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May 8, 2018

Notary fined $385 for botching a Notarization

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 10:49 am

Many of the Notaries on our site are so incompetent about communication and Notary practices that I shutter to list them. The fact is that I am not always informed when Notaries get in trouble. I would like to hear more stories of Notaries who goof and get in trouble because I want to learn how to prevent the problems from happening in the future.

The fact is that a Notary in Louisiana (I don’t remember clearly the name of the state but think it is Louisiana) did a Notary job for a loan signing. The Notary was new and had no idea what she was doing. There were numerous mistakes on dates, signatures, notarizations, etc. In fact there were so many mistakes that the Lender make the Notary pay for the redraw of documents. The bill came out to $385. Ouch. What a nasty surprise for this enthusiastic but clueless Notary.

The moral of the story is that you cannot just get a Notary seal and start working without knowing what you are doing. The states don’t prepare you at all for Notary work. Even California gives very little hands on training. NNA certified notaries have been trained in some basic aspects of loan signing, but that course does not teach basic Notary knowledge. So, if you think you “know what you are doing” because you are NNA certified, try taking NNA’s Notary Essentials course first. It is better to know how to be a Notary than a loan signer, because most of the mistakes notaries make are either rudeness, leaving people high and dry, not following directions, or you guessed it — Notary mistakes. Notaries very rarely get in trouble for not knowing their loan documents and rarely get in trouble for dating an RTC wrong although it could happen.

So, become an expert at being a Notary. You can get into trouble with me if you don’t and trouble with the law, lenders and customers as well. Knowledge is power and ignorance comes at a high expense.

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If you’re named as an identity theft conspirator, it could cost you $20,000 in legal fees.
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Do you keep a journal to please your state, a judge, the FBI or 123notary?
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November 18, 2016

10 things Notaries can do to screw up a notarization

1. When walking into a house where the borrower’s have large dogs, remember to not wear a suit of meat, as you will most likely get mauled ferociously

2. Always remember to have a small spare small container of vicks vapor rub, use just a little bit when entering the domicile of a hoarder or, of the special person who hasn’t figured out how to connect their ostomy bag

3. Under no circumstance should you ever bring your 175 lb ferocious rottweiler to a mobile appointment and let them attack your customer.

4. If you’re trying to conserve paper and think it is prudent to duplex (print on both sides), please don’t use that copy for the borrower’s to sign.

5. It’s common sense that if you don’t have your own solution, to print docs as in your own printer, don’t go into the borrower’s home and ask to use their printer to print their docs, and even more especially so, if they happen to be the respective secretary of state in your jurisdiction… remember to swear them in.

6. Body modification is great, and it is completely fine if you want to be an individual…. but if you look like you just bought the hardware section at home depot and affixed it to your face, maybe that isn’t the best way to impress a perspective client….

7. Always remember, the set of documents that the borrower’s signed, is the one you’re supposed to send back to the title company, If you have sent back the blank copy to the title company, you might not get away with stating you used invisible ink.

8. Always be prepared for almost every scenario, make sure you have extra stamp pads for when the ink starts to fade, blue or black pens depending on your jurisdiction, a writing or signature guide for the nearly blind or elderly goes a long way and you can be certain they’ll sign in the right spot. if you have a mobile printer, extra toner and always have extra paper.

9. If you plan on adding a piece of new technology to your equipment list, make sure to test it, find the faults, search the solutions, before you bring it out on the street. Also, before you go out for the day that your devices have a full charge. It’s great if you have a mobile scanner, but if something goes wrong, as things do… its even better if you have a solution or back up plan in place.

10. There is no ten. (sorry) I guess we screwed up!

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Family guy – Peter joins ISIS by mistake & needs a notarized conversion
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July 25, 2016

You want to get paid well as a Notary, but do you merit a good rate?

Most Notaries are complaining about how poorly they get paid and all of the headaches like fax backs, micromanagement, and hassles they have to put up with. The reason for the micromanaging and fax backs is that someone could lose their loan and their lock if there is a mistake. Notaries make mistakes more than they care to admit, especially the new ones. So, signing companies are forced to check up on Notaries. But, you’re not like those other Notaries, right? Prove it!

Most Notaries do not want to pass the 123notary certification test. They passed the NNA certification test or some other tests, but don’t want to take the trouble to pass ours. When I ask them questions over the phone, they typically try to pass themselves off as knowing it all and then fail my test miserably. For such a large group of people to be anti-knowledge is really bad. You are a professional, it behooves you to study up and know your technical data inside out. Know your Notary procedures inside out. Know your signing agent knowledge inside out. Not just some of it — all of it.

