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May 17, 2011

Fax Backs are a Pain!

Fax Backs are a pain!
Notaries want to make easy money, and why not?  Everybody else wants easy money too!  But, the realities in the notary world are not fair.  A handful of notaries walk off with unreal amounts of money for doing easy signings. Maybe they have a nice manner, or have experience?  Maybe people swear by them?  They are the lucky and the few, and they are not complaining about anything.  But, for the rest of us, we have to hustle for our money.  Some jobs involve putting up with cancellations. Other jobs are for companies that don’t always pay you, or string you along while you wait for payment.  Some notaries end up with “Readers”, who are borrowers who read every letter of every word in every document and ask a total of about three dozen questions, call the lender three times, and take forever.  But, these cases are mild compared to signings with fax backs.  Fax back has become  a dirty word in the signing agent business!
Commentary from notaries
I love reading forums and hearing what notaries have to say.  One notary says, “I don’t usually do these fax back signings”. Another notary states that after downloading, printing, driving, coordinating, and signing, its just not worth it to do fax back jobs for $60.
Why do companies require fax backs?
After running a Facebook profile for over a year, and a Forum for years, I realize that some notaries really know their stuff well, while the majority really do not even know what they are supposed to explain to the borrower, and what to refer to the lender.  Most notaries do not know what a “Document Date” is, or how to distinguish it from a document creation date. A few, can not even distinguish it from a signing date or notarization date.  Even if a notary is certified by NNA or 123notary, it doesn’t guarantee that they know their stuff. Our certification allows two wrong, and if one of the questions you got wrong was regarding what you can tell the borrower, then you could cause a lot of trouble.  The simple fact is that something like half of the mobile notaries out there do not know what they are doing, have not been trained, and need to get educated fast.
The companies requiring fax backs hire inexperienced notaries
To safeguard their loans from inexperienced notaries, the companies requiring fax backs read the faxes to see if documents were notarized correctly and signed correctly, so that they can have another notary go out and take care of business if there is a problem.  And, there could be more problems than you might think. For the notaries who do know what they are doing, they feel insulted being required to do fax backs. Its a waste of time and an insult to their intelligence, right?  Experienced notaries should work for outfits that make it a practice to work with experienced notaries and stay away from this type of babysitting job!

(1) Why do so many companies require fax backs? It is because notaries often miss things which could ruin a loan!
(2) Companies requiring fax backs generally hire inexperienced notaries.
Here are some related posts on the forum!

Low Ball Signing Companies

How to get business directly from title

Fax Backs
FASS and fax backs
New Milleneum and fax backs 

Countrywide huge fax back



  1. Is there anyone that charges extra for fax backs? I just did a closing for Nations Signature Closers and faxed back 26 pages! The other day I did one for Notary Direct and faxed 40 pages. I find this happening more and more. I think it’s a pain in the neck. Any comments?

    Comment by Nancy Lane — August 30, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  2. Most of my closings do not require faxbacks but the ones that do always seem to want half the package faxed or emailed back. I am charging a fee for this service as it requires me to go back to my home office from the signing which could be 3 miles away or 45 miles away. Also, I find that I miss my FedEx or UPS pick-up for the day when I have to email documents back. Also it makes no sense to fax or email documents when you are overnighting them for someone to review the next day anyway. I think charging a fee per page or flat fee for this service is fair. If a title or signing company does not trust you enough and does not want to pay for this extra service then they are not worth the time. Good luck.

    Comment by Beth — October 21, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  3. I don’t charge extra for faxbacks. I don’t fax, but scan and then email. It is much faster and you can see instantly which documents are going to be received correctly by the customer. Certain documents must be received the same day for funding due to the nature of the transaction. A purchase, the refinancing of a second home or any loan not requiring a 3 day right to cancel will normally require documents to be sent the signing day via fax or email. They are the top priority and I will not delay the transmission of these documents in any way. If a title company requests fax backs on a refinance with a RTC I will give secondary status to it. I will get them back as soon as I am able to copy and send them back depending on the timing of my appointments. Last in importance, is the Quality Check faxback given to a signing service. These are not required by the lender or by the title company but merely a quality check by the signing service to verify that the signing agent has not comitted any signing errors or omissions. I will do these no sooner than the end of the day or early the next day. I recommend using the fax and scan method. You might want to update your PDF writer also to append documents which you may have to do if the documents are many pages. I would say that faxbacks are less than 10 percent of my loans so that it is not a big expense, but it is a time killer. I usually just do it as part of my document delivery procedure and final quality check before they get dropped off at UPS or FEDEX.

