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October 6, 2019

How do I sleep at night saying they are not as good?

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 11:21 pm

A Notary posts — how do I sleep at night saying that the Notaries on some other site are not as good as the Notaries on my site. And then he states that I am not even a Notary.

Rebuttal:

I am not even a Notary
I used to be a Notary for eight years. I test Notaries on Notary procedure and they normally score an average of 35%. Is 35% good enough to practice Notary work? I score close to 100% on Notary questions and got very few wrong on the very hard California exam many years ago. Of course the content has change in California, but that is immaterial. I am not perfect, but I know Notary procedure better than most Notaries on my site — the exceptions are those that work for the NNA hotline or for state notary divisions as they normally know more than I do — although I caught a lady working for the California SOS make a logical mistake understanding credible witness procedure. The law is complicated and perhaps too convoluted.

How do I sleep at night saying that the Notaries on other sites are not as good?
I sleep fine, but sleep better if I take Advil and kefir (cultured milk). What can I say, the milk calms me down, and no, it doesn’t need to be warm milk like people in India insist. Since I tested almost all the Notaries on 123notary, and also test Notaries I find from particular other sources like Snapdocs, etc., I am aware of the quality of these notaries in terms of test results. Notaries on SnapDocs very rarely score higher than a D on my test. And the notaries that are the top ranking people in their state on SnapDocs do not normally do better than a C. Higher ranking Notaries on 123notary are not always good, but at least we have a good quantity of people who are masters of their craft and also have a depth of experience.

So, I am comparing apples to apples with fair scales. I have a right to assess the quality of Notaries because I represent them. I feel responsible to offer the world good Notaries if I can. I can only do my best. Who are you in your ignorance of this profession to criticize me — I have been running a directory for 20 years and have been a Notary for 8 and done very well on multiple tests not to mention created hundreds of test variations and stimulating quiz questions myself.

You might also like:

123notary vs. Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21258

A tour of Notary Cafe
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21222

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October 5, 2019

Hospital signing in reverse. The Notary was bedridden

Filed under: Hospital & Jail Signings — admin @ 11:20 pm

A Notary had to go to the hospital for a hernia. He was in pain and drugged part of the time. But, he had a thriving business. and his customers would come to see him in the hospital.

CUSTOMER: Hi, I need this Affidavit notarized. I’ll sign it right here. You’re paying attention right?

NOTARY: (nodding off) ummm.

CUSTOMER: You are paying attention right?

NOTARY: Oh yeah..

CUSTOMER: (signs the document) Can you fill out the Jurat and sign it here?

NOTARY: I am not myself today. I might need to do a signature by X

CUSTOMER: According to what you told me last time only elderly customers can do a signature by mark or X.

NOTARY: Just kidding. Let me just fill this out… okay. Now, do you solmenly swear to uphold the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic?

CUSTOMER: When you say domestic, does that include Consuela my maid? she is foreign AND a domestic.

NOTARY: You just have to make things complicated.

CUSTOMER: And that Oath has nothing to do with my document. That is the morphene talking, right?

NOTARY: I was just testing you. I’m actually sober, believe it or not. That’s why I’m being so mean. When my father arranged my marriage to Maria he said, “And he’ll beat you constantly — but only when he’s sober which is very little of the time.”

CUSTOMER: How reassuring. Okay, my Oath please? Never mind. I solemnly swear under God that the contents of this document are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

NOTARY: I hereby affix my stamp. I gotta get out of here. I don’t want to be late to the straight pride parade in Boston of all places. Don’t you just love people from Boston — how refreshing — standing up for traditional values.

CUSTOMER: Yes, I find them refreshing, especially when they call people a “fricking retahd.”

NOTARY: Me too – gotta love it. I pronounce you man and document.

CUSTOMER: I am going to pass on kissing the document.

NOTARY: That will make you more popular in Boston as a result.

You might also like:

12 questions to ask for hospital notarizations
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20519

A tale of four notaries at hospitals
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=463

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October 4, 2019

Is it practicing law to explain a notary act?

