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April 27, 2011

Low Ball Signing Companies

Low Ball Signing Companies 

Notaries are always complaining about low ball signing companies.  My advice is to just say yes or no. As long as its quick and they pay you, you have nothing to lose, but your dignity.  Sometimes a quick $40 is not so bad.  If it takes you an hour or slightly more for the whole affair, that is not bad pay.  Just don’t take a low ball job and have to do fax backs, and wait for two hours while the borrower reads each phrase of each page and asks a million questions.
Tough times are here
We are living in tough times, and people in foreign countries live on a quarter of the income you have.  They have simpler habits and smaller cars or mopeds.  They eat less meat and more beans and rice or “Rad Na” if they live in Thailand.  Its better to take what you can get and save up for a rainy day.  I used to work for very little. When I was booked, my prices would go up.  When things were slow, I would accept jobs for very little, no matter what.  My bills didn’t care how many dollars per hour I made.    My mistake was not to ask for high amounts of money.  Some people and companies will pay you double what you think they will. Just ask.  If they say no, then take less if you have to.  Its better than starving.
Your lives are not that bad
Assuming you don’t have a health emergency and are not having your life threatened by your local gang, and assuming that a tsunami didn’t visit your neighborhood, your life is not that bad (I’m guessing).  As a world traveler, I see how middle class people live in India.  Broken roads, clunky cars, the other drivers’ purpose in life is to run you off the road and kill you, food that gives you dysentary, traffic from hell, salaries 20% of what Americans make, expensive rent, cab drivers that always try to rip you off.  Just crossing the street in Pune, India is an ordeal that most of you will never have to face.  Additionally, they have terrorist attacks on a regular basis and its not safe for women to go out after dark.  Few of you have any of these situations to contend with.  So, count your blessings.  Even in America, I know many who work for minimum wage who ride a bicycle to work through dangerous areas.  If you own a car, you are doing better than my bicycle riding friends who can barely pay their rent.
Forum posts on the subject:

The text below is written by notaries, and does not represent the viewpoints of 123notary.com

If you accept $50 signings
If one accepts $50 signings, then it’s obvious one has not taken into account everything that is involved in the signing, from consumables to time to depreciation of equipment ……
Vital Signings
……If you want to support Vital signings be aware YOU will not make any money. After a dozen signings I calculated I made $18.00 per signing. They get the bucks, you don’t.
The best micro-managers in the business. What a pain. They can’t pay me enough to work for them again.
If make an error, they take away YOUR fee and make you pay their fee as well…..  (scroll down for this one)
Firma Signing Solutions
…..So, you can imagine how hard my chin hit the floor when he quoted $35.00 for the whole thing! The low ballers fail to remember what all it takes to become adept at this job, you have to know what you’re doing. You’re not “just a notary” but a certified signing agent, which takes training and education to fully understand this process. I will just decline the job if the price doesn’t meet my fees, it’s just not worth it…..
Fax Backs
…. (scroll to the bottom) Has anyone else had jobs recently where they want the whole package faxed back? I have had two from Nations Direct. Of course, as usual, they are low balling the price and then state that the whole package needs to be faxed back. Both times I have told them I will not do a job for their low price, especially with all of the fax backs. Yesterday, for example, they asked me to go 30 miles away with edocs and fax back the whole package for $70. I don’t think so.
Question 2 Price Formula
……Rule of thumb: The lower the offer, the bigger th PITA it will be. It never fails….when you agree to a lower fee, docs will be late, the closing will go awry somehow, you will have a ton of fax-backs and need permission to ship…AND…you’ll wait at least 60 days to get paid the low ball fee. HONEST !!  ………

(1) Notaries are always complaining about low-ball signing co’s. Don’t complain, just say no!
(2) We are living in tough times. Maybe those low-ball signing companies keep you from starvation!
(3) Read real stories about four low-ball signing companies.

You might also like:

Good signing companies – a thorough list

Getting what is due! A clever plan!

Bounced checks, Collection Agencies, FBI reports!



  1. They want you to drive a 100 miles round trip, 250 pages of edoc’s, report within a half hour and go for 80.00 with gas at over 4.00 a gallon. I set aminimum. I am tired of it costing me to take a order. I just have to refuse because with the express of materials, upkeep on my equipment, internet, internet capable phone, keeping a “business wardrobe”, backgound checks, e&o insurance. They seem to forget we have expenses too. This is not a hobby but my income source. We are the face the people see, that should be worth something. I refuse to take the time to fax back. I will email when I get back, I may have another assignment to cover in between. They do not show any respect for what we do.

