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April 11, 2015

Point (17) The APR; Marcy Practices Explaining the APR

Marcy’s husband came into the room and said, “It sounds like a broken record in here, what are you doing?” Marcy, having grown up with CD’s couldn’t understand the analogy. Marcy informed him that she was practicing explaining the APR. But, that the definition was long and complicated, so she had to keep saying it over and over until it was natural. Then, tomorrow she planned to do the same thing. You get in practice, and you get out of practice just as easily, so Marcy decided to always be at the top of her game.

That night while they were sleeping, Marcy started talking in her sleep, “It doesn’t include closing costs… it is compounded annually.” If her husband hadn’t already been asleep, he wouldn’t fallen asleep from such a boring rant. Her husband was sleeping during this episode, but his subconscious heard everything and he started talking in his sleep saying, “Why can’t she just stay home and take care of Chuckie? snore…. snore… Chuckie…. snore…”

So, Marcy got to her next signing. They went through the documents. Then, she said, “Do you want me to tell you why your APR is higher than your Rate?” The borrower said, “Actually, our Lender already told us.” Marcy realized that her borrowers knew more than she did about loans. But, she didn’t regret practicing. It was one less thing to screw up on some future loan. At this point Marcy didn’t care how often she had to know something, she just didn’t want to screw up and lose her self-respect. It took about seven more signings until she had a borrower who was very confused. Marcy rattled off her definition of the APR and the borrower had to ask her to repeat it slowly. After a few tries the borrower kind of understood the inverse relationship of the equation and how some of the fees and closing costs were deducted. Marcy had memorized exactly which fees were included or excluded from the formula for calculating the APR and people were very impressed with her knowledge. A few asked her if she was an Escrow Agent.

Marcy was also smart by including a disclaimer in her speech stating that her explanation of the APR was a general one and wasn’t necessarily applicable to the borrower’s particular transaction in all ways.

The next thing you know the borrowers were asking Marcy for legal advice. Once again, Marcy played her cards correctly and told them that she was not an Attorney, and that she could not answer legal questions for them. Then, she suggested that they contact an Attorney. Another smart move. It looks like Marcy went from being clueless to being a very savvy and satisfied Notary in only a few weeks of hard knocks and studying. That night in her sleep, she went “z-z-z-z-z-z.”

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Point (17) The APR
The APR is one of the most frequently asked about loan terms that exists. Notaries and Mortgage Brokers almost always sound very poorly rehearsed when they explain this very basic concept. To avoid sounding unprofessional, try to memorize as much as you can about how the APR is calculated, and also try to rehearse a comprehensive definition of the APR so that you will appear knowledgeable to clients and to us when we test you!

Quick Facts

(1) The APR is documented on the Truth in Lending Disclosure.

(2) The APR is usually but not always higher than the Rate.

(3) Your definition for the APR should include the fact that it could include loan origination fees, closing costs, appraisal fees, inspection fees, points, escrow fees, notary fees, and other costs of the loan — those are some of the big ones.

(4) If you mention that the APR is often used to compare loans, you get points on the phone test.

(5) If you mention that the APR might be compounded, you get points.

(6) Several notaries have claimed that there is no government standard for computing the APR, it is up to each individual lender.

(7) You could also claim that the APR includes the interest rate, all fees and costs of the loan, and incorporates them all into a compounded Annual Percentage Rate.

(8) There are many ways to define the APR, the key is to mention all of the components in a clear and easy to understand way.

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When we ask notaries about the APR, the answers we get are very inconclusive such as:

“It included the fees”
“It is the cost of the loan”
“It has the interest and fees”
“It is different from the Rate because it is annual”

How unprofessional. If you are a professional signer, you need a professional definition.

A Mortgage Company’s definition of the APR
The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is an interest rate that is different from the note Rate. It is commonly used to compare loan programs from different lending companies. The Federal Truth in Lending law requires that mortgage companies disclose the APR when they advertise a rate.The APR does NOT change or affect your your monthly payments. Your monthly payments are a function of the interest rate as well as the length of the loan. We provide calculators to calculate your monthly payment as well as your APR.

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Jeremy’s official definition of the APR
The APR is the relationship between the payments and the amount borrowed, minus the fees expressed as a compounded annual rate. This rate is often used to compare the different loans borrowers have to choose from. The APR is almost always higher than the Rate. The Rate, on the other hand, is a monthly percentage relationship between the payments and the total amount borrowed, including fees.

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Fees included in computing the APR:
Points (discount and origination points)
Pre-paid interest
Loan processing fees
Underwriting fees
Document preparation fees
PMI – Private Mortgage Insurance
Appraisal Fees
Credit Reporting Fees

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Fees not normally included when computing the APR
Title or Abstract Fees
Escrow Fees
Notary Fees
Home Inspection Fees
Transfer Taxes
Recording Fees

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Although my delightful sounding definition of the APR sounds very professional, there is no reason why you shouldn’t come up with your own, and practice it until you sound perfect. One objection that I have is that Notaries sound unrehearsed when talking about the APR even if they have signed 10,000 loans. If you are a professional, then sound professional!

