The Time has Come

To my esteemed colleagues,

The combination of low fees, NSA/Notary market saturation, infrequent signings, Signing Services slow pay/no pay, and rising operating costs has led me to mothball the NSA part of my business. It is for these reasons that I am no longer accepting Real Estate closings. If the NSA business becomes profitable, I will restart my efforts.

I hope that I have been able to leave a positive imprint on this business. I have learned much from many of you who have been on this road longer than I have. I wish each of you the best in your endeavors.

I will continue with my other business ventures and intend to return NSA closings when profits margins improve. If you have questions or just want to have a chat, feel to reach out to me. I will continue to drop in to say ‘Hi’ on occasion.

Warmest Regards,

Mark Samson
CEO Riverpointe Tax and Finance
RiverpointeTax. com


I hate to say this, but if you’re waiting for the NSA situation to improve much, even up to the levels we experienced during the peak of Covid, you may be in for a long wait. I’m seriously considering “retiring” from this business when my commission is up for renewal in 2026. It gets to the point where it’s just not worth the hassle for the peanuts that we’re paid.


It’s more than the NNA, its the market in general. However, I see your point. Why would the NNA stop the money train when they’ve got a good sales person selling the virtues of this business.

We have a popular Notary expert who’s now selling ‘how to’ books, new (useless) certifications, and his member’s contact information to peddlers of NLP programs. I was one of those who’s information was sold. This indicates business is slow.

During the 4th quarter of 2023 I did a financial analysis, determining that the cost of keeping my NSA venture alive was costing more than profits could cover. It was time to turn the lights out.


Can’t blame you one bit, sorry to see you go


I’ll still be around. I’m shifting away from Mortgage lending moving towards Legal matters, evidence handling, and Tax engagements.


Thank you for your insightful comments, and good luck on your next adventure.


I have been busier as i find the influx of inexperienced NSAs have been making lots of mistakes and i have been getting calls.
I quote my normal fees. Either they pay or they find someone else.


It was good to have your input
Look forward to seeing you around…

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They will not pay much above the scale that they offer on blast notices. For example, if they’re offering $75 and you tell them that your fee is $150, I’d be shocked if they would pay it. They may give you the line that they’re “authorized” to go up to $90 but they have to get approval for any higher than that. Then they’ll tell you that they’ll get back to you. Well, you can wait until doomsday for them to call you back. We’ve all played that game. They just call the next NSA on their list.


I encountered this on a consistent basis and having to smooth out the angry waves so the transaction will get funded in time.

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Yes thats typical .behavior.
If its distance…i tell them to look at a map.
But …they think they can stay at low fees .
Which i dont accept


Look at a map? Yeah, sure. They’re lucky to be able to pronounce the name of a place, let alone find it on a map.


It seems that independents distinguish ourselves between a number of factions that comprise the “profession.” First, there are those of us who do not rely on signing agent brokers as our sole source of income therefore having the luxury of telling abusive ones to “go pound sand.” Then, there are the newer, younger ones that are trying to get established and will accept jobs at a loss and to gain the experience. For each one us that has come to the unfortunate conclusion, that there’s no money in this business given the supply and demand metrics, the newbies accepting the lower fees will continue to be abused by the brokers until they too, experience what “upside down,” really means - and the cycle will continue based on the lofty, “Get Rich,” promises of the training seminars, book sellers, and snake oil promoters. Currently, signing agents have a better chance of making a profit by selling used notary stamps.


