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March 7, 2011

Don’t park in the driveway?

Don’t Park in the Driveway?
 
This sounds like a dull topic, but the type of responses we get, keep getting better by the day. This issue is the least clear cut, and most confusing issue that notaries face.  Yet, so few notaries ever have this issue cross their mind. 
 
Don’t Park in the Driveway.
Its rude and unprofessional to park in the driveway.  You are leaking fluids on someone’s driveway, preventing them and their family from parking there, and potentially blocking someone.  But, sometimes, there are situations where you should park in the driveway.  You could make several Seinfeld episodes out of this topic.  There is a general rule, and there are dozens of exceptions.
 
(1) I’m confused, isn’t that what driveways are for?  No! The driveway is for the borrower to park in, not the signing agent.  You are a guest, and not the resident.  Don’t park there without permission, and don’t ask permission unlesss you really have to.
 
(2) In regards to “Don’t park in the driveway”, please be aware that many gated communities have banned on-street parking. Check with the homeowner if street parking is allowed when you make the confirmation call. (This is true especially in Florida.)
 
(3) In regards to “Don’t park in the driveway”……where I live most of the time that is ONLY place to park. When I was a new signing agent, that piece of information caused me a lot of stress, but have since realized that I have to do what I have to do. I try not to block in vehicles, but that isn’t always possible.
 
(4) If there is a snow storm, you need to park in the driveway, otherwise the snow plow will cover your car with snow.
 
(5) In rural communities, driveways might be more than a half a mile long, so it behooves you to park in the driveway in such a situation. In winter, it wouldn’t be safe to walk up such a long driveway.
 
(6) Some notaries say, they always park in driveways taking care not to block someone in and never had any trouble. Other notaries say that they would never park in someone’s driveway no matter what.
 
(7) One lady says that a customer complained that she parked in the street instead of the driveway.
 
(8) There might be signs on the street not allowing street parking. That means you are forced to park on the driveway.
 
(9) In some neighborhoods the streets are very narrow, making it a better choice to park in the driveway.
 
The bottom line is that if you value etiquette and manners, and take them to the highest level, just ask where the borrower would like you to park, and then everyone will love you, and might even love your leaking coolant too!

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December 18, 2010

Notary Etiquette from A to Z

Notary etiquette from A-Z

Here are some basic rules of notary etiquette to keep you out of trouble and on good terms with your clients.

Don’t park in the driveway?
But, that is what driveways are for. They are for parking in. Wrong! They are for the borrower to park in, but NOT for you to park in without permission. You could be taking someone’s spot, or blocking someone. You might be leaking coolant on their driveway too. If there is a snowstorm and a snow plow will destroy your car, or if there is nowhere else to park, then ask to park in their driveway. Most people will not mind if you park in their driveway, but a few will mind.

Introduce yourself at the door.
Its good to have a pre-canned speech to give at the door. Let the borrowers know your full name, and that you will be assisting and supervising (facilitating) the signing of their loan. Let them know that your job is to introduce the documents and figures in their loan, but not to actually explain any of the concepts particular to their loan. Let the borrowers know that the lender is the only one qualified to answer specific questions about their loan.

Confirm the signing
Its polite for the notary to call the borrowers and confirm when they will be coming, and especially who is to show up at the signing. If Aunt Matilda is on the loan documents, she needs to cancel that visit to the hair salon and be at the signing.

Don’t make unpleasant remarks
Don’t make negative remarks about anyone regardless of whether they are associated with the loan or not.

Don’t discuss politics
Stick to talking about neutral topics like traffic and weather. Politics can run people the wrong way. Freedom of speech does not apply to notaries on the job. You have more freedom of speech in Moscow than on a signing. Talking about the wrong subject matter can get you off of a signing companies list, and then you lose work.

Speak clearly
A notary who mumbles, or speaks incoherently will not be a favorite with anyone. People need you to enunciate on the phone and in person.

Don’t rush the borrowers
Unless you agree on the length of your signing ahead of time, its rude to rush the borrowers. If you are having a night with ten signings and you will be late to all of the rest of the signings, then you are in a pinch. If you legitimately have to leave at a certain time, you can mention that you have to leave at 8pm, and that they are welcome to read their borrower’s copies for the next 72 hours and cancel the loan if they are not happy with any of the terms or figures.

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