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3442

30 Point Course (18-24) Technical Points
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14492

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4455

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November 15, 2013

Common Mistakes with: 1003, Crossing out, RTC, TIL & APR

The problem with the signing agent industry is that education is simply not taken seriously. Newer signing agents will take a certification course somewhere, pass by the skin of their teeth, and then say, “I’m done learning”. The effect is that their brain turns off, and there is no more curiousity to learn or thirst for knowledge.

123notary offers a lot of information in the blog which is free, not to mention a plethora of signing courses and new testing systems that are currently being experimented with. Please take advantage of the information that is out there for best results.

Here are some common mistakes that are really dumb that newer signing agents do.

(1) Call the lender about the 1003
The 1003 is always wrong. It is not a final document by the way. The natural order of documents in terms of the finality of information starts with the 1003 which is an application. This application is typed up by minimum wage workers who systematically make mistakes, and the lenders as a group seem to think it is okay to make mistakes on loan documents for loans of half a million dollars. First of all it is NOT okay, secondly it upsets borrowers, and thirdly, it leaves signing agents in a perceived quandary. They think they need to call the lender if information in this document is wrong. This is the one document you can do cross outs on. It doesn’t matter. The next version of information about names and numbers would be the Good Faith Estimate. It is once again a preliminary document and just an estimate. The final document with numbers is the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If there is an error here — then it is time to call the lender and perhaps even redraw the documents or just cancel the entire loan process

(2) Just cross out and initial
Many lenders have low standards. We live in a world where standards are pathetically low. Just because a handful, or more than a handful of the lenders you work with have low standards doesn’t mean that you should. There exists a concept called “Best Practices”, and that concept involves not making a mess unless you really are compelled to. If names are wrong on documents AND THE LENDER IS NOT AVAILABLE (which is the norm), you can initial under the last few letters of the last name. This is clean, and the processor can cross-out after the fact or do whatever they like. YOU are not compelled to cross out. Just leave a voice mail for the lender to let them know what you did and why. If there are errors on the notary certificates, once again crossing things out is unprofessional and messy. Keep in mind these are LEGAL documents and making a mess on a legally binding document seems very questionable at best. It is cleaner to get a loose acknowledgment, staple it and start fresh without the cross outs. So, when do you need to cross things out? On the right to cancel if you need to change dates, and there is no borrower copy with the dates left blank — THEN, and only then in my experience are you compelled to cross out the old date and write in a new date and have the borrowers initial

(3) RTC
Guess what. The day of the signing is NOT included in the (3) days to rescind. Many newer notaries don’t know this. The reach for their rescission calendar because they can not think on their own. Learn to calculate, learn to count, and learn to think. Learn when the Federal holidays happen and learn to calculate rescission dates when a signing happens right before a Federal holiday.

(4) TIL
Many signers think that there is detailed information about the prepayment penalty on the TIL. Wrong. The TIL states that you will, won’t, or might have a prepayment penalty. That is not what I consider detailed, that is merely a tidbit of information.

(5) APR
Few if any newer signing agents, or even experienced signing agents can discuss the APR and sound professional doing so. Learn and memorize a professional sounding definition of this figure so that when asked, you will be able to answer FLUENTLY, even in your sleep.

You might also like:

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4455

Minimum competency guide discusses RTC, APR, Journals & more
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4337

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May 18, 2013

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?

I was talking to a notary on the East Coast. I was going to ask him a loan signing question, but then he retorted back a question in my direction before I could ask my question.

How do you explain the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?, he asked.

I gave him my routine mathematical definition of the APR and he was impressed. When he asked the question, I was thinking that this is a great question. It sounded like a trick question, but it actually is a very reasonable question. It suddenly occurred to me that the non-borrowing spouse is the epitome of a lay-person, and doesn’t understand complicated terms such as “amortized” or “finance charges”. If you have an MBA in Finance, you might not be the best person to explain an APR to someone’s wife. So, part of the genius of this question is that it tells you to use layperson language without telling you directly.

The other great aspect of this question is that it gives the opportunity to tangent goers to go off on a tangent — and they take this opportunity. I ask this question to many people, and 20% of the people go off on a very long explanation of what documents the non-borrowing spouse has to sign. But, that has nothing to do with the question. They didn’t LISTEN. This is a good listening and tangent going question. You learn very quickly who listens, and who can talk as well.

People notoriously leave out 90% of the meat of the answer when describing this confusing and diabolical term.

“It includes the fees”

Trust me, it includes a lot more than the fees.

“It reflects the cost of the loan”

Trust me, it also includes your interest as well as whatever the cost is.

“It’s usually higher than the rate”

Boy, are we being vague.

“It includes interest and fees”

Better, but very uneducated sounding.

Most answers to this question are either missing the target, or miss the main point of the APR.

The APR is a RATIO that is based on the payments relative to the total amount financed after: some of the finance charges, perhaps points, perhaps loan origination fees, PMI, and perhaps other fees have been deducted — and is reflected on a compounded annual rate.

I am not a lender and don’t know the “Real” definition. But, how the APR is calculated can vary from state to state, and from lender to lender. So, there is no absolute definition, but only definitions that are approximate. Unfortunately, the definitions I am hearing from the notaries are overly simplistic and generally just plain wrong!

You might also like:

What traits do escrow officers look for in Notaries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21050

The Right to Cancel Done Wrong
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10001

The 30 point course guide to the APR
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14483

Common mistakes with the APR
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4553

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October 10, 2019

Stand up routine at a signing

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 11:23 pm

It started out being just a normal signing. But, the Notary was no ordinary Notary.

