Industry Ignores 10 Year Inflation

Basically wanted to comment that, when I began back in 2009 11 years ago, the signing agent industry had a reset downturn in 2008. They previously had paid a lot of money to notary signing agents. I heard notaries claim $300-400 per signing. I keep this in mind when I note that the agencies in this industry haven’t raised our fees based in inflation. They have tried to get away with overlooking the inflation rate while keeping even more of our fees. (See Photo)

So it was my experience for years, until I developed a strong customer base and did fewer mortgage/refi signings, that agencies didn’t take 50% of the total amount provided on the Settlement Statement (back then the HUD).

I wanted notaries to know many agencies are taking too much from our fees and have witnessed many times they actually cause more problems for the notary with over site not doing their jobs as intermediaries. Some agencies put things on autopilot in other words and they drop the ball. They will blame the notary in some cases throwing us under the bus. They also threaten to reduce our fee in documentation.

The NNA has a rule in its list of ethics its members aren’t supposed to turn down offers for signings based on low fees. (I’m no longer a member). This is horrible manipulation! We have a for profit businesses, not volunteer charity work.

So I did a calculation on this site for inflation from 2009-2021. We lose $20 in 2021 if we accept a $100 signing. Therefore I never accept below $125. I check how much the agency keeps. If it’s half or more I won’t accept signings if they refuse to negotiate.

The cheap $75, $85 and $100 for refi agencies don’t care about experience so they have all kinds of problems they treat notaries like we don’t know what we’re doing. They assume we don’t know anything much. They don’t care about experience because they want to keep 50% or more of Title’s check.

This is a for profit business, not a charity of volunteers. The NNA has no business regulating our fees accusing unethical conduct this way. They aren’t a government entity nor organization but often act as a for profit entity.

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I’m basically a new signing agent, 6+ yrs as notary and over a year as LSA, and your post got me thinking what’s the benefit in being part of NNA other than as a referral for credentials!? :face_with_monocle:

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Where else can you get “certified” as an LSA that is recognized by the industry? Or the required background check that is recognized by the industry for that matter?

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That’s my point… referral only. They keep your credentials, give you some tips, but always work on the behalf of the lenders, if not then why their suggestions on fees and not to turn an offer down because of low fee!?
My point of view.

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You don’t have to belong to NNA to get their background check. You just have to pay for it (same as members do). Once you have your state notary certificate you do not have to be NNA certified to get jobs from signing services. I’m not saying it can’t help you to be certified by them but it’s not mandatory for you to get work in the industry.

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Exactly my point Steve, you may not need them (and no one said anything about being mandatory), but 100% of my clients told me they found me on SigningAgent.com (which is where the majority of signing service companies find a signing agent as well). Can’t get your profile on there without being an NNA member. One would pay more in advertising trying to get work without the NNA then it costs for their membership for the year (mathematics). When one pulls your profile from this site, they know in advance that you have more than just a "notary commission’ when asking you to sit and sign on one of their loans. I don’t know of a single lender, title company, or signing service where just a notary commission by itself is sufficient for them to hire you. Yeah, NNA certification may not be “mandatory” but rest assured the next question will be “So where did you get your certification/training from?” Which is exactly why the NNA is not the only entity that offers it.

I found your article interesting, I have been a loan signing notary for almost 12 years. I have not been working during the virus because of my age, I have a good track record and rarely make an error, but as you mentioned our fees have not improved in all these years. I will start working again in a few months since i just got vaccinated, but I will now make 125 my starting point and 150 with faxbacks. I had been starting at 100, but its time to change, and if more experienced notaries charged more we wouldn’t have so many of these lowball signing companies. Your article was great.

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You check how much the agency keeps? How do you do that?