the Notary charge for a travel fee since he/she/they didn’t “do” anything? The answer is that the most important aspect of this issue is not what you charge but what you explain over the phone. The client/signer needs to be painfully (the more pain the better) aware that the notary’s schedule is not for free and that they have to pay x amount of dollars even if nothing gets done as well as waiting time.

It is a generally prudent policy to get travel fees in cash at the door upon arrival before seeing the signer. This is because you need to be able to be impartial and have no beneficial or financial interest in a document being signed. If your $50 travel fees is contingent on Sammy signing the Affidavit, you will be tempted to notarize it even if the ID doesn’t match completely. As a Notary, you need to not be tempted to wiggle on state notary rules, and having your travel fee in your pocket puts the power and integrity back in your pocket. It’s hard to be integrous when money is at stake.

If someone gives you $40 travel fee which includes the first 20 minutes waiting time, and then keeps you waiting more than that, since you have the $40 in your pocket, you can demand cash for the next twenty minutes or threaten to walk. People will string you along in this line of work so it is important to keep the upper hand, or as Mrs. Meao likes to say — the upper paw!

The bottom line is that communication of signing fees over the phone before the signing is the most important solution to the travel fee issue. Fail to communicate — you might not get paid at all. So, communicate not only what the client will have to pay, but terms and conditions for what gets paid when and how much. Also, be careful with checks. Signers who cancel jobs sometimes bounce checks or stop payment. It happened to me after a very time consuming jail job. I bet Mrs. Meao would have something to say about that!

You might also like:

Why are the fees offered to us so low?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22293

What are mobile notary fees?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21383

See our “fees” category
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2070

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August 30, 2019

The notary apologizing game

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:54 pm

A Notary notarized a couple in Venice, CA. The husband was signing an Affidavit and the wife was signing a Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney notarization required a thumbprint by law, but the wife (who was a politically correct person) mistook this for sexism.

WIFE: Ah-ha! You want a thumbprint from me, but don’t require it from my husband because he is a man!

NOTARY: With that attitude it is a wonder that you can even attract or keep a man. You regard yourself as our enemy!

WIFE: I resent that. I am on the enemy of sexist, misogynist, guys who are the enemies of womankind.

NOTARY: You mean guys who don’t let you walk all over them?

WIFE: Exactly… Hey No. You tricked me into saying that. In any case. I demand an apology for being a sexist Notary.

HUSBAND: According to the state of California…

WIFE: Stay out of this.

HUSBAND: (shrugs shoulders) okay.

NOTARY: Typical beta-male. You just love those submissive males who are just so happy to have a woman they’ll say anything.

WIFE: That’s the way men should be. They should know who the superior gender is.

NOTARY: Ah-ha! I demand an apology. You just said something sexist towards male Notaries. Okay, it was not notary-specific, but towards males.

HUSBAND: He kind of has a point.

WIFE: Stay out of this — once again…

NOTARY: Okay husband who doesn’t wear the pants in the family….

HUSBAND: Ouch… you kind of have a point here though.

NOTARY: Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the contents of this document are true and correct?

HUSBAND: I demand an apology. You asked me to swear when I don’t believe in swearing.

NOTARY: Oh boy, another one of those.

WIFE: He’s just kidding. He doesn’t stand for any ideology except for cow-towing to my every request which is exactly how it should be.

NOTARY: Well it looks like we live in an ideal world, so how come you are so angry now that you have everything your way?

WIFE: Everything? You call this everything? I still didn’t get my apology.

NOTARY: I apologize for not explaining notary law to you before the signing. Everything I am doing is consistent with Notary law.

WIFE: Well then notary law is sexist and part of the patriarchy since it involves swearing to God.

NOTARY: That is an issue for the secretary of state’s office.

HUSBAND: Do you know any good men’s rights organizations?

NOTARY: After today I will definitely Google a few. And if I don’t find any, then I will owe you an apology.

You might also like:

Affirmations – pleasing the politically correct while offending the traditionalists
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19606

A New category in the notary census
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22197

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August 29, 2019

I get so nervous when you call

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills,General Articles — admin @ 10:53 pm

One customer said to me, “I get so nervous when you call, I feel like I am going to be quizzed.”

I am sorry that I make people so uncomfortable. I was reading online that alpha males make other people feel uncomfortable and inferior. But, I am only alpha about topics where I know more than others, or think I do. If you guys would become experts in your field rather than to just claim you are, there would be no issues acing my test consistently and no hurt feelings.

