Awkward situation averted

I’d like to hear some of your stories about a time that you felt a signing turning awkward and how you steered it the other direction successfully avoiding an undesirable and awkward situation. I know we all have experienced things we didn’t see coming and I think its helpful to share in the hopes it can help another fellow notary at work.


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Once I was at a husband and wife signing for a loan modification, the husband wasn’t convinced to do it because they got the money to update their late payments, but since they were behind the only way the lender could help was with a loan mod ( it was back in June, right after Covid19 first stage)… short story, he looked at me like if it was my fault ALL THE TIME! No matter how “amicable” I tried to be, meanwhile the wife felt embarrassed by his attitude. I just wanted to have it finished and leave the house. Usually a loan modification is no more than 15 minutes the most, this was done in 5 minutes :roll_eyes: :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

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5 Minutes … Must be a record !

Hmmm…this may take a while so apologies up front for the long read

Had a signing - arrived and sat at table - older gent (turns out a minister) with quite younger lady at table - asked for ID and name on her ID does not match docs - I mean an entirely different name - i.e. “Sheila” v. “Shirley”. I ask her if she has any ID in name on docs - he would not let her answer or speak at all - said the county messed it up and they haven’t been able to fix it; now he starts throwing vehicle registrations at me to prove her name (which I can’t accept and he did not like that answer); meanwhile this whole time a lady is sitting alone on the other side of the room - a lady more in his age range and she’s saying NOTHING; my spidey senses came up - my husband was with me at the time and I glanced at him and he gave me his subtle frown…lol…

Gent signer was quite nice to my husband, who kept telling him he had nothing to do with the signing (witness only) but when gent spoke to me it was acid and bitter (from a minister!). When he finally realized I wasn’t going to accept wife’s paperwork he says “I’ll show you something, I’ll show you something…I’ll show you to the door” - and with that the signing was over.

I gathered my stuff, left and drove down the street out of sight and called hiring party - who apologized and told me they’d had nothing but trouble from this signer from the get-go - I got paid full fee; also tracked this property for a bit and never saw where a loan ever went through for this property.


We never know what to expect, right Linda!? :sweat_smile:
I’ve been at signers home where I got offered hot tea and water because I sound like I was about to catch a cold :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: and I’d been at other signers where they just want their money, never stopped asking when, and just get over with me and say goodbye :sweat_smile:

WOW! That was QUICK!! LOL

Believe it or not it was… the husband didn’t want me there, and the wife was full of embarrassment. Luckily I had the 12 pages total [each set] flaged and ready to be signed.

Girl WOW! haha! smh I hope I never have a horrible experience as thus far my experiences have been what I would say are on the more normal side. I did have one where the husband was a real control freak and I had to immediately stop him politely and professionally. He had his laptop up and once we all sat down and he saw me beginning, he began pulling up the electronic docs to scrutinize the closing docs I was presenting for signing. In my head I was like oh no he’s not about to wreck this train I’m captain of. I assured him that the documents I had and what he was sent were one and the same. My goodness, you just never know.

That’s just nuts! I have not yet had anyone try to pull a fast one on me with fake ID, however, as I’m doing more closings now I do realize the importance of our attention to every detail.

This is a long story, but I wrote it right after this experience. Hope you enjoy! :upside_down_face:
Just Another Day at the Office:

The day started pretty well. It was a beautiful morning drive through the country on my way to my first appointment. I arrived on time. I walked up to a modest home with horses out back and a beautiful array of late summer flowers. I was met at the door by a lovely lady, probably 70 years of age or so. I said “Hello, I’m Kathleen.” She said, “Come on in.” So I followed her through the house to the kitchen. There I saw an equally charming gentleman. I said, “Hi I’m Kathleen and you must be Larry.” His wife said, “No this is Tony.” I looked at each of them and said, “Ummm . . . . I think I’m at the wrong house ( the house number had been partially covered up making it difficult to see).” Sure enough . . . I was at the wrong place. They were so gracious! They told me they had both had health issues and visiting nurses etc, had been coming on a regular basis. She said, “You looked like you knew what you were doing so I just let you in!” We laughed. I told them who I was looking for and they told me they were neighbors across the street. So, we say our good-byes and well wishes and I leave.

I make my way across the street to my REAL appointment.

Upon arrival at the average looking ranch type home, I’m greeted at the door by a lady who never said a word but escorted me through the small foyer into the living room where I finally met Larry.

