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June 23, 2015

Loan Signing FAQ’s That Borrowers Ask

Many notaries go to the signing table unaware that there are many frequently asked questions that they might not know how to answer. I’m going to list a few here, but our list might expand as time rolls on. Feel free to contribute some FAQ’s of your own that you came accross.

(1) Why is my APR higher than my Rate?

(2) Do I have a prepayment penalty and where can I find that information?

(3) Where are my settlement fees and the costs of the loan documented?

(4) When is my first payment due?

(5) Can I cancel my loan? How many days do I have? How do I cancel my loan?

(6) Do I sign my name with my middle initial?

(7) Why do I have to sign my name this way?

(8) Do you know how to reach my lender now? I don’t have his number in front of me.

(9) Am I in a flood zone?

(10) Do I have mortgage insurance?

(11) If I am a spouse, which documents should I sign? I thought I was on the loan.

(12) Does this property need to be my primary residence?

(13) Can I lease this property out to others during the Mortgage?

(14) What is the penalty if I am late on any of my payments?

(15) Why is my information wrong on the 1003?

(16) How come the information is different on the Good Faith Estimate and the Settlement Statement?

(17) How much can my rate go up if interest rates for up for my Adjustable Rate Loan.

(18) When my Adjustable Rate Loan graduates, will it still have a cap, but not a gown? (sorry for the bad humor)


You might also like:

Acknowledgment FAQ

Certain things you don’t learn from experience

Do you take control at a signing

How much pay do you merit as a signing agent?



  1. One thing recently I am being asked a lot for some reason is; “Can I add my son/daughter to my feed to avoid inheritance tax”? I advised these folks to contact an tax attorney was this the right thing to do?

    Comment by Gene Kauffman — June 25, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

  2. I was told this was a no-fee loan…why are there charges on the settlement statement?

    Comment by Lauren Wells — June 25, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

  3. How come the Note does not show what my payment really is?

    Comment by Kerman D. Hammond — August 12, 2015 @ 7:56 pm

  4. How long do I have to pay for Mortgage Insurance?

    Comment by Brenda — August 12, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

  5. “Is this all you do all day?”
    “How many of these do you do in a day?”
    “What should I do here?”
    “Is this a good deal?”
    “Have you done a lot of closings for this lender?”

    Comment by Tim Gatewood — August 13, 2015 @ 3:52 am

  6. Well, we are not there to “guide and explain” everything to the person. We are there to make sure the person signing the documents is the person who is supposed to sign the documents. If they have questions about their loan and its terms then they need to talk to the loan issuing company. I am not their banker. My job is quite clear: to make sure the loan is executed by the borrower, notarized, and returned for processing on time. I am not there to play Q&A.

    Comment by Natalie de Clare — August 13, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

  7. No Q&A allowed at my closing table. I am not an attorney and I am not a loan officer. I will not put myself in the position of being accused of practicing law; and, I am not qualified to answer financial questions. My standard reply to these requests is call the LO; or, call your attorney, the closing table is no place to be asking these questions. I have been doing this for over 15 years and I have never gotten push-back once I have stated this to a borrower. Notaries, do NOT attempt to practice law, or give financial opinions or advice; it will not go well for you… IMHO, as always…

    Comment by Bob C — May 22, 2016 @ 1:08 am

  8. Actually, we ARE there to answer pretty much ALL of the questions you mentioned. Those are basics that we are taught in signing agent certification exams! As a signing agent, we are required and it is prudent to guide borrowers to locate the answers to those simple questions. The only things we cannot answer or “advise” are questions related to things we cannot change like, why is my interest rate different than what my LO said, or why is my cash back not right, etc. I am thorough with borrowers in regard to explaining documents they do not understand. I never give an opinion or advice and I’ve had to get LO’s on the phone a few times to cover what I am not allowed to. The bottom line is, we do this so often and it is easy to forget that our borrowers are not “doc savvy”.

    Comment by Lisa Hebert — November 9, 2018 @ 9:16 am

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