    Comment by Mary Wiegard — May 1, 2011 @ 4:04 am

  2. I have realized it is cheaper NOT to do signings than to do them. My MINIMUM is $100 locally for signing and edocs, no faxbacks, within 1/2 hour drive. I charged $25 per 1/2 hour over that 1/2 hour (which allows you still to deduct mileage on your income tax since you are charging for time). To make it easy I calculated the time to the signing only using mapquest. Where I live a 40 mile drive could be 40 min. or an hour (if it was rural).

    A cost effective way to do faxbacks if there are a few pages is to make copies of them get them signed too, drop the package and fax those signed copied pages when you get home, then shred them.

    Comment by ssnowbirdy — May 2, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  3. The worst company I’ve ever dealt with is Nations Direct. The package is always very large, and they always want everything faxed back. They have had the nerve to want to pay a whole $40. They NEVER agree to my normal fee of $100.00. So I refuse to do them. That’s not even talking about the issue if them hounding you the entire time. I have them flagged on my phone and don’t answer them. I’ve asked to be removed from their list but somehow they still call!!

    Comment by Sharon Hopkins — May 10, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

  4. I can only speak for myself but as for me here’s how I feel. After 10 years of signings in good times and bad here are a couple of my rules that are not negotiable. First I set my own fees and I tell whoever calls and needs a signing that if they send me a confirmation that says they reserve the right to lower my fee if I don’t jump through whatever hoops they dream up that I will take their job off my schedule. I am not their employee and they don’t get to decide what they pay me. I set my fees and I stand behind my work. All the companies that do use me put me at the top of their list and pay me more than their regular rate. Why? Because they always get their closing done correctly the first time, it’s always on time and they know there will be no problems.. not ever from this end. Secondly I don’t ever do bargain basement closings even if I”m not booked because it hurts all NOtaries. If they think they can get a notary to do a signing for a very low fee and then require everything be faxed back to make sure they can send the notary back until it’s acceptable etc. etc. then it hurts the professional Notary who is competent and knows how to do them. I used to do 20-30 in house closings for IREP per mo and then suddenly no more Beneficial Finance and no more IREP. Cost me about 2,000 per mo. Did I go out of business? NO. Did I lower my fees? No. Did it hurt? Yes. But I”m still in business and doing a very good business with my regulars. Just don’t give up, do a great service and remember you are a professional and independent business owner. Act like it and persist and over deliver a better service and you will make it. Cheers

    Comment by Wayne Hamilton — June 14, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  5. Any notary who does edoc closings for less than $100 is a sucker and making things worse for the rest of us. I don’t do local closings for less than $100 and I charge a minimum of $125 if I have to drive any type of distance (20+ miles). I occasionally get calls to do closings in a remote area and have no problem charging $250 or more for a few hours driving. When you add up all yopur costs, $250 for the majority of my day is reasonable. If signing companies don’t agree, just say no.

    Comment by Paul Lund — June 15, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  6. I’ve come to understand that the Low Ball Signing Services, is because 1) they can’t afford to pay & don’t. 2) Their reputation is sooooooooo bad that that they can’t get enough work to succstain themselves, there by passing on the pain to those of us in the field. I have companies that pay & pay well. So, here is to those that manage their business well & those that don’t, well, see you in the unemployment line. Do good business & do it right. It pays.

    Comment by Michele — June 16, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  7. I completely agree with all above. I will not take signings for less than $110.00 with e-mail docs unless they are in my small town.. then it is $100.00. I also get up to $250 or more for long distance signings. If they won’t pay, I won’t go. I have been doing this business for over 12 years and been through good and bad times. I will survive as will everyone else if we don’t prostitute ourselves and do a PERFECT job the first time. I get calls to go long distance and they won’t pay the fee and a week later they call for me to go do the re-do because of another notary’s mistakes. I have also been lied to about fax backs etc. by Notary Direct and won’t work for them unless I get paid for everything I have to do. Good luck everyone, we will make it through this rough time and we need to stand together we are PROFESSIONALS and they do need us.

    Comment by Carol J. Walden — June 22, 2011 @ 3:45 am

  8. The comments above are so small and faint that you can’t read them just like this.

    Comment by Margaret Quednau — August 4, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  9. The Comments above show up just fine and are legible. It’s THIS BOX that has the problem!!! Typing in it is almost impossible!

    Comment by Carol A Wilson — August 6, 2011 @ 1:17 am

  10. I have been a professional Notary for several years. I can’t stand the fact that some of these signing companies think that they can just keep discounting our fees. One of the big problems is that there are several notaries out there that say yes to discounted fees. I personally feel that if you are taking discounted prices for signines you are either desperate for work or do not consider your self a true proessional. How many of you want to really get into your car pay $.15 per gallon of gas, print 200 pages and fax backs and then deal with borrowes who are ridiculous whtn you get to their home and not ready to sig? Well guess what, I refuse to work like that. I either get my fee or just cross me off the list, I am very busy and cannot be bothered to become a dicounted notary. I think that all of you out there being professionals need to stick to your fees – if not we just keep getting paid less and less.

