Signing companies sending docs last minute

Is it acceptable to message a signing service the day before an appointment and inquire about the status of the docs if they haven’t arrived? I prefer to print and prepare documents the night before a loan signing, if I can. Do signing services normally try to get you docs the day before, as soon as they’re done, or do they normally wait until hours before the signing?

“2 hours before Appointment time” seems to be the minimum acceptable ‘standard’. Which I agree is really not very good.
Their reasoning is that there could be last-minute changes or even a cancellation and they REALLY don’t want to pay us for printing docs that won’t be used…hence, the 2 hr. thing.

If you need them sooner, I’d advise letting them know what your ‘drop dead’ time is ASAP and a brief reason (travel time is 1 1/2 hrs…is my usual reason)…be brief. Different companies have their own concept of ‘when to send docs’; some will send them days before and some do the ‘2 hr’ thing.

Even with the ‘days before’ companies, they do ask that you not print until ‘12 hours before’ (to allow for changes, cancellations) and, even tho’ you HAVE them, if you print 24 hrs. before and there ARE changes/cancellation 8 hours (sometimes less) before, you will have a hard time getting them to pay for the ‘too early printing’.

Thank for the feedback. Is it acceptable and a normal practice among signing agents to identify a ‘drop dead’ time, or will doing that risk alienating the signing service?

I have signings for another company in the morning; I have those docs already. I have two signings for Coast2Coast scheduled at 2 pm and 5 pm. I really need their docs before I leave the house in the morning for my other appointments- once I get started on other appointments, I won’t have time to print, prepare and travel. Is it acceptable to let them know I need the docs no later than 9 or 10 am, or the appointments will have to be rescheduled, or would I risk alienating them by doing that?

Oh, also I forgot to ask… the office at Coast2Coast said they don’t have the documents yet, for signings tomorrow afternoon. It sounds a little unlikely to me, that the signing service wouldn’t have the documents ye, when they requested the appointment yesterday. Wouldn’t the signing service already have the documents if they’ve set an appointment?

Not unusual at all - for the most part docs come to you same day as the signing - several hours in advance if you’re lucky.

I always had a 2-hour drop dead time but I never did multiple signings in one day - my area is very rural - did 4 in one day one time and said never again -

You know your schedule, your area and your travel circumstances…if you need to set a drop dead time then that’s what you have to do - just tell them “I don’t mean to be difficult or hard to get along with; I’m happy to do your signings, but I must have docs no later than <> or, at the least permission to reschedule the time if docs are late”…stress though you’re only rescheduling the time, not the day -

In all honesty, you’ll get some to go along with that, but for the most part you’d best get used to last minute docs. It’s the nature of the beast.

Linda answered your questions & told you how it is. This can be a very stressful job juggling everyone’s perception that their signing is the most important and only thing you have on your plate that day. FWIW…I give EVERYONE a drop dead time (but don’t call it that…be diplomatic) whenever I find it necessary to do so. Most are co-operative…but they still could come ‘too late’…but you’ve given them the required heads up and it is what it is. Just remember to thank them profusely for ‘early docs’.

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Some of the SSs have the docs but won’t release them until 2 hours before the signing. In my case many require a one hour drive to the borrower and 2 hours isn’t enough.

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What I do is to print one copy and prep it, then a reasonable time before signing I download the latest and do a PDP file compare, so far they always match, and then I go ahead and print the borrowers copy. Worse case is that I have to print an extra copy, but I have the time to make sure I don’t miss something.

In my experience, IF there are doc changes after notary has received the docs,* they will let you know!* A change in the docs is an infrequent thing, but it’s usually in the CD and most of the time can be handled by just swapping out that one document. Everything is on a case-by-case basis, but they always let you know.

I often ask if docs are ready yet sometimes even a day or two ahead of time. It’s surprising how often docs suddenly appear minutes after asking, which makes me think that someone was just making them a low priority. I don’t mind being a polite, but squeaky wheel and the companies I work with the most are okay with it. I see the whole process as a team effort. Sometimes, when negotiating a fee, I will also say that I need docs 4 hours (or more depending on my schedule) minimum before signing. I hate it when my printer is running as my car is warming up and I have no chance to even read instructions, much less having time to ask about inconsistencies in the docs. If the title company or signing company wants zero mistakes they need to take responsibility for being sure that you have time to do it methodically and carefully.


Don’t underestimate the role of good old procrastination

I don’t think it’s policy, but an issue of the nearest deadline driving the priority.

I have more to type, but I’m sure it’s not needed until later.

I’ll do it just before it’s needed :wink:


@AmyNSA, here is how I feel a close mouth don’t get feed. Meaning asks for what you want. If you are trying to make your schedule work and not be driving all around the world then you have to let them know and ask when should I be expecting the documents. I have a daily quota I try to meet and I appreciate the companies that send docs the night before and hope there are no changes but this is not always the case. Last week I had a signing for 3 pm the night before I ask for the documents and was told there didn’t have the documents yet. Okay, next day its 10 am still no documents well guess what I took another order cause I surely wasn’t going to be sitting around and losing money waiting on no documents which there expect you to do. Now at 5:30 pm there call me asking if I was still available I said no not to mention the signing location had changed. Hence glad I took the other order the pay was less but its better than not filling than slot. I have NO PROBLEM asking them to reassign.

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I worked for many years in the escrow industry and most loan doc packages come from the lender to the escrow officer at the last minute (sometimes close to 5:00 PM and need to be signed the same day). Because the Closing Disclosure (CD) is supposed to be delivered to the borrower no less than 3 days before signing, the appointment can often be set up by Escrow or the Lender days ahead of time without the docs having been created at all. Their workflow is definitely priority-driven. The signing services are at the mercy of who they are getting the documents from. Everyone up the chain is fighting deadlines and no one, I repeat no one cares if you have a drop-dead time. Deal with it because that’s the nature of the beast. Sorry to be blunt but that’s my two cents.

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Some do. I feel the accepted minimum industry standard is within 2 hours of signing. I have had to learn the hard way. to ask at the time of accepting the order, When will the docs be available?

When I get the order, I always communicate my expectation is at least 2 or more hours prior to the signing appointment. I tell the Signing Service or escrow company that “I need to these at least 2 hours prior to the signing so I can be properly prepared, and present the loan in a professional manner which is what I presume you expect”. I had one recent signing where the docs were not ready until just before I left. Clearly the escrow company was scrambling to get them ready. Sure enough, when I got to the appointment they were riddled with errors and the client refused to sign, There was some push back on paying me the full fee, and I had to argue that had the documents been done correctly in the first place then I could have completed the assignment.


Learn your market. Some lenders (usually the large high volume ones) are often last minute. Start asking for the docs first thing in the morning, and give a clear, realistic time when you MUST have them. Be aware that juggling your schedule is YOUR responsibility, not theirs - you accepted the offer knowing that docs may get to you at the last minute.

You may find that some large lenders often end up canceled at the last minute (by you or by them) due to lack of documents, leaving you with an expensive hole in your schedule.

Know your market. Always check for the lender before accepting an offer.

I agree its tough on long island w traffic

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Cough PennyMac CoughCough

Sorry, I need to clear my throat. :sunglasses:

LOL. And again, LOL… several times.

Confirm with the signing company when you will have the documents and let them know that you have a lot of prep work to do and charge them a fee for being late with the documents, because if they are late, then you will be late, prep work is so important and if you are rush because they sent the documents late, then that is when errors start and makes both you and the signing company look bad regardless of who cause issues. I tell signing companies I want the documents four hours prior to the signing time

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