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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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January 26, 2011

Clarifying vague claims in your notes section

Vague: I am experienced
Better: I have signed a million loans including reverse mortgages, HELOCS, 1st & 2nd mortgages, and Debt Consolidations

Vague: I am dependable
Better: I always confirm the signing from my car. I let them know my ETA and let people know if I am running late (which is not the norm)

Vague: I am meticulous
Better: I always triple check my work and make sure that my stamp is clear, especially on recorded documents.

Vague: I love people
Better: It is so nice to constantly be meeting new people all the time at signings.

Vague: I love animals
Better: I always introduce myself to all of the animals at a house when I do a signing. Animals understand me — and if you don’t believe me then ask them!

Vague: I am detail oriented
Better: I am very particular about where each initial goes, and how it is formed. I like people to put suffixes on their initials such as Jr. or III when applicable just to be thorough.

Vague: I am very professional
Better: I wear business casual to all signings. I introduce myself at the door and NEVER park in the driveway unless requested to by the borrowers. I introduce the documents one by one and show the borrowers all critical information on each one, before we start signing.

Vague: I have a flexible schedule
Satirical: My schedule is very flexible because IT does yoga. I do not do yoga, but my schedule takes regular yoga classes at Bikram, so I can accommodate signings at the oddest of hours.

Better: I am available from 8am to 10pm, but will consider signing after that if given advanced notice and extra financial compensation.

Vague: 10 years of notary experience
Specific: 1000 loans signed (more more informative)

Vague: I have 20 years in the financial industry
Specific: I was a Mortgage Broker for 10 years and a Title Officer for another 10 years.

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