Filed under: Technical & Legal — admin @ 11:19 pm

Many Notaries think they are practicing law by explaining a notary act. Notaries are not allowed to choose a notary act on behalf of a client, but can they explain the requirements?

As a Notary, you have to have a signer sign in your physical presence for a Jurat, but not for an Acknowledgment (except in a few underpopulated states). So, are you practicing UPL or engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by explaining that distinction to a client?

For an Acknowledgment you do not have to sign in front of the Notary, although many lenders require the signer to do so. Is it UPL to explain that too?

Is it UPL to word an Oath for a client for their Affidavit? You kind of have to do that otherwise you cannot administer an Oath or Affirmation.

The fact is that your state authorizes you to do Notary work and perhaps even tests you on it. You are authorized do do all aspects of Notary work by law. You are not authorized to explain Mortgage documents but notary procedures are NOT Mortgage documents although they might be done to Mortgage documents.

How do you deal with this quandary?

You might also like:

Unauthorized practice of law in the notary industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21317

30 Point Course – what to explain and what not to
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14440

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October 3, 2019

Help!…getting a divorced but husband has my stamp!

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:19 pm

Got a call form a frantic notary that is in the mist of a seemingly nasty divorce. She has a question and it is obvious right away that she is clueless as to what her notary laws are. She states that she may be calling the wrong place but her husband has her seal. She also wants to know if she is still an active notary? I’m thinking; “Oh boy”. I told her first off lets address the fact that you should know that your seal an journali (if required or not to keep one) is to remain with YOU at ALL TIMES in a secure locked location and secondly, you should be fully aware whether your commission is active or not. I mean if she doesn’t know (besides the SOS who would know) And, I am sure they will think it odd of her to be asking. I can’t for the life of me understand why folks are so lax and nonchalant with their seals. The power of the seal is enormous. It can create havoc on peoples lives and cause many financial problems.

In my humble opinion, it seems to me that if you are going to take on such a responsibility being a notary public that you would try at the very least to learn everything you can about being a notary public for your state. There are what I call the ‘rules of engagement’ and one should do their best to know them. Once you become a notary public you are considered a government official and you need to know what you ‘can and cannot do’. There are rules to be followed and you should know them.

It really terrifies me that we have thousands of notaries throughout the county that have no clue of what they are doing. They just tell me that they want to make a quick buck, or its just a side hustle or I just what to do loans. There is way more to being a notary then making a fast buck, etc. There can be financial devastation to you and/or others if you don’t know what you are doing. If you mess up someones paperwork it will be on you. And if you leave your stamp just laying around ‘willy nilly and it is used for fraud god forbid that to, will be on you. So for her to leave her stamp with her soon to be ex-husband was IMO gross negligence and I told her so. I recommended that she contact her husband immediately and secure her seal and journal (if he had that as well).

Please folks read your handbooks and learn all you can. It’s WAY more to being a notary than making a fast buck or side money….

You might also like:

My stolen identity and fraudulent notary seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20753

Notary Public Seal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21411

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October 2, 2019

SnapDocs – total number of signings vs. total documented

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 11:18 pm

There is a common misunderstanding out there. I often ask notaries how many loans they have signed. I get mostly roundabout answers that just don’t give me anything to work with.

ME: How many loans have you signed?

NOTARY: You mean total? In my life?

ME: Yes, otherwise I would have specified a time period. Once again, how many loans have you signed?

NOTARY: Can’t you check on SnapDocs?

ME: I’m not on SnapDocs, I’m on the phone with you. Do you not know what your experience is?

NOTARY: I don’t keep track every day.

ME: Your # of loans signed on SnapDocs is not a total number but a number of loans you signed through their platform. Your total number might be far higher.

NOTARY: Oh, a few hundred.

ME: A few hundred could be anywhere from two hundred to nine hundred. Once again we are not getting any answer I can use to make an input on my form. Hmm.

NOTARY: Just say 250.

ME: Finally, after tugging on you 9x we get an answer. Thanks. Please fill in your notes too.

