I Expect To Be Paid Like the Professional I Am -
Assigners, lenders, and title companies are putting the professional signing agent out of business.
The insistence in cutting fees paid for our services is driving the professional, caring, and efficient notaries out of business because we cannot meet our cost.
Gone are the days I could schedule two to five appointments per day because I got documents the day before the appointments. I was being paid an average of $135.00 per signing within 25 miles of my office. Today, I’m afraid to schedule more than one appointment as documents are not getting to me until I should have left for the appointment.
My cost are as follows:
A. Printing – paper, toner, amortization of printer, and seal 5.9¢ (average package 187 pages twice total 374 pages) = $22.07.
B. Car expense 50 miles round trip = 28.25 plus $15.00 amortization of the vehicle = 43.57.
C. The total is $65.64 excluding additional costs for fax backs and trips to FedEx or UPS.
D. When the fee is $65.00 I’M TAKING $0.64 OUT OF MY POCKET TO DO THE LOAN. Not included is the “cost” of my time to contact the client to confirm the appointment, time to print docs, travel time, time on site, and time for trip to a drop box that is usually way out of the route.
I’ve not included the costs of insurance, bond, background check, business cards, clothes cleanings because of the dog/cat hair, urine, house hold odors, etc. we incur.
If you are still reading, I am amazed how everyone else in the equation is more amply compensated for their time. Attorneys still make $250.00 to $350.00 per loan package. Title companies and lenders are making this or more.
As a consumer, when I request a service I expect to pay for it. Borrowers rarely take time off work to close their loan since we go to them on their time schedule. There is very minimal loss of time and convenience for them. Our fees should be, at least, the level of other professionals and paid by the borrower.
Nearly every package I receive (as well as do my notary friends) there is a statement that says something such as “Please note – we have been incurring a lot of notary errors and we are losing clients as a result. It is very important that you go thru ALL of your docs’ forwards and backwards, make sure all docs are stamped….” Guys, it’s blatantly obvious where the majority of the problem lies. A lot can be solved by a few simple steps such as
1. Get docs to us the day before so we can review and tag the potential problem areas.
2. Get the pay up to bring the truly professional notaries back to the business.
3. When extra services are required (i.e. fax backs, trips out of our way to drop docs, etc.) pay for these extra expenses.
At the NNA meeting in Austin, Texas, everyone I was in earshot of was angered and insulted how “our” association allowed the title companies and lenders to get away with the responses of what was being done to improve the way we do business. It was disgusting and appalling. We left that meeting convinced that NNA was not our advocate and would not stand up for us with the title companies and lenders.
In summary, you want a professional job, you have to pay a professional fee and allow adequate time for us to get packages in time to really review them before we go out.