Section 5: Your First Signing

Section Overview

we circle back to the documents and the signing process by focusing in on how to do your first signing.  In detail we walk through how to do this.  We discuss all the logistical and practical aspects of a signing step-by-step, and we even offer a video example of a signing, so you can see for yourself how it works,  

  • This process is explained in detail from Communication and Confirmation of the job, through getting, managing the signing and everything to do after the signing is complete, step by step. 
  • One important aspect of this job is being adaptable and being able to manage effectively when things go wrong.  In this section, we give you the tools to do this.  

Hi, this is Carol again and we are in section two now and we are going to be talking about something you’re probably anxious to get to and that’s about your signings. First, you have your signing and now what do you do? We are also going to be talking about printing, dress for success, finding your way to the signings, and what transpired during the signing. 

Your first signing (Marketing Has Paid Off and Now You Have a Signing) 

Your marketing has paid off and now you have a call and you’ve taken a signing and it’s your first one. I’m going to go through just a typical conversation between the signing service, the Title Company and the notary. Also, we do have a demonstration video, which you can watch at some point in time and you can find that on our website. But basically, what will happen is that you will get that call from the Title Company or the signing service and they will verify who you are, and they will offer you a signing by giving you certain information such as, 

The location of the signing 

The appointment times

The type of signing. For instance, a purchase, a refinance, or a small amount of documents; and, 

The fee for the signing

To go into a bit more details, the companies you may deal with may tell you or you may have to pull it out of them regarding the amount or fee for the singing. But you need to make sure that you understand that the distance is within your criteria. As a notary you want to know if the fee will be enough to not only cover your expenses but to also make you money. For instance, if they say, “Well this signing pays 70 dollars.” You can say, “I’m so sorry I know it’s close by but my minimum on this would be”—say 90 dollars and then they can either meet it or you hang up and that’s the end of it.  I always suggest that unless you live in a rural area that you try to stay 15 to 20 miles within your home. Otherwise, you are going to be spending a lot of time traveling and it’s just not worth it unless they pay you extra for it.  

When you get off the phone you should be expecting to have a confirmation of everything that you’ve discussed on the telephone conversation with them. 

Professionalism (Dress Code) 

Okay we are going to get into the Dress code now. The rule is for you to dress in a manner that is attractive, professional, and of course always clean. In urban areas the business attire might be required and by business attire we mean a nice suit and high heels if you are a woman and all the accessories that go along with this type of dress and a suit and a tie for you men. If you are visiting offices to do signings or going into a bank, you’ll always want to –or need to dress a bit more formally. There are casual areas where wearing a suit would be inappropriate. For example, if you are living in Texas; let’s say and your visiting people that’s living on a cattle ranch, the last thing you want to do is be stomping around there in your high heels. You also want to make sure the people that you are seeing are comfortable and sometimes when you are inappropriately dress it makes your borrower feel rather uncomfortable. 

The most appropriate dress is business casual. This would mean a nice pair of slacks and a shirt for a man and a dress, slacks or a nice blouse for women. Also, you need to be really careful with the cologne and the perfume because there are people who are allergic, so you don’t want to put—if any you don’t want to put much of that on your body. 

One thing we need to also consider is the weather. Now the weather is going to dictate what type of attire you’re going to need. For instance, I came from Arizona and when the temperature reached 110 plus I would wear something light; e.g., a very light pair of pants or some long—like some Bermuda shorts and a light blouse with sandals, which was appropriate. As long as you’re just clean and everything is matching, and you don’t look like a slob you’re fine.

On the contrary, no blue jeans, no tank tops, no tee-shirts, and no flip-flops should be worn that’s way too casual. Also, women watch out for the piercings. If you have piercings or if you have short tops with your tummy showing, that’s really not appropriate. 

Be comfortable in whatever you wear. If you are not comfortable it’s going to be reflected while you’re doing your signings. But do check your instructions from the signing service or the Title Company cause every once and a while they do have instructions on how they want you to dress and of course again; it is essential, to always be very clean and well-groomed and this includes your hair, your nails, and even your feet if you are in open toe shoes. 

Communication and Confirmation

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this plenty, which is that you’re going to need to find out all of the information about the company, especially if you have never worked with the company who has contacted you for a signing. So, to reiterate, you want to know the location, what type of a signing it is, you want to know the appointment time, and the fee. In addition, be sure to find out if they set the appointment time or if you must set it with the borrower. 

