My First Commercial Mortgage Loan Experience as a Notary Signing Agent

This is the third in a series of articles about commercial loans.  Unless you have questions you'd like to see answered regarding commercial loans for notary signing agents, we are moving to the topic of wills and powers of attorney,. ---------- I thought I was early when I walked into the multi-story building that housed the Houston title company that had hired me for the next three days. I would be handling their overflow of borrowers who were closing on home equity loans.  I wanted to make a good impression, so I arrived early--around 7:30 a.m.   I'm not going to lie.  I was nervous and didn't know what to expect.   When I found the office, finally. I figured that it was so early, surely no...


Commercial Mortgage Loans:  Six Differences for Notary Signing Agents 

Last week we reviewed nine typical loan packages and discussed the sizes of each and the estimated number of notarial acts.  There are a few loan types that are significantly different than the others, the commercial mortgage loan being the most different.  The topic of commercial loans is also quite popular with new notaries. With that in mind, this week, we are going to cover the six primary differences that notaries need to know about when switching over from residential loans to handling commercial loans.   1-Collateral Collateral means the type of property that secures the loan. The collateral seen by notaries in residential loans are  homes or land on which a home will be constructed.  The home may be a standalone...


9 Typical Notary Signing Agent Document Packages

If you are new to the notary business, you may feel like receiving the documents for your assignment is like opening up a box of Cracker Jacks and digging out a prize. Are there 200 pages in that file or 20?  500 or 50? Will I need to notarize something?  How many documents need notarization?   The guessing game can be fun for about three minutes, but then you need facts.  Today's article may help you better know what to expect when you receive an assignment.  We will analyze assignments in this article based on the following variables: Size of the package  (pages) Number of notarizations Other nuances of the deal This article can’t cover ALL the different types of lending or real estate packages, but we...


Posted By Category: Featured, Loan Signing AgentComments: 4

Six Steps that Will Improve Your Image

If you are a new notary public or a new notary business owner,  the six steps listed below can help to set up the right public image for your notary career.  These steps aren't new discoveries , but they can be easily overlooked while you are trying to learn how to handle your new duties as a notary professional.   Step 1 – Brand your  notary business with a professional email address. Now that you are a notary professional, don’t hang on to your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL address.  Consider setting up an email address that projects the right image. This step entails purchasing a domain and adding email service to it.  Google is one place to do this.   It will...


Can I notarize this document?

Today, we are focusing on confusing and unfamiliar documents that notaries are requested to notarize.  We are going in this direction today because after polling several new notaries this month, I learned that many would like to know how to handle documents they have never heard of--the crazy ones...the ones that are not in loan document packages.   I ran across one that made me scratch my head, so we will take a look at it.  Its purpose is to say who gets my DNA results from a genealogy company when I die.  It is called a Beneficiary of DNA Information, and it is pictured in the image below.   By analyzing this document, we will answer common questions asked by new notaries, for...


Posted By Category: E & O, Featured, Loan Signing Agent, TrainingComments: 4
Split Signings

3 Steps to Handling “Split Signing” Appointments

A "split signing"  is a type of notary signing appointment.  Being signed are real estate  or loan documents--the reason is it referred to as a split signing is because all of the signers can't attend at the same time. Therefore, a transaction that would normally require one appointment will require at least two appointments. Today, our example signers will be siblings--Jack Smith and Jill Jones.  Jack are Jill are co-owners who are selling property that was left to them in equal shares by a deceased relative. Here are three complicating factors --  Jill lives Dallas, Texas. Jack lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The property is in Houston. Unfortunately, when the documents were drawn up, the attorneys who drafted the documents for sellers Jack and...


Repeat Notary Business

Top 10 Ways to Win Repeat Notary Business

Today, we are going to discuss ten habits of notaries who perform like experts and gain repeat business.  Notaries at any level of experience can do these things to project professionalism and become more desirable to hiring parties!     1.  The busiest notaries answer all calls (except for known annoyance callers or undesirable hiring parties).  Currently, a huge problem that keeps notaries from working is not answering their phones.  Many notaries won't answer a call if they don't recognize the number or if the number is blocked.  It just takes a few seconds to determine if it is work or a spam call. Pick it up and see. Not answering the phone sends a negative signal to hiring parties.     2. Once an assignment is...


Use Caution when Notarizing for Elections and Political Candidates

Normally, I like to share notary tips and fun strategies for you to use in your business. But, on occasion, I feel obligated to share a warning, especially for those who are just getting started.   If you are new and haven't taken a training course, please do that before you begin seeking work--especially before handling election forms.  If you think that's unnecessary and old fashioned, please continue reading! Candidate and election forms are treacherous. New notaries without training should consider referring requests to perform notarial acts for political candidates and relating to election affidavits to more experienced notaries.  Please don't do it before taking a basic notary course and purchasing errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.  Notarial errors related to elections will...


Story of a Mortgage Loan

The Story of a Mortgage Loan

Notaries who have not been through the personal agony of applying for a mortgage loan have missed learning opportunities.  Every mortgage loan has a story!  Being that involved in the process personally helps notaries understand what their borrowers have recently endured.   Without that experience, a new loan signing agent may not understand some of the impatience that borrowers have.  Applying for a loan isn't for the faint at heart.  It can be grueling and frustrating.  With that in mind, I’d like to do an overview of how a mortgage loan begins and evolves into a neat stack of loan documents on a borrower's cluttered kitchen table. Definition of a mortgage A mortgage is a legal agreement by which a lender lends...


Top 10 Things a New Notary Must Know

Top 10 Things that a New Notary Must Know

Are you a new notary public?  Do you feel as if you are -- Swimming around in murky notary laws that are too complicated? Trying to learn rules stuffed with terms that you do not understand? Attempting to make sense of confusing notary group discussions?  Unable to get a straight answer on anything? Drowning from information overload? If so, take this to heart:  You can't learn it all at once.  You really can't!  Don't make yourself feel bad because you don't know it all. Let's slow down and take your move into the notary world one small step at a time.  Today, I want to go over the barest requirements and most basic skills you need to learn before you slap the Mobile Notary sign on your car and drive...


The Mysterious Contents of a Traveling Notary’s Bag

The bag or briefcase carried to appointments by a brand new traveling notary is usually a lightweight and slim model.  It contains very little--a few pens, a notarial stamp, notary journal, and a pocket for carrying documents.  However, once notaries begin traveling and having experiences with signers, they learn to be ready to accommodate a multitude of situations.  Soon, the traveling notary bag is bulging at the seems, a zipper breaks, or the thing won't shut at all!  It must be upgraded to a larger size. As the miles click by and notary journals fill up with signatures from appointments, a notary's bag selection leans to something bigger and more capable of organizing gear. Some notaries eventually graduate to an...


Hospital Notary Business

Hospital Marketing Strategies for Mobile Notaries

On April 17, I found myself driving from home to a community hospital 150 miles away.  I had to be there to help my 86-year-old mother stay near the bedside of the love of her life, a gentle and kind man named Warren who, at age 84, suffered a massive heart attack.  For a couple of days, I fretted about Warren's health, the impact it was having on my mother, and about not being at home and able to work or write this article, and I had not decided on a topic before I left my house.  However, on the third day, while prowling around the hospital campus, I could not stop thinking about ways to market notary services...