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June 20, 2018

Should 123notary sell background screening?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:39 am

Notary Background Screening

We normally like selling items with a high profit margin otherwise our time gets zapped for minimal profits. Carmen doesn’t work for free and her sales commission could eat up profits from selling books from other vendors or other acquired products. Then, the credit card companies want their fees. And then there is shipping, handling, and charge backs on 1% of our average sales, but perhaps more like 2% of new sales. I guess background screening doesn’t have shipping thank God, but you do have to get people’s information and shuffle forms around. For this reason, I am not doing background screening at this time — maybe later.

But, do you guys think we should sell Notary Public background screening?

The other issue, is that NNA and Notary Rotary sell good background screening. We just refer people over to them. NNA offers good one stop shopping and Notary Rotary has advertising, supplies, and more. It seems very efficient to get background screening through these other companies. If we offered it, how would we differentiate ourselves from the competition? I don’t even know anything about it and wouldn’t know where to begin. But, maybe one day I’ll learn.

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March 21, 2012

Background Screening for Notaries?

Background Screening – who needs it?
 
Notaries are never quite sure whether background checks and background screening are an important part of the industry, or just a way for the agencies who provide it to make more money.  The state and DOJ screen you when you become a notary, right?  You can not be a felon and still be a notary, right?  So, why a redundant background check?  Does it make the signing companies feel better? Do they even want it?  The reality is that few companies ever ask notaries for background checks, but a few do.  How much work will you lose by not being background checked?
 
In California or Out of California – it makes a difference
If you are outside of California, aside from getting more inches of rainfall per year, the standards for becoming a notary are different.  California has been more stringent in commissioning notaries for more than a decade, than other states in the country.  After 2005, it got even harder… a lot harder.  Its now very difficult to become a California notary public.  The test is murder, and then you need to get live scan fingerprinting (last I checked — and this is always changing), and checked by the DOJ and the FBI, and in some counties of California maybe even the KGB.  Okay, maybe not the KGB, but I’m trying to illustrate how picky things are here.  Nobody who is the least bit sketchy or questionable will be able to become a notary, unless they didn’t get caught yet.  But, what about other states?  The rules change from state to state. It is possible that many states are very lax about background checking their notaries, and in those states, maybe the NNA should background check notaries!
 
A popular topic on the forum
Background checks are a very popular topic on the forum simply because there is so much confusion and emotion tied to the subject.  There is nothing notaries hate more than having to do something redundant.  Personally, I do redundant things daily, and I don’t mind providing I’m getting a benefit from it.  Others don’t see it the way I do based on these blogs. 

You might also like:
If you visit the forum and use the search box you can look up many more strings about background checks, but these are the strings that I thought you would like the most!
 
Question 13: Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2673
 
Background check standards 2010
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4035
 
2nd Background check by Service Link
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4007
 
Nations Direct and Background Checks
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3518
 
Background Screening?
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=328
 
Its back, background check requests
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3442

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November 6, 2016

For Background Checks, NNA & Sterling come highly recommended

The more seasoned Notaries know that they will lose a certain percentage of their business if they are not a background checked notary. Newer Notaries either are oblivious to this fact, or just get it without questioning the entire concept. While the ultra-seasoned Notaries with ten or more years of experience sometimes do not get background checked since their clientele trusts them and depends on them so much, that they can get away with no having it.

If you are a Mobile Notary Public and are not fully booked to capacity with great clients who deliver eDocuments on time, pay on time, and pay well, I strongly suggest getting a background check so that you won’t get weeded out by companies who have standards (which is a lot of them.)

But, whom do you get certified by? People in the industry told me that there are two companies whose background checks are highly prized. Keep in mind that not all background checks are created equal and the process of background checking and “What they are checking” in each check is not equivalent. Some checks are more thorough than others and some checks are honored more than others.

NNA & Sterling’s Background Checks are highly recommended
National Notary Association is a great place for one-stop Notary shopping. They sell Notary training materials, great supplies including Acknowledgment pads, The best journals in town, and more. Their Background Checks are recommended as well as they are highly recognized in the industry. Sterling is another quality source of background checks. A background check won’t do you any good unless it is recognized. So pick from the best. Background Checked Notaries get a lot more business, so it is definitely worth the cost.

.

