April 2020 - Notary Blog - Signing Tips, Marketing Tips, General Notary Advice - 123notary.com

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April 30, 2020

Does a signature need a signature line?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:35 am

Does a signature require a signature line? Does a car need a road? Does a taco need a plate (or banana leaf?)

This question opens up a can of worms, especially since many signatures resemble worms. A signature does not require a signature line. But, it is customary to have a signature line that you sign upon. Many Notaries might be tempted to draw in a line in their own handwriting if there is no signature line on a document that needs to be notarized. Is this practicing law to alter a legal document? Or is the alteration such that it does not compromise the content or character of the document in any meaningful way? These are questions for an Attorney and I cannot answer them myself.

I have seen a particular document show up in many loan packages. It says, “This form must be notarized.” However, there is never any notary wording, or a signature line on the document. So, I would add an Acknowledgment form and have the person sign the document. If the borrower wanted to draw a signature line that is better – that way they are doing the tampering and not you.

A document that lacks a signature line is definitely unprofessional and not well thought out. But, technically, a document doesn’t require a signature line, strange or “misaligned” as that might sound.


April 29, 2020

Was the signer willing to sign the document?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 9:35 am

Verifying willingness is a big deal in the notary world. But, how often do we bring this topic up in conversations, blogs, or tutorials. We take for granted that the signer is willing to sign. But, let’s think about some scenarios where they might not be willing and how to spot those situations.

1. The signer doesn’t speak English.
If a signer does not understand what is going on, they might also not be completely willing to sign. They might be confused, coerced, or desperate. The document might be in English or in their language. As a notary, you must have direct communication with the signer in all fifty states. So, ask them if they understand the document and are willing to sign. See how they react.

2. The signer is elderly
If the signer is in a nursing home, be careful. The loving family members might not be real family and they might be ripping off a senile person. Make sure the signer understands the documents and is willing to sign. Ask open ended questions about what they document means. Be prepared to walk away if you get a wishy washy answer otherwise you might end up in court for God knows how long without pay.

3. The signer is being forced by the mafia or their spouse.
There have been cases where a husband makes the wife sign something. This is more true with foreigners who haven’t been blessed with the feminist movement. Women in other countries actually obey their husbands from time to time. Women don’t obey much in the USA which is why most men no longer want to get married — but, that is a story for another blog entry.

4. The signer is insane
Sometimes insane people appear normal — I know, because I am one myself. Just kidding. And so am I. We both are kidding. You might not see the signs, so make sure all of your signers know what they are signing and are willing.

In my personal experience, the only time I have had issues with signers was in nursing homes, hospitals, and once with a case where someone said they were kidnapped, but were not running. I had to decline a notarization for a dying Chinese man who could not say yes or no, but could squeeze my hand once for yes and twice for no. I broke their heart and tole them to get an Attorney and that I could not help them. Don’t get in trouble. Say no if the request is questionable.


April 28, 2020

A notary dies and sees his whole life flash before him

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:33 am

We don’t always think about dying. I think about it when I am on a plane because I get paranoid during turbulence. Other people get paranoid during notarizations — what if I die while affixing my seal? But, this story is about a notary who dies.

Joe the Notary was on his last day. He drove to his notary job, drove home, had dinner and then started dying. His life flashed before him like it does in a movie, but without the special effects.

Joe was dying. Not from indigestion, although the burrito was a little to spicy. He was just dying. Angels appeared before him. He saw all of the bad deeds he had done which included quit claim deeds. He saw all the times he backdated and learned that he would be judged in heaven for those wrongful things. He also saw that he has not been paid for a handful of signing companies and that they too would be penalized on the other side. He saw his wedding, his wives, kids, mistresses and concubines. Yes, Joe had been a bad boy. Nobody knew except for the folks in the brighter world who keep tabs on these things. He saw his birth, salient childhood memories, the day he learned to tie his shoes, the day he learned to wipe in the bathroom and the day he joined the football team.

Yes, Joe had lived a good life. But, now he would be judged for backdating. Why is like so cruel… or should I say, afterlife? Afterlife’s a bitch!