Now let me transgress here for a moment. Does anyone remember Lurch? The Adams family butler? I have to say the mysterious woman who greeted me, reminded me a great deal of him. She was not dressed as well, but she had definitely done a very good job of shaving that morning. Once I came face to face with Larry, she disappeared, who knows where.

There were other people in the home. Larry led me to the kitchen table, asked if I would like a bottle of water (to which I replied, “No, Thank You”), and apologized for all the clutter in the house. It seems that 2 weeks before, his stepson and his wife showed up on their doorstep wanting to stay for a little while with their 7 children and a pit bull.

Larry’s wife Annette is an invalid and housebound. It’s difficult for her to get out of bed. (So, I knew “Lurch” was not his wife.) As we started the signing, I asked for I.D.'s There would be 3 signers: Larry, Annette, and Pierre (Annette’s son). I’m told that Annette is not really his wife, not legally anyway, but common law. For that reason she would only be signing 4 documents, as would her son, Pierre (he needed to be put on the deed because of some business deal he was getting into).

I collected ID from Larry and Pierre. Annette could not find hers and had no idea where it was. So, as I continued the signing of the documents only Larry had to sign, the entire household was looking everywhere for the ID. They kept coming to ask Larry where this was and where that was until I finally said, “Why don’t we stop and you can go help find it.” That’s what we did. In the mean time while they spent the next 30 to 45 minutes looking, The “lady/Lurch” mysteriously floated through the room, coming from where I don’t know and disappearing to where, have no idea. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is the song “They’re creepy and they’re kookie, mysterious and spooky . . . .” You get the idea.

In the middle of all this, the pit bull got sick. So a lot of cleaning up took place in between the search for the ID. Pierre came through the room and asked if I would like a bottle of water. I said, “Yes, please!”

By this time, after 2 cups of coffee for breakfast and a bottle of water in the car on the way there, I really needed to use the restroom . . . however, I was scared to death of what I might find in there! I decided I could hold it.

They finally found an expired driver’s license for Annette. In my state I can legally notarize documents without ID as long as there a at least 2 adults present who will attest to the persons identity. I knew I would be OK with that, but that title would not accept it. So I get on the phone to title, explain the situation. They agree to the expired license, and we moved on.

Larry is a retired vet and wanted to keep telling me stories of his adventures. So, in between stories, the Lurch lady, and signing docs, the step son’s wife and several children were in the living room (adjacent to the kitchen where we were) the children were quietly sitting but “mom” decided to start dancing to music playing in her ear buds. Now, I don’t mean just moving a bit, I mean DANCING! Meanwhile, the second pit bull threw up and Lurch floated through the room again.

Finally completing the signing, I gathered my things and fled the scene.

Problem . . . I still have to go to the bathroom and I’m 45 minutes from home. I am out in the country with few options. I come to a gas station with a Quik Stop type store. Surely they have a restroom. Wrong! No public restroom. Back in the car I go, and travel several miles to a very small town. Stopped at 2 more gas stations before finding relief.

A day to remember . . . . and a story told many times. I still laugh as I think about it.


OMG Kathy!! You had me rolling over here!!! That story was fantastic!!

Glad you made it to your relief…lol

I’ll be thinking of “Lurch” all night now and chuckling…LOL!!

That was a funny story :rofl: it looks like you’re in a movie set of I :cupid: Lucy and the Adam’s Family

So glad you enjoyed it. I still laugh every time I think of it.

I hope this was not one of those $90 deals.

No, it was not. I don’t take lowball offers. But really wasn’t worth any amount of money. Just glad to get out of there. :rofl:

I am crying…laughing so hard as I read this. Bless your heart, you were so patient while they looked for that “expired” ID. The Mom dancing is too funny. Don’t know how you managed to keep your composure between “Lurch” and the Mom! Can’t make this stuff up.:rofl:

couple in the middle of a divorce. Husband there and wife didn’t want to show up. Husband then claimed no ID. Told them it didn’t matter to me. I could go home and still get paid. When I showed them indifference things changed quickly. Signing was done. I tend not to deal with the BS. They sign or they don’t. Its not our job to referee

Oh my heavens! You had quite the day there! It just goes to show, you never know who or what is going to be behind that door! Too funny! Lurch, dancing Mom, vomiting pit bull and no bathroom in sight! I’m afraid I would’ve needed an extra change of clothes, lol!

How do you track a property for loans?

Online title searching…Grantor/Grantee index…property records searches