NOTARY: Hi, my name is Charles and I will be your signing agent this evening. If you have any questions during the signing process, please feel free to address those to me.

BORROWER: Sounds like a deal, Charles. We’ll conduct the signing in the dining room.

NOTARY: Great.

BORROWER: Would you like to sit down?

NOTARY: Oh, you see, my style of signings is more of a stand up signing.

BORROWER: Oh, yeah, I read in your reviews that you are a stand up guy. Now, I think I know what they meant.

NOTARY: Good one. I didn’t know my reviews said that. I thought it said that I showed up on time;

BORROWER: That was only for one signing, the one where you set your clocks back an hour in November. No wonder you were on time for the first time in your life.

NOTARY: That was low, but it works. Anyway. Let’s begin with the Deed of Trust. We need to initial each page.

BORROWER: Have you done this before, or do you consider this to be improv?

NOTARY: I did my routine once, but on a reverse mortgage, so I have to turn my jokes around for this type of signing.

BORROWER: Do you need to go back into the driveway and turn your car around too?

NOTARY: Not until the signing is over.

BORROWER: Good one! Okay, look. This is my initial initial.

NOTARY: Hey, not fair, you are funnier than me. Oh look, your APR is 6.2% — what a joke!

BORROWER: Uh oh, I could have you reported for kibbitzing on my loan. No commentary aloud — allowed.

NOTARY: Did you just make a word play? You are right, I have no place commenting on your loan, especially not satirically.

BORROWER: I didn’t shop around for this.

NOTARY: It’s okay. The 30 years you are paying 6.2% instead of 6.1% will probably only cost you $40,000 and I’m sure the ten hours you saved by not shopping around is worth more than $40,000, right?

BORROWER: Grumble. You are so fired, but thanks.

NOTARY : On the other hand, rates just went up, so you probably lost your lock, and the financial institution you borrowed from is one of the best and gives competitive rates, so you did okay. I just said what I said in jest.

BORROWER: Hey, you just made a word play with the just and the jest. Was that a soliloquy?

NOTARY: No, you are just being silly-oquy. Now, let’s look at the HUD or the Closing Disclosure. Hmm, it says the Notary fee is $300. Guess how much of that I get?

BORROWER: Umm, the whole thing?

NOTARY: You missed your calling in life — you should have been a comedian. No, I get $60 which covers my gas, printing, other auto expenses, and a happy meal.

BORROWER: Reminds me of the time I went on a rick-shaw ride in India. The guy wanted 70 rupees and I offered him 60. He said, “Hey buddy, the price if imported whiskey is not going down — 70, no discounts.”

NOTARY: How comforting. That reminds me of the Arabian signer I had who told me all about his harem. He had four Saudi girls, two African girls, but wanted a blonde. So, he went to all types of trouble to coerce a blonde to live with him in his palace. He finally got a girl named Christina to be part of his harem. He said, “Once I had a blonde blue eyed lady as part of my harem — Christina. She always used to talk back to me… I found it so (pause) refreshing. After three months I had to send her back to the states. I will never forget my little Christina.”

BORROWER: You know how it is for people in third world countries. I think there is an expression about white girls (or guys) — Once you’ve had vanilla, you’ll love like a chinchilla, sipping sarsparilla, on a beach on the coast of Manila.

NOTARY: That must be a come back to — once you’ve had black, ain’t no turning back.

BORROWER: Something like that, although yours is more imaginative especially with the chinchilla. Do they have chinchillas in the Philippines?

NOTARY: Not sure, I think they are cute little creatures who live in the Andes. Okay, now to the Right to Rescind. Forgive me father, for I have rescinded.

BORROWER: Oh, that’s an old one. I’ve heard that many times from all of the past Notaries I’ve met.

NOTARY: I know, sounds like something they would say on late night television on Craig Ferguson’s show. Okay, you can cancel by email, fax, or in writing.

BORROWER: I don’t have a fax.

NOTARY: Well then better make sure you really want this loan!

BORROWER: I think I want it. But, I do have email.

NOTARY: Better print out the email and the send date so you have proof that you sent it. You know how these banks are.

BORROWER: Okay, I signed here. Are you going to acknowledge my signature.

NOTARY: No, you are.

BORROWER: So, let me get this straight. I acknowledge my own signature, and then you are the one who gets paid.

NOTARY: As I said before — you’re in the wrong profession.

BORROWER: I’m beginning to think you are right.

NOTARY: Now, on to the signature affidavit. You have to swear that you signed it.

BORROWER: Okay, (raising his right hand) I swear.

NOTARY: But, you haven’t signed it yet.

BORROWER: Oh yeah.

NOTARY: Thank God you’re not a Notary, missing a signature like that — otherwise you’d really be in the wrong profession! That’s not only careless what you did, but illegal — 5 years.

BORROWER: Five years for a little joke?

NOTARY: That was under Oath with a public official — me.

BORROWER: Good God, I’ll stick to jokes about the APR from now on. Did you hear about the APR that wanted to go onto the next stage in life? He became a BPR.

NOTARY: Bad one. Boo. I got one. How do you define the APR to a non-borrowing spouse?

