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April 20, 2016

Artificially inflated rates at a signing

My rate shouldn’t be this high!
I had a loan signing once for a lady where I looked at the documents and the interest rates printed seemed unusually high. Before I had her sign the papers, I asked her what the loan officer had told her, and she couldn’t remember what the interest rate was that she had been told. She rummaged around in her purse and found a slip of paper where she had written it down and it was definitely different from what was printed on the documents. I tried calling the lender and couldn’t reach them. I left a message but we never heard back from them so we cancelled the appointment and decided to reschedule. I took the docs with me as I left. Magically the next day, new documents showed up with the correct interest rates despite the fact that no phone call ever came through from the loan officer. We made an appointment and signed the next day. I was so glad for her that we had caught that mistake and got it corrected!

Falsely accused of murder
I had a jail signing where a woman was in jail and her fiancee was fighting on her behalf to get her out. Someone had gotten murdered and she was incarcerated, but she was actually innocent and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fiancee needed a power of attorney, and he was so well dressed that the guards thought he was a lawyer and he came in with me to see her to get the signing done. When they saw each other, they spoke and he just held and pressed her hand. She was so depressed and upset and sad. The jail had over medicated and sedated her for her depression which made the whole situation ever more upsetting. I felt really bad for them.

The vindaloo signing
I had a funny signing with a Caucasian woman and an East Indian man in my town. When I got there, the husband was quite grumpy because the title company had messed up the settlement statement. When I told him that my former husband was an East Indian man though, he suddenly lit up and got very excited! We went into the kitchen and he gave me a bunch of seasoning packets and told me where to buy the best lamb rack, and we talked about cooking. We ended up rescheduling the signing with the corrected documents and we ended up talking more about cooking then too and he sent me home with more food! It was a fun meeting!

An impersonator at a signing
I had a refinance once where I’m glad I listened to my intuition! There was a situation where the wife was bilingual, and the husband spoke only Spanish. She was the primary on the loan, and when I looked at the ids, hers looked definitely like her. Her husband’s id didn’t really look like the man sitting in front of me. He had a bandanna on that partially hid his head, and the picture looked similar, but I couldn’t really say that the id was really the same man in front of me. I was skeptical but I took the photograph at face value as the wife assured me that this was really him. I started to proceed with the signing. At some point though, the man in front of me suddenly said, “ There’s a problem. This doesn’t match.” referring to the documents. At that point I realized that this wasn’t her husband since he clearly understood and spoke English. It was a friend. Not her husband. So I immediately stopped the signing, told them we were done, and walked out the door. I was so thankful that I was able to stop it, and that I had it recorded in my journal. I called the agency immediately and let them know what had happened.


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30 minute Islamic prayer break at a signing


June 20, 2013

Few are broke in brokerage

Few are Broke in Brokerage

Many notaries are broke, or nearly so. Not so with the lucrative Mortgage Broker Profession. Not to be confused with the Loan Officer, generally a bank employee, the Mortgage Broker directs lenders thru the “front end” of the system. While the Loan Officer has the final say in granting the loan, it is the Mortgage Broker who often initiates the Mortgage process. The typical Mortgage Broker will handle fewer transactions compared to the Loan Officer; but makes more money per loan compared to the Loan Officer.

Mortgage Brokers are licensed and regulated. Their allegiance is to the borrower to market to them the “best fit” loan. They actively advertise to attract clients and provide support is creating the “front end” services necessary for the Mortgage to proceed. They determine the financial status of the client often analyzing salary, tax returns and bank statements. The Mortgage Broker will assist the mortgage applicant in obtaining pre-approval and completing the lender application forms. They actively search the various bank and other financial institutions to find an appropriate mortgage loan offering. They submit the completed package seeking to obtain from the Loan Officer approval for their clients’ Mortgage Loan need.

Notaries take note: While most Loan Officers work for the lending institution, it is also permitted for representatives of the Mortgage Broker to refer to themselves as “Loan Officers”. The more “independent” Mortgage Broker is licensed and personally liable for inappropriate activities.

