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February 15, 2017

Building an image to show you are professional

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:33 am

The most common word that the least professional Notaries use to describe themselves is professional. “I’m very professional and 100% accurate.” Those are the Notaries I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. The key in this business is to come across as being professional without claiming to be. Behave in such a way that others say you are professional as their unbiased (less-biased) word carries more weight than yours.

Here are some ways to be professional.

1. Notes
Your notes section on your various advertisements such as 123notary, Notary Rotary, etc., needs to be informative, well organized, and not have spelling mistakes. Avoid vague statements that you can’t put your finger on such as how professional and reliable you are. Anyone can claim this, but claiming it doesn’t make it true. Putting that you signed 2673 Refinances gives a more defined impression. Telling us ten years in business doesn’t tell us what you did in those years. Did you sign ten loans per year, or are you so out of it that you don’t even have an idea of what you did in those years.

2. Phone Etiquette
How you answer the phone makes a difference. Some people announce their name and answer questions the way they were asked. Other people say, “hello” and then when you ask them how many loans they signed they tell you how many years instead — not professional and very annoying. Other people have screaming babies in the background. If you are in a noisy pub, tell your client you are going to go outside to where it is more quiet. You are not only solving the noise problem, but you are acknowledging that the client might not want to hear the noise. That is called being considerate and being considerate = being professional.

3. Dress
Do you dress well to the signing? Business casual is good. Jeans, t-shirts, shorts, unclean outfits, etc, just don’t cut it. Do you look well groomed? Looking good makes a big difference because people are shallow!

4. Punctuality
Don’t claim to be punctual, develop a reputation for being punctual. Show up early and wait. If you are always punctual, people will get a sense about you over the phone. Your punctuality will become part of your aura.

5. Web presence
If you have a Facebook page or website or other profile, you can link that to your profile on 123notary. If you make a professional impression on Facebook, people will get a good impression of you. You can mix personal life and business on Facebook to make the optimal impression, because people want to learn about all sides of your life on Facebook. A website that impresses is another good thing, but only if people can find it. So, link it to your profile as very few will find it on Google. On the other hand if your posts are in broken English and show photos of you in torn clothing getting drunk with rowdy friends, you might not make the best impression unless people want to invite you over to get drunk with them.

6. Doing a good job
Obviously doing good work, answering Notary questions effectively, and making very few if any mistakes counts. But, we all make mistakes. Anyone who says they don’t is a liar! If you do make a mistake, being willing to go back out there and fix it immediately at no cost is critical.

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February 14, 2017

TRID Information courtesy of Carmen

Filed under: (4) Documents — Tags: — admin @ 12:48 am

So what is TRID?
It is ‘TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure’ rule, also known as TRID. Since this rule is designed to help borrowers understand the terms of their home financing transaction, there is a trend to start referring to this rule as the Know Before You Owe rule instead of TRID. The Know Before You Owe rule took effect October 3, 2015. Follow link below to see and print out forms,

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe/

What it means for the borrowers?

When the borrower starts first shopping various lenders for a loan they receive a ‘loan estimate’ (they can receive many of these to compare lenders). Once they make a decision and choose the lender they then they will receive a ‘closing disclousure’ 3 days in advance for review. It all the terms are agreeable and no changes need to be made, after the 3rd day docs can be drawn.

A new Closing disclosure has taken the place of the TIL (Truth and Lending) and The HUD (Settlement statement). This new disclosure has everything regarding the borrowers loan. Please refer to attached sample. The borrower is supposed to receive the Closing Disclourse (or Cd as we have named it) within 3 days of the docs being drawn. This is mandatory. There is now no surprises at the signing table. Keep in mind some title and escrow companies still use a HUD-1 in conjunction with the new CD. I have noticed this with purchases.

What this means for the notary signing agent? For us this means less delays in getting the documents and less questions at the table. The borrower is now already aware of the numbers and terms. The signings go much faster.