BORROWER: You mention it deducts many of the fees and closing costs before doing the calculation? That’s not funny.

NOTARY: It is with your loan. Have you seen the appraisal fee — that’s insane!

BORROWER: You’re fired… again. Except I can’t fire you because you have something on me — that damn Oath I took. My pre-signature Oath.

NOTARY: Those pre-signature Oaths will get you every time. I call them pre-sigs. Happens all the time. Borrowers will swear to anything, they think it’s cool.

BORROWER: Now to do the Jurat. You need to watch me sign in your presence for one of these according to what I read in Jeremy’s course. Are you watching? I’m signing now, keep looking…. I saw you look away… Keep looking.

NOTARY: Are you even watching what you are signing, or are you just watching me?

BORROWER: Oh, you are … what a scribble. I signed that? I should have been paying attention.

NOTARY: Correction, you should have been witnessing your own signature instead of trying to witness me witnessing your signature.

BORROWER: Once again, I’m in the wrong profession, but thank God I’m not a Notary.

NOTARY: Exactly. Jokes aside — yes! Okay.. got one. What did the Notary say to the borrower?

BORROWER: Umm. Sign here?

NOTARY: No, he said, “Sign exactly as your name appears on title.”

BORROWER: That sounds about right, but isn’t funny. What if the borrower is irate about their APR?

NOTARY: That’s more along the lines of where you get to the punch line. Or getting thrown down a flight of stairs.

BORROWER: Ouch. Did that really happen?

NOTARY: It’s all documented in Jeremy’s blog — real story, and that’s no joke. Now let’s look at the 1003.

BORROWER: Page three says, “This page intentionally left blank.” sounds like a Seinfeld situation. It’s more like a joke than a real loan document.

NOTARY: That’s the irony. It looks like a joke, but it actually isn’t a joke.

BORROWER: That’s kind of like most of your jokes in reverse. They sound like jokes, but they aren’t funny.

NOTARY: You laughed, so they are funny, at least to you.

BORROWER: You got me on that one just like my Lender got me on the APR.

NOTARY: Now it is time to do journal thumbprints. I need three thumbprints, one here, one here, and one here — one for each entry.

BORROWER: Here you go.

NOTARY: So, how would you rate the signing overall — jokes aside?

BORROWER: I would give it three thumbs, but not three thumbs up. Three thumbs horizontally.

NOTARY: Not sure if that constitutes an official rating, but it will have to do.

You might also like:

Index of best comedy posts from 2015
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20295

The Mayan rescission calendar
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15096

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May 14, 2019

30 year rates took a dive in January giving new hope to struggling Notaries

Filed under: Marketing Articles — admin @ 11:10 am

Meet Jane in South Dakota who just got through a polar vortex. She suffered freezing pipes, the risk of frostbite, being stuck at home, not to mention not being able to get Ramen noodles.. you know, the oriental flavor that is so much fun to garnish with sliced celery and eat with chopsticks. Well, I bet these lower interest rates are a happy surprise to Jane. That means a sudden increase in Notary work, and might lead also to better weather.

123notary’s sales are up about 7% from last year. Facebook is still sluggish and the forum is almost dead though. But, there is hope, hope for a better future.

30 year interest rates went down below 4.5% for the first time since April 2018. The question is, will they stay this low or get lower? If so, then Notaries will get work. If they go up, I might have to learn how to import plastic buddhas from China and compete with buddhasforless.com and they are a tough competitor.

See this link for a graph of 30 year interest rates
https://ycharts.com/indicators/30_year_mortgage_rate

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Now is the right time to become a notary signing agent
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21039

Is Trump to blame for the Notary slowdown?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19138

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November 1, 2018

Comedic suggestions for slogans for particular names of notaries on our site

Filed under: Humorous Posts — Tags: — admin @ 8:05 am

Every time I look at a Notary’s name, I get ideas for slogans. Sometimes I tell Notaries these slogans. Look for your name here. I am only listing a small percentage of our Notaries, but you might be there.

Carmen Bland — “Call me if you want a truly tasteless Notary.”

Sally Cripps — “Call me for drive by signings.” (I changed the first name so as not to offend anyone.)

Robert Burger — “Over 1 billion signed.”

Sheila Mabry — “Yes, No or Mabry Notary Services.”

Charles Cook — “Kiss the Notary” or “Well-done notarizations with Charles Cook.”

Carmen Towles — “Throw in the Towles Notary Service.”

Jenny Kong — “Queen Kong Notarizations.”

Mary Potter — “Get notarized by me and I’ll use my brother’s magic Notary seal.”

Shirley Silver — “Not quite gold standard mobile notary.”

Mary Jane Jock — “Tired of being notarized by nerds? Call me!”

Catherine Minor — “Have you ever wanted to be notarized by a minor? Now’s your chance!”

Vene Moses — “Let me lead you out from being lost in the Notarial desert.”

Ann Dye — “A Notary Service to Dye for.”

Donna Mooney — “Looney Mooney Notary Services.” or “Full Mooney Notary Services.”

Robert Crouch — “Crouch ain’t no slouch.”

Sharon Wolf — “A Notary service in sheep’s clothing.”

Christine Loya — “You don’t need an Attorney, you need a Loya… Loya Notary Services.”