But, for those of you who do not like the idea of mastery, why be nervous? If you don’t value knowledge, why be nervous when you don’t have it?

You handle legal paperwork for a living. The financial consequences of screwing up a job are big not to mention the legal damages. It behooves you to know your job inside out. Why is it so difficult to convince everybody of this?

But, on a brighter note, in 2018 I abandoned quizzing people by phone unless they specifically requested it. It was too much drama and was effecting my health. Now I quiz by email mostly and only do a handful of phone quizzes. So no more nervousness when I call. It will be because you forgot to login or renew probably, and not a quiz — unless you requested a quiz.

You might also like:

Testing Carmen on a bridge in 2003
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21264

My bad karma from testing people by phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19447

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August 28, 2019

Certain things you don’t learn from experience

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

Notaries who have a lot of experience seem to forget that you can keep doing the same thing wrong for twenty years and nobody will correct you. People with thirty years of experience often know less than beginners. But, how is this so?

1. Document knowledge
If you want to know more about documents, you can read loan signing courses. You can also read the actual documents. Be aware that many documents have document variations and one document name could have multiple meanings. Therefore you need to be aware of all of the potential meanings and assume the possibility that the document might be completely different from what it normally means as well. Many Notaries go through their careers never reading documents yet claiming “familiarity with the docs.” If you don’t read them then you are only familiar with the names of the documents and not the actual content of the documents.

2. Handling situations
As a signing agent, there are many tricky situations you can get into. Experience might help you to figure out how not to botch certain situations, but might not teach you how to handle less obvious situations. Our course Notary Public 101 goes over twenty common situations where Notaries can get into trouble. No Notary on our site does a thorough job confirming the signing without reading our course. I suggest reading up on handling situations.

3. Notary knowledge
You cannot know the rules of notarizing or know how to explain specific notary acts unless you read about it. You might have performed 50,000 notarizations, but if you performed them wrong, then the experience is worth nothing, or might be counterproductive. Reading up on notary procedure and law might be a good idea. After all, you are handling legal documents.

4. Marketing
Many Notaries go through their career doing the minimum in marketing. You might make a lot more money if you took marketing a lot more seriously. We have many blog articles on the topic.

5. Thinking about danger
What if you are in a house and the borrower goes psycho. That doesn’t happen often. There are techniques for handling danger. Some Notaries sit closest to the door, or at a particular angle from the door so they can see who is coming in. Other Notaries can spot a house with health hazards a mile away and redirect the signing to Starbucks. I’m not sure if there are any good guides to dealing with notary danger, but you can surely try to think of all the possibilities before you go out on a job. Otherwise you have to improvise at the last minute like a comedian doing improv at the Improv!

You might also like:

Real life scenarios at loan signings
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19681

The five year rule of notary experience
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21089

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August 27, 2019

Notary class where students are full of wise cracks

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:52 pm

TEACHER: Okay class, please turn to page four.

CLASS: Yes, teacher.

TEACHER: Now who can tell me what an embosser is?

JOHNNY: An embosser is a type of notary seal that leaves a raised impression.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny. You may sit down now.

JOHNNY: Does that raise your impression of me?

TEACHER: Yes Johnny, you are a fine young man.

TIMMY: Will he get a raise?

TEACHER: Enough out of you Timmy. No raise for you. Now, a Notary must keep a journal of Notarial acts, does any one know why?

TIMMY: Because the state makes us?

TEACHER: Yes, Timmy, but I was looking for more of an intrinsic reason.

TIMMY: Umm, because it would look more official?

TEACHER: No class, it is because you need a record of what you notarized just in case someone claims that the particular document was fraudulently notarized. Now, do we know why the State of California requires thumbprinting for recorded documents and Powers of Attorney/

FRED: Umm, so you get to hold the signer’s hand… like if she is a hot woman?

TEACHER: No, it is because an identity document can be forged but you cannot fake a thumbprint, at least I don’t think you can. So, how would you rate this class so far?

JOHNNY: Two thumbs up, but two thumbs not from the same signer as you are only supposed to use the right thumbprint in your journal unless it has been amputated.

TEACHER: Very good Johnny, that is the first intelligent and non demented thing you have said all semester. How did you acquire this knowledge?

JOHNNY: I broke down and actually did something called (pause) reading.

TEACHER: God forbid! Now how do we fill in a certificate?

TIMMY: Won’t it fill in on its own shortly after it hits puberty?

