So this post is going to be a little bit of a vent to start !!
I have done many split signings as the second notary and have yet to come across a properly completed package. When I see this is makes me frustrated and sad at the same time. I ask all notaries just starting out please please and please get the training you need before accepting assignments. There are paid and free videos available. Get a mentor a notary buddy you can call on if you have questions or need support.
Do not throw documents into the FedEx or UPS envelope without finding a way to secure the documents.
Stamp and sign only where you are supposed to.
Do not alter documents unless you are given permission to by the TC.
CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK to make sure your documents are complete… all pages are there.
Days like this I can’t be mad when I get a call from a company asking me how many signings I have done. I am far from perfect but the constant errors I am seeing are basic ones and ones that every notary or LSA should know not to do.
There is MUCH to unpack from your OP . . . it would take me a couple of Seminars to wade through all of it in order to do justice to what needed to be divulged & elucidated.
Beginning & maintaining a business as a Signing Agent isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon!
Certainly, I feel your frustration.
As you already are cognizant, there is a very large difference between being an employee and becoming a business owner.
As a business owner, from the onset, you’re going to be pretty much flying solo; that is, unless you have a family member that is within this business sector. There are no Manuals of Desk Instructions [MDIs] as one may find as an employee nor any more experienced fellow employees there to train you.
The standards of practice that you’re seeking are to be found by being curious and seeking training & certifications on your own as a professional business owner who strives to provide professional services to your clients.
I can strongly recommend a comprehensive training program that also has an option of mentorship with a proven track record of success. I’ve successfully completed a myriad of training courses/programs through about ten different training organizations. The one that has served me the best over the years has been the Notary2Pro Training & Mentorship. I’ve successfully completed all Carol’s certifications. If you’re seeking guidance & insights that are broad-sweeping and that will steer your course appropriately covering all the topics for a successful business, it’s Carol Ray’s team at Notary2Pro hands down.
DISCLAIMER: I’ve paid the full fee for all the training I’ve successfully completed with Carol. I receive no compensation or remuneration of any kind for sharing my experience utilizing what she taught me.
My personal experience:
When I initially started performing this work, it was unequivocally clear and painfully obvious that if I wanted valid, trustworthy training that I’d need to find a professional training program. The existing business owners explicitly stated that they saw others as the competition.
At that juncture, I successfully completed MULTIPLE training/certification programs including Notary2Pro & NNA and many others. I have extensive experience in skill sets that require certification and recurrent evaluation tests; i.e., I’ve maintained my Project Management Professional [PMP] certification for more than 20 years. So, I understand what it usually entails and the elements that should be included within a comprehensive training program.
Regarding the NNA training specifically, it’s lacking across multiple topics & categories. Many NNA “graduates” choose to take additional training courses elsewhere, because they sense they’re insufficiently prepared. Their primer has errors throughout. Their hotline is less than reliable for accurate responses.
In my experience with undergoing the multiple training programs for certified notary signing agent [CNSA] certification, hands-down without question, Carol Ray’s Notary2Pro training programs are optimum in this industry. I’ve successfully completed ALL of the multiple training/certification programs that Carol offers through her company Notary2Pro. Her programs are thorough & detailed. These also prepare the business owner to operate a business. In addition, she offers Mentoring services. I found those to be excellent & INVALUABLE when I was initially starting out in this business sector. The prices are surprisingly reasonable.
I’ve professionally compared the training/certification programs available at Notary2Pro with the others I’ve successfully completed. The ONLY training/certification program I recommend is Notary2Pro.
A list of companies that hire Notary2Pro graduates (with minimal or no experience) is provided to successful course graduates. => This list is pure GOLD! Study up, refresh your notes, & let Carol know when your initial few signings are scheduled. She is a wonderful mentor & can be on standby in case you encounter difficulties or have questions during your first few signings. She’s the Best! Her support will help you Build your Confidence in providing this service.