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February 13, 2017

Ideas for 24 hour Notary services

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 7:24 am

Naming your business is never easy. But, here are some ideas of how to name a late-night notary service.

Moonlight Notary might be a good name for someone 24/7.

Nocturne Mobile Notary — a classical approach to late night notarizations!
Ninja Late Night Notary Services
The Signing Owl
Orion’s Belt 24 Hour Notary Service
Vampire Notary Service — we answer the phone, “Good evening…..(heavy breathing)”
Around the Clock Mobile Notary
Twilight Notary Services
Sun & Moon Notary Services
Day & Night Mobile Notary
Last Minute Mobile Notary
Minute-Man 24 Hour Notary Services
Out The Door 24 Hour Notary Services
Good Evening Notary Services
Dusk to Dawn Signing Services
John Hancock 24 Hour Signing Services
Owl Mobile Notary Services
Half-Moon Mobile Notary
Crescent Moon Mobile Notary
Up All Night Mobile Notary
NiteLite Mobile Notary
Gas Lamp 24 Hour Mobile Notary — classy
Night Watchman Mobile Notary — 1 O’clock and all is well.
Night Sky Mobile Notary
Nocturnal Mobile Notary
Sunset Mobile Notary
Nightfall Mobile Notary
Sleepwalker Mobile Notary
Dream 24 Hour Notary Service

Names to avoid
Clair de Lune Notary
Moonlight Sonata Notary
Opus 27 Mobile Notary — Opus 27 = the moonlight sonata. I’m sure your customers will know that by heart if they hang out with my parents.
Hoo-Hoo Late Night Services
Howl of the wolf late night notary services
Mayan Mobile Notary — We’ll keep Notarizing until the end of the world!
Mayan Notary Services — We’ll notarize you then sacrifice you! But, not necessarily in that order.
Lunar Mobile Notary — We based our appointments on the lunar calendar.
Looney Mobile Notary – Get looney with us and your signatures.
Slumber Party Mobile Notary
Snooze Mobile Notary
Brass Candle Holder Mobile Notary
Geisha Notary Services — Notary service and traditional entertainment
Night Life Mobile Notary
Nighty-Night Mobile Notary
Waxing & Waning Mobile Notary and spa services
Lunar Eclipse Mobile Notary
In The Dark Mobile Notary — we’ll notarize you, but you won’t know what you’re signing (or paying.)
Incessant Mobile Notary
Phantom Mobile Notary — make sure your ghost has ID

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February 12, 2017

Racial issues at a signing

Filed under: Drama & Tragedy — admin @ 9:36 pm

Shelly went to a Notary signing. The minute she arrived, she could feel extreme tension. The husband was listed as an entity on the loan application, but the wife was the one taking command. Shelly was (and still is) white, and the couple was black. I’ve done hundreds of signings in black homes and without issue — however, those signings were done before people had a reaction to Donald Trump’s political presence.

Racism was at an all-time low from around 1997 to mid 2015. And then it started up again. There were more protests, riots, clash between minorities and police, the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. But, during the last few months of 2016 it turned violent. I witnessed people being beaten in the street over race — strangers beating strangers with no provocation. Can we blame Donald Trump for this insanity? After all, he has done nothing to anyone (yet) and was only speaking his mind in his own non-sugar coated way.

The husband and wife started going through the Loan Estimate. They went through every fact and figure with a fine toothed comb because they had prejudged that something must be wrong and that everybody was out to get them including the Notary, Lender, Donald Trump, Title, Escrow, and Sam down at the butcher shop (I made the last part up.) They were basically trying to confirm their baseless suspicions by finding something wrong with the paperwork.

When the Notary tried to smooth things over, the couple called the Loan Officer and commented about how terrible the Notary was. The Loan Officer failed to return the Notary’s calls but called the party that hired them for the loan (whomever that was.) The Notary’s reputation had been slandered, tarnished, and she didn’t want to lose her client. Shelly’s reputation was on the line here for a crime she didn’t commit. Was racism to blame?

