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September 6, 2019

How far do you push for payment terms?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — admin @ 10:59 pm

As a newer Notary, you tend to get pushed around by more experienced companies. They set the terms, they give you the run around, make you fax back far too many pages, cancel jobs at the last minute, and then don’t pay you. Seems like you get a raw deal. Unfortunately in this business, as a new Notary, you have to pay your dues and work for the less than wonderful companies. The question is, how soon can you start being pushy for payment terms?

Ken in NYC is very aggressive for payment terms. He makes people pay up front. He is not a bank and he does not lend money to the signing companies. He charges more than others because he is the most solid Notary in town and people know that. But, he has thousands of loans under his belt. How much experience do you need before you start setting terms? There is no set answer.

You can test your terms out and see how much work you lose. If you demand that the signing company sign a contract with you for your terms, you can see if they sign it. The terms might go over last minute cancellations, printing fees for cancelled jobs, or incomplete signings, second trips, etc. You could even fine them for paying late.

How much experience do you need to bill people up front? Or what if you reduced your fee a bit to charge up front? Would you rather get all your money up front but get less? If you wait to get paid, you will have bookkeeping expenses, lost time doing collections and not get paid part of the time, so giving 10% off seems like a reasonable arrangement for me.

Or perhaps signing companies who don’t have a reputation with you yet would be asked to pay up front. Different terms for different companies. There is another approach. If you trust a company more, few terms or no terms, but if they have a bad rep or you don’t know them then more stringent terms.

In short, there are many ways to manage your terms. It is up to you how you do it. My suggestion is not to have any terms until you get 1000 loans under your belt as well as certifications from three companies. At least that shows you are not fooling around. If you don’t know your job up to my standards in my opinion you don’t merit terms! (ooh, that was mean)

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1 Comment »

  1. Before we start having “pity parties” that we are being ill used, so are people in other jobs/professions/businesses. I DO AGREE that shady middleman have cheated me out of some payments. One of them is involved in a lawsuit, and I keep getting snail-mailings, still no check for that signing. Fo you newbies, KEEP GOOD BOOKS!! I create a notepad with all of the information from the signing: name of signer(s), date, time, town, title co., vendor, File/Job/Order/Escrow or Loan#. I record it in my computer AND on OUTGOING Mail. Then, I record it on INCOMING Mail, so that I know I got paid. In this day and age it doesn’t hurt to HAND WRITE the company name and job to keep track, too, just in case, the CLOUD fails you or your laptop gets run over, OR your phone screen gets cracked. Piece of advice: Treat your PHONE as if it was made of crystal and don’t casually walk around with it in your back pocket, either. ALMOST everybody else Has paid me. Now, if you ask “in full”, THAT’s where you should ALWAYS read the fine print. Some vendors think it’s ok to ding YOU when the borrower and lendor didn’t settle things before a signing and the signer refuses to sign. As if YOU created the situation! I spent just as much time/toner/paper/gas/mileage on the Refusal to Signs are on all of the complete packages. THAT’s when you need to decide how hungry you are before you accept another job from them. WE save lenders eNORMOUS amounts$!! They DON’T have to fly/drive one of the employees out to timbucktwo and pay for a motel, etc. IMHO, they should suck it up, and decide NOT to hire the NSA who has a bad temper (one worked for a long time in MY territory!) and become more willing to pay MY fee. Yes, I Have made errors in over 1,700 signings. I GO BACK AND FIX THEM. VERY FEW packages have any errors now on my final checks. I have become more demanding about getting documents early whenever possible. I am polite: “When can I expect the documents? Thanks!” I also like to “over perform and under promise.” I will be certain that I probably canNOT ship a 4PM signing same night (6:30PM cutoff) and make that Clear before I accept the job. We cannot control everything, BUT we can take control in every way possible. If you have a great work ethic, you can confidently ask for higher fees, where you will get more respect and likely stop working for the “good enough” companies that may not pay for the job.

    Comment by betty — December 1, 2019 @ 9:14 pm

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