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May 31, 2017

Are Signing Agents more than babysitters with stamps?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: — admin @ 9:49 pm

The world doesn’t seem to respect Notaries or Signing Agents. We are just a formality, and a lowly paid worker who can be kept waiting, neglected, or in some cases not paid. Many Notaries who do loan signings go to the signing only to be kept waiting forever while the borrower reads every page and makes long calls to the Lender.

It is the Lender’s fault that borrowers don’t get the documents until the last minute. Borrowers could read the documents and find questions and errors ahead of time if they had 48 hours notice before the Notary shows up. If we lived in an ideal world, borrowers would be able to see their documents online and check them for issues. The Notary always arrives with a limited time frame and the borrower has to get through a package of 80 to 150 pages in an hour or so. They have never seen the documents and are under a lot of stress. It seems like a big con game where the Notary is the one whose feelings are not considered.

It is our job to babysit people while they read documents? What a waste of our time. If our signing agent profession was taken seriously, we wouldn’t be kept waiting while people read documents. Are $400 per hour Attorneys kept hostage while their client reads their briefs? Perhaps reading with a question and answer session, but not endless waiting time.

The basic problem is that it is too easy to become a Signing Agent, and therefor there are too many people doing it — and mostly people who don’t know what they are doing. That is why we are taken for granted and paid $50 while the Notary fee on the Closing Disclosure says $400. SnapDocs probably makes $15 on it too, which is 30% of what the Notary makes. What is the world coming to?

Just make sure the borrowers get to bed on time, and if there is an emergency, the numbers for the police, fire department and poison control are next to the phone taped to the wall. Oh, and feel free to have orange juice — it’s in the fridge!

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Does knowledge matter any more as a signing agent?
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February 13, 2012

Certified Signing Agent – what does it mean?

There are different signing certifications out there.  There are NNA certified signers, 123notary certified signing agents, and many other agencies have a similar type of test and certification.  But, what does it all mean? 
 
NNA certification is famous, and people think that they are a government agency.  You can learn a lot from the NNA certification process. It is a good use of your time.  My personal opinion is that the test covers much more information than you will ever be able or authorized to use, and that it lacks focus as a result.  I feel it is better to focus on what you will be using daily and to be good at it which is a daunting task for most notaries — believe it or not!
 
123notary’s certified signing agent process
Most NNA certified signers do not want to take another test, and they don’t take ours seriously.  What they fail to realize is that they should not take the test because they like our test.  They should take our test because the visitors to 123notary WILL NOT HIRE THEM as a first choice unless they are certified by us.  Our test is short, not expensive, and to the point.  It is also timed which makes it less popular with the notaries.  A timed test is harder to pass, and that means that you really have to know your stuff and be able to function under pressure.  Most of us can not function under regular circumstances and fall apart under pressure. This is how we separate the ladies from the girls, etc.
 
History of the 123notary certification test
We used to give the test over the phone.  We didn’t have money or technology in those days.  Notaries would say, “Ummmm, ahmmm, I know this”, and think for two minutes when we asked them simple questions about what information is where.  If you have to spend long amounts of time thinking in front of a borrower, they will think that you are an unprofessional idiot, and they will be right.  If you can pass our timed test, that proves that you are motivated, smart, can think under pressure, have a little bit of money, and know your basics.  Passing our test doesn’t mean that you know the subtleties of the profession, but most notaries have enough trouble with the basics which is why we place very little emphasis on the more sophisticated points.
 
Whose test do I take?
Want to be a loan signing agent?  You need marketing.  If you want to advertise with the NNA, then pass their test. If you want to advertise with 123notary, then pass our test.  Get certified by whichever agency you plan to be with — on their jurisdiction (their site).  It is similar to different state laws.  If you are in Ohio, get commissioned by the Ohio notary division, and if you are in Montana, then get commissioned by the Montana notary division.  Don’t tell the Montana notary department that you are ALREADY certified by Ohio, because they don’t want to hear that.

 123notary certified loan signing agents get 3x the business
We tell our clients that they will get 3x the business if they get certified by us.  Our statistics demonstrate this fact.  The smarter notaries get with the program and just do what is necessary, but we get a bunch of arguers who want to spend two hours convincing me that they don’t need the test.  Don’t tell me — tell the hundreds of visitors to our site who refused to call you because you don’t have the certification icon next to your name!

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123notary certification gets you more clicks
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=22496

Elite certification will benefit you for the rest of your life
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=20770

Compilation of certification posts
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16264
 

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September 27, 2010

Hospital notary job tips from A to Z

Hospital notary jobs are a great source of extra income for signing agents. However, there are many pit falls and delays. Learn to do your homework so you can minimize the problems of this type of job. Hospital notarizations are always much more time consuming than regular notary jobs, so charge at least $50 travel fee and be prepared for signers and family members who do not have their ID’s and documents ready.

