I know we have talked about this topic for many years. I would like to see lenders and title allow us to pick whatever company we want to use for background checks. I think that lender and title companies forget the fact that we are not their employees. They can’t choose what title or insurance company a borrower uses, then we shouldn’t be required to use the NNA for our background checks. We should be able to make that decision on our own. If a state requires that you pass a background check in order to become a Notary that should be enough. Also the background check should last as long as the commission and not have to be renewed every year. I mean serious what can you do that would prevent you from passing a background check in year but would still allow you to keep your notary license.
I’m seriously rethinking about looking for something else, it seems that unless you fall into the NNA trap you aren’t going to make it in this business. I don’t want to forced to be associated with a company just I don’t believe has our best interest in mind or is doing anything to help protect us against low paying, slow paying or no paying companies. To me it seems that all they want to do is take more money out of our pockets.
I’m a rant this morning because I just received yet another email from a company that I have been with for years, informing me that if I don’t use the NNA for my background check they can no longer use my services.
I agree with you. Background checks were good for at least 2 years. Now they for only one. I believe they had said (NNA) that we wouldn’t have to pay for that second year, but that wasn’t true. I feel like you the NNA is just there to make money for them. You also have to pay to be certified every year for an added cost with the background check which is a joke. I doubt any of them have ever closed a loan. I have asked them questions and the answers made no sense. It was about being a notary in the District of Columbia. FIRST they kept calling it a State. I corrected they several times by telling them it was a City. The Capital of their United States. Another time I called was about an article in their magazine to help us make more money. They couldn’t be bothered.
My background check is through Sterling, which Fidelity Title accepts. I don’t have to join an organization, just pay for the background check once a year - which in itself, is a pain. But, at least I don’t have to deal with the NNA.
I agree with you. Background checks should be good from any place you chose to use. This would give you opportunity to check for deals like they do to us. NNA and certification should last 2 years.
I also have my background check through Sterling as well, I had one company reject it because it didn’t contain my driving record. I had one company reject my application after they sought me out, because I wouldn’t supply with the coverage of my insurance. I sent them a copy of the insurance card showing proof. They told me they needed to see the actual coverage of my insurance. I told them that was no of their business, it shouldn’t matter how much coverage I have as long as I have it. Unless you are taking over the monthly payments you don’t need to know how much and what my coverage is.
I agree with everything everyone said about NNA. I have never been associated with them and never will. They are against a notary working for anything except minimum pay. I will not do that. Notaries that are taking $85 refi signings with faxbacks and more than 20 miles are working for minimum wage.
I use NR and get all the business I want. From what I have read they are better than NNA and are easy to get and cheaper.
I agree with what you all are saying. The NNA Background/Certification should last the life of the Commission. It’s a pain having to send this to all the signing companies every year now.
I’m fairly new and I am starting to notice that as well. I have my check through Backgrounds Online, and it does contain my driving record. Not sure what make that check different from a background search from another company.
I use the NNA background check because it is the most acceptable to my customers. Bad news is that some of my customers want additional background checks through companies they designate. I use five hundred as a base on those customers. If they are giving me at least five hundred dollars of business per year, then it is worth spending an additional fifty dollars on a background check, usually they give me much more than that. Even though it is a pain, it is a cost of doing business and if you average the cost over all of your closings it costs very little. The costs in this business are quite low compared to most business services, especailly if you stay lean and know how to cut costs on your higher priced expenses.
Only the NNA and some signing services are requiring the annual NNA BGC. I recently paid $55 for a BGC, then applied with Title Source who told me they only accept the NNA BGC and no others. My feeling is that since it is their requirement, they should pay for it. But I paid the $65 for a second BGC so I could get signed up with TSI only to be told they didn’t have a need for any more notaries in my area. Now, couldn’t they have told me that BEFORE I paid out the $65? I am gathering information to send to my state legislature and Congressional representatives to have this requirement made unlawful unless the SS is willing to pay for the annual BGC. However, I recently accepted a temporary long-term assignment so my time to gather the information is quite limited. But I hope to get it done soon.
I agree with you, I was recently contacted by ServiceLink a company that I use to work with on a regular basis, filled out all of their paperwork only to be told that they couldn’t accept my background check, because it wasn’t through the NNA. I told them that since I just renewed my background check I wasn’t going to get another one. TS told me long time ago that since my prices were too high I wasn’t going to get many calls, and now they are only accepting NNA background checks. I still get plenty of work without having it. I feel like you do if they want to us use a certain organization and we have no say then they should pay for all the requirements that go along with it.