You might also like:

Should 123notary sell background screening?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20043

Notary notes – the date of your background screening
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15985

Is having NNA Background screening really necessary to get work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

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November 10, 2014

Is having an NNA background check really necessary to get work?

Filed under: Marketing Articles — Tags: — admin @ 7:22 am

There is not enough work for signing agents these days. We have heard that in the last month or two it got a little better, but this is the worst the mortgage business has seen in seventeen years. To be a CSS, you need a yearly background check. But, it is expensive, and many feel that it is unclear if they really need this to get work.

What does the NNA background check query?
Social Security number trace
County criminal court records
Federal criminal records
Statewide criminal records
Nationwide criminal database
Motor vehicle records
National sex offender database
USA Patriot Act lists
Office of foreign assets lists

But, I’m already background checked through my state!
Although California background screens notaries when they apply for a notary commission, this is only done once every four years. Additionally, the standards for working in the finance industry are higher than those for becoming a notary, and the state background checks don’t check as many sources of information as the signing agent background check does.

Sharing Personal Information?
Another question is whether the NNA or other testing agencies will be sharing your background information with financial institutions or others and whether or not this is legal. I do not have detailed information on this matter. However, the background check is pass fail, and some notaries are claiming that the only information that will be shared is if you passed or failed, and not your personal information.

On NotaryRotary, one notary claimed on May 26th, that before a background check can be done — you have to agree that NNA or BGO may share a detailed report of your background screening with any institutions that issue a written request. So, it remains fuzzy as to how much of your personal information can be shared. Another notary claims that her social security number was not shared, but that her Driver License information was.

Do you really need it?
I read many Linked In discussions on this topic and learned that it is becoming increasingly necessary to be background checked to get work. The requirement is taking effect little by little instead of all at once. Another claims that it is the NNA background check that many companies are looking for and background checks by other agencies are not being accepted nearly as much. One notary claims that NNA background checks are a cost of doing business at the moment which cannot be circumvented. One long time notary claimed that he did just fine without the background check, but his point of view is in the minority at this time.

Summary
Although I personally feel that yearly certifications and annual background checks are overkill, it appears that many companies are requiring this, and that more will soon follow suit. To me, a very thorough background check once in four years is plenty. The chance that you will suddenly become a freelancer working for Al-Qaeda in the middle of your notary term is slim. And the chance that you will suddenly engage in Mortgage fraud is also slim. We have only heard of two notaries out of millions that have been convicted of any serious frauds involving jail time in the last decade.

You might also like:

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

Background Screening for notaries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2418

Can a notary perform a marriage?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=1891

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April 19, 2020

Santa Becomes a Notary

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:18 am

Santa became a Notary Public because quite frankly, business was slow at the North Pole most of the year. When the present business was fast in December, signings were slow, and when signings were fast, Christmas business was slow – so it all worked out.

Santa had to become a California resident to get his notary commission here. But, he liked the weather. Plus he could come to Los Angeles and work at the Grove in the little Santa house in the middle of the outdoor mall. While Santa was at the mall, he spent a lot of his time off at the Apple store and learned about higher tech ways to keep track of who was good, and who had been bad. He created a very sophisticated algorithm to keep track of this and changed the algorithm without notice on a regular basis — he learned that trick from his tour of Google in Northern California. Needless to say, the signing companies who didn’t pay on time wouldn’t get any nice presents.

One day when Santa was on duty at the Grove (mall) a little kid sat on his lap and said, “Santa — I want a notary seal for Christmas.” Instead of telling the kid he was too young or giving the kid a simple “no”, he handed the kid a long form and then another form for a request for background screening and then started to fingerprint the poor kid. Santa said, “Fill in all of these forms, send this one to the FBI, and then get back to me when you hear from them.” The little kid never followed through, but to his surprise, the kid got a pretend notary seal that Christmas.

And then there were the Notaries who said no to any illegal requests for backdating. If they went easy on the eggnog, Santa would reward them generously.

Santa played a joke on a Notary in Orange county. Santa brought some ornaments for their tree. When the Notary and his wife woke up, they found their tree completely adorned with Notary seal ornaments.

A Notary in San Bernardino County left Santa some cookies which was a welcomed surprise because Santa was mistaken for a burglar and had to run for his life. That kind of running makes fat people very hungry.

A Mexican family in San Francisco had a terrible Christmas Eve. Their children were scheduled to go to Oaxaca with their uncle the next day, but, their travel documents had still not been notarized and they didn’t know what to do. They were so worried they couldn’t sleep. So, they were awake when Santa came. To their surprise Santa was able to notarize their travel document and all was well after that. The words, “Thanks Santa” echoed through the neighborhood — even the little squirrels knew that something magical had happened.

So, that is the story of Santa the Notary. A good night to all, And to all — a good night.

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March 24, 2019

A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 4:34 am

Most Notaries write a notes section for their listing on 123notary. However, many do not know what to write. Here are some things you should write about. Take this as a check list.

Experience
Write about the types of loans or documents you know how to sign. Write about the type of work you did before you were a Notary or what distinguishes your experience as a notary. How many loans as well as how many years would also help the reader get an idea of what type of experience you have. Read more by clicking the link below…
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19052

Additional Information
Your certifications, courses taken, E&O, background screening, etc., Don’t forget to write about this because people do care.

Equipment
If you have special equipment, portable printers, scanners, fax machines, inverters, etc., people want to read about this. But, don’t put it up top as this is supplemental information. Experience and selling features go up top.

Special Skills
Are you bilingual? Do you visit hospitals or jails? How about a wide radius? Are you on the white glove list somewhere? Do you take credit cares or square? Put this up top as it is a selling feature.

Areas Covered
Your radius, counties or cities covered go at the bottom and there are 12 boxes to put your counties covered which includes your home county. We discourage putting zip codes as the list gets very long and messy and nobody wants to read it.

About You
This is the most misunderstood aspect of notes writing. Most people cannot write about themselves other than a long string of adjectives. Any idiot can write about how responsible and reliable they are and the more they claim these adjectives the less true I find them to be. However, describing yourself with specific facts is more helpful as well as credible. The fact you have an MBA, worked with the elderly at a nursing home for ten years or are ex-military are real facts about you. The fact you triple check your work and have your local FedEx stations memorized is fact vs. fluff.

Catchy Phrases
It is hard for most people to write a catchy phrase, but it can really pay off. People are bored with reading 1000 notes sections that all seem very similar. It sometimes looks like the same person wrote all of the notes sections on Notary Rotary… “I am reliable, background screened and have 50,000 E&O. I have signed many loans and do a lot of refinances.” After you see this a few thousand times you start seeing double. Put something unique and organized for a change. We wrote a few articles (that I linked below) on catchy phrases in notes sections and you should read those.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14690

Buzzwords to avoid
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19054

You might also like:
Examples of great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18862

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

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March 18, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 –Notes Section Additional Info

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Notes Tutorial

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3. Additional Information

In the middle of your notes section is where you mention your NNA certification, etc. Do not put this up top as it makes you look like just another Notary. What is special about you and a selling feature goes up top. Specific details about your credentials come in the middle. Here are some things you should list in your information section which you can write in bullet format for best results:

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Certifications — List your NNA, Notary2Pro or 123notary certification here.

Background Screening — Mention what agency background screened you and the dates of effectiveness.

E&O Insurance — Mention how much you have, and if you forget then look it up because this matters to Title companies.

Equipment — If you have special equipment you want to mention, put it here. Scanners, Fancy Fax Machines, Dual Tray Printers that print 200 pages per second, Cable Internet, Mobile Printing in your Car, etc. Specifics that make your equipment stand out help.

Memberships — If you have any other Notary memberships with the PAN, AAN, etc., list them here. It is NOT a good idea to list Real Estate memberships or memberships that pertain to other careers that you might have.

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Additional Links

Compilation of certification posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16264

Background Screening for Notaries? Who needs it?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2418

Is having an NNA background screening really necessary to get work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=10385

Which dual tray printers do notaries like?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19351

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December 29, 2017

The Notary Union raises it’s rates and alienates its notaries!

Filed under: General Stories,Popular on Linked In — admin @ 11:05 am

Notaries who had joined the Notary Union did so to make their lives better. They were not getting enough work, and not getting paid enough. The union seemed like the only way. But, these Notaries were wrong.

A year after a few thousand Notaries joined the Notary and Signing Agent Union, the union started raising its fees to $600 per year. How were Notaries who were barely working going to afford $600 and also afford background screening and the yearly certification requirements from various agencies. It was just too much.

