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March 15, 2017

Questions to ask to see if an ID is fake

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 7:58 am

As a Notary, you might run into a fake ID from time to time, but there are not so many of them out there proportionally. Most Notaries don’t bother to take a closer look at ID’s, but perhaps you should inspect each one as if it was fraudulently created.

Always inspect an ID to see:

1. There should be a physical description, expiration date and signature. If these are omitted, the ID is probably fake.

2. Newer ID’s contain raised lettering, embedded images, holographic images and microprinting.

3. A fake ID might have letters blurred together, or print that appears above the lamination.

4. Peeling lamination is a bad sign

5. See if the person’s eyebrows match. Women change their hairstyle and color regularly leaving the eyebrows. mouth and nose as more reliable features for identification.

Questions you could ask

1. You could ask the person their address or zip code.

2. Ask them their sign rather than their DOB. You can memorize a DOB, but nobody memorizes a fake sign. I’m a Leo by the way.

3. You could use an ultraviolet light to see if the perforated image looks authentic compared to a real ID (like yours in your pocket.)

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March 14, 2017

Living Will vs Durable Medical Power of Attorney

Living Will vs Durable Medical Power of Attorney

NOMENCLATURES
The Living Will (LW), unlike a Last Will and Testament, takes effect immediately. The LW&T, is used when the Testator dies. The LW has no further function when the Principal dies.

The Durable Medical Power of Attorney (DMPA) is often referred to as a “health care proxy”. The DPMA is also called a “health care surrogate” as that position is what it creates. Durable, in the sense that it typically has no expiration date and continues when the Grantor is incapacitated.

SUMMARY
Typically used for serious illness and near end of life medical care decisions, both the LW and the DMPA are both unrelated to the disposition of assets. The LW is essentially instructions from the patient to the doctor(s) and hospital staff as to the patient’s wishes. With the LW the patient is directly expressing desired care. With the DMPA the patient is granting decision making power to someone else.

POSSIBLE CONFLICT
It is possible for both a LW and a DPMA to be active at the same time. If the health care surrogate has a different opinion from that expressed in the LW it probably becomes a very complex issue to resolve.

THE LIVING WILL
The LW expresses your “will” or desire how to be treated while you are living. It is often used to reject life-sustaining treatments when terminally ill. These treatments often include intravenous feeding of food and water, heart-lung machines, ventilators, etc. When there is no detectable brain activity, and the body alone is being sustained, artificially; some prefer to terminate their existence. Note that the LW will not affect routine medical treatments. Prior to the discontinuation of “life support” two doctors are usually required to make the determination that the outlook for recovery is virtually non-existent. Key point: the LW does not change any pain or routine treatment for non life-threatening medical conditions.

THE DURABLE MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
The surrogate comes into power under this document only when the patient is unconscious or not legally able to make decisions on their behalf. More commonly called a Health Care Proxy, this POA often allows for successor agents, the same as a routine Power of Attorney. This form may be statutory or must be drafted by an attorney. The DMPA lets the physician know who is authorized to “make the call”; as the relatives may have a variety of opinions, and sometimes their own agenda.

NOTARY CONSIDERATIONS
This is an area where the more notarizations the better. Both documents are “human life” and “estate” related; and, for some, timing is everything. Obviously the author and any witnesses should be notarized. As “state of mind” is often an issue; the patients doctor, if possible should add a “sound mind” witness statement. If the documents are prepared well in advance of hospitalization, the attorney can also add a similar statement, also notarized. This is a highly emotionally charged situation. Great care must be taken to be sure names are printed legibly and your work is flawless. Witnesses should be totally unrelated, have no interest in the estate or payment of medical bills. These documents call for empathy, attention to detail, and very strict adherence to local governing laws.

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March 13, 2017

Buzzwords to avoid in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 7:19 am

Some Notaries have mastered the art of writing an amazing notes section while others resort to cheap imitations. Using the wrong buzz words can backfire on you and I have seen this happen many times. A good notes section is about being unique and informative and not about making baseless claims.

Responsible
Don’t be reponsible — whatever you do. Show that you are responsible, but don’t claim it. Make them say how responsible you are in your review page. You will get less clicks to your listing if you claim to be responsible.

Dependable
Claiming to be dependable is as bad as claiming to be responsible. Just don’t!

Error-Free
It sounds too good to be true if you have signed 2000 error-free signings. Even if you claim 99.5% accuracy, nobody will believe it. Save it for the birds. You can’t prove it.

Detail-Oriented
The most sloppy people write that they are detail-oriented in their notes. This claim almost works against you.

Punctual
Prove it to your customers, but don’t claim it in your notes. This word just takes up space.

