The Compliance Agreement
This document is often part of a loan package. While not notarized, “The undersigned hereby agrees to cooperate”. This cooperation includes working with both the lender and the Escrow or “Closing Agent” to facilitate “reasonable requests”. This cooperation is subsequent to the closing, on an “if necessary” basis. Said cooperation includes providing any and all documentation “deemed necessary or desirable”. It is very open ended with an enforcement clause, to be discussed later in this installment.
The affiants to this agreement, often both the buyer and the seller, are obligated to assist, as “necessary”, to complete the transaction. This completion can include verbiage to include the marketability of the loan and/or securing title insurance. They may be requested (really required) to re-execute documents or sign additional documents. They may also be asked to provide previously “not relevant or considered” documents, to facilitate the closing.
Score one for stating the obvious. While researching this blog, one of the compliance agreement documents specifically stated: The sellers are not required to perform duties and responsibilities of the buyer, and the reverse is also understood. As mentioned the responsibilities of the affiants is a bit open ended. They are both required to not only facilitate requests “deemed necessary” but also those “desirable”. An up to date appraisal would certainly be desirable, but it’s not clearly spelled out who would be required to pay if this was requested. Similarly, it’s not clear who would be responsible for expenses to make the loan “insurable”.
While this document is usually a single page; the issues are rather complex. There are four parties involved: The Lender, the Title Co., the Borrower, and the Seller. It’s easy to visualize conflicts developing. The “enforcement arm” is frequently in the last paragraph. This section includes for recovery of all expenses, and lawyer fees, by the winning party if it is adjudicated.
Thus failure to comply with an “it’s desirable” request (demand?) from Title, might result in Title obtaining the item and billing the, for example; seller. Additionally the seller would, if they contest the cost, and lose; have to pay the attorney fees of the Title Company. Quite a lot of responsibility is included on that one little page. Few bother to read it. It’s generally explained (not by the Notary!) as agreeing to resign a lost document; but it really comprises much more.
I often wondered why such a “strong” document is rarely if ever notarized. Perhaps the public perception of notarized documents being “binding” and others “contestable” is in play. Whatever the reason, all affiants should be aware of the broad scope of the Compliance Agreement. It’s more than just allowing clerical errors to be corrected, much more. I have heard it explained away as only allowing for the correction of typographical errors. “If we put the comma in the wrong place and say you only pay fifty cents a month, not five hundred a month; we are allowed to correct that typo”. Yes, it’s that; but also much more.
How does this apply to the notary? From my prospective the issues are so broad, vague and potentially of great economic effect – I would not attempt to “explain” it; not a bit. If asked a question related to the Compliance Agreement, for me it’s an immediate call to the Loan Officer.
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More on Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry!
Snapdocs really impresses me. They are new, successful, popular, yet everybody I know is complaining bitterly about them. It’s like Uber. You either love’em or hate’em. I was reading a Notary Rotary post where two reps from Snapdocs answered questions. Wow! Such good service! So, below are my comments on Snapdocs.
1. Snapdocs does cattle calls.
This is an automated feature that is convenient for the Title company, but a pain for the Notary. If you answer a cattle call after more than a few minutes have gone by, the job will probably have been filled.
2. Offers are generally low
Offers from Snapdocs are usually not very well paying. On the other hand, this makes it a great opportunity for newer Notaries to put some notches on their belt. I always tell newbies to work for cheap until they have proven themselves with a few thousand signings.
3. Are they scaring away seasoned Notaries?
One Notary on Notary Rotary’s form claimed that Snapdocs was scaring away seasoned Notaries. In my opinion, a system that is optimized for price and convenience is not suitable for an experienced and higher priced Notary. I just hope the good Notaries don’t get put out of business with all of the low fees that have become the norm in today’s Notary industry.
4. But, can you negotiate prices?
Yes. You can respond to emails and make a counter offer. If someone offers you $55, you can say, $155 — take it or leave it. Do you want experience and credentials or do you want to take your chances? In my opinion, Notaries do too much self-pitying and not enough negotiating. Give those signing and title companies a run for their money. Ask for what you’re worth. Our veteran Notary Ken always makes counter offers and demands up front payment on Paypal and usually gets it too!
5. Snapdocs eliminates the middle-man (or woman)
Signing Agents have been dreaming for years of a time when signing companies (who they perceive as being worthless) are weeded out of the situation. Well, now they have been weeded out in this playing field — but, prices are still dismally low. So, the Notaries still lose. But, in my opinion, a Notary who gets paid well earns that pay with merit which includes rich experience, multiple certifications, good marketing skills and businesslike communication habits.
6. Does Snapdocs let Title blacklist the Notaries?
Not exactly. But, feedback about the quality of the work done can affect the Notary’s ranking on this site.
7. Is Snapdocs better than the Notary directories?
In my opinion, Notary directories offer a better quality Notary than Snapdocs, and also offer more in depth information about the Notary.
8. Snapdocs will not help the Notary get paid.
Snapdocs operates for the benefit of the signing service,not the Notary. On the other hand, they don’t charge the Notary. If you don’t get paid, that is your problem. If they did guarantee payment, there would be expenses associated with that which would cut your fee down by 5-15% based on how other similiar models work on popular freelancer sites on the internet.
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Has anyone used snapdocs?
Snapdocs, good for the notary or the signing service?