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March 12, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — Your Notes Section

Filed under: Comprehensive Guides,Loan Signing 101,Your Notes Section — admin @ 8:27 am

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Contents

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A Thorough Notes Section

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

Having a great advertisement at the top of the list is super. However, if your information is vacuous, people will bypass your ad to hire someone else. It behooves you to write a great notes section, and 123notary will edit your notes at no cost out of the goodness of our hearts (and for the general quality of the site). But, what constitutes a super notes section? A good notes section should have a lot of pertinent information about yourself, and it should be organized into logical paragraphs. Furthermore, the information should stress experience and selling features at the top as the first hundred and fifty or so characters show up on the search results and can act as a magnet. You should avoid spelling or formatting mistakes to make a good impression on companies that may elect to use you.

Most Notaries use the jumble technique and put all of their information into one disorganized never ending paragraph. Don’t do this. Jumbles are hard to read and do not stress what is important first. The information in a jumble normally includes some bragging about how great the notary feels they are, will undoubtedly mention their NNA certification and background check (which matters), and E&O insurance (which also matters). Coverage areas are also normally mentioned. It is better to format information the Jeremy way, as my editing work on listings gains them around 55% more clicks on average and only takes me a minute or two and is free!

Below is our table of contents about each part of the notes section. Please read every page linked below as it is part of the course and not supplemental reading material.

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The top of your notes section
This is where you put your selling points, and salient features about your experience.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19750

The second paragraph of your notes section.
This is where you talk about what is unique about you.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19748

The third section of your notes section
This is where you put quick points about certifications, E&O, and more.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19746

The bottom of your notes section.
Talk about coverage areas, special considerations like accepting credit cards, and a closing phrase.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19744

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EXAMPLE
Here is an example of a quick notary notes section done according to our formula for success.

1000 loans signed; Open until 11pm; Fluent Bhutanese; Experienced with Time Shares, REO, Helocs, Refinances, and more.

I have been a Notary since 2005 and have a background as a Real Estate Broker and Escrow Officer. I love people and always get back to my clients right away. I am meticulous, but don’t take my word for it, try me out and see for yourself. As a former Escrow Officer I know the Title documents well and am also familiar with general loan documents.

NNA & 123notary Certified
Sterling Background Screened (Expires Nov 2018)
500K E&O
Dual Tray Printer that prints 200 ppm.
Available 8am to 11pm seven days a week.

I accept Paypal and Square

I cover Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, parts of Kern and will consider San Luis Obispo County with advanced Notice.

Thanks for visiting my listing on 123notary and I hope to hear from you soon.

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October 7, 2017

Ken’s list of things Notaries goof (or might goof on.)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 12:35 am

Most Notaries don’t make this type of mistake. Perhaps it is mostly very new Notaries or those who are just clueless. But, read this list and learn about what other Notaries do wrong and hope that you do not make the same mistake.

1. Wrong venue
2. Cut off commission end year on cheapskate notary stamp and missed filling it in
3. Unreadable notary stamp / covers preprinted text
4. Missed a sig line (in the middle of the page)
5. Allowed borrower copy (that they already had) to mix pages with live docs
6. Did not notice that some more pages printed (they were complex) and thought was working with complete set. But some still in printer output tray.
7. Email had 17 PDFs and did not keep track / printed one twice and another not at all
8. Accepted sloppy scan of airbill which would not scan at fedex/ups so arrived a day or 2 late.
9. Did not verify address with borrower, delay causes missed drop off time
10. Wrote name in notary section from anywhere other than looking at the ID / or did not change to match ID
11. Accepted photocopy of ID as ID
12. Shipped unprocessed borrower copy
13. Fed embossed end into fax first causing jam/ripped pages
14. Permitted distractions during signing – loud TV, noisey kids, dogs, etc
15. Worked in poorly lit area
16. Did not print & bring a borrower copy (just made a CD) thus cannot swap error pages
17. Opened “big mouth” and spoke about politics, religion, “smell in the air”, keep it to job at hand.
18. 2 jobs back to back, wrong docs with airbill (both jobs screwed)
19. Make commitment to complete that is impossible (not allow for traffic, distance) – job should go to closer notary.
20. Did not follow local notary law TO THE LETTER – allowing a fool to tell notary that it must meet notary standards where the property is located.
21. Idiot notary printed double sided, last page of Note shares first page of Mortgage.
22. Ran out of paper (oops no more legal) or toner – Really???
23. One name on work order, hubbie and wifie on docs – did not verify both would be available with proper ID
24. Did a “stamp and sign ONLY” without venue or notary wording or date. (when there is no notary section but it needs to be notarized)

