Happy New Year!

I wish all of you a happy New Year! May you have a healthy, prosperous one. Set goals that will move you out of your comfort zone to discover what is possible. Some times what we think are impossible are actually possible with the right focus and tools.

2012 was a fabulous year for business. I believe 2013 will be even better.

Thank you for your support throughout 2012.

Let me know what subject matters you would like me to blog about this year.

Cathy

Inspirational Annual Salute to Women in Sports

33rd Annual Salute to Women in Sports

The Event:

The Women’s Sports Foundation 33rd Annual Salute to Women in Sports celebrated the most accomplished women in sports and the girls they inspire. It included athletes from the London Olympics and celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IV. It was October 17, 2012 in New York City at Cipriani Wall Street.

My friend, Jennifer Leeds, with Giants Steps Foundation invited Shelley Olds, 2012 London Olympics road bicycle racer, and me to attend the event. Champion Mobile Notary is a proud sponsor of Shelley Olds.

The event schedule:

1. Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
2. Red Carpet
3. Grand March of Athletes
4. Dinner
5. Welcome
6. Sportswoman of the Year – Team Award
7. Billie Jean King Contribution Award
8. Wilma Rudolph Courage Award
9. ANNIKA Inspiration Award
10. Sportswoman of the Year – Individual Award

It was a fabulously inspiring event. It motivated me to take my business to the next level. Each table had an athlete. Our table was special, we had two athletes: Shelley Olds, 2012 London Olympian and Jordyn Wieber, 2012 London Olympian Gold Medalist. During and after the event, we had the opportunity to meet other athletes. I met Michelle Kwan, Julie Foudy, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Gabby Douglas.

These accomplished female athletes of all ages were approachable, kind and passionate about women in sports. Future athletes attended too. These were young pre-teen girls who walked the red carpet and were on stage with the athletes. In fact, one of them shared how she wanted to meet Gabby Douglas. Gabby was on stage a few feet away and was surprised and honored with her request. Gabby went up to her, shook her hand and hugged her.

Women’s Sports Foundation Mission:

Billie Jean King founded the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1974 with a mission to increase the participation of women and girls in sports and to advocate for equality, educate the public, conduct research and offer grants to promote sports and physical activity for girls and women to promote physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles and future leaders.

My Perspective:

I am grateful for the wonderfully, memorable opportunity to attend the Women’s Sports Foundation 33rd Annual Salute to Women in Sports in New York City. It was definitely a motivation booster. Athletics is a wonderful opportunity for girls and women to learn discipline, teamwork, delayed gratification, conflict resolution, better health, improve self-confidence and great leadership opportunities.

I competed in amateur road bicycle racing for a few years. The discipline, focus, delayed gratification, improved self-confidence, conflict resolution and breaking through perceived limits, have helped me tremendously with launching and growing Champion Mobile Notary through the Great Recession. This road bicycle racing experience continues to help me with my business.

What motivates you?

Here is a link to photos I shot during the event and some sightseeing around New York City.

1. You can view more photos when you click on the folders.
2. If you run your mouse over the photo, the name or names of the person in the photo will show.
3. If you click on the thumbnail, you can view a larger view of the photo.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. Learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Mid-Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

Cathy Wong of Champion Mobile Notary at the Hudson River with a view of New Jersey from New York City.

Jennifer Leeds and Cathy Wong at the Women's Sports Foundation 33rd Annual Salute.

© 2012 The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

How to Prevent Identity Theft During and After a Divorce

Divorce is one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life. Financial stress added to the emotional stress of a divorce can blindside many to the dangers of identity theft. A person going through divorce proceedings has to provide their personal information including bank accounts and social security number to the courts, which makes it easier for a criminal to access your information. Identity theft in general is also becoming more common as well as more costly to the individual.

Criminals creating new accounts with your identity is a far more common occurrence now than criminals using your existing accounts to make purchases, since new accounts are not monitored as extensively by credit card companies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Following these steps during and after a divorce can significantly reduce the chances of having your identity potentially damaged.

Get Protected

Freezing your credit is often time consuming and very inconvenient, so if you don’t want to freeze your credit you can purchase identity protection from a service like Lifelock. Unlike credit card companies, identity protection companies monitor the creation of new credit accounts and send out a fraud alert if any suspicious activity takes place. CNN.com reports that consumers that have an identity theft encounter will see issues long down the road, especially when applying for credit. Getting this protection is an effective solution for anyone worried about having their identity stolen.

Close Joint Accounts

One of the first things you should do when getting a divorce is close all of the joint accounts held by you and your spouse. Doing this seems like a no-brainer but is often overlooked as the person’s attention can be focused elsewhere during a divorce. Closing your joint accounts will prevent a spouse from using your checking account and other accounts to make purchases.

Hire a Lawyer

Getting a lawyer to handle your divorce proceedings is a sensible way to ensure your rights will be met legally throughout the divorce proceedings. A lawyer will fight for your rights and make sure you are not treated unfairly by a spouse. Having a lawyer on your side will reduce the risk of having your assets or identity taken away from you.