Professional
It is not bad to claim to be professional, but it doesn’t make it true either. This is more of a neutral non-buzz word. It won’t help you.

Modest
We use the word modest in our tutorial. But, don’t boast of being modest. Just be modest — or don’t just be modes.

Experienced
This is a neutral word, but it takes up space. It is better to say how experienced. Number of years is not as useful as number of loans and what types of loans. Be specific about your experience.

Personable
It is good to be friendly, but you need to back this up with some professional experience as a waitress or customer service experience. Make it sound believable and something people can put their finger on.

Flexible Schedule
Tell us your hours instead of saying flexible. Be specific.

I have a mentor
If you have not signed any loans, but your mentor is an expert, tell us how we can contact your mentor to hire them instead of you. Please keep the notes section about you and what you do, will do or have done.

You might also like:

Clarifying vague claims in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4675

How to write a notes section if you are a beginner
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16698

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March 10, 2017

What’s your sign? Notary horoscopes…

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 6:55 am

Capricorn
Today’s a good day to apply for your renewed Notary commission. Don’t wait until the last minute or you’ll experience a lapse in your term(s) as well as in your judgement, and you’ll come across as Capri-corny.

Aquarius
Tonight around 7pm will be an ideal time to renew your listing on 123notary.com. Go for the highest level listing no matter what it costs. The planets are with you and will enhance your ROI on whatever you buy from 123notary this evening. Avoid interactions with unicorns until 8am tomorrow or until a Mexican Trump supporter is spotted in your neighborhood.

Pisces
Today is an auspicious day to re-ink your stamp. Don’t fish around searching for any old cheap ink. Buy the top notch stuff the NNA sells if you want to make a good impression.

Aries
Sign up with some new signing companies, but watch your step and don’t be an Aries-head. Trouble could lie ahead if you don’t background check those companies first on the 123notary list of signing companies with reviews.

Taurus
If you want to bully some signing companies into paying you, just use the 123notary demand letter from hell on our resource page. But, do so before the cusp of Orion which will happen after midnight.

Gemini
Today is a day you should make sure your signatures are genuine, not Gemini. And one of our customers calls me Gemini. It’s not Gemini — it’s Jeremy!

Cancer
Today is the best day to backdate and not get caught as long as the moon is in Scorpio. But, watch out, because at 1am (which is tomorrow assuming you don’t backdate) it will exit Scorpio and go into its new phase called Stage 4.

Leo
Take a nap between signings today so you don’t get too overwhelmed. And don’t swallow your pride otherwise you’ll have no family. Roar at people who don’t pay you – that’s the mane thing.

Virgo
Take the day off because the way the planets are configured, you’ll get stuck in traffic and probably won’t get paid either — unless your name is Jane the Virgo.

Libra
Brush up on your new 123notary certification course. You’ll need it to compete with all of the other smart Notaries in your area. Besides, being certified a very Libra-ating experince.

Scorpio
Identify your signers a little more carefully today because you are destined to meet a fraud who specializes in identity fraud which would mean that you would get stung instead of vice versa which is the way it is supposed to be.

Sagittarius
If you are a Real Estate investor with 12 houses. Expect trouble if Leo is in your 11th house. On the other hand, since you are the happiest sign in the zodiac, celebrate by going to the happiest place on earth — Notary Disneyworld!

And more thing — don’t forget to have your sign notarized!

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March 9, 2017

Putting back old reviews

Filed under: Reviews — admin @ 7:43 am

In October, 2016 I removed a few thousand old reviews that were more than three and a half years old. I did that partly so I could compile call lists of people who did not have recent reviews. The results were wonderful and we manually called many people as well as doing auto-calls to many people for getting reviews. However, Google decreased the amount of clicks we were getting from them by 18% as a result of my discarding old reviews.

So, I feel compelled to put many of the older reviews back online. I am not sure if I will put all of them, or filter them out. But, I will put them back on, perhaps little by little. I want to see how Google responds when I put the four year old reviews back online. Then, I want to wait a few weeks before putting the five year old ones back.

Our readers do not value reviews that are more than two or three years, and Google rewards us a lot more for newer reviews. However, the old ones do carry weight, particularly because there are/were so many of them.

So, you can look forward to some of your antiquated reviews being put back online. But, no guarantees!

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March 8, 2017

Notaries in the 1800’s — things were different then

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 7:42 am

Back in the old days, the job of being a Notary in America was quite different. First of all, back then, all Notaries were men and presumably white men. Now, the field is disproportionally black women!

Colonial Notaries had to record personal information about their clients such as who was having an affair, illegitimate children, who was a witch (that would be most of Salem, MA) and who showed their ankles in public.