Shelly comments that if people are negative about the process from the getgo, they will create problems that weren’t there in the first place. Too true Shelly. I agree completely. But, the main thing is to stay out of the loan. The loan is not your business. It is not up to the Notary to determine if there is something wrong with the loan. You just make sure they sign where they are supposed to and notarize the signatures.

Shelly has signed hundreds of loans for people of all communities in her area and treats people equally. It looks like she was not treated equally in return this time.

The moral of the story is, if you walk into a tense situation as a Notary — just do your job and don’t make comments. Be neutral. It’s not your problem. If someone fires you for reasons beyond your control, just state your side of the story and it is their loss if they lose you because you are a good Notary who did nothing wrong and has a 99.9% accuracy rate (or so you claim.)

You might also like:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — comedy edition
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17455

Demographics in the Mobile Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15359

I’d rather stop being a Notary than carry a gun
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15896

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February 11, 2017

SnapDocs — thumbs up or thumbs down?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:29 pm

Notaries who use SnapDocs not only get a ton of ratings from people who used them, but the ratings are anonymous. You wonder if the ratings are even based on reality — because they can say anything! One lady on NR was furious that she only got a 77%. I have no idea, is that good?

Your entire reputation is controlled by God knows who and with information that is not even necessarily even correct or given using integrity. Additionally, you don’t know WHY you got a thumbs down. Was it because your fee was too high? Was it because you didn’t answer your phone or email fast enough or because of a scheduling issue? You’ll never find out!

But, what about the Notaries? If something goes wrong it is automatically the Notary’s fault. The Notary is penalized on SnapDocs, but not the client.

The fact is that SnapDocs clients pay them big bucks to use this convenient and automated system that performs all sorts of automated functions for them. That is excellent and I commend them for that. However, they do not seem to care about the common Notary!

Maybe I should learn from all this and design some functions into 123notary to be for the benefit of the Notary! Notaries need someone to defend them, and the forum is great, but not enough! Maybe there’s another way.

In the meantime, SnapDocs gets a thumbs up for quantity of work. However due to the quantity of endless complaints from Notaries about their service, I wonder why Notaries who have any experience at all are willing to put up with this kind of headache…

You might also like:

See our STRING on Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

SnapDocs — I felt like I was being used!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18852

A comprehensive guide to Notary organizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17088

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18888

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February 10, 2017

A Notary goes Public on Shark Tank with Shazamdocs!

Filed under: Andy Cowan,Sit-Coms — admin @ 9:06 pm

First up into the tank: A way to keep records on how long companies take to send electronic documents.

NOTARY: Hi, Sharks. I’m Jeremy. And I’m asking for $200,000 for twenty percent of my company, Shazamdocs. Sharks, there’s one thing that matters in life more than looking as dapper as Mr. Wonderful here.

MR. WONDERFUL: He knows of what he speaks.

LAURIE: He’s kissing up and I’m throwing up.

MR. WONDERFUL: Hush. Grab a breath mint.

NOTARY: What matters in life, whether you’re sharks or whether you’re a notary, is knowing when you’ll be paid!

MR. WONDERFUL: You’re speaking my language, son. The language of luv… of money.

NOTARY: The database on Shazamdocs monitors how long companies take to send electronic documents, and… by virtue of our exclusive algorithms… computes the average amount of time it takes to get paid. No longer will you have to waste your precious time and resources hitching yourself to companies that drag their feet when it comes to upholding their end of the transactions.

DAYMOND: Feet dragging is a drag.

NOTARY: We’re like Yelp for notaries. With your help, sharks, we’ll get this in the homes of notaries throughout the country, and after that, the world! Who wants to show this notary their own seal… of approval?

ROBERT: You, yourself, said you’re like Yelp for notaries. There’s nothing proprietary about that.

NOTARY: I’ve applied for a utility patent.

CUBAN: You’ll never get it.

LAURIE: Mark.

