Hold on to your britches. It's coming!

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I’m sure most of you have read the “Doom Sayers.” The real estate market is on a precipitous slide. The re-fi heydays have come and gone. These were by far the easiest signings as the seller was familiar with the whole shindig. This leaves purchase contracts… problem the interest rates are so high many prospective buyers can NO longer qualify. So what does a Note do if signings decline to a couple a week?
What say you?

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Oh, I don’t know. What do “reals” do in tough times?

Have to dust off the old resume, I suppose. Unless you have some other ventures going/amazing connections, there’s no substantial income in the signing business right now. Although I’m sure some NSAs continue to get business, overall it’s pretty much stopped. I get like 4/5 alerts a week and most of them are so abysmal that I decline. I’m not doing a full reverse mortgage with scan backs for $85 LOL. A lot of the alerts I get nowadays have increased the work required on orders (mandatory scans on a lot of em) and decreased the pay, which kind of boggles the mind especially during a recession /inflation where the cost of everything has increased…

What I’m curious about is how title companies are continuing to stay operational…


The first move will be to cut staff. The second move will be to fold up shop and look for other opportunities. I saw several go , out of business in the 2008-2010 years. Yep

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They poke a little fun and chill out. Yep

Besides being an NSA I am also a fairly new loan officer specializing in non-QM mortgages. I can tell you that this type of loan is picking up. We should all start seeing more investor type loans, ARMs, and HELOCs. Reverse mortgages have been around for awhile but after some bad actors in the beginning, they are beginning to increase, too - especially as retirement plans have begun to take a hit in the current economy. We just need everyone to quit accepting the low-ball offers on them. I rejected a reverse order w/ scan backs and a 100+ RT for only $85. I’m in a moderately rural area of SE Texas so I was surprised to not receive a response on my counter offer. So somebody took the order for next to nothing. Moral of the story - don’t give up, but know your worth!


I love this! I honestly wish it was harder to become a notary. I wish there was more extensive training required so that not anyone with a pulse and their grandpa could become one. Because of the ease in which people can become one and perform the services, the value is decreased. Many people just kind of jump in and take what they’re given without understanding their integral role. The difference between a good NSA and a bad one is vast, yet there isn’t really a way to “prove” you’re a good one, honestly.

I remember hiring a lawyer for legal advice recently. He charged $1000 just for the 30 min phone consultation. Some lawyers charge even more (another one I spoke to charged $2500). They can do that because of their specialized knowledge and degree. It’s certainly valuable! If everyone and anyone was qualified to give that specialized advice, they wouldn’t be able to charge that price nor would people feel inclined to pay it.

Today, a real estate agent hired me to perform a signing for a purchase. They wanted to meet me at the UPS to make sure we made the cutoff time. I didn’t have to print or scan anything. So, I met them, signed the docs at the UPS in 20 minutes and didn’t have to drop anything since we were already there. And I was paid $150. That’s how it should be, as my guidance, time, and professionalism is worth something.


That was a good one, but the fact that they had to meet you at the UPS office shows that they were desperate.for time!

I say it’s all part of the cycle. This, too, shall pass.


I saw a Reverse Mortgage Application couple of weeks ago with over 300 pages!! Offering $100 :rofl: Somebody took it!!

It’s not just reverse mortgages. I accepted a refi offer for $100, 8 miles from home. 8 am the morning of the signing, suddenly they needed scans. They declined to pay an additional fee. I’d already passed up other offers for the 10 am time slot, so rather than lose out I accepted the scans.

The docs came in 10 minutes later. 215 pages! Split out into 6 different files! Oh, hey, I was told, by the way, some of the docs were revisions and would I please go through the package, pull out the old ones and insert the new ones? Totals are wrong on the Settlement Statement? Ignore it - just don’t present that page to the borrowers and have them sign anyway.

Told the title company to take their mess back and take me out of your database.

Yes, times are tight. Yes, orders are scarce. But I’d rather go out and take photos for four or five hours than convince a borrower to trust me, only to take part in possibly deceiving them.


What are QM Mortgages


Some of you have been here through tougher times when rates were even higher, and home buyer that were seriously ready for home ownership still brought their dream homes and simply just Refinanced. And how do I know that you may ask? Well that easy, because I was one of those serious buyer. All I can say is know your worth and don’t except signing that you’re not making money on, leave them for some other Notary/CSA. GOOD LUCK AND HANG.IN THERE, IT’S NEEDED.PROFESSON.

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I say, have something else you can do “on the side” for the next few years. My sister turned to real estate. I am turning to lead generation for a health insurance company. I have a couple of rooms rented out in my home, as well. For those close to an Amazon warehouse, work seasonally for them as they pay pretty well and your are not relegated to a “job”. There are things you can do without giving up completely on notary signing agent work, if you don’t wish to get out of it altogether. Be creative. Look into sales type jobs. Plenty to do!


QM or Qualified Mortgages are the standard type mortgages (FannieMae, FreddieMac, FHA, VA, etc) that follow strict guidelines as to disclosures, pricing, and documentation. They are primary, secondary, and straight investment. You won’t find any commercial type properties, including investments that utilize just short-term or long-term rental income to qualify. Or any other non-typical income qualification, for that matter. Interest rates are higher on these, but investors just don’t care because it is less of a hassle to qualify for these and they can close faster. How’s that for a mini loan class?!?


qm’s sound a bit risky for the lender. What do you think?

Less, actually, for a couple of reasons.

QM lenders rarely accept subprime borrowers. If you don’t meet a 620 credit score with a solid income and an acceptable DTI, look elsewhere.

QM lenders (other than VA) require PMI to protect the initial 20% of the loan amount. The borrower pays the PMI premium - it is built into the loan payment. VA protects itself with an upfront funding fee included in the closing costs. Helpful rule of thumb: FHA INSURES loans, VA GUARANTEES loans. Hence, loans utilizing federal funds such as FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, et al, will require PMI.

QM lenders will not loan beyond the appraised value of the property, and their appraisal standards are conservative.

Hope this is good info.


very informative, thanks :wink:


Yes, Excellent questions for sure!

Go out and read this blog post by Bill Soroka.

You might want to expand into General Notary Work, Apostille, Wedding Officiant, or Fingerprinting. Expanding your digital footprint is a good beginning.

Jim Allen


Title companies really cut staff. Back in “the old days” is when i first started doing closings. It was 2001. Im a real estate agent and was closing about 4 a month. Since i no longer had kids at home, i still had some free time. My favorite title sales woman said they could use help with the barrage of refis. Since real estate typically closed the last week of the month and refis closed the third week to allow for rescission, I thought why not. The title companies all had multiple offices full of escrow people. One time i had to use the coffee table while sitting on the floor in the reception room. It was a mob. Now most of those offices are closed and the ones open have just a few people. A lot of the workout is done remotely. Real estate closings are about 20% of what they were and since so many refis are online, they only need a small staff. Next thing on the horizon is foreclosures. They are now 4 times what they were a year ago.

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