Additionally, the union set Notary prices so high at $100 per signing that many signing companies chose not to use the union. After all, most of the Notaries in the Union couldn’t even pass Jeremy’s easy test. How can Notaries who don’t follow directions, don’t communicate clearly and don’t even know the difference between an Affirmation and an Oath command such fees?

Notaries were dropping out of the union like flies (or like seals in an oil spill due to offshore drilling.) What was the solution? The problem is that most Notaries do not know how to handle situations and do not know Notary law that well either. The common excuse is that they know what they are doing if you put the documents in front of them. But, when I ask simple quesitons about what they are allowed or not allowed to do, the distinctions between what is legal, ethical, safe, or preferred by the Lender get blurred and this is very dangerous.

Meanwhile on 123notary, Elite Certified Notaries are getting monopoly on work. While the uncertified Notaries are not even trying to learn anything to pass this test. Unions won’t get you work — knowledge and the proof of knowledge will. Some people will pay more for skilled Notaries and those people use 123notary more than any other site. Pleasing them means taking your profession seriously and learning to communicate well.

Looking for shortcuts to success like market bending unions does not lead to success in the long run. It is temporary market manipulation and the long term results are evident in places like Ohio which is a burnt out shell of the once great American manufacturing empire.

In short — get ahead using knowledge and studying. Stop complaining and start mastering your trade. It’s not that hard.

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You might also like:

A Notary union — How would that work?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18878

State of the Notary industry union address
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16244

The Notary Plantation
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19937

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August 3, 2017

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: The Notary Manual

TEACHER: Hello class. We are gathered here today to talk about Notary terms, and the state Notary manual. But, first I would like to ask what the manual means to you.

SHELLY: I see a short book designed to teach the Notaries of tomorrow the rules of the road in order to safeguard the integrity of notarized transactions which protects society at large in a broader sense.

TEACHER: Very good Shelly! And very wonky.

KIM JONG “AKA Korean mom”: It’s so very difficult to understand. Half the terms don’t show up in my English-Korean dictionary. What a pain! I have to use my English dictionary and then translate the words in the definition into Korean to figure it out. How will I pass my test? I tried to use that as an excuse to get out of jury duty but they chose me anyway until they found out I didn’t understand any of the legal terms they used! Like “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

TEACHER: Okay, just let me know if there are any terms that I can explain to you. I may not understand Korean, but I can break the complicated terms down in an understandable way.

SHALONDA: I see three things. (1) I see a technical manual that teaches the state & civil laws affecting Notaries public, and more that could help Notaries deter fraud, keep transactions official, and keep paperwork straight. (2) A book that teaches the how-to of doing daily Notary work and (3) A book full of new names for black people to name their kids — you know what I’m saying?

TEACHER: Well, I hadn’t thought about it like that before.

SHALONDA: Oh yeah. I named my kids after Notary terms several years ago. Jurat and Venue… that’s short for Venuetta.

SHELLY: Do you swear under Oath you named your kid Jurat?

SHALONDA: I most certainly do (raising her right hand). But, Jurat is more of a jokester. He doesn’t have a solemn bone in his body. The tread on his boots is shaped like a Notary seal, and he was playing outside after it was raining. It looked like we had impressions of notary seals all through the house. I told him to take his boots off after that.

SHELLY: All of this studying for the Notary exam is tiring. I heard that reading too much can be bad for your eyesight. No wonder Trump doesn’t need glasses.

KIM JONG: I know. That’s why my kid Myong is forbidden to study more than six hours a night. We are recommending dropping his study time from seven hours to five hours and forty-five minutes with the last forty-five minutes mostly study-oriented games, songs or something where he is not staring at a book or computer.

SHELLY: Well we were going to increase Tommy’s study time from forty minutes to an hour and twenty minutes after we found out how hard college is. But, we don’t want him to ruin his eyes, so we’ll compromise at seventy minutes a day.

KIM JONG: How will he possibly compete with those studying five hours a day?

SHELLY’s HUSBAND: She has a point. Tommy will never survive in college unless he studies more. What he does now will affect him for the rest of his life. And if he does poorly in school like my brother, then he might get stuck driving a garbage truck for the rest of his life. Or an Uber.