Since people rarely left their towns in the old days it was easier to identify a signer. Everybody knew each other back then. Today, we don’t know hardly any of our neighbors. With technology today, we can go for weeks without physically seeing our bosses, or clients. Identification documents back in the old days would be documents. However, without photographs, it would be possible to steal those documents from someone and possibly imposter them. My, how times have changed.

Since people didn’t drive cars in the 1700’s, the need for a driver’s license wasn’t there. But, what about a passport?

In the old days, counties appointed a particular number of Notaries based on the size of the population. It is different these days as there is no limit to how many Notaries a state could have. Having so many Notaries makes the price of notarizations go down due to increased competition.

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March 7, 2017

When you really don’t wanna take the job

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (A little) — Tags: — admin @ 9:25 pm

When You Really Don’t Wanna – Jackpot !!
Most of the time, like you, I look forward to the phone ringing with an assignment. But, not all the time. Today I had some reserved theatre tickets and really wanted to see the show. I had intended to shut off the cell phone, but reconsidered as I was hoping to hear from someone regarding personal matters. The tickets were for early afternoon, and the show was relatively close by.

Ring, Ring. We have an emergency, the assigned notary did not show, and our client is furious, can you be at their location within the hour? The CD is with the client. Please help us. OK, I say, I understand. But, I have theatre tickets for today and did not plan to work today. If I accept your assignment I will miss the show. This is a very high priority client – forget about the show – we need you!
They offer an amount at the high end of the normal edoc range. I tell them their offer is fair but I would have to add an additional xxx$ for the lost use of my tickets. If you have not been to a NYC Broadway show – tickets are much more than an edoc fee. Any edoc fee. Somewhat stunned, I get the “we will have to get back to you”.

About ten minutes later another call for a structured settlement. Again the “urgent” routine – and, much to my surprise – another story of a notary “no show”. The conversation goes exactly the same way as the edoc discussion. Fortunately, they want a time slot toward the end of the show. The same fee discussion takes place – again with a gasp about the high cost of NYC Broadway shows. But, this one was different – they wanted to close the deal immediately. I told them the fee was in advance and once paid I would only then be committed to their assignment. Within five minutes the fee was in my account, bye bye Broadway. They email me the slim package immediately and I confirm that the documents were printed. Previously, as with the edoc job, the ID requirements were discussed and guaranteed.

Ring, Ring. It’s the edoc job calling back to accept the way greater than normal fee. Hmmm, both jobs are now paying for my “not to be used tickets”. And again, as per my requirement; the fee is in my PayPal account. It’s good that the edoc and the structured settlement times did not conflict; and there would be adequate time to go from the edoc to the other.

This is getting really weird. Will there be a third “emergency – notary no show” in the same day – with the caller having Very Deep Pockets? Nope, that did not happen. But, two did, much to my astonishment. The tickets I had in hand went to some very nice neighbors, who were delighted to change their plans for the same day. They would see the show for free, and so would I; as I was being paid twice for the same tickets!

So, what’s the “take away” from my rantings? Well, my message is that if you “can” do the job – but, for some reason – “don’t wanna” – let the caller know your situation. Tell them honestly and frankly that logistically you are able – but have a specific reason to not want the assignment. Of course some reasons cannot be bought for any amount of money. Family commitments, medical plans, and similar obligations are not for sale. But, the tickets were going to be available again; it was not a “now or never”.

Sure – I got lucky. Rare is the windfall that creates a high dollar “double dip” fee expansion. But the concept of being “flexible” is my theme message. I know, our clients use that word to, in lieu of more pay, compliment us for waiting 5 hours for the docs to be ready. Stranger still is their inability to, in New York City of all places; not to find a base fee notary. Perhaps because it was a “go away” Friday of a holiday weekend?

Whatever their reasons, nothing would have happened if I brushed them off with a “Sorry, I’m booked”. That was not the case. I had something that I “wanted” to do; but did not “have to do”. Letting the caller know, frankly and honestly your situation (within reasonable limits) – allows them the option to bail out or to “work with you”. It was obvious to the callers that a routine fee would not work. Though very extreme, both were willing to cause me to change my plans, without incurring a severe financial hardship. A week later I will see the show, have earned two fees; and have enough left over to purchase a pair of tickets for a different show!

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March 6, 2017

How do I advertise as a Notary Public?

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 9:34 pm

General Advertising
If you are a Notary Public or a Mobile Notary Public, it is critical that clients know how to find you. Some Notaries have a store front. In such a case, you just put a large sign saying Notary Public. You could put a sign on your car saying Notary Public and a phone number as well. It’s generally a good idea to pass our business cards to people in the neighborhood or your town so they know where to go if they need a Notary. Additionally hospitals and nursing homes need Notaries regularly.

