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February 22, 2015

Point (2) The Note; Story: Background Noise

Filed under: (2) Technical and Legal — Tags: , — admin @ 6:14 am

Marcy, The Baby, and the FHA Signing

Marcy was a little big traumatized after her last signing, but she wouldn’t be able to face her neighbor Patricia if she quit now. So, she decided to just do it. She waited patiently by the phone as she watched her toddler. Her husband often worked nights, so she was all by herself with the exception of her screaming child.

And then the phone rang. It was Nicole from Hawaii Title. They needed a loan signed that night and couldn’t find anyone.

NICOLE: Hi, this is Nicole from Hawaii Title.

MARCY: Aloha. (child screaming in the background, radio playing loudly too)

NICOLE: I hope that’s not a dissatisfied customer.

MARCY: No, he’s a little cranky tonight. I just told him a bedtime story called Snow White and the Seven Lenders. Don’t get me started on Grumpy.

NICOLE: Oh, is this the one with the wicked Escrow officer who gives her a poisoned prepayment penalty?

MARCY: No, that part was too scary.

NICOLE: Well, we have an FHA loan we need…

TODDLER: Wahhhhh! Wahhhh!

NICOLE: Is something wrong?

MARCY: Oh, well Chuckie doesn’t like the word FHA. You see, in the story, the evil Escrow Officer did mostly FHA loans.

TODDLER: Wahhhh! Wahhh!

NICOLE: Okay. No problem, I’ll call it a Federal HA loan. I know it can’t be easy raising a young child. But, it’s not easy for callers to endure any type of distractions. I noticed that not only is your toddler screaming, but there is also a radio playing in the background. Putting aside how difficult to hear you over this noise, it is also considered very unprofessional to have any type of background noise on a professional call. I’m sorry to give you a lecture on this, but I think you sound serious about this business and you need to know. Many companies just won’t hire you if they sense any unprofessional behavior on your part be it oral communication, if your notes section has spelling mistakes on 123notary, or mistakes on loan documents.

MARCY: Oh, I had no idea. But, that makes sense, now that you tell me. I’m just so used to Chuckie, that I don’t realize that other people might not be so immune to his antics. I’ll put the baby in the other room. And my husband will be back soon, so I can go out to do a signing the minute he returns.

NICOLE: Okay. Just keep in mind that FHA… oops, I meant to say Federal HA loans, take considerably longer to sign than straight Refinances. But, I will be on the other end of the line the whole time in case you have questions. And we require fax backs.

MARCY: Okay, 123notary told me that companies that require fax backs do so to ensure that the loan is correctly signed when a beginner is working for them. This makes sense as I am a beginner — a very enthusiastic beginner. So, I won’t complain about fax backs like the other notaries!

NICOLE: That’s what I like to hear.

MARCY: Bring it on!!!! I’m ready for your FHA

NICOLE: Wahhhh… Just kidding.


Point (2) The Note
The Note (also called ‘the agreement’ by some companies) is the basic contract between the borrower and the Lender; it includes the basic terms, conditions, and information about the loan being signed.

The Note includes:

(1) The Rate

(2) The Prepayment Terms (these are usually explained in two paragraphs on the first or second page)

(3) The Payment Amount of Principal and Interest (this doesn’t include taxes and insurance).

(4) The day that monthly payments are due.

(5) Penalties for late payment

(6) The amount of the loan

The Note also specifies that it is secured by a ‘security instrument.’ (This will be discussed in the next section, specifies where to make payments to — many other kinds of information are also in the note. It is simplest to understand the note as merely a list of agreements, as previously mentioned. Adjustable Rate Notes. This document is a note with information about what the adjustable rate is based on and how it can fluctuate.

Please note that the best place to look for information about the prepayment terms are in the Note or a Prepayment Rider if there is one, and NOT on other documents as other documents do not have thorough information about this topic. Please also note that The Note is not normally a notarized document.


You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents

Point (3-4) The RTC & TIL

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November 2, 2021

Park La Brea has gone to the dogs… literally

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 8:08 am

Park La Brea Apartment Complex of Los Angeles, CA 90036 used to be a reasonably nice place to live. There were noise issues from time to time over the last 20 years and security was generally sluggish solving these problems. Routine stereo use, subwoofers, children playing loudly near high rises for hours at a time, chirping fire alarms that needed new batteries. We would normally have to bother security several times or up to seven times in the past to get these problems solved and often get the run around. Those were the good old days, at least compared to the current status quo.

