7 Habits for Notaries to Help Fight the COVID-19 Blues

Whether we are sheltering in place or continuing to work in our notary signing agent businesses, we must find ways to stay positive and ready to identify opportunities when they emerge.   Having a negative outlook helps nothing.  Today, I’d like to share habits that I have learned from observing smart people who get things done and keep going toward their goals in life no matter what is happening around them. Habit #1  - Limit Negative Intake - Ramp Up the Positive Allow yourself no more than two articles on COVID-19 issues per day.   My personal habit is to look to see how many cases are being reported each day.  However, it is not necessary for me to read every single COVID-19 story that...


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The Remote Online Notary Roller Coaster

Have you noticed how remote online notarization (RON) has had many crazy ups and downs?  We had a few hot minutes of activity in March and April, yet today, a number of notaries complain of having no assignments come their way after investing to become an online notary.  Let's Think Back a Minute. Until the COVID-19 pandemic affected face-to-face loan signings, there was little or no interest from hiring parties in contracting with independent notaries to perform loan signings using RON technology.  In March, however, and throughout April, as the pandemic aged, hiring parties began reaching out to notaries regarding their RON skills and platforms. Dozens of notaries took that as a sign to suit up for the RON game by sinking...


RON and Other Creative Ways Notaries are Working During COVID-19  

Can we all agree that this has been one of the most interesting months in history for notary signing agents? And, of course, by "interesting," what I really mean is it's crazy out there.   The topics that I said we would cover this time hardly seem relevant to our world today.  That was on March 9, 2020 in a pre-national COVID-19 emergency where the phrase "keeping social distance" held no meaning for us. Here we are three weeks later, my local FedEx station has pastel blue boxes for people to stand in so that they stay six feet apart.  For grins, go back and look at the article from the 9th (Remote Online Notarization - Positive RON News) and the...


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Remote Online Notarization – RON – a Positive Update

I have positive news to share regarding remote online notarization (RON).  It is now more affordable for notaries to enter the RON arena! Last year, I reported that DocVerify was the only company willing to work with independent notaries who want to perform remote online notarization (RON).  At the time, I had talked with several platform companies, none of whom offered seats to individual independent notaries.  So, that left one company for us to choose from and there was no competition.  SIGNix is Now Available to Independent Notaries! Before I wrote the previous RON article (Should you become a Remote Online Notary?), I called SIGNix  because I genuinely liked the people I had met from SIGNix.  In fact, I had the opportunity to...


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Knowledge is the Key to Securing Your Notary Career

News reports have appeared across the U.S. indicate that notaries aren't aware that notarizing documents improperly or charging unjustified fees can cause any or all of the following punishments; the notary can be Sued for damages Jailed for a crime Sanctioned with fines Involved in a class action lawsuit Since it has been about nine months since I last wrote about the importance of training, and I am bringing it up again because I know that it is the first line of defense to ensure you can protect yourself.   Please note that  in my closing remarks, I'll give you a mini-update on my thoughts on remote online notarization and how this article relates to that.  Continuing Self-education is Critical Most states do not have laws requiring...


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Part 5 – Mobile Devices and Apps for Loan Signing Agent / Notary Work

We are on the final installment of  Necessary Technology for Notary Signing Agents in 2020.  Today, the most important message is this:   All apps are not safe!  The first thing that you need to do is find a great antivirus app and download it on your mobile device to make sure that none of your files or apps are infected. Secondly, do not retain any of your signer's/borrower's non-public private information on your phone.   Avoid taking pictures of driver licenses or passports.  Delete documents that contain borrowers' SSA numbers from your mobile device as soon as you complete the assignment.  Other than standard apps like printing apps, signing service apps, platform apps, contact management, calendars, email, and messaging, I have listed below...


Part 4 – The Best Printers for New Notary Signing Agents

We are on Part 5 of  Necessary Technology for Notary Signing Agents in 2020 and today, we are going to talk about printers.  In case you missed the previous three articles on technology in general, scanners, and computers, those are linked at the bottom of this article.  We will cover standalone printers rather than all-in-one printers that scan, print, and fax.  I prefer a standalone printers and scanners because they are more flexible and are easier to transport in my vehicle in the event that I have to take one of them with me to a signing appointment. Durable, good quality all-in-one items are fairly expensive. The cheaper ones don't usually do as well when pushed to scan 200 pages or...


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Part 3 – Investing in a Computer (Necessary Technology for Notary Signing Agents in 2020)

We are now in Part 3 of a series on the type of technology and equipment that \notary signing agents should consider for 2020 and this segment will provide guidance for new notaries on purchasing a computer that will support a notary business for $400 or less. You may have seen computers on sale for $200-$300 and wondered if they would work for you.  It’s tempting! But all low-priced computers are not alike!  Many times, the "super deal" computers are made with inferior parts that are becoming obsolete or unwanted.  This article will help you avoid those.  If you don’t want to wade through the explanations, jump straight to the section entitled “Shopping Cheat Sheet.”   It lists a couple of configurations that...


Part 2: Purchasing a Scanner for NSA Work (Necessary Technology for Notary Signing Agents in 2020)

As a new notary signing agent, you will be asked to scan back documents so that loans can fund based on the signed documents that you submit showing proof of proper execution of critical documents.  Or, you may be asked to scan back documents as a means for the hiring party to quality check your work from time to time. Sometimes, you'll be asked to pick certain documents from a stack of loan documents to scan back to the hiring party, or it could be the entire package of documents.  In other words, you're going to be scanning back 10 to 200 pages when "scan backs" are required.  For me, there’s nothing worse than having that to do while dealing with...


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Part 1 – An Overview: Necessary Technology for New Notaries in 2020

This week, we are kicking off a series of five articles geared toward answering the questions of new notary signing agents relating to the type of technology investments they will need to make for their notary businesses. Give your business a quick boost. I can’t help myself.  When I talk to new notary signing agents, I encourage them to go immediately and learn how to perform as a notary by taking a course.  Today, I know you’re looking for a boost of know-how on technology for your notary business or you would not have stopped by.  But I want to say quickly that the best thing you can do for yourself, your future, and your notary business is to learn how...


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Protect Your Signers’ Private Information Fiercely!

Would you be bothered by giving a stranger complete access to all of your financial matters, your Social Security Administration (SSA) card, a copy of your driver's license, and all of your credit card numbers? I am not talking about handing these things over to your banker, physician, lawyer, family member, or best friend!  I mean a random person, someone you have not picked out!  This person would hold enough information about your life that your credit could be ruined and your identification could be stolen, as well, if the person wasn't careful. That’s the position our signers are in when they agree to allow a mobile notary signing agent to become involved in their loan document signing tasks.  Borrowers must...


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Safeguarding Your Notary Gear (and More!)

Notaries are public servants.  One of our primary responsibilities is to safeguard tools and records that can be used to harm others.  That's why the message for today is “Double-down on safeguarding notary gear!”   Read on for  -- Tactics to safeguard your seals, notarial acts, and record book What to do with retired notary seals and record books List of steps to take for lost or stolen notary gear TAG YOUR NOTARY GEAR WITH YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER. Take a page from nursery school rules--put your name on everything!  As soon as you receive your seals and record books, label them.  Make it easy for finders of lost notary seals, stamps, or record books to connect with you. When you add your contact information...