NightMare Signing

OK I am not going to tell you about my experience last year, where the signer was breast feeding with her top down. This story was when I was only a signing agent for two months and it is told by my wife Cynthia.
Hello my name is William Conkis. My wife Cynthia Conkis wrote this letter to a Notary training agent who she was taking a course with to become a Signing Agent. I left the Training Company Name out.
My name is Cynthia Conkis and I have an interesting story for you. My husband is a new Signing Agent for just about two months now. He did his training with the NNA. I wanted to tell you a story about my husband’s experience since I am taking your course.
The story I think is the very best one he told me and it is as follows: My husband William (Bill) had an 8pm appointment about 1 1/2 hours drive one way. It was dark windy and raining. Once off of the main highway the roads were dirt and gravel twisting and winding and up and down. We live in the Asheville North Carolina area and there is very little flat land anywhere in these Appalachian Mountains. Consequently phone service is often lost but the GPS uses a satellite therefore it still works. So here is my husband, new at the job driving up a totally dark dirt and gravel road to his appointment. His GPS states he is ten minutes early and ¼ mile away. When he comes around the corner he comes upon two trees across the road making it totally impassable. Bill immediately called the signer and the call went straight to his voice mail. Bill left a message telling him about the trees and hoped the guy could drive down and pick him up. The situation seemed impossible plus there were no houses around. One could only see lights in the distance. My husband is a very determined man. He said to his self, “I did not drive an hour and a half one way to not go on my appointment.” Bill has sciatica which is very painful with knee problems also. He cannot walk real far. Even in the grocery store it is a challenge. Do to this, he cannot even walk the dog anymore; I have to do it. Bill bought an electric kick scooter so he could ride along side of me when I walk the dog. The scooter is nothing fancy it has solid rubber tires so you feel every bump and it can only clime a 25 percent grade. The scooter is meant for a paved dry surface. It was raining cats and dogs and Bill put on a wind proof water resident jacket with a hood and pulled his scooter out of the back of the Ford Escape. He stuck the GPS in the front pocked of his jacket and put on his helmet which has a flashing light in the back. The front of the scooter has a small LED light built-in but poor for these conditions. In addition you are not supposed to ride it in the rain. A car pulls up behind him and a woman gets out and realizes she is stuck also. She calls someone from the neighborhood and tells them to bring chainsaws. Bill could not wait so he lifted his scooter over the fallen trees and started on his way. He was carrying a briefcase which has two sets of 207 pages of documents making it very heavy. He had to hold it with only two fingers while griping the top steering bar and riding up this rugged bumpy body jarring road. About half way up there was a truck with two guys in it with the chainsaws. Bill asked if they knew his signer and they did. Bill asked if they could give him a ride up the hill to his house. They said no. Bill said I will sit in the bed of the pickup truck with my scooter not in your cab. They still said no and drove off. We found out later they were greedy to be the first ones down to cut the trees for firewood. Bill persevered and had to walk the scooter up the steeper hills. Well Bill finally got to the bottom of the road where the signer lived and it was really steep. Now soaking wet, Bill saw head lights coming down the road. He waved down the truck and asked the man if he knew the signer and the guy said, “That’s me, I just got your message, it was delayed because of the area.” The signer put the scooter in the back of his truck and drove Bill up the hill. My husband’s shoes and pants were sopping wet. After the signing the guy drove Bill back to his car. It was quite a distance even in the pickup truck. Now Mark have you ever met a more dedicated Signing Agent? My husband is a Pit Bull. The job paid $175 but as it turned out it should have been $300. I am looking forward to finishing your course and going on my first signing. My husband enjoys looking over my shoulder and gleaming tips from your experience.


Now that’s what you call perseverance.

