Humorous and Interesting Posts From the Forum
I notarized a klingon
Honest. I was in Harlem and the form asked the borrower to specify their "race". The only "race" of interest is the New York Marathon - but that's a different story. Anyway, the borrower looks steely eyed at me and says "What's this race stuff your asking me to fill out?" I tell him it's supposed to be for some statistical purposes, but I really don't know how the info is used. He tells me "I'll just leave it blank, if it's all the same with you". "Fine", I tell him, " but if you do i'm supposed to fill it in "based on visual observation". He really did not like my response, but seemed a bit impressed with my honesty. "So", he said, "unless I make a selection, you do?". Yup, that's the way it works, and I don't like it either. Then a big smile crossed his face, "gimme that page", he says. With a truly wide grin he fills in the "other" line with the single word "Klingon" for his "race". Well, i'm not one to argue with people about their race, gender, marital status or any other personal issues. I'm strictly "just a NAME kinda guy". So, Klingon it was and that's how i submitted it to the Title Company. Never heard another word. Wonder if I will get to sign ET some day........
I like to use humor at signings to lighten the mood and to relax folks so they will not be so uptight. If the borrower is relaxed, they are more likely to go through the signing with less difficulty.
What humor do you use at signings?
Request for ID: I am required to check your identification to make certain you are not Osama Bin Laden? You don't look like Osama, but we haven't found him yet either.
Right of Rescission: Relax about signing the papers as you will want to spend time reading these documents thoroughly over the next few days. You will have 3 days to review this loan. During the next three days, you will have the lender. After 3 days, the lender will have you. Besides, you might win the lottery and not need this loan.
What jokes do you use at signings? What techniques do you use to speed the process? Thanks.
Posted by Notary Eagle
I had my client arrested
It was to be a routine POA (Power of Attorney) at a hospital. I made sure the daughter had a drivers license for "granny" and the deal was I get paid even if she can't sign due to medication. I arrive and all seems in order. The POA was not signed and the ID was good. I ask "granny" why she is signing the document and what it does. She, being quite old and frail motions for me to lean over so she can whisper in my ear, her voice not being so strong. She answers my question and I tell the daughter that "She appears to be over 55, so I need to get a (Senior Citizen Notarization Rider) to add to the POA. In about 20 minutes I return with a Police Sergeant and a Police Lieutenant. The Sergeant bodily moves the daughter to the corner of the room and the Lieutenant asks the same question of the patient, again lowering his ear to her lips. PUT HER IN THE CAR he orders the Sergeant, SHE IS UNDER ARREST. The Lieutenant takes my card and says I may be called to testify later. By now you are probably wondering what the Lady had to say. My blood chills, even now, a year later when I recall her words. "They told me if I don't sign it I won't get any more food". I never collected my fee, but I sure felt good putting that monster daughter behind bars.
In most states the oath asks something similar to "do you acknowledge that you understood and willfully signed this document.....". Don't neglect to give the oath, and if someone is being FORCED to sign - call the police - it's the right thing to do.
Posted by Edelske
Don't Drink and Sign
I was just reading another post in the free for all about "spillage" which is what happens when you drink and sign. Some notaries take the signers ( borrowers or anyone who signs the signature section of the docs not to be confused with a "signing agent" ) to a cafe to do the signing if the signer's home is not available. If the lender is okay with that then go ahead. But you must observe the "Don't drink and sign" rule. If you sign, don't drink, and if you drink, don't sign. Water, coffee, fine wine, fine beer ( generally Belgian ), or anything else for that matter can ruin a stack of loan docs in a few nanoseconds ( fractions of a second in scientific terms ). Imagine your mobile home rider frothed with cappuccino foam, or you TIL soaked in grape juice. What a nightmare.
So what's the solution? In the ancient Japanese game of "Go", there is a term called "Tesuji" which means a standardized sequence of moves ( a maneuver ) used to solve a small commonly arising local tactical situation on the board. Ahhhh. The alternate table "Tesuji". Drink all you like... Have the new politically incorrect drink at your local cafe... the oussama bin latte.... If the borrower is an addict, a crackaccino.... or grape juice. Whatever. Just keep all your drinks on a separate table, so when it spills ( and it will one of these days ), it will go on the floor ( maybe on your nicely shined shoes ) but not on the docs. So use ATT - the Alternate Table Tesuji, and avoid trouble.
Q. What about food? Can I keep my burger on the signing table?
A. Not unless you are stapling a Jurat to it. Ketchup is a surefire way to ruin a perfectly good 1003.
Q. Dry food?
A. Maybe peanuts, popcorn, and other foods that for sure will not make a mess.
So remember. Be down with ATT, and don't drink and sign..... at least on the same table. If no table is available, pull up a chair.
Ladies, How Uncomfortable are you when...
you go to a signing in a man's home and he has nude pictures flashing on his 40-50 inch plasma screen saver?
I did a purchase Friday and it was WOW..unbelieveable. The seller(man) and buyer(man) did not even seem to notice that this was flashing right in the middle of the signing. I ignored it but it made me very uncomfortable. This by far is one of the weirdest not to mention most uncomfortable signings I've ever had. I tried to move it along as quickly as possible. Needless to say, this closing took me about 1.5 hours because there were questions about the amounts to be paid to the seller...had to speak with loan officer and eventually his boss.
Before it was all over, I had been served cake and berries,coke,told what a great body I have, and asked out repeatedly.
I figured it must be the new shoes because other than that nothing is different about my attire. So, I did a mental check of my attire---black suit with typical shell top,nylons and pump like mules. Nope nothing unusual there. I'm in a business suit! At times like these,I am glad I carry mace with me.
Fortunately, it closed and I got the blazes out of there.
Posted by Selectprocessing
I notarized a stripper
I once did a signing for a stripper. My security guard usually comes with me and sits in the car. Suffice to say, he was not with me that day (Argh for him). When I arrived at the borrower's home, she freely came out to the back yard in what I would describe as less than dressed; you know, tassels and thong. I thought, what am I to do? As a woman, I feel the importance about feeling good about your body and refused to let this bother me. This woman was truly comfortable with herself and was in the confines of her home. I figured if she was okay, then I am too. After all, we share the same body parts.
For all you male notaries out there, what would you have done?
Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
Notarizing a possible hijacker!!!
It was late on a dark Friday night in Rosemead, Calif, when I had just finished notarizing a grant deed for some old customers of mine when the phone rang. It was a company that I enjoyed working for that I hadn't heard from for a while. They had a job for me in the neighboring city of Monterey Park. That's generally a safe place to be at night. What they didn't tell me was that the client was a suspected kidnapper. I guess the company company who dispatched this job to me doesn't include "Are you a kidnapper" on the list of questions they ask clients. I tried to call the location before I went there, but the phone number was incorrect. It was close, so I wasn't concerned. It was only ten minutes away, and practically on my way home. When I got to the address, it was a run down motel with only six units. I was to go to unit #5. I knocked on the door, and a very nervous man answered the door. He seemed very bony, like he hadn't eaten in weeks. His eyes were wild and deep set, and he was very agitated. As I looked around the smoke filled room I noticed that there were seven people in the suite which included a kitchenette. Two elderly ladies were in a bed. I asked him who he needed to be notarized. He said he needed a power of attorney from his mom. His mom only had a thirty year old Mexican passport. Nobody else in the room had ID to be a credible witness except for the man I was working with who was the beneficiary. I told him that I couldn't legally notarize his mom under those circumstances. Then, he pleaded with me and offered me lots of cash which he had laying on the table next to his overflowing ashtray, half empty beer bottles, and packs of cigarettes. Then he told me about the family feud he was in and how he was accused of kidnapping his mother. I started getting nervous then. I told him that he should consult a lawyer. He said he was running out of cash and couldn't afford to see a lawyer. They seemed like they were on the run. I told him I couldn't legally help him. He continued to plead looking very desperate and distraught. Finally I had to leave and apologize. This was one of the spookiest notary calls I have ever gone out on.
