Why I don't like night and weekend signings

I received a signing today, Friday. I did not get home until after 5 to review the documents, It is a sale and all documents looked fine except for the Warranty Deed and Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit. These were in another name and for another property address.

Of course i couldn’t reach either the signing service, Advance Mobile Notary,(never seem to be available after hours) or Chicago Title. I plan on going to the signing anyway and having the documents that are correct executed. Since no alternations can be made on the Deed, which has to be recorded, I will return it unchanged.

Do you agree with my decision and what should I ask for in terms of payment, since I will most likely have to make a return trip to have the two corrected documents executed.

I would never work weekends, I don’t know why you would volunteer yourself to work weekends.

Thanks for the assistance.

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I’m ok with nights but it has to be specific areas and times, I won’t travel more then 5 miles and there needs to be a fedex next to the location and $100 minimum.

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To answer your question, yes you should have gone to the meeting and executed the documents that were correct. (You are under contract for this signing.) However, it is always good practice to leave a paper trail, not just a phone call attempt. You received that package somehow from someone. Before going to the signing send a text or email explaining the problems you discovered with the documents. Let them know of your attempt to reach others to have the matter addressed. Then tell them of your decision. At the meeting draw attention to the discrepancies in the document and inform the signer that they may require another notary visit for corrections. ( I always keep post-it notes in my briefcase which I attach to the document to draw attention to any errors or questions). Post meeting in your closing notes or in an email let them know how the meeting was handled and to look for the documents with the post-it’s attached. At the next business opportunity follow up with a phone call. I would ask to be assigned as the notary for any required corrections, but at an additional fee (this was not your mistake). All bases are covered, and while this may sound like a lot, all total it will probably take about 5 minutes of your time to dot all the “I’s” and cross all the “t’s”. Good luck.

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I don’t know if this response got through as it did not show up here. The NNA said I shouldn’t do the signing. The seller also declined to sign today. I kept a copy of the text from her to prove this and entered it on Snapdocs. The only document I needed to notarize was the deed, and that was in the wrong name. You cannot make changes on a deed.

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I totally get it that the Warranty Deed is the most important document in the package. And the response from the NNA is indisputable in terms of that document not being executable. But, not attending the signing and not signing the document(s) are two different things. This was a judgement call on the part of the NNA for a signing for which only you were responsible. To my way of thinking, only the signer or the SS or Title Company could have canceled the signing. I still would have done it the way I stated above for two reasons: I would have done my due diligence in trying to get the matter resolved before going to the signing. But, because I have been contracted to do the signing I would have gone, executed the documents I could, and charged the company for my time and service. You may get a print fee and I’m sure the company is grateful that you brought the error to their attention and it didn’t cost them anything but time. But, in the end, nothing is lost. Well done. Good luck going forward.

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Yes, signer refused to let me come and do the signing. Can’t force my way into her home. I did my best and offered to come anyways but she declined. It’s a problem when there is no support for after-hours signings. It is hard when for a small fee the notary gets stuck making difficult judgment calls with no support. We shouldn’t be put in that position.

IMPORTANT NOTE/CAVEAT: @Myshadowmax

When you have a query that you seek answers for, please do your due diligence and check with the appropriate licensing and notarial commission issuing agencies FIRST; not just one single For-Profit business entity.

=> It’s YOUR business reputation that’s on the proverbial line.

The National Notary Association [NNA] is a For-Profit BUSINESS entity.

If you perform a Search here on Notary Café, you’ll find many threads with posts from members who have successfully completed the NNA certification, but who certainly don’t sense they came away with a good, solid foundation of knowledge. So, those members advise taking another certification course to supplement the information.

Many have posed these valid queries (and many more) over the years:
“Why doesn’t the NNA work to get our Notary Fees increased?”
“Why doesn’t the NNA fight against Remote Online Notarization [RON]?”
“Why does the NNA charge such HIGH PRICES for their services & supplies?”
“Why did the NNA Hotline give me incorrect information?”