CUBAN: What? He’s living a pipe dream. What’s to stop anybody from charting the records of companies to see how quickly they pay their bills?

NOTARY: Nobody does it like we do.

CUBAN: I’m out.

MR. WONDERUL: Ouch.

CUBAN: What about you, Kevin? You said the guy knows of what he speaks.

MR. WONDERFUL: That’s when he was complimenting my impossibly dapper qualities.

LAURIE: You got the impossibly part right.

ROBERT: What do you sell the program for and what are your sales?

NOTARY: I sell it with an annual subscription rate of 19.95. And we’re in pre-launch.

DAYMOND: Uh-oh. So you’ve made bupkis.

ROBERT: Daymond, I didn’t even know you were Jewish!

MR. WONDERFUL: I’ll make you an offer. I don’t know what you’re worth, I’m taking a heck of a risk, but I’ll go on the ride with you. There are plenty of notaries who need greater assurances they’ll get paid faster. But $200,000 at twenty percent assumes a value of a million dollars. You’re not there yet. I’ll give you the $200,000. But I want forty percent of the business.

CUBAN/DAYMOND/ROBERT: Oy.

LAURIE: You’re all Jewish now.

MR. WONDERFUL: I hear the other sharks flapping their gums, but I don’t hear anyone putting their money where their yappers are. I made you an offer, Jeremy. What do you say?

NOTARY: I appreciate the offer, Mr. Wonderful.

ROBERT: If I brought a notary in, would you swear to that?

NOTARY: But with all due respect, that’s giving up too much equity. I’d like to hear what the remaining sharks have to say.

LAURIE: As you know, Jeremy, as I’ve said many times on Shark Tank. I can tell when something’s a zero. And I can tell when something’s a hero. And this… is most definitely… a thirty. Better than zero, but nowhere near a hero. I’m out.

ROBERT: Laurie, you were toying with the man.

LAURIE: No, I wasn’t. I’m just being honest.

ROBERT: Well, Jeremy, I see nothing proprietary here. And I’m not a big notary guy. If I ever need you to witness something, I’ll be a customer. But I don’t see it as an investment. I’m out.

CUBAN: So that leaves Mr. Wonderful’s less than wonderful offer. And Mr.Daymond.

DAYMOND: I hate it when companies drag their feet before paying somebody what they’re owed, so I’m with you there.

JEREMY: Would you consider joining up with Mr. Wonderful?

DAYMOND: As much as it pains me to say it, I might do the deal with Kevin, if he’s up for it.

MR. WONDERFUL: I’d do that deal. But, Jeremy, you’d be getting two sharks.

JEREMY: Would the both of you consider the deal for… thirty percent equity?

DAYMOND: 100 K each at fifteen percent each? What do you think, Kevin?

MR. WONDERFUL: I’ll do it with one contingency. That we test the accuracy of your program on us. If your program can tell us how long it’ll be before we pay you the 200 K, I’m in.

DAYMOND: Me too.

JEREMY: Right away?

MR. WONDERFUL: Sorry. I would’ve paid you after hell freezes over.

DAYMOND: Me too.

MR. WONDERFUL/DAYMOND: I’m out!

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February 9, 2017

Demand for bilingual signers is on the rise

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 7:28 am

The housing market is coming back, but those buying houses are more and more likely to be millenials and minorities. This means that Notaries who speak the languages of the borrowers will increasingly be in demand.

Many companies will give preference to a bilingual Notary if they have a choice in a situation where the borrower speaks another language. If the borrower is completely incompetent in English, then it is absolutely necessary to hire a bilingual Notary.

Bilingual Notaries often get paid more for signings. I met several Vietnamese ladies who get paid $300 per signing and won’t work for a penny less. That is an extreme case, but it happens. What is more common is for bilingual Notaries to get paid about the same as monolingual signers, but to get a better market share of work.

Unfortunately in America, native speakers of English very rarely develop proficiency in another language. Less than 1% of Americans born here to English speaking parents speak another language well. That vast majority of bilingual speakers in the United States were either born in another country or their parents were.

