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August 16, 2016

Hospital Notary Jobs

Hospital Notary Jobs

Hospital visits present the greatest personal risk, even greater than jail visits. When you visit a prison the staff knows your personal safety is their responsibility. At a hospital you are virtually ignored. The passing of infections is an obvious key issue; both ways. If you have the slightest contagious aliment it’s best to avoid hospitals. Two main reasons: your personal defenses are reduced, and you can infect a patient, potentially with dire consequences. Most of the NY hospitals that I go to have both facemasks and hand sanitizer at the entrance. Use both, also press the elevator button with a pen; generally avoid touching things. If you ask someone they will usually give you a pair of thin rubber gloves – additional protection.

Hospital visits should always be prepaid. You should stress the potential problems and frankly inform your caller that the risks are theirs. Your fee is earned when you to go to the facility and notarize if you are permitted to do so. There may be objections by the facility, ID issues, access limitations, ability to sign, ability to understand, etc. There is a good chance your client will be named as Agent on a Power of Attorney. Persons obtaining POA authority are quite willing to pay mobile notary fees; and have a great interest in obtaining the notarized document. Though their interest is irrelevant to your go/nogo decision; it’s worth mentioning. The majority of hospital POA jobs are, in my experience; for loving, concerned relatives who want to help. Of course some wish to exploit the afflicted – it’s virtually impossible to derive their true motivation.

But, your job is to notarize, if you feel doing so would be morally and legally proper. Hmmmm, just where did morally enter into the law? There are (at least in NY State) some “judgment call” aspects. Do I feel that the affiant understands the document and consents to it? Did the ID meet the standard of “adequate proof” – perhaps the photo on the license was a long time ago. Let’s continue with your approval of the situation.

You don’t know and will not be told what their affliction is. Sometimes there will be a “facemasks required” sign on the door. You should be wearing your facemask during every visit. Also take care about having the patient use your pen. Consider leaving it in the room, or at least giving it a good wipe with the hand sanitizer, there are usually several on each floor. Usually someone else is in the room. Show them where the patient needs to sign and stay a few feet away. But, you still need to witness signing a Jurat and need to administer an oath. They can bring the document to the patient while you observe. Just be sure that “they” do not sign for the patient!

Back to your fee. Some make payment on the web site with a credit card. Others prefer to pay with cash. Cash should be collected in the lobby if possible, or call your client out of the room and settle the finances first. Recall that you carefully covered all of the possible impediments to being able to notarize. Your “payment first” policy should have been carefully covered by phone prior to any travel, when accepting the assignment. Similar to prisons, things tend to move slowly in a hospital. You may have to wait while bedding is changed, test administered, etc. My basic notary fee at a hospital is half again what the fee would be for an office or home visit. Stress openly and honestly that all “risk” is on their side – you will do the job if conditions warrant, and total legality.

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June 9, 2016

A comprehensive guide to Notary Pricing

It’s been a long time since I have written an article on pricing, so I feel it is high time! Most Notaries want to have a fixed fee and make tons of money. This is not always possible. The Notary market is a market with lots of little ups and down that a smart Notary needs to constantly adjust to. It’s smarter to have systems and formulas worked out ahead of time so you know how to react to these fluctuations.

There are fast days and slow days, monthly highs and lows, as well as changes in the market that happen over the years. There are also changes in who is competing with you in your area at a particular time. The key is to be flexible and learn how to charge accordingly. Here is how I would set my prices.

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1. Time Involved
A smart Notary should charge based on how much time is spent. Notary jobs during rush hour involve more time. Jobs that involve printing more than the average amount of pages should be billed accordingly. Smart Notaries ask who the Lender or Bank is. This is because the name of the Lender can determine with some accuracy the size of the package. Signing companies lie about package sizes which is why smart Notaries ask. Additionally, there are many loan types and some require more time. Refinances are faster, while Construction Loans are longer but have more professional and businesslike signers. Reverse Mortgages, VA, and FHA take more time. Piggy Backs are double signings and have double the pages and double the Notary work. Time for doing a signing is based on these components:

Negotiating Time — Some companies are easy and pleasant to deal with. If it is fast getting assignments faxed or emailed to you and easy to confirm with the borrower, take notes of that time. It can differ from company to company.

Printing Time — Notaries should charge by the page for e-documents. Printing takes time, and often involves waiting for documents to be ready which can be hours if you work with irresponsible companies.

Driving Time –Factor in how much time it takes to get from point A to B. Keep notes so you’ll know how to charge for jobs to particular cities in the future.

