Experiences, complaints and lessons learned....
In agreement with several of you here regarding doorstep signings.SO ILLEGAL. I tell the client I don't do them. It is ILLEGAL. I tell the borrowers the same, it is for their protection that the Notary actually do what is legally expected and witness their signature as later down the road no one can testify to their signing as we didn't' see them sign anything. Skipping signing in the presence of the Notary mutes the whole point of using a Notary. Dah. Oregon SOS sent an email to all notaries stating the list of NO's recently and this was one of them! I have had one lady that was so neurotic on the phone. I said I could not do a drop off service. So, she gave me detailed instructions on what to do when I arrived including going through the back yard gate and up a 2 story flight of stairs to her back deck to sign rain or shine. I merely asked her how high her fence gate was and she lost it on me saying I was making this difficult for her. I replied I am 4'10" and if her gate is like mine at home, I need a step stool to open it. I told her I wasn't the notary for her and emailed the signing service/title to re-assign the closing. So sorry to the Notary that got that one.
The newest COVID-19 affidavit and hold harmless documents are sloppy and unprofessional and of no legal consequence. POINTLESS. I have told the title companies and signing services that without page numbering and information filled in 1. I DO NOT SIGN BLANKS. Ever. So it gets filled in or not signed at all. (which takes more of MY time, time is $$, value yourself) 2. Page numbering is essential for its legal purpose. Do you see wills with missing page numbers? No, otherwise brother Johnny will say mom left him everything and will switch out pages that say so! Dah, again. I will not testify in any way other than witnessing a signature to these sloppy documents if it is on the same page as my certificate only as ANY page could have been switched out. I have been recently writing in LARGE print on the bottom of each page Page 1 of 3,Page 2 of 3 and Page 3 of 3. Making it obvious of their missing information and sloppy documents and my unhappiness in having to sign them. They have not called me to complain or return the documents once. It is bad enough that our certificates on loan doc packages are not 'permanently affixed" as originally intended for validity.
In full disclosure, I have been closing loans for over 15 years and over 10,000+ so at this point my patience is running out for rude and condescending people. Title agents have the gaul to call us and yell at us that we are not fast enough ect. I'm sorry, all while sitting in the comfort of their home offices or locked work offices with full PPE that their corporation has bought and paid for them to 'feel' and be safe. If anything good out of COVID19 happens one thing I hope for is it wakes up Notaries and our clients and signers to our value. Without us these loans would not be signed. Title companies don't have the time or manpower to sign all of them available one by one in their offices all while exposing themselves to the possible germs /Covid19 they may get.
We are at the front-line. We are exposed daily to a wide range of unknown situations. Horders homes ! (Of which I have decided I will no longer do inside. When I call to confirm I announce they need a CLEAN dry surface like a table or counter-top to sign on. They know the condition of their home and that it is filthy. I include that we can sign outside on a table with chairs or even in the back of my car with weather permitting. (Starbucks & fast food places if they ever open:open_mouth:)
I will not sign without being able to contact the signers. PERIOD. I will cancel the closing and ask them to re-assign. I need to hear the voice of the person I am signing and get a clear picture of what I am walking in to. Besides - a 'trip fee' is NOT worth my time)
Some signers are terrified of dying from Covid19 while others are laissez-faire and agitated with the whole thing.We are signing in the rain, sleet, snow, porches, garages, shops, parking lots and in the back of my car/trunk:flushed:
I had a signing service owner make a comment after I gave a quote, obviously higher than their normal $90 fee and she said 'she isn't allowed to gouge the title companies' Gouge? Is that what we are doing? I then gave her a patient and kind earful of the "why" my fee is what it is. 1. It is taking much more time =$ to conduct a closing in these crazy environments. 2.Closing agents are exposed and having to fend for ourselves in scrounging for PPE and paying for it. NONE of them that I know of have offered to send Signing Agents PPE (Masks & Gloves). 3. None of the companies - Title, Lenders, 3rd party Signing services have given us a raise since 2008 - You all know it's been more than a decade since 2008 crash right? How many business have not given their employees a raise in over 10 years? We have to give ourselves a raise. 4. Paper, toner and computer/printer costs and repairs have tripled since 2008. Need for a new car every 3-5 years for full-time closers doing at-least 100K miles in that time (me!) 5. All of the new regulations increasing our personal costs licensing, Background checks and classes annually, etc. 6. Some of us are thinking of retirement and have empty satchels. Why? Because we haven't had enough pay to save We don't get paid time off, 401K, health insurance all paid for by an employer. All has to be taken in to account when we set up our fees.
It is time we give ourselves a raise so we can actually make a living. And time to have the self respect and confidence to stand up for ourselves with our clients. This can be done in a kind and respectful manor.
For those of you spouting AI (Artificial Intelligence) is going to replace us, don't be so sure. It may happen decades down the road but for many years to come they will still need HUMANS to be pro-active in preventing as much fraud and abuse as possible.