SHELLY: Or worse — he might have to become a Notary. What has four wheels and flies?

SHALONDA: Ooh! I know this one! A garbage truck.

KIM JONG: No, that’s the junior high version of the joke! The answer in this context is a Notary who is late to a signing because he would be driving so fast!

SHALONDA: Good point. Not funny point, but good. But, honestly, to be a Notary you need to study too. In some states you need to study at least 30 hours to pass the Notary test and then another 30 hours to be a good signing agent. This profession isn’t for jokes — that is if you want to succeed in it. And by the way, you should say what has four wheels and screeches, because when you round those corners, you’re gonna be screeching those tires, girl.

TEACHER: Well class, we do seem to be diverging now don’t we. Being a Notary is a very honorable and noble profession and not for those who lack character. No wonder Trump was never a Notary.

SHALONDA: But, it is for those who lack a high school diploma. There is no educational standard for this job other than passing a test. California, Louisiana and New York make the test hard. But, the other states will just hand out seals to any fool who applies. Like Presidential Seals. Where’s the nobility in that?

TEACHER: Good point. Well, in theory it is supposed to be noble.

SHELLY: Theory doesn’t cut it when a clueless Notary assists a fraud in stealing the Title to your house.

TEACHER: You’re right. Maybe having a longer course than our six hour course would help. Perhaps a background screening too not just for being a signing agent, but for being a Notary.

SHALONDA: In California, the FBI, DOJ, and KGB all check us, but in these other states there doesn’t seem to be a system of checks and balances.

KIM JONG: Perhaps, being a Notary should be regulated federally instead of by a bunch of irresponsible states who can’t keep anything straight. And that wasn’t a reference to the gay parts of California.

TEACHER: Well perhaps you’re right. In any case, let’s practice notarizing a Jurat.

SHALONDA: You’re going to notarize my daughter?

.



You might also like:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: Are you black or white ee-nuff?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19251

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

Honey you can kiss my app
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14902

Best virtual notary comedy compilation updated to 2018
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=17693

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February 19, 2017

Need an NNA Alternative?

NNA is a very reliable and quality organization that has been helping Notaries with education, supplies, background checking, and a world-class technical hotline for years. We at 123notary recommend them highly. However, their fees can be a bit high for some budgets, and you are probably thinking of alternatives for your Notary needs. Some claim that NNA has gotten too big, and is no longer the optimal source for Notaries to rely on. I refrain from having a personal opinion on this matter, although I would say that you should analyze your various Notary needs, and find the ideal source for each need rather than relying on one-stop shopping unless you feel that one-stop shopping makes more sense. So, here are the alternatives.

Signing Agent Education
(1) 123notary offers good loan signing combos with solid marketing advice and the convenience of take home course in printable, online, or take home book.
(2) We recommend Notary2Pro if you want thorough training and hand holding. they train their Notaries better than anyone else. Their courses are not as affordable as 123notary’s and do not have the marketing expertise that 123notary does, but they excel at nuts and bolts technical training.

Background Checks
NNA and Sterling are the two acceptable names for background checks. So, if you want an alternative to NNA, try Sterling.

Directories
SigningAgent.com used to deliver more jobs to Notaries than it does now. Over the last six years it has gone down hill from what I’ve heard.
(1) 123notary is a good source for high paying notary work
(2) SnapDocs is a good source for low-ball signing work for beginners
(3) NotaryRotary is the runner up for a mix of signing agent work ranging from top-notch to low-ball.

E&O Insurance
Notary Rotary and other organizations also sell Notary E&O insurance. Not sure who has better prices, but you can shop around.

Supplies
There are various companies around the nation that offer supplies, Notary Rotary being one of them. Personally, I always relied on NNA as my sole destination for thumbprinters, acknowledgment pads, carry-all bags, and anything else I needed.

Summary
NNA seems to be the best destination for one-stop Notary shopping. However, the alternatives might offer better prices and in some cases better quality especially for signing agent education, background screening, and directory marketing. However, for E&O and supplies they would be my first choice. I am not here to make your decision for where you should go for what. But, compare the competition for each type of items or services that you need, perhaps try each option out, and then optimize your decision making skills!

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You might also like:

For Background Checks, NNA & Sterling come highly recommended
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18835

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

Notary Marketing 102 – a free course
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19774

Index of information about documents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20258

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