Your Cookies are Disabled! NationalNotary.org sets cookies on your computer to help improve performance and provide a more engaging user experience. By using this site, you accept the terms of our cookie policy. Learn more.

A Mobile Notary’s Nightmare: A Signer With A Gun

Ashley Manfre shares important safety tips for Mobile Notaries after facing an angry signer with a gun.

Ashley Manfre

“Where is my money? Where is my money?” the borrower shouted as he pointed the barrel of his 45-caliber, semi-automatic handgun toward the chest of Notary signing agent Ashley Manfre.

At that moment, several thoughts raced through Manfre’s mind including how she ever got herself into this situation.

Manfre comes from Dyer, Indiana, a sleepy bedroom community in the northwest part of the state, and started her career as a full-time mobile Notary as soon as she turned 18.

While building her business, she frequently networked with other local Notaries, discussing new assignments and safety routines. Because of these discussions, Manfre felt confident when she went into a borrower’s home to conduct a closing.

After a few years of successfully building a career as a mobile Notary signing agent, a regular client asked her to go to nearby Gary, Indiana, to finish a refinance closing that day. It seemed like a typical assignment from a regular client, so Manfre accepted.

Not Your Typical Signing
 

Manfre called the borrower to confirm the appointment. The borrower seemed abrupt on the phone, but she printed out all the documents and drove to the location promptly at the designated time. When she knocked, a large gentleman (weighing at least 250 pounds) opened the door. Manfre greeted him pleasantly and stepped inside as she’d done a hundred times before.

She clearly recalls walking three steps into the home when she heard the door slam shut and lock behind her. While she had been alone with countless male signers before, this time felt different. She headed to a table without turning to look at the borrower. Before she could ask him for identification, the borrower asked, “Do you do a lot of these closings?” Manfre nodded affirmatively. Then he asked, “Is this your last one for the day?”

Without thinking, she said, “Yes, this is my only one for the day.” As soon as the words left her lips, a sinking feeling spread from the pit of her stomach.

“Where’s My Money?”
 

While she was reaching for her phone without letting the borrower see her nervousness, he asked, “Where is my money?” She replied: “Let’s take a look at the documents to see if you are supposed to give me money or if you are getting money.” 

That’s when the borrower reached behind his back and pulled out the last thing any signing agent would ever want to see at a closing: a handgun.

“Where's my money? Where's my money?” he demanded. Manfre noticed the barrel pointed directly at her chest. “Where is my money?” shouted the borrower again.

Shaken, Manfre tried to explain calmly and in a quiet voice that she had no check or cash on her person.

“Where's my money?” shouted the agitated borrower once again.

Keeping both hands on the table, Manfre explained with composure all about closing and rescission periods. Then she started asking him questions about how he came to erroneously believe that she would be carrying any funds at all.

The aggravated borrower explained that his loan officer told him that after the closing he’d receive a check for $639 which was stated on the settlement statement.

“No Phone Calls”
 

Manfre asked if it was okay to call his loan officer to clear up the situation. “Absolutely not!” he growled. What about the title company? “No phone calls.”

With the gun still pointed at her, she continued talking in an unruffled manner and showed him the right to cancel documentation. The borrower finally agreed to sit down and demanded to know the exact date on which he would get paid. Manfre, moving slowly, showed him the dates on the right to cancel and the borrower finally laid the gun down on the table and began signing the paperwork. 

After the signing was complete, the borrower allowed Manfre to leave with the documents. When she got in her car and locked the door, she called the loan officer who asked, “Did the borrower sign or not?”

After hanging up with the loan officer, she immediately dialed the title company. They listened to her story and managed to calm her down, but then asked the same question, “Did he sign or not?”

Her title company representative assured her that they would handle the matter, and after some deep reflection, she decided not to call the police. She felt it was more important to preserve her relationship with this company.

Manfre wants her story told so that Notary signing agents across the country can take two pieces of advice to keep safe as a mobile Notary:

1. Never tell a borrower it’s your last signing of the day, even it it’s midnight, because they may assume they have some control over you.

2. Whenever you walk into someone’s home, always look for all the exits and keep your phone unlocked and handy.

Because Manfre knew her loan documents inside and out, she was able to remain composed and discuss the closing process with her disturbed borrower. Had she not remained calm, we might be telling a different story right now.

How would you handle a similar situation? We want to hear your thoughts.  

Daniel Lewis of Carmel, Indiana, is the founder of Lewis Notary Services Inc., a nationwide mobile Notary service. He also teaches Notary best practices and is the NNA’s 2010 Notary of the year.

Related Articles:

A Mobile Notary’s Story: Held Hostage At A Closing

A Mobile Notary’s Story: Is That A Snake In Your Briefcase?

170 Comments

Add your comment

gioana@outlook.com

13 Mar 2015

Honestly, There are a couple of things not right in the story. First being that the guy with the gun is clearly not right in the mind. One thing is trying to keep a good relationship with clients and another is being used as a puppet to handle a person that has issues. I would have called the cops. What if he needed the money to kill someone and leave. He's clearly not alright, this person is lucky she left with her life. Wow it was more important that he signed the documents. If someone threatens to kill themselves and you help him that one time, do you leave and that's it? No, you tell someone that knows how to handle the situation, and that can help. That's why people in the world are so messed up, because others just look the other way.

Carl Jobe

16 Mar 2015

looks like to me the loan officer and the title company knew this person was unstable and they set her up. She should have called 911 and had him lock up or at least checked his mental health.

Jon

16 Mar 2015

I agree with gloana. She should have called the police. What if this guy goes of the deep end and kills someone else. A murder that might have been prevented by the police arresting him or taking away his firearms.

Willie

16 Mar 2015

I would have driven a couple blocks away and then I would have called the police. That was assault at its worst kind. Attempted Aggrevated Assault with the possibility of causing seriously bodily harm if she had not reacted calmly. What an insult to call the borrower and title company and they ask whether or not he sign the forms. Their disregard for your safety is evidented. They knew ahead of time what type of person, she would be dealing with. They put her in life in harms way just for a signature. But, what surprise me is the fact that she wants to keep a working relationship with these companies. It shows me that she herself do not hold her own life in high regards. Do she need money that bad to work for a company who do not have any regards for your safety. She should be fined and suspended for not reporting this. The companies needs to be highly fined by the State's Notary Office for sending her on this assigment with the knowledge there possibly could be trouble. This should have been handle within these companies office in a more secure area. She may have put other notaries life in jeopardy becaus of not reporting this incident because somone else may be called to handle a notary signing for this man.. She is a state public official. This needs to be handle by authorities. She may want to reevaluate her motives for being a notary if she let this be push under the rug.

Melissa J. King

16 Mar 2015

OMG! I would have called the cops too! This article is a good example of why Mobile Notaries need to meet clients in public places like restaurants, libraries, etc.

Robert L. Timm

16 Mar 2015

I think it's insane that she did not call the police. That man is going to hurt someone and then how is she going to feel when she knows she could have stopped it?

California Noary

16 Mar 2015

A crime was committed and not reported. What happens the next time someone comes to the door of the crazy guy with the gun? Apathy rules the day along with disregard for the safety of the Notary. This industry needs changes. Decent wages for hard work. Protection and support from those that hire mobile Notaries for loan signings. "Did he sign the documents?" should have been replaced with are you alright? we must report this immediately! Why on earth would behavior like this from a signer be tolerated? He doesn't sound like a good candidate for repayment. Why does the poor Notary have to be concerned about being given future signings? She was a hero and if the title person didn't immediately think "this is the best Notary, ever and I'm giving all my signings to her" Why not?

mc

16 Mar 2015

I'm calling BS on this story. No title company or loan officer would send out a notary who had her life threatened and them point be worked if the borrower signed. This sounds more like anti gin prepayment to me. Really? No one calls the police? BS!

Anita

16 Mar 2015

There have been occasions that I do not do closing alone. Especially if it is a male client in an area I am not familiar.

Bette

16 Mar 2015

She should had call police & look after her own interest. You are no more than a number on the wall to some of these signing companys, I am curious to know how this signing agent handle this. Hopefully they did follow up with her.

Joseph Wildhagen

16 Mar 2015

Not reporting irresponsible handgun behavior places others at risk. Protecting the Bill of Rights requires weeding out those whom abuse those rights. You never presented a life threatening situation justifying his life threatening behavior, he needs to see a prosecutor.

Donna

16 Mar 2015

I totally agree with gioana@outlook.com. How dare he think he could do that and get away with it? The minute I was able to get out of that house I would have called the cops. That was assault with a deadly weapon. He would have been arrested and deserves to be.

Audrey Jane Spaulding

16 Mar 2015

This Company that she was trying so hard to please would be turned in by the BBB. In fact I would be sure that they would be unable to find any Notary of any kind. "Did He Sign the Papers" How crass can you get.

John Atkinson

16 Mar 2015

If she had been shot, Title/LO only apparent concern would have been if the docs had been signed and was there any blood on them. She should have left and called the police. There isn't a state where this behavior is legal. Your life is more important than "preserve her relationship with this company". If she had been shot first, would that "good company" paid her fee?

mpunilei@duffordbrown.com

16 Mar 2015

Personally, I would never go to anyone's house to do a closing unless I knew there were multiple people there. Always choose a public place.

lucretia gardner

16 Mar 2015

never go to a signing by yourself if its in someone's home let someone drive you and make sure you make it clear that someone is waiting for you outside in the car no matter how long this might take you should always take someone with you especially females just like real estate agent should not go along because one was raped before

Sybil Boudreaux

16 Mar 2015

I had an incident last year where a borrower approached me in a fashion where he was going to grab the lapel of my jacket because he was upset when I asked if he had witnesses. Louisiana is a two witness state and I had a previous signing with this man the year before and the same witness issue was encountered. I always inform the borrower(s) of this LA law requiring two witnesses when I call to confirm the appointment. After his aggressive behavior, I informed him that I was going to file battery charges against him and I immediately proceeded to the sheriff's office to file a complaint. The man was called into the sheriff's office the next day, admitted to my complaint and was subsequently fired for the infraction. The irony of all this is that he was employed by the sheriff's office to deliver subpoenas. I feel this young lady should have filed a complaint because her life was in jeopardy and the police could have investigated as to whether this man had a legal permit to own a gun.

Jean

16 Mar 2015

Clearly, the loan officer was aware (on some level) that there could be an issue with this borrower. What LO would ask: "did he sign or NOT" I don't believe this was a scrupulous LO ~ he (she) should have attended the closing or at the very least given a heads up as to the borrowers temperament.

April

16 Mar 2015

I would have immediately called the police after leaving the home. The importance of business relationships in no way supersedes the personal safety of a notary. The priorities of the loan officer and the title company are clear from the article.

TerRi

16 Mar 2015

Maybe it's the pessimist in me but I do not believe this person's story. It is hard enough to believe anyone who was held hostage and threatened with a gun would NOT call the police, but to believe that a bank's loan officer nor the title company would contact police to advise that their Notary had been held hostage and threatened with a gun is REALLY unbelievable.

Vicki

16 Mar 2015

I can't believe she would want to maintain a relationship with the loan officer or title company - all they cared about was whether, "Did he sign or not?" It sounds as if they KNEW he was a loaded canon and just let her go in there defenseless. What scum. I would have reported them to their management AND the police.

Virginia Mason-Greene

16 Mar 2015

I would have handled the situation much the same as the young Notary in Indiana. My only difference would have been to call the title company and then call 911. She was held against her will with a firearm. That is "technically" kidnapping and attempted assault with a deadly weapon. I don't care about a relationship with a title company when one of their clients holds me at gunpoint asking for money. There are always other title companies to work with but only one life.

Reginia

16 Mar 2015

Wow! She is wrong in not calling the authorities! He is a danger to others as well as himself and her future at this point.

Carol C

16 Mar 2015

Kudos to the notary for keeping a cool head. Who knows what any of us would have done in that situation. It seems to me the Lender and Title Company's interest lie in whether the docs are signed. When they said they would handle the matter did that mean they would do what was needed to make sure the loan was completed? This is crazy. The "assault" was on the notary not the lender/title company. I would have called the police afterwards since I don't think the interests of the notary were foremost in the minds of the lender or title company.

Amanda Reeves

16 Mar 2015

Whoa that's SO scary! I have a had a few recent closings where the borrowers were VERRYYY upset because I didn't have their money and someone told them I would be bringing them the money. Not cool! I'm glad she was okay! Thanks for the good tips!

Virginia M. Greene

16 Mar 2015

I would have called 911. The Notary was being held against her will with a weapon. That is "false imprisonment" and attempted assault with a deadly weapon. Who cares about a relationship with a title company. I would have called the police first and then reported the title company to whom ever in the state of Indiana controls their license. How dare they use an honest young woman to clean up a mess they already knew was out of hand. This client had been a problem from the beginning and no one wanted the responsibility of dealing with him. SHAME ON THE TITLE COMPANY!

Brenda

16 Mar 2015

Really, her relationship with the company is more important than calling the police first? Kudos to her for remaing calm. How could she possibly execute the loan documents. Is this the behavior of someone of sound mind. Is that not also a part of a Notary's job . . . to know the signer is of sound mind and willingly signing?

Becky

16 Mar 2015

That woman was lucky to get out of there in one piece. I would've told that title company to take a hike because if she stayed with them to "preserve her relationship," that's the saddest part of this whole story. A decent and reputable company would've insisted that she call the police. I'm having a hard time believing this story is real.

Felecia Mann

16 Mar 2015

My first call would have been to the police then to that Title Company and Loan Broker. Really??? They had the audacity to ask of he signed or not? If a loan officer/Title company did not respond with " I am calling the police now", I would never work for them again.

KYle

16 Mar 2015

While I can understand wanting to preserve a good relationship with the signing company, this is clearly a situation where the police needed to be notified. She was unlawfully detained by the signer, at gunpoint, and not allowed to make any phone calls. This signer is a very dangerous person. To not call the police is an irresponsible action by the notary. It is irresponsible because this signer is clearly a danger to others, and by not calling the police, the notary is allowing this signer to remain on the street, with his gun, free to menace another citizen. As for the signing company, I wouldn't do business with them again. My life is more important than a closing. I hope the notary contacts the police and lets them know about this dangerous person walking the streets. Because if she doesn't, and he shoots or otherwise harms another person, the notary gets to live with the fact that he could have been stopped by a simple phone call to the police.

elen

16 Mar 2015

This is a very dicey situation. She could have been killed. I am a notary and have encountered a lot of weird, angry people. I probably would have done the same thing while in the house, but when I got far enough away, I would have called the police. And, I wouldn't have cared about the loan officer or the title company. Their remarks indicate just how LITTLE they care about the notary. Over the years, when I am been treated rudely, I have told them to take me off their list, since my welfare is more important than their closing. This is NOT acceptable behavior from the loan officer and title company, and if they think the closing is more important than your safety, tell them to take a hike I reuse a lot of closing that are in or near dangerous neighborhoods.She is young and very naïve. Hopefully she starts packing a gun, mace, or something to protect herself.

Carol C

16 Mar 2015

About ten years ago, my oldest son said something to me one day when we were talking. He said, "money is the root of all evil". To this day I live by that, and, in many ways, I've come to realize how very true that saying is. As you all can clearly see from Manfre's ordeal, evil lurked in all of their minds. ALL of them, including Manfre, was concerned only about the money. The first words from the LO and Escrow Officer's was, “Did the borrower sign or not?”. All they care about was getting their money. Even Manfre decided not to call the Police because she didn't want to lose that client. A client who helps her earn money. No one cared about her life and the trauma she experienced. As you all can see, neither the LO nor the Escrow Officer was one bit concerned about Manfre's LIFE THREATENING experience. Personally, the FIRST phone call I would have made, would have been to the Police. In my 12 years experience as a full time Mobile Notary Signing Specialist, I've come to realize that no matter how strong you think your relationship is with a LO or a Title Company, you're just a phone number to them. If you make one little mistake, if their client for some reason didn't like you, you're gone, you're out the door, and they will move onto the next Notary and "use" that notary until one small incident occurs. Notaries are a dime a dozen now a days. If something like that happens, you've become a risk of them losing their client, which again boils down to MONEY! Their money and the money of the company they work for. It's all about money! Life is too short. All the money in the world cannot replace your life. That first call should have went to the Police. Don't let money be your best judgement call. Life, integrity, and self respect, are far more important then money.

Lillian

16 Mar 2015

The above comment is right on. I would have called the police for sure. I would have made an excuse to go back to my car for "documents I forgot to bring in" lets say and call the police. To build on what the previous notary said, as notary we are required to judge the mental state of the signer. If they are drunk, have dementia, are signing not under their own power etc., we cannot allow them to sign. Forget a good relationship with the company, I work first and foremost for the state. I am the rep for New Jersey and with that comes certain responsibilities. Wow, great story. It makes you think.

Tim Gatewood

16 Mar 2015

I always review the HUD-1 and call the borrower to let them know if I am picking up money or if they will be getting money back. Over the years, I have had far too many situations where the loan officer promised things they could not deliver. So, it just seems best to let the borrower know what the HUD-1 shows (at least the bottom line of page 1) BEFORE I print anything. If they are expecting money back and the HUD-1 shows they have to put money in, they need to discuss that with the LO. It could be the documents need to be revised and the appointment rescheduled. I always tell them on the phone that I will not be bringing any money with me because they don't cut any checks until after the 3 day right to cancel. And I agree with giona@outlook -- if anyone threatens you with a gun, call the police AFTER you leave their property. Don't sit there and make phone calls. A locked car won't stop a bullet if he changes his mind and comes out shooting.

Doris Laul

16 Mar 2015

I can't believe the only thing the loan officer and title company were concerned about was whether he signed. Good relationship or not, I would have reported this to the police. They evidently knew he was a loose cannon and put her in this predicament. This could have gone horribly wrong. I would also have contacted the head of the loan institution and the title company for a direct meeting about this.

D

16 Mar 2015

I would have called police immediately. It could have been much worse..or worse for the next person.

Mary E. Scheible

16 Mar 2015

Always confirm basic figures with borrowers prior to closing and preferably prior to printing. If they are to get cash back, tell them prior to closing how/when that money gets disbursed.

Joe Antonucci

16 Mar 2015

So this situation opens an entirely new discussion.....should Notary's get concealed carry permits and carry a firearm?

D

16 Mar 2015

And to add to my previous comment..NEVER go to these alone. Even if it means just having someone in your car waiting for you. I would also sever my relationship with those companies, and would expose them for their "uncaring" attitude. Nuf said.

Marian

16 Mar 2015

Are you guys kidding me? This is the kind of stuff you're publishing now? Oh yes, by all means let notaries think their first job is to get those signatures and close that loan at all costs... let's add hostage negotiation skills to the stuff we are expected to know and not get paid for. Seriously? Her first calls were to the loan officer and title?? I'm sorry, but there are all kinds of things wrong with this story and it feels a bit exaggerated.

Frank Swertlow

16 Mar 2015

Something like what she experienced happened to me but thankfully no gun ever appeared. I had an evening signing in Culver City, CA. at a house, more like a mini apartment in the back of a house. It was around 7:30 pm when we got started. The borrower was a large burly man who was testy about such things as giving me his right address. He proffered a PO box but eventually settled on a slip in Willmington harbor for a concrete boat he said was his real residence. He finally began signing and began reading every document like the DOT. That took an hour and I was pinned behind a picnic table in a very tiny area off the kitchen. The man flashed TSA badge at me. He was intense. He had clout. On one set of papers, he found what he believed was miscalculation in some charges. He wanted to know what they were. I told him that I could not offer an opinion but suggested he call his loan officer even at this late hour. Luckily, she picked up the phone. When she could not satisfy his now hostile demands, he said he was terminating the signing session. I said fine and gathered the paperwork. He insisted the partially signed docs were his property. I advised him they were the property of the lender and escrow company. He refused and blocked my exit. "These documents will not leave this house tonight," he bellowed. This was a threat and having been part of a family of lawyers, I understood the situation. I said I would call the police, he said he would call the police. It was now near midnight. It was tense. I suggested we tear up the documents. He liked the idea and we began ripping them up into little pieces. When he finished, he still refused to let me leave and said, "These papers have to be burned." He tossed them onto the top of his stove and told me to get out. I did swiftly. I advised the signing company of what happened. I insisted on full payment for this signing and would eventually get it. I should have called the police when I was inside that house but given his absurd and hostile behavior I thought that might become an incendiary act. I did call my son who is a LA district attorney who listed the many charges I could have filed against him like false imprisonment, threats against a legal official, etc. I thought it would be a waste of time. Ironically, a similar incident occurred again. This time it was on a Sunday and a criminal defense attorney began finding errors in the refi docs. He became very angry. Suddenly I felt I was one of the criminals he represents. It was my fault. I suggested he call his loan officer. I called the signing company but suggested we continue the signing until he got a callback. He had there days to void the deal, anyway. He agreed. But he found another issue in the next document. He became abusive. This guy was a lawyer and out of control. His wife was at the signing table and I looked at her. She cast her eyes downward. She had seen this happen before. "Looks like none of your people are calling me back," he thundered, "we can't do anymore business." That was fine. But when I attempted to gather the docs, many of which were signed, he became explosive. I called the signing company and was advised to get the paperwork. I explained to the borrower that I needed to take the docs for his safety and they would be destroyed. There was a moment of clarity and he tossed them at me. I left. Within minutes leaving, the signing company owner called and said it would be okay to give him the docs. I rang his bell and his wife came to the front door, I said they could have the papers. I gave them to her. The husband was hiding behind the door and he jumped out and grabbed the papers and threw the package at me. I left without comment.

LS

16 Mar 2015

I had a situation where a single male borrower upon my calling to confirm appt had asked if I wanted a drink when I got there. That already made me antsy. I most of the time either have a friend/family sit in car or let them know address of where I'm going. When I arrived he had me come in through his garage, even though I was already at his front door. Once in garage there sat a tin looking barrel with a fire going in it in middle of garage and a shotgun laid across the board we were signing docs on. He also said that he gets irritated easily! I was happy to be outta there!

LS

16 Mar 2015

I had a situation where a single male borrower upon my calling to confirm appt had asked if I wanted a drink when I got there. That already made me antsy. I most of the time either have a friend/family sit in car or let them know address of where I'm going. When I arrived he had me come in through his garage, even though I was already at his front door. Once in garage there sat a tin looking barrel with a fire going in it in middle of garage and a shotgun laid across the board we were signing docs on. He also said that he gets irritated easily! I was happy to be outta there!

Sonita M Leak

16 Mar 2015

Oh wow, that is scary. Some homeowners are scary like that, so EVERYONE should always be aware. I took out of that to never tell a signer that it is my last assignment for the day. What I'd like to know are what steps does the NSA now take to ensure her safety ONCE she's in... does she also carry MACE? What are the Concealed Weapon laws in Indiana, etc?

Dana

16 Mar 2015

911! I can't believe I just read this and nothing was done to this man. This Notary just set the stage for future signings that allow for this criminal behavior. Civil lawsuit next for borrower lender and title company!! What a foolish woman. I also love how the me me notaries feel the need to post their own lame stories.

Mirna

16 Mar 2015

I agree with the other comments she should have called the police first. As for the loan officer and title company they showed no regard for her life so why would you care what they think. You can get more clients but you only have one life.

Hope

16 Mar 2015

All for what? $75.00? It's disgusting. The Tittle and Loan Officers should be ashamed of them selves and that guy should be in jail. The Notary should file a police report and file a civil case for assault or false imprisonment and probably negligence.

Giano Saumat

16 Mar 2015

I did not quite have a gun pulled on me, but I always assume that I am walking into a house an armed household. I showed up on a Saturday morning for an application signing. I knocked on the door and the wife of the borrower answered the door. She was kind of cold answering the door, but I paid no attention and proceeded. Her husband then meets me at the kitchen table and he was pleasant. After settling down, I ask for IDs. The borrower's wife pulls out a credit card for ID, while her husband wen to another room to bring it back to the table. I explained to the borrower's wife "Ma'am, I do not not accept credit cards as an identification because I do not want that financial information compromised, please bring (listed secondary forms of ID)". She went to the same location as her husband to bring back a valid form of ID, but at the same time I was met with her husband screaming, punching walls, and slamming tables, all in a VERY nice home. The borrower says to me "Don't ever talk to my wife like that!" I was incredibly confused because it was no different than any of the other times I have asked for ID, and I was only asking for ID. Regardless, as he came out screaming, I looked to my left and his wife had this smirk on her face. Basically, her body language implied that she was looking for trouble. After the screaming and deciphering of weather to sign or not, which they finally decided to sign, I went on to explain to them as firmly as I could "If we're going to sign this paperwork, here today, then I need the both of you to act like adults, stop punching walls and kicking tables because God only knows that if I read something from this packet that you do not agree with, that I wouldn't put it past you to run into that room right over there and grab a gun and shoot me dead here at the table! So, what do you want to do?!" The couple then turned pale white after I put the shoe on the other foot. They were very apologetic afterwards and I completed the signing as if it were business as usual.

Barbara

16 Mar 2015

I'm not sure I understand why people are hesitant to call the police..... I always take my husband on evening signings, and always tell the client that he is there. Anytime anyone threatens you at a signing, when it is safe. Call 911

Joanne

16 Mar 2015

As a 13 year veteran I thought I had heard and seen it all. This gun story tops it. Whenever your life is threatened ..no question. ..get out and call the cops immediately. You will still be paid and business will go on for the title company and lender. We put ourselves in such a subservient position that we often loose perspective. This gun nut should be in jail.

victoria

16 Mar 2015

I agree with Dana. Very foolish not to file a report at least. This type of situation is not any different than a realtor showing a listing to a possible buyer. This will just enable the situation if there is not law enforcement follow through. That is was needs to be addressed.

Janice

16 Mar 2015

Screw the loan company and bank. You should have dialed 911 as soon as you stepped out of that man's house.

Debbie

16 Mar 2015

I am upset she did not call 911 and report this. I work for the Department of Corrections and what makes her think anyone has the right to point a gun at you and you not CALL THE POLICE? If he did it once (maybe more times in the past), what about the next innocent victim he feels he has the right to threaten with a gun or any other weapon?

Mylifesaver Services

16 Mar 2015

Ahhhh HE L L no! Call the police! I have my CHL and I keep my pistol in the car...but I will take it in with me after reading this! OMG. I usually think i'm safe (other than the neighborhood possibly) because I have ALL their information and why would they dare do anything knowing they would be caught quick. Different than a realtor who may show a house to a stranger.... I usually feel safer...but this goes to show.... if you "carry" - ALWAYS CARRY!

Mary Pugh

16 Mar 2015

The closest I came to something life threatening..... go into to a house with a loudly cursing and upset man. He wanted to sign on a tv tray. He is connected to oxygen. He keeps curing about the bank. Then he lights a cigarette. I excused myself. Walked in the bathroom, quietly called the title company and they agreed that I should leave. I went to the man, excused myself and left. WHEW Mary www.notarizethis.info

CUrias

16 Mar 2015

Perhaps it's just me, but, how does it make sense to maintain a relationship with a business that didn't care a gun was pointed at me and just wanted to know if paperwork was signed? On what planet does it make sense to let someone get away with this? This story is insane all the way around but the craziest parties are the notary and the company that she chooses to do business with.