TEACHER: Only if it is a female certificate Timmy. But, good try. You need to fill in the county, name of notary, signer, date, and cross out unnecessary information in the pronoun section. But, the optional information below is also critical. You should mention the number of pages in the document, the document date, and the name of the document just in case someone wants to put that certificate and attach it to some other document.

FRED: Hmm, I think we’re on the same page here. But, I didn’t know documents had dates. Do they kiss on the first date?

TEACHER: I think that depends on — what kind of document it is.

TIMMY: I tried kissing a document and it said very loudly, and I quote — “I’m not that kind of document.”

TEACHER: Well, if you are the one trying to kiss it, I think that most documents would say the same thing.

JOHNNY: Yeah, maybe you should try to kiss a blind document, that way it would not realize what it was kissing.

TEACHER: Another intelligent point Johnny. We are really on a role now! Well, that concludes class for the day. Thanks for coming. Don’t forget to initial on your way out!

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August 26, 2019

Don’t misspell business names

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:51 pm

Imagine that you are careless and misspell business names.

123notary could become our competitor Notary123.

NNA could become the NRA.

Complete Closers could become Complete Losers. Imagine!

So be careful when you write about Notary companies — or else!

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He would not shut up.

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 10:51 pm

There was an instance where a guy signer would not shut up. He was engaged in some fraudulent activity during the signing (falsifying his identity), but talked so incessantly that the Notary did not notice what the signer was up to. Signers can put up smoke screens at any time. The main point is to keep alert and pay attention to the security and fraud deterrence aspects of your job. If someone commits fraud on your watch, you might end up on court for a very long time without pay. Take this seriously and pay more attention.

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August 25, 2019

Hashtag #awkward

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:50 pm

A Notary goes to get tacos on his way to a signing. But, he has never been to that taco place before.

LADY: We eat here all the time. Have you ever been here before?

NOTARY: No, this is my first time… umm. Oh God, that came out sounding horrible. Umm. What I meant was this is my first time here, not my overall first time ummm, embarrasing, now I’m sounding even worse. Hmm. Let’s change the topic. Do you like al pastor tacos?

LADY: Are you a comedian or something? You had us both laughing.

NOTARY: Laughing at me or with me?

LADY: A little of both, but at least you made us laugh. So, what are you doing after having tacos?

NOTARY: Oh God. Umm. I’m doing a loan signing.

LADY: Oh, do you do a lot of that?

NOTARY: Here we go again. No. It is my first time doing that too. I’m new at a lot of things.

LADY: Oh… So, do you like to try new things?

NOTARY: Hashtag awkward. I feel like this is a Jack in the Box commercial. I don’t know. I guess it depends on what the things are.

LADY: Well, what are you doing after the signing? After all, I like a Notary who can make a girl laugh.

NOTARY: Let’s see, the term “girl” seems to be an overstatement… Oh God… Awkward.

LADY: Hey, I’m 43, but I look young, okay?

NOTARY: Yes, I guess it’s a figure of speech.

LADY: Please leave my figure out of it. Even my speech is watching its figure, that is why I got the lettuce wraps.

NOTARY: Oh (enthusiastically) that is a good idea. And you do look young for 43. You look like a young 43, like you are closer to 42, but right after your birthday.

LADY: What an awkward compliment — but, I’ll take it. Sounds like the compliment I made when I was abducted by a 435 year old extra terrestrial. I told him he didn’t look a day over 429 and he said thank you… I think. They erased a lot of my memory after that trip so it is hard to remember the exact verbiage.

NOTARY: I am going home to sleep. But, I will think about you for sure.

LADY: Would you like to check my ID to make sure I’m really a young 43?

NOTARY: You talked me into it. Waiter — more salsa please!

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Notary Pick Up Lines Part 1
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Jane the Virgin Notary
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August 24, 2019

Inappropriate things you could do at a signing

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:49 pm

Here is a list of inappropriate things you could do at a signing.

1. Visit the other rooms of the signer’s house and make comments.

2. Park in their driveway without permission.

3. Flirt with the borrower’s wife.

4. Ask the signers to hurry up and sign a little faster.

5. Watch youtube on your iphone during the signing and laugh loudly.

6. Call your girlfriend / boyfriend during the signing multiple times.

7. Dress as you would dress going to the beach or going to a nightclub.

8. Comment loudly on the borrower’s rate — “Oh my god you’re paying 5.3%?”

9. Fall asleep at the signing table.

10. Refuse to leave once the signing is finished!

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August 23, 2019

More on bad boy Notaries

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 10:49 pm

I wrote a blog article about the difference between bad boy Notaries and “nice” Notaries. It seems that “nice” Notaries are basically not nice at all, but a bunch of losers who want to attain other’s positive opinion and never assert themselves. The intrinsic meaning of “nice” means that you care for others which is very different from caring about how others think of you which is selfish in a lame sort of a way.