If you have signed a few thousand loans, have good connections, and are certified by several agencies, you are beginning to merit good pay. Those who are 123notary elite certified average $116 per signing which is a lot more than those who are not. Many beginners average $80 per signing, or at least that is my guestimate.

You can learn more about being a good Notary by reading the technical articles in our blog and in NNA’s blog. You can study up on your state’s handbook. There is a lot you can do to become a better Notary. Getting reviews on your listing and polishing up your notes section help your image as well. If you want to get paid well — merit the good pay and it will come.

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Compilation of certification posts
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May 3, 2016

How to Chase Away Clients

How to Chase Away Clients
Through the years, by accident, inattention or just plain stupidity – I have chased away some clients. We all have. Miztakes are a normal part of the human existence. Show me someone who claims to never make mistakes; I will show you a delusional individual. Probably the most offensive mistakes are those resulting in a lack of judgment. The perpetrator knows what they are doing – it’s just that their “bright idea” is offensive to the recipient of their “wisdom”.

I will start out with the antics of a foolish notary that I personally know. And, know enough to avoid that one both personally and in business efforts. This klutz had the understanding that doctors often need notaries (true enough) to process their statements as to the health of a patient. Typically required for adoptions, this process is routine. Thus, the mentally inept one starts properly enough; by defining a market that has a recurring need. That’s good thinking make no mistake about this: fools can think clearly – they just draw the wrong action conclusions.

With the idea of filling the rather restricted cranial cavity, the notary proceeds to develop some advertising. Self praise is piled high, claims to be anywhere in moments, having the lowest fees in town and other nonsense that rambles on and on. What started out as a one page “flyer” morphs into a densely worded manifesto; with an astonishing 5 page length! With the masterpiece ready, self absorption and a lack of respect for others kicks in mightily.

Having the usual unlimited local calling plan, this proceeds to FAX the five pages of rubbish to every doctor, hospital, and clinic within 20 miles! Not bothering to keep records, it is sent multiple times (due to the way they listed their business) to an unfortunate, but now highly vocal few. Of course the ones who received it only once are also outraged. For the next few days the most common phrase in the medical community is “I got the same junk too”. Blacklisted!

The notary did what was thought to be good for the notary. Totally lacking was any consideration for the recipient. The notary quickly became very well known, but in a very negative way. That notary’s notoriety will last forever, possibly extending beyond medical. Mouse brain would have been better off mailing a pencil with an ad. That probably would not be very effective, but it would not create flaming animosity.

Yesterday, I visited, as requested one of my regulars. The location is about 5 minutes away. The owner immediately told me he forgot to reschedule; as the document had not arrived. It was due to arrive today. He told me that today, my second visit, my fee would be double; to pay for my efforts yesterday. I asked for, and received 1.5 of my regular fee; cutting the prior day in half. He asked why I was not accepting 2X my fee. Because it feels right, was my reply.

It’s easy to lose a client and hard to acquire one. That’s a Marketing 101 truism. To chase them away simply put yourself on their side of the transaction. Would you be happy or sad? Picture the humble = symbol. Is the deal = in benefit for both sides? Only a win win arrangement will result in repeat business. Some strive for >= (greater than equal), good for you; not so good for them. Charging $1000 for a 3AM emergency notarization might get the cash; to be followed by a lawsuit for price gouging. Follow your head and your heart, not just your wallet.

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December 24, 2012

I make mistakes too!

Filed under: Carmen Towles,Notary Mistakes — Tags: , — admin @ 6:57 am

The most dreaded thing happened to me after all these years. I get a call from one of my regulars of many years now asking me when I can come through. She has a fee notarizations for herself and her husband. The own an architect firm. We set up a time for the following day. I arrive about 10 minutes early which is what I always try to do. She pleasantly sits me down in our usual conference room, excuses herself and leaves briefly to get the documents. She comes back into the room and hands me one document in particular from a stack that immediately looks familiar. It was a document that I had previously notarized the week before. She goes on (while handing it to me stating that the county clerk had rejected it. I am thinking WHAT!?!?! Are you serious??…cant be so. But unfortunately is was so. It seems in my haste I had forgotten to put the ‘notary public’ after my name. (For those of you in other states this is now a mandatory requirement for all California notaries.) And of course the county clerk had rejected it. They had attached a nice little note with instructions for me to fix it. Which of course I did.