Barbara DeMonte

16 Mar 2015

I don't believe one word of this story. Any reasonable person would have left the location immediately while dialing 911 to report this insane person before someone got hurt.

Wanda

16 Mar 2015

The relationship with the company!?!? Are you kidding me???? If the companies (Lender and Title Company) had any clue that the man may be hostile and didn't mention it, they should be held responsible along with the signer. The next person this man encounters may not be so lucky.

Susan Ames

16 Mar 2015

She should have called the police and had the guy arrested. Who wants clients like that? In Florida the guy would have gotten an automatic sentence of 5 years. No work deal is worth having a gun in your face.

Susan Ames

16 Mar 2015

She should have called the police and had the guy arrested. Who wants clients like that? In Florida the guy would have gotten an automatic sentence of 5 years. No work deal is worth having a gun in your face.

Raymond Blacklidge

16 Mar 2015

No doubt she should have called the police. Several laws were broken, the guy was unstable of mind and by not informing the proper authorities she could place others in life threatening positions if not allowing him to kill someone else.

Sharon

16 Mar 2015

I am sorry but I would have called the cops as son as I got in my car. After filling a police report and possible charges and arrest. Then I would let the company know what happened. Then I would send papers back.

Amy

16 Mar 2015

Didn't call the police? Probably didn't happen.

Nancy Boddy

16 Mar 2015

I'm not yet a notary signing agent but am working on the training. These horror stories make me think about a website I found that provides people with fully trained German Shepherds, and the testimony of a woman real estate agent was, "I never meet with clients without my German Shepherd with me." It might be wise to consider taking such protection to a signing, and if the space is too small (such as a boat) to accommodate you and your guard dog, then find another location to sign, such as a Starbucks. Asking in advance about the suitability of the signing location might be in order. A friend of mine who is a signing agent said she went to the home of filthy hoarders and there wasn't a clean spot on the table to put the papers down to sign, so she told them she was going to the nearby restaurant and they could come there if they wanted to sign the documents, which they did.

Jon Carr

16 Mar 2015

This guy definitely needs to be reported and face some penalty for this. He may pull the trigger next time and someone would wish they had reported him. She doe snot owe him or the title company any favors. They should have reported him also.

Colleen

16 Mar 2015

First off, listen and look at the signs this man was giving to the Notary. Clearly he was agitated from the beginning and I give her props for calming him down. As a notary and an ex-Sheriff's Deputy of 15 years, this man should go to jail for false imprisonment and numerous other charges such as threatening a public official, attempt robbery, brandishing a firearm etc... Next, if the title and loan company knew this man was hot tempered or didn't clearly understand the documents, they should have had him come into the office for the signing. People such as this will resort to violence if not given their way, and thank goodness, the notary had the sense to try and descalate the situation. Lastly, if you can, tell someone where you are going, how long it will take and the person's name and address if possible. This way, if things go terribly wrong, the police will know where to start.

Sherry

16 Mar 2015

sorry but I find this story hard to believe because the first call the notary made was to the loan agent - the second call she made was to the title company and THEN she chooses to not call the cops because it would be better to "preserver her relationship with this company". ARE YOU NUTS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REALLY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The company is worried about if her signed the documents or not? YOU WANT TO CONTINUE HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A COMPANY THAT IS ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT IF HE SIGNED THE DOCUMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!? Sorry but after reading that you felt best to not call cops I don't believe any of what you wrote.

Ricardo Fuentes

16 Mar 2015

Wow. First call, police. Second call, company. If I received the same answer like this. Company can go pound sand. I'm done with them.

Colleen

16 Mar 2015

First off, listen and look at the signs this man was giving to the Notary. Clearly he was agitated from the beginning and I give her props for calming him down. As a notary and an ex-Sheriff's Deputy of 15 years, this man should go to jail for such charges false imprisonment, threatening a public official, attempt robbery, brandishing a firearm etc... Next, if the title and loan company knew this man was hot tempered or didn't clearly understand the documents, they should have had him come into the office for the signing. People such as this will resort to violence if not given their way, and thank goodness, the notary had the sense to try and descalate the situation. Lastly, if you can, tell someone where you are going, how long it will take and the person's name and address if possible. This way, if things go terribly wrong, the police will know where to start. In addition, it was quite obvious the loan and title company didn't give a rats A....s about you, just the documents. I for one would report them and never do business with them again. There are always going to be other companies out their. It was pure greed on their side. Another tip, try and have 911 on speed dial so you can touch it and get it recorded with dispatch. Depending on your police department, they may be able to locate you with their GPS system.

Ricardo Fuentes

16 Mar 2015

Wow. First call, police. Second call, company. If I received the same answer like this. Company can go pound sand. I'm done with them.

WLS

16 Mar 2015

This is terrible! How could she not call the police??? I would never work for this client again that clearly could careless about her. It is sad she didn't care enough about herself to call the police and allowed the company she works for to treat her like this.

Brian

16 Mar 2015

Most people are taught to be polite and cooperate with others- it is ingrained in us. but in a dangerous situation with an unbalanced person, our social habits can betray us. When you are about to get into a threatening situation, there is a feeling you get. It might be unease, or nervousness, or the hairs on your neck standing up. When you get that feeling, pay attention to it. I'm so relieved this young lady made it out alive. She had a bad feeling but she ignored it, just for a few seconds. He impulse to ignore her survival instinct almost cost her life. Strategies, backup plans, those are all fine but they are no susbtitute for listening to your instincts and acting on them swiftly. If someone feels scary to you, don't wait till they go berserk. Just say, "I forgot something in my car" and then run like H---. And oh yeah , call the police afterward.

JULIE I

16 Mar 2015

I'm sorry - but reading some of these comments - and the article - are just breathtakingly unbelievable. Even if the notary is packing (and I do concealed carry - have been in too many strange situations over the years) I do not think it would have been wise to pull her gun. This alone may have ended her life. You need to use every bit of brain power to navigate some sticky waters from time to time. I think she was wise in staying calm and talking him through - but I don't think I would have proceeded with the signing. Sound mind? Not sure about that one there and maybe she just thought that would help her get out alive. Not enough details here - but there is NO WAY - you would lock me in, not allow me to make a phone call, pull a gun on me and then I would just leave and not call the police. I guarantee I would have called the police. I would not have found it strange that he locked the door behind me - many borrowers do that. And many borrowers do ask whether you have any more appts. I usually just say yes even if I don't so that if they are a little strange they are under the impression you need to be somewhere by a certain time. But what takes the cake is the LO and title company only caring if he signed. Shame on them. Also meeting in a public place does not guarantee safety. I had a call from an LO - who called to let me know that the client I was meeting in a public place had anger issues - please be careful. He also called after the appt. to ask if everything went ok - not just did he sign. I agree with the one ladies comments about money being the root of all evil. If I would have felt I couldn't call the police to preserve the relationship with that LO and title company - then I would be looking for something else - only one life and one chance to raise your children and spend time with your family - really has me thinking today.

carrielynndowns@yahoo.com

16 Mar 2015

I have a concealed weapon permit and carry a pistol to all signings, on my person. She should've called the cops, and if escrow saw a problem with that then I would've severed my relationship with them. But just because you carry a weapon doesn't mean you should act any less concerned with your safety.

caw

16 Mar 2015

This is a sad commentary on our industry. A notary that thinks that a relationship with a title company and getting paid is more important than her life or the next person the man gets upset with. The title company and loan officer evidently think only of their job and pocket. The conclusion of gentleman reporting the story know your documents? And the National notary association allowing it to be put in the newsletter without a disclaimer. What a sad industry.

Erik Fischer

16 Mar 2015

I ALWAYS CARRY a concealed firearm. I am also licensed to carry and do Process Serving too. My life is more important than any signing and would not hesitate to defend myself and/or call the police.

Marcia

16 Mar 2015

When does the foolishness end. Maintain a relationship with the company, the company doesn't even care anything about you. All they cared about was did it get signed. This company is not for the Notary but for themselves and using Notaries. Expect more of yourself and tell them under advice from your fellow Notaries that you care to no longer work for them. They don't care about you so don't care about them. I can understand not calling the police for fear of retaliation. She was scared and I get it. You'd have to have been traumatized or experienced a crime before to know the fear people have in calling the police sometimes. However, those companies didn't care for you at all Dump them.

Sheila Bruckerhoff

16 Mar 2015

No questions, as soon as she gets out call 911 !!! Had she of called from inside the house she may of put herself in an even more dangerous situation. I don't know if I would of been able to stay as calm as she did. This is very alarming!!!

Peggy Morin

16 Mar 2015

SHE FELT IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO PRESERVE HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS COMPANY? What? Lady, are you kidding me? Are you mad? Those people she talked to only cared if she got the papers signed, never seeming to care about what had happened to her, and yeah, she really wants to preserve that relationship. I am beyond flabbergasted! I hope if this ever happens to someone in this line of work that they do NOT take her position. No one has the right to intimidate, frighten, brandish a weapon or threaten another person in the conduct of their business. This is absolute madness! Another thing, I think it is really stupid and unsafe to go to the home of someone you have absolutely no knowledge of - ALONE - to conduct business. I would refuse. Either they meet me at the park, McDonald's or some other very public place with a table, or we don't meet at all. I don't know who decided it was a good idea to do this, but it is madness. Does she value her life less than a relationship with a title company? I am absolutely steamed over this!

