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Finding a notary can be a daunting task. Many citizens and companies need notaries to perform intermediary acts on behalf of the state courts and the company or companies represented in the documents given. With entrusting valuable information, including account numbers, and private loan information, it is difficult to flip through the yellow pages to find someone who you can trust, but there are many websites out there that have information and background checks on certain notaries that will put the searcher at ease.
All Banks and UPS Stores are required to house a notary. (Bank managers are usually required to have their notary commission). So there are ways to find a notary by simply going to your local bank where you know the place is safe and you are somewhat protected from fraud etc...But what about a mobile notary? There are many situations where the borrower of a loan or purchaser of a home cannot make it to the escrow office or home. The borrower or Lender must find a mobile notary to go to the person's house before important cut-off dates that exist. Here is how you find good ones.
There are a few directories out there that are great for finding a notary. NotaryBay and 123Notary are good national directories that you can type in your zip-code and find a notary close to you. Both of these sites also have notaries who have conducted background checks listed. There are other great places as well simply by typing mobile notary into Google. You should get the information you need from these resources, but again it is up to the person or company to pay fees to mobile notaries that they otherwise would not have to if they found other means through the Escrow office or lender. If the documents are one page or very simple, the best bet for anybody is to just go down to the UPS store or bank and get it notarized. Otherwise you will end up paying $30 for travel from something that is fairly simple.
After reading this, finding a notary should not be a daunting task. Finding one you like shouldn't be either. Most notaries are very kind trustworthy people, whom understand their office and representation. They will continue to get jobs by successfully completing the first. Notaries though representatives of the Sec. of State, are independent contractors looking to not only help in the civil process, but also to make a buck.
Top Six Reasons You Should Use a Mobile Notary
Someone once asked me, 'What exactly is a notary signing agent, and what do they do?'
The simple answer is that, notary signing agents are notaries who are specially trained to conduct mortgage loan closings. Notary signing agents make it possible for someone to do the closing of their mortgage loan, whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them. Many of us work 24/7, which means that there is virtually no limit to when and where the closing can take place.
How does all of this happen?
For example, someone in Colorado can go online and borrow from a lender in California. Is it necessary for that borrower to board a plane and fly to California for the signing of their loan documents, some of which also need to be notarized? Or to make a trip to a title company? No. Instead, a notary signing agent will bring the loan documents to the borrower to be signed and notarized.
What usually happens is that I will get a call from a title company to do a closing. They email a confirmation sheet with the borrower's name, address, and phone number, along with other information about the closing. The loan documents are sent to me, most of the time in an email attachment. Or they will provide a link to where I can download the documents from a secure website. I make a confirmation call to the borrower, print the loan documents, then go to the borrower to have the documents signed and notarized. This can be at their home, their place of work, or wherever it's most convenient for them -- any time of day or night. Afterwards I deliver the documents back to the title company, usually by overnight courier. If it's a local title company here in Colorado Springs, I will personally deliver them.
The whole idea is to make it more convenient for the borrower to conduct real estate transactions. It's a convenience for the lender as well. Closings have even been done while borrowers were traveling on vacation in their recreational vehicle.
What are the limitations of notary signing agents?
As I'm going over the documents with the borrower during the closing, if the borrower has a specific question about the terms of their loan, I remind them that they will have to ask their loan officer, and that I work for neither the lender nor the title company.
"Well then, who DO YOU work for?"
Notary signing agents are independent contractors. We work for many different companies. It's not uncommon that I will close loans for 3 different lenders, from 3 different parts of the country, on the same day. Yet I represent all of them as if I did work for them.
Is the borrower's sensitive information safe?
Absolutely. Notary signing agents go to great lengths to secure the borrower's sensitive information.
How much money do notary signing agents make, and what kind of hours do they work?
One of the biggest myths surrounding this profession is that, becoming a notary signing agent is a 'get-rich-quick' way of making money. That is far from the truth. Many prospective signing agents come into this profession disillusioned, thinking that they can quit their job and immediately earn a six-figure salary. The job of a notary signing agent is not easy. And it can be very frustrating at times. Notary signing agents work very hard, and it can take a long time to get established to the point where one can make a living at this. And those who are able to make a living usually work long hours. On several occasions I have left the office to do a closing at 8:00 a.m., and didn't finish the day until close to midnight. Very many of us make ourselves available 24/7, because we have to be available whenever it is convenient for the borrower. Sometimes I'll get a call to do a closing at 7 a.m. because the borrower wants to sign the papers before they go to work, or because that is the only time they are available.
This is an area in which notary signing agents can play a significant role. The people who are least able to leave their homes and travel great distances are the elderly. Many of us are trained to do Reverse Mortgage closings and have a lot of experience working with senior citizens. We take a lot of pride in serving these clients.
Speaking of training, what type of training is required to become a Notary Signing Agent?
Some of the types of training include seminars, training manuals, and online courses. Most of the knowledge that we gain is through self-study. The training is a never-ending process.
Is there a professional organization for Notary Signing Agents?
Yes. There are many organizations that signing agents can join. The largest organization is the National Notary Association (NNA).
Are there professional designations?
Yes. The most widely recognized is the designation Certified Notary Signing Agent (CNSA) from the National Notary Association. In order to earn this designation the signing agent must pass a 3-part examination and undergo a background screening.
How does a company go about finding a notary signing agent? Are you listed in the Yellow Pages?
The most effective way to advertise is by becoming a member of the National Notary Association and becoming a member of the Notary Signing Agent section, registering with the major notary signing agent sites, signing up with signing companies, and having a website. The main thing is to never stop marketing.
The following is the Notary Signing Agent Pledge of Ethical Practice. It was prepared by the National Notary Association, and intended to be presented to the borrower at the beginning of each closing so that they understand the role of the notary signing agent:
"I am not an attorney and therefore, by law, I cannot explain or interpret the contents of any documents for you, instruct you on how to complete a document or direct you on the advisability of signing a particular document. By doing so I would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and could face legal penalties that include the possibility of incarceration. Any important questions about your document should be addressed to the lender, title company or an attorney."
I have tried to give as broad a picture as possible. But I'm sure that I haven't completely answered the question: 'What is a Notary Signing Agent?'. It is such a multi-faceted profession.
There are many difficulties and challenges to this job. But for the most part it is a very rewarding profession, and I derive a great amount of satisfaction from what I do.
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