    Comment by JimN — October 30, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  4. I am new in this field, what what is a reliable scanner/ pdf reader to have for scan backs?

    Comment by Marquerite — May 11, 2019 @ 7:39 pm

  5. I do scan and email when fax backs are required…..I do charge extra, because it is a 30 mile round trip for me to run back to the office and then out again to ship file after fax/scan backs. About the only time I do this anymore is for loans that are funding same or next day. Other times I do this is for Reverse Mortgage Loan Applications….I do a lot of these and charge a good fee to do them…..however I could charge less if they would just let me ship the package….They most often would have the very next day and are not going to do anything with it until they get it anyway…but they always want the application, income documents DL and SS and a few disclosures etc sent back before shipping. To me it is the dumbest thing, but I love doing them and usually it will be another call to close the deal, so try not to complain too much. I sometimes miss ship times due to this but that is the Lenders problem…just doing what I was assigned to do. Happy 2020

    Comment by Karon — January 6, 2020 @ 5:51 pm

  6. I have an HP Office Pro 8610 All in One. It has a feeder tray that can scan 35-40 pages without jamming the feeder, and it can handle 14# paper and scan in color or black and white. It wasn’t very expensive as All-in-Ones go. I have a laser printer to print documents because an ink jet is not very efficient or cost effective for printing lengthy documents, but it will print them in a pinch. I label the document packets Borrowername001.pdf, Borrowername0002.pdf, etc. As much as I hate scanning back the whole document, it is faster than pulling out the “necessary pages” and trying to put them back in the stack where they belong. It does mean I can have as many as 6 packets to scan back. Also, most email programs can only take 20-25MB attachments, which is about 40 pages.

    That being said, I HATE scanbacks for the same reasons everyone else does. They are basically being done on my time because I cannot charge more for scanning back documents.

    Comment by Elise Dee Beraru — January 6, 2020 @ 8:29 pm

  7. Scanbacks Are necessary when dealing with a Buyer’s package and I ask the lender to check my work so that funding is not delayed, beFore I drop for shipment. I will have 7 years of NSA work under my belt this April. The vendors who have hired me for years now will send me a work order that asks for scan back uploads but they only want me to upload neccessary ID’s. CHASE Refi’s do not want hard copy or electronic ID’s. You have to FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS from the people who hire you. That said, scanbacks take time. When I started I had office equipment. If you have to invest in extra equipment you aren’t making money. DH ‘s office has a great scanner. I am the office manager and the office purchased it. For home, I bought a great 4 in 1 Dell color that I do not print with, on sale (Staples), 2 year old model, new out of the box. I print at home witha dual tray. If you have to buy a scanner, do it, they will last. I charge more for scanbacks bc it costs Me Time that could be put towards the next signing. We All get calls for last minute “Rush” signings. The more you make, the more money you can invest in your office supplies.

    Comment by betty — January 6, 2020 @ 9:00 pm

  8. Where is it written that one cannot charge extra for fax/scanbacks? I do charge $25 extra for any pages. It involves a trip back to your machine, extra time spent sending, and then delivery of the package to the Courier’s office so I get a receipt for the package.
    Important! Ask if faxback is required BEFORE you accept the job.

    Success to my sisters and brothers

    Comment by Donna j. r. conne — January 6, 2020 @ 9:48 pm

  9. I’m fairy new to being a notary signing agent. From you experienced Notaries, what are some of the most common mistakes new notaries make when working with clients and notarizing documents?

    Also, I’m not sure what is meant by scan backs. I can scan into my computer then email them so if scan backs are different please help me understand.

    Thanks so much and its great to have a group to ask questions to.

    Comment by Carol Cormany — January 23, 2021 @ 6:22 pm

  10. One last question. Are there any seasoned notaries who mentor we newbies?

    Comment by Carol Cormany — January 23, 2021 @ 6:33 pm

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