Signing time — Some Lenders have loans that get signed quickly. Some Lenders answer the phone and get situations handled quickly while others don’t.

Loan Type Influences Time Spent — VA & FHA signings are just plain longer. Reverse Mortgages are for the elderly who are less businesslike and might need a lot more time to sign. Power of Attorney signings are the most likely not to fund, so take that into consideration. Piggy Back loans are double the signatures and double the notarizations. But, once everyone has sat down and you have your journal out, it goes quickly.

Fax Back Time — Fax Backs are a pain in the rear, but they serve a purpose. Signing companies can hire newbies and get away with it, because the signing company can check your work before it gets sent back to Title. They no longer need experienced Notaries. However, fax backs take time, so if your time is worth something, charge for each page faxed back.

Cancellation Rate Time Waste — Factor cancellation rate and billing time into the price.

Billing Time — Some companies pay on the first request while others require hounding.

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2. Expenses Itemized

Printing Documents — is not only time consuming but costs money. You are using up paper, toner, cartridges, ink, and using up your time to restock what you used up. Charge accordingly.

Car Expenses — Driving a car is not free. Tires wear down, brakes wear out, plus you need to change the oil, filters, shocks, transmission, and more. So, in addition to time, try to work a mileage fee into your pricing in addition to charging for time.

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3. Track Record & Risk of Not Getting Paid

Late Documents — If the signing company or title company was late getting your edocuments in the past, make a note of that. Keep detailed records of each company. Record how fast they paid you on each job. Recalculate their average days to payment every month just to keep records updated. Also, keep records for how late they are sending edocuments or how incompetent they are about keeping their borrowers informed. If you are dealing with a flake, charge more.

Unknown PartiesIf you accept a job from an unknown lender, or one with a bad reputation online, you might charge more, or make them pay up front. You should always charge extra when there is any type of risk involved. . These signings assume risk. Some of the risk is spending an unpredictable amount of time or not getting paid at all.

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4. Payment Terms
If a Lender will only pay you if the loan funds, you need to charge more. Some Lenders will not pay your printing fee if the job gets cancelled, so make sure you know what the terms of the agreement are. Some will pay part of a travel fee if the job gets cancelled mid-way. However, the signing company booked your time, and you can’t give your leftover time to some other company at the last minute just because they needed to cancel. You have to commit your time to them, but do you make companies commit to paying you?

I personally feel that Notaries should set their own terms. You are not a bank, and it is not your job to gamble on whether or not a loan funds. You should be paid before, or within 72 hours of a signing in my opinion. But, you can make your own terms. Beginners have to accept the terms dictated to them, but old pros can make their own terms and get away with it. However, if you do accept terms that limit your ability to guarantee payment, charge a lot more.

Recommended Reading:
Issues to consider when creating a signing agent services contract
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2593

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5. Travel Fees for Non Loan Signing Work
Most Notaries charge $25 to $50 travel fee, and more if it is for jails or hospitals. You also charge by the signature on top of the travel fee. Charge based on how valuable your time is worth. If you are desperate for work, charge less. If your time is limited, charge more. If you have lots of other things to do, you have less supply of time so you can charge more — this is a strategy to consider — so stay busy my friends.

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6. Jails & Hospital Notary Jobs
Charge more for jails and hospitals because these are the jobs where there is a lot more that can go wrong. You also will not be dealing with the cream of the crop. You can get stood up at a jail. Inmates do not have ID and your credible witness or ID carrier might not show up. ID’s might be expired. Hospital patients are often drugged making it impossible to notarize them. Half of them can’t even hold a pen, so how can they possibly sign? Consider this when deciding upon your jail & hospital travel fees which should be $60 to $150 depending on how greedy you are! Some Notaries are afraid to go to jails, but it is safe, and that is where you can make money fast. Just make sure you have them read their ID to you over the phone including expiration date or you will be very sorry. Also, get your travel fee in cash at the door BEFORE you see the signer. They might not be available or might not want to sign! Be prepared!

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7. General Pricing Models
Keep in mind that a few years ago, Notaries could get paid a lot more. With Snapdocs and lower demand, companies can pay a lot less and get away with it.