Blue Ink or Black Ink?
I accept the routine signing assignment - purely routine. It's a refinance with e-documents local to me, fee is right and doc on time. BUT, I notice a special instruction "Everything must be done in BLUE ink". However, as New York State law requires notary to only use black ink - I call the Title Co. "You must use Blue Ink" they tell me. I tell them that the notarization would not be compliant with NY state law. They tell me that the Pinellas County Clerk (Florida) will not record the Mortgage if the notary uses black ink. What to do? Well, at first I "stood my ground" and refused to use blue ink - a notarization that starts out void is pointless. However, this occurred several times and the discussion became almost routine! It also makes no sense to do a notarization that will not record on a mortgage. Truly no way to win.
I "relented", did not like it; but "came around" to the Title Co's way of thinking. Not because I wanted the fee - I get lots of work - but because the concept of notarization is to provide a service, to facilitate the transaction. Refusing the job does not facilitate, nor does my signing in black ink - only to be rejected in Pinellas. The only way for the Mortgage to record is for me to acknowledge the fact that the recording jurisdiction's needs take priority over the New York law. Thus I am "stuck" doing a technically flawed - but fully functional notarization. If someone has a better idea (Carmen?) I sure would appreciate them posting it here.
Ken in New York City
Tips on Being the Worst Notary Public
Never write things down - rely on your good memory. Book EVERY call that you get and go to the one that pays the most. Use the same stamp for life - after you cut off the "99" from the date then cut off the "19" and just write in the 2000 year. Never clean your stamp. Dress shabby - looking poor might get you a tip. Arrive late - they will appreciate you more when you finally show. Ignore all rules - backdate, fax notarizations, loan out your stamp and seal when you are on vacation - for a commission of course. Curse out the loan officer when the docs are late or over 50 pages. Shrink all e-documents to cheaper letter paper - legal paper costs too much anyway. Ship completed signings only on Saturday - it's easier to find parking. Bait and Switch all "signing co's" demanding double the agreed fee - save this demand till an hour before scheduled time. Eat lots of beans and garlic - borrowers sign quickly in a flatulent environment. Charge extra for using your embosser - after all it's extra work. Never renew your commission - just update the stamp. Never check ID - nobody really gives a hoot who signed it as long as it's not blank. Retain the signature page of the mortgage till the title company pays you. If your check don't arrive promptly sue the borrower - after all it's their signatures you notarized. Pirate other notaries web sites - imitation is sincerest form of flattery. Send phony invoices to lots of title co's and signing agencies - collect what they did not pay other notaries. Your entitled to give opinions about the interest rate and any aspect of the loan - be colorful in your comments. Bring your lunch to the job - it shows you have good time management skills. Have the affiant sign in day glow green ink - legal docs need a bit of color. Always tell the borrower what you think they want to hear - promise anything to get them to sign quicker. Put your stamp in the MIDDLE of the page - show them who's important. Never give the borrower a copy - most cant or wont read it anyway - and paper is expensive. Make a copy of the return Fedex/UPS air bill and use it to send your invoice if not paid in one week. When the borrower's apartment/home is a DUMP - it's OK to tell them so. You must tell all clients that you expect tips - otherwise how are they to know. Park on the borrower's lawn so you won't be blocked in on their driveway. Any room without a No Smoking sign is your invitation to light up. If the borrower forgot to make a copy of their license just slip the original into the package when they are not looking. Make any changes to the documents that will get the borrower to sign - after all you are a public official with authority. A few drinks can help steady your hand. Off color, sexist and racist jokes show self confidence and professional ability. Never read "signing instructions" - who are they to boss you around. Keep phone charges down by calling the borrower collect. Learn to shortchange - clients usually have their mind on the documents. Never go alone - bring friends to help create a festive environment. Answer all "legal" questions with your best guess - it makes you appear very wise and lets you bill the borrower directly for your legal opinions.
