What would you do in this situation?

This is the first time I have felt the need to post my experience here regarding a signing opportunity. I have enjoyed reading all the available post and have learned so much from you, thank you!

Friday afternoon, I accepted a seller signing for $115. I was informed it was 2 seller packets and I was okay with still doing this for $115.

This morning I upload and printed the documents. While going thru and putting my ‘sign here’ tags on the paperwork, I realized this signing was 2 seller packets but with 5 signers and a total of 41 notarizations plus other signing lines and a motor home deed to obtain as well as the were requesting 2 forms of ID, not one. Oh, and it was driving 22 miles, not far but still gas of 44 miles back and forth and paper printing cost of the numerous packets and HUDs.

I reached to the signing company who sent out the signing this morning and advised I would not be able to perform this signing for $115. My fee would be $500 instead. The law firm was also included in my reply as they were on the original sent email. I think an open line of communication is necessary when there is an issue with the fee or anything else with a signing.
Needless to say, I received a rude email reply from the signing company regarding including their client and how i have put them in a bind. They then offered $150. I have to decline again.

My question for all of you, what would have done? Taken the signing at $115 and not say anything? Accept the counteroffer of $115? Or decline as I did?

This is one reason why I wish, we as notaries could place feedback for other notaries to see on the Signing Order platform. I’m sure this signing company will give me negative marks on Signing Order which will impact my future signing opportunities.

Amanda Wolverton
Camel City Notary


Not sure how things are where you are, but IMO $500 was a bit over the top (again, IMO) - I definitely would have upped my fee - to $250-$300, but not $500. You may have undercut your own fee on Friday accepting for $115 without asking more questions, like (a) how many signers? (b) will they all be present at the same time?

Another thing to consider is although there may be 5 signers, if a few are married couples, you may only need 3 copies - yes still more than normal but that would be covered in the increased fee. Remember, when doing real estate packages we don’t always consider the number of notarizations in the package - if we did I think a lot of mine would have been $500 or more (at $10/notarization)…or some even as low as $10…lol

Again, not sure how it works where you are, but mobile homes here have motor vehicle titles and packages usually contain a POA for the new people to settle things with DMV.

Too bad if he’s in a bind that you cc’d the attorney - apparently he underquoted the fee to the attorney and now has to bite the bullet… I would not have done it for $115 - unless, maybe, if they came to me, thus eliminating at least the travel portion. And that’s a big MAYBE. As to whether you should decline - is this a new-to-you service or did you have a good relationship with them with them providing assignments to you previously. That’s a major deciding factor.


I pretty much agree with Linda. You knew it was 2 Seller pkgs., and didn’t charge enough to begin with. They probably wouldn’t know how many notarizations are required (always a nice or nasty surprise). Still, $500 was too high; but I wouldn’t have done it for $115 or $150 either. My ‘argument’ for a higher fee would be # of signers & # of print pkgs. required’. Think the real problem was you went from one extreme to the other.


Thanks for the feedback! I really wanted to hear from other folks on how they would have handled so I can learn from this and do it differently if a situation like this ever arrises again.

To add onto this argument, you have to consider table time identifying additional signers and watching 5 signers sign and sign correctly.

Please don’t misunderstand me - I agree with your turning it back…just wanted to suggest more questions be asked next time. This could have been (and MAY have been) a complete cluster - 5 signers all coordinated is rare if not non-existant…LOL


@camelcitynotary Excellent question. :crown:

I concur :100: percent with the contributions noted above.


When the parameters of the agreed-to Contract are altered WITHOUT advisement, concurrence, and/or fee adjustment => it constitutes a breach of the original contract.

Clearly, the scope of work wasn’t clearly identified during the initial call for placement of the Signing Order [SO].

My Plan of Action [POA] in that type of instance would be as follows:

Reach out to them directly for a discussion of a fee revision to encompass the current services/requirements. If they’re not amenable, then yes, do proceed with turning the SO back to them with specifics regarding why the SO is being returned in writing.



Next time, don’t include their client in the fee increase request, your don’t work directly for their customer.

You already agreed to the $115. fee, based on your 2nd sentence. Friday afternoon, I accepted a seller signing for $115. I was informed it was 2 seller packets and I was okay with still doing this for $115.

Did your mean: If I was okay with still doing this for $115. ??

The total fee with Motor home deed should be $200-$250.

They will not be calling your again. I think they got a little pissed. No sure. But $500. is way to high.
On these signing for loans and selling docs its always a signal fee, not per notarized signature…

Regardless of what kind of fee or counter-offer is made, correspondence with the assignor needs to make clear WHY the original agreement is not adequate.

If an agency/firm plays a ‘switcheroo’, or substantially misrepresents a signing (e.g.: simple sale is a CEMA, multiple non-signer witnesses, significant additional parties, etc…), that point needs to be made clear (i.e.: “The signing involves far more parties, notary acts and copies than originally specified. These factors make the signing far more time-consuming and costly for the notary. This information should have been made clear BEFORE the assignment.”

Documenting what someone else did wrong can often help in defending one’s own reputation.



@hbleiwas Thank You for your perspective. :crown:


In today’s environment wherein the “assignors”/Signing Services [SSs], etc. have Professional Signing Agent [PSA] reviews cloaked behind a paywall that PSAs have NO access to . . . even IF one documents the scenario, there’s no opportunity to advance a rebuttal with the truth/facts, because the PSAs aren’t cognizant of the character sabotage launched at their reputation.

It’s just another one of the fallen/blacklisted who took a direct hit through no fault of their own, which causes a negative financial impact on the PSA.

Many who’ve been in this business sector for a while have seen repeatedly the SRDH principle at play ===>>> which means the PSA/notary is “always the recipient of the blame” regardless of where the true fault originates.


Not trying to be a ‘debbie downer,’ just identifying the facts.


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