What does an NSA have to do to get docs these days?

So, here I sit on a busy Friday. My calendar is full (yay!). I was up bright and early at 6:00 am, ready to print documents for all of my morning signings (because none of them were available last night - sigh).

Here I sit… 6:45 am. I call the title company for my first closing - “Folks, I need docs in 30 minutes in order to be able to make this signing on time.” Title company: “We just got them from the bank. We’ll get them to you by 8:15.” Me: “No - I have to leave at 8:15. I can stretch the print time to 7:30, but I need docs no later than 7:30 - in 45 minutes. I cannot reschedule this signing for later in the day - I am solidly booked.” Title: “We’ll get them out to you.”

7:31 am right now.



@judikidd - I sooo feel your pain! Late and or last minute docs have become more of a recurring theme and it seems the title/escrow/lenders could care less. They don’t seem to have much compassion or understanding for what we have to do to prep for these assignments, and that time is usually of the essence for us, especially on fully booked days. I don’t think we have a remedy; it feels that we are at their mercy and just have to deal with it. There have been times when docs have not arrived in a timely enough manner, after several outreaches and reminders from me, that I’ve just canceled and moved on. Other times, I’ve been fortunate enough to have wonderful signers who have worked with me on a late arrival times given late document receipt. It’s a tricky business with its pros and cons to say the least, but I’m still glad to have my own way to earn a living!

Got my documents 15 minutes before I had to walk out the door to make it on time and then they were the wrong person’s documents so had to have them print them and send them again

Sure wish I knew why the time crunch has become so much worse.

Agree with sylenedisaac. Been in the scenario you describe too many times. I don’t like it at all when docs arrive for printing at the last minute (or not at all), especially when my day is booked with other signings. Ninety percent of the time or better, I’ve called the people who gave me the order, said I have to pass on this one because I’ve got another signing immediately after at the opposite end of the city, and I have to drive through gridlock traffic to get there.

(Additional thought): If I haven’t seen the docs two hours prior to signing, I make a phone call to the signing service and let them know I need the docs ASAP. If another half hour passes without seeing the docs, I make a second call and pull the plug. In about half of the cases, the signing service will reply, “the title company or lender is still working on the docs but you should see them shortly.” When I hear those words, “the title company or lender is still working on the docs” I throw in the towel. I know from hard experience that I will still likely not see the docs despite the assurance that “you should see them shortly.” I’m not about to jeopardize the two or three other signings I have that day just because someone at title or the lender doesn’t have the docs ready. It’s really unfair to the notary when this happens, but it’s especially unfair to the client.


Agree!! I walk. My fuse has gotten a lot shorter the longer I am doing this and it’s just not worth trying to balance it when more than likely it’s a lie to begin with.

This isn’t anything new. This business has run like this for years and it will never change. They realize you may have to reschedule the time and calling them and bugging them about when you’ll get the docs isn’t recommended.

I would tell them you can no longer do the closing for them. I tell them all that my calendar is full and if I do not receive the docs on a (busy day) before I leave in the AM I will not be able to print docs for the closing.
I just had one that was going to overnight the docs for the next day closing. I had to leave no later than 8 AM and would not be returning to my office. I did not believe they could get the docs to me in a timely manor considering it was already after 5PM, so I turned them down. I did not have time to return to pick up documents between closings. My first obligation is to the first companies I already have on the calendar.
Who wants to stress out because they schedule a last minute closing?

I’m with you on this one. Perhaps title, escrow, etc are over-worked or understaffed so they place the burden on the notary. Perhaps they think we are just sitting around waiting for them. Most of us have a genuine business to run, with other clients to serve. Some lenders are continually running last minute and so I have stopped taking assignments from them freeing me up to take signings from other clients who actually send out docs ahead of time. Often when I take a signing, I immediately send the signing company an e-mail letting them know that I need docs by a certain time and if they can’t get them to me by then, they should re-assign it.

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This issue is our (Notaries) fault. We put up with it. Until we (Notaries) start refusing to schedule and take assignments when docs are not ready, or charge a substantial additional fee for late docs the issue will continue.


Agreed. If they cant provide 2 hours prior, add an additional fee


Who started this “2 hours prior” garbage? 2 hours is ridiculous! 4 hours, minimum. I do this for a living - I juggle a full schedule, and squeezing in trips back to my office 2 or 3 times a day to print and prep docs is ridiculous!

2 hours! Sure, if all I am going to do is print docs, grab them and go! To provide an error-free signing, I need time to go over the package, note anything unusual, read the instructions, make my notes, etc.

Two hours, my Aunt Fanny!


I see a lot of justified concerns on this thread, but you’re the first to come up with a solution. Listen up guys…

Would it be nice to have all docs the day before or the very 1st thing on the day of signing? That way when you have multiple signings in a day you could print all the document packages before leaving home for the day and not need to run back home multiple times to print docs. Would it also be nice to have an ‘end of day’ standard for dropping docs rather than being told to drop immediately?

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I drop my docs off at the end of the day regardless of if requested to drop right away. I am not getting extra to go back and forth to FedEx/Ups it’s one trip for me. Regardless if you drop in the morning or before the last drop it’s still not going out until after the last pick up for next day delivery. These companies request so much and don’t want to pay on time. Which is why I stick to my fee.


My personal favorite…

Signing service/closing agent sends a 150 page refi at 5:45pm for a 6pm closing that’s 20 minutes away. Two copies needed to be printed.

After departing, the lender/signing service sends the ‘other half’ of what turned out to be a CEMA closing, “before the scheduled appointment” (5:59pm for that 6pm appointment) .

As a favor to the borrower (and with a substantial fee increase to the lender/service), we ended up finishing the signing at a diner until almost midnight, to avoid disturbing both of our spouses and children

Also, some banks print the PDF’s as images, not text. Not to be overly tech-geek, but that takes a 35 page/minute printer and reduces its performance by orders of magnitude to just a few pages per minute.