Notary Bulletin

Notaries Weigh In On Their Biggest Pet Peeves

Notaries Weigh In On Their Biggest Pet Peeves You know what they say about “best laid plans” — they often go astray. And that’s certainly the case with notarizations. No matter how prepared you may be, scenarios will happen to throw you off your game. We asked Notaries nationwide to share their biggest pet peeves when it comes to the signing table, and, boy, did you all respond.

“Oops, I Left My ID In The Car!” Lack of proper signer identification tops the list of major annoyances. “Join the real world, folks,” warns Notary Holli G. Henkel. “You take your ID with you just about everywhere else.” Missing or forgotten IDs cause a major delay in the process. Let your signers know ahead of time what type of ID is acceptable in your state and that no ID = no notarization.

Complaints, Complaints, Complaints. Pamela Sue Duperron-Patterson is fed up with complaints about loan interest rates. You’re often the only real, live person a borrower sees during the lending process, so they tend to vent to you. You can’t fix all their problems, so your best course of action is to remain calm, be respectful, and keep the signing moving. And make sure to have the contact information for a lender or title company rep available who can answer questions about the loan.

Paperwork Blunders And Sloppy Mistakes. Missing forms ranked high on our Notaries’ lists of complaints, as did both minor and major mishaps on the documents. Julie Brickley came across names on title documents that failed to match those on the loan documents. “And why can’t they get the state and country correct on the Notary certificate?” Mistakes will happen, so review each document carefully before completing the signing.

Uninformed Borrowers. Tracilyn Peters wishes loan and escrow officers would go over HUD and other terms with borrowers before the signing appointment, especially when there is cash due at escrow. Nettie Henton’s biggest pet peeve is when “borrowers are not told they have to give me a check, or not being told the non-borrowing spouse needed to be present to sign documents in a community property state.” When setting up a signing appointment, it might be helpful to suggest that the borrower reach out to the escrow company in advance to discuss the HUD-1 statement and any other issues so there are no surprises when you show up.

Rude, Inconsiderate Or Nosey Signers. You certainly meet with your fair share of inconsiderate or generally off-the-wall characters. From borrowers who leave mid-signing to take little Johnny to a baseball game to those who arrive a half hour late or spend the whole time texting to those who interrupt the flow of the signing with unrelated questions, your patience can be tested on a daily basis. Take control in these cases, and do your best to focus your clients. Remind them that accuracy is important, and that your time is valuable.

Have your own pet peeve? Share it with the NNA Facebook community!

Additional Resources:
Protect Yourself From Errors With E&O Insurance

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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