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...


Lists that New Notary Signing Agents Should Make and Use

Starting up your notary business can be a daunting task.   You have so much to remember as a person without adding in all that you have to remember as a notary business owner! Don’t expect to be able to recall everything about your notary business all the time; start the habit of making lists. This week’s article will provide the types of lists you should consider maintaining for enhancement of your notary skills and improving your notary business, plus we will cover ways to record, use, and organize your lists. Lists that Notaries Need Good, Bad, & Ugly Companies Every notary (new or seasoned) should keep a running list of: Slow or No Pay Companies Companies to Solicit Tip:  When reading on NotaryRotary.com and social media notary...


Where Loan Signing Agent Work Comes From

Recently, I have observed that there is a bit of confusion among new notaries regarding where real estate and loan signing work comes from and how to connect into that flow. Below is a list of sources of work for real estate deals and loan signings.  I’ve tried to put the sources in order from most common to least common.  Hopefully, this will help clarify where loan signing and real estate work comes from and how it gets to notaries. PLATFORMS Platforms are not hiring you or paying you.  A platform is a website that acts as an exchange where hiring parties see notaries’ profiles and can text out a notice of assignment to hundreds of notaries in a certain area....


Part 5 – Trust and Trustee Loan Signings (for Notary Signing Agents)

Congratulations!  You’ve made it! This is the final article on the series  Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries. Thanks for hanging in there for all five installments--you’ve learned a lot!   Today’s article will provide the five top points to remember when you are handling an assignment involving a trust as the principal signer. Kudos to you for focusing on education. I realize that it’s always more fun and exciting to talk about marketing ideas and making money, but all professions require continuing education and reminders on the pitfalls of their careers.  Notaries are no different.  For this reason, I encourage notaries to take advantage of the high quality, reasonably priced notary courses provided by Notary.net.  Your hiring parties expect you to...


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Part 4 – Signing Loan Documents when a Power of Attorney is Involved

Welcome to Part 4 of the Wills and Estates series in which we have been discussing notarizing estate planning documents.   Today, we will shift directions a bit and talk about handling a loan signing appointment where one party has been granted the authority to sign documents for another through the execution of a power of attorney (POA).   This can happen when a borrower has suffered a stroke lets another person handle signing of documents.  Another situation is when a spouse is out of town or a borrowing spouse is in the military.  I have also handled loans with single borrowers who are on military duty and have left one of their parents in charge of their affairs by use of...


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Part 3 – Notarizing a Power of Attorney 

Welcome to the third installment of our series “Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries.”  This week's article contains basic information that should help you oversee the signing of a power of attorney.  We won’t cover any legalities or specifics of the differences between a limited and general power of attorney or touch on the document’s durability.  This information is not legal advice; it is based on my experiences. New Terms Below are a few terms that will be helpful to know as you read this article and the article for Part 4 that will be published next week.  The descriptions  provided apply in this context, but the terms may have other meanings, as well.   Agent - The individual authorized to act on...


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Part 2 – Notarizing Wills

Welcome to the second installment of Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries series!  If you missed Part 1, you'll find it here.  ------- Since the arrival of free and cheap online do-it-yourself (DIY) legal forms, notaries are called more frequently than ever to notarize wills.  Today’s article is about handling about wills from a notary signing agent’s view.  A notary’s focus in this type of work is:  to identify the signer of the will, ensure the will appears to be complete with no glaring blanks or spaces waiting to be filled in with missing vital  information, witness the signatures placed on the will, and to perform the verbal ceremony that goes along with the will’s execution.  Legal Jargon Not Used - I have chosen...


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Part 1 – Wills and Estate Documents for Notaries (plus Fall Marketing Tips!)

Hello! I hope you have all been well this week. We are going to move into topics relating to wills and estate matters from a notary’s perspective for the next few weeks. This is one of my favorite topics, but it is a long one, so we will break it down into manageable discussions. Sneak Peek at the Series There will be five parts. The subtopics that I have listed below may grow, but for now, the ones that we will cover are stated.   Be sure to check out the Fall Marketing Tips below the series outline!  Disclosure -- Keep in mind that the author is not a lawyer. I am not an attorney and Notary.net does not give legal advice. The owners of Notary.net...


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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...