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Notary Bulletin

Vague Borrower Surveys Can Cause Reputation Issues For Notary Signing Agents

Confusing-Survey-resized.jpgIt’s standard procedure for lenders to survey borrowers about their closing experience. But when those surveys are unclear about the roles Notaries or other loan professionals play in the closing process, it can have an unfair, detrimental effect on a signing agent’s ability to get assignments.

Notary signing agent Rick Clack experienced this dilemma recently when he got negatively, and unfairly, dinged on a recent survey because the questions didn’t clearly distinguish between the role of the signing agent and the roles of other loan professionals involved in the closing. Clack, who has performed more than 4,000 loan signings over the past five years in Canton, Michigan, said he had some tough discussions with the company that conducted the survey to clear up the confusion.

“The major problem with the survey is that the terminology refers to the Notary signing agent as the ‘closer,’ which confuses the borrower with different titles for the same person,” Clack said. “Some borrowers feel the loan officer is the ‘closer’ and if they are unhappy with the officer for whatever reason, the Notary gets penalized.”

A negative report on a survey could hurt a Notary’s chances of getting future assignments from a lender or signing service. At NNA 2014, industry officials at the Lenders and Title Companies panel told Notaries that lenders and title companies frequently review the history of signing agents they work with to ensure customers are getting a good experience. “We track the service level that is provided and it’s rated on every signing,” said Sam Zaki, Senior Vice President of Client Relations for First American Mortgage Services, during the panel.

Clack strongly urged lenders to make survey questions as clear as possible when referring to individual professionals involved in a loan closing. “The lender should put our names and proper titles relating to the questions asked,” Clack said.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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