Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Where Should You List Your Notary Services?

It seems that we're bombarded on a daily basis by listing companies, websites, and advertisers who want our money to list our notary services with them. They all claim to be different, they all claim that they're the premiere notary site, they all claim that they'll attract business. How do you know what to believe? Most signing agents agree that the top sites to list your notary services generally include, Notary Rotary, 123Notary, GoMobileNotary, and GoGetNotary. Other than that, list yourself on any free sites you can find.

As far as the other gazillion places that want you to pay to list with them, it's important to do your due diligence. First of all, check to see how well they do in Google and other search engines. If you search for terms like "signing agent" or "mobile notary" and their listing doesn't come up on the first few pages, then who's really finding them anyway? In addition, I have the Google Toolbar with Pagerank installed on my Internet Explorer browser. Pagerank measures the relative importance of a site from zero to ten, so a zero or one Pagerank probably doesn't bode well for the visibility of a listing site. I also have the Alexa Toolbar on my Firefox browser. Alexa provides statistics on a site's popularity. Although Alexa stats aren't exact and can sometimes be manipulated, it can still help give you an overall view of a site's usefulness.

For more information on the various directories including a list of some free directories, GoGetNotary has an excellent article.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Is The Mobile Notary Business For You?

It's amazing that despite a serious mortgage crisis and dwindling work for many experienced signing agents, new signing agents continue to crop up on a daily basis. Even in the best of times, the notary signing agent profession isn't for everyone. The following was posted on a small business blog. I have no idea who wrote it, but I think it does a fairly good job of discussing some of the commitment it takes to become a mobile signing agent.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Federal Reserve Cuts Rate by 1/2%

The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate by a half point to 4.75 percent, the first cut in four years. The Board of Governors also lowered the rate on direct loans to banks by half a percentage point to 5.25 percent.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

And the News Keeps Getting Better & Better

Home foreclosures in August were up 36% from the prior month, marking a 115% increase over August of last year. The numbers represent a little over 1 in 500 homes.

Michigan Recording Requirements - What a Notary Should Know

The recording requirements for Michigan recently came up in a forum discuss. Unfortunately the information that was given out was incorrect, so I think it's worth clarifying. The Michigan Recording Requirements are stated under section 565.201, Act 103 of 1937.

The first thing to note is that there are no stated witness requirements for Michigan.

Next, part (b) states that a discrepancy must not exist between the name of each person as printed, typewritten, or stamped beneath their signature and the name as recited in the acknowledgment or jurat on the instrument (If their name is John C. Borrower on the signature line, your acknowledgment or jurat must read John C. Borrower as well, not John Borrower, or Johnny C. Borrower, etc.).

Part (c) indicates that the name of any notary public whose signature appears upon the instrument is legibly printed, typewritten, or stamped upon the instrument immediately beneath the signature of that notary public.

Also, part (iv) states that the instrument is legibly printed in black ink on white paper. The reason this is of note is that some counties interpret this to mean that ALL printing on the document must be in black. So when a notary is adding any information such as their printed name, commission expiration, county, borrowers names, etc., some counties require this information to be in black. Michigan does NOT indicate any pen color requirements for signatures (but please put away you glitter pen).

I'm going to add a permanant link to the recording requirements on the resources page.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Confessions of a Mortgage Broker

Someone posted this ABC clip on Notary Rotary. Interesting insight into adjustable rate mortgages.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Delivering Daily Mortgage Industry News

In an effort to keep you continually updated with events & news affecting all of us, I've added a mortgage news feed to the bottom of my website homepage. If you're interested in doing the same with your own site, it's a simple process. Go to the Mortgage News Daily website, Choose option #1, answer a few questions about how you want your feed to appear, and hit the update button. This will generate the proper code to paste into your website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Becoming a Notary Public in Your State

Linda Maddox at created a helpful page linking to notary information for all fifty Secretary of State offices. These pages typically provide information on how to become a notary public in that state, as well as each state's notary rules and regulations.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tip Sheet for Reverse Mortgages

As a follow up to my post on August 27th, Title Stream has provided me with their tip sheets regarding reverse mortgages and have allowed me to post those sheets here. If you've never had a reverse mortgage signing, these will give you a general overview of how reverse mortgages work and how these packages differ from conventional mortgages.

Both docs are in .pdf format. Anyone who wants them can e-mail me at

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Metro Detroit Leads the Nation in Subprime Loans

Metro Detroit homeowners pay higher interest rates, have more subprime loans, and have the highest foreclosure rate of any other area in the country. 55% of loans in 2006 were subprime, and Metro Detroiters pay double the national average. And in Wayne County, two out of three loans were subprime.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Bad News for Countrywide

Countrywide Financial, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, plans to cut between 10,000 & 12,000 jobs (approximately 20% of its staff). More than 15,000 industry jobs have been lost this week, including cuts at IndyMac Bancorp, the second-biggest mortgage company, National City Corp. and Lehman Brothers. Financial companies, which include banks, insurance, real estate, & mortgage companies, eliminated over 35,000 jobs in August alone, and over 100,000 jobs have been lost so far in 2007.

Monday, September 3, 2007

i Love iGoogle

iGoogle is a personalized page that allows you to pick from thousands of mini-applications (called gadgets) to set up your own personal homepage (I use Internet Explorer's tabbed browser and have several different homepages that open up all at once). Although there are others, such as Pageflakes, that offer similar customization, iGoogle offers more useful tools, especially for signing agents. My iGoogle homepage includes my local weather, sticky notes, local traffic, my Gmail and Hotmail inbox displayed directly on the page, bookmarks, driving directions, a mortgage calculator, a gas price tracker, and customized sports scores (Hey, a guy can't be ALL business). But my favorite is a small little application that allows you to instantly convert any document to a PDF file. iGoogle also has tabbed pages, so you can set up one page for business, one page for news and sports, one page for fun, etc.

And in what can only be described as completely useless but totally cool, you can select a page theme (I selected CityScape) and watch as the page changes based on the time of day and your local weather.