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January 13, 2011

Who really needs who?

I received a call the other day from a disgruntled signing service. (they will remain nameless). The owner/operator was quite angry. It appeared that a notary he had hired from 123 had called one of his title companies and had some not so nice things to say about him and his company. And now he wanted retribution, demanded it. He wanted this particular notary to be removed immediately from the 123notary website. I told him that we just don’t remove notaries based on one-sided stories. I asked him to provide me with details as to what happened and all I was able to get out of him was that the notary had taken it upon herself to call his title company and was ‘bad mouthing him’. The next question I asked him, was why would she do this? I expressed to him that notaries just don’t exhibit this type of drastic behavior unless something had happened that would cause her to feel that this was her last resort. I never did get an answer. I had my suspicions but kept quiet. 🙂

I told him that I really couldn’t do anything and suggested that he email Jeremy and/or leave a review for this notary on her profile. He didn’t like any of these solutions. He just wanted her taken off. I found the whole thing odd and as our conversation escalated, he says to me, that because of our reluctance to just take her off, it would not be good if other signing services found out we were letting notaries slam them. It would not be good for business. I’m thinking, is this guy serious? He then went on to ask me if I was a notary? Yes, sir. I am a notary. Been a notary now for a total of 14 plus years. He says, “Oh now I understand, all of you notaries think alike”….”Yeah we do, I tell him”. I go on to tell him that none of this sounds right to me and since he refused to tell me what his part in it was, I couldn’t be of much help. It was clear that we would never see things in the same light…..and it was also clear he had something to hide.

Then he says to me something that I will never forget. “If it wasn’t for us (meaning signing services) you guys wouldn’t have any work”. I was like “WHAT”?!?!?!? Are your serious?. I could not believe my ears! I was stunned and shocked. I had to keep what I was really thinking to myself. But I did say; “Do you really believe this? I mean the only reason that title/escrow use signing services is because it is convenient for them”. It was clear he did not like that answer. 🙂 The truth of the matter is that although they may be convenient for title/escrow, no-one really needs signing services but they do need commissioned notary publics who travel. And if every signing company fell off the the face of the earth, the folks in the mortgage industry would still use and need us…and this is a fact. What were they doing before the signing services got on the scene and took over? Calling notaries direct, thats what. And some of them still do call direct. They want that one on one experience.

On that note we ended the conversation as it was going nowhere. And after I hung up I just couldn’t believe that this signing company had the nerve to say this to me and he actually believed this. I think he has got this whole ‘who needs who twisted’ Or he thinks I am pretty stupid…….but even worse, I wonder how many other signing companies believe this nonsense as well?

Like the title says….who really needs who?

Until the next time…be safe!

(1) If the signing companies all fell off the face of the planet, Title companies would call notaries directly.
(2) A notary reported the signing co to the Title company, and the signing company was not happy!
(3) He wanted us to remove a notary. I told him we don’t remove notaries based on one-sided stories
(4) Al: “If it weren’t for us signing services, notaries wouldn’t work!” Carmen thinking: “Is this guy serious?”
(5) The only reason Title/Escrow use signing services is that it is “convenient” for them!
(6) Who really needs who? Do notaries need signing services? Do Title co’s need signing services?

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  1. Who needs who? With your insight, sense of humor, and from the trenches writing; the answer is obvious. Carmen we need YOU!

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — March 13, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  2. Yeah, I like it when the title companies contact me directly. I get to keep the entire notary fee they pay. Signing services take a portion of the notary fee and I end up doing the same amount of work, or sometimes a bit more because the signing service wants fax backs to review your work when the title company doesn’t require fax backs.

    Comment by David M Helmic II — March 20, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

  3. That notary could be me. I have waited patiently for three months for payment on two signings totaling $180. I called the title company to see if they were still doing business with ___________ and if they had been paid from the loan company, which they had. It is not bad-mouthing — it is merely exhibiting frustration when not being paid in a timely manner for work completed in the good faith that we will be paid. I also contacted the Better Business Bureau in _______ and registered my dissatisfaction with this company. What else can we do? Small Claims court? Too expensive. A demand letter from an attorney — again too expensive and very ineffective.

    Comment by Jo Gustine — March 20, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  4. The “signing” companies only sign us notaries, and we are the ones who do everything while the collect the signing fee and gives us as little as we’ll take. If most Title and Escrow companies knew all the details of how many signing companies operate, most signing companies would be flipping burgers. 1. More than once we have been contacted by signing companies, asked to do a signing in a particular city, have printed out the docs, called to verify the appointment, been surprised to find that another notary had also been contacted by the signing company. Upon calling the signing company we are told something like “we are sorry but evidently we double booked that signing…” Ya right!! After booking with one notary, they shop around for a lower price for the job and then dump the higher priced notary. 2. Anyone who has ever had any business with a title or escrow company knows that upon recordation of the documents, the title company pays off the old loans, pays the recording fees, pays the realtors, appraiser, etc. Yet, the signing company usually tells the notary…”We pay in 30 days or 45 days,,” etc. Why? They are living on money owed the notary for as long as they can get away with it.
    We notaries need to do a better job of marketing our services in our own states and nationally.

    Comment by Rodrigo Jones — March 20, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

  5. I have a strong feeling that this phone call may have been due to my actions. If so, my response is: I did a signing for this SS on 12/20/13 and had not received payment as of the middle of March. I had attempted to contact the SS by leaving voice messages on two different numbers a total of 5 times; I also sent multiple emails to his general email as well as his accounting department’s email . On my last email (which I also printed and faxed) and voice message I gave him 5 days to respond and threatened that I would contact the title company/lender that I closed the loan for if I didn’t hear from him. After absolutely no response , I did contact the title company explaining my dilemma. I told them that I did not in any way expect payment from them, but I did want them to know that I was not paid for closing their loan. They in turn contacted him and the next day I received an email from him sincerely apologizing (whatever…..) and asking me to contact him directly in the future if I had any issues with his company. He said that the check had been mailed, but was never cashed (again, whatever…..). I did receive payment within the week.

    Comment by Kellie Salley — March 21, 2014 @ 3:17 am

  6. This could have been anyone among dozens of Signing Services that I have dealt with. A few years ago I often sent my invoice directly to the title companies with the explanation that I had mistakenly sent the invoice to the signing service not knowing that they were not responsible for paying me. That nearly always worked provided the signing service was still in business. Remember SOX signing service? They were in business when I first started 10 years ago and they had a billboard announcement on their confirmation letters, DO NOT CALL THE TITLE COMPANY, which I figured out was code for, “if you expect to get paid, call the title company.” After I did that someone called me from SOX and told me that I was unethical and I would be reported to NNA. I replied that, “be that as it may,where is my money”. They paid me a enough to confuse my bookkeeping, the vanished from the scene.

    Comment by Paul Kevil — March 21, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

  7. I would love to be called direct — who needs a third person? I have a few calls direct from the title company and would love more. The percentage kept by the signing company is more that half the fee paid. And since the slow-down in refinancing, the fees seem to be getting lower. My favorites are reverse mortgages which pay very well.

    Comment by Linda Tierney — March 23, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

  8. Agree I would rather get the whole fee.

    Comment by Shelley pahn — March 24, 2014 @ 12:36 am

  9. Great article “Carmen” I can hear you while reading your Blog! This Blog had me laughing out loud! You are correct in your statement ” no one really needs signing services but they do need commissioned notary publics who travel.”

    Comment by Davett — December 10, 2014 @ 12:53 am

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