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October 27, 2010

Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong.

Here are some stories about notaries who did no-no’s and what happened.

(1) A CA notary accepted a loan signing from a signing company. The notary waited until 30 minutes after their appt. began to call them & tell them that her car broke down and ASKS THE BORROWERS FOR A RIDE!! The borrowers graciously offer the notary a ride, but it gets better!!

The notary asks if they can stop at Kinkos to print docs. Then, the notary asks the borrowers to pay for the printing fees since the notary was flat broke. The husband borrower got put off and called the loan officer. The LO told the husband to GET OUT OF THERE and leave the notary @Kinkos.

The next day, the notary calls the loan officer and told him that the wife had to work late which is why they didn’t complete the signing, but that they would complete it tonight. The notary thought the signing company wouldn’t find out what happened. This is pure insanity.See More

(2) We get complaints every month about a notary who makes a mistake on a document. Then, the lender tries to contact the notary, but the notary doesn’t respond to emails or phone calls. Then, we get some lame excuse from the notary about how they were on VACATION or had some family emergency. If you are a notary, take responsibility for your work. Unless you are dead, you can still respond to an email. Wi-fi makes this possible.

(3) From time to time we get complaints about notaries who fail to return documents. The lender needs to know tracking #’s and when they can expect the documents back. Sometimes, the notaries just don’t answer their phone, or respond to email. This is the fastest way to get in trouble with 123notary and your clients. Let people know when and where you dropped their Fedex and what the tracking # is. Send them an email with the same information just to be redundant and show that you are a thorough and conscientious person.

(4) One notary arrived LATE to an appointment, didn’t handle the closing professionally, and then didn’t fax back the correct docs. The documents were also not returned properly. Can you believe this? That makes us all look bad!!!

(5) Another notary couldn’t call Title because she WORKED full time. News flash!!! — most notaries have full time jobs and do this on the side, but are able to return calls!

(6) Once in a while a notary will do a “No-show”. Some of these non-showing notaries will also ignore emails and phone calls from their clients. What a nightmare!

(7) An unusual case. A high quality signer who has been with us for a long time had a serious incident. He went to a signing at a Starbucks. The signers were there. Then he just disappears. I called him to see what had happened. He got a call from his wife that his daughter had hit her head. A parent’s nightmare!!! So, he panicked, and left without even telling the borrowers what had happened.

Where do we draw the line at family emergencies? This is a tough call for all of us.

(1) From time to time we get complaints about notaries who didn’t return docs. Let them know the tracking #.
(2) One notary couldn’t return a call because she had a full-time job. Do you buy this?

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  1. I know I have pick up the pieces of notaries who do not do their job. My answer is pay those who do.

    Comment by Claudia Capizzo — October 30, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  2. Great article. And I agree with Claudia – you get what you pay for. I hold firm on my rate, and even lose business because of it because I am in a rural area and there are a handful of people out here that will work for peanuts – but they are here today gone tomorrow so I just wait and build a loyal clientele who know I will go the extra mile always. I am so hard on myself, even if I am one minute late. It kind of makes me get a little perspective to read this – it gives me pride in my work.

    A local notary here did the same thing this week; did not send docs and did not answer calls. Then the company tried to pay another notary to backdate! I am continuously stunned on both sides, and I also have a lot of patience with Signing Companies who are a little hard on notaries until they get to know our work – they endure a lot. And so do we,

    One day my horse of 13 years broke his leg two hours before a signing The vet was coming to put him down So i called my sister to be there for the horse – not because I am a saint, but because I just cannot stand the thought of a loan screwing up because of me! Ack! It was a call we each have to make personally. Amazingly, the loan was cancelled cause they could not get the docs done. So I got to be there for my horse.

    Alternatively, last week they were calling for 9 inches of snow – so the night before I gave the company the heads up, telling them they might want to get someone else just on case. Turned out I might have been able to make the signing, but if not my client would have had to rush about looking for someone (we are out in the sticks).

    We do have to make a lot of little judgment calls all the time. I work with a bunch of TERRIFIC notaries who are committed to doing the right thing to the best of their abilities and they have been great role models. So again I agree with Claudia – you might just get what you pay for.

    Comment by Lisa — March 29, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  3. News Flash***A handful of signing agency’s usually shop around for a notary that’s cheap. Well, cheap is someone who has a full time day job, and closes loans on the side. A serious signing agent is available 24/7. You pay a little higher price, but that agent will professionally close your loan any time of day, actually give the borrower a complete copy of loan (i’ve been finding out that a few of my colleagues don’t do that), scan and email the executed docs to the agency or escrow, print a copy of the photo identification, pack the documents in its rightful order, and hand deliver documents to the desired shipping company. That is me. Office and Mobile available. I have a commercial office, leased copier/scanner/fax/printer and 24/7 mobile service. Lucille K Mossman, Notary Public, Signing Agent. Hawaii Fast Signing.

    Comment by Lucy Mossman — August 13, 2014 @ 12:04 am

  4. I agree with all of these, Great Article, My issue comes because as a Notary, I work for a lot of the same companies over and over again and they will try to low ball me. Even had two now that canceled a job because another fly by night notary returned their call and will do it for half the price sometimes even less then half. I had this happen one time they called me and told me another Notary agree to do it for less then half of what I was charging them, Well about three days later they called me and asked me to do the signing, ” Because the other Notary missed a ton of signatures and did not provide the borrower with a copy of anything. This is the only time I ever charged them more then it was the first quote, I charged them double what I originally quoted them, As I explained to the signing company they cost me another job by me scheduling the job for them to cancel it for a lower rate and since I was also going to fix someone-else mistakes the borrower’s did not have a friendly attitude. They borrower did call me and apologize about being rude after the signing went off without an issue and the loan funded. I have also received more jobs from the signing company without them canceling any.

    Comment by Tommy — August 13, 2014 @ 1:56 am

  5. A corrupt notary started our nightmare back in 2004 and is still able to be a notary in another state. Watch out for any documents signed by James M. Cohen who currently resides in Scottsdale Arizona. He notarized a mortgage document where our names were forged in Oakland County Michigan on April 4, 2004 when we were actually in Sacramento California. We are still in litigation with this bank. Discovering his fraudulent act has taken ten years of our lives. Sutter vs US Bank

    Comment by Sheryl Sutter — August 13, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  6. I became a sign agent in 2007. I have been not accepting calls for the most part for the last two years. My husband passed away and it has been really hard on me. I had one call out in the boonies away from most. got a call from my husband with a medical emergency. told him to press his help I have fallen and cannot get up button around his neck. I called my neighbor and ask her to go over and wait for the ambulance with him. the borrowers could not understand why I did not run out right away. I finished the closing then went to the hospital. There was nothing I could do for him as I was like 40 miles away. made sense to me to finish the closing because they had a deadline also. judgment calls are a part of a notary signing agents life. emergency happen and you must judge the outcome for yourself. I will be getting back into closings after the first of the year. hope they remember me. lol

    Comment by Robin — August 13, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

  7. It sounds unusual to me to hear about such extreme negligence from other notaries public. I have a notary signing agent course book I refer to for thorough background explanation of all common documents in loan packages, and I briefly descibe the document and reason a signiture is required. I learned procedures thoroughly for the purpose of avoiding mistakes, which can turn into a poor business relationship with good companis: penalites and consequences such as deductions from my service charge, out-of-pocket expenses, etc: potential lawsuits: lost business opportunities, etc. If you ask me about a signing procedure to this day, I can tell you the legal code to back up my actions, and I am always pushing to be sure that package is going out from FedEx during the paid for time and date specification my the FedEx label provided. Notaries are careless with contracts clearly devalue their financial outcomes after acting with such negligence. Also, if I were to ever run into an extrenuating circumstance causing me to miss the appointment with a signer, I would surely contact all parties involved to let them know so they are able to find another notary to handle the signing without needing to redraw docs and miss the closing date, failing to fund as expected, loosing the borrower’s good rate to a rate change, causing frustration, etc. Things are always occuring, but careful planning is important, consideration of others is necessary, follow through with responsibilities in the process is mandatory for the most professional and positive outcomes.

    Comment by Rhonda Anthony — October 8, 2014 @ 8:38 am

  8. I BET IN MOST OF THESE CASES THEY WERE CLOSINGS FROM A LOW BALL COMPANY. Mistakes and low fees go hand and hand.
    Pay more get better results. Its that simple folks.

    Would you let a roofer put a new roof on your house if his fee is have the average? You will likely get leads and have to pay again to get someone that knows what they are doing to fix the low ball prices mistakes.

    Lenders and title companies make BILLIONS in fees every year. A few more bucks to assure they get the closing done correctly the first time is a wise investment.

