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April 7, 2017

The Noterator

There was a sudden rash of bad Notaries in America and nobody knew what to do. But, at the Secretary of State’s office, they had the solution. Since there was no way to bust each bad Notary one by one, they created a machine that could sense a bad Notary a mile away and terminate him. This machine was called, the Noterator.

NOTERATOR: Did you back date that document?

NOTARY: No, I swear I didn’t.

NOTERATOR: Hasta la vista — baby. (boom!!!)

A group of Notaries near by saw what happened and decided to run. The Noterator caught up with them and told them not to make any more fraudulent notarizations otherwise they would be in trouble. But, this group of Notaries didn’t listen. Fraud was so embedded in their personalities they couldn’t help themselves. Two of the Notaries got involved in a scheme to cheat someone out of their house by falsifying a Grant Deed. The next thing they knew…

NOTERATOR: I’m back!!!

NOTARY #1: How did you find us?

NOTERATOR: I always find bad Notaries. I can small them.

NOTARY #2: So are you going to terminate us?

NOTERATOR: I can’t read the document because it’s not written in Austrian. Just kidding. You falsified a Deed of Trust and Grant Deed. You’re coming with me. The Noterator grabbed both Notaries by their collar and put them in Notary jail.

NOTARY #1: We might be in jail, but at least we are safe from the Noterator here.

NOTERATOR: You thought wrong! (boom!!!!!!)

In the end, Notary #1’s commission was not the only thing that expired. A word of advice. Don’t mess with the noterator!

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You might also like:

Shark Tank: Self-Driving Notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19104

Notary Sexual Harassment Issues
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19698

Notary Space Station — In Space, Nobody can Hear You Sign
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18920

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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.

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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.

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You might also like:

30 Point Course Table of Contents
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14233

Point (3-4) The RTC & TIL
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14291

The Mortgage & The Note
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13203

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January 27, 2015

The Mortgage & The Note

Filed under: (4) Documents,Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:41 am

The Mortgage and The Note
These two documents formulate the essence of the home purchase or refinance. The vast number of related documents provide essential and legal information. However, the Note and the Mortgage are really the “action” documents. In their most basic functionality: the note specifies the terms of the loan, the mortgage provides collateral against a default of the Note.

Curiously, the Note typically begins with “In return for a loan that I have received, I promise to pay $XXX,XXX.XX”, but rarely is the Note notarized. It is often initialed on each page by the borrower(s) that are signing the final page. There should be an agreement with the 1003, the Loan Application as to who is technically a borrower. Non-obligors who may be “on title” never sign the note. As the definitive definition of the loan; interest rate and payment terms are generally the second and third items on the first page. These are the items of greatest interest.

Also essential, but rarely initially reviewed, is the Right to Prepay; and what will happen if the borrower fails to pay according to the terms of the Note. Typically, if more than one person signs the Note, each bears the full responsibility for payment. The Note is a negotiable instrument, similar to cash or a bond. They are frequently sold by the initial lender.

Almost all variations of the note include the words “Sign Original Only” on the signature page. As a negotiable instrument is being created, multiple copies of the Note for the same obligation could lead to fraud, confusion, and the borrower(s) being asked to pay each Note! When asked to execute multiple copies of the same Note; shrewd borrowers are careful to add wording to the effect that the duplicate(s) are “file copy” and “not negotiable” next to their signature(s).

The Mortgage, often referred to as the Deed Of Trust, is generally of much greater length compared to the Note. A key provision of the Note grants the Mortgage enforceability. The Note references the related Mortgage: “In addition to the protections given to the Note Holder under this Note, a Mortgage, Deed of Trust … dated the same date as this Note … protects the Note Holder if I do not keep the promises made in this Note”.

Think of the Mortgage as the “enforcement arm” of the Note. The Mortgage contains, in about fifteen pages; the procedures to, typically; take back the property. For notaries the Mortgage often contains a “built in” problem. On the first page of the Mortgage the borrower is “supposed” to be named. However, in lieu of their legal name the “vesting” name often appears. This is not a problem on the first page. But, it does get to be a problem on the last page. For it is there that the computer often uses the “vesting” name in the notary section.

For technical reasons, on the Mortgage vesting often includes “status” terminology such as “husband and wife” or “a single woman” or “a married man” – but **ONLY** the name is permitted in the notary section. Thus, “before me appeared John B Doe a single man” is not permitted per NY State notary laws. I am required to redact (thin line through & my initials) the “a single man” part from the pre-entered value following “before me personally appeared”. Care should also be taken to have John B Doe initial JBD not just JD if his middle initial is on the signature line of the Mortgage. I promise to pay, and, what if I don’t; are the heart of the deal.

Most fail to note (no pun) that there is language in the NOTE that incorporates the Mortgage as “part of the note”

A little mentioned aspect in the “fine print” but O so important.