You might also like:

Split PDF’s into letter & legal separate PDFs
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8856

Redaction the legal eraser
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21058

Are you practicing law by drawing a signature line?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21033

Notary – what do you do?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21037

Bouncey Bouncey Paypal
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21046

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August 24, 2017

Letter to Donald Trump about the sad condition of American Notaries

Filed under: General Articles — admin @ 12:56 am

Dear Donald Trump,
I run a nationwide Notary Public directory called 123notary.com and have some sad commentary about the general state of affiairs in the Notary industry. The most pressing is the dismal quality of the knowledge of general Notaries about their rights and responsibilities as well as the poor level of screening that the state notary divisions engage in.

Since you have entered office, my personality has changed. According to feng-shui principles the members of an organization tend to take after the leader of the organization in some subtle or not so subtle ways. Since April, I have been preverbially draining the swamp of “fake notaries.” Some people with absolutely no Notary knowledge whatsoever are commissioned by states run by idiots who will commission anyone — sad! What the states don’t realize is that bad Notaries are a danger to society by empowering and facilitating identity thieves. An improper notarization or improper bookkeeping at a notarization done by a shoddy Notary can make it easy for an identity thief to drain a person’s equity from their property, steal their property, or defraud people in other ways.

In a nutshell, the real problem is that the states do not screen their applicants, do not educate applicants in all aspects of Notary education and do not have sensible testing either. California’s screening is far better than any other state, but still falls short of the mark as our local California Notaries do not always know how to explain notary acts, keep proper records, or which acts are legal versus illegal to do.

My solution is to suggest some Federal guidelines with Federal enforcement. Since the states don’t enforce proper notary procedure with the exception of California who audits journals (but, not anything else), it is necessary for the Feds to step in and add another thin, but intelligent layer of regulation to the industry. Here are my ideas.

1. Standardized Notary Education and Enforcement.
Many states have differing Notary Acts, and that is not a bad thing. However, if there would be a core of universal Notary Acts used in all states, territories, and military bases, that would make education and enforcement easier on a national level. The most critical elements to teach would include:

(a) Proper identification of signers
(b) Proper journal record keeping
(c) Oath giving (Notaries are required to do this but more often then not don’t know how or don’t bother)
(d) General understanding of Notary law, acts and procedures.

2. Reduction in the quantity of Notaries, with an increase in quality.
Judging the quality of Notaries might be hard for you to do, but I do it daily and have the art refined in certain ways. I will vouch for what I condsider the characteristics of a good Notary verses a bad one.

(a) An IQ of 100-120.
Being a Notary requires a certain amount of intelligence as a rudimentary knowledge of law, and applying the laws relating to Notary Public are required to perform the duties of Notary Public and faithfully discharge your duties lawfully while accepting lawful requests and declining illegal requests. Most Notaries do not correctly distinguish between what they are allowed to do and what is illegal and prefer to rely on what they feel comfortable with which is neither here nor there. Those unlawful Notaries need to be weeded out. Notaries that are too smart tend to leave the industry early and are not a detriment, but will not be likely to stick around.

(b) Attorney Notaries are not generally good Notaries.
Many states like the idea of having Attorneys do certain Notary functions such as loan signings. In my experience, Attorneys are over-priced, the least likely to be available, and also are the bottom of the bottom of the barrel in the legal world and are so incompetent that their average stupidity exceeds that of our average non-Attorney Notaries. I am not against Attorney Notaries providing they can pass a tough Notary test to prove their basic knowledge. Attorneys should also be declined any special privileges in the Notary world. In New York, I heard an Attorney can become a notary without a test at all which I feel is a mistake.

(c) A clerical background is desireable.
If someone has a background doing clerical work in a capacity which requires being picky and attentive to detail, that would be a good background for being a Notary Public. Notaries fill out certificates and journals and being nit-picky and anal precedes you as a good Notary. On the other hand a clerical background filled with clerical errors that have gone unnoticed for years would be a disaster.

