Not a refi, or loan modification. It involves credit card debt under the guise of avoiding bankruptcy. There is still discharged debt, so may have tax consequences. Lets say, credit card debtvis 35k. You stop paying the cards. The want $1000 up front andctgen negotiate with credit card companiescto accept less. Over several years, debt might be reduced to 17k, but will cost you 14k in fees to the settlement company. Bankruptcy woukd have been better, i think. Numbers did not wash for me.
- Never take a debit settlement signing, they never pay enough. and sometimes they want you to pose as the presenter of their product or service. When you know nothing about…
- Did you not pickup that she had dementia? Sometimes that’s faked to get out of a contract, not sure on this.
- What was the name of the settlement company?
I was at a signing and the person clearly didn’t know what she was signing, and her 2 grown kids were yelling and coaching her. They even threaten me, at that point I got up and left, and told the signing company all what happened, and that she need a POA. and use a different notary.
Judi, thank you for sharing this on this forum. You also shared it on another forum and a poster posted this link. Debt Relief Companies Prohibited From Collecting Advance Fees Under FTC Rule That Takes Effect October 27, 2010 | Federal Trade Commission.
Back 13 years or so, during that mortgage crisis, debt settlements and mortgage modification applications were abundant and they followed the same SOE, including collecting the service fees in advance. That is why the FTC wrote this bill.
Thank you so much for getting the word out on Speedy Sign Notary. So sorry this happened to you!
Take good care hon!
Woow, Sorry you had to go through this. As I read your comment, my heart was breaking because work is hard to come by right now. I’m sure most of us have these policies but with the limited amount of work available how does one avoid not second guessing ones self. End of the month, bills to pay, Gas prices are high. What is one to do?. Thanks for sharing. I guess its going to be stupid to expect them to pay your fee?
I had a similar incident this past week and identified the problem right away.
The point of this reply is twofold:
Is the fact that the documents were not identified within the assignment offer the first clue, and the “urgency” of the assignment the second clue? Otherwise, how does one reject after learning it’s a debt settlement?
There are genuine debt relief companies that provide a quality service, like Debt Management Program | Trinity Debt Management or https://www.christiancreditcounselors.org/. These are NOT debt settlement companies, but I think the debt settlement companies give the good ones a bad name.
Besides, the debt management or counseling entities do not require payments up front, charge credit cards, or require notarized signatures.
Just WOW!!! What a shame;(. People have no shame:( I’m sorry you went through this awful experience but so grateful you shared with all of us, so we never do a closing for them. :(.
All I can say is . . . WOW! I’m sorry this happened to you (and the next notary that came behind you) but thank you for sharing this. This has been quite a learning experience.
Just throwing another thing on…
I started refusing reverse mortgages for a couple of reasons…
First, from experience and discussions with colleague NSA’s, we seem to be sent on ‘initial’ meetings with the signer; the lenders often had not explained the financial product to the signer. Even signers that are motivated will not move ahead without details - which are only available from the lender. It’s one thing to handle the execution of documents, it’s entirely another to be paid half (or nothing) because nobody has answered the signer’s questions and they refuse to proceed.
Second, it may sound ‘ageist’, but a significant portion of reverse mortgage applicants are of advanced years and may be suffering from cognitive decline (or even just loneliness). Sometimes, keeping the signer on task is difficult, if not impossible. My final reverse mortgage took over two hours, and we only made it to the third page.
Finally, a number of ‘lenders’ are fly-by-night firms (as told by peers, attorneys and media), taking advantage of (mostly elderly) property owners by raiding equity on often undesirable terms. This is not to say there arent reputable companies out there… rather, that the risk is high that we may be helping the lender to be take advantage of the signer, much like many of the debt settlement companies.
If one finds a reputable and honest reverse mortgage lender with which to work, these statements do not apply. Reverse mortgages have their place and can be valuable to borrowers, but many disreputable lenders market products unsuitable for the borrowers’ situations.
