I just received a commercial real estate loan signing from an agency that’s used my services consistently for the past 16 months. The loan was for $7.5 million (for a $12 mil property) but the agency didn’t let me know the type of loan it was nor about its taking 2/3rds of my fee under the “Mobile Notary Fee” section of the loan. (That’s $350, that I was provided $125 without being notified that this was a 179 page commercial loan signing). The settlement agreement didn’t list “Agency/Mobile Notary Fee”. Who’s the Mobile Notary? We are and the agencies need a separate section for their fee separating the two.
This is a good example of agencies taking full advantage of notary signing agents. This industry needs regulation to make sure the NP’s are properly paid for our experience, labor, materials, gas, tolls, and time while providing a cost of living and inflation review every year. Otherwise, these agencies will continue to behave to keep our fees low based on not informing notaries of the unique factors that required experienced NP’s. Agencies are impoverishing our jobs and need to be regulated and a case presented in a court of law of these unethical activities.They can start regulating notary pay accommodations requiring Title companies to require agencies to split the fee with the NSA’s 50% or less.
The process these agencies come to agree on how much they should pay Notary Signing Agents is full of corrupt arrogant biased evaluations from greedy abusive people making a killing with a legal, yet unethical way, to hack into our fees!
I was offered $90 for a Texas VA Refi that held 280 pages. I requested a fee change due to size at it was reassigned.
Be careful what you wish for. Once government starts “regulating” things, the regulations are way behind the eight ball. In other words, the pay you wish for will be based on some out of touch bureaucrat’s view of what we are worth and won’t be updated for at least a decade. In a free market, you negotiate your fee based on many factors, including the size of the package which you must ask about up front. If you fail to get all the information, you may pay the price. That’s part of the learning curve. We are all better off without the government babysitting for us.
How did you know the fee was $350? Many of us have pushed for the NOTARY fee to be listed separately, so we at least have the total figure being paid. This would allow the client to SHOP around as they can do for some of the other fees they PAY. This is a failure on the RESPA form.
The BLAME is on the notaries that TAKE the fee being offered!
The minute you hear the word “Commercial”, your thinkbot needs to kick in. These can be no different than any other loan signing. But they can also be gnarly with many other signers and pages of special conditions that are not part of a usual purchase or refinance. You should have a list of questions you are prepared to ask: single or multiple properties; property location(s) (some states have many more documents and codicils than others); single or multiple signers; size of loan package; and lastly, how much are you paying. Be prepared for them to tell you that they don’t have the documents yet so they are unable to tell you the size of the package. Let them know that “it has been my experience that these loans can be complicated and the packages larger than normal, so my baseline fee is $XXX, which we can negotiate once you know more”. You may lose a couple signings, but because you have left the door open to negotiation on your fee, they may get back to you – because they know you are savvy and most likely experienced and efficient. Don’t waste your time concerning yourself with the people and who they may be and how they may act. They are small actors in a passion play in which you have a part or not. Remember, they have called YOU! Which means, you are in the driver’s seat. The discussion should take less than 3 minutes. Win a few and lose a few. Take your feelings out of it and move on. You will get those $300; $500 or $1,000 signings. (Ben there; done that!) But, you can’t be timid, easily intimidated or emotional about it.
All Fees are listed on there closing docs as “Notary Fee” or “Signing Fee” for the most part I’ve seen.
Once a Signing Agent has that “Aha Moment” on understanding why the fees of the Signing Platforms are Low, they you will go out and have enough courage to go to the Title companies and Real Estate Companies to Offer their Services. Remember these Platforms are making Money because our local title offices are using them which means they don’t have a reliable notary they can call on. I would suggest reaching out to the Title Company who used that signing platform and asking them if they can use your services direct moving forward.
Sometimes you will find it on the Settlement Agreement. Not always, sometimes the agency asks it to be hidden in another fee so we don’t notice.
I since spoke with the agency owner and he was very nice and understanding. He actually said he won’t bill them for $350 but always asks them to give cushion for unanticipated charges which is why they put that amount on the SA. He boosted my fee for the extra number of pages to $150.
Thank you for not listening to the individuals spouting “don’t say anything about the signing services because big brother is watching!!!” This information is exactly what is needed to inform and uplift the community. You basically got scammed and exploited on that job.
Who said anything about government? Regulation comes in many forms and is generally very helpful when it comes to protecting the exploited. Now, if you have dreams of becoming an exploiter, maybe not so much.
This is inflammatory and silly. The original poster literally says that she was duped and had no idea what the job entailed until after the fact.
What does this even mean? Sounds like he lied to you and then threw you $25 to go away. Am I missing something?
Some title companies I work for will put the max notary fee on the settlement statement in case they have a mobile or out of state signing. I also know of a notary, who owns a signing service, only charges her escrow officers a certain amount (lets say $100 for mobiles, pays notary $85) but since the EO will put max fee’s($200), it looks like she is getting paid that much and ripping off the notary who is actually doing the signing. When in reality she isn’t charging the EO that much. Maybe that’s what happen in this case?
I recently had a pair of borrowers complain that they paid $350 for my services and were irritated that I was not able to answer their legal questions about the loan. I’ve encountered this several times so I’m becoming more inclined that we are being paid a fraction for out services.
Most of my commercial closings pay far and above than residential closings. I’ve noticed a marked decline in commercial loans as businesses are continuing to move towards work from home. Land development loans are very slow matching the slow rate of residential construction. Other commercial loans (SBA, Business, Business Line of Credit, Infrastructure loans, etc) are still moving along.
Are you working directly with title companies for your commercial closings or going through a signing service? I’m trying to find a sweet spot to charge for commercial closings. I’m doing work for one commercial title company now but want to expand and make sure I’m getting paid appropriately. Thanks in advance.
In my market none of my commercial loans are coming through Signing Services. I get them directly through commercial lenders, SBA lenders, and law firms. Its rare that a commercial loan is backed by real estate or land. Most of my commercial loans are for things like capital improvements, equipment acquisitions, fleet vehicles, working capital, and materials. The loans are backed by the businesses assets rather than property. An example is a business holding a contract to re-stripe pavement. They’ll get a commercial loan to buy the paint and other materials knowing the loan will be paid off in 90 days.
Due to the shift towards working from home, unless it’s construction or civil projects, commercial lending is slow at the moment. Once the supply chain get unplugged I’m expecting to see an uptick in commercial loans for home construction along new home closings.