Kathleen Spies — Shaken not Stirred Notary Services.” or “007 Notary Services.” or “Double Agent Notary Service.”

Paige Borel — “You can’t replace this Paige.” or “Call me and we’ll be on the same Paige.”

Yvonne Blankenship — “My ship might be blank, but I do not notarize documents with blanks.”

Jennifer Winkler — “Get Notarized by the Fonz’s sister and say — eyyyy…”

Leslie Worth — “When you’re tired of those other worthless Notaries, call me!” or “Looking for a Notary where you get value? Look no further.”

Eva Sommer — “All Season Notary.”

Kathryn Reynolds — “The Notary who wraps things up.”

Shelly Booth — “The Notary Booth Notary Service.”

Tresia Burrow — “Ground hog Notary services.” or “A Notary who digs deep into Notary issues?”

Debra Wise — “Wisdom Notary Services — we never wise off to our customers.”

Wendy Gray — “50 Shades of Gray Notary Service.”

Robert Hyatt — “We notarize even after check out time.”

Etta Bell — “A Notary with a nice ring to it.” or “The Notary whose name rings a bell.” or “Heard of Etta? No, but the name rings a bell.”

Pearl Champaign — “Bubbly Notarizations.”

Robert Pratt — “A notary who never falls or clowns around.”

Dorothy Holmes — :Holmes equity line of credit Notary Service.” or “Mortgage your home with Holmes!” or “Your Holmes or mine Notary Service.”

Barb West — :Your business will never go South with me.” or “Call me for a Notary who is the best in the West.”

Tammy Mello – “Call me for a relaxed signing.”

Lucille Frost — “Chill Out Notary Services.”

Brian Quick — “Quick Signings Notary Service.” or “Call me for a quick signing!” or “Call me for the fastest Notary anywhere!”

Denise Lytle — “A lot from a Lytle Notary Services.” or “Call me for a Notary who works a lot, but only charges a Lytle.”

April Risley — “Spring Notary Services, let us spring into action.”

David Love — “You’ll like my work but you’ll love my prices.” or “You’ll love my work. or “For a Notary you’ll love.” or “I love you, man – Notary Services.” or “All is fair in love and Notary work.”

Sandy Moose — “Antlers in the head lights Notary Service.” or “Call me for a Notary who spends three hours parked in the middle of the road blocking traffic for no apparent reason.”

Julie Key — “Let me be your key to a successful notarization.”

Elizabeth Lock — “Lock & Key Notary Services.” (Maybe she should do a merger with Julie Key…)

Amanda Deel — “Deel me in Notary Services.” or “Great Deel Notary Services.”

Cheryl Bass — “There’s nothing fishy about this Notary.” or “For a Notary who is low key.”

Kelly Ruble — “Dollar for Dollar Notary Services.” or “You’ll never get a bad exchange rate with us.”

Heather Day — “Day or Night Notary Services.” or “24 hour notary services.”

Brittni Couch — “Coach Potato Notary Service.”

Gina Sas — “The Notary Service That Never Talks Back.”

Amber Dates — “Amber Alert Notary Service.” or “Blind Date Notary Service” or “Dates & Times Notary Services.” or “Medjool Notary Service.” or “Get notarized by pitted Dates with us.”

Pamela Knight — “Day or Knight 24 Hour Notary Services.”

Karla Hand — “Lend me a Hand Notary Service.” or “Hands on Notary Service.” or “Witness my Hand and official seal Notary Service.”

Angela Ma — “Not just another Ma & Pa Notary Service.”

Judy Weddle — “Don’t Meddle with Weddle.”

Verna Wright — “Get the Wright Notary at the Wright Price.”

Stephanie Story — “Chapter and verse Notary Service.” or “Once upon a time Notary Service.”

Coleen Ho — “Who you callin’ a Ho Notary Services.” or “Call me for a Notary who is gung ho.” (we changed the first name so as not to offend anyone too badly.)

Karen Wynn — “Wynn Wynn Notary Services.”

La Donna Penny — “Pennies on the Dollar Notary Service.”

Edwin Forte — “Notarizing is my Forte!”

Julia Hill — “Up Hill Notary Services.” or “Over the Hill Notary Services.” or “It’s all down hill from here Notary services.”

Robert Getter — “Getter is Better and will notarize your document or Letter!”

Ricky Salmon — “Wild Alaskan Notary Service.” or “Omega 3 Notary Service.”

Frank Tabacca — “Pipe Dream Notary Service”

Liz Demera — “I’m Liz Demera of Madera County.”

Stoney Wright — “Looking for Mr. Wright? Look no further.” or “Mr. Wright Notary Services.” or “Wrights and Responsibilities Notary Services.”

Julie Sleep — “I’m so experienced I can sign in my sleep.”

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You might also like:

The Noterator
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19116

Names for Notary businesses that can get you trouble
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19064

Geographic Notary Business Names
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19060

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September 21, 2018

What traits do escrow officers look for in Notaries?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 11:34 am

Here are some things that Escrow officers look for in Notaries.

1. Document knowledge.
You should know your documents inside out and know where to find the rate, prepayment penalty information, 1st payment info, APR, how to date and initial the RTC, etc.

2. Form Filling
Many loans have forms to fill out. The borrower will do the actual filling out, but the Notary needs to know how to assist in this process if you want to get hired again.