So, he was sent to backdate purgatory. It was not hell, not horrible, but not heaven either. It was a particular karmic realm where people who fudged dates were sent. He was scheduled to be sent there on the 10th, but delivered on the 9th while the paperwork said the 10th. Joe asked what was going on — the clerk said, “karmic retribution sir.” He was scheduled to have dinner at 6pm but it was served at 9pm but on the form it said 6pm. Joe would be punished for three years in this realm. It really wasn’t that bad, but the dates and times were routinely fudged. Hmmm.

So, if you are thinking about committing notary


April 27, 2020

Should I serve more counties?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:32 am

When we sign new notaries up on 123notary, one of the first questions we ask is what counties they serve. Some Notaries know what counties they serve. Others don’t really know the names of the counties near them. And then there are many notaries who are confused as to which counties they should serve and how far they should go. Many notaries tell us what they charge, but that is not my business as I don’t hire notaries.

If you travel far to do notary work, in my opinion you should be paid accordingly to do that work. If you advertise in far away counties on 123notary, it is possible that many companies will give you low-ball offers. This bothers many notaries. Advertising far away means filtering the offers and taking the ones you really want.

When I was a notary (we traveled on dinosaurs in those days) I welcomed far away business because that gave me the chance to get new clients. I would travel far for a reasonable price just to get on board with new companies. That way they would be willing to use me when they had a closer job since I got them out of a bind. This is a very sound business practice by the way.

You can try a wider range of counties and then drop them if it is too much trouble. Dropping counties is as easy as emailing me. You can remove them from your profile by logging in, but only I can put them on or take them off the database records, so don’t omit the act of emailing me.


April 26, 2020

She made her money back in one week advertising on 123notary

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:29 am

In the old days many years ago when business was better, we got all kinds of great feedback about our directory. People made their advertising money back in a day, three days, a week or two weeks in so many cases. But, recently business has been bad. 2018 and 2019 were very slow years. 2020 is looking a little better. Since our business does well when the rest of the economy does not as that lowers interest rates — it is looking like good times might come to the notary business with all of these economic problems, trade wars, pandemics, and more.

But, we got an email from a lady in Washington State who claimed that she made her advertising money with 123notary back in a week. That was refreshing. She got a high placed listing and got a few jobs right away.

Personally, I believe that there are karmic energies involved in work, business, and success. If you are in it to win it, then business will attract to you. If you are old and tired, perhaps not. So, keep in a good state of mind and keep the mentality of growth of your business alive in your mind.


April 25, 2020

Yesterday was the worst day of my life

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:28 am

Yesterday was the worst day of my life. Everything went wrong.

I started by having lunch at my favorite taco place. But, Jose wasn’t there. He was replaced by an Arab guy. I asked for Carne asada tacos, but got — “Carne Bashar al-Assad-O” tacos on a plate that smelled like Chlorine. Shelly the beauty queen’s favorite expression is, “Kill them with kindnesss.” Bashar’s favorite saying is, “Kill them with chlorine.” On the bright side I didn’t have to worry about bacteria on the plate.

Then, I went home and my housemate was rude to me about all types of things. I left the light on, I didn’t clean my pan, blah blah blah. We don’t have to yell to resolve these issues.

And to top it all off, my memory foam pillow got alzheimers.

What a day guys.


April 24, 2020

Jury duty vs. human trafficking – they are more similar than you might think

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:26 am

When we think of jury duty we think of doing our duty to our country in order to ensure one of the facets of due process in that we provide the opportunity to a defendant to have a fair trial that is free of bias, partiality, and prejudice. The down side of the way jury duty is practiced in the United States is that in order to ensure the rights of the accused, regular citizens are stripped of their freedoms for an indefinite period of time while they are trapped in long and arduous court cases — and often without financial compensation other than $15 per day which does not even cover lunch or a cab fare.

However, upon further and closer inspection it seems that jury duty is not only a sacrifice of the juror’s short-term rights for the benefit of a defendant, but much worse. Jury duty has many parallels with human trafficking and actually meets the definition of human trafficking to a T.