You might also like:

Your number of loans signed just went down?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21236

The evolution of American commerce and Snapdocs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22275

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October 1, 2019

Getting paid – a comprehensive timeline

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:17 pm

Many Notaries have a problem getting paid. It’s not you — it’s the industry. But, by using good principles, you can avoid most of the drama. Here are some guidelines to help you through every step of the process.

BEFORE THE SIGNING
When you get that call from a particular company, you need to either have records on each company out there, or be able to look them up. That means you either need online records on a cloud, or accessible from your iPhone, or have a cheat sheet in your glove compartment with up to date records on all signing companies. You need to keep track of:

1. How many jobs have they given you
2. Payment record — average # of days to pay
3. How much outstanding
4. Are they pleasant to work for
5. Cancellation rate.
6. What is their track record on the forums and 123notary’s list of signing companies.

If company cancels too much, you should up their rate or make them pay a cancellation fee or nonrefundable deposit up front, otherwise you will be left holding the bag (and the freshly printed documents.) If a company owes you more than a few hundred, you should deny service until they pay up. If a company has no track record with you, please consider asking them to pay up front via Paypal. If you are a newer signing agent and desperate to get experience, you should be more flexible and take more risks so you get experience. People who use 123notary reward Notaries for having a lot of experience.

You can check new companies on your iPhone while on the road to see how they do on the various forums and 123notary’s list of signing companies with reviews. If a company has a bad track record of payment, you should charge up front or you will likely get stiffed. Some of these companies have no remorse.

CONFIRMING THE SIGNING
Confirming the signing using our tips in the real life scenarios section of Notary Public 101 will not help you get paid, but will help you reduce the amount of signings that end in mid-air. If the signer doesn’t have ID with matching names, or if the other signers aren’t going to be there, or if they don’t have that cashier’s check they need — you are better off not going to their house as it will be a waste of time. Signings that end in “no signs” often do not get paid, so by avoiding this type of scenario, you will have less unpaid jobs as a total percentage.

AT THE SIGNING — MISTAKES
Most Notaries brag about how they have a 99.9% accuracy rate. The truth is that most Notaries make mistakes from time to time, and sometimes FedEx or the Lender screws up too resulting in a second trip. In my experience it is very hard to get paid for a second trip. Companies will often offer to pay, and then not pay you. So, triple checking your work and getting packages to FedEx fast will help reduce your rate of non-paying jobs and also help you from getting fired as much.

AFTER THE SIGNING — FAX
After you are done with your signing, fax a bill and include all pertinent information such as the borrower’s name, property address, loan number, and whatever else the signing or title company wants. Send a bill every week by fax or email or whatever medium your company wants. Also, keep records of every signing company you work for, and all of the jobs they assigned to you. When they pay you, you can indicate the date when they paid you to the right of the job description, borrower name, property address on your records. Your records can be paper or online. It is very fast to do this by paper by the way and less chance of data loss unless you keep the paper in your car.

EVERY MONTH — RECORDS
Every month or so, update your records that you keep in your car. Keep records on each signing company. Track how many jobs they gave you, how fast they pay, what they still owe you, how much you like them. You can assign them a grade too. You can have a customized pricing strategy for each company depending on their track record. You can give lower prices for companies you like. I would base prices on estimated time spent and NOT a fixed price. You could have a — near, medium and far price, or a price that is more intricate depending on number of pages, number of signers, distance, time of day, etc. That is up to you. But, having an intricate pricing strategy will make your life a little more complicated, but will weed out the more difficult companies, or at least make them pay for grief they cause you. Otherwise, those companies will think they can get away with causing Notaries endless headaches. You could keep two sets of these records and update them monthly. One at home and one in the car. If someone offers you a job, don’t quote a price until you look at your records and see if they are on the “A” list.

30 DAYS
If a company is past 30 days, time to consider sending them a demand letter. Or you could wait until the 45 day mark depending on how tough you are. We have a demand letter (from hell) template on our resources page. People have had consistently excellent luck with it, and it was given to us by our very most seasoned Notaries on the site.