Situations where you charge more or less
(1) Charge less during the first 17 days of the month. It is slower, and you have more time.
(2) Charge more during the end of the month. Additionally, you can charge more if you schedule a job several days in advance because you might miss out on a better offer. Additionally, jobs scheduled in advance in my day had a 25% cancellation rate which will wreak havoc on your schedule.
(3) Charge less if you are having a slow day and someone needs a last minute signing. If you are doing nothing, why not sell that time.
(4) eSignings have less physical pages, but often take longer because the signer and their spouse need to take turns looking at the computer screen not to mention the chance of delays due to technical issues.
(5) Charge extra if there are three or more signers on a loan.
(6) Charge more if the company cancels a lot
(7) Charge less if a company has a good track record and is easy and fast to deal with — or pleasant!
(8.) Charge more if there are lots of signatures to notarize.

Pricing Recommendations For Beginners. 0-500 signings

Basic Signing $60-$80
E-Documents: $10-$25 extra per double set or 7 cents per page
Pickups: $25 extra
Dropoffs: $20 extra — there is less waiting time during dropoffs
Reverse Mortgages: $100
Piggy Backs: $100
Regular Notary Work Travel Fee: $30 if within 30 minutes
Jail & Hospitals: $50

Pricing Recommendations for Intermediates. 500-3000 signings
Basic Signing: $80-$120; E-Documents: $20-$40 or 10 cents per page; Pickups: $30 extra; Dropoffs: $25 extra; Reverse Mortgages: $125; Piggy Backs: $125; Regular Travel Fee: $40 if within 30 miles; Jails & Hospitals: $70

When to charge in advance
You are not a bank and you should not offer endless credit to any signing company. Some of them will string you along and not pay you or play games with payments making it unclear which job they are paying for. Decide in advance how much credit to give each company and keep records. If you have a six month track record with a company and they pay you on time, you might offer them credit for six jobs. For all others, do one or two jobs, but don’t do any more until you get paid. It is not a bad idea to charge up front with Paypal, but few companies will pay a beginner up front. Ken, our seasoned Notary always gets paid up front, but he is a pro.

(1) New Companies — do one job, but don’t do a second until you get paid for the first unless they have a stellar record for payment on the forums.
(2) Some Track Record — do two jobs, but don’t do a third until you get paid for the first.
(3) Good Track Record — Watch out: good companies can turn bad if they experience financial difficulties or labor shortages. Do not offer credit for more than six jobs no matter what. A good track record should be over at least six months.

Don’t complain
There are many Notaries who have gone out of business because there is too much competition for too few jobs. If you are getting paid, getting experience, and staying afloat, you are ahead of the game. Many Notaries have this idea that they should get $125 per signing ever time. Unfortunately, it no longer works like this. So, take what you can get and just do your best! If you get more experience, you will be worth more in the long run. Additionally, the market could have an upswing at any time, so keep a positive thought.

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November 3, 2015

When to ask for ID over the phone & fees at the door

Many Notaries just don’t learn to be business-like. You have to get burned a dozen or more times to snap out of it. If you do notarizations at a hospital or for the elderly, they rarely have a current ID. If they do, then they can’t find it. In general, when you do notarizations, you need to verify that the signer has ID. Unfortunately, if you do hospital jobs, the daughter will insist that mom has her ID. When you ask for them to read the ID number to you over the phone they quickly discover that they have no IDea where the ID is. Hmmm. Have them call you back with the serial number and most important — the expiration date. If the expiration date is from 1964 you will not be able to notarize — sorry!

Then, there are the hospital visits that end prematurely because the signer was just drugged by the nurse. It is not legal to notarize someone who doesn’t know which end is up. So, if you notarize for folks in hospitals, tell them that you will cancel the notarization if the signer is drugged or not able to communicate in an intelligent way (or hold a pen.) However, the party involved might not want to pay you after your 45 minute drive since you “didn’t do anything!” But, I drove here you exclaim!

Get your travel fees at the door. Explain when you book the appointment for a hospital, office or jail that you need your travel fee at the door and waiting time. People in Law Offices are never ready on time. They will hold you hostage for two hours without a second thought. They value their own time and not anyone else’s. In fact , their entire business model is based on making everyone else wait for them. So, make them pay for your time.

$40 to $80 travel fee at the door in cash. Sorry, but nine states have restrictions on travel fees which is not constitutional.
Jail and hospital jobs take longer by definition and should have a higher travel fee. Office and home visits are normally fast unless you are dealing with Attorneys who make you wait.
$20 waiting time the minute twenty minutes elapse, and every twenty minutes after before the signatures and ID’s are ready.
$? per signature depending on what your state allows.