(d) Being meticulous and having integrity.
Those who dot their i’s and cross their t’s are the types I would like to see as Notaries. Those who are ethical and care about safeguarding society are also idea. Having a generally good attitude matters too.

(e) Willingness to study and learn.
My biggest complaint about Notaires Public is that so few of them read their state’s Notary Handbook. If you aren’t willing to read your state’s laws and Notary rules, how on earth can you possibly enforce them?

3. Regular auditing of Notaries
Notaries need to know someone is watching them as few uphold the law. If Notaries are audited by a mystery person who appears to be a client, that client can ask them to do something seemingly illegal to trick them into incriminating themselves. This is the only reliable way to catch large quantities of bad Notaries. Having Notaries come to the county clerk for a pop quiz once a year is another highly recommended idea. The quiz should be hands on Notary work in addition to multiple choice questions. To audit all Notaries twice a year requires there to be less Notaries to audit.

4. Higher pay for Notaries
To attract good Notaries, there needs to be a good minimum wage for Notaries. I suggest $40 per appointment minimum on the East and West coasts and $30 in the interior states. Additionally, many Notaries travel and states should have minimum travel fees of $40 for appointments that are 30-60 minutes away plus waiting time. Travel fees should be paid in cash at the door or by paypal to eliminate what I call “Beneficial Interest” which is a term that depicts a person who is named in a document who stands to benefit from the document being signed in financial ways or by gaining privileges. By being a Notary whose travel fee is contingent on a document being signed, the Notary will be swayed to accept non-matching identification or comply with illegal requests so they will get their measely travel fee so they can pay their rent. Notaries who are poor are likely to bend the rules to ensure they get paid. Having travel fees paid up front as a matter of law will safeguard the public from Notaries having any semblence of beneficial or financial interest in a document or set of documents being signed.

5. Universal Notary Acts
Most states have Acknowledgments, Jurats, Oaths, Affirmations, and perhaps a few other acts such as Copy Certificaiton Safety Box Opening, Attestations, Witnessing, etc. The problem is that the rules for these acts are not always consistent across state lines which causes a lot of confusion especially to those of us who run nationwide Notary directories. I suggest these as universal acts.

WITNESSING
Some Notary acts require rigid identification rules. It would be nice for those who don’t have identification or don’t have identification with the correct name variation on it to be able to get notarized on informal documents in any case. Having a witness notarization with optional identification would be convenient without being a risk for identity fraud since the documents being witnesses would not concern large sums of money by definition.

A signer could:

(a) sign in the presence of the Notary in a witness notarization.
(b) Identification could be a choice of a thumbprint, an ID with a non-matching name, or an ID with a matching name.
(c) The description of the ID should ideally be documented on the Notary certificate for this act as well as the Official Journal of Notarial acts.

Some states already have an official notarial witnessing act. But, having universal and flexible standards would be wonderful.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Formal documents such as Deeds, Powers of Attorney and contracts normally use an Acknowledgment. Acknowledgments in most states require:

(a) The signer to be identified by the Notary using state approved types of ID cards such as passports, drivers licenses, etc.
(b) The signer has to acknowledge having signed the document in the physical presence of the Notary in a non-verbal way by presenting the document to the Notary with the request for it to be notarized.
(c) California requires the signer to be named in the document
(d) There is an Acknowledgment certificate which must be embedded in the document in question or added as a loose piece of paper and then stapled to the subject document.

The first issue with Acknowledgements on a national level is that there are six states which specifically require an Acknowledged signature to be signed in the presence of the Notary Public while the act intrinsically does not require this. The second issue is that Notaries in states that do NOT require the Acknowledged signature to be signed in the presence of the Notary typically require the document to be signed in their presence because they feel uncomfortable with the alternative. Notaries let their petty comfort related concerns supercede the law which is a problem that needs to be dealt with and enforced. This constitutes the denial of a legal request which by definition is not legal as Notaries Public must provide the public with Notary work for all legal requests unless (in particular states) there is some legitimate reason why the Notary feels that it would not be safe to notarize the person. Standardizing the rules of Acknowledgments makes a lot of senses as that single act constitutes 80% of Notary work nationwide. For those signatures that must be signed in the presence of a Notary, there are other acts such as Jurats and Witness notarizations that require that.