45-60 DAYS
If anyone gets to this point, definitely send them a demand letter, but consider hiring an Attorney to write a letter threatening them. There are Attorneys who will write a letter for about $30 using their legal assistants. If a company owe you $300 or more, it might be worth it to write a letter. You can also charge for damages which include your time lost and legal fees.

CONTRACTS
We wrote another article on contracts. Signing companies have contracts to protect their interests. Their contract defends what is convenient and good for the signing company but not what is good for the Notary. You can have your own contract too and make people sign it if they want your services. If you are inexperienced, many companies might not sign it. But, if they need you and you have experience, they just might. You can state terms about partial signings, no shows, cancelled jobs, printing fees, resigns, and whatever else you want. Try to be reasonable in your terms if you expect anyone to sign it and continue using your services.

CREDIT
Try to determine before hand how much credit to offer to particular companies. This needs to be customized. Companies with a bad track record should not get any credit and must pay up front. Companies that have been solid towards you for years might get $400. But, don’t offer more than that because good companies turn bad all the time the minute they run into credit problems. Each company you work for should have a credit rating with you and an individual amount of credit you will offer them. When they offer you a job, see how much they are in debt to you already before saying yes, otherwise — it’s Paypal — or no job!

Trouble getting paid?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15339

Tips for getting paid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19794

Scary results when someone uses our demand letter from hell
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2006

Template for our famous demand letter
http://www.123notary.com/howto-get-paid-signing-agent.htm

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September 30, 2019

The notary industry picked up in Aug and September 2019

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 9:21 am

Clicks were up on new notary listings. Notaries who we spoke to on the
phone had lots of work. Things were slow from 2014 to mid-2019, but
now things have picked up. Interest rates dropped at least for now.
The future is still uncertain. So, how much longer will things still
be good for notaries?

According to experts, October 2019 will be unpredictable for mortgage
rates as the trade war with China and other political developments
could affect that rate in either direction.

For the remainder of 2019 mortgage rates are expected to be 3.85%
which is an average of various financial agencies such as Freddie Mac,
National Association of Realtors, and several others. The Fed is also
expected to lower rates a little over the next few years.

My personal prediction is that interest rates need to be kept
artificially low because too many governments are in over their heads
in debt. If interest rates rise, half of the world’s governments will
go under which will not be good for any of us. In the long run,
mortgage rates cannot go above 5% for long, otherwise there will be an
economic catastrophe and a chain of failed debt and eventual
bankruptcy on all levels.

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September 29, 2019

Does the Notary have the right to be rude?

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 11:15 pm

As a Notary, you will have people pulling and pushing you from both ends. It is a lot to handle. Plus accompanied by non-paying clients, bad road conditions, animals harassing you, and endless cancellations, it can get to be too much. In my job, if I am on phones all day long, I have to deal with dozens of rude people per day and it can really get to me, and that is why I can sometimes be snippy. I also have to extract answers to simple questions and 90% of the time get the run around which really drains my patience after the first 200 calls. But, I digress.

Basically, there is no right or wrong. But, if you are rude to a client, they can write a complaint about you. If it is your first complaint and you have a good track record, I often keep the complaint private. But, if you get regular complaints, you might get into a bit of trouble at 123notary and I will publish the complaints.

None of us are perfect, and the stress of the daily nonsense doing Notary work adds up. If the stress gets too much, it is easy to be rude. But, think about it. Being rude can get you fired, or written up. Is it worth it? In my opinion, if you value the client, then no. It is a better policy to be like the folks at banks and try to be polite no matter how crazy the other party is. They also get bad karma from being jerks, so just realize that they are not off the hook being rude to you in the long run.

Additionally, people will treat you like you are the bad guy when you have done nothing wrong. Just try to roll with this as it is just part of people being unreasonable which is the norm these days. Of course, dealing with unreasonable mean people can just add up and get to you no matter how patient you are. Just do your best.