Maybe there’s money in recycling printers, scanners, used paper, etc…[said while rubbing thumb and forefinger on a stubbled chin]


I just read an article sent from the NNA yesterday that was from 2021. It basically said that as a new NSA you should accept low fees to gain experience. Part of the problem is the fact that these signing companies do hire these “newbies” for next to nothing, they make mistakes and NOW the industry standard is the fact that we seasoned agents have to scan an ENTIRE package back! That is additional time for each closing. So now I haul my laptop and scanner to every signing, scan from their kitchen table in order to make same day drop without incurring additional mileage. I live in a suburb and only have one FedEx/UPS pick up at 2pm. So, anything after that has to be driven an additional 22 miles to make the next pick up at 4:45pm. Anything after that can wait until the next day unless they want to pay me to drive it an additional 60 miles roundtrip to make the last pickup of 7:30pm.
But for me the most irritating part of it is when they lowball me and I see on the CD that they are getting paid 75% more than they are paying me. I understand they have overhead with their platforms, but so do I.
i.e. commission, insurance, paper, toner, equipment, data rates, VPN, internet, mileage (to include wear and tear on my vehicle, gas, insurance, registration) work attire AND I have to deal with some nasty homes, mean pets and weirdo’s at times.
I started doing this 14 years ago as a supplement to my income to pay for our children’s college, so they didn’t incur student loans. In 2019 I relocated and moved to a suburb of our state’s largest city. I transitioned into full time and created my LLC. It was awesome from 2019-2022, but I knew it wouldn’t last. I banked every penny I could so that when it dried up, I would have a nice nest egg… well, that nest egg is now gone.
Thankfully the children are out of college, and I can be selective of the signings that I take and do not have to rely on it as my sole income. So, I look at it as more of a hobby job now. I’m just hoping that when the newbies in my area have to renew their commissions in four years, they will decide to take another career path and maybe it will open up business for me.


I will continue with the signing agent portion of my business. However, I am only working with companies with whom I have established preset fees. My fee is my fee and I am not haggling with anyone. The time and energy it takes is not worth the paltry amount you may squeeze out of those low ballers. Otherwise, I am staying busy with GNW and my business clients. Of course, this is a semi-retirement career for me and I am not dependent on it to put food on the table. I feel for all of the notaries who counted on this as full-time income and for those who have been sold a bill of goods. Fortunately, I also happen to live in Louisiana and our fees are not mandated or restricted. This makes it much easier to be profitable with GNW. My mobile notary business is booming.


Like you rode the ReFi wave. I saw something similar happening with Real Estate Home Inspections that happened to the NSA business. Many Home inspectors have walked away.

I knew the ReFi wave would go down so I started a different venture. I’m in the process of revamping my business strategy such that my Notary engagements will fall into the ‘Value Added’ category. This will be part of my summer strategy. It’s so slow I picked a Tax Advisor position with a major Tax Software vendor.

This is so sad but true to read. I pray that each of you find your footing in whatever you need to do.

I am new to NSA. I’ve taken additional courses to help me be a better signer. Even as a new signer, it’s ridiculous what the SS are offering. I think Coast2Coast is the worst. I took a few loan mods to get my feet wet. C2C only offers $30 and will not budge on their fee no matter how far the distance. Express Notary generally offers $40 but will accept counteroffers.

I did the math and on many of the signings I took, I found myself in the negative for mileage only. I vowed not to take any more of those signings. Even if the signing location is only 5 miles away, I still have to drive 26 miles round trip to drop off documents at FedEx. I didn’t take any signings last week and only took one this week ($60 loan mod).

I took a RON course and am now scared to dip my feet into that pool. I want to be a productive Notary Public but this life is not for the weary.

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There’s so much value in which you continue to contribute, even in your current message. Like you, I too had to made a shift towards doing more profitable lines of services too. One of the most valuable skills a business owners needs, is the ability to forecast the business trends and make smart decisions. Having a Notary Public commission is a valuable asset and still can be a profitable endeavor under the right circumstances. Another valuable skill to have is the ability to collaborate will fellow colleagues. Mark I have always found your contribution to this forum insightful and you brought a lot of value to the table. As a licensed Insurance agent, I hope we can network together and continue to prosper together.

Best regards to you,

Carl Fletcher

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Wow, I just became a notary last year now I feel it was a waste of time and money.