3. Personal Knowledge
Many Escrow Officers prefer to hire a Notary who is personally known (rather than proven on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to them rather than hire a signing agency who hires strangers. For jobs that are far away from the Escrow office, they might be more willing to hire signing services.

4. Personable
Are you the type of person who can interact nicely with others? Or are you difficult to communicate with, rude, complain a lot, or avoid people?

5. Available
If you are not available, or are not reachable by phone that is a problem. Then there are others who answer the phone and refuse to talk who are also not doing well in terms of availability.

6. Back to Back signings
If a signer is willing and able to do one signing after another, that is a selling feature for escrow.

7. What about certification?
Certification is only as valuable as the knowledge that goes with it. Escrow officers want knowledge and reliability, not claims of knowledge and reliability. Elite 123notary Certification is popular with title & escrow. But, very few Notaries bother trying to get it.

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You might also like:

If you work for title companies directly, what do they want?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16110

Why you should consider getting 123notary Elite Certified
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20094

Elite certification will benefit you the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

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August 14, 2018

Title Companies: 123notary Certification – what you need to know about it.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 10:54 am

What does 123notary Certification mean in 2018 and 2019? A letter to title companies.

123notary teaches, screens, and certifies Notaries on:
Notary Basics
Loan Documents
Unusual Scenarios (that can lead to damages)
Clear Communication
Following Directions

We go to this trouble to make your title company’s screening and hiring procedure for new additions to your roster more streamlined, and lessens the chance of serious legal complications in the long run due to improper notary work.

We know that many of you would like to hire better quality Notaries. Are our current certified members up to your standards for being a “good Notary,” and how much extra do you feel they merit per signing? Would it be too much trouble to call a handful, talk to them for a few minutes and size them up and see for yourself how much better you feel they are compared to an average signing agent?

Our 2002 through 2017 tested mainly on loan documents and a little bit on Notary procedure, but involved mostly online testing which was taken advantage of by Notaries who found ways to game the system. As of 2018, we cleaned up our certification, removing those who cannot demonstrate a certain level of still on oral & email quizzes to ensure reliability to your hiring parties. We reduced the quantity of certified members from about 1600 to about 160 and will continue to screen certified members every year or two for quality control purposes.

Our 14 point certification process generates Notaries who are generally polite, responsive, cooperative, and technically competent. I can go over our process in as much detail as you like, but first I would like to let you know that most notaries will not aggressively pursue education on their own. They will only study hard if those who hire them recommend, require, or offer preferential treatment to those that do.

If you have Notaries who you would like to send over who you use regularly who would benefit from a tune up — or those who are not good enough to put on your list due to a lack of basic knowledge, we are happy to tutor, train, or enroll them in one of our courses. This collaboration of our forces will benefit both of us and does not cost title companies a penny. Our work on 123notary is for the greater benefit of title companies. However, we charge the Notaries for advertising and education and never charge title companies for anything.

If you would like to see our sales literature, just visit our loan signing courses page on 123notary.com. If you like the reliability of our screening we would like it if you can endorse our certification. Additionally, a few dozen of our notaries have our elite certiifcation which is a much more refined version of our certification.

We would like referrals and endorsements from agencies and individuals who work at agencies that hire Notaries in exchange for us helping you to refine the quality of your signing agents.

THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS

a. 123notary certification starts with reading our educational materials. We have loan signing courses that we sell. We also have free Notary basics materials in our blog at Notary Public 101 which we are in the process of adding to our sold materials for the convenience of the buyer. However, that material on the blog is open to the public, so our students can see it at any time.

b. We also offer Q&A by email and even tutoring to those who want it. Sometimes the technical aspects of Notary procedure can be complicated and a one on one session can be the best way to learn.

c. Testing is done online, but also as a follow up by phone. Testing by phone is more reliable as a measuring stick as we can ask open ended questions, multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc. Additionally, we know that we have the correct entity taking the test and can adjust our questions to exactly what we want to ask. We can also more easily monitor how many times and when the person took the phone test than with online tests many people abuse the privilege and treat it more like a video game that they keep playing until they win.

KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED
The knowledge required to pass our test as of 2018 includes:

1. Notary Acts. We require Notaries to know when particular notary acts are used, how to explain these acts, and what the requirements of each basic act are including Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proof of Execution. We do not teach other acts as they are uncommon and not necessary. We also require Notaries to know how to administer Oaths as they are required by law when executing a Jurat which is done on Affidavits as a matter of custom.

2. Notary Terminology. We require Notaries to know basic Notary terminology such as Venue, Affiant, Certificate, terms relating to Power of Attorney, etc.

3. Certificates. We go over how to fill in the additional and optional information in certificates which deters the fraudulent as well as accidental swapping of certificates to other documents.

4. Journals. We teach prudent journal entry procedure using the one entry per signer per document principle.

5. Power of Attorney. We teach Notaries to follow instructions to a tee on AIF signings and to call in if instructions are omitted or not clear as to how an Attorney in Fact should sign in their capacity.

6. Identification. We teach Notaries how to make sure the ID proves the name on the document. This may or may not be a legal requirement in their state, but it is a prudency requirement that helps reduce the chance of ending up in court.

