notary: A Job to Lose Money - 11/17/18 07:59 PM
A Job to Lose Money
As notaries we often do poorly on assignments that we accept without getting the full specifications prior to quoting s fee. Sometimes things are slow and we accept a job that is just barely worth doing. Especially when factoring in expenses and putting a reasonable valuation to our time. But, this job was different; it was structured for me to actually lose money.
Hi Ken, old pal; I need all of your expertise for this job. Hmmm, the name was unfamiliar as was the company “whatever document services”. My BS antenna goes up. I just knew that this … (0 comments)

notary: Eyes on the Agent - 11/14/18 11:24 AM
Eyes on the Agent
Actually, they are electronic eyes. The ever present surveillance cameras are everywhere. That footage you watched on the evening news is a prime example. But, let me back up a bit, and first discuss some older technology. Pictures. On a few occasions over the years, I have been asked to permit the borrower to photograph me. I tell them it’s unnecessary, my picture is on my web site. They usually persist, perhaps wanting a photo of me in their house in case the silverware is found to be missing after my departure. Kidding aside, they want to take … (1 comments)

notary: When you Goof - 11/14/18 09:50 AM
When you Goof
Any Vulcans or Androids reading this? As these characters on Startrek embody perfection; they have no need to read further. Oh? You’re human – then read on because as certain as death and taxes you will make a mistake when you notarize on a regular basis. Only do one notarization a year? Chances are that if you are reading blogs here on you will get those rare events perfect. But, for the rest of us; the many thousand details annually virtually guarantee some errors.
The gotchas come from far and wide. I always look at my watch to verify … (0 comments)

notary: What they need or what they ask for? - 11/14/18 09:41 AM
What they need or what they ask for?
I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, never claimed to be. However, sometimes I find myself working with a very dim bulb indeed. I receive the edocs and find the bank had the first name as Matthew; title and escrow had the first name as Matt. A somewhat routine problem that can be solved a number of ways. The problem stems from the absolutely horrible procedure of taking title in anything other than the purchaser’s correct legal name. I’m nearly confident that with all cash, I can take title to a house giving … (0 comments)

notary: Uncommon Notary Best Practices - 10/15/18 11:33 AM
Uncommon Notary Best Practices
I know, the subject of best practices has been covered many times, but this installment will be different. I intend to cover some new ground and not rehash what you have already read. Best practices, such as looking both way prior to crossing the street; become ingrained. They are things that you do practically without thinking, they become good habits.
You always use your stamp when you notarize, that’s good. It’s also a best practice to use your embosser. Now for the new part. It’s a very best practice to emboss over your stamp. Why? Because a photocopy of … (0 comments)

notary: Securing the Notary’s PC - Yours too - 10/15/18 11:26 AM
Securing the Notary’s PC
First, a disclaimer. What follows is not all inclusive of the protections that I utilize, some, for obvious reasons will not be disclosed. I will cover some basic defenses. The first is the concept of a firewall. I use two. The first is the one in my router. It is configured to allow some, but not all traffic to enter or leave. Specific firewall configuration is beyond the scope of this article. Also, I have activated the Windows 7 built in firewall. Of course the security updates to the operating system – Windows 7 – are applied as … (0 comments)

notary: Be Brief, Be Complete - The First Time - 10/15/18 11:16 AM
Be Brief, Be Complete - The First Time
Most of us have heard the old expression about land. They’re not making any more of it, hence the value. Well, the same is true of everyone’s time. Some of my clients drive me to consider drink. I ask for name, address, phone number, date and time. I receive a reply with only one component of my request. So I ask again. The second request yields the second variable. Thus, way too many emails are required to acquire basic information. Did they read my request? Or, is it that their attention span is so … (1 comments)

notary: When Good Notaries go Bad - 10/15/18 11:09 AM
When Good Notaries go Bad
The stories you are about to hear are true, the names have been changed to protect the guilty. In truth I really don’t know the names. The sites I did check that offer illicit activities are very stealthy. Then not only omit any information about themselves on their site, they also mask their domain registration. With only a “throw away” cell number and lots of self praise – to offer very convenient, albeit illegal services.
One offers to Apostille your signed document (signed by an individual, not a registered public official) by mail. Just ship it in with … (0 comments)

notary: The Joy of Saying NO (to lowball notary fees) - 10/14/18 05:13 PM
The Joy of Saying NO
A call comes in from SSS (Sleazy Signing Service) asking if I was available to do a notary job. “Yes” I reply; please tell me more. The job is “precisely” 1.3 miles from your location. It has a single “tiny” PDF. There are “about” 12 pages, and we will provide a return account number for making a UPS label, at no cost to you. I am starting to get the feeling that this is a bottom fisher, but am curious as to the location. Where is the signing to be done? They give a location in the … (0 comments)

notary: Thank You, Excuse Me, I’m Sorry - 10/14/18 05:05 PM
Thank You, Excuse Me, I’m Sorry
Now that’s an odd title! But the three are actually related, much more so than you might expect. The first thing that comes to my mind is the term (that applies to each) underused. The second term that seems to apply is overused. Paradox? Of course.  My regular readers expect no less from me, and this blog will not disappoint you.
GENUINE Thank You(s) are way too few and far between. When you are leaving the borrower’s home do you take a moment to say “Thank You for your time”? Do you send a Thank You when … (1 comments)

notary: Make a Good Impression - Notary or other rubber stamp - 10/14/18 04:59 PM
Make a Good Impression
Nope, I’m not referring to your grooming, attire, or shined shoes. This episode focuses on your notary stamp. Here in New York, a stamp is not actually required, the necessary information can be hand written. However, virtually every notarization that I have ever seen has used a notary stamp. Some are neat and legible; others are, well, a mess.
You are a mobile notary public. You charge more than the state mandated fee for notarizing a signature. For that fee your client deserves the best you can provide. As fantastic as it may sound, I know of a notary … (0 comments)

