Notary Woes

Nothing has been ******* me off more lately than signing in people’ garage. Like it is winter. And people are so scared of covid they gonna give me pneumonia signing in the cold. I wish the signing services asked the borrowers if this is what they plan on doing and then let me know instead of figuring that was the plan upon arrival. Im in Maryland and I work after the sun goes down so it is usually 40 degrees or less even with Coat on. Nobody should be outside in under 4p degrees. I should get hazard pay. This makes me ****** at low ball offers too. Im not gonna sign in somebody garage in 40 degree weather for $90. [Edited by fourm moderator]


This reminds me a signing I did back in August, not in a garage, but between my car and borrower’s car… her excuse was that her boyfriend was concerned about her health and Covid. The ironic of this is that her house looked like about to collapse, very filthy and disorganized inside/out (yes! I could peeked while she had her door open), piles of newspapers and magazines, cats :poop: all over… and she was afraid of Covid19 :roll_eyes:


Did I mention that the night came upon us, and so a hard rain!? :see_no_evil::tired_face:

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Better than outside. I had a request to sign outside in 5 in of snow 1 of ice and 0 degrees. I REFUSE and say I understand. I will not jeopardize myself. I have got around this by offering to wear 2 masks. All folks have said OK.

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****** me off too! Bless your heart for mentioning. A borrower insisted outside after a day of raining, called him 2 times. Called title company and reassigned as it was going to be 48-61 degrees that day ground very wet and coastal breeze. Borrowers arrange the notary with ass to the open garage wall so you have cold breeze on cement with the borrowers sitting on the inside of the garage warm and cozy. Anyhow I canceled as borrower was adamant about outside. So he texts me today asking me where I am and angry as he has no consideration for me. His comments are all about himself. I have had this problem since covid began and every borrower puts the notary ass in the breeze of the open garage door and cement floor and they don’t want to budge. I have had it! I usually am chilled to the bone when done and extra exhausted. [Edited by forum moderator]


I want to say we are not a popicle stands! Not to mention - one borrower wasn’t going to give me a table, one borrower was giving me the trunk of his car, one borrower was going me a metal corrugated table which doesn’t work with lousy notary stamps, the rest are unreasonable to our needs. So is there a way to handle, not really! Just say no! Currently, I have a borrower angry because I had him rescheduled - I called him twice and stated it was advisable to be inside especially because of the weather, he didn’t blink about considering myside. Even went on to say last time he signed it was fine well last time was a different season. Called me unprofessional - sorry buddy you are all about yourself and I refuse to keep jeopardizing my health and well being to accommodate your lifestyle.


I live in Colorado (right now as I write this, we’re in a cold snap and it’s 1 degree) and there is no way I’d do a signing outside or in a non-heated garage. When I call the borrower(s) to confirm, I go over my requirements for the signing. I ask about their health first, and let them know about the requirements for ID. Then I ask for more space for the signing, like a large table where I can sit at one end and the borrowers are sitting at the other end. If that’s not possible, I carry a TV tray and a folding chair that I can use to sit on one side of the room and they can sit on the other. I have changed how I do the actual signing. Now I give them the entire loan package and I use their borrower’s copy to lead them through the signing so we avoid passing papers back and forth. I also carry cheap blue pens for them to use and leave them with the borrowers. Of course I wear a mask, and I tell them I’m required to do so. My health and safety is just as important as theirs and I would hope they understand that. As for the signing fee, in this day and age and health situation, your fee should not be less then $1XX. I’ve raised my fees by $10 to $15 more to cover what I call my “hazmat” supplies that must be used now.


We are in very challenging times and people are afraid. I have done closings in garages in 20 degree weather, on the trunks of cars, tailgates of pickups etc. but I always know ahead of time what the situation is by communicating with the borrower. During the confirmation call I confirm time and place and go over covid 19 procedures and let them know how cautious I am and discuss optional methods for the signing.
Including standing just inside the door, give them the signing and using their copies to review docs. Signing in a basement where people seldom spend a lot of time. If they insist on a garage, I am in NH in winter, I ask them to set up a table chairs and a portable heater to keep me from freezing. I find that having the conversation ahead of time usually results in a closing setting we can all agree on.
My bigger concern is when I tell them the covid 19 protocols, masks required for everyone in the room and the borrower tells me they do not want to wear a mask in their own home. I respond by telling them that is their choice and I will call title and have them try to find a notary who is willing to do a closing with someone not concerned for their safety or the safety of others. The response every time has been. I guess I can wear a mask for 30 minutes.