Call first to find out if the signer has ID

If you are doing a notary signing for someone in the hospital, chances are their family members will be calling you for the signing. The signer will generally be elderly, and elderly people who are not self-sufficient typically have expired identification. Find out what the signer’s identification is before you go to the signing. Have someone read the ID type, state of issue, number, and expiration date. The client will tell you false stories otherwise. They will say, “Oh, she has a passport”, and then when you get to the signing you will find that they only have a social security card, and can’t even find it.

Confirm the signing and identification

When you confirm the signing, confirm where the ID is, and make sure the person on the other end ofthe phone is HOLDING it, or you will never find it. Elderly people can never find their identification if they even have any. They will sit with you on the sofa and go through the contents of their entire wallet. You will see decades of history unravel before you, and will be kept waiting a long time. They will offer you every type of unacceptable ID known to mankind, and will offer you everything except for an ID that you can really use. Make sure the client who calls you knows where the ID is, or you will be sorry.

Does the signer understand the document?

Make sure the signing can explain the document to you, otherwise they shouldn’t be signing it. If the signer is so incapacitated that they can’t speak, then you should not notarize them.

Can the signer sign their own name?

Find out if the signer can sign their own name before going to the signing. Family members will always assure you that they can sign. But, medical situations change quickly, and once the notary arrives, the signer is often drugged or incapable of speaking coherently or signing anything. Have the family members make the signer sign something before you book the appointment. When the client calls you and you ask them to sample the elderly person’s signature, the elderly person will always be sleeping, so they can’t test their signing skills, but you will be assured that after you drive two hours to the signing, that the person will be able to sign properly.

Is the signer drugged?

Make sure that the nurses know not to drug the signer within eight hours of the signing. Make sure the family members of the signing are watching the signer at all times to make sure the nurses don’t slip them any valium, otherwise the signing is off.

Confirmation an hour before the signing – a list of questions to ask.

(1) Is the signer awake? Waking them up at the last minute takes a long time.

(2) Is the signer drugged? Valium and signings don’t mix.

(3) Can the signer sign their name? Have the family member test them out before you drive.

(4) Do you have the ID in your hand? Please read it to me again. Otherwise you’ll never find it.

(5) Do you have the document(s)? Please confirm you are holding them in your hand. Don’t let family members drag the person’s arm while the signer is grabbing the pen. If the daughter moves the signers arm around, then it is the daughter signing for the person. If the signer can’t sign on their own, the signing is off. You can do a signature by X if you know the procedure. However, the family members may use their arm as a fixed brace, so that the signer can have some physicall support for the signing. Make sure the family members’ arm doesn’t move around to assist the signing.

What should I charge?
Travel fees for hospital jobs should be anywhere from $40 to $80 which should include the first 30 minutes of waiting time.  Hospital notary jobs are risky, because the signer may not be able to sign — which means you might not get paid.  The signer could die before you arrive as well.  The families of the signers rarely have their paperwork and identification all in order which ensures you at least 20 minutes waiting time, even if you double check to make sure they are prepared.  Charge whatever your state allows per signature and a hefty travel fee IF YOUR STATE ALLOWS travel fees at all. Our forum documents roughly eight states with travel fee restrictions which puts a stranglehold on your whole livelihood.

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Notarizing for the elderly. Do a little digging to find out if the transaction is legit.
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Power of Attorney at a nursing home
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2305

Rules for notarizing a bedridden person
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2243

Do you like your job? A story about a notary who was kept waiting.
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=617

Jail notary jobs from A to Z
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=151

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August 3, 2010

Funniest things that happen to Signing Agents

Funny situations at signings for signing agents
Signings are usually very normal, but our notaries and signing agents have seen almost everything from roach infested houses, to naked signers, to having a tornado come to the signing. Here are some noteworthy experiences that are from our FACEBOOK profile on May 25th, 2010. WHICH ONE IS THE FUNNIEST?

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Chicken coops
I had to walk around the chicken coops while he collected just hatched eggs. I brought home a 1/2 a dozen.

The two year old
A two year old decided to take all our blue pens hide them and mom could not find them, Lesson keep more pens in the car.

The angry husband
It was probably when a couple began arguing with me present. The husband yelled that she never let him read anything in peace or make a decision so he took his car keys and screeched out the driveway only to end up accidentally running over his kid’s bike in the driveway. We had to wait for him to return so that he could sign the papers as well but… She kept muttering under her breath that he doesn’t understand what he’s signing so what ‘s the point (had to agree with her he seemed unnecessarily confused). Funny thinking about it now but it was dramatic and awkward then. Only two weird incidents like this but they stick out like sore thumbs lol

5 dogs & 3 kids
As a signing agent, I had to notarize for a couple who had 5 HUGE dogs and 3 super hyper kids, that were taller than me, mind you I’m only 4′ 11″ (in high heels! lol ), before I even rang the door bell, I knew it was going to be a challenging job, there were toys all over the front yard, and of course there was a HUGE gate, that I had to get on a tippy toes in order to reach the latch, I walked to the front door, and sure enough, as soon as one of the kids answered one of their huge dogs decided to jump on me and smell me!! to get to know me of course! lol, oh man, I’m cracking up just remembering! The family was so friendly and full of love, it was not a bad experience at all after I shared all my extra pens and paper with the kids.. they were so sweet they even took my business cards and handed them out to their friends and colleagues, I really appreciate that! All in a notary’s day’s work!!