So, you walk in the door. Before you see the signer, or any hospital rooms or jail cells you get your $40. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, rather, collect your $40 before you even go in the building. Then, you proceed to wherever you are lead. In a jail, you might have to fill out forms and wait in the waiting room. In a hospital you go up to the room and then there will be a twenty minute conversation about, “How are you feeling, and do you think you are up to sitting up?” The conversation always lasts for at least ten minutes before the topic of the Notary being there and please sit up and sign something starts. The Notary’s time is taken for granted at 90% of hospital Notary jobs which is why you charge a waiting fee. At $1 per minute people will either not hire you, or treat your time (and possibly you) with respect.

In the event that your prison inmate has been transferred, escaped, or is in lock down, you will be happy you got your $40 travel fee. For jails, I recommend charging $80 to $120 travel fee. You might get stood up, and there is a lot that can go wrong. Please read our blog’s other articles on jail signings to be a pro at dealing with cons!

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September 27, 2010

Hospital notary job tips from A to Z

Hospital notary jobs are a great source of extra income for signing agents. However, there are many pit falls and delays. Learn to do your homework so you can minimize the problems of this type of job. Hospital notarizations are always much more time consuming than regular notary jobs, so charge at least $50 travel fee and be prepared for signers and family members who do not have their ID’s and documents ready.

Call first to find out if the signer has ID

If you are doing a notary signing for someone in the hospital, chances are their family members will be calling you for the signing. The signer will generally be elderly, and elderly people who are not self-sufficient typically have expired identification. Find out what the signer’s identification is before you go to the signing. Have someone read the ID type, state of issue, number, and expiration date. The client will tell you false stories otherwise. They will say, “Oh, she has a passport”, and then when you get to the signing you will find that they only have a social security card, and can’t even find it.

Confirm the signing and identification

When you confirm the signing, confirm where the ID is, and make sure the person on the other end ofthe phone is HOLDING it, or you will never find it. Elderly people can never find their identification if they even have any. They will sit with you on the sofa and go through the contents of their entire wallet. You will see decades of history unravel before you, and will be kept waiting a long time. They will offer you every type of unacceptable ID known to mankind, and will offer you everything except for an ID that you can really use. Make sure the client who calls you knows where the ID is, or you will be sorry.

Does the signer understand the document?

Make sure the signing can explain the document to you, otherwise they shouldn’t be signing it. If the signer is so incapacitated that they can’t speak, then you should not notarize them.

Can the signer sign their own name?

Find out if the signer can sign their own name before going to the signing. Family members will always assure you that they can sign. But, medical situations change quickly, and once the notary arrives, the signer is often drugged or incapable of speaking coherently or signing anything. Have the family members make the signer sign something before you book the appointment. When the client calls you and you ask them to sample the elderly person’s signature, the elderly person will always be sleeping, so they can’t test their signing skills, but you will be assured that after you drive two hours to the signing, that the person will be able to sign properly.

Is the signer drugged?

Make sure that the nurses know not to drug the signer within eight hours of the signing. Make sure the family members of the signing are watching the signer at all times to make sure the nurses don’t slip them any valium, otherwise the signing is off.

Confirmation an hour before the signing – a list of questions to ask.

(1) Is the signer awake? Waking them up at the last minute takes a long time.

(2) Is the signer drugged? Valium and signings don’t mix.

(3) Can the signer sign their name? Have the family member test them out before you drive.

(4) Do you have the ID in your hand? Please read it to me again. Otherwise you’ll never find it.

(5) Do you have the document(s)? Please confirm you are holding them in your hand. Don’t let family members drag the person’s arm while the signer is grabbing the pen. If the daughter moves the signers arm around, then it is the daughter signing for the person. If the signer can’t sign on their own, the signing is off. You can do a signature by X if you know the procedure. However, the family members may use their arm as a fixed brace, so that the signer can have some physicall support for the signing. Make sure the family members’ arm doesn’t move around to assist the signing.

What should I charge?
Travel fees for hospital jobs should be anywhere from $40 to $80 which should include the first 30 minutes of waiting time.  Hospital notary jobs are risky, because the signer may not be able to sign — which means you might not get paid.  The signer could die before you arrive as well.  The families of the signers rarely have their paperwork and identification all in order which ensures you at least 20 minutes waiting time, even if you double check to make sure they are prepared.  Charge whatever your state allows per signature and a hefty travel fee IF YOUR STATE ALLOWS travel fees at all. Our forum documents roughly eight states with travel fee restrictions which puts a stranglehold on your whole livelihood.

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