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Same happened to me. Went to back door only to see the signers coming out through the garage. It ended up being outdoors under a pergola windy and raining for several days prior. Very very cold. I did NOT dress for an outdoor signing. Luckily I had a pair of gloves which I did have to go back to my car and get. First thing that came to mind was the signers were hoarders. I doubt COVID was their issue as the table we were at we were all in close proximity. I fumed about the signing all the way home. :roll_eyes:

When you make your confirmation call, discuss how and where the signing will be done. I get it. I am in WI. We are -15 without the wind chill for the next couple days. If they want to sign somewhere that does not work for you, give up the closing. That’s what I do.

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Luckily the worse I experienced in Los Angeles is having to stand outside for nearly 2hrs in heels. I give them the signing copy, while I stand outside peeking in through their front windows and walk them through on the cel phone, with the copy package or a downloaded file on my spare phone. I am from the east coast so the cold here does not bother me the same way it would bother natives. Luckily no snow but I have done a signing outside in the rain using three umbrellas to shield papers, which meant signer and I were in close proximity, but we had our masks and I wore gloves and carry spray sanitizer with me.

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I have not been inside a house since before Thanksgiving. I absolutely refuse. I don’t even want to meet in a coffee shop or any indoor place although I ended up havibg to twice because of windy weather.

I have done signings outside, in garages, on card tables, picnic tables and deck tables, standing by a car, on screen porches, and by the light of a camp lantern and our phones - all in cold weather. I have also sat outside on a porch watching them sign through a cracked window…while I stayed masked…

The very first one I did through the window, one of the signers checked yes to whether they had a known exposure to Covid in the past 14 days. I have never been so happy to be separated by a window.

When I explain my Covid protocol, I have not yet had a single person refuse. If they did, I would cancel.

The OPs disregard for the safety of others is shameful.

We all have experienced this kind of bizarre signings experience, and that’s the ugly part of our duty that signing services, TCs and escrows don’t have a glance or idea what a notary signing agent goes through. When we schedule an appointment, after we bargain the fee :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:, nobody knows what is going to be behind that assignment, what to expect or if our health being in jeopardized… the least the contracting party can do is for a “decent area with chairs and table” to conduct the signing.


i confirm location when i confirm appt and yes you want outside in winter forget it…
garage with a heater for me and no metal folding chairs is ok with heater
bank branch in a private office
outside at night, or day, in the northeast in Winter …sorry can’t help you
My health is at risk too
I get tested and I wear a mask…I have test results


100% agree except in NY its inside Garage with heat…bank branch MASKS for everyone… or not me.

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Northwest Washington. Pouring rain, 40 degrees. Lender promised borrowers “no contact signing.” I am supposed to just give them the docs and go wait in my car.

Uh… hello? What part of “must be signed in the presence of the notary public” does the lender not understand?

I got stuck standing in wet grass outside their living room window looking in, trying to get what cover I could from the house overhang, while they got up to get coffee, go to another room, answer the phone, talk to their kids, yell at a dog… for hours.

Had I known beforehand this what what they had been promised, I’d have canceled. Very promptly. But the info was not noted on my assignment sheet, and the borrowers said nothing during the confirmation call.

Aside from being boneshaking cold and soaked, I felt humiliated and belittled.

Never again.

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@taylorgreennotary Hi Taylor I agree with you. I am in Boston and have been encountering this quite a bit. Most recently and I nicely told the borrower I am NOT standing up outside in 20-degree weather. She then proceeded to tell me how the last NSA drop the docs off and left and came back when she was done. I told her I am not them and ask her how am I acknowledging her signature if I am not there. I ask her would she jeopardize her well-being for someone else? I then told her to call the loan officer and have them send another notary who can accommodate her needs. She was like no let me clear a space, lol. Title companies and signing services don’t know half the shit we go through in the field. Dogs jumping on you, dirty homes, cat hair all over your clothes, being in dirty garages, hoods of cars the list goes on. But, I play NO GAMES with then if my fee is not paid I am fine with it being assigned to the low ballers who take anything. I made 98K in 2020. So with that being said, it will get better you just have to stick your ground and know your worth. Ask your client will you be signing inside or outside, depending on their answer you will know how to proceed and let them know your expectation. Good Luck

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I am in California. I am the reverse. I have been insisting on being outside or in an open garage. For a year, I have been really careful to mitigate the covid risks, and not had friends and family gatherings, so to go inside someone’s home–a strangers seems crazy.

I will start confirming the signing set up because my last one was horrible. It took a while for my fingers to thaw.

What if the notary finds another meeting place close to the signer’s home like a Starbucks or restaurant some place cozy and MAKE the signer come there since they don’t want anyone inside their homes and want the notary to be in a freezing garage and of course Covid. If they refuse then You refuse. The signers don’t realize the notary is already making it convenient for them why not make it convenient for the notary.