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You might also like:

Ken’s comprehensive guide to Deeds — Good Deed Bad Deed
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16285

The Deed of Trust
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=deed-of-trust

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October 21, 2019

Having a good notes section is a priority

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 11:44 pm

Smart Notaries on 123notary do a good job on their notes section and ask for help. Newer and less sophisticated Notaries write some lame material in their notes, don’t have our certification and don’t have reviews and then wonder why the phone doesn’t ring. Notary advertising by definition is very competitive, so you have to have an edge. As a beginner, believe it or not, with our free help, you can have a good edge and good presentation.

Here are some quick tips on notes and then some links to some amazing material.

1. The top 150 characters of your notes section shows up on the search results. Don’t put fluff up there. Many people restate their name — we already know what your name is because it says at the top of your listing. They restate that are a signing agent. They say that they are a “professional” signing agent. Anybody on our site can claim to be professional, but that just means that you get paid to do it, and doesn’t prove that you are any good. This is all a waste. Put info about your experience, or that you do last minute jobs, languages, or anything that makes you stand out in a good way.

2. Designations, degrees, coverage areas, or more generic or information that is less critical in proving how great you are as a Notary can go lower in your notes section.

3. Email us for help at info@123notary.com. We cannot write your notes for you, but we can rearrange it easily and for free. But, we can’t do it if you don’t ask. People who get a notes makeover typically get 55% more clicks right away and that translates into work.

4. The key thing to remember in notes is to be specific, unique and stress experience above all else. Using adjectives like reliable and professional are words anyone can use and these words don’t mean anything to the reader — they are considered fluff.

LINKS

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

Read our string on notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?cat=2057

What goes at the top of your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19268
Documenting experience and personal style in your notes

Documenting your Experience & Personal Style in your notes

123notary’s index of popular notary articles
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20282

Notary notes makeover
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18895

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July 9, 2019

A list of things you probably did not add to your notes section

Filed under: Your Notes Section — Tags: , — admin @ 3:08 am

Every Notary profile has a notes section, but Notaries are notoriously sloppy about what they add to their notes section unless they are very seasoned Notaries. So, I compiled a quick list of things you need to add.

1. Uniqueness – What is unique about your service? Do you speak another language, go to hospitals, have an advanced degree, or are Fidelity approved? These things should go up top so that people can see this on the search results. The top of your notes section once again does show up on the search results.

2. Loan Types – What types of loans are you experienced with? Just saying that you do them all doesn’t say much. It is better to make a thoughtful list of the loan types and types of documents that you have signed before.

3. Equipment – Do you have a particular type of printer, scanner, fax, or a mobile office? Make sure to share that with the world.

4. Other Information – Do you have E&O insurance, how much? Are you certified by any particular agency? Are you background screened and by whom?

5. Coverage Areas: How many miles is your radius? What particular counties do you cover? Make it easy. If there are too many if-then statements about you only go to Horry County on an empty stomach if it is before 8pm, unless it is Summer in which case perhaps 8:30pm but only if you feel like it… That is too complicated. Just say you go to Horry County.

6. About You – It is hard for most Notaries to write about themselves. The tendency is to reduce yourself to some cliche adjectives that are identical to have 10,000 other notaries would describe themselves. Avoid this and paint a realistic picture of your style of doing work, about you, your professional background and what is unique to you.

7. Minimums – Some Notaries have a minimum of $100 plus eDocuments. If you stick to particular prices and are not wishy-washy, then publish them in your notes section. That way your calls are pre-filtered. But, if on Monday your minimum is $100, and then on Tuesday you are desperate and lower it to $80, then keep it verbal.

8. Professional backgrounds – Don’t be vague and say you worked in the financial industry. Say what positions you held and what types of work you did. People want specifics not vagueness. Don’t say you worked in the legal industry otherwise we will think you were the window washer at Hartman, Smith, and Stone.

9. A catchy phrase – Most Notaries do not bother to put a catchy one liner in their notes. It might take hours to think of. Good business names are equally hard to think of. People who search for Notaries are bored reading boring notes sections. If you can make up something interesting and catchy to say, you will inspire people to call you. If you are serious about the business, it is worth your time.

10. Organization tips – Don’t write a notes section that is a jumble. Keep each section well organized and separated by a line of space. It is easier to read and more pleasant too. Please remember that those reading your profile read hundreds of profiles and will be more likely to use you if you come across as being organized.

You might also like:

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

2014 Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

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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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June 4, 2018

Notes — how many financial packages do you mention?

Filed under: Your Notes Section — admin @ 11:56 am

In your notary notes section it makes sense to discuss your experience. Many Notaries have a wide repetoire of types of signings they know how to do. It is common to make a list of financial packages or types of documents that you are familiar with. But, how many should you mention? Should they be in alphabetical order?

My philosophy is that you should not mention more than twelve types of documents or loans in one paragraph. It just gets to be too much. On the other hand, some Notaries who have 5000 loans signed, only mention four or five types of loans which is not enough. I think that nine to twelve is the perfect number.

