When signings go OFF THE RAILS...a cautionary tale

Thanks, notaryenrouteca. It was quite the lesson for me, both in what I feel I did right and what I SHOULD have done instead. I will never let someone take that much of my day ever again.

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That’s what I said to myself when “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” this thing. But in the moment, I am such a wuss and I HATE that.

Thanks for your feedback though. I’ll think twice when I see that title company’s name again.

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What could have possibly cost $100 to ship two pages overnight? Where were you shipping it to…Timbuktu?
If I was in that situation and got treated like that, I would have told them to go F themselves, put the two pieces of paper in an envelope, put a first class stamp on it and sent it snail mail back to them.


Very difficult. I spent 4 hours once with an elderly person that had been taken advantage of before. I feel that sometimes you have to spend more time. However there has to be a limit. I think after I noticed so many errors I would have asked that new docs be prepared and when rescheduled I wouldn’t take the job. I commend you for the way you handled it.


This is how I would of handled it. I just did this last night. I moved my next signing earlier, and the customer called me back to complete the signing, and I got an extra trip fee to boot.

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Again, in the future. Leave their copy of the docs and tell them to call you when all their questions are answered and their ready to sign. Your the professional, you need to control meeting, not a customer, that wants to give speeches. Also the mis-spellings in their names did give the customer confidence that the rest of the document would be correct, thanks Mr. Lender and Title.
You should of got $350-400 for this job.
Thanks for sharing you story.


I am so sorry to hear of your harrowing notary experience! I am not sure that I would have stayed as calm as you did. Please know if the signing co asks you to go back to borrower after a very difficult signing experience you must tell them your new fee! I would have doubled it at the very least, considering the amount of time you spent on this one appointment. Think of all the other signings that you may have missed/turned down because you were spending so much time with this one client. Please remember your time as a professional signer is valuable to all parties and should be respected and paid fairly!!

It was FedEx Priority Overnight from CA to MD. I went on the FedEx website and checked, to see if I was gonna get screwed on the shipping fee. When I saw that it was over $100, my blood started boiling. No way. LOL!

In my opinion, when the name is incorrect, it demands a redraw. A title company told a customer to correct their name one time, but it would be nearly impossible to find every single iteration of the name in all the documents. There is no excuse for the name to be wrong - EVER! The customer called the title company back, and said they wanted new papers, and the title company said they would do that.

Great job! At some point I might explain to the reader (1) If you see something you do not like, the lender will not change it to your liking. (2) Same documents you signed when you purchased the house you are now living in, only the lender and dollars have changed. But I also like, here is a copy, call me when you are satisfied and I will come back, maybe.

KUDOS to you. Herculean effort on your part to get the job done. Don’t understand “readers”. Usually they get a copy of the critical docs ahead of our appearing. Actually, the docs should have been rerun by the title company to fix the errors and the meeting rescheduled. I think we’ve all encountered some version of your situation. I’ve called the title company and told them that there are “inconsistencies in the document” and/or that “the customer is unhappy with their name being incorrectly spelled and would like a corrected set of documents before proceeding”. I’ve also told slow signers at the 1.5 hr mark that “I have a 2 hr window for completion with only a 30 minute grace for reporting”, at which time I ask if we can pick up the speed a bit. Most of the time it works. But there is that rare occasion when you meet a contrarian. I try to remain polite and courteous despite my agitation. However, it sounds to me like the signer’s behavior was bordering on abuse, especially when she started reading again at the return visit. At that point it’s time to ask the service to “reassign”. You both probably would have benefitted from fresh perspective. But, KUDOS to you. I couldn’t have done it!

In two years of doing signings (more than 100 in the past year) I’ve only had to cancel 2 signings because of inconsistencies and they both happened in the past 3 weeks. The first one had wrong escrow numbers which the borrower agreed to cancel and the other, just last week, the borrowers name had an Z instead of an S in the last name. I called the closing agent and he told me to cancel. No corrections allowed.
BTW the borrowers wanted to go ahead with the misspelled name but I told them that it was not possible. The signing company backed me all the way and at least paid me half of the original fee which I thought was fair.

Also, is it appropriate to leave the borrower his/her copy if the signing was not completed?

Normally no, you don’t leave a copy if the signing is not completed; however, in the event of incorrect numbers as you cited, I would leave a copy of the CD for their reference when speaking to their LO (which, btw, what happened to the CD being delivered 3 days in advance? Isn’t anyone paying attention to that rule any more???)

Misspelled names? I’d leave a copy of the face page of the DoT or Mortgage and the signature page of the note (signature space lined through) for their own proof that their names were spelled wrong. But take the rest with you.

You must be a Saint! You went above and beyond and got abused by the client in the process. Kudos for handling it with as much grace as you did. Clearly, it was undeserved.

YEAH !! I REMEMBER MY SECOND SIGNING . REFI for 3 Plus hours. The guy had divorced or was in process and read every page to make sure his wifes name does not appear :slight_smile: Hmm… I had nothing else and sat back and enjoyed a latte …

WFG used to pay top dollars, and then went cheap, part outsourced, part pimped, part with inhouse contractors, who are given a max closing fee and they try to skim the top off to add to their pay.

If you look at the CD from WFG, the notary fee is listed as $250. They always try to low ball you. You should have gotten the full amount for that nightmare.

I had a similar situation in regard to a signer wanting to read EVERY WORD, as well as make a copy of Every paper she signed, despite having a copy of the whole package. It was a Refi.
I had gotten through the CD/ALTA/Note and was starting on the Mortgage when I realized I’d been there an hour already. (I normally complete a single signer refi in 45 minutes)
I did the spiel: “3 days to read and cancel…” but she insisted on reading every word. I was done. Called the company that gave me the job, told them I wasn’t going to be there till midnight and what how did they want to proceed?
He spoke to borrower on phone. Told her appointment was over and she could take the weekend to look over all the paperwork at her leisure and when ready- reschedule.
I LEFT. They called me when she rescheduled - I passed. I got the full fee for the appointment I went to.
Don’t waste your time in these circumstances- if they are reading every word with the first few pages, make it clear this is The Closing, signing is expected and if not, you are leaving as you have other appointments (whether you do or don’t) Call the appropriate parties from the table, explain and go.

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wow I have only once had someone read a few of the documents. I always wondered what I would do if they started reading the documents at the signing table. any suggestions to help when we get to the 4th or 5th document and see they are reading them, what can we say?

Here’s a video about how I handle “super readers.”

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