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January 19, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 – Contents

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 1:26 pm

Doing well in the Mobile Notary business involves more than just stamping documents. You have to be on time, develop contacts, do more than claim to know what you are doing, and use proper etiquette. 123notary has written many articles on Notary etiquette before, but this one is a course with multiple sections that is intended to be a well organized reference guide.

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CONTENTS

1. Phone Etiquette for initial calls – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21134

2. Confirming the signing & At the signing – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21136

3. General Etiquette Tips – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21197

4. Answering questions the way they were asked – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21138

5. Miscellaneous – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21142

6. A humorous guide to Notary etiquette – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=21208

7. Relevant links about etiquette – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

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January 18, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — Miscellaneous

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 10:32 pm

MISCELLANEOUS NOTARY ETIQUETTE TIPS

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1. Don’t sell people’s signatures or personal information.
It is bad manners and possibly illegal, and definitely unethical to sell or distribute anyone’s private information.

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2. Don’t second guess family relationships.
I once thought the wife was the guy’s mother. Oops!

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3. Handling criticism
Notaries can get very rude or defensive if criticized. The psychology of a Notary is one who claims they know everything when in reality they typically know about 30% of what they need to know and manage to get by with this sub-minimal knowledge. If you make a mistake and someone calls you out on it, don’t argue, just try to understand what you did wrong or allegedly did wrong and learn from that experience. I sometimes quiz Notaries by phone and they get very hostile when I tell them they made a mistake. You won’t learn to be smarter or impress your clients by getting belligerent when criticized — treat it like a learning experience and it might just better you.

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4. When to call the Lender
Some Notaries will call the lender if they don’t know if they should sneeze or not. Calling the lender can end up in a forty minute phone call. You will have trouble getting out of the house where the signing takes place if you call the lender. So, only call if you absolutely have to. In the 30 point course on our blog we have a chapter all about when to call the lender and when not to.

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5. Is it rude to ask for a thumbprint?
This is a topic of debate and even hostility with the Notaries. For your safety you need to take thumbprints. But, many Notaries think that it is not only unnecessary but bad to take a thumbprint because what if you offend someone? I am more concerned with what happens if an imposter drains the equity in someone’s house, the Notary ends up in court for two months without pay, and someone goes to jail. To me that scenario weights a lot more heavily than if someone is offended because you ask them for a journal thumbprint. If the FBI is investigating you because you notarized an identity thief, the falsified information, fake name, fake ID, and fake serial number from the ID will lead the FBI nowhere and they can name you as a suspect in a conspiracy and you could end up in huge trouble. A thumbprint could save your life, so take it seriously.

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6. The document is not in English
You need to refer to your state’s notary laws. Many states will allow you to notarize a document in a foreign language providing the signer understands what they are signing. If you are going to upset someone by saying no to a transaction, make sure you have the right to turn down the transaction before you ruin their day.

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7. Notarizing the elderly
If you are notarizing people who are very old, or in a hospital, ask them some polite questions about current events. Make sure they know who they are, what the document means, and if they know who is in the White House these days. Some people are out of it, so find a nice way to drill them a little bit.

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8. Rude posts on social media
If you think that nobody is reading your social media posts, think again. There are a lot of very hostile and psychotic Notaries out there who are bashing all types of Notary companies including our own. This is rude and belligerent behavior. Many title companies will not hire Notaries who are involved in this type of behavior.

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9. Being obstinate about answering questions.
When companies ask Notaries Notary questions, many Notaries do not want to answer. They feel they are professionals and therefore should not be questioned. The sad reality is that most Notaries do not have a solid notary knowledge and that is why those questions are a necessity. So, be polite and just answer a few questions without trying to wiggle out of it.

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10. Answer emails and phone messages fast.
Keeping people waiting is very rude. Try to get back to people as soon as possible.

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January 17, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — General Tips

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 3:19 pm

GENERAL TIPS

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1. Dress for success.
Business casual is great. People get complaints more for dressing poorly than for being a horrible Notary. So, go to Men’s Wearhouse first, and then buy that Notary course you were thinking of. And remember — it’s not what you know — it’s how you look! Notaries who show up in shorts and flip-flops get some serious complaints and even a bad review on their profile. In short, don’t dress like me.

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2. Forms you should carry
Carry loose Acknowledgment, Jurat and other certificates in your Notary Carry All Bag that you purchased from the NNA. Carry a thumb printer, wipes, and pens with you. Nothing is worse than a Notary that doesn’t have pens except one who wears flip-flops. Having good professional equipment makes you look like you know what you are doing even more than actually knowing what you are doing.