    Comment by Maria — August 9, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  11. I recently got a call from Nations Direct for a closing 70 miles from home(edocs) and the pay would be $60. I told them at least $125, (and that’s a bargin) and she said she would get back to me. She didn’t of course. Also, the whole package had to be faxed back! I don’t have time for the hand holding either.

    Comment by Nancy Lane — August 9, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

  12. You are all forgetting the real issue….liability for identifying the signer. I have friends who have been called to court for accepting phony IDs. This is the real issue. One of my friends knew a couple for years and did a Notary for them only to ifnd out the wife had phony ID. Big mess!! My advice; just say NO and the company will find out what you are worth.

    Comment by Realstar — August 9, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  13. Has anyone had trouble with NREIS???? I am trying to collect for May, June and now July. I just turned down an August one because I cannot get the others paid…They tell me all kinds or reson shwy I do not have my check yet. But, bottom line, they are 90+ days for payment.AND, they lowball!!!!

    Comment by Realstar — August 16, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  14. Agasin, remember that we are held liable for identifying the signors…or we go to court, too…

    Comment by Realstar — August 24, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  15. Oh I love the ones that tell you its only a “few” pages and you only have to fax back the ‘notarized pages’. Come to find out its over 100 pages and when you get the list of what they require you to fax back, its EVERY page they signed. And it takes LONGER to pull out those pages than to just fax the whole package back. NO THANK YOU.

    Comment by Tari — August 29, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

  16. Oh I love the ones that tell you its only a “few” pages and you only have to fax back the ‘notarized pages’. Come to find out its over 100 pages and when you get the list of what they require you to fax back, its EVERY page they signed. And it takes LONGER to pull out those pages than to just fax the whole package back. NO THANK YOU. So no more low ball jobs for me.

    Comment by Tari — August 29, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  17. I refuse any jobs that want the whole package faxed back, my fax machine is just not equipped to fax that amount back. I have been doing this for 13 years and I find it insulting that they need the entire package faxed so they know it has been done correctly. And I agree, I do not pull out of my driveway for less than a $100 with email docs in my county, any additional counties have a travel fee.

    Comment by Linda K Cox — August 29, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  18. Boy things have really dropped off this week and last week. The only signing I have been called about has been
    in Aspen, which is 33 miles one way. Apparently nobody is doing anything right now. My cell phone has been on the fritz and I am going to get a new one today.

    Comment by Aurey Jane Spaulding — November 7, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  19. The real issue should be lenders and title companies using the low ball companies in the first place. I bet 90% of the lenders and title companies do not realize than some of them scum bag signing companies keep 70% of the closing fee for just referring a notary.

    If I was a lender I would be very wary of having a notary so desperate for work that they would take a closing for $50.00. It has been proven that some criminals will become a signing agent and take low fees just to have access to borrowers personal information and sell this to crooks. This just happened recently in Florida. A low ball signing company got caught selling social security numbers, bank account info, ETC.

    Pay the notary more and get better quality people to safeguard the vital info.

    Comment by TJD — April 8, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

  20. I have one company that calls me two or three times a month. They are efficient, never ask for fax backs, packages are reasonably sized, and signings are just a few minutes from my office. Their fee $75. I like working with them. I don’t have to chase them for money. Should I turn them down? Nope! We have established a good relationship. Yes, I would like the fee to be my standard base fee of $100, but it’s not. What it is is reliable. And, to me, it’s worth the time. You have to make some judgement calls.

    Comment by Linda — August 11, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

  21. No one should work for less than 100.00 for a loan package. It is as simple as, asking for what you want. The title companies will pay it, and the signing companies have the responsibility to request a fair payment for their notaries, then add on what they would like for their fee. It’s is usually the borrower that has to pay this fee, so there should not be a problem at all, unless they are greedy and don’t have any morals or decency to do what is right for the notary, who spends approximately 3-5 hours of time alone per loan package. That is the amount of time it should take if you are doing a good job.

    It does not matter how I am living, if I am starving, or maybe I have or don’t have any transportation, or I have or have not done over 5000 – 10,000 signings, you should be paid for the exceptional job you do, and nothing less! I will not do a loan for less than $100.00! Most of my jobs are 150 and up. If you are a notary and you ask for what you are worth, you will get it, eventually, we will all stop receiving such insulting offers! Stand up for yourself, don’t take it, you are worth more. Until these notaries stop accepting these ridiculous pay for these jobs, the notary pay will continue to decline! Someone is getting paid on these loans, get your fair share!

    Comment by Linda — November 18, 2019 @ 9:36 pm

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