notary: Bad things that Notaries do - 10/14/18 05:58 AM
Bad things that Notaries do
Some notaries do bad things. They do bad things mostly to themselves, but also to others. With the assumption that the notary is not doing illegal things; the major causative factor in “notary failure and discontent” might be the lack of a business plan. Unless you are a “hobby notary” whose chief aim is to be popular and useful to others; it’s likely your desire is to earn a profit. The fancy term is “cost benefit analysis” but plain old “is it worth it to me” works too. There are many things you can do to increase … (0 comments)

notary: When you say I DO - it’s not what you think - 10/01/18 03:52 PM
When you say I DO - it’s not what you think
First the title, the entry has nothing to do with a marriage ceremony. Perhaps my details delve into a situation with greater risk. At the wedding the question is “do you take ,,,,,”. My question is (with some variations) – Do you swear or affirm that these are your signatures, that you read and understood these documents; and that the statements contained are true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.
 I’m waiting for a yes, or I do. Very rarely (actually only once in 10+ years) do I … (1 comments)

notary: Signing Agent Pitfall Avoidance by Mindset Awareness - 09/13/18 12:19 PM
Signing Agent Pitfall Avoidance by Mindset Awareness
No, I’m not going to present to you for the umpteenth time the same old “must do” and “must not do”. They have been covered – extensively, in blog articles and on the forum. If you don’t know how to properly request the initials of Mr. Red Green-Blue III, or the difference between a Venue and a Jurat – you won’t find the answers here. Rather, I will delve into the notary mindset, and related mindset awareness. Don’t worry, no rants or religious dogma will follow. But, I do hope to get you to think … (0 comments)

notary: Notary Respect - 09/13/18 12:09 PM
Notary Respect
“When you arrive at the building, please use the service entrance.” That was the closing sentence from a client for an assignment in a midtown Manhattan office building. I called, and made it quite clear that was not the way I would proceed. “I do not use the back door; I am a commissioned officer of the State Department of the State of New York on official business. I do not use the messenger or pizza delivery entrance. If you will kindly confirm to me that a pass will be waiting for me in the main lobby, I will be … (1 comments)

notary: Notarize JUST the Name - 09/13/18 12:04 PM
Notarize JUST the Name
We are all familiar with the two most common notary actions. The Jurat: “Sworn to and Subscribed…….”, and the Acknowledgement: “This instrument was Acknowledged before me…..”. I’m not going to cover the not so subtle differences between the two of them. What will be discussed is the expansion of the notary statement to include virtually anything.
I just shipped off an Edoc. I had to redact (no changes were made, no replacement text, just a thin line thru with my initials at the end of the line) some superfluous verbiage. Before I get into the details let me credit … (0 comments)

notary: Don’t call Title or Borrower - If you agreed not to - 09/13/18 11:58 AM
Don’t call Title or Borrower
That admonition gives me chills. In my dumber days, when I heeded that directive; a far higher percentage of assignments had “problems”. Virtually everything that could wrong did go wrong.
Many of our “employers” often stress how we are the final quality control point. They stress how we should be sure the package contains a HUD and 1003 loan application. Some blithely request that we check the package for “accuracy”, as if that was something we could do, in detail. Everyone in the process tries to minimize errors, but, humans are fallible. With the rush of processing mistakes … (0 comments)

notary: You have only One Objective - Legally - 09/13/18 11:51 AM
You have only One Objective
Some have had many objectives, concurrently; and all of them critical. Picture a front line medic or doctor in a war zone. Surrounded by the dead and dying. Some can be saved, but there are decisions to be made, and made very quickly. Some must be ignored, just a quick shot of morphine to ease their suffering. Perhaps, if there are adequate supplies, a few shots of morphine; a merciful quick end…. Rapid life and death decisions to do the most good.
You, on the other hand have lots of time to process the documents. Oh, sure, there … (0 comments)

notary: You’re Unique, You Don’t SAY in your bio - 08/20/18 08:51 AM
You’re Unique, You Don’t SAY in your bio
I can prove you are unique, it’s easy. I do fingerprinting. And while the statistic is that two people in six billion might classify the same; their fingerprints will be unique. There are some practical limitations to classifying fingerprints. So where am I going with this? My whimsical first thought was to have management modify the notes section to allow uploading a fingerprint image. Then, at last, the vast majority of member notes would have something truly unique.
First, I’m going to discuss the problem; somewhat briefly. Take about fifteen minutes; randomly roam around the country. … (10 comments)

notary: Their Signature - The Foundation of the deal - 08/20/18 08:43 AM
Their Signature
 Let’s use, as a working definition of Their Signature; “somebody's name written by him or her in a characteristic way”. Long ago, about a decade, I was often asked to provide “legible” signatures that matched the name signing. I tried that a few times, mostly with dismal failure. More often than not, the signature was totally illegible – more like artwork than written script handwriting.
 Now let’s go back a lot further in the past, about two thousand years. Commercial transactions were common then as they are now. Most did not read or write, they made their mark. It was the … (0 comments)

Kenneth Edelstein, The only A+ Accredited BBB NYC Notary (

Kenneth Edelstein

The only A+ Accredited BBB NYC Notary

Manhattan, NY

More about me…

Address: 341 West 71st Street, Suite 8, New York, NY, 10023

Office: (917) 864-3564

Mobile: (917) 864-3564



RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog