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Getting ready for your first Notary Signing Agent assignment

first loan signing.jpgUpdated 9-17-19. Your first loan signing assignment is often the most intimidating. Here are some tips from experienced Notary Signing Agents to help ensure things go smoothly.

1. Preparing for the loan document signing 

Confirm the time and location of the appointment with the signer, and make sure the signer will have a satisfactory form of identification ready for the appointment. When visiting a home, it’s a good idea to find out if the signer has pets — if so, ask if any pets can be kept outside or in another part of the house during the signing to prevent distractions. Be sure to ask for a contact person at the lender or title company who can be reached from the signing table if the signer has any questions about the documents. Also, give your contact information to the signer in case of any last-minute changes or emergencies.

2. Checking the loan document package 

Be sure the loan package is complete and flag any documents requiring notarization. Review any specific instructions such as requiring use of a specific ink color when signing documents.

3. Traveling to the signing appointment 

Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone, your vehicle has fuel and is ready to go, and that you have clear directions to the appointment location. If you use a GPS, be sure to enter the appointment location ahead of time. Allow plenty of time to reach the signing location on time and have the borrower's phone number in case you need to call from your vehicle. As a safety precaution, it’s a good idea to let a family member know where you are going and how long you expect to be gone.

4. During the loan document signing 

Make sure you present a professional appearance to the signer and dress according to the instructions of your contracting company. When you arrive, introduce yourself as the Signing Agent. Evaluate the signing environment and make sure there is a clean, sufficiently roomy workspace to complete the signing. Once the signing is underway, present the documents and point out designated signature and initial lines. Remember as the Signing Agent you may not answer specific questions about loan documents, loan terms or give advice — call the loan officer or other designated representative. Be sure to follow all proper steps of notarization and record all necessary details in your journal.

5. Wrapping up the signing appointment 

Thoroughly review the documents to make sure everything has been signed, initialed and notarized properly and that you have all the documents in the package. If instructed to do so, notify the signing service or lender the assignment is complete and fax any copies as required by the contracting company. Make sure the documents are packaged and ready for shipping or courier pick-up. If a courier is picking up the finished loan package from you, be sure you hand it to them in person. Never leave a loan package unattended on your doorstep. If you’re shipping a completed loan package, it’s best to hand the package over in person to an employee at an authorized shipping center and get a receipt with a tracking number. Avoid unattended drop boxes and never simply leave a package on a counter or give it to anyone without obtaining a receipt. Be sure to follow proper reporting, completion and invoicing procedures to ensure timely payment of your fees.

David Thun is the Assistant Managing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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Betty Dedman

23 Sep 2019

There are NO dumb questions!! Ask the vender, lender or title company about ANYthing that you don't understand. I have completed close to 2,000 signings and I STILL ask "dumb" questions. The NNA hotline is valuable, so use it! You just paid for it. MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A CONTACT PERSON AVAILABLE DURING YOUR SIGNING, so you might NOT want to witness documents in the evening for awhile. I have had my fill of signings where nobody could reach the people that drew up the documents by phoneduring the signing. You borrower(s) will be happy to leave a vm, but the company that hired you will demand that you go back to the signers if documents remain unsigned without their permission, even IF you can't reach them. This is a business venture and you won't make a dime if you have a long drive back to fix an error. My DD was a law student when I went to my first signing, so I took her along with me to make sure that I did it right. This probably will not be approved of here, but it helped me eNORMOUSLY to have someone who knew Something about the law. When I accept a signing I create a file on my computer with the following: (1) (generic name) Smith, 09-23-19, 10AM...which contains the following files (2) Smith work order, 09-23-19, 10AM and (3) Smith Shipping Information, and that file contains a) my fee b) my vendor/lender/title company's work Order# c) FedEx or UPS# d) ABC Title/My Favorite Vender c) list of notarized documents and what page(s) they are in the package, i.e., Signature/Name Affidavit (1 page)--36/109 AND verbage for sworn documents: “Do you solemnly swear under the penalty of perjury that the information in this document is true and correct to the best of your knowledge, so help you God?” e) I go through the entire package after printing and check it aGAINST the PDF. DON'T EVER trust your printer bc they can fail you, eSPECIALLY bc in this business we get a whole bunch of (usually unnecessary) late/Rush jobs, where the NSA makes/gets blamed for errors. I print the "Shipping Information", created on NotePad bc I can copy and paste without codes on out, and take it with me, even IF I have had time to enter all notarized documents in my current journal, so that I can swear in the signers for jurats, AND properly enter ALL the notarized documents at a particular signing. 1 entry/job is not acceptable unless there is only one notarized document in the package. Read the beginning of your NNA Journal bc it's there. Later, when you get your payment check sometimes the ONLY information that you have is Their Order#. Your vendor will often ask for the Fedex/UPS# when you call/text/post to their website to close out the signing. Sorry for the length of post but the former teacher came out in me today.


23 Sep 2019

I went to a signing with my sister it was for her divorce.The moble notary told her over the phone phone that it would cost her $40,00 when we got there his wife did the notary, and she payed $70.00 it was 7 pieces of paper with 2 signers on each page. When we went to take it to court, the lady said that the notary did not sign on the orignal front page, so we had to go back to the house to have her husband fix it, He tried to ask for more money by saying that he charges $20.00 per per signature per page. But when we told him what he had origanally priced us, he changed his story. This is in the state of NV, I thought Pricing was accross the board and you had to stick to the pricing that NV said ?

National Notary Association

23 Sep 2019

Hello. Nevada Notaries may charge the following maximum fees for pen and paper notarizations: (NRS 240.100[1]): For taking an acknowledgment, for the first signature of each signer $5.00 For each additional signature of each signer $2.50 For administering an oath or affirmation $2.50 For a certified copy $2.50 For a jurat, for each signature on the affidavit $5.50 For performing a marriage ceremony $75.00 Notaries may charge an additional fee for traveling to perform a notarial act if (NRS 240.100[3]; see also NRS 240.197[1][d]): (a) They are asked to travel by the person requesting the notarial act; (b) They explain to the person requesting the act that the fee is in addition to the statutory fee and not required by law; (c) There is agreement in advance upon the hourly rate to be charged for the travel; and (d) The fee does not exceed $10 per hour for travel between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. or $25 per hour for travel between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Notary may charge a minimum of two hours for such travel and must charge on a pro rata basis after the first two hours (NRS 240.100[3][d]). A Notary is entitled to the travel fee agreed upon in advance if: (a) The person requesting the notarial act cancels the request after the notary public begins his or her travel to perform the requested notarial act. (b) The notary public is unable to perform the requested notarial act as a result of the actions of the person who requested the notarial act or any other person who is necessary for the performance of the notarial act (NRS 240.100[4]; see also NRS 240.197[1][e]). If a travel fee is going to be assessed, pursuant to NRS 240.100(3)(d)(1)(2), full disclosure of the travel fee must be made in advance of the travel and be agreed upon by the person requesting the service. The travel fee must be noted in the Notary’s official journal, along with the “date and time that the notary public began and ended such travel” (NRS 240.100[5]).


06 Jun 2021

Do you receive loan documents in advance. ( in NSA training)

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