When you get that confirmation from them you want to double check it and make sure everything that you agreed to on the telephone conversation is what they say it would be. Be sure to check that there is no extra work involved and that the distance is in your frame of area. Moreover, make sure you have all of the information from that company who called you, what their address and telephone is, and any other details of what you have discussed. 

As mentioned in the Notary2Pro Course the first step after getting your confirmation and reading the instructions is to call the borrower to confirm the appointment.  The conversation will go something like this:

“Hi, this is John Smith and I am the Notary Signing Agent who will be assisting you with your loan document signing on July 13th.  I would like to confirm some information with you, do you have a minute?   Okay, great.  We will be meeting on July 13th at 6:00 pm at your home.  Is your address 6656 S. Main Street?  Is there anything I should know about how to find your home?  Is there something I might be looking for to distinguish your home from others on your street?  Also, I will need to see your driver’s license(s) or other identification and I will need a copy of your identification to send back to your lender.  If there are any other items that your lender needs from you I will let you know before I come when I get the loan documents.”  Also, let them know how long the signing should take. You can say that the signing should take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the package of documents. Then wind up the conversation with “Ok Mrs. Summers, it was nice talking to you and I will see you at 6pm on July 13th.  Have a great week.” 

(If you offer CD’s be sure and listen to the recording on the website regarding the conversation you need to have with the borrower to determine if they would like to have their copies on a CD.)

Getting There

Okay once you get that confirmation it’s important that you read it the instructions and make sure you understand everything, but to also see if there are any special instructions e.g., anything that you may need to be telling the borrower when you call them. Second, you should be doing is contacting the borrower to confirm the appointment and you want to do that right away. When talking to the client, you are going to be verifying the date and the time of the singing. Lastly, you want to verify their address, especially in the evening. The reason for this is because they can give you any kind of information that might be helpful, so it will be easier for you to locate their address.

For example, you can find out if they are in a gated community, or if they have any distinguishing information about their home; such as, the type of fence that they have, if they have something in the yard, or if they have a truck parked in the driveway and if so what color. You also want to let them know that you need a copy of their ID’. Generally, it would be their driver’s license. Make sure they have that copy ready for you when you come to the appointment. And I don’t even read that in the instructions, I just assume always that the lender is going to request a copy of their ID. 

The next think you can do is go into one of the mapping programs. You can use yahoo, google, or any of those programs and map the directions from your location to the signing location. Now if you get the documents while you get the confirmation you don’t print those documents until after you confirm the appointment. That’s very important! If something happens if they say, “oh no we changed our minds.” Or “it’s not going to happen that day.” 

One of the most frustrating things that you may need to deal with is finding your way to signing locations and back home again. I think having an updated GPS system whether it be in your car or even a hand held is worth the money. Also, you have the borrower’s phone numbers close by if you are unable to locate their home. You want to have that number handy so that you can call and let them help you get into the property. Also, there is a little tip that I give later on is also get have written directions. There is some really good website free. One of them is maps, and then Google Maps. I like Google Maps. You just put in your home address and where you’re going, and it will give you a map if you want it will give you the written directions and I have a little tip about that later on. 

Another thing you can do is ask the borrower for directions to their home and again, if they have any distinguishing features such as, what vehicles will be parked in the driveway, if there is lights on at the location, or if the garage door is going to be open. This is really helpful in trying to find these homes. The reason why I say this is because, one of the things that I find is frustrating is with a lot of the new homes. The developers I guess they think it’s a good idea they do these stucco homes let’s say its beige or light moss green in color and then the signs that give the address of the property is in the same color. It’s almost impossible to discern the difference between that and the house. So, it makes it hard to try and find an address. Now I said that I had a little tip. 


When you’re running your directions theirs another good thing you can do that can help you. Take those directions and staple them onto the back of your confirmation face up. Put the information on the passenger seat next to you that way all their information (address, phone number, and directions) are readily accessible to you if you indeed need further assistance finding their address.    

Also, you should always carry a flashlight in the car and a good one for those night signing when the house numbers are hard to see. You want one that’s really going to flash a little bit of a distance. If you are on the street and your trying to read an address that’s on the house you’re going to need a good flash light. (End of Tip?) 

To restate once more, always call the borrower’s if you’re going to be more than five minutes late. Most people when you set an appointment are going to be watching their clock and within a two or three minute after the appointment time they’ll get a little frustrated if you are not there on time. Also consider your safety. If you’re concerned for your safety, because of the area that you’re going into and It makes you uncomfortable or let’s say, for you women if you’re meeting with a gentleman one person by yourself and your just not comfortable with that you know you can suggest a public meeting place like a Starbucks or McDonalds to get their documents signed.

If it’s not in the middle of dinner rush hour I find someplace like McDonalds or Taco Bell is good because they always have these tables that are in the back of the restaurants and there is not many people there so you get to have some quietness and privacy. So, don’t accept any signings if you really feel uncomfortable about the neighborhood and the time of day especially, if there calling you to go into a neighborhood that you are very concerned about and you’re told that the appointment is at 9:00 at night. My advice is to don’t even think twice about turning it down. You have to do what’s comfortable to you and don’t put yourself in any kind of position where you might not be—feeling safe. 

Printing and Documents 

Most of the time you will receive lenders documents via email.  Once in a while the documents will be sent to you overnight via a national carrier such as FedEx.

Upon receipt of the documents the first thing you will do is to read the instructions to determine if there is anything else the borrower needs to provide at the closing so you can prepare them ahead of time.  You should also look at the HUD to determine if there are funds due and if so, inform the borrowers.  The certified funds check should always be made out to the Settlement Agent unless otherwise instructed.  You can find the name of the Settlement Agent at the top of the HUD Settlement Statement.  It is usually a title company.

You need to print the documents checking them as they print to make sure they are printing correctly.  Also, check the names on the Deed of Trust or Mortgage to see who is on title and how they are listed and signing on the documents.  If there is a discrepancy between the names as they appear on title and the signature lines, you should call the vendor and draw this to their attention.  It could be that the documents were prepared incorrectly.

Another thing you can do while preparing the documents is to partially complete the information in your journal.  You can put in information such as the date, the location of the signing, names of signers and what they are signing.  That way when you are completing the journal at the borrower’s home you will only need to add the information found on the driver’s licenses.

You don’t want to waste those printed documents. Now, once you do get the documents you are going to be checking the HUD-1, which is the settlement statement and the instructions that are sent to you with the documents before the signing to determine if there is money due or if they are getting money back and we are going to get into that more when we get into phase two, so you know if they are supposed to come in with funds or not. 

However, if you need to have them have the funds available for you—you are going to need to call them and let them know how much money they are supposed to have and you’re going to have to let them know that they need to have certified funds, which is usually a cashier’s check. If it’s a very small amount of money you can check with the vendor or the Title Company and see if they allow a small amount presented in the form of a personal check. Sometimes they have a limit. They will say anything over 250 dollars must be a cashier’s check and anything less than that can be a personal check. 

When you go to print your documents, you are going to need two copies of the documents. One of the copies is for the borrowers to keep and one set of the originals is to be signed and returned. Now, I do have something in the additional resources page, which tells you how to make CD’s and that will go into that whole thing on how to talk with the borrowers about it and how to make the CD’s itself. I would say 90 percent of the time, I have been making CD’s for copies for the borrower’s and not been delivering the printed copy. A lot of people really love the CDs. 

Also, if you are running late you must always call the borrower’s even if its 10 minutes late—call them and let them know what the problem was and that you will be there shortly. Now, if you are going to be more than 15 minutes late you’re going to have to talk to the borrower make sure it is okay with them that you continue to come. You are also going to have to talk to the people that hired you (the vendor) to let them know you are running late—that you reached out to the borrowers and that there is no problem. You don’t want them for some reason calling the borrower’s home and finding out that you’re not there. 

Okay now one of the major processes in doing loan signings is the printing. And I am telling you that printing can ruin the best of loans. It seems like Murphy’s Law says you really won’t have any printing issues unless you are short on time and if you have printing issues it can wreck your entire day; especially, if you are in a time crunch and you must be somewhere in an hour and a half and for some reason the printer is giving you a hard time or the documents are giving you a hard time and are difficult to print. The difficult issues with printing can depend on the operating system. The loan company that you’re working with and your printer. 

To avoid pitfalls, make sure you do have a good printer and that it will last for more than an average printing. Now I will say that we do talk about in the supplies to having a printer—the preferable printer is a dual tray laser and that is printer that discern the difference between legal and letter automatically. But honestly, for a lot of our students and new graduates, they just don’t have the money to go out and spend sometimes 4, 5, or 600 dollars on a really good work horse of a printer. If you have no printer and you don’t want to spend that kind of money, I would suggest that you get a 4-in-1 printer, which you can get those anywhere for between 100 and 150 dollars and if you get a good one and—I personally like HP and that is a printer that will copy, print, fax, and scan and that’s something that you are going to always need for your business.

So, the laser printer can wait a while until you start earning enough money to go out and get a good one, but the 4-in-1 is great. Now as far as printing documents we do have an alliance with a company that has a great program that is call a page separator and you’ll find a link to that company on our website on additional resources as well and this is the greatest program because it turns your day-to-day printer into a dual tray printer—it’s really terrific. 

Now if the loan company has specific requirements on printing the documents you better make sure you follow them to the letter. By not following their specific instructions it can cost you in more ways than one. 

You might have to go back and resign the documents and it’s going to be at your expense and you can count on it! 

You might lose their business as a client because of your mistake.

One thing that I want you to be aware of about printing is in a lot of counties across the country the documents to be recorded must be in a specific format. In Los Angeles in particular, the county recorder’s office will not even record anything unless if it’s on 8 ½ X 11. Now we rely on the company that hires you to have that information and pass that on to you. So, if for some reason you see something in the notes or in the instructions you must print the Deed of Trust let’s say on 8 ½ X 11 or legal-size paper be sure you do that because if you don’t it will invalidate that recordable document. 

You always want to check your documents before you go out the door. It will save you a lot of headaches. It’s actually very imperative to check the documents as they are being printed and just to make sure pages have not gotten caught up on each other. In short, that all the printing is at the top of the page or at the bottom of the page. To make sure of this you should take a look at them as they are coming off the printer to make sure they are printing properly. Furthermore, I recommend that you get to know your printer really well. If you have a decent printer it will make your life easier in so many ways. 

For instance, one of the things you can do, let’s say, you have an old printer that you haven’t’ used very much and you are not sure exactly how it works, or someone gave it to you. Well, you can go online, and most manufactures have on their websites the instruction booklet on their websites—you can download those for free. 

You also want to make sure that if you are purchasing a printer that it is capable of printing both sizes, 8 ½ by 11 and the legal-size paper. It will have a long tray in it and then when your printing all you have to do is go into set up and you tell the printer you want the next batch of paperwork to be on 8 ½ by 11 or on 8 ½ by 14. Just make sure your printer is capable of that. 

Also, you want to keep your printer stock with both sizes of paper and make sure the print function on the computer will allow the printer to read both sizes of paper automatically if you have a dual tray laser printer. 

The Signing Step-by-Step

Getting Started – Arrival

If you do not have a GPS system you should always get both directions and a map off of the internet.  You now arrive at their home or office.  If it is a home you are meeting at you should find parking on the street.  Do not park in their driveway if you can avoid doing so.  Many times there are other people living in the home and you don’t want to block them from coming and going.  It is rude to park in their driveway unless they specifically direct you to park there when confirming.

Make sure you have everything you need from your vehicle, lock your car and proceed to the entrance. When they open the door to you the first thing you should do is to introduce yourself before going inside.  Once inside you can do one of several things.  Take a look around and try to make some comment about their home or something you see on the walls or a collection they may have.  It is a good ice breaker to say something like, “wow, what a beautiful collection of clocks (or whatever), or what a lovely home you have!”  Always be very open, warm and friendly.  Even the hardest of people will begin to relax and connect with you.

The next thing to do is to ask where you will be signing the documents. As discussed in the course you will need to try and get to a place where there is sufficient space to comfortably sign the documents.  This sometimes is not an option and you will just have to do the best you can.

BEFORE letting the borrower’s sit down you will need to ask if they have their identification, a copy of their identification and any other items they were requested to have. Make sure they bring these items to the table before they sit down.  Once they have those items you will need to direct them where they need to sit.  Be very specific.  You can say something like “Mr. Anderson would you please sit here next to me and Mrs. Anderson  please have a seat next to Mr. Anderson”.  Once you do this, very nicely but firmly, their confidence in you will rise because it will indicate to them that you know what you are doing. I have talked a lot about taking “gentle control” at the signing.  This is the beginning.  