Denise

16 Mar 2015

My thing is, she called the loan Officer and Title company neither person cared what had actually happen to her! first I would of called the police, 2nd I would of reported the people from both companies, and 3rd, my business with them would of been over!! How can you want to keep dealing with a company that didn't even considered your life? So let me get this straight! If you would of died..who cares as long as they get a signature, right!!!

Irma

16 Mar 2015

I couldn't believe what I read. It was like her knowing her docs saved her. If she didn't know her docs she deserved to be shot? Unbelievable! I would have had him signed if that meant my life being saved then would have drive away a bit and called police. I would not have cared what title or lender felt! I cant believe this story. Geez

JULIE I

16 Mar 2015

I'm sorry - but reading some of these comments - and the article - are just breathtakingly unbelievable. Even if the notary is packing (and I do concealed carry - have been in too many strange situations over the years) I do not think it would have been wise to pull her gun. This alone may have ended her life. You need to use every bit of brain power to navigate some sticky waters from time to time. I think she was wise in staying calm and talking him through - but I don't think I would have proceeded with the signing. Sound mind? Not sure about that one there and maybe she just thought that would help her get out alive. Not enough details here - but there is NO WAY - you would lock me in, not allow me to make a phone call, pull a gun on me and then I would just leave and not call the police. I guarantee I would have called the police. I would not have found it strange that he locked the door behind me - many borrowers do that. And many borrowers do ask whether you have any more appts. I usually just say yes even if I don't so that if they are a little strange they are under the impression you need to be somewhere by a certain time. But what takes the cake is the LO and title company only caring if he signed. Shame on them. Also meeting in a public place does not guarantee safety. I had a call from an LO - who called to let me know that the client I was meeting in a public place had anger issues - please be careful. He also called after the appt. to ask if everything went ok - not just did he sign. I agree with the one ladies comments about money being the root of all evil. If I would have felt I couldn't call the police to preserve the relationship with that LO and title company - then I would be looking for something else - only one life and one chance to raise your children and spend time with your family - really has me thinking today.

Janis Bottorff

16 Mar 2015

I have a CCW and "carry" at all times. I am impressed that the notary attempted to diffuse the situation by calmly talking her captor down. I totally disagree that her first call was not 1) away from the property, and 2) not to 9-1-1. This was obviously an unstable person who could harm anyone at any time. Personal safety is a priority and the signing company or title company or lender should have been secondary.

Mylifesaver Services

16 Mar 2015

Ahhhh HE L L no! Call the police! I have my CHL and I keep my pistol in the car...but I will take it in with me after reading this! OMG. I usually think i'm safe (other than the neighborhood possibly) because I have ALL their information and why would they dare do anything knowing they would be caught quick. Different than a realtor who may show a house to a stranger.... I usually feel safer...but this goes to show.... if you "carry" - ALWAYS CARRY!

Laura Jordan

16 Mar 2015

In addition to the Loan Officer being only concerned about his money, I'm picking up two other things about the Loan Officer: He knew the man was 'off' and he made a promise to the man that the money would be delivered with the notary, something that the notary NEVER does. He also sent the notary into the home without any warning about the known personality of the man. The outcome could have been significantly worse. As a new step in the process, a notary should always ask the loan officer, or person who sends them out to collect signatures, exactly what they know about the person they will be seeing. If they lie to you, they need to be "fired" and every notary in town notified of the dangerous situation that loan officer is willing to put notaries in....if the Loan Officer reports to someone higher (and they always do), the Loan Officer needs to be reported to his supervisors. If anything would have happened in the present story, the Loan Officer's company could easily have been sued by the notary's family or the notary if she was still alive...most companies are risk averse and would not keep someone in their employ that exposes them to litigation, especially wrongful death, or serious harm. A call to the police was a very critical step that was consciously rejected in lieu of a relationship with the Loan Officer. The man obviously has no problem pulling a gun on anyone...the next person invited to come to his home could die. The guilt that would put on the notary would be immeasurable if that happened. No job is worth any of that risk or responsibility.

Carmen Spelorzi

16 Mar 2015

It is sadly true that she chose to not call the police in order to stay within the good graces of the title and loan company, but rest assured, if it were me, I would not turn the documents in until I got paid in cash at four times over the original fee plus a fruit basket. Hey, peace of mind cost. Just my thoughts...

Carmen Spelorzi

16 Mar 2015

It is sadly true that she chose to not call the police in order to stay within the good graces of the title and loan company, but rest assured, if it were me, I would not turn the documents in until I got paid in cash at four times over the original fee plus a fruit basket. Hey, peace of mind cost. Just my thoughts...

Damaris baden

16 Mar 2015

I had a rifle pulled out when I drove into the wrong driveway. The numbers at end of the split driveway were not clear. I was asked what I wanted and when I told them the address I was looking for they said I was not there (no kinding!). I said thank you got in my car and went next door. They said it was their crazy cousin! I didn't think it was funny. He at elast didn't have it raised at me.

Sabrina

16 Mar 2015

Why would you A) Not call the police and B) want to maintain a relationship of any kind with a company that ultimately only cared if the documents were signed? What more can they do short of throwing feces at her to show her how little regard they have for her and her life?

Jeff Arndt

16 Mar 2015

This is EXACTLY what a service called SafeCheckIn.com is for! To make sure someone is waiting for you with the facts about your location, time you plan to be out and what you want to done if something goes wrong and you cannot check in again. Check it out! SafeCheckIn.com

Jeff Arndt

16 Mar 2015

This is EXACTLY what a service called SafeCheckIn.com is for! To make sure someone is waiting for you with the facts about your location, time you plan to be out and what you want to done if something goes wrong and you cannot check in again. Check it out! SafeCheckIn.com

Gail Anderson

16 Mar 2015

I'm sorry but no offense to the Notary but you are as nutty as the guy with the gun! I commend you for your composure but girlfriend-this could have turned out completely different and it looks like no one cared about you. You need to care about you and your safety. Your life is not worth preserving some sort of relationship with any of these people. CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! Then I would have a few words to say to the Title Company and Loan Officer like they can go take care of their own crazy people next time. Maybe not the most professional way to handle this but all bets are off when your life is in danger!

MCortes

16 Mar 2015

You are a brave women. Luckily things turned out they way they did and you were able to come out unharmed. Nevertheless, you should have called the police and reported ALL those involved in the transaction. If you called the title company and loan officers and their concern and question to you was, "did he or did he not signed the documents?" How concern were they about your safety? They knew exactly who they were dealing with and did not warn you about this possible danger. This people should not be dealing with notaries this way. Our safety should come first before their profits. They wanted the documents signed and that's it. You should never deal with this people again!!!

Monica Voloshin

16 Mar 2015

I laugh when I read people say. I refuse to sign a mortgage loan at the borrowers location. If I remember well, we do not decided what the location will be. If you are afraid to go out at night than this may not be the job for you. Having someone wait for you in the car? Read your contracts, that is a big no, no. Besides that you forget that cops get killed waiting in cars. This is a very unfortunate situation which is out of the ordinary. Yes, we deal with at times aggressive borrowers. Mostly because they are ill informed. I would like us to focus on good LO, Lender officers, I can notice the difference. Well informed borrowers, a phone that is being picked up on first call, a pleasant mood. This all helps and will make the signing go smoothly. Never, tell a stranger that this is your last call, or that nobody is waiting for you. This is information that is non-sharable. Keep it civil and formal when it comes to your schedule. Have safety features in place and most of all enjoy this wonderful job that can bring us in contact with the good and the bad. I advice all who get in these kind of situations to inform the lender, signing agency but also the cops. Document, document, document. Safety above relationships.

Tony

16 Mar 2015

All I have to say is out your self in her shoes and in the moment of heat. People don't think clearly when they are put right on the spot . We can judge her all day but until you have walked in her shoes you should keep your negative comments to yourself. What a brave young women

Sherry Flynn

16 Mar 2015

Kinda sounds like a BS story to me.( not even a good story for someone starved for attention) But I am in my right mind. I would never have sat down and completed the signing. I would have got out of there, left him with the documents as tho I was delivery of documents only, then call police and he would STILL be in jail. Probably let the notary company know the next day via my attorney

Sherry Flynn

16 Mar 2015

Kinda sounds like a BS story to me.( not even a good story for someone starved for attention) But I am in my right mind. I would never have sat down and completed the signing. I would have got out of there, left him with the documents as tho I was delivery of documents only, then call police and he would STILL be in jail. Probably let the notary company know the next day via my attorney

Desiree Currington

16 Mar 2015

Very sad that the only concern the Lender or Title company had was whether or not the borrower signed the documents. That should NOT have been a concern at all other than her safety. Ms. Manfre I am happy to know you were able to remain calm and get out safely.

