Mobile Notary Directory Notary @ Your Door: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Notary @ Your Door mobile notary public

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a closing agent and a Notary Signing Agent?
A: Closing agents prepare documents, disburse funds, and coordinate the consummation of a real estate transaction. Notary Signing Agents work for closing agents; they are involved only with the signing and delivery of loan documents. Signing Agents do not draw up documents, disburse funds or provide abstraction of titles. They act mainly as couriers and impartial witnesses for signings.

Q: How do I fill in my Notary Journal "fees" column?
A: The NNA recommends a Signing Agent Log be kept separately from the journal because the journal must be returned to the county clerk upon the Notary's resignation. Otherwise, assign the highest possible value allowed by your state to each signature and divide the invoice amount by the number of signatures. For example: In a state where the maximum Notary fee is $10 per signature, if there are five signatures and the invoice is for $50, then it comes out to $10 per signature. If the amount exceeds the value of the notarization allowed by your particular state, record the excess amount in the additional Information Box as "Signing Agent Fee."

Q: Which days are considered "business days" for the purpose of calculating the three-day right to rescission date on the "Notice of Right to Cancel" document?
A: Any day of the week except Sunday and the following federal holidays: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day.
To calculate a specific rescission date, please use our convenient Rescission Calendar. After selecting your Signing Date (click "Calendar" button), be sure to click the "Calculate" button to produce the applicable Rescission Date.

Q: What is meant by APR?
A: The "annual percentage rate" is the cost of the loan in percentage terms and includes private mortgage insurance and prepaid finance charges (loan discount, origination fees, prepaid interest and other credit costs). The APR is calculated by spreading these charges over the life of the loan, resulting in a higher rate than the interest rate shown on the note.

Q: If the Notary Signing Agent gets the documents before meeting the borrower and finds that there are blank forms to be filled out, can the Notary Signing Agent fax these to the borrower and have them filled out ahead of time? If so, can the Notary Signing Agent just take the faxed forms and give them to the signing service or closing agent?
A: Yes, that's an option. Also, the lender has, in some cases, already mailed these forms to the borrower to fill out to give and the Notary Signing Agent at the appointment.

Q: Escrow instructions state the signer must present a "Hazard Insurance Policy." Is the Notary Signing Agent supposed to obtain this from the signer, or is the Signing Agent only supposed to look at the HUD1 or the Settlement Statement? Also, will the signing agencies usually let the Notary know?
A: Yes, there will oftentimes be a sticky note or a specific instruction. The lender often highlights documents to emphasize certain requirements. The Notary Signing Agent should know that the hazard policy information must be provided, but it's the borrower's responsibility to provide it.

Q: In the closing instructions document, if there is a document checked that is not in the package, should the Notary Signing Agent call the lender?A:Yes. Always check the closing instructions carefully to make sure everything is in the package.

Q: If the Notary Signing Agent is unable to obtain a check requested from the borrower, does the Notary Signing Agent halt the signing?A:Only if the Lender tells the Notary Signing Agent to halt the signing.

Q: What are "digital documents"?
A: With current technological advances, documents are being forwarded through a number of channels. The term "digital" may refer to electronic transmissions of document copies. If a lender sends a Notary Signing Agent a digital document via e-mail, the Notary Signing Agent is responsible for printing out the documents and carrying them to the signing. Lenders increasingly are utilizing digital documents that are e-mailed to the Notary Signing Agent instead of shipping the actual documents via overnight courier.

Q: Do Notary Signing Agents have set fee schedules for signings?
A: The signing service generally sets the fee schedule, or amicable payment arrangements are agreed upon between the Agent and the signing service. The contract agreements should be prepared in writing to assure acceptance by each party.

Q: Is there a standard fee structure for Notary Signing Agents?
A: No. In most instances, each signing service will have a fee schedule disclosed for their contractors in their contract. The fee schedule varies from company to company. You may wish to research the possibilities by contacting signing services directly and inquiring about their contract stipulations.

Q: What does a Notary Signing Agent do besides notarize loan documents?
A: They also deliver loan document packages to the borrower, observe the signing of non-notarized documents, and once the appropriate documents are signed and notarized, they are responsible for mailing the documents back to the lender.

Q: How do Notary Signing Agents earn more income than other Notaries Public?
A: As explained in the answer above, Notary Signing Agents are paid for other services separately from simply notarizing documents. Fulfilling the role of courier, their fees can include delivery of loan document packages and mailing signed and notarized documents to the lender in a timely fashion.

Q: Do you need a business license to perform and receive payment as a Notary Signing Agent?
A: A Notary Signing Agent must be a Notary, and Notaries are not required to have a business license to provide services. However, please contact your local city hall to obtain information in reference to local statutory requirements, as local government regulations may vary.

Q: Is there a required bond or insurance coverage policy that I must have in order to continue to complete closings for different title companies? If so, do all companies require this and in what amounts?
A: Each state has different regulations affecting Notary bond requirements. In some states a Notary bond is not required. The purpose of the bond is to protect the public should a Notary be responsible for any monetary losses due to errors or misconduct. In the same manner that the bond protects the public, Errors and Omissions Insurance protects the Notary in instances of unintentional errors. E&O Insurance is not mandatory for Notaries in any state, but is strongly recommended.

Q: What documents does the Notary Signing Agent have to notarize?
A: The loan document package may consist of a variety of documents. Some of these documents require notarization, others only require the signature or initials of the borrower. Typical notarized documents in a loan package are: Deed of Trust or Mortgage, Occupancy Affidavit, Compliance Agreement, and Signature or Name Affidavit. However, notarization requirements vary by lender.

Q: Can I arrange the documents to help me organize where to sign, initial, and notarize? For example, may I put all pages that require notarization together, all pages that require an initial together, etc.?
A: Yes, if you put everything back in the original order.

Q: Do I need to take fingerprints for loan documents?
A: In California, journal thumbprints are required for deeds, quitclaim deeds and deeds of trust. Finger or thumbprints are not required on the documents themselves.

Q: What do I do if the signers want to read through every document?
A: Let them do it. It's their transaction and they have a right to carefully examine the documents if they wish. If time is an issue and there are borrower's copies available, you can point out that since they have three business days to rescind the contract, they can review the documents more carefully after the signing.

Q: What do I do if the signing service I contracted with won't pay me?
A: For detailed information on steps you can take to resolve the issue of debt collection, go to Non-Payment Issues.

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