My First Commercial Mortgage Loan Experience as a Notary Signing Agent

This is the third in a series of articles about commercial loans.  Unless you have questions you'd like to see answered regarding commercial loans for notary signing agents, we are moving to the topic of wills and powers of attorney,. ---------- I thought I was early when I walked into the multi-story building that housed the Houston title company that had hired me for the next three days. I would be handling their overflow of borrowers who were closing on home equity loans.  I wanted to make a good impression, so I arrived early--around 7:30 a.m.   I'm not going to lie.  I was nervous and didn't know what to expect.   When I found the office, finally. I figured that it was so early, surely no...


Handling Commercial Loan Documents as a Notary Signing Agent

Are you ready to handle commercial loans as a notary signing agent?  There are four standards to meet before you do so. Preparing to Handle Commercial Loans Know how to be a great notary. You must be extremely confident of how to handle any document that requires notarization.  It should go without saying that you need to know every element of a notarial certificate and be able to recite and write out the language that goes in your state’s certificates of acknowledgment and jurats (for individuals)  from memory.  You should have at least $100,000 in errors and omissions insurance (in my opinion) and should be familiar with how to handle complex entity notarial certificates.  You must take formal notary training and...


Commercial Mortgage Loans:  Six Differences for Notary Signing Agents 

Last week we reviewed nine typical loan packages and discussed the sizes of each and the estimated number of notarial acts.  There are a few loan types that are significantly different than the others, the commercial mortgage loan being the most different.  The topic of commercial loans is also quite popular with new notaries. With that in mind, this week, we are going to cover the six primary differences that notaries need to know about when switching over from residential loans to handling commercial loans.   1-Collateral Collateral means the type of property that secures the loan. The collateral seen by notaries in residential loans are  homes or land on which a home will be constructed.  The home may be a standalone...


9 Typical Notary Signing Agent Document Packages

If you are new to the notary business, you may feel like receiving the documents for your assignment is like opening up a box of Cracker Jacks and digging out a prize. Are there 200 pages in that file or 20?  500 or 50? Will I need to notarize something?  How many documents need notarization?   The guessing game can be fun for about three minutes, but then you need facts.  Today's article may help you better know what to expect when you receive an assignment.  We will analyze assignments in this article based on the following variables: Size of the package  (pages) Number of notarizations Other nuances of the deal This article can’t cover ALL the different types of lending or real estate packages, but we...


Posted By Category: Featured, Loan Signing AgentComments: 4

7 Tips for Building a Niche Notary Business

Today’s article is about developing a niche for general notary work and contains  What does “niche business” mean? The word "niche" means a hidden spot, hollow place, or hidey-hole. You already know what the term “business” means.  Niche notary work for most notaries frequently includes several people or businesses who have rare but similar needs. They are often under-served and aren't glaringly obvious to other notaries in your community.    How would one go about finding niche notary business? Notaries may stumble upon a niche population of several or many citizens who need the services of mobile notaries, or they may develop skills to help them ferret out niche work. However, as you might guess, waiting to “stumble” into something is usually not...


Moonlighting with a Notary Business

“Is being a notary worth it if I have a full-time job?" This is a question that has surfaced several times this summer on social media.  In a nutshell, heck yeah!  Having a side gig or "moonlighting" as a mobile notary at the end of your work day can be rewarding! The final answer, however, lies in one's personal goals and how well that person can penetrate various segments of the local population to be the first notary contacted for service.  Today, I will share typical general notary work assignments that I pick up after work.  Non-loan notary work works great for "moonlighting." Notaries who are new to the business of being a mobile notary often know about loan signing opportunities, but don’t...


Posted By Category: Notary Business, Notary PublicComments: 0

Six Steps that Will Improve Your Image

If you are a new notary public or a new notary business owner,  the six steps listed below can help to set up the right public image for your notary career.  These steps aren't new discoveries , but they can be easily overlooked while you are trying to learn how to handle your new duties as a notary professional.   Step 1 – Brand your  notary business with a professional email address. Now that you are a notary professional, don’t hang on to your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL address.  Consider setting up an email address that projects the right image. This step entails purchasing a domain and adding email service to it.  Google is one place to do this.   It will...


Can I notarize this document?

Today, we are focusing on confusing and unfamiliar documents that notaries are requested to notarize.  We are going in this direction today because after polling several new notaries this month, I learned that many would like to know how to handle documents they have never heard of--the crazy ones...the ones that are not in loan document packages.   I ran across one that made me scratch my head, so we will take a look at it.  Its purpose is to say who gets my DNA results from a genealogy company when I die.  It is called a Beneficiary of DNA Information, and it is pictured in the image below.   By analyzing this document, we will answer common questions asked by new notaries, for...


Posted By Category: E & O, Featured, Loan Signing Agent, TrainingComments: 4
Notary Marketing Letters

How to Write Notary Marketing Letters

The biggest notary buzz this week is “Where can I find a form marketing letter to send out for soliciting business from  ______?”  The blank usually contains title companies, doctors, or attorneys most often, but occasionally there are other business professionals mentioned.   Below is a tip sheet I have prepared for you.  But, before we go into tips and techniques, here's my best heartfelt advice: Be brave -- write your letter.  You may be surprised at how empowered you will be after you take that step.  As a business owner, this is a skill that you will need to use regularly. It's the first of many steps out of your comfort zone.  So, we'll get through this first one together. Make the letter short...


Split Signings

3 Steps to Handling “Split Signing” Appointments

A "split signing"  is a type of notary signing appointment.  Being signed are real estate  or loan documents--the reason is it referred to as a split signing is because all of the signers can't attend at the same time. Therefore, a transaction that would normally require one appointment will require at least two appointments. Today, our example signers will be siblings--Jack Smith and Jill Jones.  Jack are Jill are co-owners who are selling property that was left to them in equal shares by a deceased relative. Here are three complicating factors --  Jill lives Dallas, Texas. Jack lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The property is in Houston. Unfortunately, when the documents were drawn up, the attorneys who drafted the documents for sellers Jack and...


Why Every Notary Needs Training

Why EVERY Notary Needs Training

This week’s tips are for notaries who may be at risk of  losing relationships with hiring parties because of errors in their notarial acts, losing their commissions--or worse--may inadvertently perform a criminal act. Because life gets busy and is full of more pressing and interesting matters, notary laws are not top priority to many notaries--I understand that!  Unfortunately, the result is that too many notaries haven't developed proper skills.  They don't know what they can do and what they can't.There are pitfalls to avoid, but untrained notaries don't see them.  They are  performing notarial acts as if blindfolded, unaware of the risks and pitfalls that await them and the public for whom they notarize.  Pressures to Perform Unlawful Acts Just this week,...


Notary Profiles and Marketing Kits

How to Create a Notary Profile and Marketing Kit

Last week, a new notary asked me how to develop a solid profile for websites like Notary Rotary.  I wasn’t able to answer her personally that day and decided to dedicate this week’s newsletter to two important pieces of a notary’s marketing strategy:  Notary Marketing Kit Professional Notary Profile A marketing kit will streamline your efforts; plus, having a notary profile makes it possible to set up accounts on marketing websites quickly. Initially, I came up with my list of must-have requirements for a notary’s marketing kit, then went a step further and asked a couple of friends who hire notaries for loan signings for their input. Like many hiring parties, they depend heavily on profiles to select notaries. Please keep in mind as...