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September 1, 2014

$30 loan signings. Is it worth it even in the best of circumstances?

Believe it or not, there are companies out there offering signings for $30 and $35. Can you believe this? The nerve of some people to offer a notary such a small amount of money for such a huge headache. Even if you are signing only one document, the headache of trying to send documents back, invoice, get paid, and schedule is simply not worth it.

I remember that when I was a notary I did an assignment for $30. It was a single document. I actually got a few assignments like this. When I did regular mobile notary work for offices, I would charge about $35, but they would pay me cash on the spot. There was no waiting for payment or wondering if I would get paid. It was immediate gratification.

Back when I was first starting out in 1999, Nation’s Direct gave me signings for $30. But, I was not expected to walk the borrowers through the loan. One of their staff members did it over the phone. All I had to do was notarize a few signatures and wait for their phone call to end. It was not the best pay, but this is how I got started in the business, so I don’t regret it. But, if I was offered this type of pay now, I would have a fit!

Even if a $30 signing is within a mile and is only a single document, is it worth it? Maybe if you are really hungry. Maybe it is better than not getting any offers at all, but most notaries would rather that the phone just doesn’t ring.

Tweets:
(1) Believe it or not, there are companies out there offering signings for $30!
(2) The nerve of people to offer a notary $30 for a signing!
(3) Most notaries would rather that the phone just didn’t ring

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18 Comments »

  1. I read your message, and agree completely. I am getting calls where the title company says: it’s just a mortgage ‘adjustment’, only 20 -30 pages. We pay $35.00 I had those calls last week. I don’t take them.

    Comment by Donald R. Larsen — September 6, 2014 @ 11:42 am

  2. I also started with Nations Direct but they became agitated and upset when I asked for more money than their MEASLY $60 fee. I stopped accepting loans from them close to two years ago. Global Notary is another low paying signing company to stay away from!

    Comment by Archie Anderson — September 6, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

  3. It certainly is worth it if the person is in the hospital, hospice, or rehab facility. All such centers have a number of my cards at their front or information desk. I always get paid cash and the persons and their families are so grateful. I view this portion of my business as community service.

    Comment by Ellen Welsh — September 6, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  4. Our hospitals here have their own notary on staff.

    Comment by Sue lindgren — September 6, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

  5. My feeling is if the borrower is willing to come to my office and there are now travel expenses incurred, then I would do it for $30.00 Sometime I have a borrower call me and say they have their package and was told by their lender to find their own notary. If they come here with the papers and they ship it, $30.00 per hour is not bad. If you had to print and drive and pay gas it would not come out to $30 per hour. That’s my opinion. Anything outside of the office requires a lot more.

    Comment by Fred Kanakry — September 6, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

  6. I’ve been a full time notary/loan closer for over 10 years now and my car doesn’t leave the driveway for under 35 dollars. And that is the rate for very close and very simple signings. Like one Seal and cash payment. But our real money is in loan signings so lets talk loan signings. Notaries who will do cheap loan closings hurt all the professional notaries out here. When I started there were no fax back jobs… we didn’t even print documents back then. The title co. or law office would send the docs to the signer and we’d go conduct the signings. Things like faxbacks came about when the NNA was trying to recruit notaries all over the country and telling them it was a 6 figure opportunity. They attended one seminar and called themselves a “certified signing agent” and went out and destroyed all professionalism that had been the rule of the trade. They accepted low pay and did shoddy work. So many mistakes the idea of faxbacks war born. Had to because of too many mistakes. Also the contractors that use our services started including fines for mistakes in their work orders. If I get a call and quote a rate and they agree to it over the phone and then send me a work order that says somewhere they will fine me for any mistake I email them back and tell them my work is guaranteed and they are not authorized to fine or reduce the agreed upon invoiced amount. And if that’s not agreeable to them I will take their job off my schedule. And I don’t lose jobs over that. So my feeling is don’t work for peanuts… There aren’t enough hours in the day to earn a good living if you do and all you’re doing is hurting yourself and all the rest of us too.
    I turn down a lot of jobs every week and I can afford to because I’ve got regular clients that have used me for years and they know all they have to do is send me the order and it will be done professionally, on time and correct every time. My last piece of advice for you is this, never, never, never send your completed docs back without checking your work carefully before you leave the signer’s location…. Make sure that every single set of docs you send back are 100% correct. If you do that you can charge a decent amount for your work and they’ll be glad to pay it. I know my fees are on the high end and believe me my name is at the top of the list for several companies.. I get called first. And I don’t give it away… But I do the jobs right the first time and that’s worth a decent fee. Good luck.

    Comment by Wayne Hamilton — September 6, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  7. I am like Ellen, so many of my smaller jobs come from elder care facilities, hospice and hospitals that I feel it is a community out reach. I will say that I get repeat business from it whether it is more $30-$40 signing or big $100-$150 signing because they use me for closing an estate when a love one has passed away and they are great for referring other clients to me. There are days I pass on them, but the other day I had too big signings a distance a part and two small one’s popped up that were on my way to the second one. I grabbed them both and made as much as I would 1 big package. So I called it a good day with 3 in a day.

    Comment by Jeffrey Thorne — September 6, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  8. I do good work, and have my price. When offered low-ball jobs, I turn them down if they won’t negotiate up. The current practice used by many signing companies, of floating loan signing jobs by email to several signing agents with a low fee, until they get somebody willing to accept it, often means they will get lower quality work. They get what they pay for. Don’t play along with these games. My business has shrunk, but I don’t work nearly for free.