Human trafficking can be defined as the transport of human beings from one location to the other in order to perform forced labor or sexual exploitation. Although it normally includes various other types of abuses as a matter of practices, those other abuses are not part of the definition.

Jury duty involves what I call “self-abduction under duress” as a primary stage of the process. This means that a jury member or prospective juror forces himself into a vehicle of some sort because he or she realizes that he/she will face a $1500 fine or possible incarceration if he/she doesn’t comply with the request made in writing by the court administration. The mafia also makes threats when they want you to do something. They threaten you with physical harm or threaten to harm loved ones or your possessions. Maybe the supreme court is more similar to the mafia than we think.

Jury duty involves the transportation or trafficking or “self-trafficking under duress” of jurors or prospective jurors from one location to another (home to a court building) for the purpose of forced labor in the form of decision making shoddily performed intellectual labor. The irony is that most jurors do not have the intellectual capacity nor care enough about their cases to give the defendant a fair trial.

Here is a satirical line from one of my comedy routines:
“Your honor, I believe that jury duty is similar in essence to human tracking. Both involve the transport or self-transport of individuals from one location to another for the sake of sexual exploitation or forced labor. I am relieved that I am here for forced jury related labor and not for sexual services because quite frankly your honor — you’re not my type.”

Kidnapping is the unlawful abduction, transport, and holding of a person against their will. But, is it lawful for the court system to hold people against their will in a court room? If a juror does not complain about being there it does not appear that they are being kidnapped. But, what id they do announce that they do not consent to being strong-armed into staying there? Denying a person their freedoms as a law abiding person is a violation of their human rights. Is it legal for a court to cheat you out of your human rights? Is holding someone in court against their will hostage taking, kidnapping, or none of the above? I am not an Attorney and don’t know, but it seems that a lot of these accusations are up to interpretation.

Since America has a policy of offering a public trial by jury to criminals and also sometimes for civil trials, that necessitates having a jury. Whether the jury is assembled by paying them, giving incentives, or forcing them to come under duress seems to vary. But, putting aside whether jurors are consensually performing their duty or paid is one issue — whether they should be allowed to be required to wait for five hours in a room doing absolutely nothing is a very different consideration.

Imagine a brain surgeon whose time is worth $2000 per hour is summoned (or as I call it “drafted”) to do jury duty. But, all he does is sit in a room all day long. That is a gross waste of the individual’s time. And that waste is justified because the law stipulates that a jury needs to consist of a cross section of society. But, to get the higher level members of the cross section of society, is it fair to waste $1600 of their time having them just sit around? That seems criminal to me, yet society in its incompetence allows this.

The duration of trials is another point to be considered. Some trials go on and on and on with new evidence and witnesses being called in slowly day after day. If you have a critical job, you will get very behind while you are trapped in a court room which could affect your co-workers, boss, and customers. It seems that there should be limits as to how long a trial should last. It also seems logical that those with critical jobs be put on shorter trials. The courts used to honor hardship, but these days they do not which is dangerous.

Personally, I feel that for smaller cases, there should be an option to have a very quick trial where all witnesses come at once, there is almost no waiting time, and you get in and out in a few hours. Jury selection is another topic that takes time. But, a pre-selection could be done online or over the phone to see what a juror’s prejudices are which would help the court choose what type of case to put them on.

I wasted two hours in a court room where a police man was on trial a few years ago. I spent five hours waiting in the waiting room, then spent two hours in a court room only to find out that they couldn’t use me, perhaps because I mentioned having had several bad experiences with Los Angeles Police Department members. If my style of jury preparation had been used, all of the screening would have happened by phone the night before and they would have picked a nice short trial the next day for me to go to with no waiting time. Efficiency saves a lot of money, but the court system is government run and therefore not very good at erring on the side of efficiency.

I hope that my article was thought inspiring. I am very frustrated with having to do jury duty. I like being on a jury, but cannot stand being virtually kidnapped by the court system and than having my time wasted. When bank robbers rob a bank and then find themselves surrounded by the police, the hostages in the bank do very much the same activities you do on day one of jury duty — namely sitting in a room for hours on end doing absolutely nothing — oh, and having to ask permission to go to the bathroom.