Jail Job at Twin Towers
It was just another afternoon, when I got a call for a notary job. The job was from an attorney downtown.
I was to meet the attorney at "Twin Towers" to do the job. When I arrived, he was there on time in the waiting room. The room was filled with Los Angeles' finest looking women, who apparently can't resist criminals. We had to fill out a small form and give it to the lobby guard. We then went through security and I took out all of the contents of my pockets: cell phone, wallet, coins, jacket, bag, belt, shoes, etc. The guards and parking attendants all knew me because I was a regular. They always went through my bad and asked about all of my various stamps, staplers, staples ( considered to be a deadly weapon in a prison ), etc. They took my stapler apart to inspect its interior. Luckily they didn't strip search me. The guards often missed the refill staples in my which could be dangerous if they got in the wrong hands. Staples can be used to pick locks, and can even be a deadly weapon. Even a small piece of paper can be made into an instrument of death by jailbirds I was told.
We walked down the hallway of doom, an endless foreboding hallway that twisted and turned at forty-five degree angles for hundreds of feet. The walls were made of cement bricks and there is always a stark and desolate feeling. For those of you who have never done a jail job before, there is always an ominous long hallway. Every jail has one, or at least should have one just to set the mood. If you go often enough, you will no longer notice the feeling of dread, apprehension, or the echo that each footstep makes on your seemingly endless journey to the elevator. Think of what it feels like to go down that hallway all alone on your first visit!
Then, we finally got to the elevator. We used the intercom to get permission to visit the sixth floor. We waited for what seemed to the lawyer to be like an attorney-ty. I mean, an eternity. We finally arrived at the sixth floor. We had to ask the guard to bring Frankie so we could notarize his signature. I noticed that Frankie had been in an accident. His face was cut up and he was missing parts of his fingers. He had a hobby of making explosives and he had accidentally blown up his apartment and lost one eye, and several fingertips in the process. How horrifying! He was a very gentle soul though, kind at heart. He spoke well of the guards. Not surprisingly, I had a bit of trouble getting the required thumbprint.
I went to see the same inmate two months later with the same attorney. The inmate was looking much better. The cuts and scratches were mostly healed.
The real irony took place eight months later when I went to notarize two Asian-American residents of West Hollywood. I thought I was just going for a regular notary job. They said they needed documents notarized regarding a court case. They said the case was about a guy who blew up his apartment. I said, "His name wouldn't happen to be Frankie".
Their jaws dropped.
Ok, this just happen end night before last. I went to do a POA for a friend of mine. Her mother is elderly and was giving POA to two of her three daughters because the third daughter got mad because she was the sole POA until the other sisters found out about it. The third one got huffy with the mom over the phone that same day and said she wanted no part of it and washed her hands of the situation. So, we pro ceded without her redoing the docs with just the two sisters names on it. Well, everyone signed, the neighbors came over and witnessed and all was done, here comes the third sister and her husband all upset and yelling and cussing the mother and the other sisters. All the sudden my friend had had enough and went and cold cocked her sister upside the head. I sat there in shock. Then the husband got in my friend's face and the third sister sucker punched my friend in the face knocking her glasses across the room. Then the mother started yelling at the son in law and the third daughter and told them to leave. I have never seen such craziness and as soon as I left I called my mom and told her. Wow, what a night.
