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February 5, 2011

The Signing from Heaven

The Signing from Heaven

The call comes in when you have nothing on your calendar. It’s for signing about 5 miles from your home. You notice that it’s from a very highly rated title company that you have been trying to link with for years. They are very exclusive about who they hire. They have several highly pro-notary policies. They always pay their notaries public in full, as long as you did not make any errors. It does not matter if it “closes” or not. If the borrower refuses to sign or rescinds; they consider only the work that you did. Their standard pay is $150 and the docs are always shipped to you at least 3 days prior to the signing date. The appointment is usually set 5 days prior.

When the docs arrive, (they ship them to you), you examine them closely. You notice that they took the time to accurately fill in the venue section with both the correct state and county where the signing will take place. There is no lengthy “Statement of Information”; only a request for a copy the signer’s IDs – and the borrowers are requested to sign the photocopy of their ID. The package is sent in a single PDF which includes the return airbill. The date of the signing has been set; however you are requested to arrange with the borrower a mutually convenient time for the actual signing. They respect and trust their notaries public and your check is included in the shipment.

You arrive at the signing location, with a nearby parking spot; to be greeted warmly. After introductions, they serve coffee and cookies on a spacious and well lighted table. They confirm that they have previously received and reviewed their “borrower copy” directly from the title company. They mention a mistake was found and provide you with a sealed FedEx envelope that they say contains, directly from title (the shipper’s address), a new HUD; to replace the one you brought. They inform you that you will also find in the envelope a note from the loan officer authorizing the document “swap”. You notice on the table the borrowers have prepared copies of their driver’s licenses and have placed the originals on top of the photocopies.

As you examine the IDs you notice that there are no sounds in the room. The TV is off, there are no children anywhere in sight; nor are any animals in the room. The borrowers tell you they have examined the entire package, and with the sole exception of needing a new HUD; they are ready to sign. Moreso, they request that you only present to them documents that need signatures, and that you “turn the page” on documents that do not need any signatures. When you reach the first page to be signed you notice that the spelling on the IDs exactly matches the spelling on the documents from the lending institution and title / escrow.

Processing the 87 page document set proceeds at a rapid pace. They sign using a neat clear full signature exactly as printed “under the line”. The borrowers have no questions, but do mention that they allocated a full hour to sign the documents. Half way thru the documents you are brought a refill of very excellent coffee, and a few more cookies. Towards the end of the document set the borrowers compliment you on your punctuality and mention their desire to send a complimentary letter on your behalf. After all the documents are signed, and the oath given; they mention a future need for a traveling notary and request your card. They notice the FedEx airbill/envelope and express appreciation that you will be handling the actual shipping of the package back for them.

Smiles and handshakes are followed by a last piece of cookie and final sip of that superb coffee.

Dear reader of this post regarding “The Signing from Heaven”;

The last line of this post can be found in a song by The “Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” specifically, the song title is: “I’m The Urban Spaceman”. Please find the lyrics – you will have to do a bit of hunting, to find the last 3 words of my post regarding “The Signing from Heaven”; which are also the last 3 words of that song.

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September 27, 2010

Pricing formulas for mobile notary work

This is an area that all traveling notaries need to be an expert on. When a hotel in Vegas rents rooms during the slow times, they charge around $80. But, when things speed up, the same room could be $300, right? Notaries need to think like this. If someone wants you to travel 20 miles in rush hour, charge one fee. If someone wants you to travel 20 miles to do a slow signing at the end of the month when time is in short supply, charge a higher fee. If the job is on a slow day when there is no traffic, you can charge less if they don’t like your regular price for traveling notary work.

What you charge is up to you, but here are the components you should use in a pricing formula for traveling notary work.

(1) Time spent
(2) How valuable the time is when the job is assigned, i.e. end of the month, time is more valuable as there are more jobs.
(3) e-docs, extra fee
(4) Unknown company? Charge a bit more to compensate you for your risk.
(5) Miles – charge based on how far the job is and how long it will take. Windy mountain roads take longer than open freeways, and Los Angeles traffic takes longer than Oklahoma traffic.
(6) Pickup and delivery of documents. Charge for your time.
(7) Does the company cancel a lot? Charge extra.
(8) Are you desperate for work? Charge less.
(9) Three or more signers on loan? Charge more.
(10) Eight or more notarized signatures or a really long loan package? Charge more.
(11) Company owes you more than a few hundred dollars? Turn the job down until you get paid.
(12) Company has a bad reputation for not paying notaries? Decline the job.

Your exact fee for each act is up to you, but the forementioned twelve points are what you need to think about. Here is what I recommend.

Basic signing: $75-$125. Adjust based on how busy you are.
E-documents: $25-50 per double set. Adjust based on how busy you are.
Pickups: $40 extra. Could include some waiting time.
Dropoffs: $30 extra. There is less waiting dropping off.
Reverse mortgages: $125-$175. These are time consuming and long.
Piggy backs: $100-$150. These are long, but not always time consuming for traveling notaries.
Travel fee for mobile notary work: $35-$75 depending on what time it is, how far you are going, etc. Jail, hospital, and late night jobs should be billed on the higher end of the scale, while close daytime jobs should be billed on the lower end.

Please read our hospital blog for pricing information about hospital jobs.

Please share your opinions.

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