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A Guide To The New Mortgage Signing Standards

The Signing Professionals Workgroup (SPW) -- which creates, maintains and promotes professional standards for Notaries Public who provide signing services in the closing of a mortgage or real property transaction -- recently updated their recommended standards for Notary Signing Agents.

The SPW created the standards because it believes that Signing Agents should stay informed about professional practices and industry changes by undergoing annual training and testing. The standards also benefit title and settlement services companies that hire NSAs as an assurance that their contractors understand their responsibilities and comply with government requirements.

As of March 2016, the recommended standards are as follows:

Code Of Conduct
The Code of Conduct guides signing agents to operate according to the highest standards of practice expected of like professionals in the settlement services industry.​ It features 10 Guiding Principles that cover all aspects of consumer protection and professionalism.

Signing Presentation Guidelines
The Signing Presentation Guidelines are intended to help create consistency at the signing table and to ensure a positive customer experience. NSAs may use these Guidelines during the closing and easily refer to descriptions of particular closing documents in the loan package if the borrower asks questions.

Annual Background Screening
The annual background screening standard specifies that signing professionals will undergo and pass an annual background screening that follows the search criteria and scoring metrics defined in the Standard.

E&O Insurance
The Insurance Standard specifies that a Notary Public who performs signing services should show proof that he or she maintains a $25,000 ​Notary errors and omissions insurance policy. This kind of policy only covers notarial errors and should not be confused for a Notary surety bond or a general small business liability insurance policy.

For more information visit the Signing Professionals Workgroup web site.

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