Monitor Your Credit Reports

By constantly checking your credit report, you can see if anyone is creating new accounts in your name. Home Loan Basics suggests regularly checking your credit scores to keep possible tampering at bay. You should be looking at any financial actions that you aren’t familiar with. By catching these early you can get in contact with the authorities to stop further infringements.

Divorce is more than just calling it quits. With a lot of moving parts, and the additional worry of having your identity compromised, this unwanted event can be more stressful than it has to be. Staying in the know of all possible worries can help to reduce the burden divorce provides.

With so much technology out there it’s great to have as much information about a specific company or product as possible. Take a look at this informational video from LifeLock!

I hope you found this guest post helpful.

Join me on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary to learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public & loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

Help Seniors: Share the Importance of Valid ID

“My mom needs to have a power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive notarized, so I can help her pay her bills and make healthcare decisions for her. She hasn’t driven in years, so her driver’s license is expired.” stated the adult child of a senior citizen. I hear this statement occasionally.

As a California notary public, I am unable to use expired driver’s licenses, expired passports, social security cards, credit cards, Medicare cards, etc. to notarize documents. There are other forms of current government issued photo identifications available (senior citizen, passport and military (with photo, physical description, signature, number, expiration or issue date and a physical description).

Documents cannot be notarized without valid government issued photo identification. Many times elderly people need documents notarized in a crisis situation. Adding more stress to the crisis is not being able to have their documents notarized because they do not have a current state identification card, driver’s license, passport or military card.

With identity theft on the rise, more and more medical facilities, financial institutions, businesses and government agencies require a current government issued photo identification.

Here are details how to obtain apply for or renew a senior citizen identification card from the California Department of Motor Vehicles website. Scroll to the “How to apply for or renew an identification (ID) card” section which is about two thirds of the way down the page.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#idcard

When I meet with a senior citizen who mentions they will discontinue driving soon or will let their driver’s license expire, I inform about the state senior citizen identification card. It is issued by the DMV and valid for 10 years. It looks just like the driver’s license, but states “Senior Citizen Identification Card”. The process of changing from a current driver’s license to a senior citizen identification card is probably easier since all their information is current with the DMV, than if their driver’s license is expired. They are happy to learn the helpfu information.

I have blogged about this matter before, but I continue to run into this “lack of identification” challenge. Help spread the word to seniors you know. They will be glad you shared it with them.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission

Can You Stamp Each Page of My Document?

A recent phone call I received, “I had my three page document notarized by another notary. My bank wants each page stamped. Can you do this for me?” asked the caller. I informed him that California notaries can only place their stamps when notarial wording is on the page. A loose notary certificate can be attached to each page if each page is signed. He was adamant to only have the notary stamp on each page. I replied, “California notaries can only use their stamp on each page if each page is signed and there is notarial wording on each page or a loose notary certificate is attached to each page.” He was not satisfied with my reply. This is probably the same reply he received from the notary who notarized his document.

Here is the rule from the California Notary Public Handbook 2012. The Secretary of State has the rule in upper case letters.

“A NOTARY PUBLIC SHALL NOT USE THE OFFICIAL SEAL OR THE TITLE NOTARY PUBLIC FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN THE RENDERING OF NOTARIAL SERVICE. (Government Code section 8207)”

The alternative is if I notarized the document, I can emboss each page of the document that does not have the reproducible notary stamp. Since the embosser is not reproducible this can be done. The recipient knows the embossed pages are part of the notarized document and no pages were added or exchanged. Since I was not the notary who notarized his document, I cannot emboss the pages. His/her notary stamp and my notary stamp are unique, so our notary stamps would not match, which would cause confusion.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

What Do You Look Like?

Sometimes I meet clients in public places, such as coffee shops, restaurants, shopping malls, or hospital or health care facility lobbies in Silicon Valley to provide mobile notary service or loan signing service. To make finding each other easier, I ask them, “What do you look like or what is your physical description?” I find interesting how we describe ourselves. Some people are basic:

“I am 6 feet, big and bald.”

“ I am 5 feet 2 inches with short black hair.”

“I have brown hair and wear glasses.”

Some people are very specific:

“I am 5 feet 6 inches, short black hair, Caucasian. I will be wearing a black jacket, black pants and a white striped blouse.”

“I am 6 feet 2 inches tall, brown curly hair, brown jacket and khaki pants.”

“Brown hair, tall, dress shirt, dress pants and I will be with my wife and two young children.”

Some people search for mobile notary service online to find me, so they know what I look like with my photo online. They tell me it is helpful for them.

For the people who need a description of me, I tell them I am 5 feet 9 inches, short black hair, (if I am wearing my glasses I will tell them), describe my clothing and that I have a black briefcase and a big orange name badge with “Champion Mobile Notary” on it.

How do you describe yourself?

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© 2011 The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

Identification Cards For Non-Drivers?

