Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Find Clients - New notaries, If you do this, you'll find work!

I have noticed that many new notaries have no clue how to locate work or clients.  Let's fix that! Here's a quick lesson on finding clients.

You'll Be Successful If You...

TAKE ACTION and put those entrepreneurial skills and traits to work!  Be driven, creative, and energetic.


I challenge you to read this and do it.

Mark my words:  Many will read, few will do and they will not be notary signing agents more than a few months.

Here's the way to jumpstart your business!

100 Companies Should Be Your Goal

You need to be signed up with at least 100 companies to get a steady flow of work.  You can't rely on Snap Docs or Notary Cafe to give you all the business you need.

You must constantly seek new notary signing service companies and sign up.

Place Profiles on Notary Listing Services

Notaries should establish well-written profiles on listing services. My favorite is Notary Rotary.  I have been a member there for more than a decade. Notary Rotary also has a list of companies plus their ratings of one to five stars.  The list is available to paid members; it is well worth the cost of a paid membership! 

Many notaries also swear by Notary Cafe, 123Notary, and SnapDocs.

NEXT...Find Companies to Sign Up With

While you are on scrolling around on Facebook, don't just visit!

Get busy and read through the postings looking for names of companies to work for you.  From now on, you should be collecting names of companies on a list!  Make all those Facebook groups you are in pay off!  Don't visit groups or forums without recording information about companies that the other notaries are discussing. 

How to Create Your Own Solid Gold Marketing List

This list will be your guiding light for years to come.

1) Open a Google Document in your browser or an MS Word document on your computer. Set up a table like the one below entitled "SIGNING SERVICE LIST."  You can also establish a spiral notebook in which to collect this information.

  • ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT METHOD - Google or Word documents are nice because they can be sorted by name of company or ratings. They can be updated as you learn more about them.

  • PAPER METHOD - If you choose to use a spiral notebook, it might be easier to use if you make a page for each letter (i.e., A, B, C.) and put the names of companies on the corresponding page.  That makes it easier to locate your notes on the company. 

2) Establish a rating system like the one below.

3) When you are scrolling along on Facebook, note the names of the companies you see and questions like "Hey, has anyone worked for Silly Signers?"   Grab your notebook or open your document on your computer and write "Silly Signers." Get the scoop.  Write any comments and rate each company on the date you find out about them. If you don't know if the company is good or bad, rate it as "6-TBD" for "to be determined."

4)  Google the signing service and get the link because you are going to need it.

5) Always keep your document or notebook nearby while reading forums and Facebook.  Collect company names daily.  If you don't have your notebook available, get a screen shot or picture with your smart phone.  Email it to yourself with a note to follow up.

6) Be sure to update your listing notes as you find new information about the company.

Example Rating System and List (PLUS Real Companies!)

Below are the sample table and rating system that I mentioned above. I collected these company names in about 20 minutes on forums and Facebook this morning so I could share them with you.
1-VG – Best rating – Excellent remarks located
2-OK – Okay – No great, but not major complaints.
3-OKLP – Pays timely but low pay.
4-LPSP – Pays low and slow
5-BAD – Bad reviews only
6-TBD – To be determined. Might be a great company – don’t know yet.


Highly Recommended
Highly Recommended
TN Notary gives props.
Highly Recommended
Decent offers, good remarks.
Nothing negative that I have found.
Low pay, but pays.
Being purchased by ServiceLink
Offers $80; nothing on timely pay.

How NOT to find companies to work for.

You could go on Facebook and ask people to tell you who to work for but you won't get responses very often. 

 Established notaries won't usually tell their best clients' names on social media. By giving out those names, they risk telling their local competition (usually new notaries) how to take away their work!  

It's likely that new notaries are watching to see what their biggest competitors are saying. Newly certified competitors often undercut them just to get the business and get started. Those notaries are often naive about pricing and costs of doing business. They think that bidding low and undercutting is a good way to get clients. Well, maybe you can get clients like that, but mostly it is a fast way to go broke.

Next Steps: Tracking Your Progress

1) You need to have another list to track your progress.  Make a tracker similar to this one.

Sally's Super Signers

 01/07 Called the company no answer but I left a message; 01/16 Talked to Sally; her email is  She said to email her on 2/1/17 for sure.

2) Set up a plan for following up. Here is a sample plan for contacting clients.

  • Week 1 - Sign up with the company.  
  • Week 2 - Follow up in a week with a phone call. Get an email address!  Note what the company said and who you spoke with.  
  • Week 3 - Follow up with an email.
  • Week 4 - Send another email.
  • Don't let them forget you!  Send emails on holidays and check in once a month!

