Had a terrible time this morning. LONG STORY

Had an extremely unpleasant experience this morning. LONG story, fair warning! But I could really use some outside perspective…

Commercial loan signing and the docs included two forms which stated that a total over $25,000 in closing costs were “due at closing” and each form required the borrower to sign, “acknowledging the amount due”. The borrowers were never informed of any funds due at closing and there were no instructions provided regarding the collection of funds or wiring instructions for the borrower to send the funds. It ends up that the borrowers hadn’t received any kind of disclosure beforehand nor any kind of briefing on the closing procedure/documents/numbers or anything.

I let the borrowers know that we would need to call the title and/or lender for clarification before proceeding with the signing. We tried several people but no one answered. We tried calling the attorney who drafted the docs, no answer. I tried to call my SS, no answer and voicemail box full. Borrower sent an email as well, no answer.

At this point, I had already been at the appointment for almost an hour and had other appointment to get to before another snow storm this afternoon. So I apologized, adjourned the closing, gathered the docs, told the borrowers that someone would be in touch with them, and left. I submitted a completion report outlining what happened and continued on to my next appointment. I really didn’t know what else to do at that point. I mean, if I was the borrower, I wouldn’t want to sign a form that said I owed over $25,000 either!

A couple of hours later, I get a call from the SS and I could barely hear what she was saying. It took me a moment to process what was going on, but in the background I could hear someone from the title company YELLING on another line about me not completing the closing. It went like this…

Other lady screaming in the background

SS: “Hello this is _____, a manager with (SS). I believe that you had a closing with (borrower) at 9am this morning?”

Me: “Yes, there was some confusion about two forms which said over $25,000 were due at closing, which the borrowers were not aware of, so we called _____ and ____ and emailed ____ for clarification but no one got back to us so I decided to adjourn the closing”.

SS: “Oh, ok. I spoke with the title company and they confirmed that funds were not due at closing, which we understand might have been confusing if you’re not familiar with commercial loans.”

Me: “I am a bit confused because there were two forms that specifically stated that funds were due at closing and each required a signature.”

SS: “Oh… really?”

Me: “Yes…”

SS: “Ok, well we really need you to get back to the borrowers and complete the signing as soon as possible.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unfortunately there is no time in my schedule for today for another trip back to the borrowers.”

SS: “Ok, bye.” hangs up

The SS has since sent out a blast trying to get another notary out there in a snow storm, are offering $70, and the package requires a full scan back. Lol! Good luck with that. They also called back again asking if I left the closing package with the borrowers. I said no and they seemed surprised.

So… Did I do the right thing? I’ve never been in this kind of situation and am still in shock trying to process what the heck happened today.


Wow! Bless your heart. You did what you had to do. You can’t make the borrowers sign something they disagree with or don’t approve of. The SS, TC, Lender, should have responded to you in a timely manner. You called everyone involved and got no reply from either of them. Don’t second guess yourself, you did the right thing. The fact that the borrowers had not had any briefing on this closings from the lender about the amount due, tells me something is wrong and it does not sound legitimate. Remember, you work for yourself and NOT the Signing Service. If you know something is not right and the borrowers know that something is not right, then YOU have the right to terminate the signing. Let the borrowers deal with their Lenders at this point.
Be Blessed.


Thank you for replying! It’s really nice to hear from other signing agents.

The fact that the borrowers had received NO information from their lender beforehand was definitely alarming. And I was instructed NOT to provide a copy of the docs for the borrower… which I assumed meant that the lender had already sent them the docs to review but when I arrived I learned that they hadn’t seen a single one of the docs beforehand.


Yeah, none of that sounds like it’s a legitimate transaction. The majority of borrowers whether commercial or residential should get a thorough breakdown on what is required of them by a settlement or closing agent prior to the signing. The fact that they told you not to provide documents to the borrowers is a bad sign. The fact that the borrowers were never briefed on their closing and the amounts is also another bad sign. To cover yourself as a business owner always provide another set of documents and do what you KNOW is right and legal.
Be blessed .
Also…it seems like the SS and Lender was using you the notary as a pawn in their scheme plan. Just my opinion.


I’m starting to think that you’re right.

The title company’s reaction was so odd. I mean… why were they SO mad? It was only 11am at this point. They had plenty of time to find someone else to go back out there today if it was really so urgent. Our area is pretty heavily saturated with signing agents, I know that for a fact.