It appears the term “association” within their name is a misnomer.

If you choose to rely on the NNA, that’s your choice. Please do keep in mind that it’s prudent for you to seek out several sources for answers to your questions, not just one single For-Profit business entity.

Best Wishes :sparkles:

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The only work I do after hours or on weekends would be for clients that I work for all of the time and I’m able to reach if a question arises. In the future, when accepting an assignment, you should ask for an after-hours phone number that you can call in case of this situation. I learned this lesson in the beginning and I was pretty frustrated (it was a Friday at 7:00 pm on a 3-day weekend). Hope this helps.

Not too surprised at the negative comments regarding the NNA, HOWEVER if you think the SOS or any other public/private agency will always give you the right answer then you are in for a surprise. If it’s something important seek multiple opinions then make a choice. I’ve seen both the NNA & the ANA conflict with what the SOS said. We have common sense and the ability to read the law online and then make a decision, in this case I decided the SOS was correct.

If you have to make a return trip because you couldn’t get the information that you needed to complete the signing, then you should be paid for it. If we are expected to do signings on nights and weekends, then someone should be available to us to answer questions. We’re left out on an island with after-hours signings and we’re the ones who get penalized when nobody is available to answer questions from us or the signers. So we’re left to use our own best judgment and hope that we make the correct choice.

@dan_nsa It appears that you may have overlooked the KEY element of the insight provided above:

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It was nice to have someone from the NNA give me their opinion. And on a Saturday too. I was feeling very alone. What they suggested and what i decided what is the right thing and title thanked me and apologized this morning. I have been reassigned I will go later today. Still, no more weekends without support. I guess Covid may have affected staffing because before I was able to get someone in the evening.Thanks everyone who responded. The support here is awesome.

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It took two nightmare weekend signings to convince me not to handle NSA work after 3 PM on Fridays through Sunday. Too difficult to get a hold of someone if the signer has a question. The last on took 4 hours to close. The signer had no idea what they were doing…and I suspected there was an element of chemical intoxication involved.

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Before going and talking to the assignment company I would talk to the signer and let them know it appears the title co has mixed up the paperwork. Let them know you are working on it. Most signers do not want to sign incomplete and most times assignment co will put on hold. I had this happen 3 times, 2 for evening closings and one got corrected 3 hours after my appointment. Think title co. Title officer gives a couple packages to a receptionist to forward
and is new so has no clue what is going on yet. Packages get mixed. Just hold the cool and talk to everyone. Annoying, but part of the biz.

Awesome question! Because this deed is not being recorded, I would ask the signers make changes and initial each change, then sign. Sooner of all the title would ask me to resign it, and then they would pay exactly the same what they paid for my initial visit.

Great advise I’ve been in this situation also. As I work mostly weekend and evenings . It is maddening

I’ve seen the issue come up often that fellow notaries get stuck on evening, weekend and holiday signings without someone available to answer questions. I would suggest that every signing you take make sure you add it to your calendar with the following information in your notes field:
Contractor: Signing Service/Title Company
Client: First, Last Name
Contact Number: Client phone (preferred)
Agency Contact: Name and phone (preferably cell)
If you use Google calendar, this information will show up on all your devices for the appointment date. It is a handy reference that prevents you from rifling through papers to find important information while at the signing table. If you get into this practice, it will also trigger you to make certain you have an after hours contact at the time you set up the signing in your appointment detail to make certain you are not without contact information when you need it.

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I’ve been executing closings for fifteen years. I’ve done plenty of night and weekend closings. Just remember what your role is in this transaction. If the documents are screwed up notify the entity that hired you. Your contract is with them unless there are other directions to contact “after hours.” If the borrowers don’t want to sign, then you get a travel and print fee,possibly a full fee. If they sign and the documents need to be resigned then you get another fee. I’ve been paid double many-a-time for someone elses errors. Bottom line “value your time.”

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