The Loan Officer on the other hand is an employee of the bank and is usually covered by their license and their insurance. Mortgage Brokers are licensed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. Loan officers, working for direct lenders, must register with the NMLS, but are not licensed.

Where do us notaries fit in? Well, we fit in before, during and after the Mortgage Loan is
processed. Our activities before assist the Mortgage Loan Broker in preparing the completed package for approval by the Lending Institution. Our stamps and seals on the Mortgage are required during the processing of the Loan. But how about after? Actually our work becomes very important after the Lending Institution grants the Loan and Mortgage. The selling of loans on the Secondary market is a tool for the direct lender to raise capital. In addition to the “quality” of the borrower, the “quality” of the paperwork is critical. Paperwork that passed approval for the Loan Officer to grant the Mortgage may not meet “standards” on the secondary market – making that particular loan difficult to transfer! Keep your stamp clear and clean, be sure all entries are EXACTLY proper and legible. Lending Institutions always want the option to sell the loan. Work with the system and consider the lifespan of each loan package you process.


June 11, 2013

She ran through the house like a mad woman…

It amazes me, still to this day, how there are loan officers and/or individuals that are involved in the loan process that just don’t do their job. Why is it that some of the borrowers still don’t have the numbers or worse yet have no idea that we are coming? But the Signing Services impose that stupid rule of not calling before you go. These things are just plain unprofessional and unacceptable. And more often than not it causes problems for US at the signing table.

Here is another incident of us having to deal with problems at the table. Which most likely could have been worked out beforehand.

Once of our notaries received a job form one of her SS regulars. She confirmed the place, fee, type of loan and that there were to be two borrowers and the appointment was scheduled. On that day she printed and went on her way. She arrived at the closing. Did the required what I call housekeeping (you know: journal entries, thumbprints, etc). She had given the borrowers (wife in this case) their set of documents which is always recommended so they can have something to do while you do your duties. And as the wife is going through them page by page, she sees something within the documentation that sets her off. She begins yelling how ‘this cant be right’. Interest, closing costs? Who knows at this point because she never really says. The husband asks her what in the world was wrong, but no answer. She then abruptly gets up from the table. The husbands asks her again what is wrong and asks her to see what she is talking about and as he tries to reach for the paperwork from her, she starts moving away from his grasp all while still ranting on about how ‘this couldn’t be right’. The husband then gets up to go after her and she starts running from him. So, here they are with the wife running and the husband in chase. The notary is thinking she has just entered a madhouse of nuts.

The Notary is in shock and can’t believe what she is seeing. So, while they are running through the house, the notary calls the signing service and informs that what has just happened. The notary explains the best she can and the good news is that they can hear all of the commotion going on over the phone. No one really knows what to do. And neither of them know what has set her off. But, If I were asked to make an educated guess I’d say it would be the interest rate and I bet the loan officer hadn’t been in touch. But who knows, it could have been any number of things.

The signing service instructs the notary to get the documents back if she can and try and find out what the borrower(s) concerns are and inform the borrower(s) that they will do their best to get things corrected. And while the borrowers are still running through the house the notary try’s her best to convey this. But they are now in their own little world, with wife running and the husband still in chase, trying his best to calm his wife and find out what is wrong. The notary is not a able to get the docs back nor convey the message. So she just bids them both farewell and departs the home.

And for those curious minds, when the notary shared this story with me it had been only a day or two since this had happened and she hadn’t been called back. So I don’t know if she ever went back. Though, I doubt she would want to. 🙂

Until next time. Be safe!


(1) Some signing co’s have the stupid rule of not calling the borrowers before u go which leads to #madness!
(2) Another incident of having to deal with problems at the table which could’ve been worked out beforehand.
(3) The wife abrupty left the signing table & ran thru the house w/the husband chasing her. What a bunch of nuts!

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