Many notaries ask us how they can get paid by signing companies. Dealing with signing companies can be tricky. But, there are some basic rules of thumb you need to understand.
(1) You need to screen companies before you work for them.
That way you avoid the really bad ones and cut your losses. No notary gets paid 100% of the time, but if you avoid bad companies, you will raise your percentage for how often you get paid. Notary Rotary and 123notary have excellent resources in our lists of signing companies and the forum. You can read the gossip about hundreds of companies before you get involved. Stick you toe in before you jump if you don’t want to get in trouble!
(2) Don’t give too much credit to companies
Notaries get in trouble when they let a company rack up a huge bill. You need to keep track of the payment regularity for each company who you work for. If someone is delinquent on even one payment, don’t work for them until they clear that up. You need to keep your personal records for all signing companies on your person at all times just in case they call offering you work. I wouldn’t offer more than $400 credit to companies with a good rating on our list of signing companies. Don’t offer more than $200 credit to others who are either not ranked, or have mediocre rankings. If they want more work from you, they can paypal you funds up front or pay faster. No money, no honey!
(3) Visit our resources page.
There is a “how to make sure you get paid” page in our resources page. In that page there is a letter from hell which is a template for a demand letter. It works most of the time. But, if the company is out of business, even our demand letter might not work. Don’t get strung along to that point. Settle your finances quickly so that you don’t end up with a company owing you $3000 who is out of business. Keep track, and stay out of trouble.
(4) Your attitude makes a big difference
When I talk to notaries who have trouble getting paid, I notice a few things. First of all, all notaries have trouble getting paid from time to time. But, if a company is low on funds and can only pay a few of the notaries they owe money to, they will pay the ones they intend on using in the future. If you are a bad notary, or are a headache to deal with, you are LESS likely to get paid. Keep that in mind. Be pleasant and professional. One guy who didn’t get paid interrupted me each sentence. I couldn’t finish my thought without being interrupted. No wonder he didn’t get paid. The signing company must have gotten complaints about him. That is not a legitimate excuse not to pay him, but signing companies typically don’t care about what is legitimate or not! They do what they feel like.