I was thinking ( and I told my client ) ‘I am so sorry, I cant imagine what was going on in my head’ to forget to do this, I assure her that after all that I certainly know better”. ‘But I am human’ as she told me. “We all make mistakes”. But this mistake in my eyes was unacceptable and now I have inconvenienced the client. They have to go back to the county clerk. So to make amends I adjusted my fee. I would have liked (at no charge) to offer to take it to the courthouse for them…but didn’t think of it until later in the day.

So remember to check your work. ALWAYS! Try not to let outside influences distract you. This can easily happen but It can cost you jobs and regular clients. I am sure they will call me back. But I really felt bad about my error. I know better but for me this was a wake up call. I was careless and did not check my work. And ultimately, I could have paid for it by losing a valuable client Or even worse yet it could have been a time sensitive document and because of my error they could have lost their valuable client and/or they could have missed a deadline and I could have gotten sued…god forbid. So don’t forget to check BEFORE you leave them. Doesn’t matter if it is one document or 20. make sure you have done your job. We can’t afford mistakes!

Until the next time, be safe!

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January 17, 2012

How to fix notary mistakes

How to fix notary mistakes 

Notaries often make mistakes.  Many make notary mistakes due to lack of education and lack of skill.  Those notaries will not likely catch their mistakes, and will not understand if others point out their mistakes. However, a knowledgeable notary public, will be likely to catch their own mistakes.
 
The point of having notaries in society is to have some sort of record keeping for the signing of documents, and the identifying of signers.  The notary hopefully keeps a journal (required in most states), and also fills out certificate sections, or attaches certificate forms to documents.
 
So, most notary mistakes that could be made would likely be in the journal, or certificate area.  If there is a mistake on the journal, it might be that the notary didn’t properly indicate what type of document was being notarized, or left out some critical documentation information.  Or, the signer might have “forgotten” to sign the journal which is much more serious.  If a signer forgets to sign, the notary can try to call the signer and have them come and sign the journal, or the notary can go to them.  An experienced notary wouldn’t let such a thing happen, but if there is a lot of confusion and people are in a hurry, then something could go wrong.
 
If there is a mistake in the notary certificate, then a new certificate can be made without seeing the signer, providing that the old certificate is destroyed.  You can not legally have two certificates for the same document for the same signer — unless there are two journal entries for the same signature by the same person on the same document which is very fishy indeed!
 
What about forgetting to administer an Oath to credible witnesses, or forgetting to administer an Oath for a Jurat?  In such a case, first of all, the notary could lose their commission or be fined by their state government for such a blatant infraction of notary law!  But, the notary could try to find the affiant and try to make them take their Oath after the fact.  Better late than never. I don’t think that makes it “okay”, but is better than nothing.

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Rude notaries and what they do
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October 17, 2011

Fixing Botched Signings

Filed under: Notary Mistakes,Signing Tips — Tags: , , , — admin @ 9:09 am

Fixing botched signings
There are notaries out there who get calls from signing companies to fix loans that some other notary goofed on.  The comment of the seasoned notary is always, “Why didn’t you call me in the first place?”.  The signing company always says, “Because, you are too expensive”.  But, how much money are you really saving if the notary job has to be coordinated twice, done twice, and if the signing company and lender get a huge headache?

Taking risks
Its always risky hiring new people. You never know if they are going to be any good or not. But, the seasoned notaries often want double or triple what a novice wants.  How much is experience worth?  In my experience, if I send a Fedex, it takes five minutes, but if it gets lost and I have to play detective work to figure out what happened, and perhaps send it again, it could take an hour. I have other better things to do in that hour.

It would be easier if…
It would be better if there were some database somewhere where notaries would be rated. If someone was new, but people wrote some commentary about how the notary did their work, the others who are interested in hiring that notary would at least have some idea of how the notary worked.

Companies keep a database
Signing companies do keep their own database.  They are always trying new notaries out. If the new notary does a bad job, they get blacklisted in the database, and will not receive any more work.  However, the next company down the line doesn’t know what happened and will try the notary out for themselves.

How risky is it?
The question is, is it better to hire new notaries and take a risk of a loan being ruined?  How risky is it?  If you get paid $150 to get a loan signed and offer $50 to a notary, that is $100 profit.  If you get a good notary who wants $125, then you only make $25 which is not much of a profit. That is the motivating factor why signing companies don’t pay much.  You make quadruple the gross profit by hiring newbiews. After you pay your staff and your office expenses, you might be making 10x the profit by hiring newer notaries.  The business math is always interesting.

I feel that the Title company should have more of a say as to what notaries are hired for jobs if they care about their loans.  If they leave it to an intermediary, it will be like the shipping companies of 1000 years ago who brought expensive Arabian race horses to Europe, but fed them the cheapest food.  When the horses got where they were going, they were too weak to run anymore…

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Interesting and uncommon notary acts

Visit our notary glossary!