JURATS
Jurats are notarial acts where the signers must sign in the presence of the Notary Public and swear under Oath to the document in some way shape or form. Whether they swear to the truthfulness of the document, or whether or not they signed the document using their own free will, or whether they agree to the terms of the document could all reasonably be sworn to. Most Notaries omit the Oath or give an Oath which makes no sense under the circumstances which is unacceptable.

OATHS & AFFIRMATIONS
Most if not all states have these acts. However, some states (such as Florida) require a certificate for an Oath. If a certificate is to be required, it should indicate the nature of the Oath. Florida’s documentation of Oaths does not require any indication of what the Oath was about. There is no point in keeping paperwork if the paperwork has no pertinent information on it. As a former Notary, I will vouch for the importance of issuing certificates as it is a record for the customer to keep of what happend. The more critical information the merrier (without going overboard.) Notaries need to be taught how to administer good and relevant Oaths and Affirmations as 90% do not know the difference. Oaths use the word swear and normally mention God while Affirmations use the word Affirm or state and leave God out of it which is something that ultra-religious and athiests both agree upon.

6. Thumbprinting
Journal thumbprints are a matter of contention. California is the only state to require it for Deeds affecting real property and Powers of Attorney. Several of the Notaries listed with us were able to provide critical pieces of information to the FBI which helped nail identity thieves, ponzi schemers and other fraudulent menaces to society. Many companies and individuals object to being thumbprinted which creates pressure for the Notary to not thumbprint unless required to by law. Therefor, the only way to safeguard the equity in your real property from being syphened by identity thieves is to require journal thumbprints nationwide.

Since journals are NOT required in all states, it would be necessary to require journals in order to require journal thumbprinting. I recommend a thumbprint requirement for all notarizations of Deeds, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Subordination Agreements, or notarizations where the identification did not completely match the signature on the document.

7. Proper Journal Entries
Most Notaries who I deal with keep a journal, but do not keep it correctly according to what I consider best practices to be. It is common for Notaries to enter multiple documents on a single journal entry which is signed once by the customer / signer. This is a bad practice because it would be possible for the Notary or someone else to add extra document names to the journal entry AFTER the signing was over which would constitute fraud. It would also be possible for someone to accuse the Notary of fraud when he/she did not engage in fraud with such shoddy bookkeeping practices. Therefor, it should be necessary by law to have one journal entry per signer per documents which would be six entries if you had two signers each signing three notarized documents at a particular appointment. The primary purpose of a journal is not to please the state where the notary is commissioned. The primary purpose is to please judges and investigators who use the journal as perhaps the primary or only piece of evidence in an identity fraud court case or investigation. The journal is the only evidence a Notary Public has of what Notary work they have done, so it behooves society to ensure that journals are filled out prudently, completely and correctly.

.

You might also like:

Letter to Donald Trump about the State of the Notary industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19908

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

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

Letter to California Notary Division
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19939

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June 9, 2017

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: Are you black or white ee-nuff?

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries: Are you black or white ee-nuff?

We got a very disrespectful comment about my rebuttal to comments on Black Notaries vs. White Notaries Comedy Edition. This was the most popular comedy post we have written in years, yet the comments were hateful. I guess Americans have nothing constructive to say about race relations. There is either an imposed silence reflecting a social restriction on freedom of speech — or, there is downright hatred — but, very little in between.

So, this commenter claimed that Chris Rock reflected black Notaries poorly because I depicted him as having bad grammer. My rebuttal to his comment on my rebuttal is — Chris Rock is far more talented than any Notary on 123notary: black or white. The post in question was not supposed to be realistic of real Notaries as real Notaries are rarely funny, and would not be good characters in a blog article unless they are brilliant or outrageous. Let satire be satire and don’t try to overanalyze it. So, to appease the aforementioned commenter, we will make an equally erudite man named Sedric Watkins who happens to be black as the star of this blog.

TOMMY: So, why did you become a Notary?

SEDRIC (Black Notary): I became a Notary to supplement my bustling Real Estate management career.

TOMMY: But, isn’t being a Notary a low paying side job?

SEDRIC: I assure you that it is as high or low paying as you make it. I set my minimum at $90 because I have other things of value to do that compete for my limited time resources. Like reading Shakespeare. Or inventing a vaccine that can cure Bill O’Reilly.