Tip:  NEVER use the TO or CC box when emailing many companies at the same time. When sending out holiday greeting emails, always use the BCC box to contact your clients and those you hope to work for.

Tip:  When following up on your application, send each company a separate email.  Don't take any shortcuts. Personalize each email as shown below for contacting the person you are trying to reach.  

Dear Sally:  I hope you had a great weekend.
Just wanted to say Thank you so much for taking my call the other day! I'm looking forward to working for Sally's Super Signers in Home County (Home, Texas) where I live.
Have a great day! 

Your Name

Not going to say "Good Luck"

I'm going to say GET BUSY!  That's what will bring you a ton of good luck!

Thanks for reading!

Brenda Stone
Your Notary News Blogger

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review :$50k to Sign Your Name (Notary Business Book)

$50k to Sign Your Name: A Definitive Guide to Becoming a Mobile Signing Agent 

Just a little example of the difference between gross and net. 
by Joe Cavallaro (Author), Marie Sidoti (Editor)

PROS - It's a book that will help a lot of folks know what to do to get a business moving forward. It's easy to read, chatty (I like!) and has lots of great insight about getting started quickly.

The price is affordable. I wish I would have written it! It is definitely worth the money, but PLEASE READ all of this review before rushing to buy it.

Joe is clear that he wrote the book to profit from sharing his experience. I approve of that!

I'm a writer and writers normally write to derive income just like notaries hope to notarize for profit.

He gives clear advice on how to get business by being a professional that is available and open for business. 


CONS - Just call me a dream killer! I'm used to being unpopular.

The $50,000 isn't what the notary makes; the $50K is gross, not net income. $30K - $35K is more accurate based on Joe's numbers of signings per month at the fees stated.

The fees Joe discusses aren't necessarily the amounts I would recommend.

READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC on Texas Notary Professionals & Friends (my Facebook page for Texas notaries and ALL the U.S. States).  It is embedded below.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Free Money Management Tip Guide

Hi all!  

Notaries are always ready to talk about better money management in January.  How about getting a jump on it, today!

Earlier, I was researching disaster recovery and ran into a few great links to share.  There will be more to come about 
  • small business 
  • marketing 
  • home management  

I ordered about 100 short publications yesterday.

Since I work for a quasi-state agency with a sister agency that performs extension services, I know that there are high-quality resources on government websites that we can tap into.   Google your state's name, "gov" or "edu" and the word "extension"  and you'll see!

These types of guides are written by brilliant experts and aren't full of gobbledy-gook, high finance, and scoldings.  Best of all, they are free.

Below is a short list from one publication I reviewed...stay tuned for more!

Best, Brenda


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 • American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM) – Provides daily money management services to members;
 • AARP – Money management information with focus on those 50 and over;
 • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Tips and tools for managing money through marriage, parenthood, home ownership, college savings, and retirement; 
 • Consumer Federation of America – Provides consumers with a voice in decisions that affect their lives in the areas of communications, energy, finance, food and agriculture, health and safety, and housing;
 • Cooperative Extension – Useful, practical, and research-based information is provided by your state’s Extension offices; find an office near you at 
 • eXtension – Resources from state Extension programs across the nation; search for personal finance resources at
 • Federal Reserve Bank – “Consumer Information” page includes a credit card repayment calculator, mortgage foreclosure resources, general information for consumers and more;
 • Money Management in Times of Disaster - Resources on managing finances and making decisions after a disaster; 
 • Money Sense – Basic financial education information and tools for consumers; 
 • – Provides information from 20 federal agencies and bureaus on making smart financial choices; also available in Spanish;

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rules for New Signing Agents to Remember (Notarizing Recordable Documents)

I get to know a lot of new notaries in the Texas Notary Professionals Facebook Group
There's so much for them to learn.  Sometimes the mother instinct kicks in...I think "How can I help them know how not to mess up this one little thing?"
Hopefully, this ugly yellow post will be memorable!

Dear New Notary Signing Agents, 

Recordable Documents HANDLE WITH CARE!
Stay out of the 1" margin around your notarial certificates, especially when attached to deeds or deeds of trust and mortgages.
  • Don't stamp in the margin.  
  • Don't write in the margin. 
  • Don't use half-sheets for certificates.

I don't make up the rules, I just tell you about them!

Merry Christmas!  
Love, Mom!

The internet inundates us with information...I'm just trying to be really loud and obnoxious about this.  

If you don't remember anything else from my blog, 
remember to be careful about notarizing recordable documents.  