The mistress
I had called the Borrower the day before to confirm, and for some reason I guess the Wife thought I was the Mistress, because that night at 2am, I received a phone call, screaming at me, yelling at me, asking me why i was cheating with her husband, etc!!!!. When i arrived in the morning to the signing, it was the most awkward thing in the world!!!

He had the H1N1 Virus and died soon after
Was told by the signer if her boyfriend came home to grab the papers and run. That was stressful. But the worst one of all happened in April of this year. The signer was an old man with a walker. He started the conversation with I have the H1N1 virus with a 102* fever. He said “Is that okay with you?”. I told him to go home, get better and then resign. I called a few days later and he had died. Very sad.

The little boy
I went to a signing out in the middle of nowhere. The little boy, probably about 4, comes running out and hugs my legs. The Daddy tells him to get back in bed, he hugs tighter, Dad starts to count to 3.. I tell him you better run. Just as his Dad gets to 3, he tears loose and runs and jumps in bed. Then he yells out.. “Hey Lady, whats your name?”.. I say Susie, he yells out “Good Night Susie”..

The naked daughter
Awkward…at a extravagant house w a couple in the morning. Middle of signing the 3 year old daughter comes running out naked. Wouldn’t stop jumping all over the couches and running around. NAKED.

The argumentative selling agent
I had a sale in which the Selling agent and the Seller were arguing. The Selling agent had called the police because he said their dog had bit him when they conducted the final walk through. The Seller’s insisted it did not happen. It was a hostile closing environment until the agent decided to drop his pants to show the teeth marks on his buttocks! I was in tears from laughing so hard. It remains my funniest closing to date.

Can you help give birth?
I was scheduled to do a closing and the borrower called me the morning of to cancel unless……..I was willing to come to labor and delivery as the wife had gone into labor that morning…..but they really wanted to sign that day. I called the company and they said it was my call. I decided to go. They had to get me cleared through security. We would sign a few pages and take a break, then sign a few more and take a break. I did let them know that they could kick me out at anytime…..lol. We did complete the closing. I didn’t stick around for the birth and don’t know if they named the baby after me or not…..but it has been a great story to tell!

Signing on the hood & Affidavit of &#%
There are a couple of them that stick out in my mind.
1- the request to notarize an affidavit saying this lady never had*****with another ladies husband. people think just because i notarize it it is the truth.
2- the lady who insisted i come to her home at 11 pm and sign documents on the hood of my car, down the block cauz she didnt want her boyfriend to know what she was doing. Oh yeah, she snuck out of the house through a window in her nightgown lol. And she was a fairly large woman.

1 – I went into labor at a signing and tried to hide it from the borrower because the first comment he made when I walked into the front door was, “you’re not going to have that baby today are you?” (I did actually)
2 – I had a borrower on a reverse mortgage closing who was expecting me to arrive with a brief case full of cash because he was receiving $70,000 as a lump sum disbursement. Also, he lived in a mobile home on blocks and planned on putting the cash in a floor safe.

Once you get here we can untie my husband
I accepted a signing and when I inputed the address into my GPS, it turned out to be a hospital. I called the client to ensure I had the correct address and she stated, “yes, we are in the lobby waiting for you. Once you get here we will untie my husband’s hands so he can sign this will.” Needless to say, I cancelled!

The tornado
I was sitting at the kitchen table facing the patio, which was high off the ground, doing a signing. It was cold in the house and I thought the borrower had turned on the heat when she got up, but it was too noisy to be heat. My mouth flew open as a huge stainless steel barbecue grill traveled quickly past the patio doors. What I thought was the heat, turned out to be the freight train sound of a tornado! We looked outside and a tree was down, the legs of their covered swing had gone through the side of the neighbor’s garage, and the people across the street had shingles ripped off a quarter of their roof like you would rip the label off a jelly jar. News crews came to cover the tornado while we finished up the signing. My car and the borrower’s house were fine.

Are you allergic to cats & snakes?
As I walked to the door I knew it was bad..bo meets me asks if I am allergic to cats. Um no. Good she said she has 40 and we go in..She turns and asks what about snakes? Um NO..We walk in and cats and snakes..big ones all in and out of cages all over the place..My lungs hurt from the stench..Got out in a big hurry! Yuk!
 
Let us know which one you think is the funniest, and let us know if you have some funny stories of your own. As you can see, our signing agents have a very interesting life — at least from time to time.
 
Tweets:
(1) The notary was asked to notarize an affidavit that claimed the signer never had $&%
w/the other ladies husband!
(2) One you get here (to notarize) we can untie my husband!
(3) One signer asked, “Are you allergic to cats or snakes?” What kind of signing is this going to be?

Other related reading material.

Compilation of Notary sit-com episodes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15949
 
Tips on being the worlds worst notary or signing agent
http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1910
 
Humorous and interesting posts from the forum
http://www.123notary.com/interestingposts.asp

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