In the old days, until about two years ago, there were strict dog policies. The policies went from no dogs allowed period — to being changed to allow a few nicely behaved dogs. I did not read their policies as I don’t have a dog myself although you will find me dogmatic if you read to the end of this article. In the old days the only time we had a problem with dogs is if someone brought a dog in from outside and the dog made lots of noise barking. In those days security would solve that quickly.

Then, around 2019, which incidentally is the same time that in my opinion a very dark and ominous spiritual force became pervasive in my area, dogs were allowed in with few restrictions. More and more dogs came into the complex to live. However, management and security had no protocol to manage the dogs or their poop. Their attitude seems to be — we’ll deal with problems AFTER they happen rather than do preventive maintenance. Except if there are no specifics of what happened after the fact, then we have our hands tied. How useless!

I have already been bitten once, and pounced on several times, menaced, lunged at, barked at, growled at, and had serious screaming matches with dog owners. I don’t blame the dogs, I blame the owners.

So, we have several thousand dogs roaming around, most of whom are relatively new to the area. None of them have been trained from management as to what acceptable behavior is, how long or short their leash should be, or how much of a distance they should keep from those who did not express an interest in being close to their vile pet. Sure this is a nice way to attract new renters in an economy ravaged by an outward migration of people who don’t like the dragonian reaction to Covid-19 in California. But, this lackadaisical attitude towards pestilent pets will surely not be attractive to the long term residents who by definition are not likely to have a dog.

So, here is an itemization of my issues:

Los Angeles County law requires all dogs to be on a leash not to exceed six feet. But, in Park La Brea it is common to see dogs running around freely, sometimes out of sight of their owners. It is also common to see dogs on adjustable length leashes that go up to 15 feet. If you go anywhere near these dogs, you can easily get pounced on or bitten. I pass by 40 dogs per day, and I keep at least six feet distance if possible. If I came closer to these animals I would be having an incident involving yelling at least once per day. Unless you report an individual to security that you can name, or name where they live, security will not be able to do anything — and they never act proactively on their own for this issue unless the dog looks very dangerous.

Management and Security do NOTHING to enforce leash laws or leash length laws which has led to a lot of chaos.

Park La Brea policy and signage disallows pets from entering the activities center park. However, whenever I go, day or night, there are always pets there. Sometimes those pets don’t behave in a manner conducive to me having a relaxing walk.

Dogs that are aggressive are required to wear a muzzle. However, there is no definition of what aggressive is. One security guard thought that killer attack dogs were aggressive and I agreed with him. However, tiny dogs that growl at you if you walk near them are ALSO aggressive and they also bite. Their bite won’t kill you, but it is very disconcerting to be bitten or pounced on by a hostile little canine.

Each security guard I talk to (and there have been about five I have spoken to about the dog issue) has a different understanding about dog policy. Since 20% of the problems that we have in the complex are now dog related, it behooves security management to have all of their staff be intimately knowledgeable about dog policies and probably carry written policies on their person at all times so they can look things up. Many security offices just ride around on bicycles but have no clue how to handle very basic situations. What is the point of even having security if they don’t keep us secure?

My solution to the dog problem is as follows.
(a) Have fewer total dogs
(b) Segregate dogs to living in certain units on the perimeter of the complex, and playing only in certain areas, and walking only on certain sidewalks
(c) Enforce “dogs not allowed” areas with sound technology. Dogs cannot stand high pitched noises that humans would not be aware of. In certain parks, there could be devices making those noises. Additionally, security could write up citations for those who violated the policies.
(d) Signage. It is no surprise that people do not follow leash laws as there are no signs explaining what leash laws or policies are. Those signs should be in your face everywhere. At least people would know what the policies are even if they disobey them.
(e) There are 13 entrances to the activities center park. The backs of all high rises have a back door which constitutes an entrance. And then there are pedestrian entrances on either side of the four high rises that surround the pari. Additionally there is a main entrance which is the 13th entrance (or the first depending on where you started counting. There are three signs in the park which are not lit at night stating that pets are not allowed. If there were large and lit signs on all 13 entrances stating dog policy, there would be a lot fewer people with doggies creating a nuisance.
(f) Poop maintenance. Since I am familiar with the concept of living in harmony with nature, I understand that in nature, dogs poop. Therefore, unless you want to live in a poop infested world, there needs to be a mechanism for picking up the poop as not all dog owners do it for their dog. Management here leaves the poop all over the place and it stays on the grass for weeks. If you walk around at night on the grass, you will step on poop. How attractive. Yet another piece of information to put in the sales literature for prospective renters.