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3. Arrive on time
Nothing is worse than a late notary other than one who wears flip-flops.

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4. Follow up punctually
If you have to get the FedEx back, do so immediately. Do not wait to drop a package unless you are waiting for a callback. If you wait 90 minutes or more for a callback, consider that title needs their docs back and it might make sense to just drop it. That is a judgment call, so think carefully about it. If you get emails, answer them asap.

You have to be available after signings for up to the rescission date and sometimes later. If you become unreachable after the signing, you will get very serious complaints. The worst complaints we get about notaries are that they were rude, or unresponsive after they had completed work.

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5. Don’t be rude
If someone is rude to you, don’t reciprocate. Your reputation is on the line. You can get penalized for being rude even if the other person deserves it. So, watch yourself!

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6. Animals
If you are uncomfortable with animals in the room with the signing, you can politely ask if the animal can be put behind a firmly closed door. Dog owners assume that since they enjoy Fido jumping over them that it’s okay that Fido jumps all over you — after all, it’s okay because Fido’s a nice doggy.

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7. Where to sit
You are the facilitator of the signing, and you call the shots where people sit at the signing. It is often easier if you sit at the head of the table with husband and wife sitting next to each other. That way when person #1 signs and turns over the document, the second person can turn it over and sign it assembly line fashion.

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8. Tips for Jurats
In a Jurat, the signer has a choice of doing an Oath or Affirmation. Many Notaries today are very politically correct to the point where they assume that the borrower will be offended by an Oath and by default only do an Affirmation. This is offensive to those who want an Oath and also not legal. It is up to the borrower to choose which type of Notary act to choose, so just say,

“To execute a Jurat, we will need a statement made under the penalty of perjury as to the truthfulness of the document… would you prefer to swear under Oath under God or affirm on your honor?”

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9. Leaving a business card
At the end of the signing it is not bad manners to give them a business card. You never know when they will need another notarization.

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10. Do you answer the phone during a signing?
It is generally a bad idea to have phone calls during the signing. Some signing companies forbid this altogether. However, you might not be able to get your next job unless you answer your phone. So, if the phone rings, give the caller a minute before you cut them off. It is rude to answer the phone only to tell someone you can’t talk, and it is rude to the borrowers to have a long conversation with someone unrelated to the loan. This is a judgment call. However, it is sometimes hard to get a chance to talk to a Notary due to the fact they are always busy, because they are either at a signing, between signings, eating, or at church — with notaries this busy there is no good time to talk to them… ever!

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Please Also Read:

Best marketing resources for Notaries. This entry goes over active vs. passive marketing in detail
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16322

Notary etiquette from Athiest to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

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January 16, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — Answering Questions the Way They Were Asked

Filed under: Etiquette — Tags: — admin @ 1:30 pm

ANSWERING QUESTIONS THE WAY THEY WERE ASKED

I often have to make over one hundred welcome calls per day to Notaries who cannot give straight answers to questions. I have to ask each Notary five questions, but because they give roundabout answers, I have to ask each question sometimes two or three times which leads to 1500 questions for 100 calls when no questions would be necessary at all if they had filled in their listing properly. People who hire Notaries are seriously annoyed with all of the nonsense they have to put up with. So, make their life easy and just answer questions the way they were asked. Below are some examples.

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1. How many loans have you signed?
“Oh, gosh… hmm, let me think for half an hour, well I did one yesterday, and I’m on my way to one now…”

This is inconsequential banter and a real waste of the other person’s time. Just try to give them a number. You were asked for a number, so don’t tell them how many years you have been doing it or how you are NNA certified, just say how many loans you have signed.

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2. What counties do you cover?
“Well, it depends on what you are paying…” or “I go to Van Zandt for my normal fee and then Smith for a little extra, where is the assignment?”

There is no assignment. We are a directory and need to put you in the counties that you cover. If you can just tell me the names of the counties without the other rambling and questions, I would be able to fill that information in a lot more easily.

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3. The names do not match.
If the ID says John Smith and the name on the document says John W Smith, would it be prudent under the circumstances to notarize the signature?
“I would just ask for another ID.”

Obviously you would ask for another ID, but the question is a yes/no answer and you gave a “what would you do” answer instead. You will be marked wrong because once again, you did not answer the question as it was asked.

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4. What hours do you answer the phone?
“I’m flexible.”

That answer is really not helpful, and “all day long” is not either. If someone asks for hours, tell them hours.

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5. Do you have a dual tray laser printer?
“Well gee, I have a single tray printer but I have the software so that it can print letter and legal and my printer is very fast and …”

This answer does not answer the question. The answer is, “No.” You are bending the person’s ear with all of this rhetoric.

