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July 17, 2012

Fees at the door MISUNDERSTOOD on Facebook

Fees at the door MISUNDERSTOOD on facebook 

Tisk tisk: notaries on Facebook.  You mostly misunderstood my discussion question about getting fees at the door for signings to prevent beneficial interest. this discussion took place in Jan 2012. I was NOT talking about loan signings.  At Loan signings they pay you three or four months AFTER the signing if you are lucky, not in cash at the signing. It is very obvious that I was talking about doing a traveling notary job for an individual person.  The problem is that most of you depend solely on loan signings for your living when there are many jobs for individuals which you either don’t know how to handle or reject because you are not familiar with it.
 

A typical botched jail notary job
Let’s say you drive 45 minutes to a jail to meet the girlfriend of a criminal.  You meet her in the parking lot or in the front door of the jail.  Let’s say you don’t collect your travel fee of $50 at the door.  Let’s say that hypothetically you walk to the guard, fill out the forms, but lo and behold, the prisoner has been moved to another jail 90 miles away.  Then you say, may I have my travel fee please.  The girlfriend says, “BUT YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING”.  And then you say, “Sure I did, I drove 45 minutes, talked to you on the phone, walked in here, and now I have to drive 45 minutes back home, and also go to the gas station which takes more time and money.  Pay up!!!  You will get stiffed, because they will feel that they do not owe you if you didn’t quote unquote DO ANYTHING. 
 

Yet another hospital notary job
Let’s say you drive an hour to a hospital at 3am to accommodate some desperate people.  You don’t get your travel fee at the door in cash like I recommend.  You go upstairs with the signer’s son in law only to find that the signer is on morphene, fast asleep, and in no position to sign anything or even sit up.  You ask for your travel fee for your 2 hour round trip, and the son in law says, “Sorry, but I’ll pay you when you come back next time, I didn’t realize that the nurse drugged Shelly’s dad”.  You just got stiffed again.
 
This isn’t rocket science. If you work with the public, they will leave you high and dry if you don’t protect yourself.
 
3rd example… beneficial interest
Lets say you go to a notary job.  You do NOT collect travel fees up front. Let’s say that the signer’s name on their ID doesn’t match the name on the document enough for you to legally or ethically notarize them.  They say, “Oh come on — you are being unreasonable”.  They say they won’t pay you a penny unless you notarize the signer. They have you by the balls because you didn’t think ahead.  If you have the travel fee up front, then you are in control and will not be pursuaded under duress to break the law so you can get your lousy fee!
 
Last example:  The law office.
You are called into a law office 10 minutes away. You are instructed to show up at 1pm for a signing. Your trip fee is $30 and your waiting time fee is $20 per half hour with the first ten minutes complementary.  Let’s say that you never collected your $30.  The attorney says they won’t be ready for another 10 minutes.  But, 10 becomes 20, and 20 becomes an hour, and then finally after 90 minutes, you finally do the signing, and then they pay you, but they won’t pay for the waiting time.  If you had gotten your $30 at the door, you could threaten to leave if they don’t pay the wait time up front for each 30 minute increment.  If you don’t have the trip fee, you have no leverage. This has happened half a dozen times to me in my notary career!

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1 Comment »

  1. This post was great. I would like to do hospital and jail work but North Carolina will not allow notaries to accept a travel fee and I doubt that charging a wait fee would be acceptable either. Is there a legal way for NC notaries to get paid more than the $5.00 they are permitted to charge for a notarization? I have traveled 15 miles round trip to notarize a power of attorney and it was with an elderly person and her daughter. It took over 45 minutes because I did my due diligence and made sure she was coherent, understood what she was signing, and of course, had unexpired ID. Her daughter wanted to give me $20 for my time and travel but I explained I couldn’t accept it. I also made notes in my journal and asked to see the daughter’s ID as well. I can only afford a few like this as a public service.

    Comment by Jacqueline Kretzer — September 24, 2018 @ 11:47 pm

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