People who claim to be bilingual are not always as bilingual as they think they are. To be bilingual for the purpose of doing a loan signing, you need to be able to conduct the loan purely in your second language without using a dictionary more than once or twice during the signing. For Americans who learn Spanish or German as a second language, we normally are weak in our second language and need to look a lot of things up. Many people put, “some Spanish” in their language field. Our language field has room for names of languages, and not names of quantities like “some” or “limited.”

As people living in California, many of us feel compelled to learn some Spanish. We are surrounded wherever we go with Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other foreigners. The Persians and Arabs normally know good English while Chinese and Korean is too difficult for most of us to even consider learning. However, many of us take Spanish in school and find it an “approachable” language since it is a sister language to English with similar vocabulary, grammar and though processes. To be a teacher, hire a maid, or just to have a meal in certain neighborhoods you need Spanish.
I ordered pasta at an Italian place where the workers are all Central American. I said: 80% tomato and 20% meat sauce. She translated this to her co-worker as 80% carne y 20% tomate — and I said NOOOOOO!!!!!!! Ochenta percento tomate y veinte percento carne, dios mio! Thank God I was a teacher in an all Hispanic area for two years otherwise I would have gotten the wrong pasta!

Is it worth it to learn another language perfectly for Notary purposes? Learning another language is a lot of work. Notaries are not normally the most motivated of people considering that less than 25% can pass my easy Notary test. However, if you love languages and want to augment your career and make your life more interesting, it can be very rewarding. I remember doing signings where I had to give Oaths in Chinese, and then in Spanish. It made me feel competent even though I didn’t know that much simply because nobody else I know could do that!

Learning a language also changes your brain. Bilingual people think differently than our monolingual counterparts. Your brain develops new channels and faster reaction time to changing external environments. Monolingual folks tend to be inflexible in many circumstances.

You can read about the bilingual brain with this article
http://www.brainfacts.org/sensing-thinking-behaving/language/articles/2008/the-bilingual-brain/

Video about the bilingual brain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMmOLN5zBLY

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February 8, 2017

Unsubscribe

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — admin @ 1:40 am

Unsubscribe
Unlike the oft ignored “Do Not Call list” there is no similar central location where you can post your email address to request no unsolicited email. However, as is my custom; first I lament about the problem, and then strive to submit a workable solution. Most of my junk mail is filtered by settings with my email service provider, not my Internet Service Provider. My ISP – Time Warner Cable does a “barely fair” job of eliminating junk mail – much slips through. It is my email “front end” that really makes the difference.

That email service provider, formerly called Pobox.com is now known as Fastmail.com. The takeover has actually improved service. I signed up with Pobox.com in September of 1995 and took kene@pobox.com as my email address. It remains the same, though I have gone thru a few ISPs in the two plus decades. The spam filtering on fastmail is very flexible. However, a few seem to slip through, about one in a hundred. That gives me two options to resolve. The first is to add the sender to one of my spam filters, a very easy to do option. The second is to ask that my email address be removed. I use a not so subtle response, that does work, and work very well.

I *never* click on the “unsubscribe” link, so common in emails. That possibly takes you to a virus laden site! Never click links from “strangers”. Do you really want to test your antivirus protection – often? I don’t. So I “reply” to their email with the following keyboard macro:
Unsubscribe

Please remove me from your mailing list and do not send any additional email to my email address.

The email address to remove is: kene@pobox.com AND any other address you used to send email to me.

Wondering why I did not click the “unsubscribe” link?
It’s way too dangerous to click links in unsolicited email.
It’s much safer to just reply email – hence this unsubscribe request.
The National Can-Spam Act REQUIRES you to remove my email address and not send email to me again after this notice.
Violations WILL be tracked and reported to Federal Authorities who LOVE to issue violation fines.

