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January 21, 2015

3 very disturbing signings

Filed under: General Stories — Tags: , — admin @ 7:42 am

Here are some stories from one of our notaries.

I had 3 very disturbing signings that now really affect how I make sure I am always in a safe place!

(1) A house in disrepair
At the first one, the house I went to was in great disrepair. I had a refinance to do, and the guy answered the door before I was even able to knock. He brings me into a back family room and I realize that there are a bunch of large empty fish tanks in the room, with wires and electronic equipment everywhere. Then I notice an assault rifle leaning against the desk. Then I notice a handgun underneath the chair. Nervously, I asked the man if the guns were loaded and he said, “Of course, what use would they be otherwise? ” So I caught my breath, and sat down to proceed with the signing. It turned out he was a gambler and had to protect himself and was afraid of everyone. But he was very nice to me and had to be nice because he needed the money from the refinance. He had lost his wife and lived with his son, and the empty fish tanks were left over from his marriage.

His wife kept fish, and when she was gone, he didn’t bother to keep up the fish so they died and he just had the empty tanks there. Really sad. Afterwards, I called the signing company that referred me to this job and told them the situation and the girl said that they sent me over because he sounded nice. Thank god he was. I would have run otherwise!

(2) A signing with no street lights
I had a signing that was way out in the country away from street lights and signals in the middle of nowhere. I drove down the driveway and there was a very large 250 lbs St Bernard that greeted me. I had never seen a dog so large before, and I am afraid of dogs, so this was not a welcome sight to me. The family brought me into the house, and we had the signing at the kitchen table. The dog was sitting right next to the owner the entire time. Just as we are finishing up, the woman I did the signing with says, ” Don’t move.” I’m freaking out and thinking, ” What do you mean don’t move?” She says, “He doesn’t like it when people leave.” I couldn’t even reach down to grab my bag until they had grabbed the dog and locked him in a room! Never again!

(3) The loan modification
I had a Bank of American loan modification to do. I love helping people with HARPS so I was actually quite excited to do this signing. When I knocked, a greasy looking guy dressed all in black answered the door and lead me through the kitchen and past a black curtain. I get past the black curtain, and find that the entire room is painted black from floor to ceiling with the exception of a bright red fireplace. The kids go to the kitchen to make food, and as I’m standing in the very black room with the husband and the wife, the husband starts talking about how the government is going to take over everything. The wife tells him to shut up and just do the signing. I just ran out of there. I wasn’t willing to stay and see what was really going on with them! So from now on, I try to do signings in public places as much as possible.


May 30, 2014

Notaries represent the state; Rap artists just represent

This topic was on the forum recently. Many loan modification and other financial companies ask the notaries to claim that they represent their company. As a notary, you represent the state and follow state laws. Linda pointed out that the notary could claim to have come to the signing on behalf of such and such a company. If you claim to represent someone, there might be legal entanglements.

I remember the Middle-Eastern Wanna-be rapper in Malibu’s most wanted who rolled his “r” emphatically as he said, “Represent!”

(1) There might be legal consequences if you claim to “represent” a company. You can go “on behalf” of a company.
(2) Notaries represent the state, and cannot represent a company they are not under contract with.

You might also like:

Do you represent the companies?

Notary specialties, what is it all about?


August 24, 2013

El Cheepo Loan Modification Signings

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , — admin @ 7:45 am

El Cheepo Modification Signings?

The pros who read this have been around the block many times, however, there are many non-123 members who have barely been around the corner. They, not us, are the natural victim for the El Cheepo Loan Modification Signing. Modification? Probably not, much more likely a screw up needs mending.

The caller starts saying how this will just take a minute. It’s really tiny, just 3 pages; you will be done in a flash. That might be true. But there are a few angry people involved in this assignment. Chief of which is the borrower, as they have to make an additional appointment to process something that should have been done right the first time. Also angry are the LO, Title, Escrow and the Lender (some of which might be wondering why they should pay a notary a second time). But first a little analysis of the done in a flash offer.

They are offering to pay way less than your standard edoc fee because it is: so little. One thing that knows is that any assignment has fixed costs. As a minimum you have to schedule, print, go there, ship, and (try to) collect your pay. The time at the table is about (in my experience) 20% of the overall time spent from initial call to getting paid. At the table you still have to ID and probably notarize some documents. But it’s tiny, so you only spend 15 minutes rather than a full hour. So you saved 75%, right? Well, not exactly. The 75% of time saved is from the 20% (at the table) of the full edoc timeframe. Thus you really saved, timewise, 75% OF 20% or an overall time savings for the project of 15%. Did they offer 15% less than your normal edoc rate – probably not.