In addition, Notary2Pro works diligently to keep this list up-to-date regarding vetting and viability. As we all know, some reliable clients can encounter financial difficulties and that, in turn, can negatively impact CNSAs directly.
Of course, your best bet would be to visit their website at https://www.notary2pro.com/ , research, and make the choices appropriate for your situation. The training programs by Carol Ray are comprehensive & thorough.
P.S. I receive no compensation or remuneration of any type or kind as a result of my first-hand experiential review above.
P.P.S. As Carol has recently passed (February 2022) from our earthly plane, reach out to others on her team please. You’ll benefit greatly as a result.
In addition, here are a few threads that are in support of your aims:
I only mentioned the free training because a lot of people starting out have limited funds and enter this “business” treating it like a side hustle instead of a professional service. They don’t take into consideration that we are dealing with people’s lives and the serious nature of the transactions we are conducting.
The consistent errors I’m seeing first hand makes me want to bang my head against the wall.
I agree with you! Thet They don’t realize the seriousness of the transaction and not that they really care! Because Im only passing thru! Not in a careful, accurate, team player role, being an asset, not a distraction! That cost time!
I too took the, N2P course!
I usually call the first notary and tell them the mistakes they made, because no one else is going to tell them. The signing company just won’t call him.
Some notaries won’t care what you have to say, but it’s the ones that do that will succeed.
Whenever I get a first part of assigning and it looks perfect I’m proud for that notary because most of them are not on a two-part signing.
Being the recipient of a split signing is educational. I am saddened to see the sorry state of documents that have been handled with only a rubber band to hold them together. When the Title company gets my documents they are in a manila envelop with the borrower’s name and the date of the signing on the outside. I also securely seal the mailing envelop to help prevent papers from sliding around in the package. Although not eco-friendly I opt for Latex envelops to make sure they don’t get wet in transit. If you have a package set with only one or two legal-length pages, fold them around the letter ones to minimize the damage when they are shipped. I prefer this over using the cardboard legal envelops because they tend to tear and may burst open if dropped. If shipping a small package all-letter, I will use the cardboard mailer for ‘local’ shipping.
As to the errors on the documents, anyone can make one, even the most experienced notaries. Some of them are minor but others will need a resign. Every once in a while I receive a package where the first notary has not used certificates, swapping in a loose certificate so that I can use the one in the package. To those considerate people, I send them great vibes and wishes. We are a team and my hope is through this forum we are able to reach less-experienced notaries and help them learn how to do things better.
I’ve been assigning agent for over 11 years and have closed about 1200 loans. With business having slowed down, I was wondering if it would advantageous to take the Notary2Pro class since there are companies that will hire notaries that have completed the training. Business is so slow that I have been accepting jobs that I would have passed on previously due to the low pay. I’d love to here the opinion of those who have benefited from the Notary2Pro training.
There are immeasurable benefits resulting from the Notary2Pro training aside from the benefit of “companies that will hire notaries that have completed the training.” I’ve delineated these elements on multiple occasions on the Notary Cafe forum => including within this thread in particular.
Comprehensive, in-depth, cradle-to-grave professional training (you receive the steak as well as the sizzle) as provided by Notary2Pro will serve each business owner repeatedly throughout the years regardless of the business type. Ergo, the Notary2Pro business foundations training will be of benefit if you continue as a Professional Signing Agent [PSA] (or not).
Please keep in mind that most of the hiring parties; i.e., title/escrow companies [T/ECs], lenders, attorneys, signing services [SSs], etc. have already developed their stable base of reliable professionals whom they endeavor to keep busy during lean times to ensure their retention if/when the volume increases . . .
Adding this training may provide an uptick in your portfolio activity, but nothing in life is guaranteed. Of course, results will be contingent upon a variety of factors including the market saturation within your service region.
As the cost of the training is quite reasonable & the return on investment [ROI] is relatively assured, there are numerous benefits as a result of the Notary2Pro training (speaking from first-hand, direct experience).
Looking forward to hearing from other Notary Cafe members who’ve benefited as a result of the Notary2Pro training.