A Hidden Opportunity- The 123Notary.com controversy

It is how you respond that makes the opportunity

If you follow comments on the forums, you may have seen the uprising against Jeromy Belmont, owner of 123Notary.com. He randomly calls his clients (us) and quizzes them on notary fact/law to ensure in his opinion they are competent enough to be listed on his site.  Last year I was one of those calls.

Many of his clients complain he does not have the right to test them. In my humble opinion I think the presentation/execution of his plan is what is causing him so much poor response.  Could he have altered his approach to get buyin from his notary clients. I don’t think anyone would disagree it is important to be a competent notary, or that there are notaries who need help to be more proficient  However, a strategy to acknowledge those who are in the first group with a different path for the latter might go a long way to take any perceived accusatory tone that could be personalized.  

A more appealing approach  that includes “what is in it for me, the notary” would get better buy-in from his notary clients.  Also he is missing the opportunity to optimize a differentiation point for his registry and the notary.  It takes a lot of energy and time to call the many notaries on his registry so why not make it pay off. 

If it was your Business, and the success of it depends upon the satisfaction of the customers who use your service which is dependant upon the notaries selected, what do you think you should do to ensure it’s success?

I personally keep a listing of notary colleagues to refer work I cannot handle, and it is important I have first hand knowledge of their competency, as to the client, the person I send them is a reflection on my business.   I have removed notaries who demonstrate to me incompetence in notary skills or lack of business skill.   As a business owner Jeromy  has a responsibility to ensure those he lists enhance his Brand.  We pay for his registry to get customers, if I do not get customers from his registry I would stop paying.  However, his method may not be the most productive way.

Now let’s put our eyes on ourselves…. As a business owner, regardless of presentation, I need to read between the lines and determine if there is a hidden opportunity.  If I am willing to do that, I have a chance to uncover opportunity that didn’t exist before.

My response to his call was, this is a great opportunity for me to demonstrate how good I am and leverage that call into something bigger, after all, this is the owner of the company who called me.  We had a great conversation after I answered his questions. We discussed the importance of notary competency, what we thought was going on in our industry etc.  By changing how I responded to this call I created an opportunity for my business.  He offered to post articles I write and that would give me more exposure as a Notary Coach.   Same type of call, different outcome.

What is the lesson?

Opportunities are not always obvious, so a savvy business owner needs to read between the lines and look for what the benefit could be rather than hastily naysaying the objective of the presenter. Leverage what is not seen by others to get your business to the next level.

 Take the Test

Below is a list of example questions he asks. I share them so you can see what he thinks are basic knowledge points we should all know. Most of them are, but some are not as common as he might think and a few are worded awkwardly. Take it yourself and see how many you can answer without looking up first. If you are a CA notary I expect that number would be high as we have excellent training covering the entirety of all the acts allowed by law. If any give you pause, look it up and if you need assistance, reach out to me and I am happy to help.


123Notary question samples

1. What is/are the difference(s) between an Oath and an Affirmation?
2. What is the difference between an Acknowledgment and a Jurat?
3. Name all Notary acts allowed in your state.
4. Who has the final authority to decide what goes in the venue for an Acknowledgment certificate?
5. Can a borrower initial in an Acknowledgment if there is a change?
6. If you add a loose certificate, what precautions do you take to make sure it does not get added to a different document by accident or fraudulently?
7. If the FBI comes knocking on your door because you notarized someone with a fake ID, what piece of information will they want to see?
8. Which Notary act can the signer sign ten years before appearing before the Notary Public?
9. What is the difference between an Oath for a document (such as an Affidavit with a Jurat) and a purely oral statement?
10. If you are using a preprinted Acknowledgment filled out by the lender, after you inspect the boiler-plate wording with the he/she/they, the date, and the venue, what other things do you need to check on the acknowledgment form before signing and sealing?
11. What is wrong with the following Oath? “Do you affirm that the information you provided is true?”
12. Can you give an Oath that says, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that your name is Mickey Mouse?”
13. Name two Notary acts that do not have a written document.
14. Name several Notary acts beginning with the letter A as their first letter.
15. What does, “Subscribed and sworn to before me” mean?
16. If you see the words, “Subscribed and sworn to before me BY,” then whose name goes after the by?
17. What is an affiant?
18. What is the technical term for state and county?
19. Name several situations where you might add a loose certificate.

At your service




4 thoughts on “A Hidden Opportunity- The 123Notary.com controversy”

  1. Dear Laura,

    You were the best instructor ever.

    I was wondering if you could give me the name of the company that hires notaries to notarize trusts in Sacramento area.

    Greatly appreciated.

    Deborah Planet

    • Deborah

      There is not a single company who hires notaries for trust work. This is not like loan signings. I have to market to consumers, attorneys and seminar companies to get the work. I also have been certified to deliver trusts myself without an attorney present. If you want to know more about how to do that feel free to check out my website, for notaries page. https://www.atyourservicemobilenotary.com/notariesinfo/


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