—–

SAM (White Notary): (ring ring) Hello?

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Hi, this is Samantha from ABC signing service. We have a job in Compton where you will need to print out two sets of documents 300 pages each, do 65 fax backs, and notarize twelve signatures for a family of six. Can you do the job for $45?

SAM: I’d love to do the job for $45, but I’m afraid of going to Compton.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Figures… Hmmm. We need to find someone who isn’t afraid of going to the hood.

(ring ring)

SEDRIC: Punctilious Signing Services, this is Sedric.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Hi Sedric, let’s cut to the chase. And that wasn’t a dated reference to OJ. We need a Notary to go to the hood. We’ve tried twenty other Notaries, but they are all chicken. Mmm, chicken! Can you do the job?

SEDRIC: Why certainly. Ah yes, I remember the days of my impetuous youth when South Central used to be a black neighborhood.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Oh, it still is, where we’re sending you. The signing is for a higher up in the Crips who started a business. It’s 300 pages, 65 fax backs, and twelve signatures per person for a family of six. Can you do it for $45?

SEDRIC: Yes — $45… per signer with a $90 minimum for single document signings and $150 minimum for loan signings.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Hmm. So, you’re asking for $270.

SEDRIC: My time is in limited supply, and with six signers, if even one doesn’t show up, the whole signing is delayed.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Oh, so you’ve done this before…

SEDRIC: Of my 2500 signings, seven were for multiple signers and those were prolonged to say the least.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: How about $150

SEDRIC: You’re paying for experience and a flawless track record.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: You folks do have quite a record when it comes to track.

SEDRIC: How patronizing of you.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Thank you. Okay, $155

SEDRIC: $200 paid in advance via Paypal. I agree to stay there up to 75 minutes just in case a signer doesn’t show up or doesn’t have ID.

ABC SIGNING SERVICE: Done…

SEDRIC: (ring ring) Hello, this is Sedric from Punctilious Signing Services. I will be seeing your party today at 3pm for a signing. Please have appropriate and current identification.

CRIPS BOSS: You got it. Oh … and one more thing. Wear light blue.

SEDRIC: I’m wearing a black suit today, but I’ll wear a blue tie to show solidarity with your movement.

(In the hood — Sedric parks his car in a busy commercial area to go up to the office.)

PASSERBY: Hey man, what-chu doing in our hood dressed like that? Are you going to a funeral or something?

SEDRIC: No, I happen to be a businessman.

PASSERBY: So, what is it with this uppity lingo you’re using. Are you sure you’re even black?

SEDRIC: “Uppity” is code I don’t appreciate. I assure you that I am black. Must we speak in this dialect?

PASSERBY: You’re the one with the dialect my brother. So, what’s up with you?

SEDRIC: To put it in your vernacular, I’m a “high brow brotha!”

PASSERBY: I heard that. But, you ain’t black ee-nough.

SEDRIC: What prey tell do you mean by black ee-nuff? I’m sure that your definition comprises using incorrect grammar, being opposed to the powers that be, failing out of high school, having an addiction and being a minimum of two months behind on your alimony. You just described a white acquaintance of mine, but I digress. I pay no heed to your juvenile and grievously preposterous sense of cultural sensibilities.

PASSERBY: You got it all wrong man. I never finished junior high school, and they couldn’t find my legal address to make me pay any alimony because I don’t have one — so the joke’s on you! Basicaly what I’m saying, is that there ain’t nothing black about you. Can you dig it?

SEDRIC: My definition of blackness is based purely on genetic lineages tracing back to West Africa. my dear friend. Culture is not a well-defined science you see and therefore not a logical characteristic for racial classification.

PASSERBY: Well you seem like an Uncle Tom.

SEDRIC: Thank you. My Uncle Thomas, much like myself, drives a Ferrari, studies karate, and has a fine lady friend. Here’s a photo of my lady.

PASSERBY: Damn!!!! She got it going on!!! Honeylicious!

SEDRIC: And my mother likes her too, because in addition to being visually appealing, she is a nice person.

PASSERBY: Nice honey, but you’re a mamma’s boy.

SEDRIC: If your mamma looked like Halle Barry, you would be too. Be that as it may, I’m a very well paid mamma’s boy.