Welcome to Park La Brea — if you like stepping on dog poop that we let sit for weeks on end, this is the place for you! If you walk on the sidewalk you will be antagonized by dogs, but if you keep a safe margin of space between you and the dogs, you will have to walk on the grass which is covered intermittently with poop. Enjoy!

In short, Park La Brea welcomed thousands of dogs with no plan on educating, managing, or disciplining a single one of them. This has led to chaos. There is poop everywhere, barking, dog bites, pouncing incidents, growling, slobbering, happening on a regular basis. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that Biden arranged this whole situation, but it seems that there are others out there as clueless as Biden who follow in his footsteps.


May 4, 2021

18 things you can do to offer better customer service as a notary

Filed under: Best Practices — admin @ 10:37 am

Most Notaries complain that they don’t get enough work. Others complain that they get too much work, but not enough of the good work. Life is like this. But, by providing super customer service, you will get more repeat clients and that is one of the most potent secrets to success. Here are some customer service tips for Notaries.

1. Answer questions the way they were asked
Don’t talk too much or give answers that beat around the bush or go on tangents. Pleasantly stick to the facts and answer the question.

2. Answer the phone stating your name
Don’t say, “Hello.” Let the world know who you are. After all, what if they think they dialed incorrectly? Also, they will feel that you are more professional if you do.

3. Avoid background noise during calls.
Apologize if you are in a noisy place and try to go to a quiet place. Make sure your radio, television, and children are “off” before you pick up the phone, otherwise excuse yourself. Most children’s mouths come with an off switch, it’s doesn’t always function though.

4. Be on time
Commentary: arrive slightly early and wait.

5. Confirm the signing and ask a long list of pertinent questions.
That way your signing will go smoothly.

6. Dress nicely
People are shallow and judge you based on how you dress. I’m not like that, but then you should see how I dress. I judge you on what you know, how cooperative you are, and if you are reliable. Your nice clothes are the icing on the cake if you have the other qualifications. Business casual is recommended for all three genders. There are three now, right?

7. Don’t discuss politics or religion
I know, in 2020 that is easier said than done. Our whole existences are controlled by our fascist governors who won’t even let us have Thanksgiving the way we want. Next thing you know they will say, “No cranberry sauce by decree of the emperor!!!” As a general rule, be polite and don’t upset anyone in any way.

8. Park where they want you to park, or park in the street if possible.

9. Introduce yourself at the door and briefly explain your function. Then find a nice table to sign on. Let them choose where to sign, but you do need a flat surface.

10. Explain, but not too much
If you are trained in introducing the documents, if your state allows that, then do it. But, don’t explain the legal meanings of the documents otherwise you are playing Mortgage broker or Attorney. Vague descriptions of what the documents are about is okay, and where critical information is works. Explaining the terms of the loan is not a good idea.

11. Ask them if they have any other questions
Some people have notary questions or spiritual questions. You might be seen as helpful if you help them with those. For spiritual questions, my suggestion for a canned answer would be to give them a serious and caring look and say, “Stay centered.”

12. You can ask them if they have anything else that needs to be notarized.
It doesn’t offer to do more at no extra cost. That increases your chance of getting a valuable review exponentially.

13. Some small talk is good
Small talk is very cultural. Americans seem to like it while Germans and Koreans seem to not like it. Africans like small talk, big talk or any kind of talk and tend to be more sociable than the rest of us. My analysis is that the less a culture engages in talking, the more successful they are. But, you will be seen as nice if you make just the right amount of small talk without getting into any uncomfortable issues, such as how you like Gretchen Witmer’s (D Michigan) new haircut or policy as to whether or not humans should be allowed to leave their house.

14. After you are done
Let them know you will drop the FedEx right away, and then do that. They want to know their documents are in good hands.

15. If there is a problem
Make sure you have all the contact numbers of the Lenders, Brokers, Title people, etc. You might need to call them to resolve some issues. Being prepared and helpful wins the game.

16. Resolve all issues with animals beforehand
If you have issues with cats, dogs, gerbils, oxen, etc., let them know before the signing so they can put them behind a locked door that doesn’t open on its own, hence the term locked.

17. Don’t show them your gun or pepper spray

18. Notary humor sometimes works
You can tell them about the notary who was asked to notarize a mannequin. But, the notary who was dragged into a bedroom by the hot female signer… save that one for a signer you know a little better. The joke about how many notaries you need to screw in a lightbulb is generally safe.


December 1, 2020

The constitution has been violated by Governors and others

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 7:28 am

Many of us with public offices such as Notary Public, Police, Judges, and others have sworn an Oath of Office to protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The exact wording of your Oath varies by profession, state, and varies over time. But, the concept is similar. You do not sit and watch while our constitution is being violated — you stand up and do something. But, do what? Use your imagination. Protest, write letters, make phone calls to critical people – make some noise damn it!

The constitution and its amendments are the bedrock and foundation of our society. If people can violate it with reckless abandon for light and transient causes such as diseases that only kill people in nursing homes or due to temporary riots, then the governors can get away with anything — and in 2020 they did.

It is December, 2020 when I am writing this article. State officials are beginning to speak more frequently about the constitution. Rudy Giuliani made several lawsuits involving states concerning the legitimacy of votes which included some constitutional issues. The Texas Secretary of State sued a few states that violated constitutional procedure for making changes in voting rules. And more Sheriffs (in CA & NY for example) and regular people are beginning to stand up more and more and protest how their rights have been taken away from them.

What specific violations can be sourced?

1. Liberty & Masks
Liberty is described as an unalienable right by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the State of California. Liberty is also a right in the Constitution that can only be taken from you by due process. Is forcing a healthy person to wear a mask or socially distance liberty?

Liberty I would define as the ability to do what you like unless you create extreme danger or discomfort to others. A healthy person not wearing a mask poses no more danger to others than a safe driver on the road poses. Sure there might be an accident, but the risk is a small and reasonable risk. A driver who has a record of driving recklessly would pose a significant risk. And we need to differentiate between reasonable risk and unreasonable risk — but, due to our paranoia of Covid-19, our brains no longer function rationally.

2. The First Amendment: The Right to Assemble
The right to assemble on personal property, business property, and public property such as parks, beaches, hiking trails, etc., has been abridged in many states by the respective Governors. Many were denied their right to run their business or have as many clients as they wanted in their building. Restaurants couldn’t provide inside dining either for months on end which created financial devastation to many.

3. The First Amendment: Religious Rights
Our rights to practice our religions have been violated. In many states the Governors have made it illegal to congregate in a religious building such as a church, mosque, or synagogue. Additionally, there was hypocrisy in enforcement as violent rioters were allowed to congregate in mass and damage businesses. Executive orders must be even handed across the board, so if 100 rioters can assemble to riot, therefore 100 church goers should have the same right. On the other hand, the constitution doesn’t allow any abridgement of our rights. I consider it to be treason for a member of the government to willfully violate our constitutional rights.

4. The Second Amendment: Gun Rights
Several states wanted to abridge gun rights or take guns away from members of the public. The constitution doesn’t state that the government can do such a thing. Members of the public have the right to bear firearms — it doesn’t say which type they can have or can’t have or under what conditions. It just says we can have them.

5. Constitution Main Body: Changing voting rules
Several states decided to change their voting protocol to include mail in ballots which is a contested issue. During previous years the Democrats complained about fraud involving mail-in ballot, and now the Republicans are complaining more. It is hard to verify someone’s identity or whether or not they are living or a state resident with mail-in ballots. Most Republicans claim that was the whole point — to defraud an election and defeat Trump. But, the legislation of the respective states must be the party to decide what voting procedures are and not other parties of the executive or judicial branch who “take over,” at least temporarily.

6. Freedom of Press
Although the government did not abridge our rights to free expression in any way I am aware of, the government was sluggish to crack down on utility companies such as large internet and social media outfits who routinely censor and suppress the commentary particularly of more traditional or conservative voices. If we are to live in a country with freedom and where all voices are heard, you cannot let companies censor those who they allow free commentary unless they are publishers. I also believe that if Twitter and Facebook wish to be publishers, there should be a completely different rulebook for them to play by and they should not allow their members to post freely at all. Social media should be distinguished from publishing and Twitter and Facebook need to decide if they want free press or whether they want to have designated writers. Having both simultaneously on a rocking boat doesn’t seem to work beneficially to the public.

7. A dysfunctional system of checks and balances
Governors of states in 2020 could get away with anything with little if any consequences. The people did not stand up with any force against the government — not even in Michigan where there were mini uprisings and a kidnapping attempt which never amounted to anything. From my limited knowledge of how America works, it seems that the court systems in the various states have the power to shut down a governor’s powers if he or she abuses them. However, only Wisconsin was able to stop their governor from making arbitrary Covid-19 related orders. The other states either did nothing, made a feeble and failed attempt to curtail the governor’s actions, or in the case of California only limited Newsom’s ability to make executive orders that contradicted existing legislation, but did NOT prevent him from shutting indoor dining, or preventing free assembly or freedom of religion.

California’s freedom of religion was decided by a Federal circuit court many months ago who decided that going to church would be suicide, and therefore that the constitution no longer applies and that the constitution has a “pause” button that can be pressed at arbitrary times. When I read the constitution and the various amendments, I erroneously missed the part where the pause button is described. Perhaps I should read more carefully.

Notaries also swore to protect the constitution in their Oath of Office, so it behooves you to do something to defend it. Write a letter, make a phone call, write an article, demonstrate publically — do something.

The Constitution is a document — a piece of paper. It is the foundation of our society. However, without enforcement, (and we the people are part of the mechanism that can enforce it or pressure others to enforce it) — it remains a meaningless, helpless and worthless piece of paper. If you value America, the country that gave your ancestors life, freedom, liberty, safety, opportunity, and the right to pursue happiness, then get off your rear end and defend this document with your life if necessary otherwise our republic is done — perhaps permanently! We would be done due to the economic catastrophe of unconstitutional shutdowns as well as the government corruption which undermines the character of our nation.


October 13, 2020

10 rules for negotiating Notary fees

Originally published in Nov 06, 2017

Many Notaries complain about how little they get paid. And then I complain about how little they know. The two tend to go together and the pay is not going to go up before the knowledge does. However, there are negotiating techniques that can help.

1. Let them name their price first
In a bargaining game, it is better to let the other person bid first. You can always raise your ask price if they don’t offer enough. But, if they offer far too much, you would never get it if you asked first and asked too low.

2. Start with a high ask price
If you ask for $125, you can always go down on your price, especially if the job is close or fast. You can ask how many pages, fax backs, and notarizations are in the package. If it is quick, then give them a quick price.

3. Never whine
If you whine about the condition of the industry or how low the fee was, people will think you are a low life. Professionals don’t whine. Professionals operate! So, if you are offered $60, ask for $85 and see what happens.

4. Decline the low-ball offers
If you spend all day working for peanuts, then when the good jobs come, you won’t have time. Decline bad offers so you are free for good offers.

5. Answer your phone
If you only offer when you are not in a signing and not driving or cooking or thinking, you will miss 80% of your calls. How can you negotiate a good fee if you don’t take the call in the first place?

6. Act professional
Try to impress them without trying to impress them. Most Notaries try to do a snow job and brag about how great they are. Seasoned operators don’t do this. Smart professionals will engage you in an intelligent conversation about the job, the industry and the state of the union. Ask them questions about the job, where it is, who it is for, what type of loan it is, and about their career and industry working in title or escrow. But, whatever you do, don’t talk about your zero percent error rate and how reliable and experienced you are — nobody can verify your claims and nobody wants to hear it.

7. Never say hello
Unless you work for an aloe vera companies, don’t answer the phone saying “aloe?” Answer stating your company name and personal name. It sounds professional. If you have screaming kids in the background that sounds horribly unprofessional. Have a quiet place to answer the phone and if you are in a noisy place, try to go to a quieter place and apologize about the noise. Just because you don’t mind noise doesn’t mean the title company enjoys barking dog and screaming three year old.

8. Talk about real life
Sometimes I talk to Notaries who tell the Title company that you can call me to clean up the mess after you hire one of those $50 signers. Over half my work is clean up work. That sounds real to title companies unlike all the nonsense about how experienced and knowledgeable you are which just sounds like fluff. Tell real stories about how you handled complicated situations that others might have goofed. Mention that split signing where you did some complicated manouver on the Acknowledgment certificate and how you went out to sign the wife at 3am because she could only see you at that time due to her busy schedule as a nurse. This is impressive and much better than fluff.