But now they’re emailing me asking if I can go back and complete the signing tomorrow morning? After all this… why me still?

All around VERY weird/sketchy vibes with this whole thing.


If you DO go back tomorrow…the Lender must have talked to the borrowers and you need to confirm this with the borrowers first. Then MAKE the SS pay you first via PAYPAL. :+1:. Plus the extra cost for making a second trip. Write down that SS and Lender and do research before doing anything else first and foremost. And…if needs be report them both for fraudulent activity. They were mad because you didn’t fall for their plan. That’s my guess.
OR…another option you can tell them you’re not going back because you think they’re being messy and let it be another notary’s problem. And to remove you off their list and block their number​:joy::joy:.
God bless and Be blessed.


Totally feel your pain. Honestly there is a lot of going on with SS and a lot of miscommunications. I received signing on Friday / for Monday and when i called and text borrower to confirm our appointment, using the last name that was provided by SS in a order, the borrower said that his last name is misspelled. I said I will do my best to inform other parties , and I am sure they will update until Monday when we have our signing appointment. Then I went back and forth from SS and title company contacts to inform them, but didn’t receive any response. I saw on Saturday in SS order that the last name was updated but still no documents to download. I waited Monday morning , still no documents to download, contact SS and request an update since I need at least 1 hour to print and prepare signing documents…no response … I did text borrower out of courtesy to inform him that we will maybe have to push our appointment , and apologized for any inconvenience, due to that, it is not under my control… He opened up saying that he had signing on Thursday and didn’t finished since the paperwork was messed up … and now this… he was mad but he was nice to me . I waited little more …no documents… I end up sending SS email that I am canceling my signing … SS just sent a new request for the same signing and same time that was hour away…Good luck …I hope borrower finished his signing.

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My experience/opinion/practice: It’s no secret that with the current rates, demand is at record highs for mortgages and especially REFI’s. Demand goes up, workload goes up, errors and miscommunication (or no communication for that matter) all goes up. Time is money. It is important for you to do two things not just in this situation, but in all your signings:

  1. Make your clients aware of the fact that they are not your only customer, and if they want “dedicated” service where you can sit at a borrowers house until they feel like returning a call, then you’ll be more than happy to negotiate a competitive fee for that dedicated service. If a client makes me late for my next appointment, it’s going on the invoice. They know they are not your only client, but most don’t enforce it by charging extra. Number one sign for me is if docs came in an hour or less before signing, it was a “rush job” and there will most likely be issues at the table.
  2. ALWAYS keep a log of call/contact attempts with your clients, and don’t just do phone calls, send emails and texts (PUT IT IN WRITING). WHY? Because 99% of the time they WILL NOT answer the phone. WHY? Because of the demand/workload I mentioned above.
    I give everyone an hour at the table, whether we are signing or talking about the Yankee game waiting for a call back. After that the meter starts.
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I think my only question to the OP here is “did the fund due at closing appear on the CD?” - if not, then no funds were due.

Surprised this snafu happened with a commercial loan - usually commercial borrowers are very savvy about what’s going on … as to this:

" It ends up that the borrowers hadn’t received any kind of disclosure beforehand nor any kind of briefing on the closing procedure/documents/numbers or anything ."

If I were that borrower I’d be looking to take my business elsewhere -


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You did the correct thing! I hope you get paid for all your efforts.

There was no closing disclosure in the package. The whole thing was very disorganized and confusing. Hoping that things worked out for the borrower in the end! :flushed:

Commercial loans don’t require a Closing Disclosure - just a settlement (ALTA) statement.

Is our definition of a commercial loan the same? A loan made TO a company or business, not one made to a borrower BY a commercial lender?

In general, commercial borrowers are savvy, educated, and have a direct line to their loan officer, as they likely use the same one regularly. They are often the core of a loan officer’s business, and very valuable. If an escrow officer screwed up a commercial loan, s/he would be likely be under a lot of pressure to fix the issue immediately… and get that loan signed without delay.

Hence, the signing service is pressuring you. The escrow officer is pressuring them, the lender is pressuring her.

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There is usually no CD in a commercial loan (at least in none that have been assigned to me). Then again, this could be one of those “state specific” things…

Yes you did do the right thing. If you can not get clarification from the title company or lender it’s time to move on especially if the Signers had no idea what was going on.