PASSERBY: Well, yo mamma’s an auntie Thomassina! A female uncle Tom!

SEDRIC: What did you say about my mamma? (kick, crash, bash, crunch, smash, chop, knock, clash.)

PASSERBY: That wasn’t karate. That was jujitsu — Okanawan style. When I said there was nothing black about you, I take that back. There is something black about you — but only one. You don’t like it when nobody says nothing about yo mamma. Can you tell me… ummm..

SEDRIC: The GPS coordinates of the nearest hospital so that you can heal the damage that I just did to you? I would, but I have an appointment to go to. Oh, and one more thing. Your Theory about Uncle Tom’s cabin has a hole in it — in the roof!!!

CRIPS BOSS: Here’s our man… We have our ID’s ready and we’re ready.

SEDRIC: I’ll be here for 75 minutes. I just hope that that statistical probabability of one of the six of you getting arrested in the next 75 minutes is low so I don’t disappoint my new client.

CRIPS BOSS: Here are our six ID’s. I’ll just lay them out on the table Vegas style — like a fan. Oh, and don’t worry, we alerted the police to your presence, so they won’t bother you.

SEDRIC: You make it so easy.

CRIPS BOSS: What happened to the side of both of your hands?

SEDRIC: I had to take care of some business on the way over here.

CRIPS BOSS: Another appointment on such short notice. I sure like the way you do business. You know something. You should join our operation.

SEDRIC: Not in this lifetime. But, call me if you need a Notary Public, Real Estate Manager, or Okinawan Jujitsu teacher.

CRIPS BOSS: I know you claim to be Okinawan… but, are you Okinawan eee-nuff?

SEDRIC: It’s not me… it’s the Jujitsu that is Okinawan… never mind…

(ring ring)

SAM (White Notary) I just got this job in Beverly Hills. They have good Chinese food here too if you can find a parking spot.

SEDRIC: Good for you. I hope you charged them enough or should I say, “ee-nuff.”

SAM: Oh, I charged them $100. I’m learning from you. But, you’ll never guess what the job is about. There’s a guy from the hood in the Beverly Hills hospital who says he got beaten up by some uppity Notary who thought he was too good for the brotha’s.

SEDRIC: Did he have a huge bruise on his upper right temple?

SAM: Why yes.

SEDRIC: Never seen him before in my life! Just out of curiosity, after you told him about the Chinese food, did he tell you that you weren’t “white ee-nuff”?

SAM: I think he only says stuff like that to you. But, after your little interlude, perhaps from now on he’ll make his flip remarks to people like me.

SEDRIC: It’s a distinct possibility.

.

You might also like:

Black Notaries vs. White Notaries — the notary manual
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19322

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

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May 10, 2017

Notary for a USA President Candidate

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular on Facebook (some),Popular Overall — admin @ 8:40 am

The call comes in for an urgent notarization. We need to file some important paperwork within the next 2 hours; can you positively guarantee arrival within that timeframe? Knowing the 5 star hotel was only a mile away I replied “sure”. Oddly, for an “individual” request; the caller stressed that the notarization had to be “absolutely perfect” and withstand close scrutiny. I assure the caller that my work would stand up to any examination; and that I required “Govt. issued photo ID” and acceptance of the standard oath given by Notaries. “A by the book Notary is exactly what we require”; please be sure to be on time.

The caller had identified as an aide to the affiant, but assured me that the affiant had a driver license that was current. May I speak to the person signing, I asked. Sorry, no; however we will prepay on your web site your fee; and I can assure you there will be no problems. Moments later the familiar “ding” comes from my phone – the sound of a PayPal payment. Figuring “movie star”, I depart for that rather expensive hotel. Traffic was kind and I arrived within an hour.

Manhattan has many celebrities, and a tiny fraction of them have called upon my services. But I was unprepared for the scene upon my arrival. There were barricades around the hotel entrance and a large police presence. Not the usual police, these had the big guns and riot gear. Groan, how would I ever get into the hotel? I never suspected they were there to protect my client! I did not even know the client’s name – yet. The one thing I did have was the room number.