9. Negotiate timing
You can offer a better rate if they get you late after rush hour. They might prefer to just offer you more and get the job booked.

10. Double book and get a bad review
Yes, you’ll get bad reviews from this, but double booking makes sense. People cancel jobs all the time when they hire you, so why can’t you cancel a few jobs. If you book jobs tightly, the other person will cancel 20% of the time — at least. So, if you book a job for $60 and someone else offers you $150, you can ditch the first job and take the other. You will probably get a bad review that will last for three years, but you will have $90 extra in your pocket. It’s a dirty technique. Not recommended, but food for thought and great blog material.

11. Never let them see you sweat.
Appearing calm and collected are the way to go. If you seem flustered, that is bad. Oops, that was eleven rules and I promised ten. Okay, disregard point eleven and just use antiperspirant.

You might also like:

How to negotiate fees like a pro

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A complete guide to getting paid


June 9, 2020

How often do you not get paid on Snapdocs?

Filed under: Signing Company Gossip — Tags: — admin @ 10:13 pm

I am hearing all different stories from Notaries who use Snapdocs. Of course, it is not Snapdocs themselves who pay you but the companies who work through them. On the other hand, they are a portal and they have the power to have standards for payment terms if they want to.

One Notary said they got paid on average in 40 days.

Another says 30-45 days

Another says 50-60 days

Another says 14 days or less

One Notary got 700 jobs and then all of a sudden the phone stopped ringing, or beeping… whatever noise it makes when you get a text.

Snapdocs reportedly does not get involved in payment unless all parties involved want to use Vendorpay. Interesting.

But, how often do you just not get paid on Snapdocs? Is this regular? Is it a bad problem or just a once in a while phenomenon?


December 12, 2019

Regular Teenagers vs. Notary Teenagers

Filed under: Humorous Posts — admin @ 8:33 am

Normal teenagers get in trouble for swearing! Notary teenagers administer sworn Oaths.

Normal teenagers break out; Notary teenagers only have to break out if they get arrested.

Normal teenagers have to worry about getting a girl pregnant; Notary teenagers put a layer of latex on their notary seal for protection.

Normal teenagers drive too fast. Notary teenagers have good laser printers so they are never late to signings and therefore don’t need to drive fast.

Normal teenagers succumb to the power of hormones. Notary teenagers succumb to power of attorney (and medical directives)

Normal teenagers do homework; Notary teenagers read the 123notary blog to learn more about their trade.

Normal teenagers are embarrassed to be seen with their parents; Notary teenagers are parents, they are developmentally stunted and still function emotionally as teenagers.

Normal teenagers learn musical instruments; Notaries are still trying to figure out how to make clanking noises with their metal embossers.

Normal teenagers get upset when their teacher makes them redo their homework; Notary teenagers get mad when they have to redo a signing.

Normal teenagers study French; Notary teenagers study Latin words like “scilicet” and “locus sigilli.”

Normal teenagers get normal tattoos and piercings; Notary teenagers get a tattoo of their favorite clients’ signature on their rear end.

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October 24, 2019

What was the worst house you ever went into?

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 11:46 pm

Have you ever been to a signing where you just didn’t want to go into the house? At 123notary we have heard many stories ranging from Legionaires disease caused by mold or bacteria, hoarding, people with long toenails that go click click click, Notaries pushed down stairs and more. Here is a list of types of situations where you might not want to go to the signing.

1. Legionnaires Disease
This is a disease that can cause serious lung diseases. If you go into a really dirty house that has a lot of bacteria, you could contract this disease which can be deadly. We advise you to think twice before going into an unsanitary house. It is more than just unpleasant — it could be your last.

2. Hoarders
Some people stack stuff from the floor to the roof and refuse to clean up. There are reality shows about this topic and it just isn’t funny. Hoarders have a mental disease that makes them believe that they actually need these useless things which they collect and that their life would be so much worse if they got rid of all of those things. If the hoarding is out of control it might be dangerous to go into a hoarders house as something could fall on your or trap you.

3. Good house bad neighborhood?
On the other hand, some houses are fine, but in bad neighborhoods where you might be afraid to go. I have heard issues of Notaries who are assigned jobs at tenement houses where risky looking people are hanging out in front of the building as well.

