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January 9, 2011

Following Directions

A notary was given easy instructions for a particular loan.

He was instructed to CALL the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor in the event of even the smallest of problems. If they didn’t answer, then to leave a message. The notary was very experienced and trusted by many companies. So, the notary got to the signing, and started the signing. The borrower was to sign with their middle initial “Z”. Everything was fine, until the borrower had an objection about the XYZ Affidavit. The notary tried to explain the document on his own. Then, the borrower still wasn’t happy. So, the notary called the signing company who gave him an answer about the document. The borrower was happy, and the notary sent the documents back to the lender without issue. There was another small question about the Affidavit of Mahzhong too. But, the signing company was closed by the time he made that call. So, he called the lender, left a message, and then left the signing after a few minutes. Our notary decided to keep the Fedex until the next morning when he would hopefully hear back from the lender.

The next week, the notary got a letter in the mail stating that he was fired.

What did the notary do wrong?

(1) The notary explained the document to the borrower after he was expressly given instructions to call the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor if there was even a small problem

(2) The notary called the signing company instead of calling the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor. It turned out that the Signing Company gave a very shoddy answer to the question that the borrower asked. The Lender knew that the staff at the signing company couldn’t give intelligent answers to questions and that was why he requested that the notary call the Lender, Title Officer, and Processor — all of whom could give very professional answers to all pertinent questions.

(3) The notary held on to a time sensitive Fedex instead of dropping it off at a staffed fedex station. The receipt for the Fedex was for the next day, and not the day of the signing — another issue which was unacceptable for this picky Lender (who paid generously by the way).

So, the Lender called the notary and reitterated what was in the letter. The notary rebutted by saying

But, I always call the Signing Company when there is a problem.

The Lender responded:

Your job is NOT to do what you always do.

Your job is to do what I asked you to do. After all I am the one who is (or was) paying you before you got fired!

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS as long as they are legal requests!



  1. First off it is the signing company who is paying the Notary not the lender. The lender is paying the signing company. So in my opinion what the Notary did was correct. Would the lender rather pay for two overnignht deliveries or one?

    Comment by Don Kidd — May 15, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

  2. 1)Signing Co generally state that the notary should read the instructions that will come with the loan docs.
    2)Many SC also instruct the Notary to always contact them with issues; they don’t want to be left out of the loop and in many cases SC have a QC manager that will know how to best handle any situation. In this case QC would have ensured the TC or lender instructions would have been followed.
    3)Don’t ever assume which way is best to go.

    Comment by Federico B Saiki — July 16, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

  3. Very often, instructions from the signing company say to call them. Not escrow. Not the lender. So… What to do?

    Comment by Dudley Johnson — November 20, 2016 @ 1:39 am

  4. I start with the Escrow company then the Lender . Not always dies the signing company have the Answer. I will always make the best effort to follow directives There are always steps in the Instuctions you might have to go over the instructions several times. Right after I download the docs I go over all of the paper work Nd usually know exactly who we need to talk to .

    Comment by Audrey Jane Spaulding — November 21, 2016 @ 7:21 pm

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