Stopped at the security perimeter, I was asked my business at the hotel. I explained that I was a Notary Public with an appointment to go to room xxx to notarize a document. Someone in plain clothes is called over by the uniformed officer. That person talks into a device, and a moment later I am cleared past the outer barrier. The polite person follows me into the lobby. “I will need to inspect your bag” – fine, it’s just notary supplies. A very detailed search is made. “To go to room xxx I will need to search your person”, “it will be a very complete search of your body, do I have your permission to search you?” – “do you have any weapons?” – I have no weapons, go ahead. I am taken to a small room off the lobby. The agent proceeds to very thoroughly search me, hat to shoes; making sure there is nothing anywhere on my person that is a weapon.

After the search I am escorted to the door of room xxx. Behind the door is a bank of computers and a full staff busy at work. I am taken to a desk and told to wait. A few minutes later the aide who initially called me hands me my fee (again) – this time in cash. I reply that my fee has already been paid. This is extra for the delays in granting your clearance. We also ask that you do not disclose to anyone who you will be notarizing or the nature of the document. I agree, and am asked to sign a non-disclosure document; I read it and sign it.

A few minutes later in walks a person wanting to become President of the United States. That person gives me a warm greeting and actually asks if I would like some coffee! I decline citing that it’s bad procedure to have liquids on the same table as documents. A warm smile and a chuckle – followed by “of course, that’s a good policy”. The notarization proceeds in a routine manner with ID, signing, oath and notarization (with embossing). Afterward, the aide hands me a paper cup of coffee and walks me out past the security screen. That’s all I can say.

.

You might also like:

State of the Notary Industry Union Address
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16244

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May 9, 2017

When do you cut clients?

Filed under: Best Practices,Popular on Facebook (some) — admin @ 7:35 am

Most Notaries either want to get more clients, or don’t want to bother with marketing because they have “enough” clients. Some Notaries have too much work and don’t have time to sleep. All three scenarios are classic cases of mismanagement. Being a Mobile Notary is like having a hotel. Hotels have rooms, you have hours. Both are in limited supply and you never know what type of last minute requests will come in.

Discounts for early booking.
If you have a pricing formula (few Notaries have formulas, but all should) you might consider charging less for people who book in advance and don’t cancel. That way you can plan your day effectively. Waiting for last minute calls is hectic and unpredictable which means you would make less average money in a 24 hour period.

When to cut clients?
If you don’t have enough clients, you are stuck with whomever hires you. If you don’t have enough experience, reviews, or didn’t pass the critical certification exams that people want you to, you won’t get as much business. It is your fault if your business is slow due to your own deficiencies, so do something about it. Cutting clients comes when you are at 80-100% of capacity. A Notary or hotel cannot book at over 100% capacity. If you work 60 hours a week, then your 100% is having all 60 hours booked (and having your notary conference hour/room booked.)

Who to cut?
Instead of refusing service to particular companies, it usually makes more sense to raise their rate. That way you make it worth your while to put up with their nonsense. Companies that are:

1. Inconsiderate — jack their rate up 10%
2. Pay Late — make them pay in advance with paypal (weeds many out)
3. Cancel more than 20% — jack up their rate 20% or have them paypal a non-refundable deposit for part of the costs.
4. Have really long packages — jack up their rate 10%; Long won’t kill you as much as the other problems.
5. Didn’t explain the loan to the borrower enough — jack up 25% (results in long phone calls while you twiddle your thumbs.)
6. Don’t pay enough — jack up according to your formula
7. Fax Backs — charge based on time and resources spent.

Ideally, to have a happy mobile notary service, you need to develop a large enough clientele that you can pick and choose. That way you can get rid of the annoying clients and still have enough left over. Most business these days is low-ball. However, experienced Notaries have been telling me that they have more than enough business paying a reasonable amount.

To have your cake and eat it too, having high paying, easy to work with companies, you need to be the best. So, I encourage you to pay your dues, get more experience, get reviews, certifications, have an amazing notes section, and you will do better. The most important bottom line is that advertising is the seed of business. Once you have developed loyal clients over the years, you will rely less on advertising and more on connections. It takes time and quality work to develop connections who rely on you. So, be patient and keep giving this business your all.

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March 7, 2017

When you really don’t wanna take the job

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

You might also like:

When to refuse a Notarization – a comprehensive guide
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18974

Are you a Yes-tary or a No-tary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16626

$300 in 13 minutes. How Carmen cleans up in the Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19284

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January 28, 2017

WFG National Title Insurance Company

Here is a condensed version of the more interesting comments about this company on our forum.