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6. What types of loans do you know how to sign?
“I have signed most of them before.”

This is a useless answer. Just list the types of loans and financial packages you have signed before such as: Refinances, Helocs, Purchases, 1st, 2nds, Reverse, Reverse Applications, Construction, etc.

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You might also like:

Vague communication is unacceptable
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19048

Clarifying vague claims in your notes section
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4675

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January 15, 2019

Notary Etiquette 104 — The initial call

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

PHONE ETIQUETTE ON INITIAL CALLS

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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September 10, 2018

Compilation of posts about Notary etiquette

Filed under: Compilations,Etiquette — Tags: , — admin @ 9:12 am

Here are some posts about etiquette.

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=13718

Borrower Etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

Notary Marketing 102 Phone Etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

Notary Etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

What do you lose by being short with someone when you answer the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16754

Do you ramble? What do your clients think?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4122

The Notary who called me back to tell me she couldn’t talk
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4098

Don’t answer the phone by saying “Hullo?”
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16576

Thank you, Excuse me, I’m sorry
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8882

Always be helpful
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15429

You lose $37.50 each time you don’t answer the phone
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16562

The joy of repeat clients
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=9794

Dress British Think Yiddish
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8643

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March 27, 2015

Notary Etiquette from Atheist to Zombie

AKA: How to be polite when you’re in Affix!

Atheist etiquette
If you are notarizing an Atheist and he/she sneezes, don’t say God bless you.

Don’t sell people’s signatures
If you are notarizing a celebrity — Don’t rip out the portion of your journal with their autograph on it and sell it on ebay. That is considered to be bad manners in certain circles and is also a violation of notary law! Don’t sell your roommate’s notary seal on ebay either.

Don’t second guess family relations.
If you notarize who you think is the guy’s mother, but the woman is the guy’s wife, keep it to yourself. I once asked a guy, if I was going to notarize his mother, then he said, “That’s my wife.” — awkward… Oh, and don’t ask people if they are lesbian lovers even if you are asked to notarized an affidavit of domicile. Let them volunteer that information if they care to do so.

Guns & Religion
If you bring a gun to a signing, don’t talk about other loaded subjects like religion. On the other hand, if you go to a signing in a church, circumvent the issue of circumcision. If the phone rings during a Church signing, if it ain’t Jesus, don’t answer it.

If you are doing a signing for a hunter, should you bring up guns?
It’s worth a shot!

Tips for Notarizing Assassins
Avoid asking an assassin any direct questions such as, “What do you do?” Rather, ask more roundabout open ended questions, such as, “Have you done anything interesting recently with your career?” After all, if their deeds were done in some African country, they can speak freely in the United States about it with no fear of an awkward moment at a party.
If you make a mistake notarizing an assassin, don’t say, “SHOOT!”
If you are doing a signing for an assassin, make sure you include their middle name in the document.
I once asked an assassin, what is the difference between a murder and an assassination — where do you draw the line?

Loud televisions
Instead of bluntly asking someone to turn the TV down, you can say, “It’s very hard to hear you — did you say you liked your rate, or that you were having trouble staying awake?”
If you are mumbling under your breath, “What an idiot” in the context of asking someone to turn their TV down: make sure you say that with a safe margin of error before they actually turn the TV down.
If an elderly relative is watching a loud television. Politely let them know that you don’t want to let them know that you don’t want to become as deaf as they evidently are.

Notary Notes Sections
Rather than write the regular stuff in your notes section, you could write, “I will never insult the borrower, and I have a policy against parking in people’s lawns.”

Going to the bathroom in an outhouse
Notaries should never make a signer feel uncomfortable about having an outhouse. You should gracefully address the issue, but only if you actually are forced by natural causes to use that infrastructure. “I just loved the quarter moon in your outhouse, how quaint.”
“I just loved the latest issue of Outhouse & Gardens that I read while I was doing my business.”

Signings with beautiful women
If they ask you to do a Deed, it will be far more disappointing than doing “The Deed.”

Tips for Notarizing Zombies
It is considered bad manners for the notary to participate in the chanting, especially after they bring out the dead chicken, unless given express permission, otherwise it might cancel out the curse. Never tell a zombie that they look deathly ill — rather, tell them that they look deathly well. If you are having a zombie swear to the authenticity of a curse, it might be wiser to have the swear to a written version of the curse verbiage rather than to have them do a completely sworn Oath (otherwise you might become cursed or start hearing voices.) If asked to notarize a zombie’s death certificate, rather than claiming that it is against notary law to do so, ask them, “Which one?”

