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May 8, 2012

California notaries with complaints

Notary Public California – complaints against local notaries 

It is easy to hire a notary public in California that you found online. But, how do you know they are reputable, or any good?  You don’t.  You take your chances. However, some notaries on 123notary.com have reviews about them.  You can read who has good reviews or bad reviews.  It is not always safe picking a random notary. As far as horror cases go, we have only had a handful of serious nightmarish notaries over the last decade, and we remove them once we have determined that they are a source of endless trouble!
The Kinko’s story
We had a California notary public fail to print out documents and have the borrower’s pick her up, drive her to Kinko’s where she could print the documents and then driver her to their home.  Borrowers are not chauffers, and this notary got dropped off once the borrowers got a hold of the lender.  A year later — the drama continues.  The California notary public in question is operating under a business name, and hiring other notaries to do tasks for her such as obtaining apostilles in Sacramento.  The problem is, that when checks come, they all have an elastic characteristic.  Notaries have complained on the forum about this company several times, and this particular California notary is one of the worst notary nightmares we have ever experienced and goes down in history as a legend.
Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143
Affordable Notary Service – http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4880
24 hour service?
Another California notary public advertised 24 hour service.  An individual calls them at 6am with an emergency.  The notary hangs up on the individual claiming that it is “too early”.  If you are not offering 24 hour service, don’t CLAIM that you do.  It is a requirement that if you want the 24 hour icon, you have to be willing to answer the phone after midnight whether you feel like it or not.
The white out story
A notary in California goes to a signing. She forgets to have the wife sign the Mortgage (oops), and then uses white out to change some information in the loan documents.  The worst possible thing you can do during a loan signing is to use white out which voids the usability of the document.  It gets better — then, the notary blames the Title company for not hilighting the signature areas in the documents where the wife was supposed to sign.  When she was requested to return to the borrower’s house to finish the incomplete signing, the notary recommended that they find someone else.  The notary replied to this complaint against her by stating that she used the mother-in-law as a required witness to the signing. Then, the Title company asked her to use someone else at which point she used white out to remove the mother-in-law’s signature and go and get a neighbor. 
123notary’s opinion: There is no crime in having an additional witness.  The problem is using white out, and cross outs also look unprofessional in a loan signing and can cause a loan not to fund. Additionally, a witness should be a party who doesn’t have a beneficial interest in the transaction — they should be uninvolved like a neighbor or stranger.
The four hour rule
Another California notary accepts a job for a signing.  Then she cancels at the last minute because she learns that the company who hired her doesn’t pay their bills.  There were a few forum posts about the company stating that the company didn’t pay their notaries.  In any case, the notary could have researched the company simultaneously while talking to them by using www.123notary.com/s and would have learned that they didn’t pay BEFORE accepting a job from them. Or, the notary could have researched them soon after the phone call and then cancelled.  The last minute cancellations cause a lot of grief to many parties and are not acceptable. The Lender emails me stating that the notary cancelled 2 hours after the signing and said that she was, “not able to help”.  Then, the notary replies to me stating that she EMAILED the borrower 45 minutes before the signing (that is considerably sooner than 2 hours after like the lender stated).  The notary claimed they called the borrowers but couldn’t get an answer or a voice mail. I’m not sure I believe all of this story, do you?  How many people do you know who don’t have an answering machine or a disfunctional one?  I think that the notary should have given four hours notice in a case like this and should have kept trying the borrowers every 30 minutes until she got them. You can’t just leave people high and dry!

(1) A notary had the borrowers pick her up, take her to Kinkos where she printed the docs & made them pay for it!
(2) 1 Notary claimed 24 hour service & hung up on a client who called at 6am saying it was “too early”
(3) The Notary forgot that the wife had to sign & then used white out to modify the documents!
(4) A Notary accepted a job, then cancelled right before the signing when she learned the signing co. had a bad payment record.

You might also like:

Penalties for Notary misconduct and fraud

Common complaints we get about notaries



  1. I can understand the simple courtesy of giving a signer, the lender, or signing service at least a 4 hour notice if you have to reschedule. I don’t understand these companies not giving me at least 4 hours notice so I have time to print docs and prepare for the signing. The signing services are blaming the lenders.There is no reason for them not properly scheduling.

    Comment by Ina — May 11, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  2. No other notary posting service allows reviews of their notaries. I feel the appropriate means of dealing with problem notaries would be for the agency or title company to report them to you and if a pattern occurs use that as a system of weeding out problems. Otherwise, I must add there are always two sides to every story and sometimes certain difficult people at title companies can be extraordinarily harsh and even wrong in their judgment. For instance, what if they’re asking the notary to violate the law? I’ve had a few agencies do this over the years and they’re feathers get all ruffled when you say “no, I’m sorry I can’t do that”. For this reason, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to place reviews of agencies that are poor and you will likely not receive the notary’s future revenue for allowing such reviews of them that are inappropriate and unjustified.

    If you allow this review system you should at least let the notary respond prior to approving the review. You are shooting yourself in the foot for going this route, believe me. If this site gets too political with its notaries I’ll leave, I hate politics which is why I’m doing this kind of work.

    Comment by zipitup — May 12, 2012 @ 2:35 am


    Greetings ! I am an experienced signing agent and
    I work the central Florida LOOPS area which is
    Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole counties
    call me if you need experienced help in this area !
    Thanks , Jack Heart Notary @ gmail

    Comment by Jack Heart Notary — May 12, 2012 @ 5:02 am

  4. This is just SAD. Practicing as an NSA opens you open to criticism withOUT practicing with a lack of ethics. My 3 DD’s have all worked retail. They believe that EVERYBODY should work retail at Christmas just once and you will treat people differently. They tell me that I have never done so, yet this service we provide is very MUCH like working retail. You HAVE to Decide to be ethical. You HAVE to Decide to follow directions (that don’t violate our oath.) You HAVE to Decide to be on time, better to be on military time and arrive 15 minutes early. You HAVE to Decide to not argue. You HAVE to Decide to keep your mouth shut when a signer wants to express negative opinions towards to people who hired you. You need to handle ALL requests with respect and think ahead of time, like telling the vendor/lender/title agency that you cannot drive one hr+ back to town for a 5 PM signing in time to drop the documents for shipment that night no matter what the fee, BUT it could happen if the signer signs earlier in the day. We ALL get asked to do unreasonable things and need to spend time at 123Notary and read, and get answers to unreasonable questions. I am a Village Trustee in my small town of 200. I am thinking about getting into politics bc I have been an NSA for 6 years now and developed the skills for higher office. =b

    Comment by betty — April 1, 2019 @ 5:22 pm

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