Here are some more things a bad boy Notary could do.

1. The “nice” guy Notary arrives in his Toyota Corolla or Honda, parks on the street even if he has to walk three blocks.
The bad boy Notary arrives at the signing driving a Harley. Of course, if the Harley was really noisy that would add to the bad boy appeal.

2. The ‘nice” guy Notary read copious reviews on buying the most sensible laser printer on the market, yet ends up with one that is broken half the time and works at the speed of a snail because his budget was too small. The bad boy Notary invests in a mega printer that spits out 40 pages per minute (on a bad minute) and never breaks, and also has a three year guarantee. When the bad boy Notary introduces his printer he says, and I quote, “check out this bad boy.”

3. The “nice” guy Notary neatly stacks the blank pages (if any) in the stack of loan documents. The bad boy Notary
makes spitballs out of the blank pages in the stack of loan documents, or makes paper airplanes. Japanese bad boys prefer to do origami with the blank pages and show off their Yakuza tattoos and explain the story of each tattoo. The bad boy notary could also play hang man with customers using blank pages (and even hang them if they lose.)

4. The “nice” guy Notary refuses to answer phone calls during the signing because he feels it might upset the client. The bad boy Notary realizes that he will miss his next job assignment as well as tomorrow’s job assignments if he misses phone calls, texts and emails, so he is watching them like a hawk. Moreover, he is concerned that his various lady friends might call while at the signing and he definitely doesn’t want to miss their calls.

5. The “nice” guy Notary explains to the borrower why page three on the 1003 is left blank and then gets funny looks. The bad boy Notary plays tic tac toe with the customer using page three of the 1003. Sounds kind of lame, but is a way to use the page that says, “this page intentionally left blank.”

6. The “nice” guy Notary invests big bucks going to all of the NNA conferences, learns some, and makes a handful of connections that he could have made by making a few phone calls. The bad boy Notary reads Jeremy’s blog and masters the materials in the free courses, gets a few mentors by networking with Jeremy, Carmen and the other more experienced people in the industry, AND, writes sarcastic and mildly inappropriate responses to Jeremy’s blogs… (hmmm, sounds like Ken.)

7. The “nice” guy Notary let’s his customers rack up a huge bill without complaining. After all, he is afraid that they will stop sending business his way. The bad boy Notary has a credit limit with customers which he expects them to honor. If the don’t he will cancel a job at the last minute and send a text saying, “Paypal what you owe me or find another Notary, punk!” Ouch! Once again, sounds a little like Ken, except Ken asks to be paid up front as a standard business practice. I wonder if Ken wears a leather jacket? Ken also doesn’t call people punks… he calls them turkeys instead. (gobble gobble.)

8. The “nice” guy Notary wants to attracts any client he can and is afraid to lose any client. The bad boy Notary realizes that there are some people with more time than money, and others with more money and less time — he prefers the latter and charges them appropriately. If the client is not in a position to pay big and pay fast, bad boy Notary doesn’t have a use for them.

9. The “nice” guy Notary carries pepper spray in the car just in case. Better safe than sorry. The bad boy Notary carries pepper spray in the car, on his person, a gun, has a knife collection and a club. After all, you never know what is coming. Additionally, bad boy Notary always sits closest to the door not because he is afraid — he is just thinking ahead of the game just in case something happens. You always have to have an escape plan.

10. The “nice” guy Notary always brags that he knows what he is doing and talks endlessly about his “experience.” The bad boy Notary is certified five times over and keeps his cool when talking to clients. He answers questions the way they were ask, and doesn’t try to insert little self-promoting statements into the conversation when unnecessary. He figures if someone wants to know about his background in Escrow or the 10,000 loans he signed (or claims to have signed) they will ask. He plays it cool and gets the job, because he is very professional and not at all annoying contrary to the “nice” Notary who falls on his face trying to do a snow job or smoke screen.

So, there you have it. Nice guys finish last not because they are nice, but because they are lame and unprepared, not to mention stupid. Stay ahead of the game and be a bad boy Notary. But, perhaps without the Harley as that pointer is not that critical. However the Harley jacket has been scientifically proven to attract babes.

You might also like:

Are you a bad boy Notary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22380

Ken’s take on how to be a bad boy-girl, person, Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22374

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