I have a blanket statement - I do not do debt settlements or reverse mortgages, under any circumstances or for any amount of fee.
Anyway, this is one NSA’s opinion.
Ditto! Right On! You said it, brother.
Thank you for sharing this completely bizarre and potentially detrimental experience with us. Stories like this help to keep us all on our toes. We don’t need to experience this in order to know that the risk is significant. I will be sure to avoid this kind of request now, thanks to you and the other sharing notaries.
- The debt settlement people asked me to take a class wher i was a “certified” legal assistant. Uh, no.
- Personally, i am not convinced these programs are goid for the consumer. One elderly man signed, but understood he was ruining his credit and ultimately paying the company almost $30,000 to renegotiate $35,000.
Not my bag from am ethical standpoint. I am a notary, not a representative of the debt settlement company.
No reverse mortgages? Why? I have been a real estate agent for 28 years and have had clients use reverse mortgages for many years. In fact. I have a regular lender i refer people to. I would encouragecyou to look into the details as so manyvpeople do not understand what one is. It is a mortgage, like any other, with the exception being the mortgagee does not have to make payments. Itvis a solution for some.
That said, my experience is that signing services dont pay enough for them. Generally over 300 pages (times 2) and over 2 hours at the table. (It is basically 2 different mortgages). If i counter back with a higher fee, it goes to some newbie who is working cheap. In addition, i do not do the applications as many do not have copies of documents ready for me, even though they are given a list from the bank before hand.
I will reply to the “reputable” lender thing. Lenders are required, by federal law, to be licensed. This is an FHA product which has guidelines. Lenders are not “raiding equity”, but do charge allowable fees for processing the mortgage. Closing costs are higher than a traditional mortgage, but it is basically 2 mortgages to prevent another mortgage from posting behind it. A lender who does not follow rules faces federal prison and debarment from ever procesding another government backed loan.
That said, you are right about the cognitive ability of many applicants, which is why i do not do the applications. I also ask if they will have another friend or family member there. Do your best to determine the cognitive ability of the signer. I do some small talk while getting my papers out. I left one because i determined the signer to be impaired (drunk). I have left real estate closings too, if i felt the seller/buyer was not capable and with agreement of title closer.
They do take work, and if you dont want them, that is fine, but please look into exactly what a reverse mortgage is. There is so much misinformation out there and some people really benefit from them.
Your point is well taken.
When I say, “raiding equity”, I am more referring to selling the reverse mortgage product to borrowers for which it is unsuitable (i.e.: don’t need the income, want to leave maximal estate, etc…).
The upright lenders assess suitability then move forward; the unsavory types ignore everything but the profit from the next deal.
In my experience, unfortunately I’ve seen the latter type far more than the former.
My policy of blanket avoidance is a personal preference, not of law. To me, it’s just not worth the trouble.
When i first started i took reverse mortgages when they were offered. On three separate occasions i was paid very well, to take the application and was called upon to do the final loan signing paperwork. I always sit and chat with the clients before i start on both appointments and each person i met with was very well aware of the process and what they were doing.
Debt settlement is one i will not do no matter how much it pays.
Good to know. Thanks. I just saw an ad for Nina Penny’s Reverse Mortgage “certification” and was wondering if it would be a good idea to take it. I only know the little I learned about it in the Notary2Pro training. They were just advertising it in the Notary Symposium so I had been thinking about it. I wouldn’t want to be any part of it if they’re taking advantage of the elderly.
@Notary_veg Was that what you learned in the overview Professional Signing Agent [PSA] training program?
FYI: Notary2Pro has a dedicated training program with comprehensive information about performing a Reverse. These supplemental type certification programs provide intensive training & are reasonably priced.
No i just read that here in Notary Cafe.
I already did the training in Notary2Pro but don’t remember much. Now that i think of it, Notary Stars probably has it.