4. Parking Issues
There are houses where there is no place to park in certain types of communities as well.

5. GPS Issues
You might have houses on roads that are not on your GPS which is an interesting phenomenon.

6. Construction
If a house is having construction there could be issues. There could be dust that is not safe for you to breathe. There could be vehicles blocking you or equipment strewn all over the place. There might also be noise issues.

7. Smells
If you went to a house where they were cooking exotic food, you might smell an intense aroma of garam masala or something of that nature. You might hear the sounds of Vietnamese being spoken loudly too. Some people are sensitive to these things.

8. Sound
If you in a house that is noisy, that can be an issue. Some people do not turn off the television or have noisy rambunctious children dressed in Spider Man outfits.

9. Animals
Some houses have animals that are annoying or dangerous. Owners of dogs are genetically predispositioned to assume that the rest of the world just love dogs, and in particular their dogs and enjoy being viciously barked at, lunged at, and jumped on by their uncivilized furry friends. Not so. I had one borrower put their dog behind a closed door, only for Fido to emerge unannounced and jump all over me. Try locking the door and take people’s safety and comfort more seriously.

10. Attorneys
If you go to a signing and there are Attorneys or Brokers, you might be in for a long haul where there are line by line explanations. Couldn’t you do this before the signing?

11. Haunted
There might be ghosts in particular places. If so, tell the ghosts not to bother you during the signing and ask them to come back with some sort of etherial ID if they want to be notarized.

So, what are some of the worst houses or situations you have gone into?


January 15, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — The initial call

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 11:27 am

Return to Table of Contents for – Notary Etiquette 104


1. Introduce yourself
Introduce yourself properly by phone when you answer the initial call to hire you. “This is June of June’s Notary Service” is a lot better than, “Hullo?” High-brow clients will judge you by how you answer the phone, so answer like a professional if you want to be treated like one.


2. Answer questions the way they were asked.
If someone asks what your hours are, tell them your beginning and ending times. Don’t say “it depends” and don’t be vague. Give them a clear picture of your availability without making them ask again. If someone asks how many loans you have signed, don’t give them a summary of your professional background, just give them a quick number. If someone asks if you are still in business, don’t tell them you are eating dinner or on vacation, just tell them that you are still in business. Just answer the question.


3. No background noise
Screaming children, televisions, or people talking in the background sound unprofessional. You need to turn the TV off, go into the next room where there is no noise, and apologize if there is any noise. That is called being professional. If you are in a restaurant, there might not be much you can do, so at least let the caller know where you are and that you cannot do anything about the noise at least for the time being.


4. Don’t scramble information
Asking people to repeat endlessly is horrible. If your phone is horrible, get a new one rather than accuse the other person of breaking up. If someone asks if you can do a notarization for two signers on three documents, don’t repeat it back to them as, “Okay, three signers on how many documents?” That is called scrambling information and sounds ignorant.


5. Don’t brag
Notary Signing Agents have the desire to overprove themselves. The secret is to make a good impression by being helpful and not shoving your credentials down someone’s throat. It also makes a good impression to ask a few relevant questions about the type of signing or document. Asking a few pertinent questions looks professional. Show the world how good you are without trying. Just politely and calmly answer people’s questions and they will get the impression you are a seasoned pro and not an overanxious newbie.


6. Act calm
Acting calm and helpful is a lot better than acting anxious and overly helpful or overly unhelpful. People get put off by desperate or unfriendly behavior. Seasoned signers normally act calm. Signers that are over-seasoned are too calm because they don’t care if they get the job because they want to retire, so don’t be too nonchalant either.


7. Speak clearly and listen
There is nothing worse than a Notary who mumbles or speaks unclearly. With such Notaries you have to keep asking for clarification as to what they said. And what’s worse, when southerners say the word “bell” it sounds like “bail” and you have to ask them if they meant b.e.l.l. or b.a.i.l… Why can’t we all just be Yankees? Then, there are the Notaries who aren’t paying attention who have to ask you to repeat half of what you say. They are very unpleasant to work with, so please listen carefully when talking to clients.


8. Confirmation calls
During the confirmation call, it is practical to ask the borrower to prepare for the signing by having a clean dining room table, have animals out of reach, children taken care of, and no noise. Make sure all parties will be there early, have identification, and have any documents or checks going back to the lender or title. It is better if the borrower leaves their outside light on so the Notary can find the house more easily.