April 23, 2020

Are you intimidated by a title?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:25 am

I sent a newsletter out with the title: “Your notary stole your private information and sold it.” Many notaries emailed in stating that their stomach turned when they saw that title.

First of all, nobody other than a spammer or blog writer would use a title like that. Second of all, you ARE the notary, so nobody would warn you that another notary stole your information.

On the other hand, if a Title company BCC’ed a borrower telling the borrower that you, the notary, stole their information and sold it — that would be scary. But, how would they know And if you didn’t do that, why would you be scared when you read the title?

So, if you are afraid reading this above stated title, does that mean you are guilty of having done something fraudulent in the past? Or do you just have an abnormally high sense of paranoia?

Please understand that as a blog writer I have to pick topics and titles that will get my content read otherwise I get ignored and would have to shut my blog down. Thanks.


April 22, 2020

The Coronavirus and its spread in America vs. The Common Flu

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:31 am

For those of you who do not know, as of January and February 2020 there is a deadly novel adaptation of Coronavirus that is spreading around the world. The death rate from this disease is about 2% and it kills mainly the elderly and those with respiratory diseases or vulnerabilities. If you ask me, this disease should be convicted of elder abuse and I will be contacting the court of viruses after this is over.

The epicenter of this virus is in Hubei province in China and roughly 95% of the deaths as of Feb 5 2020 have been in that province. However, it has spread all over China with currently about 24,000 reported infections and 500 deaths. The number of infections seems to climb currently at about 19% per day and perhaps that rate will slow down as there are more safety measures and quarantines in place. There are also some cases in other countries around the world.

There are currently 11 cases in the USA as of Feb 5th 2020 (subject to change quickly). The disease can easily multiply by 250 in the period of a month if there are no safety measures or lock downs in place. So, those 11 cases could become 2500 cases by march 5th and we could have a full-blown epidemic by early April.

One interesting note is that during the SARS outbreak, only 1000 people died worldwide from SARS that year while 650,000 people died of the flu in the same year. However, the news spent more time talking about SARS than the common cold or flu and sensationalized it simply because it was dangerous, unusual, scary and appealed to our sense of emotional reactivity.

What would happen if there were an epidemic in the USA? Would cities get shut down? Would casinos, public transportation, schools, courts, and other businesses get shut down for a month or more? It might make sense to stock up on canned food now, because if you wait until it is too late, the stores may be out of supplies. Also, face masks are a good thing to buy now as they will sell fast.

Personally, I have watched what has happened in China for the last few years. The government went from being very business-minded to being very heavy handed about many things. Perhaps this disease is God’s way of saying that the current dynasty is about to change. In Chinese history, there is something called the mandate of heaven. When God wants a change of dynasties, there are always a sequence of huge disasters. China had a huge problem in Xin Jiang, Hong Kong, the pig flu where half of all pigs in China died, and now the Coronavirus. That is four disasters in a row although the first two were human creations. Perhaps God thinks that the methodology of the current administration is not as good as some other option that God is cooking up. I have no opinion on this matter but am very interested to see what happens.

I will end this somber article with an inexpensive pun and joke. The Chinese language has many synonyms — or if you want to make a linguistic pun: Sino-nyms since we are talking about China. The word “Wu-han” in Chinese is a city in Hubei, but also means “no sweat” or an absense of perspiration.” So, the joke is:

Q. What type of disease will cause you to die without perspiring a drop of sweat?
A. The Wu-Han Virus!


April 21, 2020

story about a counter offer on snapdocs

Filed under: Business Tips — Tags: — admin @ 9:24 am

Story by Steve Weinstein

I don’t know if you want to post this, but it happened to me: Snapdocs posted: $65 Reverse Mortgage application with 20 pages to fax back, I countered $85. turns out the print was 285 pages, plus ever Notary knows Reverse Mortgages are never easy at the signing table. I My fee got bumped up to $95. When I spoke to the Signing Company that I did not think it was right to low ball the fee on Snapdocs, they said it was just a baseline and Notaries could ask for a higher fee. My concern is that Notaries are accepting low ball fees. Seems like there should be some kind of industry standards..

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