    Comment by tjd — April 22, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

  9. Why don’t they pay by experience?? After 11 years going on 12 years with a clean record I and other notaries like myself deserve higher pay! These stories are unreal!

    Comment by Carole Liebeskind — April 22, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

  10. i have been a Notary for 16yrs. It his is my full time job. I have never heard such things in my 16yrs. These stories are so ridiculous, they don’t even seem real. I have never once no showed on any signing. Almost never ever late, only if out of my control, traffic ect. My docs get send out every night with receipt. If I don’t make deadline I still drop off so that docs are out of my possession. I confirm every appt prior to going out to their home ,office, ect. 90% of my business is working directly with the title company’s I only work with a couple of agency that I have been with for about 15 yrs. I give 100% to all my clients. Title, agency whom ever it may be. All these notaries give such a bad name to the good ones. I would not be as successful and have the same clients for 15 plus years if I did those outrageous things. I have a very lucrative business I would not risk it doing those things !!!!!!

    Comment by Lv — April 23, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

  11. Wow, I really don’t understand why something so simple can be such a nightmare. I say blacklist them (bad notaries) that cause such a bad name for the notaries that do there job right. That the reason I am no longer a notary, I don’t get paid enough to clean up messes and the banks always want you to back date, a real common practice in the industry. There simply no values nowadays.

    Comment by Hector — April 23, 2015 @ 3:06 pm

  12. I feel like you get what you pay for. About three years ago, the mortgage loan signing area was booming interest rates were low and everyone was refinancing home and buying homes. However, the bottom fell out of it and great deal of people went back into the workforce. A great deal of people were not even taking proper learning steps such as taking Basic Notary Classes in order to learn there states laws and regulations and know who to do proper Notarization such as knowing when to use an Acknowledgement and Jurat. They were making a great deal of money in which was good. But the downfall, once again the bottom fell out and everyone pretty much left the industry except for few people. Now companies and lending companies want to low ball the people who has experience and 200 plus signing under there belts. Some companies want to negotiate fees for even if you have worked for them before. For example, I got a call from company the other day, in which I worked for them before they want me to conduct a signing in which was refinace for $70.00 that is too low. Keep in mind they have paid me few years ago, $125.00 for signing. They said they could not pay no more than $70.00 in which they wanted me to fax back the document in which cost also I have separate line for my fax machine. So they went and found someone else they may not have no experience in the field. So once again you get what you paid for!!

    Comment by Paula — April 25, 2015 @ 5:06 am

  13. Good things are seldom cheap, and cheap things are seldom good.

    Comment by Larry Emsweller — April 11, 2017 @ 12:35 am

  14. I am a very serious Notary and I am signed up with this site and I am a Certified Signing Agent but never get calls!! I am available 24/7 but still get no calls.

    Can someone please help me get some loan signings?

    Comment by Susan Williams — June 4, 2017 @ 6:39 pm

  15. The more Notary’s that see advertisements about all the money they can make, the more you will see of this improper activity
    They do not have a clue about being a signing agent, do not understand the documents,etc
    I was a mortgage banker for 45 years
    I do not accept an assignment for less than $90.00 to $125.00. The newbys will work for nothing. The signing company’s deserve what they get

    Comment by Ed Pressman — June 4, 2017 @ 7:12 pm

  16. I find the best satisfaction from working for Title Companies directly. They get to know my skills and pay for additional mileage and time and larger packages as needed. In return, I try to be consistant and reliable in my service. SNAPDOCS and similar companies low ball the fees and do not disclose all that is required when they post. Several times I lost money working for them. I completed the assignments, but unless I have a slow week, I will not return to them. It takes time to establish a good working relationship with any agency, I have been very fortunate to find some.

    Comment by Jeanne Steidtman — October 15, 2018 @ 5:22 pm

  17. I do not agree with Lucy Mossman’s accusation that in order to be a good and serious signing agent you need to work full time. I have been a very successful part time signing agent where my 60 companies can’t wait for me to be a full timer because the job gets done correctly, professionally, and I receive stellar reviews. I also return the documents timely ALL the time ( I get rated by some companies), The borrowers are so happy not to have to lose a day from work to sign papers. My fees are not low and I do not accept low ball fees. I may not make as much as a full time agent but I am making a great part time salary for now. I also mentored 4 other people in, around, and far from my area and I am not greedy or worried about the competition. There is a lot of work and other opportunities out there.

    Comment by Linda M — January 14, 2019 @ 5:10 pm

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