Down by the riverside
I was asked to do a signing in a rural area on a Friday night in the middle of the foothills to the Ozarks. I accepted as I usually do. I drove for about an hour before I came to the gravel road which took me to the subdivision which was an even worse gravel road. I finally arrived at the house in totally pitch dark and rain and realized I was at the end of the road. The dogs started coming out of the woods to greet me, and since I've watched the Dog Whisperer religiously I felt I had everything under control. I made it to the gravel sidewalk before I realized that I needed to run to the front door. I made it with half of my pant leg torn at the knee and hanging off of my shoes. The lady greeted me and opened the front door saying come on in and take dem pants off and I'll mend em for ye. I went in and soon realized that I was in the "TRAILER DOWN BY THE RIVER". She sat me down on the only bar stool at the divider between the kitchen and the living room. It looked like they had just dressed a deer in the living room except for the 1,000 inch flat screen TV. As it turns out the Mrs. was the only person on the loan but of course the husband had to sign some documents. And as luck would have it, he was on the river fishing for big catfish and wasn't about to come up to the house on the best cat fishing night of the month. So after getting everything signed at the house I went down to the river through the woods in the pitch dark, yes with my new companion dog pack, to wait for the guy to come let me in the boat. Well I yelled for him and he finally picked me up and immediately went back out to fish. So there I was on the river, holding documents and a flashlight so the guy could sign some of the documents after I talked him into washing his hands of the worm and fish guts. Well, I think I found a new fishing buddy and thank God I have enough kahunnies to stand tall and walk forward for my customers. The loan closed without a hitch and I learned something about stereotypes. These people were certainly not fitting the mold of their environment at all. They had suffered greatly at the hands of an identity thief and were just escaping society for fear of it ever happening to them again. Both were very nice people with excellent jobs and yes, they still live in a trailer down by the river.
Notaries are PROHIBITED form having a "financial interest" in the documents they notarize. Your fee is for performing the Notary Service and may NOT vary with the "outcome" of the document/transaction. It is both ILLEGAL and improper for you to agree to accept a "lesser" fee, if the borrower cancels, refuses to sign all the documents (after you notarize at least one) or the loan does not fund for ANY reason. The logic is that the notary is in a position to "sway" the outcome. If the notaries dollars are at stake they would tend to say "It's a great deal! Sign it". Of course we don't say any such thing. But, it would be "tempting" to do so if one earned twice as much money for a package that funds. That is the reason we are prohibited (at least in New York, and probably most other jurisdictions) from having a financial interest in the outcome.
When I see "We pay half (trip fee) for loans that don't fund" - I always point out the "financial interest" aspect being improper and insist on an email retracting that clause. I ask them to send me a statement that FULL fee is for "offering the borrower the OPPORTUNITY to sign" and that I must, to remain legal, receive my full fee even if the borrower stops signing, cancels, or the loan does not fund for any reason. MOST send the statement to me. They don't want to hear about your (time, paper, toner, gasoline, etc) but "most" are very interested in an honest legal aspect of their business communications.
Tell the borrowers up front?
Originally posted by "Belle"
Should a Notary tell a client that they are charged each time they come to your place to notarize docs? Here is my story, I refinanced, the first time the notary came to my home she suggested that I read over the docs to make sure I was comfortable with them and said that she would back the next day. I thought, oh how nice of her. On the second visit, the lender called while the notary was present with issues which again I was not comfortable with and again the Notary suggested that she would come back yet again for the signing. When I received the settlement statement I was charged $125.00 per visit. I was never told by the notary that I would be charged per visit. OK, I recently became a Notary, I can understand better, BUT, I think that I should have been told up front of the additional fees, I would have made a decision earlier and saved me a lot of cash. Because of that Notary, I became a Notary so I will service my clients better. Should she have told me up front??? Thanks for reading. Belle
How to get started
Originally posted by "edelske" as a reply to another topic.
