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October 12, 2020

Certain things you don’t learn from experience

Filed under: General Articles,Popular on Facebook (some) — 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

The five year rule of notary experience



  1. Agreed. You are sharing useful information FOR A REASON and it isn’t $. Also, the articles and forum and very helpful. After reading here that some personnel at the lender had removed loose Jurats/loose Acknowledgements by removing the staple. I have stopped using loose Jurats an loose Acknowledgements, which I Still see in every Closing USA package. NOW, if there is no room to stamp, I take my attorney’s advice. I simply stamp over the wording. I have been told that it is still legitimate and definitely the fault of the organization that sent a notarized document in a package in that way and NOT the fault of the Notary! I even took it upon myself to purchase an additional stamp at a local office supply store that stamps in 1/2 the space of my other stamp–it looks like a miniature of the other. If THAT won’t work, then the stamp goes over the verbage. I wouldn’t have even known about this had I not read it HERE! We are living in an age where ALL documents can be corrected and manipulated with lines and spaces that fit. It is lazy and sloppy to continue to send out the same document with these errors. There is no excuse, just like when you get a long line for the day of the week, and a tiny one for the month.

    Comment by betty — September 21, 2019 @ 5:17 pm

  2. Thank you for sharing that information especially number five “THINKING ABOUT DANGER.” I was at a senior home for a reverse mortgage application, she was not able to walk very well and yelled for me to come into her house. There were a lot of flies and her dog seems to have fleas because he was scratching so bad and the house was in disarray. She was also smoking and telling me she was at the hospital all morning for test.

    She asked me if the smoke was bothering me, I said yes, because I have asthma. She said she always ask people just for that reason and put out the cigarette. Anyway, we get started with her application, as I was explained the procedure, I notice a small roach on her table, it ran just as fast as it came out. I continued with the process and she stared signing the documents. About the last 10 minutes roaches were coming out and I saw a mouse running around in the kitchen, the dog was scratching more and she was apologizing about all the flies in the house and said when her grandchild come to visit they always leave the front door opened.

    I completed my job and give her the respect that I give to all the signers I visit. My concern was that I was not taking any of those pest home in my bag. I have never been in this situation before with a senior or anyone else. I have decided to put pest control products in my car and removed my clothes before I entered my home and sprayed my car and bag just to be on the save side.

    Has anyone else had this kind of experience during their signing? I would like to know how you handled it.

    Thank you, Margaret

    Comment by Margaret — September 22, 2019 @ 12:59 pm

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