Additionally, I prefer to put the more unusual types of loans first in the list to stand out. But alphabetical is easier to read. On the other hand Refinances, FHA, and VA are all types of refinances. Should they be grouped together. I guess there is no right answer, but you should have a strategy for what you are doing.

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You might also like:

What types of loans do you know how to sign?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16712

# of loans vs. # of years or using “since.”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19270

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

A list of things you probably forgot to put in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22303

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March 20, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — The Top of Your Notes

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 7:51 am

Return to the Notary Marketing 102 Notes Tutorial

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1. TOP — Selling Points & Experience
A good notes section should start out by mentioning some quick points about why someone would want to hire you. Here are some points that do well in the top section:

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Number of Loans Signed – Most Notaries hide behind their years of experience. But, the Title companies want to know how many loans first as years is not a definitive metric of how much actual experience you have. What if you signed ten loans per year for ten years, that is only 100 loans. If you have thirty or more years of experience, list it in a format such as: Notary since 1985.

Jail & Hospital Signings — Many people need service in unusual places, so if you are specializing in jails and hospitals, you should mention this at the top of your notes.

100 Mile Radius — In remote areas, people need service far from where you live. If you offer this service with a smile, you will attract a lot more business.

eSignings — Listing unusual services makes you look highly skilled, and will attract specific types of work.

Hours — If you are a 24/7 Notary or a night owl, let the world know this first, because a lot of people need help at night and the other Notaries probably don’t want to be bothered.

Languages — Spanish and Vietnamese are the most demanded languages. But, if you speak another language, put that up top so people will know right away. If you speak Spanish, it is better to claim to be “bilingual” as it carries positive cultural connotations.

Specific Experience — Mention specific types of financial packages or documents that you are accustomed to signing. If a client has that exact package they might be more likely to call you first.

Catchy Phrase — Sometimes a catchy phrase about yourself, your business or service can win the game. Often it is a one-liner that is artfully phrased and catches people’s attention. Don’t bore them with fluff, dazzle them with class!

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LINK: Buzzwords to avoid in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19054

LINK: What NOT to put at the top of your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19056

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Examples:

EFFECTIVE
24/7 service; 8500 loans signed; last minute signings; Bilingual; Experienced with Modifications, eSignings, REO, Time Shares, Refinances, VA, FHA, 1sts, 2nds, and Helocs.

Commentary
The effective top of your notes section stresses time of availability, level of experience you can really put your finger on (# of loans is a better analytic than years because the reader could assume that you did very few loans per year for ten years which is not impressive.) “Last minute signings” is a great phrase because many notaries do not like to be bothered at the last minute. Unusual types of financial packages are also good to list and this section lists ten types of packages. I would stop at twelve types of packages per paragraph to avoid overload.

HORRIBLE
I have been a notary for twelve years and know my way around the business. I am responsible and know everything I need to know. NNA certified.

Commentary
The horrible top of your notes section commentary lists years which is bad because you don’t know what quantity of actual work was done per year. There is some bragging and self-promotion which I called “inexpensively bought credibility” which carries no weight because it is self-verified credibility. Then there is the NNA certification which is not a selling feature as almost all Notaries on 123notary are NNA Certified. You have to mention what makes you different and better, rather than what makes you average.

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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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March 16, 2018

Notary Marketing 102 — The Bottom of your Notes Section

Filed under: Loan Signing 101 — admin @ 7:43 am

Return to Notary Marketing 102 Notes Tutorial

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This article continues the discussion of what goes in your notes section on your 123notary profile. The following content covers what goes in the lower-middle or bottom of your notes:

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4. Coverage Areas and Special Terms
The lower middle of your notes can talk about what counties or cities you serve. I do not like lists of zip codes, but if you insist you can include them. Listing a radius is fine, but back it up with mention of specific counties or parts of counties so the public will have a clear idea of where you go. Clear information wins the game and vague self-descriptions looks sloppy. If you take credit cards, Square or Paypal, mention that too. Here is an itemization of what to put here:

Areas Covered — A radius in miles and the names of counties or parts of counties are most effective. You might list specific city names too. Keep county lists as county lists and it is confusing to mix cities and counties together. Format is important, so if you ramble on and on about how you sometimes go to Northeast Butler County, but only if it is not raining and not after 8pm except if it is during the summer, that is too complicated.

Credit Cards — If you take square, paypal, or credit cards, mention that here.

Online Booking — If you have some fancy technological system or do online booking, mention that here.

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5. Closing Phrases
Finish off your notes with a catchy closing phrase. Call today! Satisfaction Guaranteed. I look forward to working with you.

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6. Other
Please make sure the general fields in your listing are all filled out. 123notary has many fields to fill out and it is common for Notaries to swear to me that they filled everything out when most fields were left blank. Fill in your number of signings, hours, specialties, etc. The additional information area has room for a lot more information about hospital signings, immigration documents, and more.

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LINK: Excerpts from great notes sections
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13613

LINK: Your jumbled or too short notes section is costing you 50% of your business!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16572

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