I made the offer almost a year ago but it's still valid. And I welcome and greet you. Time has passed and it's closer to 1500 signings and thousands of individual notarizations. how long does it take to "build" a business - I see you are going to ask the tough ones! The key to having a realistic source of income is to have a "broad base" of both Clients, and Services. The "common sense" issues of integrity, reliability, honesty, etc. are assumed to be mutual knowledge. First, for a "broad base" is Advertising, both here on 123Notary and elsewhere. When you email a few hundred Title, Mortgage, Signing Agencies, Escrow, etc. Companies - don't just say "here I am and your rates", tell a little about yourself and include a NICE business card - a Distinctive one. Always carry cards and give to Security Desk (large buildings), doormen, attach to all outgoing packages (shows pride by "signing" your work). For Services, don't just think of yourself as a "Signing Agent" - also be a mobile notary. Of course there are "walk in" "2$" locations - but you CAN compete with them! You GO TO the client. Let's say your fee is $75 for a single notarization - if it would take an hour to find a 2$ location - AND the "stock broker" will loose MUCH more than 75$ in commissions by being gone for an hour - than "stock brokers" are a good and practical client. Add fingerprinting to your list of services - research and get the appropriate license (as required in your location) and get professional equipment. Always give National Notary Association receipts (look great) when receiving cash. "how long" without trying to sound glib it's inversely proportional to the amount of effort you put into establishing yourself. There are some large "up front" expenses. Plain Paper Fax, cell phone (ideally with email ability) - an e-fax account, and of course a few HI quality rubber stamps and embossers. Don't make the mistake of charging too little - what you first charge is what the signing agencies will always want to pay you. Never over commit. A "wild guess" is that you should see "payback" in 2-3 months, assuming you really try.
Picture this. I get a signing order for:
John and Jane Doe
1 Anywhere Place
Derry, New Hampshire
I travel to the above signing. Upon arrival, I knocked at what I thought was the door of the borrowers. Turns out that I was at:
John and Jane Doe
1 Anywhere Place
Chester, New Hampshire (across the street)
Now Derry and Chester are neighboring towns. Easy mistake to make, right? Unfortunately for the borrowers, enhanced 911 had not quite made it to their location (hick town, NH). The town line sign was between both streets.
While speaking with the actual people who owned the property in my paperwork, it turned out that the neighbor in Derry was attempting to take out a HELOC (home equity line of credit) on their home. I was told by the owners that these people also ordered heating fuel at their expense. They also would steal their mail. (I am guessing that is how they got the information they needed to successfully secure a loan against the actual owners.
Wonder what would they would have provided for identification had I showed up at the actual address in my confirmation. I wonder also what kind of safety issues I would have encountered.
Signing in Pajamas
You never know what you are walking in on when you are a mobile notary.
One of my signings was scheduled for 7:30 pm, which I confirmed with the borrowers. When I arrived at their upscale home, she greeted me in her pajamas, which I pretended not to notice. Her 3 year old ran down the hallway with his PJs on as she explained that her husband was still in the shower, but would be ready in a moment. Sure enough, he emerged from the bathroom in in pajamas. We all sat around their dining room table for the signing and I was the only one not ready for bed!
Posted by Jep
Legal Eagle Para Professional Services
Juratadril - I swear by it
48 hours and not a single spam. I am using new Spam Begone. I am just filtering out the spammers before they get registered using a new feature.
But if the spammers cleverly disguise themselves as notaries they could get past me and make notary spam. I wonder what notary spam would look like?
The spammer would need a name like notaryRx to get passed me.
New ma-huang free Notarin... keeps notaries more awake on the late night signings. As with any other medication, consult your doctor. Side effects may include blurry stamp impressions, headachy borrowers, and loss of that black pen you keep in your notary carryall could result. If you keep losing all your pens, please stop taking this medication immediately or find better borrowers who don't steal your pens in the first place.
New Sealalis. get more impressions out of your seal with sealalis.
Juratadrill.... swear by it.
Notarizing with pets
Pets can be some of the funniest topics of conversation during signings. As a rule of thumb, I bring pet treats. (Do not ever give a treat to a pet without borrower permission as some pets may be allergic to your treats).
One time, I did a signing where there were two cats and a dog. I keep the treats in my work bag which animals seem to have a blast with. During the signing I hear a little commotion in the other room. I looked up to see a cat with a half eaten dog biscuit he got out of my bag. The cat was literally "tossing the cookie" in the air.
I also have had cats literally climb into my work bag and take a nap. Since I tend to do six signings in one day, my work bag can get heavy. I make it a practice now to check and be sure that there are no pets in my bag.
Legal Eagle Para Professional Services