Try to just ignore other people’s bad behavior and just politely do your job. It is hard, but it is a good habit to get into. Turn the other cheek and take the high road.

You might also like:

Notary Etiquette 104 – a thorough course on etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21132

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

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September 28, 2019

For God’s sake take a notary class. (if you can find one)

Filed under: Carmen Towles — admin @ 11:15 pm

Got a call today from a new notary in Texas with a question. The first thing I ask her was how long she had been a notary. She is brand new-only a couple of months. I let her know (just like everyone else) that she needs to know her notary laws. She was not aware that this was of the utmost importance but then none of the new notaries do. They are foccused on loan signing. Never realizing that without basic knowledge of their notary laws they will fail and make countless errors. Definitely not a good way to start a business. So while we were talking, another notary called in. I ask her to hold and answered the call. Ironically, it just so happened to be another notary also from Texas that had a question on how to fill out a notary acknowledgment. She tells me that she pulled an acknowledgment off the internet and was perplexed as to how to fill it out.

I let her know, I just so happened to have another notary from Texas on the phone and it might be a teaching moment for the both of them and would she mind if I merged her into our conversation since they both were new ( I assumed this based on the question she was asking) and from Texas. She readily agreed and I merged the calls. I introduced them to one another and then asked the notary who had the acknowledgment question to to proceed with her question.

The notary had received an assignment to print a 3-4 page document, travel to the signer, have him sign, notarize and scan back to the attorney for a fee of 80.00. (decent fee btw.) She completed the assignment but for some reason (it is not clear why) she gave the notarized page to the signer. When she returned home from the job she realized her error and proceeded to find an acknowledgment certificate online and was trying to fill it out. I asked he how long she had been a notary and she stated that she had been a notary sine 1988. No disrespect to her but I find that to be a little disingenuous and very hard to believe considering the circumstances. To be a notary that long you would know what to do.

First off why she gave the notary acknowledgement to the client speaks volumes on its own. This is a rookie move; a person who has no clue as to what they are doing. Secondly, to not know how to fill out the notarial section is another rookie move. I told her that she should really consult her handbook as to what goes where. Hopefully, they address how to fill out a notarial certificate. I also let her know that she could take a picture of the acknowledgement and I would be more than happy to go through it with her. However, her best option would be to get off the phone with me and call the signer and go back and get the original acknowledgment certificate she had left with him. As of this writing, I have not heard back from her. Hopefully, for her sake, she got it all figured out.

The other notary remained silent until I let the other notary go. And she too now understood that she was also in the same position. She knows nothing about where to put what on a notarial certificate or just being a notary in general. I told her to also try and find a notary class and read her handbook cover to cover. Learn it-know it. If you are good notary you will be a great signing agent. After all the whole reason you would be called on to do closing/signings in the first place starts with you being a commissioned notary for your state. And guess what, they expect you to know your job. PERIOD. If you don’t know what you are doing you are just asking for trouble. So read and learn up like your life depended on it. Because guess what- it does.

You might also like:

Notary Public Education
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21413

Notary Public 101 from 123notary!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19493

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September 27, 2019

Facebook comments down to almost none

Filed under: Social Media — admin @ 10:35 pm

In the old days, our Facebook used to be such a medium for Notary conversation. But, Notaries little by little slowed down their commentary on our Facebook page. Our Forum slowed down many years ago and never came back up. We might get one post per day. How sad and sluggish. Maybe on day the industry will pick up, but for now it is really slow and sad in terms of social media. I have put such hard work into blogging, Facebook and a little work on Twitter that I just feel sad.

On the other hand, perhaps there are topics that people would be more apt to comment on? The posts people comment on tend to be divisive, political and controversial and the comments tend to be rude, because Americans cannot and will not be polite discussing differences. Sad. I guess I sound like Trump saying that — but, the guy has a point.

So, let’s hope for the best in terms of Facebook.

You might also like:

7 ways to use Facebook to market your notary services
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=5396

Notaries on Facebook Groups – the blind leading the blind
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21005

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