Yellow Pages
The yellow pages online and offline sometimes get good results for Mobile Notaries although not always.You can gets out various yellow pages and see which ones get results.

Online Directories
These days, the way mobile notaries get most of their work is through online directories. 123notary, Notary Rotary, and Snapdocs and the three most popular in 2016. 123notary offers free listings, but also has paid listings where you can be at the top of the list in your area. Notary Rotary also has free and paid listings and lists Notaries in order of proximity to the zip code being queried. Snapdocs charges the Lender or Signing Company a small fee ($8 last I heard) to seach for a Notary and send docs using their system. Snapdocs pays Notaries the least and has cattle calls via text to alert mass amounts of Notaries for each job. But, on a brighter note, it is a great opportunity for newer Notaries to get work.

Websites
A Notary website of your own can be a huge money drain. On the other hand, it is a great way to show the world you are serious about the business and show all of your specialties, contact information, and more.

That is pretty much it as far as how you advertise as a Notary Public. If you have any further questions, email us at info@123notary.com

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March 4, 2017

SnapDocs is a bigger operation than I thought

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — admin @ 10:34 pm

123notary is a small, but high quality organization that has a database of Notaries that is nationwide. We offer refined information that we check regularly for accuracy. We never experienced any serious competition until SnapDocs appeared in 2012. SnapDocs didn’t get too much serious traffic until 2015 when we started to really feel their presence.

But, they are not a mom & pop organization like we are. They are a huge technology company that processes 40,000 loans per month. They automate a lot of the back office processes that go into preparing a loan for the closing process as well as parts of the loan signing process such as finding a Notary.

SnapDocs charges $8 per loan signing according to what I have heard. If they have 40,000 loans per month, their income is $320,000 per month or about 4 million per year. They also have a team of programmers and engineers to keep their operation afloat.

They are located in San Francisco, CA with another venue in San Jose, CA which is the tech capitol of the world as far as I’m concerned.

I’m beginning to be concerned that we will lose a lot of market share due to them, especially if they get smarter about taking market share.

You might also like:

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

The Uber principle at Snapdocs — new blood
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

The History of 123notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18868

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March 3, 2017

Notary Fish Market

Filed under: Virtual Comedy Themes — admin @ 9:35 pm

As Notaries, we normally think about our commissions, our fax machine and our jobs. One thing we don’t think about is where we purchase our fish which is actually quite important. Fish is brain food, and nothing beats keeping your brain up to par. Thinking about a wide variety of subjects including language learning, math problem solving, business problems, politics, and gossip also can strengthen your mind. Memorizing the contents of your state’s Notary handbook however is the ideal way to exercise your brain. In any case, here is what you are missing out on by not going to the fish market.

Juneau where she said the fresh wild caught salmon is from?
I dunno, A’ll-ask-kah
Remember the Alaska Notary Public in one of our satirical blogs whose price was one piece of salmon if you wanted an accompanying Oath to an Acknowledged signature? His price went up, now he’s asking for brand names like Sockeye salmon. Boy, the nerve of these Notaries.

Notarial Squid — You can get high quality Notary ink from a squid. Even if you don’t use it in your seal, you can use it in a feather pen. In Chinese the name for squid is “you-yu,” but I just learned in Taiwanese dialect it’s, “tou-chou.” Why such a huge difference?

Norwegian Notary Halibut — Try some just for the halibut.

Crabcakes — Not something you call your girlfriend. But, due to new law changes, a Maryland crabcake can be dual commissioned in Washington D.C. and Virginia.

Diets — Garfield was once on a Seafood diet. “I see food and I eat it.”

Snails — Some Notaries are so slow, they notarize at a snail’s pace. Well, now you can get a vehicle to match at the Notary Fish Market called an S-car that will get you going where you’re going really slow. Look at the “S-Car-Go!”

Lobster — The signing company owners are all out getting lobster while they are not paying you! The nerve! So, if you want to collect from signing companies, just hang out in the lobster section. We ID them, so we know who is who.

Swordfish — I asked if they also had a daggerfish. Can’t have a swordfish without a daggerfish. They responded that they did not, but they just got an import of some Japanese Samurai Swordfish!

Tilapia — This fish is good for Notaries on a budget who only get $40 signings. You can work your way up from there.

Bass — For Notaries who are low-key. Good if marinated in miso by the way — just don’t over do it.

Clams — for Notaries who have a hard time opening up and making small talk at signings.

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