(1) Penny
“I have not received payment since my assignment and invoice to WFG on November 28. Despite numerous emails saying it’s in the mail, or will be in the mail, zero.
Penny 1-17-17”

(2) Joan
“WFG in Westlake Village, CA is giving me the run around with my fee being received. Completed signing on 9-30-16, it is now 11-29-16. Unacceptable. They claim they are going through a transitional period since Michael Crowder is no longer with them. What has that got to do with A/P getting my money to me?”

(3) DanNotary
“May not be dealing with them again. Huge packages, lots of work, difficult to get through to anyone and get a response. They pay $125 but if I do anything again its going to be $150.”

(4) 29993
“I have noticed that the loan packages are getting very large…so I have begun to notify, particularly WFG whose files average 170 copies…that my minimum fee is increased by another $20.00..As I mentioned before I have had no problems getting paid and have asked each time if the file is larger than 120 pages to add in another $20…but I’ve had to followup to make sure that it was…..so this week I am sending out notifications to most of the companies I work for to increase my minimum fee to include the $20. Whenever I accept a signing…they will need to include it in the order or I will return the assignment right there and then………We all have to begin to hold the line on our fees or if you accept less then you only have yourself to blame….Good Luck!”

(5) Garyw148
“I agreed to perform a signing for WFG for 10:30am the next day. At 8am I had yet to receive any documents. WFG did not answer any of the 4 phone numbers I called. Nor did they respond to the emails I sent to 3 different people. My last email was that I was going to call the borrower and let them know the signing was cancelled. Moments later (10am) I received a response not to call the borrower that the documents were coming. Then I got an email stating the day would be changed. I called the borrower and basically said to stand by. I requested to be paid via PayPal. I got a call from Mike stating they never pay via PayPal and he would remove me from there list of notaries. I said fine. Be carful here folks. Read the other reviews.”

You might also like:

See our string on WFG on the forum
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5117

See our string on NEW signing companies
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=new

National Preferred Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16669

Are you a Yes-tary or a No-tary?
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=3241

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November 1, 2016

Can you charge a 2nd trip fee?

Filed under: Notary Fees & Pricing — Tags: , — admin @ 11:29 pm

Technically, Notaries can charge a 2nd trip fee. You get paid for what you do, right? But, signing companies are not always willing to pay for this. If the Notary made an error, the Notary should go back for free. But, if the Title company or Lender made a mistake, they will expect you to go back out and then often try not to pay you.

You need to keep accurate records of who paid for what job and with what check number. Signing companies send lots of checks out, but the record keeping system is based on the check number. They’ll try to sleeze out of paying you by referencing a check number.

Paypal is a nice way to pay for things because the records are queriable and you can mention what job or jobs you are paying for. That way, after the fact, you can quickly verify that you in fact were paid.

Another question is — should you stand your ground to collect that 2nd trip fee? If you have a good client, do they deserve a favor from time to time? Or are your fees by the book with no special gestures? If they need a second trip from time to time and they are a good company, then I might do it. But, if they are always late paying you and taking liberties, then perhaps not. You have to calculate this on your own. But, a good client is worth gold, so try to be nice to them in their hour of need.

.

You might also like:

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

Many Notaries who wouldn’t leave the house for <$125 are working for peanuts http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14953

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October 4, 2016

SnapDocs has a new feature for bank auto pay within 30 days

Tired of not getting paid on time? SnapDocs (our competitor) has a new feature which we think is helpful. I’m not sure how the feature is used, but you can arrange that companies will auto-pay you within 30 days. Most Notaries are tired of waiting, and not knowing when they will be paid. To be guaranteed payment, and not even have to deal with checks sounds like a wonderful arrangement. Ken has an even better arrangement which is getting paid Paypal up front.

I wonder how you guys would feel if 123notary had a system where slow paying companies would be denied our future search algorithms? That would eliminate a lot of the bad traffic from 123notary and give you only the best. I’m not sure that would help our site, or help you guys that much, but it would make your lives safer and perhaps more pleasant.

Let me know what you think

You might also like:

SnapDocs — all articles (string)
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16687

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