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May 1, 2011

The signing from hell

The Signing from hell….

I have been a notary signing agent for many years now and for the most part I have enjoyed it tremendously. I love the freedom and independence that it affords me and I enjoy meeting wonderful new people from all walks of life. As with most jobs there are good and bad days. This is the tale of one of those bad days. Probably the worst day as a signing agent ever-for me that is.

The story begins

Get ready for a hell of a story. Here we go.  I got a call late on a Friday afternoon from one of my title company schedulers (Fidelity National Title)  for a job on the following day, a Saturday. I gladly accepted. I received the confirmation and then proceeded to call the borrower to verify time and place. Saturday came and I made my way over to the borrower’s home. When I drove up to the borrowers home the first thing I noticed was the house was VERY run down, and I couldn’t help wondering to myself if the bank knew what they were doing in granting a loan for this property but who am I to judge.

Going up the stairs…

So I parked and then proceeded up the stairs to the house  and could see and feel that the whole house was crooked, like on slant. It was obvious It had once been a single family house that somebody who obviously didn’t have a contractors license had chopped it up and made some what I call make  shift apartments out of it. And you could actually see the termites crawling on various pieces of exposed wood.  But again it is not my place to judge. So I went to what looked like the only real front door (as there were several) and knocked. I heard what I thought was an animal with paws approaching the door.

The Signer and his long clicking toe nails!

But to my surprise  it was a young man. But not just an ordinary man but a  man with the longest toe nails I have every seen (that is what I heard coming to the door the clicking of his toe nails hitting the floor as he walked). He was also the filthiest person that I have seen as well who living in a house  and not on the streets. He was wearing dirty boxers and a dirty torn tee shirt.  Then to top it off there was a smell that I cannot to this day describe. While I stood motionless in disbelief and shock, I heard a sweet woman’s voice saying ‘is that her, is that the lady…tell her to come on up…please come on up’…and I cannot tell you why but I went into the door way and accened up a dark stairway and I heard what I assumed was the young man that opened the door who now was behind me start turning about 4-5 locks one by one and as they clicked and locked behind me and I became terrified..truthfully I thought I was going to see my maker that day but I kept on climbing the stairs and the further I ascended up the stairs the stench got worse.

The air was so thick… I could have cut it with a knife…

I could hardly breath. There was absolutely no ventilation. The air was so thick I could have cut it with a knife. And I thought to myself I must have lost my mind. To this day I still cant explain why I didnt just turn around when the front door first opened and just leave. When I reached the the top of the stairs it was very dark and as my eyes started to adjust there was more horror. Dishes and trash pilled everywhere  and there were two extremely dirty mattresses one on the floor which the young man who had let me in proceeded to ly down on and cover himself up with a dirty blanket and the other which was sitting up on a mattress frame  was the lady who I presumed had called out to m. She was sitting on the edge of the mattress with two swollen legs that resembled tree trunks with clearly to me looked like flesh eating disease. There was an abundance of open sores and I’ll just leave it at that. She then says to me that they had just painted the floor and I was to sit in that area…I said excuse me….and she then pointed to a 10 foot corner that had a coach that clearly had been freshly painted…I thought to myself I must be in the twlight zone or on one of those candid camera tv shows….

The signing begins..

I sat down and asked for the documents (they had been overnighted to the borrower; it was one of those WAMU deals, and I guess it it obvious now why they went out of business…lol) and the signers ID. She looked puzzled but asked the young man to get up and look for the requested items….he reluctantly got up and looked for a few minutes but to me it didnt seem that he was really looking or knew what he was looking  for. He was wandering around aimlessly and then told the lady that he could not find them. She accepted this and all I’ll say is that I was so grateful that the ID and and loan docs couldn’t  be found…I immediately got up let them know I had to go for I had another appointment and if the missing items came up  please call so we could re-schedule another appointment (yes, I lied) and then with the young man in front leading me out I proceedded to the stairway and headed down the steps.

No ID? No problem, let’s reschedule.. time to go!!!!

Thankfully he had the  unlocked those locks and he  was opening the door when I reached the foot of the steps. I thanked him and bolted through the door gasping for air as I went. I really didnt realize how much I was  shaken up until I reached my car. I fumbled for the key, opened the drivers door, sat behind the drivers seat and began trembling. I could still smell that dreadful smell. Dear god, I had brought it with me. Before I could compose myself, in a state is horror, I once again heard those clicks of those toe nails and looked up to see the young man at my passenger side car door excitingly letting me know that he had found the loan doc’sI could hear him saying “Oh Miss, Oh miss I got what you need” and me being the quick thinker I am, I asked him had he found the ID as well. He  looking disappointed said oh no…and walked back to his house.  All I could do was just sit there and try to regain my composure. Soon after however I felt sick to my stomach and I opened the door leaned my head down towards the street concrete and everything that had been in my stomach come up….After about 15 minutes I started the car up and went home.  I opened my front door and stripped down and left it all outside. Clothes, briefcase and all. I took a long hot shower and washed the clothes I had been wearing. After this I immediately sat down and sent Fidelity a very long recap of all of these events and told them NOT to send a request that I go back…ever. When Monday came I got a an apology via email from Fidelity and that was the end of it. I never heard one thing about it ever again. Shortly after however, I did  receive my full fee of 150.00. Of this I was thankful.

