NNA Strengthens Notary Signing Agent Certification
By Stacia L. Ray
Acting on a federal mandate to safeguard consumers' sensitive personal information, the lending and title service industries are now requiring special background screening for all persons involved in the mortgage lending process, including Notaries.
In order to meet this mandate through a trustworthy and uniform nationwide screening program, the nation's leading title and mortgage document service firms have called upon the National Notary Association — the nation's largest professional organization for Notaries — to develop a strengthened certification solution for Notaries who handle loan document signings.
The new all-in-one Notary Signing Agent Certification Program includes background screening, training and certification exam.
The NNA's Notary Signing Agent Certification Program adheres to the conditions mandated in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act (Gramm-Leach, 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6809) — a seven-year-old federal statute designed to protect consumers' sensitive private information.
This strengthened program falls in line with the NNA's efforts to increase professionalism and trust among Notaries, who are on the front lines of consumer protection. Notary Signing Agents who complete the program will be eligible to handle loan document signing duties for First American Lender's Advantage, Fiserv Lending Solutions, LandAmerica OneStop, LSI – A Lender Processing Services Company, National Real Estate Information Services and Stewart Mortgage Information (a subsidiary of Stewart Title). The NNA offers the industry's designated single-source solution for providing Gramm-Leach-Bliley-compliant certification, and it is recommended that all Notaries wishing to work with these participating title and mortgage document service firms enroll in the program as soon as possible.
This is in line with our ongoing efforts to ensure that Notaries are provided a means to understand and meet not only existing state requirements, but also new and existing federal laws and regulations," said NNA Executive Director Timothy S. Reiniger. "These changes will be a great step toward improving consumer protection."
Some title service companies already require background screenings for Notaries who handle loan document signings, and by implementing their own proprietary processes and taking an independent approach, these companies have forced Notaries who are involved with more than one title service organization to undergo the burden of separate screenings for each company they deal with.
The NNA's program removes that necessity by providing a trusted, nationally recognized single-source screening system. "Although this program is not required to maintain your commission, it is necessary for NSAs who wish to handle loan signings for the participating companies," Reiniger said.
For more information about the program or to enroll, visit NationalNotary.org/NSACertification.