Below you will see a couple of excerpts from 

MORE SOURCES: - Real Estate Document Formatting (March 2000) and 
Notary Best Practices for Recordable Documents (2011) – collected on 1/29/16.
Stewart Title Recording Fees and Requirements – collected on 2/22/16.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Oath vs. Affirmation - Both Work on Affidavits

DISCLAIMER:  Keep in mind that the author is not an attorney.  You must determine what is legal for you where your notary duties are concerned.---


When administering an oath for an affidavit or another statement that requires the signer to swear or affirm the truthfulness of his or her statements, you may normally ask the affiant or signer to raise his or her right hand.  You might then say:

"Do you swear that what you are signing is truthful?"

People often find this a little unnatural because to swear is to make a declaration to a deity.

If the signer is not a believer in deities, he or she will often refuse to swear.  Some signers absolutely do believe in God but believe it is disrespectful to "swear to God" which is exactly what swearing is.

Make this a little easier to handle for such clients.

First of all, it's not required in Texas to ask the signer to raise his or her right hand, so consider cutting that out of your routine.

Other states' notaries must check their laws about this--I only speak to Texas's requirements on hand-raising to take an oath.

If a signer refuses to swear, it should not be a problem.  Ask if he or she will "affirm" said document's content.   If the signer asks what that means, you may explain that to affirm means to strongly and publicly assert something as fact and it doesn't include involving a deity.

Finally, note that you administered an affirmation in your journal.

Notary News Glimpse || Notary Closer Lawsuit || Go & No Go on e-Mortgages || Landman Fakes Notary Seal

Have a glimpse at notary news around the country this morning.

May your Keurig be a workhorse and your coffee warm on this wintery day.

Best, Brenda Stone

Find a Texas Notary Professional


Nationwide Equities Corp.'s Files Lawsuit Against NY Attorney for Using Notary Closers

Nationwide Equities Corp, a mortgage broker/lender is suing New York attorney Mark Matiash over claims illegally took legal fees and then sent notaries to mortgage closings after agreeing to send an attorney.

Nationwide Equities Corp. said Mark Matiash had notaries cover for him at most of the more than 200 closings he accepted.

Nationwide revealed that attorneys receive approximately $995 per closing.  Read More ( // Subscription Required.)

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Go & No Go on e-Mortgages

Not Going...
As I have told several notaries recently, the industry isn't ready to go forward with e-Anything just yet.  On  it's reported that Challenges Remain to Widespread Implementation of e-Mortgages;  While the article says (and I agree) that Granny can be held at gunpoint in a face-to-face notarization as easily as on performed remotely via webcam, that's not the reason that  feet are dragging to put e-Mortgages into practice.  The biggest show stopper to mass implementation of e-mortgages performed remotely is fear of the unknown.  

Moving forward in Massachusetts, however is DocMagic Inc. which has announced that it has completed the mortgage industrustry's first comprehensive eClosing in Massachusetts.  The same was performed for Radius Financial Group, Inc.

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Fake Notary Seal Part of XTO Landman's Ride to Prison

In Texas, a good landman client can be gold. It's hard to find them, however. They find you. When they need you, they'll offer top fees to have you on call for an entire day or during an evening to notarize mineral lease documentation.

One landman will scoot into prison on January 4, 2017 after he created all kinds of fake deeds, fake addresses, a fake company, fraudulent oil and gas leases and lease packets and executed them with a forged notary stamp, according to court documents.  Perhaps the XTO landman in this story didn't want to pay notary fees!  Read the story here on the

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fire & Ice Pickles - a little something for you!

A bit of notary news for you sociable notaries--the end of month is coming.

Do you need to take a dish somewhere in the next few days? Plan for it now!  Go buy four items (listed below in Christmas red) and you'll be set.

I love dishes that are easy to fix, easy to transport, and people ask for the recipe. Print this off and take it with you! (OR, click here and grab my recipe from my Google Docs without all these notes.) 

People will ask for the recipe! 

Merry Christmas

Brenda Stone – 2016 –

Fire & Ice Pickles

  • 1 Big Ol’ Jar of Dill Pickles (not Kosher dill) like from those football/baseball games. I use Del Dixi.
  • 5 lbs. of Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Bulbs of Garlic (aka 12-16 cloves)
  • 1 Small Bottle of Tabasco Sauce (2.5 fl oz)

Put all the pickles in a large pan or bowl and pour off the juice.

Nip off the ends of the pickles as you go and slice them in rounds about ¼” to 1/3” wide.
Slice the garlic cloves very thin. 

After all are sliced, start layering in the bottom of the jar pickles, several douses of Tabasco, garlic, and sugar.

Repeat until all ingredients are used up and the jar is full. 