Thank you glad I have never ran into that again:)

Your hubby is DEFINITELY a trooper b/c I assuredly would’ve turned around and rescheduled. I’m quite familiar with the Asheville area and Appalachia in general and going up and down mountains are NOT fun (for me at least)! I hope he never encounters this again, as there is sooooo much that could’ve gone wrong for him. Hopefully in 2022, his year will yield him better signings! Best of luck to you guys! :slight_smile:

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Thank you, this is Bill. I was concerned about running into a bear, and they can run much faster than the kick scooter. This was almost three year ago. I was only a Signing Agent for two months, I was wondering if I got into the right job. lol

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Bill, wow! After reading your wife’s letter I am inspired to gather some more stories for a TV show or a movie about “The Life of a Notary Signing Agent” or “The life of an NSA”. Maybe, “The Agent” will be the title.

I tell you what, if I ever open my own signing company, I would love to have you on board for sure and pay what you’re worth! You are amazing!

I am hungry for more stories like these.
Notaries, please share your stories! Thanks!

Thank you. I never told the signing company about my nightmare experience.

I live over in Greene Co. TN just an hr. from Asheville, Equally mountainous and cover a 12 county area, that would be a Heck No for me, in fact I stopped doing all these night time closings, let all the younger people have them, I worked those night time and bad weather closings for decades, not gonna do them anymore. I can’t tell you the hundreds of closings over the years that people were sitting home all day waiting for someone to come to do their closings and the lenders/title and schedulers all scheduling night time closings, so ridiculous, and then Friday nights are the biggies, don’t ya just love it, your phone is blowing up with them begging people to drive out to timbucktoo nowhere and do a signing at 8-9-10pm. yes that nonsense is still going on. But you can bet that LO is sitting at home with their families. I understand people work and evening convenience closings are necessary but I’ve done this for almost 20 years and seen more uncommon sense than common sense for the safety of field agents. Lenders do not care if we go out in rough conditions, they just want it done. I’m not a whiner, I’ve done over 9000 mortgage closings, apps. you name it. but I also know there are extremes that they sometime want that are just too much. I’ve had those nightmare signings too, fell in a hole on someone’s property because they wouldn’t bother to turn on the lights as I left and my boot was stuck in this hole that was drilled out for a fence post. I was literally stuck in this hole up to my thigh. Another time fell down an entire flight of icy steps, had the wind knocked out of me and had to go to the hospital, my backside from my waist to my thigh looked like someone took a baseball bat to me. There is No Job worth my health and being put into dangerous situations that are 100% unacceptable. Whether it is a natural disaster or manmade.


Thank you for the reminder. This is something for notaries to think about before taking crappy low fee jobs.

This is why I am focusing on transitioning my signing business to 100% RON by the end of this year.

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This is an amazing history of a signing. Very glad that the co, recognized the big effort to complete the signing by Bill with an extra fee.
Unfortunately, not all title companies do that.
One of my bad experiences in the past was that :
I was assigned to do a refinancing closing for a couple, I arrive at their house, the husband was a vice president of the bank and his wife was working as a paralegal with an attorney’s office.
The man opened the door very nice, and invited me to enter, I sat and started to open all my things his wife came out with a glass of wine, ( I didn’t like it, but, I can’t do anything about it ) she sat, and started asking him why the purpose to refinance, and increase the loan for $10 k, he explained to her that rate was lower and he can send 10 k towards the principal after refinancing. To avoid the full details of this, I stayed more than 3 hours on this closing, she was giving him a hard time and started to discuss between them, I was thinking to leave, ( I was afraid the problem will end with some aggression and I don’t need to be involved in something wasn’t my business), but he all the time he was asking to stay and she will sign. she declined to sign some title affidavits, which I called to confirm and they spoke with her. She drank about 4 glasses of wine during the night, and one time she told me, this problem is not for you, is with him.
Finally, they signed the rest of the pages, and I left, taking a breath for the bad time I spent.
Nothing fee extra from the title co
I’m sure another signing agent will leave and cancel the signing.

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I thank the lord above, that I have not have experienced a signing of this sort, but I know one day. thank you for giving me the knowledge of how to to handle this type of situation…glad I increased my health insurance coverage,

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