This has worked for me, the usual response has been “your email has been removed” or similar. Some may feel it’s a bit “over the top” – but they “started it”. I value my time and don’t want my cell phone to indicate “incoming” only to find it a repetition of previously deleted junk mail. It’s also easier to use my macro reply via http://keyboardexpress.com than editing my spam filter.
Take control of YOUR inbox. Make THEM remove you.

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February 7, 2017

Notary Wording

Notary Wording Varies from State to State
There is no official American Notary wording. Notary verbiage differs from state to state, and varies based on what type of Notary act you are having done. There are various common types of notarizations such as Acknowledged signatures, Jurats, Oaths and Affirmations. The vast majority of notarizations are Acknowledgments whose wording states that the signer appeared before the Notary, was positively identified, and signed the document.

Notary Certificates — what type of wording is included.
Your typical Acknowledgment or Jurat Certificate will include several sections with wording.

1. Venue
The venue states the state and county where the notarization is taking place. Please note that the Notary is not always commissioned in the county where the notarization is taking place. So, if you are in Orange county, but the Notary is from San Diego, please make sure they put the venue county based on where the notarization is taking place, and not where they live.

2. Boiler Plate Wording
The main body of the text could be worded in an infinite variety of ways, but normally state the date of the signing, name of the signer, the name of the Notary, the fact that the signer appeared before the Notary, the fact that the signer signed the document, and if an Oath was included (Jurats by definition have Oaths) then the fact that the signer swore before the Notary. The verbiage “subscribed and sworn to before me this (date)” is commonly used in many states especially in New York where the cabbies enjoy the swearing part more than any other part of the Notarization.

3. The Signature Section
The bottom of the notary wording or notary verbiage has room for the Notary’s seal which might mean their signature or their official notary stamp. In most states the Notary signs and stamps, or might even emboss with a non-inked embosser as a secondary form of stamp.

Types of Acknowledgments
Normally, when people want to be Notarized, they ask the Notary if they can notarize a Jurat for them. In actuality, most Notarizations are for Acknowlegments. Normally people can use an All Purpose Acknowledgment, but in Ohio, there is such thing as a Corporate Acknowledgment and Attorney in Fact Acknowledgment.

Where Can You Find Your State’s Wording?
If you visit our find a notary page, you can click on your state and find current notary wording for your state. Or Google your states notary wording. Example: “California Acknowledgment Wording.”

Sample California Jurat Verbiage

State of California
County of Lake

Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me on this 5th day of January, 2017, by Jedadiah Goldminer, proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) who appeared before me.

(Seal)

Signature_______________________

Loose Certificates
Many documents have preprinted notary wording on them. However, it is legal to attach a loose certificate form using a staple. NNA is a great source for Notary certificate pads such as Acknowledgment Certificates, Jurat Certificates, and even Copy Certification by Document Custodian if you want to get fancy.

Filling out the Forms
It is common on Notary certificate forms to have sections where there is he/she/they or signature(s). You have to cross out the non-applicable word(s). If you are Notarizing a woman, cross out the he and the they and the (s). If you are notarizing a man and a woman in the same notary act, cross out the he and the she, but keep the (s). If you are notarizing a man who used to be a women — your guess is as good as mine — good luck, you’ll need it.

You might also like:

Notary Boiler Plate Wording
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2432

Notary Certificates, Notary Wording & Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1834

We caught a bunch of frauds using Notary Verbiage
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=notary-verbiage

.

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February 6, 2017

5 times the clicks?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 6:25 am

One of our customers had three listings. They were in different counties. But, I noticed that one of them had a few new reviews while one had a single old review from 2012, and the third had none.

I keep telling people that having reviews will get you more business, but this is an extreme example. The listing with the current reviews got five clicks a day average while the one without reviews got one click. The rate of calls you get is somewhat proportional to the number of clicks you are getting. However, five times the clicks usually means more than five times the calls since the relationship has an exponential component.

So, I asked the client if he could get a few reviews on the other listings. He said he would. Let’s see what happens.

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