7. FAQ’s. We teach the basics of FAQ’s at loan signings such as:
(a) When is my first payment due?
(b) Where can I read about my prepayment penalty (if there is one)?
(c) Why is my APR higher than my rate?
(d) Where does it say where my payoffs and fees are located?

8. We teach the basic loan documents. Our emphasis used to be mainly on documents while our current emphasis is on issues that can cause financial damages to companies involved in transactions which are normally Notary issues or issues pertaining to negligence in business matters.

9. RTC. We teach how to date the Right to Cancel in a Refinance for an owner-occupied property.

10. Errors on Certificates. We teach the various ways to deal with errors on certificates, but this gets into state specific areas and also in to areas pertaining to the preference of the Lender or Title company involved.

11. After-Service. After a Notary signs a loan, they still might be needed for several days to clean up errors or answer questions. Notaries are not normally aware of how long they need to be around, so we tell them what types of situations can arise after the fact and how being unresponsive by phone and email will not make them popular with Title companies.

12. Elder Signings. Issues involving the competency and state of mind of signers is critical with elder signings. Elder signings normally take place in the hospital, but it is possible that for loan signings, especially Reverse Mortgages, that elders could be there. If an elder is on morphine, they are not in a position to sign. And if they cannot paraphrase a document, it might be dangerous to notarize them for legal liability reasons.

13. Foreign language signers and foreign language documents. We address these points a bit. A Notary must have direct communication with the signer in all states but AZ where oral translators are, or were allowed. However, for safety, you should not rely on a translator, because if they make a mistake, you could end up in court and you would be ultimately responsible as the Notary Public involved in the particular transaction.

14. Omitted Information. Sometimes a Notary will go to a signing. The instructions might say, “This page must be notarized.” However, there might not be a notary certificate. In some cases there might not be a signature line. We teach how to handle these situations gracefully.

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DANGERS OF HIRING A SHODDY NOTARY

1. Oaths. If you hire a notary who does not administer Oaths, your loan could be questioned, or perhaps even overturned in court by a Judge once the judge finds out that an “incomplete notarization” has taken place. Omitting an Oath makes a Jurat notarization on a Signature Affidavit, Occupancy Affidavit, Identity Affidavit or other Affidavit incomplete and therefore a Judge could declare the document not notarized, and perhaps declare a loan as invalid as a consequence. This would cause serious legal and financial damages to many parties involved. 90% of Notaries we talk to do NOT know how to administer an Oath correctly and most do not administer Oaths at all… ever, because they think it is not “required” in their state. It is required nationally.

2. Dropping Packages on time. If you hire a Notary who holds on to packages when they don’t know what to do in a particular situation, or because they just are not in the habit of dropping documents quickly, you might not get your important documents back on time. This is dangerous and can cause delays in funding, missing the lock in an interest rate, or your loan getting cancelled. Often times several days later, the documents will be found in the trunk of the Notary’s car. Each incident of forgetting to drop a package can cost you hundreds or thousands.

3. Identification. If you hire a sloppy Notary who does not make sure the name on the ID proves the name on the document, it is possible for your loan to end up in court costing all parties thousands. The lack of thumbprints in a Notary journal also makes it hard to identify someone who used a fake ID.

4. Journals. If you hire a Notary who does not keep a journal, you might not experience trouble for years. The minute your notarizations are called into question by an Attorney, the lack of evidence (namely the notary journal) would come back to haunt you and cause a nightmare. Without evidence, you have no way to prove who notarized what, or if a fraudulent notary impostering a real notary did the work. You have no idea who did what or when or what type of identification was used, or even if the signers consented to being notarized.

Additionally, if your sloppy Notary uses the “cram it in” style of journal entries where one line in their journal accommodates all documents in a loan signing (legal in some states but not prudent) your borrower could claim that they never had all of the documents notarized, but only one, and therefore the loan is void and the transaction must be cancelled, etc. This happens once in a blue moon when a borrower wants to get out of a transaction, and legally it is hard to prove if they consented to be notarized on five documents in a transaction when there is only one signature in the journal for five documents. You could claim that the Notary was in cahoots with the lender and added four additional documents after the fact.

5. Confirming. Improper confirming of signing can lead to a lot of wasted time. If the name on the ID does not prove the name on the document, there is no point in going to the appointment. There are many other critical points to go over when confirming the signing. The majority of Notaries either do not confirm signings, or don’t do so thoroughly enough which can cause a lot of loss of time and perhaps delays in the loan process.

6. Following directions. Many Notaries do not follow directions well. This can cause a huge loss to companies that hire them assuming your directions are critical to the success of the the signing. We screen for following directions when certifying signing agents. None of them are perfect, but we weed out a lot by asking a few following directions questions.

7. Notarizing for non-English Speakers. If you notarize for non-English speakers, this can lead to liability if you cannot communicate effectively with them. Any misunderstanding could come back to you.

8. Dating the RTC. You would be surprised how many Notaries cannot date a Right to Cancel. That can cause financial damages to any company that hires them.

9. Elder Signings can be a source of liability. The elders don’t always understand what they are signing. A competent Notary makes sure the signer understands the document, especially if elderly or in the hospital.

10. Being responsive after the fact. Many Notaries disappear or play hookey after a signing. Notaries are needed to answer questions before, during and after the signing. If they are not, this could cause grief to the hiring party.