Popular Zombie Documents
It is common to have a formal Affidavit of transfer of Custodianship of Soul. This is where the zombie officially grants Power of Attorney to the “Bokor” or sorceror to have full control over their soul and body (or what’s left of it.) Please be advised that many zombies only have half a soul.

If a zombie commits perjury, it is punishable by life in prison. But, it is not stipulated which soul will inhabit the body during the sentence.

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You might also like:

Borrower etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2995

Notary etiquette from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=300

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March 19, 2011

What to say and what not to say.

Filed under: Etiquette,Posts With Many Comments — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:43 am

Notary Etiquette – what to say and what not to say
 
Politeness is hard to gauge in any society.  In a social environment, if people don’t like your comments, they just won’t associate with you.  But, in a business environment, you will lose valuable clients.  Personally, I am the worst person to write this post, because I am notorious for saying the wrong thing at every given opportunity.  On the other hand, maybe thats why I am the perfect person to write this article — I know what one has to lose by opening their mouth!
 
Being professional
Some people treat professionalism by being overly uptight, no fun, and addressing people as Mr Smith, and Mrs. Sutterfield.  They never crack a joke, and never express an opinion.  They will dress well, and get their job done, but were they a pleasure to deal with? Sometimes I really tune into this issue at the Japanese restaurant down the street. 
 
The Japanese restaurant

Its less than two miles away — a Japanese restaurant so good, its worth walking a mile to get to.  With the lack of parking, sometimes I do walk at least half a mile, and then wait to be seated. They are the best cooks, and are very professionally dressed in their black ninja outfits.  Politeness is never an issue, but there are never opinions, and small talk is …. well… “small”.  Then, a new guy started working there.  He is ultra friendly and talkative while being extremely polte.  We talk about every topic under the sun (not the rising sun).  He can talk about any subject while being careful not to criticize others.  Maybe he should be writing this blog entry!
 
Being friendly!
To get good reviews with the signing services, you need to be  a pleasure to work with.  Being human and friendly is part of the game — of course without sacrificing professionalism.  I really want to get responses from this blog on what the notaries consider the “right amount” of being friendly.  The trick is knowing what to talk about and how to talk about it.  With me, I’ll quickly digress into some inappropriate political discussion: a big no-no.  But, weather is a much safer bet.  But, even weather can be controversial.  Talking about rain is safe, but should you wait for the other person to bring up the subject of tsunamis just to be safe?  If its me, I’ll even ruin the subject of weather by bringing in the concept that God is upset with humans and thats why we are having the tsumani.  I’ll alienate borrowers even with the safest of topics.  Maybe I should stick to hurricanes.  At least with hurricanes I can blame the government for being neglegent about building levies, and leave God out of it!!!
 
Safe topics
Traffic is a safe topic, especially for me, since its clearly the fault of humans and not God’s wrath. But, what if you are late and talk about traffic.  Then, its no longer fun conversation — its an excuse… There’s a no-no!  Only talk about traffic if you are on time!  If its me, I’ll ruin even a nice conversation about traffic, by blaming the government for keeping gas taxes so low.  After that remark, even the socialists will outcaste me!  But, its true — if gas were $7 per gallon, there wouldn’t be any traffic — ever!!!
 
Fashion – is it safe?
Fashion could go either way.  It depends on whether the other person has the same tastes as you.  But, sticking to more “universal” topics like where the best sales are for general items is relatively safe.  Talking about general items is politically correct, but when it gets into tweed blazers, you are entering an area of sociological barriers.  The professors will like the conversation, and everyone else will raise their eyebrows!
 
Guns and Religion?
Obama really blew it with this comment.  Religion teaches peace, so how can religious people love guns so much?  Do they want to fight for peace? Don’t talk about this at a signing!  But, if you can pull off talking about what happened at church last week without alienating those of a different caste, creed or faith, I’ll be impressed.  If you can make this type of conversation “universal” in nature, you are a professional at knowing what to say and how to say it.  I would personally give you a reward!
 
Politics?
OHG… stay away!!!  The most political statement you can get away with is how you bumped into Obama at the swimming pool.  That will work.  You can mention how he out swam you.  I heard he keeps very fit!

If you follow these tips, you will be a more professional notary!

You might also like:

Credible witnesses from A to Z

If the world ends before my renewal, do I get a refund?

Notary Etiquette from A to Z

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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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You might also like:

Compilation of posts about Notary etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20505

Notary Marketing 102: Phone & communication etiquette
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19764

What are Jeremy’s favorite blog entries?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18837

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