    Comment by Ed Patrovsky — September 6, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

  9. $30 … for most signings the time it takes to print, sort, tab, drive, and fix the signing company’s mistakes is not worth it.

    But I agree with Ellen. Quite often I will do the work for people who clearly cannot afford it totally gratis.

    Comment by R.Morris — September 6, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  10. Agreed, 100%. Our expenses are not just paper and toner, it is gas and wear and tear on our cars, forget about the hours we spend that could be put to better use. I’ve turned down these and others that just don’t compensate for my efforts.

    Comment by Dorris S. Cox — September 6, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  11. Thank you for such an informative blog. My son and I have a full service notary business and He has always said that the $30.00 assignment was not worth the time, gas, or effort. We try to make sure our jobs are done with excellent quality. His argument has been that the 30.00 assignment was below the professional standards of our business. Now that I have read this blog, I will be in total agreement with him. My previous position was that it was simply a relationship building assignment. I would do a few at this price before increasing the fee to the normal charge. I will not do this anymore.

    Comment by Celeste McFadden — September 6, 2014 @ 4:07 pm

  12. My minimum fee is $50.00….I live in the mountains and getting around is much more difficult than living in town…none the less, I feel I provide a good service and I will be paid appropriately…the signing companies can forward it onto to someone else…..Most of the time, they come up to my fee…..If not…I have no problem with it…since it doesn’t make cost 1411515to do for less, gas, time, etc.

    Comment by A C Dye — September 6, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

  13. Don’t get me wrong, if it is a signing company calling for a job to be done, yes I turn away everything that doesn’t meet my minimums based on size of package, type of package, and location. I am a little more generous with the general public that calls me and are in need of my services and found me on 123Notary. I like being of service to others, as there are things I would need help with I look to the general public too. I am also a Pastor so I can perform weddings. Working with the general public you end up getting a lot of referrals. I have had Title companies call me and book me for a signing as the client specifically asked for me to do the closing, they ended up being clients that I did signings for in the past and they knew they could trust my work.

    Comment by Jeffrey Thorne — September 6, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  14. I don’t even leave my office to notarize a car title for less than $60.

    Comment by Michael P Rolfes — September 7, 2014 @ 7:29 am

  15. Wayne and Ed said it all, my minimum travel fee for walking out the front door is $25 if I have to go any distance it is more, plus $10.each notarized signature on medical, or legal documents provided by the cliant. everybody’s is happy and I get paid cash at the end. As far as signing services, I only stick with the ones that pay on time, no fax backs, print n go. I did lower my price a year ago by $10 bucks, just to keep my regular customers calling. But they are calling less and less. So I asked them whats up why have there phone calls to me slowed down. The first notares they call, work for $50,or $60, a job, when you add up paper, ink, gas, auto and printer expenses, not to mention licensing experience ant time. Than at those prices, I would be making about 2 bucks per hour. this is a labor of love at this point. J.

    Comment by jojo ortiz — September 7, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

  16. I live in the middle of TX, town size 4,000. I have been receiving calls to do notary work in towns 100 miles away with population of greater than 50,000.

    Of course the fee is $75, no travel, and fax back. the response is starting is $250, how many pages and $1.00 per Fax back. You are the guys that said I had to have a background ck – either NNA or yours (yours is different for each signing co). NNA is pass our certified signing agent test – so basic fee went from $75 to $95, same $1 per mile, and .10 per page printing and $1. fer page fax back.

    Jobs are still coming in

    Comment by Liz Oakley — June 19, 2015 @ 7:01 pm

  17. I HAVE ALMOST QUIT LOAN CLOSINGS. THERE PRICES SEEM TO HAVE GONE DOWN NOT UP. I DO NOT LEAVE MY OFFICE FOR LESS THAN $75.00 PLUS $25.00 FOR PAPERS. I LIKE THE OLD DAYS WHEN YOU AND YOUR SEAL SHOWED UP- THE CUSTOMER ALREADY HAD PAPERS NOW
    YOU HAVE A 10:00 APPT AND A 45 MINUTE DRIVE AND AT 9:45 PAPERS START PRINTING–NOT MY WAY OF PROFESSIONAL WORK.I GOT TIRED OF THIS. NOTARY IS NOT MY ONLY JOB, BUT IS ONE I LIKE-MY LAST TWO JOBS FOR LOAN CLOSERS I DID NOT GET PAID-THE COMPANIES MADE IT HARD TO GET ASSIGNMENTS AND THEN EXTRA ITEMS LIKE SPECIAL INVOICES SO I DID NOT FILE PAYMENT REQUEST
    I AM SEMI HANDICAPPED-OXYGEN AND WALKER SO I NEED CLOSE DOORS TO CAR, SO LOW PRICES AND INCONVENIENCE OF MY HEALTH I HAVE
    QUIT LOAN CLOSINGS-BUT I AM CHEAP ON TITLES IN MY OFFICE

    Comment by SAMMY RICHMOND — June 19, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

  18. I have turned down a lot signings for $30.00 that’s lowering my standards. I’m not suffering for anything, but to offer someone 30.00 dollars. Please signing companies come on making 2 copies, the wearing on your vehicle, & gas is not worth it for sure so I just let the signing companies know that the payment is to low.

    Comment by Teresa Wash — February 4, 2016 @ 6:58 am

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