9. Answering machines
Your answering machine should not have unprofessional sounding music. I cannot say what unprofessional music sounds like. Some people have Vivaldi that is just too loud while others have hip hop music. Just be sensitive to how this music would sound to a hiring party and use your judgment.


10. Grammar
Do you use bad grammar? It don’t matter. Well, actually it does. People judge you in all sorts of ways, so try to use proper grammar as that is part of etiquette.



December 20, 2018

Beginner Notaries 103 — Notary Etiquette

Filed under: Etiquette — admin @ 1:24 pm

Notary Etiquette
Return to Table of Contents for – Beginner Notaries 103


New Notaries and experienced Notaries alike have a very poor sense of Notary etiquette. It is common for people to complain about small things and not communicate well. We are going to publish a course on Notary etiquette. But, here are some of the main points you should understand.

1. Answering questions the way they were asked
Most Notaries cannot give straight answers to questions. This is a sign of poor self-discipline and a scrambled mental state. If someone asks how many loans you have signed, most Notaries tell you how many years and tell their life story. This is annoying and is bad manners. Just give the person a number. If someone asks what counties you serve, don’t tell them your whole pricing strategy for each county, just tell them your counties. If they want pricing information they can ask.

2. Answer the phone stating your name.
Too many people answer the phone saying, “hullo?” It is unprofessional. Others say, “Why are you calling me on a Sunday?” Don’t do that. Be professional. Others answer the phone while answering a question to the person standing next to them. This behavior can be alienating to the caller as you don’t know who the recipient is talking to.

3. Don’t have family members answer your phone.
It is annoying and confusing when someone else answers your phone for you. If they don’t state their name, the caller won’t even know they are not talking to you and might start a long conversation with the long person.

4. Don’t have noise when you answer the phone
No Mortgage professional wants to have their conversation with you interrupted because of your screaming kids. If you are in a restaurant, apologize about the noise and explain to them where you are. Hopefully they will understand.

5. Don’t fail to answer calls in a signing
If you don’t answer calls in a signing, nobody will be able to reach you. Unless you signed a contract saying you won’t answer calls, answer your phone otherwise how will you get your next job?

6. Don’t answer the phone and then refuse to talk
If you answer the phone, give the person calling a minute or two to state why they are calling and let them ask a quick question or two. If you answer the phone and interrupt the caller only to tell them that you can’t talk — you should not have answered in the first place. It is rude and annoying to do such a thing.

7. Get documents back to the company fast.
Know your local FedEx stations and UPS stops. Get packages back as soon as you can. Nobody wants to find out that their package is in your trunk four days after the fact. They also don’t want to hear that you missed FedEx pickup because you waited until the last minute, got a last minute job, and then forgot to drop the package as a result. Drop it like it’s hot.

8. Accept criticism
Most Notaries think they are so knowledgeable and can do no wrong. But, get very hostile when anyone criticizes them. In real life agencies that list you or hiring parties might criticize you. Take it as constructive criticism and learn from it. Don’t argue and don’t be hostile.

9. Don’t brag
Nothing is worse than a Notary who has to prove to you have great they are and rambles on about how much experience they have. I ask people simple questions such as, “How many loans have you signed?” Instead of getting an answer, I get a long rambling session about how their husband works in Escrow and I learned so much from him over the years and I even attended a signing with him. You can offer to explain your level of experience to someone, but don’t just start bragging and talking nonstop. It is rude, unprofessional and makes you come across as undisciplined and inconsiderate. Be polite and answer the questions that were asked to you.

10. Dress appropriately
Business attire is what you should wear to a signing. Believe it or not, even experienced Notaries show up in flip flops, night club attire, mini skirts, or bring their screaming kids to a signing. You will get fired if you don’t dress the part, so dress like a business person and act like one too.

11. Confirm the signing
Let people know who you are, when you are going to arrive. Call if you are going to be late, etc. You can go over directions as well and it is not a bad idea to know how their name reads on the ID before you drive over.

12. Don’t park in the driveway.
The driveway is for the borrowers or signers to park. You can park on the street unless you are invited to park in the driveway. They might need that spot in their driveway and they might not appreciate the fluids you leak onto their driveway either.

Those are the basics. Read our etiquette course for more.

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