Margarita

16 Mar 2015

Wow, I am considering becoming a loan signing agent but this may have talked me out of it. It sounds like the loan officer and title company did not have her back at all and she is dependent on them for work.

Dianne

16 Mar 2015

Brandishing or threatening someone with a weapon is a crime; a notary public, as officer of the state of his/her commission has a duty to report a crime, she should have called the police as soon as she was safely away. Her clients aren't worth keeping unless that is all her life is worth to herself. Sorry, truth hurts.

Andre Baity

16 Mar 2015

Absolutely ridiculous. Common sense is not common at all these days. The notary is greedy, selfish and ridiculous and if that man happens to hurt someone in the future we can safely add blood guilty. The man was going to possibly kill you for $600.00, your loan signing company only cared about the papers being signed and you were dumb enough to say you didn't want to hurt you relationship with them even though a bullet would have ended it. Money has blinded you and almost cost you your life. Instead you decided to let a man with some serious issues just go about his business until he finally decides to pull the trigger on someone else. Hey that's not your problem though. You got your money. Who cares what he does in the future right??? Someone else can worry about that. 1 question... If the loan company ever asks you to go back to him, would you? Or would you let someone else handle that call? Just wondering cause I know you don't want to hurt the relationship. The 2 lessons that should have been learned. Cherish your life cause you don't know when you will lose it and 2 cherish other people's lives as well. Money can't replace a lost loved one. Hopefully no one will have to experience that at the hands of this man in the future.

jkoneman@gmail.com

16 Mar 2015

It is a felony in the state of Texas to use a gun or other weapon in any way that would coerce the actions of the notary. Not to mention pointing a gun ANYONE is a felony. I would have absolutely called the police as soon as I was out of the building I would dialing 911 and heading for a public place to meet the cops.

jkoneman@gmail.com

17 Mar 2015

Come to think of it, If I had to I would write him a personal check on the spot. You can always stop payment on the check later. I remember once a man knocked on my great grandmother's door and pretty much pushed himself in demanding that she hire him to do some repair work. He was very forceful and demanding and she was afraid so she agreed and wrote him a $2,000.00 check and told him where the bank was to cash it. As soon as he left she called the bank and told them what happened and called the cops. He was arrested at the teller's window. This is the same sort of situation. If someone threatens you and demands money just write a check. Most banks now have 24/7 customer service or at least an Emergency/Fraud/Security line that is open 24/7. I use USAA and I think they do. You just call or go online and stop payment and of course call the police.

rodney yates

17 Mar 2015

The loan officer and the title company had already started this problem, knew something and did not prepare Manfre her for it.

Ines Poates

17 Mar 2015

This notary did not share her story to be judged. Ashley you got out alive and thank god for that. Let me just quickly say that if the people you are working for don't have anymore regard for your life then you need to end that working relationship. You are worth much more than a $100 signing. There are a lot of great companies out there and these people are not one of them.

Jennifer

17 Mar 2015

Wow! First of all, I am so glad she kept her head and handled it perfectly in order to get out alive. What I am shocked by and do not agree with is that 100% she should have called the police. The man not only threatened her and endangered her life, he illegally imprisoned her in his home. How could she not call the police? And her reasoning was because she wanted to "preserve" her working relationship with the company? Excuse me, they should be more worried about preserving their relationship with her. And it appears from this story that they knew this man was a volatile person and there could be problems. In the future, I would recommend meeting a man in a public place, such as a Starbucks or wherever. But I would highly recommend calling the police, even after the fact. To do nothing potentially puts other peoples lives in danger.

Jaye McGinn

17 Mar 2015

I am disappointed that the Notary did not report this incident. What happens to the next Notary or person who walks into this person's home. It should be reported & on record. At the very least, he will lose his concealed permit and do some jail time. Pointing a weapon at someone, or even just displaying it, is Assault with a Deadly Weapon. One never uses a gun to scare or intimidate someone. If your job scares you enough to take risks like this & then not have the courage to report it, one really needs to rethink another career path.

Sherry Flynn

17 Mar 2015

Its TRUE that none of us really know exactly what we would do in that situation. However I am sure what I would do once I left a dangerous or kooky situation. CALL POLICE !! I am a fortunate Notary, My husband drives me to every signing. Checks out the situation then waits for me in the car. Yes he has a carry permit. Anyone going to a strangers house, especially at night should always be on high alert. I have met some wonderful people that have become personal friends through the years in the business. That doesn't mean that an unstable person isn't waiting at the next signing !!! Be careful people...do your homework ! I see some great tips in this thread..PAY ATTENTION. I have had customers that don't realize the difference between a Notary and a Bank representative. I have learned that WHEN I CONFIRM MY APPOINTMENT "The first thing I say to a customer is that I am Notary Signing agent and that The company I work for does not allow me to answer questions concerning any dollar amounts, I am not an attorney but I have phone numbers WITH ME that we can get someone on the line to answer all the questions they have concerns with" I have been a mobile notary for 15 years and God willing, I'll work many more years. Listen to your gut and read tips from other Notaries. It may save your life !! HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Jaye M

17 Mar 2015

Hopefully the next Notary walking into that home will be as lucky as this gal. FYI: Pointing a Firearm at Another Person – Penalties under Indiana Law. If you point a gun at someone you could be charged with this Class D felony punishable by 6 months to 3 years in prison. If the weapon was unloaded, the charge is reduced to a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and $5,000 in fines. Ref:IC 35-47-4-3

Marilyn

17 Mar 2015

What is preventing her from filing a police report now?

Kathy

17 Mar 2015

Calling the police was the first thing that would have happened. By not reporting this, the title company and loan company showed major disregard for the notary.

John Bianca

17 Mar 2015

First of all, I am a retired cop with 35 years of experience! The notary did an excellent job handling this subject. She should of not tought twice about reporting this situation. I have been a notary for 14 years, and since I retired from law enforcement I completed the requirements of NNA and became certified. In the last four years as a signing agent, I have signed refinances in bunkers for NWO supporters, Communes, and a few other shady places. For what it is worth, I carry concealed, and have the documentation to go with it. I can not commend this young lady enough for her actions. The good part about it, other than being very much alive and well after this mess is she completed the assignment and gets paid the full amount for her work. ALWAYS: know your surroundings, plan an exit as you arrive, tell someone exactly where you are going and set a check in time, never rely on the person that assigned you this mortgage to get you aid, or follow up with the police. Lastly, if it feels bad, it usually is! It is better to loose a commission because common sense is telling you there is a problem, than to fulfill an assignment and get hurt or worse!

H CLINTON

17 Mar 2015

This is an excellent example of work place abuse to its fullest. Story should of never published & guiding tips on how to deal with this, AN ENTIRE SEPARATE ARTICLE - shame on the person that published this

Barbara

17 Mar 2015

I believe the notary did everything correctly until she walked out and locked her car door. Calling the police first, then deleting the signing company and title company from my address book would be the second. Should have had the idiot arrested. That would have taken care of his "money".

Jay Schankman

18 Mar 2015

I too find it a little odd that the Signing Company and LO were apparently only concerned about the closing, and not the well being of the Signing Agent. And the agent did not call the police, again, for what reason? Fiction or not, it is good to have a discussion regarding safety. I keep detailed notes on all of my appointments on Google Calendars. All pertinent details; time, location, Agency contacts and telephone numbers. My calendar is shared, so my family can quickly look up my appointment and tell where I am at any time. I also call and let my wife know when I am leaving my appointment. More for her benefit, so she doesn't worry. But it is good practice never to go to an unfamiliar location, especially into someones domain without letting people know the details of your visit.

Robin

18 Mar 2015

No job is worth getting a gun pointed at you! She was very lucky. I would have called the police. I would not want to keep a relationship with anybody that would send me out on those jobs.

Elizabeth Rabbe

21 Mar 2015

Yes she did handle this wackout well, but she should have called the police immediately and to heck with that company!

Kim Gerber

23 Mar 2015

This is ridiculous that the notary did not call the police and even worse that NNA does not suggest any notary public ever put into this situation and live to tell about it, call the police. Who knows when this guys will decide to use his gun again!

RED

01 Apr 2015

Never make it a practice to meet anyone at their home. Always meet in a public place.

sharon mitchell

02 Apr 2015

I agred with everyone. i recently was at a signing where the man was very rude with me. he was even rude with the loan officer on the phone. i was on the verge of leaving however he calm down and apologize for his behavior. Even thou it was not life threating I felt that no agent should be put in any situation like this and certainly not hers.

Jan Bond

01 May 2015

What transpired here was a crime. Once safely outside, I would have called the police and filed charges against the signer.

Bill

14 May 2015

I, too would have called the police - and then called the secretary of state asking if he notarizations were valid if they were under duress. That's one thing they don't tell you in class - a .45 is one form of identification we kind of have to accept - at least until we can get our asses out of there.

James

24 Jul 2015

After leaving that house, the first thing I would have done, was to call the police. If I had to worry about my company losing their relationship with me because I do something that puts my safety first, then I wouldn't want anything to do with that company.

C. McMillon

26 Jul 2015

I am in agreement, meeting in a public place is much safer for all parties.

Barbara morgan

16 Apr 2016

Good grief...I would have called the police and report the title company and the loan company. I am appalled that the closing was all that cared about.

