I did a signing last week here in Washington state, for an Arizona property closing.
Near the end of the package was a doc for the married signers to select how they wanted title to be held. There were 7 options, but the most relevant were:
COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP
JOINT TENANTS WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP
For each of the first 2, there were also an additional doc to be signed/notarized, ACCEPTANCE OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP and ACCEPTANCE OF JOINT TENANCY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP.
(sorry for the caps, I’m not really yelling at anyone…here)
The signers selected Community Property, and struck out the following docs.
Next day, Title called the signers and told them it wasn’t right, there wasn’t enough to go on (?), and talked them into Community Property With Right of Survivorship.
I was called to hustle out and fix it (driving about a 40 mile loop between home, place of work for guy, place of work for gal, fedex, and back home). As I arrived at FedEx, I called and asked about pay, and was told there was no additional pay as it was my fault.
Why? Because I didn’t call and ask if it was ok to proceed without them signing the additional docs.
It seemed obvious to me that the additional docs were specific to the choices not selected by the signer.
What would I have done and why? Get clarification of additional fee BEFORE agreeing to go back out to do a split signing to correct - no it was NOT your fault - this is on title/LO for explaining title options with signers in advance. They left it up to signers to make an uneducated decision, and they made the wrong one. Not on you (that would be UPL), it’s on title/lender/LO and you are entitled to an additional fee. If title sent you out it’s on them to pay; if signers called you themselves, it’s on them to pay.
I had one of those packages last week. I had to read the documents a couple of times before I figured out that both documents needed to be signed and returned in the packet if either of the first two options were selected. But, it wasn’t intuitive. It wasn’t until my QC review that there was something about those documents that kept bugging me. Then the light bulb came on, just before I was going to call the office for clarification.
Unfortunately, more often there seem to be documents introduced in the packets that are difficult for signers to discern and that we don’t have enough information to explain. I have also noticed an uptick in title company errors in the files. Some of them small and others numerous, that I hadn’t noticed a year or so ago. Makes me wonder what’s really going on.