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Do you have to be a CSS to get work these days?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8914

Elite Certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

If you were hiring a notary, what would you look for?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16750

If Donald Trump hired you as a Notary, would you get fired?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19120

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May 7, 2018

Attention 123notary Certified Members

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills — admin @ 10:54 am

123notary will be retesting several hundred certified members in the next few months. We will be retesting all of our certified members between now and 2020, but many will be tested in April, May and June. Please study from Notary Public 101 and the 30 Point Course so that you will not be caught unprepared. The quiz will be by phone, unannounced (other than in this blog and some automated phone calls) and timed. Questions will not be hard, but most of you don’t know the answers to the easiest questions yet claim to “know what you are doing.” Once again, here are some pointers about the quiz.

1. Timed.
We will be asking several dozen questions this time around. The quiz will be longer than the previous questions we asked. However, the time limit given will be short. If you don’t know answers with away, we will fail you and you will lose your certification for at least half a year.

2. Several Sections.
This quiz will be composed of several sections. You need to get a passing score in each section otherwise the quiz is over and you lose your certification indefinitely.

3. Sections Involved.
Intro (several quick basic questions)
Basic Notary Knowledge
Following Directions
Handling Unusual Situations
Loan Documents

4. Date of Quiz
Unannounced. However, several hundred of you will be quizzed between April and June 2018, so be ready at all times. You never know when the call will come. But, if we can’t reach you four times in a row, or if you are unprepared you will fail.

5. Study Recommendations
Study from Notary Public 101 on our blog which is free and requires no password. The 30 Point Course is also a good study guide. Study and go over all the information until it is memorized. To pass under time duress you need to know this information inside out and not in a wishy-washy way.

Conclusion
Notaries who are self-proclaimed experts who have a wishy washy knowledge of Notary and Loan Signing Procedures are bad for our reputation. Nobody will take our certification seriously if people who can’t explain basic Notary procedures have it, and that is unfortunately almost all of you. So, we would prefer to give all of you a chance to learn what you should have known all along and test again. All I can say is take this seriously, because you will lose if you aren’t prepared and there is no second chance this time. Please be at the top of your skills at all times because you never know when the quiz is coming.

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April 4, 2018

123notary 2018 Certification Standards

Filed under: Certification & Communication Skills,Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 2:26 pm

Due to the fact that the Notary industry has changed, and the values of people hiring Notaries have changed, we have changed the requirements for being certified. In the past, people valued our certification and gave our certified members a lot more clicks as knowledge was a commodity with a price tag. These days, knowledge is less valued and the type of knowledge that is valued changed from being more document focused to be more about manners, following directions, being business-like, and being good at Notary work. Additionally, those hiring Notaries either want someone who is very knowledgeable or don’t care about knowledge at all. The Notaries who were simply mediocre with a certification or without a certification seem to get the same amount of business. However, those who do not know how to function at all as a notary get substantially less clicks on our site. By passing our online test you can get a temporary certification. However, the over the phone test gives a longer term result. We feel free to retest people as often as we find necessary. Below are our new elaborated requirements for regular 123notary certification.

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NOTARY KNOWLEDGE

Note — we require an 80% on general Notary knowledge. Topics included are listed below and are taught thoroughly in Notary Public 101.

Notary Acts
Intimate knowledge of Notary acts such as Acknolwedgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations and Proofs is necessary to pass our test. You need to be able to distinguish between the details of the characteristics of each act and explain each act thoroughly and accurately which is harder than most Notaries realize.

Form & Journal Filling
Detailed knowledge of how to fill in a Notary journal and certificate forms based on good practices and NOT based on your state’s particular rules.

Oaths & Affirmations
Detailed knowledge of administering Oaths & Affirmations that are worded correctly for a variety of situations.

Identifying Signers
A basic knowledge of how to identify signers under varying circumstances.

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SITUATIONAL KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know how to handle curve balls before, during and after signings. This information is taught in the scenarios section of Notary Public 101.

Common points include:

Confirming the signing
There are many things you need to go over with the borrower when you confirm a signing. Do you know them all?

Handling Power of Attorney Signings
There are many ways a signer could sign in a capacity of an Attorney in Fact, but do you know the right way you need to have them sign so as not to get in trouble?

Dating the Right to Rescind
Many Notaries on 123 Notary cannot count 1, 2, 3, which is why they need to review dating the Right to Cancel.

A list of other situations
A variety of other situations that could really vary and could be based on questions that stress following directions which cannot be taught. Read about these on our scenarios page in our Notary Public 101 course.

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DOCUMENT KNOWLEDGE

We require Notaries to know the basic characteristics of the following documents with an 80% accuracy under time pressure. We teach most of this knowledge in our 30 point course on our blog.

Deed of Trust / Mortgage
Note
Right to Cancel
Closing Disclosure & Closing Statement
Truth in Lending (semi-antiquated)
HUD-1 Settlement Statement
Compliance Agreement
Correction Agreement
Occupancy Affidavit
Signature Affidavit & AKA Statement
Owners Affidavit
Automatic Funds Transfer Disclosure
Various Riders
Subordination Agreement
Quit Claim & Grant Deeds
Understanding the APR (listed on the TIL or Closing Disclosure)
Initialing

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Also see — Elite Certification Study Guide

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