Rj

16 Apr 2016

Well stay calm. Once he put his gun down knock it off the table and pull my gun out to get out of that house assp and call 911 as I'm driving away. I would not sit there and complete a closing with an unstable man. It does not make since that she did not call 911. That is the first thing any normal person would do.

Anthony Notarization

20 Apr 2016

Ok. This young lady should have been and may have been compensated rather hefty to have put up with this madness with a borrower. There is no way on Earth I would agree to continue signing for a company that cared more about whether their documents were signed more than whether I was harmed in my contact with someone they sent me to. That Right to Cancel is always a persuasive tool whenever uncertainty exists, and it always puts a skeptical signer at ease. It sure would be great for the lending industry to evolve in such a manner that borrowers are completely aware of the fact money is owed and when it will be paid to them or whether they owe money and how the lender wants it sent PRIOR TO the notary arriving with the paperwork. Most times borrowers are discovering what is owed to them at the signing table rather than knowing ahead of the appointment. Physical threat should never be a concern for a notary public who is in business to provide a public service having no financial interest in any transaction. States should mandate a law holding lenders responsible for any body or other harm to a Notary Public who handles signings for their clients and an assult occurs as the result of a lender failing to properly disclose the Cash to Close to the borrower. They can easily read the words "To" or "From" at the bottom of the Closing Disclosure or the HUD Statement when it is pointed out to them. There is no way on Earth or any amount of money someone could offer me to persuade me to take another signing offer after such a bizarre experience!

Carrie Rivera

12 Jul 2016

I would've called the police after I left the his home, this was an assault with a deadly weapon. The closing goes out the door imo, and I would've contacted an attorney. This young woman was very ignorant not to call the police. She will probably realize this a few yrs later.

elizabeth_ebclosings@rgv.rr.com

28 Dec 2016

i am sorry, if anyone pulls out a gun at you, as we are to follow the law for details on our Notary Signing, I think everyone should, I would of automatically called the police. Great that she walked out of there alive, but what if the outcome was different? Personally this should not had affected the business relationship between you and the company, since this was a threat on your life and you did what was needed in this situation.

J.D. Walker

14 Mar 2017

Wow. Preserving the relationship with the companies?? The crazed lunatic POINTED A GUN AT HER!!!!! She should have called the police, and if the companies held it against her, SUE THEM!

Patty

17 Apr 2017

Why was the article allowed to be printed? Daniel Lewis does not deserve to be a contributing writing to this publication. This was not a story that should be used as an example for other signing agents as to how to handling a mentally unbalanced signer. Instead, it should be used as an example of how many things were done incorrectly. It's so scary to think there are people out there who place $75 above their own lives.

Melissa Schuster

17 Apr 2017

I would have called the police first. That borrower should be incarcerated. That poor woman and her family. Shameful on the title company and loan officer. Unbelievable actually. I'm in shock.

Jennifer

19 Jun 2017

I would have most definitely called the cops. 100%. I would have called them first. I would have found a way to leave without completing the assignment. Found a way to call the cops and have them come rescue me and haul this idiot to jail! And when sharing the incident with the client, if they responded with such disregard for my safety, I would be informing them that I would not be doing any more signings for them. Period. This is a client I do t want.

Harold Savin

31 Jul 2017

This man's mental state and the fact that he has a gun and pulled it out should have been reported to the authorities. Keeping yourself safe and others is more important than remaining in the good graces of the title company. What if it was another notary that had the same experience and didn't report it and now here you come and now the man uses the gun. Big mistake not reporting it!

Candi Rosenthal

23 Oct 2017

I would have told him the checks are in the car and I would get them and then left. Your life is more important The title company or whoever had dealings with him must’ve known the guy was them not to send you their female alone it’s unconscionable

John E. Pappas

09 Nov 2017

I want to say wow - I have not had this happen before, nor heard of it. I am glad I came across it though, as my girlfriend is getting into this business and want her to have some tools. The good part about me is that I am also a process server, so I always answer the question of "is this your last one of the day" with "yes, in regards to a loan closing, but after I leave here I will be hunting down a couple of folks to serve them papers", this always makes the borrower laugh a bit, because I follow it up with, "great news, you met me in this fashion, so if I ever come across papers for service with your name, I am conflicted out."

Lynne

20 Nov 2017

The title and loan company are absolutely at fault for not notifying her of a potential issue and authorities should have been called immediately when she was in a safe place. For me, it would have been worth not returning to either of those companies for business. Had she not been experienced at what she does her life could have easily ended. She should have blasted the name of both the title and loan company's representatives on social media for none other than for the safety of other mobile notary's in their jurisdiction.

Leslie

20 Nov 2017

I cannot believe that her life was in jeopardy, yet she's concerned with her "relationship" with the title company??!! 911 should have been the first number dialed when she left. Her actions are totally irresponsible!!

Morgan

27 Nov 2017

We had a dangerous signing where two family members were drunk, hostile and threatening. The gentleman that was the signor was fine, no problem, however low life relatives that were impatiently awaiting his funeral and wanted the property free and clear, came barging in and were drunk, violent and threatening. I did not hesitate to offer to check the car for a document to answer their questions, I returned with my gun in my document bag, prepared to defend us if necessary. I take my wife/ secretary with me on night runs and I am licensed to carry. concealed weapons. Any threat and I go back to the car and get my gun I also have extensive training in Tae kwon do and Combat Martial Arts. I have disarmed at least 4 or more armed assailants in my career.. I would strongly urge this young lady to get at least a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and stay in practice. It could save her life, or prevent injury to her by a person like this guy. But, Please take it serious and be well prepared before you ever try to disarm anyone. It is not like TV. It is life and death. It is better to be passive as she was, if you are not fully capable of swift and effective moves that will disarm and disable the assailant. If you choose to attack, shut up and take them out. Running your mouth can get you killed. Never threaten them. Instantly take them out and instantly call 911. No time for mouth. Get it done and get back up ASAP.

Tina Guenot

04 Dec 2017

I have to agree that she was used as a puppet for the title and the loan officer shame on them. I would have called the police as soon as I got out of there. She did manage to calm him down and she did a great job I sure hope she was paid extra for he almost lost life!

Loric

11 Dec 2017

I'm having a hard time believing this story--sorry---who doesn't call the police when you've had a gun pulled on you?? #2---What kind of idiotic advice/article is this for NNA to publish?? Are you seriously advocating that notaries should be more worried about their "relationship" with a closing company that our lives?? You should be ashamed that you are publishing this kind of nonsense without common sense solutions to go along with the story.

Debbie Scalera

11 Dec 2017

I work with inmates at the Dept. of Corrections and it is NEVER ok to point a gun or threaten harm in any way. It is against the law. By not calling the police IMEDIATELY when in a safe place to do so, you are enabling him to feel it is OK to get his way in this manner and you may not be so fortunate the next time. Thank the Lord you escaped unharmed.

Helen

12 Dec 2017

Would his signature be legal. It does not appear he has a sound mind to be signing anything. I think the notarized documents should be nullified pending an investigation. Let’s see how concerned the Title Agency and Bank are then.

Rochelle

15 Dec 2017

The loan officer and title company must have known this man wasn't in his right mind. They endangered her life. Shouldn't have advised her to go or atleast not to his home but meet in a public place like a restaurant. Anyone reading this should not put anyone in this situation. I see her point that it may cost her business but it should have cost the person's who sent her their jobs for knowingly sending her into a bad situation. There must be an entity she could have reported them to. They shouldn't have discouraged her not to report it. Tgat tells me they knew.

Linda S

18 Dec 2017

I agree with Debbie S, I would have called the Police, down the street, had them go and arrested him. The Title company should have been upfront, and had an undercover cop go with her. They obviously knew something was going to happen! She was right to keep calm but really, IF she didn't, things could have been really bad! I pray that no one will never be put in that situation.

Rhonda Moore

15 Jan 2018

I am glad she got out with her life but no one seemeed to care as long as the person signed the paper work she should have called the police because what if it was someone else whok many not have handled it that well and if this person has mental issues should not have a weapon

Rina

15 Jan 2018

This was terrible. The company was more worried about getting the signing than for her safety.

sdjsignings@gmail.com

29 Jan 2018

I think she did the right thing by remaining calm. If I were the notary I would have as soon as possible called 911, on the cell, mute it if you have to while you make the other calls. I would have pressed charges, if they don't use you cause you felt threatened (as no doubt you did) its their problem and you don't want to do business with them anyway. If your alone, always let you customer know you got a ride from someone, and they are expecting you. Always tell them you have another appointment, it helps in this respect and in your time management with clients.

Rachel M

09 Feb 2018

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't we supposed to ensure that the signer is in the right state of mind to sign? Wouldn't his signature in this case be invalidated as he was clearly not in a sane state of mind to sign?

National Notary Association

09 Feb 2018

Hello. Guildelines for how Notaries must handle a signer in an uncertain mental state vary depending on state laws. For more information, please see this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/06/determining-signer-awareness

Chris Nwakobi

12 Mar 2018

I feel horrible for what happened to Ashley and can just imagine what went through her mind. I will have first reinforced the borrower's frustration and said that these processes can be daunting for borrowers. Then I will remind him that I was the messenger in this case. That as much as I am part of the processes, I am most often the only one borrowers meet face to face. But that the process is almost over and to bear with me.