I make mistakes too!

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March 31, 2011

Things that get notaries complaints

Things that get notaries complaints
 
Complaints are taken seriously at 123notary.com.  None of the notaries on board have voiced an opinion supporting our review system which allows browsers to post legitimate complaints about notaries.  Many notaries on board feel that they have a license to cause trouble, and that I have no right to ask questions or do anything about it since they pay us for advertising. Many notaries want the right to harm others without being held accountable.  My point of view is that if you cause misconduct while on our site, ITS MY BUSINESS, and you will be held accountable. 
 
I want to take a positive approach to this problem and let the notaries know what the common things that go wrong are, so that you can avoid getting a complaint in the first place.   I’m going to list types of complaints in order of how frequently they come up.
 
(1) Rudeness
Of all the complaints we have gotten, the largest category was rudeness which includes using bad words, hostility, hanging up on people, rude tones of voice, antagonism, harrassment, and threats.  If a signing company doesn’t treat you the way you like, DON’T WORK FOR THEM.  Don’t threaten to use their fedex account.  Don’t threaten to put a lien on the borrowers house if you don’t get paid.  Don’t withold a borrower’s documents until you get paid.  Have a policy for what you accept from others.  If others violate your terms, then stop dealing with them.  Period!
 
(2) No Show no call
It amazes me that notaries think they can completely blow off a signing without even calling. Then, the excuses notaries give remind me of being a substitute teacher in eighth grade. The excuses are clevely worded so that you will feel guilty for asking them any more questions.  Heartbreaking stories, grueling conditions, family crisises, and earthshaking emergencies.  Many of these excuses are true, but there is no way to verify, because not once have I ever been offered a scan of a document that proves someone’s argument one way or the other.  If you are offered a signing and you can’t make it, call at least two hours in advance.  If you are having a family emergency, in a snow storm, in WW3, in a flood, or are almost dead, you better call otherwise you will get a complaint, and I am not too interested in the excuses.
 
(3) Notary Mistakes
Many notaries make mistakes. The good notaries triple check their work and are willing to go back if they made even one small mistake.  But, not all notaries are good notaries. Many will be unwilling to go back to an appointment a second time to fix what they did wrong.   If you make a mistake, fix it whether you get paid to or not, otherwise you will lose clients and get complaints.
 
(4) Failure to return calls or emails after a signing
This is another type of problem that people have every conceivable type of excuse for.  Personally, when I’m on vacation, I answer emails.  I had a vacation where I slept in my car, slept in a tent, and couldn’t find an internet cafe for half a day. I kept looking until I found it and answered as many emails as I could.  Signing agents will go on vacation, or say they did, and use that as an excuse not to return phone calls or emails.  I won’t accept this as an excuse.  You have to be available up to 48 hours after a job is done in case there is a problem, and the problem could very well be the fault of the title company, but you still have to be available.  No excuses.

 (5) Slandering or sabotaging companies you work for
One notary said that the terms of the loan were not good.  Another tried to sell the borrower a modification right at the signing.  A third threatened to use the lender’s Fedex account # because she said she didn’t get paid enough.  Another one sent porno spam to us and others. 
 
(6) Other types of misconduct.
Some notaries just cause a lot of various types of trouble.  Others are unwilling to fix mistakes they made.  Once in a while a signer will outsource jobs to another signer and then not pay them.  Last minute cancellations are completely unacceptable unless there is a documented health emergency or other type of uncontrollable circumstances.  One notary has a habit of double booking appointments and then trying to reschedule them at the last minute.  Two notaries walked out of an appointment.  One had a family emergency and flaked.  He forgot to even tell the borrowers who were in the other room that he was going to the hospital.
 
The moral of the story is to avoid all of these problems by being very careful to go to all your appointments, be polite even if others are not polite to you, and do a good follow up after the job is done.  I’m personally tired of all the complaints, excuses, the dramas, and irresponsibility.  We want good notaries on 123notary, and for the most part, the notaries on board are excellent. We do not want a few bad apples to cause a bad reputation for the others.

Tweets:
(1) Many notaries feel that since they pay us for advertising, we’ve no right to post bad reviews on their profile.
(2) Many notaries are rude to signing companies who manipulate them. Don’t be rude! Just don’t work for them.
(3) Many notaries just don’t answer their phone or email after a signing which can cause a nightmare.

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Florida Notaries with complaints
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A list of things that rude notaries do
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Bad notary reviews and the law on the internet
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=18866

13 ways to get sued as a notary
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=19614

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