I was polite through the whole ordeal!

In closing, there is one thing I want to add. Although I was very uncomfortable with the whole situation. The borrower and who I presumed was her son, never new for one minute that I had issues with any of what I  described here. I was cheerful, kind and professional throughout all of it.

Until next time…



  1. I have a question. Were the termites listed as co-borrowers on the loan documents? BTW, I feel this blog teaches us all, that a successful notary should be polite under even the worst of circumstances. Also, sometimes Starbucks is the best place for a signing. Just don’t spill the frappachino, it doesn’t wash off!

    Comment by admin — May 1, 2011 @ 12:58 am

  2. Wow – that is the worst story I have ever heard, what a crazy situation, beats my 120 degree room temperature signing on a hospital bed. Kudo’s to you. I would have told him that you cancelled the closing adn it had to be rescheduled once he reapproached me.

    Comment by Krumor Agents — May 1, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  3. Wow. Thank God you survived! Kudos for professionalism!

    Comment by JGwin — May 12, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  4. My advice…if this happens again, DON’T go in. Professionalism goes just “so far”. There is no telling what could have happened to you. It is just not worth the risk. Reschedule these kinds of calls at a McDonald’s or Arby’s, etc. Do not put yourself into a situation like that. It is simply not the smart thing to do. Excuse yourself and call your contacts and explain the situation and go to the next appt. As you saw, there are too many “crazies” out there.

    Comment by Richard — August 9, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  5. So that explains why I was laid off from WaMu home loans. Nice!

    Comment by E.H — August 19, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  6. Was the woman elderly? If so, please, please call Adult Protective Services (you can call the child abuse hotline and they will refer you if you don’t know how to get in touch with them). Nobody should be forced to live in those conditions.

    Comment by Heather — January 11, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  7. OH MY DEAR LORD. I completely agree with Richard. I would have requested (very nicely) that we reschedule and then meet at another location, perhaps feigning an emergency at the present time. I would not, for any amount of money, gone upstairs after what can only be described as “horror movie” you had witnessed thus far. I also would agree with Heather and have called APS after that. Its obvious the appt would not happen presently or in the future since it seems the lady was incapable of leaving her “home”. God Bless you for your bravery and thank Him for getting you safely home.

    Comment by Lisa — April 5, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  8. Oh My Goodness~ that was the most hilarious & excruciating story ever! I really feel for you having had to endure even one moment in that environment. Kudos to you for trying to do the right thing, and trying not to be judgmental. I hope you won the $50 Starbucks card, so you can meet people like that thare next time.

    Comment by Lily — February 19, 2016 @ 3:05 am

  9. Real Notary Pros LLC are scam artists. They owe a bunch if people a whole lot of money. DO NOT trust Robert and Laurie Fiore. They are scum of the earth. Im trying to gather up as many names as possible who have been scammed by these people. Got a big surprise waiting on these two. The more people I can talk to, the better the surprise will be.

    Comment by Teresa Byers — January 22, 2017 @ 7:13 am

  10. 150.00!!! They never paid me that much. 🙁

    Comment by Yvette — April 4, 2018 @ 6:46 pm

  11. Yep, my best story horror can’t compete with this one. Remember to remind signers who meet at restaurants/bistros that They need to purchase something. These places do not like you meeting there for free and your vendors won’t pay for Your coffee.

    Comment by betty — January 6, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

  12. Oh My God! I thought I had some unreal, yet horrible stories but this one take the prize. I am so sorry you had to experience that as well. It’s something what we Notaries have to go through for the amount most signing agencies offer for signings. I recently started my business and cannot believe what we deal with for the amount we routinely offered. I cannot tell you how many times I left a clients home and smelt like smoke, marijuana, and did not know what I sat in during the signing. SMH! I will remember this story if I encounter any conditions like this and remove myself from the situation. Thank you for sharing…

    Comment by Michelle B — January 6, 2020 @ 10:55 pm

  13. I thank God that you made it out safely. I think I would have left after I noticed the shift of the house. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Patricia — February 7, 2021 @ 12:09 am

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