The sugar will infuse the dill pickle slices and make them sweet, hot, and crispy…basically, they are candied dill pickles with a touch of Louisiana hotness.  The juice will seep out of the pickles and you’ll have a dill-Tabasco-syrupy-mess that seems to get everywhere, but OH so delicious and worth the trouble!

I put my jar directly into the refrigerator on its side.  Turn it every hour, or as often as you can.  Probably four times on the first day is enough.  Once all the sugar is dissolved, you can sit it upright.  Open the lid and stir it regularly. Do this for three to four days before serving.  To keep it from leaking sugar juice into the fridge, either bag the lid with a gallon size Ziploc bag or put it on a large baking sheet. 

Brenda Stone – 2016 –

Texas Notary News from Chilly Central Texas!!

Good Morning - It's Cold in Central Texas!

I'm drinking coffee and it's sure good!

Outside, it's around 29 degrees this morning.

All the dogs are still in bed.

Below are a couple of blurbs for the notary guys and gals in my great state!

Have a great day!  Brenda Stone

Free Listing for Texas Notaries

If you are a Texas notary, please don't
forget to get a free listing here:

Texas Notary Professionals


New Texas Notary Laws in 2017

Lately, I have done a good bit of posting about
the possibility of new laws in Texas.

That's just me trying to get you thinking ahead. How
rude of me!  It's the holidays and I am relentless!

Just a few notes in case I run out of time to post
in the next few days.

  • New proposed laws won't be filed until January 10, 2017.   
  • No new laws have been filed yet about anything, including remote notarization.

  • Want higher fees?  Right now they are at $6 for the first signature and $1 for the second signature.  They have not been raised in 20 years!!  Texas Notaries* interested in joining the effort by notary Tracee Jordan to look into higher notary fees should join our Texas Notary Professionals Facebook Group.  (* You must be a Texas notary to join.)
  • Remote Notary Laws Watch 2016 - 2017 - To preserve this website for the lighter side of notary news and  marketing, I have set up Remote Notary Watch 2016 - 2017.  All my research about remote notarization is being compiled there. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Texas Doctors face same problems as Texas Notaries.

Notaries, pay special attention to this case.

Texas doctors' fate will likely set our own...perhaps not even just Texas notaries.  It could be a decision affecting notaries across the U.S.A.  Can we set policies within our states if remote technology exists?

I don't know about you all, but I'll gladly let the medical folks start testing the courts on this first.

If the American Medical Association can make Texas make policies that allow out of state doctors to attend to patients in Texas via remote doctor visits, it will be a huge win for cross-border issues of this type.   (Sounds like remote notarization.)

One article begins...

Law360, Houston (June 27, 2016, 5:13 PM EDT) -- The American Medical Association on Monday urged the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's order allowing an antitrust case to proceed against the Texas Medical Board, arguing that the board's proposed rule is an allowed exercise of state policy-making and thus immune from antitrust liability. Try to read it here or download a pdf here.

But, the bombshell is this.

Texas Medical Board dropped its appeal lawsuit citing "strategy."

Did Texas doctors lose by quitting?

Will Texas docs no longer oppose outside doctors treating Texas patients?

Keep watch on the news for Doctors, telemedicine, Texas, and Teledoc.  

Be SURE you're on our email list.  Stay tuned.  

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Remote Notarization: Views of American Land Title Association, Fannie, Freddie, NNA, ASN, and Others

The National Association of Secretaries of State took on an epic task of hosting and moderating the national discussion on remote notarization.  Executive of the association, Leslie Reynolds, did an amazing job of carrying out the task and ensuring an open forum for all.

You can find links to all of the views here.

The American Society of Notaries says exactly what I fear...that if we don't get in the game, the game will find a away around us.

Links to all of the following documents, comments, and views are here.

  • American Land Title Association Draft Principles for State Remote Notarization Legislation (December 2016)
  • National Notary Association (NNA) Article on Webcam Notarizations (June 2016)
  • National Electronic Notarization Standards (reauthorized by resolution in 2016)  
  • Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN)
  • E-Notarization Map and Status in the U.S. (compiled by PA Association of Notaries) 
  • Virginia Handbook for Notaries (includes remote notarization process)
  • Montana Remote Notarization Requirements
  • ABA Resolution on Modernization of Signature Verification (supports modernization and simplification of international cross-border notarization of documents for use in the United States).
  • Property Records Industry Association White Paper on E-Notarization (mentions remote notarization - no official position)
  • American Banker Association Newsletter on Remote Notarization (June 2016)
  • Florida SB 526 (2015 FL law authorizing law enforcement to administer oaths remotely)
  • Statement/Position Letters Submitted to NASS on Remote Notarization:
  • Letter from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
  • Letter from the Mortgage Bankers Association
  • Letter from HID Global
  • Letter from Quicken Loans
  • Letter from American Society of Notaries
  • Letter from the Electronic Signature & Records Association (ESRA)
  • - ESRA Statement of Policy on eMortgage
  • - ESRA Statement of Policy on eNotarization
  • Summary Chart of Statements/Positions Submitted to NASS

Remote Notary Watch 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

That Time When Pres. Obama Gave Notaries a Second Chance (to Save Themselves)

Merry Christmas, Pres. Obama:

This is about the Interstate Recognition of Notarial Acts (IRON ACT) that you vetoed back in 2011.

