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July 22, 2010

Getting paid – the ins and outs

Many notaries complain to us that they don’t always get paid for their work.

We are very sympathetic. However,  sympathy alone will not help. There are some
simple methods we teach that can save you a lot of grief in the long run. Just follow our steps and you will stay out of trouble.

Accepting jobs from new companies.
When offered a job from an unknown company, ask for references. If they don’t want to give references, that is an easy way to screen them out. If they seem legitimate, you can accept the job. However, immediately after accepting the job, you should do a background check. Background checks can be done on the net in minutes and are easy.

Background check companies that call you
Look companies up on the BBB, 123notary’s list of signing companies, 123notary’s forum, and Notaryrotary’s forum. If you are on the road, use 123notary.com/S where you can look up signing companies on your mobile phone in less than one minute. If a company has more than 10% of reviews posted about them that are serious complaints, think twice about working for them. You are likely to get cheated or have a bad experience.

Track how long it takes particular companies to pay you.
If you regularly work for a particular company, keep track of when jobs got done, and how soon you got paid. You can create statistics on the average amount of days it takes for each company to pay you. If they take more than 60 days, that is seriously delinquent, and you should not work for a company that is regularly delinquent.

Keep good records.
You need to have a separate file for each company that uses you. Its best to use a computer database. Always backup your work and perhaps printout paper records regularly. You need to know who assigned what job on what date, and then check off that job once it gets paid. Write down the date you received payment and the check number. Keep the check stub too.

Have a line of credit for each company.
If signing company “X” owes you $600 and wants you to do more jobs for them, I suggest having them pay you what they owe you before you do any more work for them. Give each company a maximum amount that they can owe you and don’t do any jobs if you are over that number. I suggest starting companies out with a limit of $200 total, and don’t work for them if they owe you anything for more than 45 days. If you have gotten three paychecks from them, you can raise the limit to $300. If you have gotten ten timely paychecks from them, raise the limit to $500. But, the minute a single job goes more than 45 days without pay, stop work for them ASAP, or you could get cheated out of everything. Many notaries get strung along by companies and get cheated out of thousands.

Bill regularly
If you work for a company, they will not always automatically pay you. You have to send weekly invoices for whatever jobs they haven’t paid you for. Make sure you mark off which job they paid for and what the CHECK NUMBER was. If you don’t keep this information and keep check stubs, you will get cheated. If they owe you money more than 30 days, start calling them weekly about what they owe. If they owe you for a single job for more than 45 days, stop working for them until you get paid.

Low pay?
Many notaries complain about companies that don’t pay much. Its better to get low pay than no pay. Times are hard and many people are out of work. Take what you can get. If you are a fancy notary with great connections, you can pick and choose what work you take. If you are desperate for cash, you should take low paying jobs from reputable companies. However, don’t take work from companies with a track record of non-payment, or you will be working for free.

What if companies still don’t pay?
Use our template of a demand letter on http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm
This letter works 90% of the time. The times it doesn’t work is when the company is basically no longer in business, or insolvent.

You might also like:

Notary Marketing 102 – Getting Paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

Protecting yourself with a contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

What tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4113

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