Actually, this task should really be at a Premium, not a Discount. They are calling a 123Notary expert; to ride in and save the day. NOW, after the amateur (lowball accepting) notary made a mess of it, they want a professional (my readers). Ask them why they did not give you the initial assignment. Everyone is angry and upset, you are tasked with fixing the problem and dealing with the hostile environment – to me that calls for gingerly talking to an upset borrower (to schedule what should have been an unnecessary second appointment). As a minimum you should be receiving your standard edoc fee, a 15% time savings, considering the situation; does not justify a lower fee.

This is also the time to land a new client. Impress upon them your record of perfection, your advanced training and qualifications. Tell them you guarantee your work. Tell them you understand that “loan modification signings” are an industry problem and by calling you the first time they will not have to deal with error laden packages. Let them know they are talking to a true professional who is aware of the value of time and expertise. They might try the old – do us a favor this one time and we will call you often in the future. Politely and firmly state that your business model does not include the doing of favors. My Grandfather explained quality thusly:

If you want nice, clean, fresh oats; that’s spelled O-A-T-S; you have to pay a fair price.



You are satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; THAT comes cheaper.


July 16, 2013

Protecting ourselves and our notary commissions

There is a real need for us to protect our notary commissions and our livelihood. It seems we have a few notaries getting dragged into court through no fault of their own. So I have been thinking about this and what we could do to inform the public and/or prevent us being dragged into other peoples disputes. First, It seems that folks really don’t understand what we actually do which mean that we become more vulnerable and open to law suits.

Part of the problem is that public is not informed to what are duties really are. I have had folks call in regularly looking for a particular notary that have signed and affixed their seal to a document that they disagree with or have no knowledge of until they receive it. They seem too believe that since we are signing and stamping the document we somehow have something to do with the outcome that the document may bring. I explain our position and the function that we play as a notary. Letting them know that we verify identity and signature only. We assure the recipient of the document that the person appeared before us and proved to us (through government ID), and signed the document.

So, I have brought this to some of our notaries and it just so happens that their are a few of you that have come up with a fabulous idea/solution to have the signers (all signers that wish their signature notarized) sign a prepared affidavit letting them know what exactly their duties are and that they are not responsible for the outcome of the document that they are having you notarize. Now this wont probably protect us from a lawsuit from the recipient of the document. But, in most of the cases that I have seen and heard of it was the folks who the notary notarized their signatures doing the suing. For example, I have a notary that notarized a borrower signature that was trying to get a loan modification and when the loan modification didn’t go through they retained an attorney and sued everyone including the notary how had brought them the documents and notarized them.

I think this is an excellent idea and it cant possibly hurt. You have the signers sign it and file it away and who knows it may just protect you from a lawsuit down the road.

In closing feel free to print up your own or you can wait for mine which will be coming in the next week or so..

Until next time , be safe and prosper!


November 5, 2010

Loan Modifications – What You Need to Know!

Loan modifications are a relatively new type of loan product.
They can be a good source of income, but can also be a source of anxiety or TROUBLE. Laws differ from state to state. But, loan modifications are supposed to be sold by an attorney in many states. The sad fact is that desperate homeowners who were losing their homes fell prey to loan-mod scams, and lost their shirt. So, are loan-mods bad, or good?

The truth is that many companies offer loan mods, and the environment keeps changing as we speak. You can visit 123notary’s forum and find out who the disreputable players are in the market, so you can stay away from them. But, recently some good companies have entered the picture.

What do you have to look out for?
(1) If a company asks you to claim that you represent them — that’s bad. you are a notary, and represent your state only. Don’t lie and claim you represent someone that you don’t.
(2) If a company is collecting a huge check from the borrower to get them started, that’s a warning sign. Loan modifications are supposed to help borrowers stay afloat. If they are taking advantage of the borrowers, that’s bad.
(3) Check loan modification companies on the or notary rotary forums to see if they are reputable. Many loan modification companies don’t pay their notary public service providers!

Hope for the future.Recently, B of A and Wells Fargo have joined the loan modification arena. These are two highly reputable companies that many of us have been doing business with for years. Don’t judge a loan by the type of loan it is, but judge it by the individuals or company offering it.

Additional reading.

Loan modifications, should they be legal?

Loan modifications

21st Century Legal Services

Reverse Mortgages General Information