I’ve experienced the same with SS companies requiring a specific background check, but they will often put it on the title company. One thing for certain is that we are all Independent Contractors and it may very well be crossing that line in the business relationship over to an employer/employee relationship by requiring the background check be done through a specific company. This blog explains it really well.
That is a very good article. The part about being discriminated against, we are being discriminated by not going through the NNA and it is impacting our business. I think all title, SS and the NNA should read this article. I know it won’t make a difference because the NNA is all about making money for them, they don’t care about the impact that it has on others. Maybe they should take a look at how they are doing business and ask why is it that so many notaries are against them and find a way to fix the solution instead of adding to the problem.
rickary, I am not new to being a notary since I was first licensed in 1985, then let it lapse and renewed again last sept. I owned a mortgage net branch for 15 years so I am very familiar with loan docs and closings. I am new at building a notary signing business and I have tried to comply with everything that is being ask of me but I have a question if you dont mind helping me out? I am 64 years old, a real estate broker, but just started building my signing business and I am getting alot of orders and I have nothing to compare the prices to in order to know if I am being fair with what I am asking. What should the average charge be with 2 copies printed, (borrowers copies and loan docks), driving over 20 miles to the mountains and fax backs? I am not trying to price fix or anything like that, just trying to get a fair price to start with as a guideline. I am located in California. I did notice on loan docks that came into my office the title company normally shows notary fees at $125. $145. and $200. Does the title officer keep that since she is normally a notary and does the signing most of the time? Are they paying us to do the job and keeping the difference? IM NOT ACCUSING ANYONE, JUST ASKING FOR MY OWN PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE!
I agree with you but I signed up on NR and as yet I have not received one thing, been almost a month now and I am very busy with a couple other companies and I do not understand why? Any tips on how to get them to assign or offer signings?
Surfnkona, Give it time. You have great experience but you’re also the new kid on the block. Depending on how many notaries are in your area, and whether or not you signed up as a Basic Member or paid to be a Premier Member will determine where your name appears in the listings. You can use the Signing Central listing of companies on NR to market while you’re waiting for calls. Be sure to read the comments about any company you plan to market to. Some companies that used to be great are now not so great. And, in the past year or so, a lot of companies are using the Snapdocs platform, which means they send text messages for jobs, (always at a reduced fee from what they used to pay), and it’s who answers the text message first and comes close to the fee they list that get the job. There is plenty of stuff (actually more then enough stuff) written about Snapdocs (also known as SD) on Notaryrotary, so you can start your research on that platform now. Personally, I prefer NotaryCafe’s platform and appreciate all the companies that still use this platform for signings.
Thank you Metzger for your reply. You are correct, it just takes a little time and there is way more than enough business for all of us. So far, good companies but I am a little concerned over a couple that have not yet paid since early Aug. but say they are going to?? I agree also that we should not accept less than we are worth and I, for one am not going to take all of my time jumping through hoops for $40. signings!
If I can work in the City I live in I will only charge $90-$95 a closing. ( I really want $100). If I have to travel 25/30 miles I request $100.00 or more if on a weekend or evening. The title company pays a certain amount and the signing agency finds Notaries who will work for what they want to pay them. You can try to negotiate but you may find they don’t call you back. I would rather accept the 90/95 and get the job than not having any work. I to live in California and I have signings almost everyday. When signing agencies call me to do a signing for $55.00 I say no and tell them my fee.
Most Companies pay after 30 days, some 60 and I have one company who pays up to 90 days. I try not to take work from that company if I don’t have to. The Sign Agency doesn’t get paid from the title company until after the loan funds and the file goes back to the lender for approval. That may take at least 30 days for the lender to review the docs. to make sure it was closed, signed and notarized properly.
Sandy, I appreciate your reply. We are both in the same ball park on pricing. Most seem to be true to what they promise but I have 1 company that I am a little concerned over. I let them build up a little to high on money they owe me but they were all relatively close in timing. I sent invoices and they paid only the smallest fee and the rest Im waiting on.
Have you encountered any problems with any companies that you go sign up say an application or even a set of loan docks, then the borrower or bank changes something and they want you to go resign the whole thing and promise to pay you the full fee again, then when it comes time to pay only pay for 1 signing? There was nothing wrong with anything I did on the first packages, it was things the borrower changed.