Sir, I didn't vote for you, but I have been grateful for several years that you nixed this act that Congress had passed--it was laying on your desk, just waiting for your signature! You said NO.

Had the IRON ACT passed into law, remote notaries in Virginia might be the only ones being used in the U.S.A. The rest of the states might not even have notaries because everyone prefers doing things online these days!

I appreciate that you gave us a second chance to get our ducks lined up. Hopefully, we won't blow it.

Today, I'm going to encourage ALL of my fellow notaries to be aware of how killing remote notary acts in Texas might cause us to become EXTINCT and undo what your 2nd chance provided.

Best, Brenda Stone

Dear Texas Notary Friends:

I am not a fan of notarizing by webcam, but it is something that we all need to realize isn't science fiction--it's a reality.

We need to consider what happens if we block all technology progress in our notary world.

Many of you may not know that in 2011, President Obama gave us a break...a little breathing room. He vetoed the Interstate Recognition of Notarial Acts. He did this to stop congress from changing notarial rules that might cause foreclosures  to be easier.

Funny thing was...

No one promoting the IRON ACT was thinking about foreclosures. 

President Obama wasn't thinking about remote notarization! 

Rather, this act was promoted and endorsed to congress members by promoters of remote notarization laws for at least five years prior to 2011. Read it and you'll see that it was for the purpose of recognizing electronic notarial acts across state lines.

If this had not happened, it is almost certain that remote notaries in Virginia would be doing most of the notarial acts across the country. They would have remote notarization capabilities and the IRON Act would require all states to recognize those as valid.

We got a reprieve.

If remote notarization is proposed in Texas again, we should not be so quick to fax and yell at lawmakers to "Kill the bill!"

This time, we need to understand that blocking progress in Texas makes us a bit like dinosaurs.

We might as well say, "Yeah, Virginia can have our business...we won't look into the future. If it was good 'nuf in ancient Rome, it's great now."

Folks, you may be angry at me for saying these things, but I'm not the one it affects.  Those most affected most will be younger notaries who plan to remain active for several years.  The next three years probably  won't be affected at all, even if laws passed tomorrow!

But, if we don't have a state willing to accept technology and changes, GSEs and lenders will find a away around our backwards thinking.

Remote electronic notarization is coming.

Stopping it in Texas doesn't STOP IT.

I feel it will just direct it out of our hands and into Virginia notaries' computers.

Right now, at least one company is setting up call center type operations there.

Let's get ready to talk to our lawmakers if the subject comes up.

We want a raise. 

if Texas is going to allow remote notarial acts to be valid in Texas, 

we want to be able to perform online acts just like Virginia does. 
Keep all notarial acts 
in the hands of Texas notaries.

No remote notary bills have been introduced this year, 
but if they are, don't let anyone tell you what to do. 

Don't kill bills without thinking about how it will affect you this time. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Commercial Loan Notarial Certificates

If you spend much time reading or interacting in online notary forums, you have undoubtedly read, “I can’t notarize capacity,” or “I can’t certify capacity.”  

   Texans, cover your eyes!   

These statements generally come from notaries who are in California.  
If you aspire to learn how to handle commercial loan documents, you'll learn to be adept at managing certificates like this one, for example:
Sam Smith signed in a representative capacity “president” while representing his own company, Smith Enterprises, Inc.   The notarial certificate attached to a document looks like this.  You'll be notarizing Sam’s signature.  
Unfortunately, when you get a certificate it might look like this! Now, what in the heck do you do with all those blanks!? 
This instrument was acknowledged before me on ____ by ___________, __________, a ____ corporation.
Notary Public, State of Texas

  How will you get from that to this completed certificate?

This instrument was acknowledged before me on January 1, 2016 by Sam SmithPresidentSmith Enterprises, Inc., a Texas corporation.
Notary Public, State of Texas

COMMENT and TELL ME if you need more information about this!  You may also email me at texasnotarypublisher at  

Learn more about this and commercial loan work on the Texas Notary Professionals' Directory blog.

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