Denise

15 May 2018

hard to believe a man that angry would've calmed down to sign the papers, something doesn't sound right with this story. either way, have pepper spray (or something legal) in your briefcase. I would NOT have continued with the signing because this man was obviously NOT in his Right mind, and that is cause for not accepting his signature. lastly Call the police once out of the house.

lablu

25 Jun 2018

Initial one should call the police. That borrower ought to be detained. That poor lady and her family. Disgraceful on the title organization and credit officer.

Sandie Lamb

26 Jun 2018

I agree. I wouldn't have continued the signing unless I felt it was my only way out safe. Then, once in my car and a few houses away, I would have called the police. Furthermore, I wouldn't want to work for a company whom has more interest in signed documents than my well being. Chunk that company and move on to more professional companies.

Kathleen Perry

30 Jul 2018

I am glad to know that the Notary was able to leave without physical injury. What about mental now? However, anyone who threatens with a gun is clearly positioning that persons life in jeopardy and is considered to be a threat to the public/community. She was very savvy in obtaining a signature but it seems as though the representatives for the closing were not really concerned for her well being. This is a reportable offense to say the least. As a Florida Notary and a Registered Nurse, I would by law be required to report the offense. For the sake of the public and community. This person definitely has control issues and low self esteem and cash pressure in his life to the point that he would threaten and innocent young woman. Definitely would report. What if he does shoot the next notary or loan officer, etc. This is not about image but about safety which is always priority #1. He needs serious help, not a pass!!

Claudia

09 Aug 2018

I’m a mobile notary public and former federal agent. 911 would be called. It appears she did a great job de-escalating the situation. I would have terminated the conversation by stating that further inquiry would be done to secure he received his money before signing anything. Then ask to please allow for a follow up. Anything to have a safe retreat! Yes, all other parties did not co sister the notary’s safety! I would not continue working for an entity that would put my life at risk, in any way. I’m blessed to of had law enforcement training, but no one is exempt from life threatening situations. Be safe, we need to go home to our families.

Michael McFarland

10 Sep 2018

I would have done whatever I needed to in order to escape with my life, then IMMEDIATELY call the police. The man threatened her with a deadly weapon, which is to the best of my knowledge, a felony in every state. Personally, I think her decision to “protect the relationship with the company” was foolish. No company is worth that.

Allen Lawrence

13 Sep 2018

I always have someone know exactly when I get to an assignment and call when leaving. They know the address and know to call after an hour, then 1 1/2 hours then to call the police. My brother in law is a policeman and this is what he asked me to do.

Kathy Metevier-Rizza

01 Oct 2018

What a scary story. While I think the notary was very brave to stay calm and collected during the assault, I also think she made a huge mistake not calling the police. Further, I would never work with the agency again (title company and/or loan officer), because it sounds like the only thing they cared about was weather or not the crazy guy signed their paperwork! The guy with the gun should have gone to jail; the title company/loan officer should also be held responsible for what happened to her.

Lucero Dagger Marquez

24 Oct 2018

I know this article/story is old but I still wanted to post a comment. After reading this notary's story and reading some of the comments the other readers posted, I have to say that I'm not sure I believe this actually took place. Is it an IMPOSSIBLE situation? Well, no. But I don't think it's very likely! IF this story is true, I do give the young notary credit for remaining as calm as she did in such a nerve-racking and dangerous situation, wow! And she even finished with the sign off? Damn, now THAT'S commitment to your profession. BUT... NOT calling the police after THAT situation??? NO. Absolutely not. That's not only crazy but also incredibly irresponsible for any possible future notaries that could go do a sign off with that same crazy client! And all for less than $700??? NO NO NO!

Jessica

12 Nov 2018

lol...this is an ad ...just running everything "Notary" to get leads for their business .. and they wanted to say how thoroughly they train their apprentices ..

Sandra Richards

03 Dec 2018

If this were not a reputable organization publishing this, I would think it was click bait. Really, NO ONE insists she call the police, this is incredible. The fact that the LO still wanted to do business with this lunatic sends up red flags, and no one is worried about her safety, just if he signed the documents. This whole story just seems untrue. I would have called 911 as soon as I was out the door, before I called any Loan Officer or title company, as I think any normal person would.

Matt Miller

03 Dec 2018

I would have immediately left and called the police. Period. This man should have gone to jail and not received a dime!

LEANNE Cabrera

03 Dec 2018

I would always take my husband with me as Florida usually needs a witness

SMH

10 Dec 2018

First of all this man is clearly not mentally competent. I would question the ability to legally sign and if his signature was even valid or legally binding. Secondly, not calling the police should make her legally responsible if he goes off and kills someone else. What if something happens and the loan doesn't close on time, if at all? Does he go shoot up the title office? The lenders office? Does he look her up on the states notary site, seek her out and kill her? If more people reported people like him, there wouldn't be as many mass shootings and murders.

Jeannie

12 Feb 2019

I would’ve asked the loan officer and the title company is that all you’re worried about? I also would’ve followed up with a phone call directly to the police department. My final phone call would’ve been to a lawyer. Clearly the title company and the loan officer knew this man was not right and put her in an unsafe situation. Thankfully I’ve never had a gun pulled on me me but I’ve definitely had a situation where Loan Officer and title company have sent me out to a closing with clients angry like this with a little care or remorse.

Norma

08 Apr 2019

I have been a mobile NSA for over 15 years and I can honestly say that ALL notaries (Man or Woman) should take precautionary measures at all times. We live in an era where people are mentally unstable and our lives DO NOT need to be placed at risk for completing an assignment. My husband and I always have these SECURITY RULES in place: If the signing will take place OUTSIDE of escrow (ie LO, REA, etc) and NOT in an office scenario with other people around, then the following takes place: 1. I send him a txt to tell him name, address, appt time and who contracted me; 2. TXT before I enter the place of Appt 3. TXT If confortable when I meet the clients at home 4. CALL him to confirm that I completed the assignment and that I AM OK. I have had my share of unstable signers!!!🤨 WHEN the signing is at a PUBLIC PLACE then I only mention to him where, when and TXT when I finish. As far as the escrow co and LO officers response, they obviously did not have your best interest in mind. You were JUST a Notary to them. This is why I ALWAYS ASK the following questions BEFORE I decide to accept an assignment: A. What assignment am I getting (seller, buyer, Refi, etc); B. Who am I signing; C. If it is ONE person signing and will not be at an office, then my only CONDITION for accepting the assignment is that I WILL SIGN at a public place (ie coffee house, McDonalds, etc). And FINALLY if I am not familiar with the LO, I request my client to send me the LO name and cell number so that I can call the LO if the client has any questions about the loan. This is very important because if the appointment is after hours, we need answers or your clients will not sign. As notaries it is always our goal to provide excellent customer satisfaction to all parties. However, we ALWAYS should take precautions. NO assignment is WORTH loosing our lives or even our notary seal. My family comes firstt!!!!! No JOB or business relationship is worth my LIFE!!! This is why we chose to work as independent contractors. We can say NO to that assignment and wait for the next one!!! DONT RISK IT!!! Assignments will come and go but putting our lives at risk is not worth any assignment. Even though our security strategy might be TOO much for some, then choose what works for you and your family. ENJOY life while we still can!!! KEEP safe!!! 😊

Karin

27 May 2019

I agree with giona and Carl I would report unsafe practices and the “set up situation” to the police also definitely report the incident with signer. He needs help. I actually had a title company call me st 8 pm my time and ask me to take a signing later that night at 11pm where the signer was being very difficult, they had already had him sign 3 different times, he had requested me and needed it to be late st night .... I actually laughed at the title person trying to get me to take this assignment. “ I said, don’t you think this sounds a little suspicious? I’m married and have kids that are at home waiting for me that’s why my hours are 8-8pm already too long to be away from your family. “ The these companies should be held accountable for these horrible practices. I feel like we need some sort of union to keep us safe, paid and protected. Who’s with me?

Joey Ortez

03 Jun 2019

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO POINT A GUN AT ANYONE!!! IT IS CALLED "BRANDISHING A FIREARM". She should have forfeited her relationship with the LO & Title Co and called law enforcement to report it. She could have been killed over $639!!!!!!

Aimee

03 Jun 2019

I see a lot of people commenting on her choice not to call the police and also on what she stated as her motivation for not doing so, pile that on top of the many many frustrations associated with being contracted through snapdocs and other signing companies that have NO COMMITMENT to us notaries and to me what stands out in this story is the extreme lack of power that we have as notaries and how even the limited power we have is dwindling by the day. She should have been supported and encouraged by both her signing company and the lender to report this incident. He threatened to KILL HER, do they not understand that?? She was in an impossible situation and the signing company and the lender were culpable. I can't believe this story turned out that way, that men needs help and she needed to be supported in holding him accountable. However, it doesn't even take a life-threatening situation to see that notaries are powerless and at the complete mercy of these signing companies. They hold all the cards and the keys to our livelihood. ITS NOT RIGHT.

Leave a Comment

Required *

All comments are reviewed and if approved, will display.