“My dad stopped driving years ago, so he doesn’t have a current driver’s license. He never traveled out of the country, so he doesn’t have a passport. He needs to have a power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive notarized.”

“My grandma is 93 years old and hasn’t driven in years. She has a couple of trust documents to notarize.”

“My mother’s health turned for the worse. She’s been unable to drive for years. She has a couple of power of attorney’s requiring notarization.”

“My uncle always bicycled to work, so he does not have a driver’s license. He is in the hospital and needs a power of attorney notarized.”

These are some of the reasons I hear why a person who needs documents notarized does not have a current government issued photo identification. Without proper identification, notary publics cannot notarize a signer’s documents (Credible witnesses can be used, but are not always convenient to use.)

I wish I could help them in their time of crisis, but I cannot due to lack of appropriate identification.

With the rise in identity theft and to protect you, banks, medical facilities, post offices and some other businesses require a current government issued photo identification.

Here is a link to the California Department of Motor Vehicles who issue identification cards to identify a person. http://www.dmv.com/ca/california/apply-id-card

If you have a current driver’s license and don’t plan to continue driving, obtaining the identification card may be easier since your information is current with the DMV. Ask them to find out.

Be proactive. Minimize your stress. Obtain a California identification card when it’s convenient for you.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© 2011 The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

The Police Are Part of Mobile Notary Work Week

Some people wonder what I do as a mobile notary public. Here is a brief summary of my work week as a mobile notary public in Silicon Valley.

I met with business executives and professionals at their offices to notarize various business documents:
1. Business agreements
2. Copies of their government issued identifications to do business in foreign countries
3. Conditional and unconditional waivers and release upon progress payment forms
4. Liquor license transfer

I met with Merill Lynch wealth managers and their clients at their homes to complete notarizations of trustee certification forms. Their San Francisco office contacted me for mobile notary service.

As a certified loan signing agent, I completed sign offs with borrowers at their homes and offices who are refinancing and purchasing properties. I worked with escrow and lenders locally and nationally to complete the signings to beat their rate lock deadlines.

I visited an elder woman at her home to notarize a couple of deeds to help with family affairs.

The most interesting assignment I received involved the police. The CEO of the company was served papers by one of his vendors (“John”) and he would not allow John to remove his expensive equipment from the CEO’s company’s premises. I notarized the papers the CEO was served. About 30 minutes after I left, John called me to return to location. The police needed a statement from me. An employee and the CEO claimed John threatened the employee. John believed he would have been arrested without a witness statement stating otherwise.

The adventures of mobile notary public work in Silicon Valley continue.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

Are Notaries Equal?

Do you think notaries are equal? This was a post online which I think is a good question. California notaries are equal with respect to taking the required notary class, passing the exam and the FBI and California Department of Justice background checks (all of these are done every 4 years).

I do not believe the type of service notaries offer are equal. Some notaries are specific to their office, such as real estate documents, estate planning documents, banking documents, hospital documents or business documents. Some mobile notaries are part-time. As a result, staying up on the notary laws and/or best notary practices can be tough. Some mobile notaries only do loan signing. Full time notaries find staying on top of the notary laws and best notary practices easier, since they can learn and practice them more often. Some mobile notaries only do general notarization signings.

Do you think notaries are equal?

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

2011 © The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

How Do You Help Estate Planning Attorneys?

Cathy Wong, Mobile Notary Public


“How do you help estate planning attorneys?” is a question people ask me. Several of my clients are estate planning attorneys.

Some estate planning attorneys have their own practice are also known as solo attorneys. A few of them of them prefer having an on-call notary public to meet with them at their office with their clients. This saves on the responsibility and expense of having an employee. Some of them meet their clients at their homes, offices or healthcare facilities. Having a professional mobile notary public allows them to better serve their clients. A number of estate planning attorneys have paralegals who are notary publics. When they are on vacation or unable to travel with the attorney to their clients, a mobile notary public allows the attorneys to execute estate planning documents with their clients.

Law firms have clients who are unable to travel to their office. Their estate planning attorney travels to their clients and calls for professional mobile notary service to help notarize the documents with their clients. There are times when additional documents need to be notarized and the attorney does not need to be present. In these cases, a professional mobile notary public provides convenience and peace of mind to their clients and to the law firm.

Other times, estate planning attorneys who are notary publics have a financial interest in the documents or are named in the documents that need to be notarized. Having a mobile notary public helps them notarize their important documents.

Another way I can help estate planning attorneys who are notary publics is when their notary public commission expires and they are awaiting their new commission. Not doing business is too costly, so mobile notary public service allows them to continue with their business by notarizing their clients’ documents.

Stay in touch, join my Facebook Page www.Facebook.com/ChampionMobileNotary. You will also learn more about the daily happenings of a mobile notary public and loan signing agent in the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula, South Bay and Silicon Valley.

© The contents of this blog are copyrighted. No portion of it may be reproduced without written permission.

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