Now when you get to the signing you’re going to find out that the most crucial and difficult thing is to control the environment while you’re in someone else’s home or office. So, it begins at the door. I suggest that when you get to the porch or you get to the office—STOP and take a deep breath put a big smile on your face and when they open the door introduce yourself.  For example, you can say, “Hi (say your name) tell them that you are their notary signing agent” and before they sign or sit down that is the best time to ask them for their form of identity whether it be a driver’s license, identification card, passport, and military ID. Make sure that you provide everyone with a pen and then have the signer—sign your notary journal prior to singing the documents. Again, to emphasize, if you always do this first you’re never going to leave the singing table without getting your journal signed. I know what I say is repetition but it is, so you will remember. So, to recap what I mentioned before please use a journal. You have no idea how this can save you someday down the line. Don’t rely on your memory! To help you in court if you’re called as a witness. 

Now you’re going to be asking the people directing you to the singing location. Hopefully, it is a dining room or a kitchen table because they’re nice and good size and you can spread out in order to put the documents out where everyone has the ability to reach, to sign, and to move. When you get to the table, you should be the one to direct everyone where to sit. You might tell the primary borrower to sit closest to you and then perhaps the spouse can sit next to that primary borrower. Whatever you’re most comfortable with if it’s the left side of the table or the right side of the table but it’s important that you kind of take charge when you get there. You can be friendly but do it in a firm way because this simple act will immediately establish that you are a confident professional and that you know what you’re doing. This will put your signers at ease and it will automatically give them more confidence in you.
Now sometimes the borrowers are going to direct you to a coffee table or T.V. trays and that’s not really acceptable—if there’s no place else to sign you’ll just have to make do, but do let them know that it is a lot of documents and a larger table is required because by the time they bend over and try to sign these documents such as, on a coffee table oh it’s going to be miserable to them and it’s not going to be a happy situation for you. If they tell you that their table is full of stuff and it is really nasty you can tell them, you’ll be glad to wait while they move the items off the table. I have even helped people to take things off the table and help them move it out of the way. It’s worth it because you need to have a decent place to have them sign. If there is no table anywhere it is a good idea, I found, to carry just a simple clipboard in your car and that at least give them something hard—a hard surface to sign the documents on. 

Okay, now you’re seated at the table everybody has their pens, they’ve signed your notary journal, and everything is ready to go. You give them back their identification before you get started. Make sure they put it away or put it someplace safe. You don’t want it to get mixed up with the documents and the possibility that you could take their identification with you when you leave. 

So now you’re already to go. Prior to going through the documents, you want to let them know what to expect while you’re conducting the signing. So, you can say something like, “Well we are going to begin by going through the critical documents together and then the remainder of the documents. I will show you where to sign, date, and or initial. I just want you to know that by the time I leave you’re going to know the money in, the money out, and the terms of your loan. If you have any questions of course I will be glad to answer them for you, but I think once we go through these primary documents you’ll really going to know all about your loan.” 

Furthermore, you can let them know that the signing is going to take about 45 minutes to complete. The goal here is to finish a signing in approximately 45 minutes. In spite of this, when you’re a brand-new notary agent that isn’t going to happen, but after time you’ll get to the point where you can complete a signing in under 45 minutes. And again, if they have any questions you do the best that you can to answer them. If they’re asking you some technical questions about their loan and you are not able to answer those questions, consult with your written instructions for who you’re supposed to call and sometimes it will be written in there that if the borrower’s having a problem and having questions you can’t answer have them call their loan officer and they will give you a number. Additionally, you can also call us here at Notary2Pro before you do anything else.  One more thing before we go on and that is, don’t automatically think people should call the loan officer.

For instance, it has been my experience that although you’re pretty sure that is the person they need to speak to; I have heard that loan officers will sometimes call the signing services and they’ll accuse the notary of being an absolute moron because they had the borrower call the loan officer on some simple little question that perhaps they were unable or untrained to be able to answer. So, follow your directions and then if that does not help and if you have no other recourse than have them call their loan officer.

The first thing you will need to do is to place all of the necessary items to complete the signing on the table.  Notary Journal, stamp, pens, documents etc. should be next to or in front of you.  Take their identification and enter the information into your journal.  Unless you are in a state where a separate line for each document you notarize must be listed, you should fill in the date, location of signing, information off of the ID (including the address on the ID if different from the signing location). You will print their name under the signature line as it appears on their ID, add “loan documents from Chase Bank (or whatever)” and all of the required information on the ID such as issue date, expiration date and date of birth.  Once entered you can pass the journal to them, show them where and how they are to sign. If they have a legal signature that is unreadable they should sign that way as long as it is the same as it appears on the ID.

Be sure you don’t just record the information.  Compare the physical description of the signer against the physical description on the identification and compare the signature in your journal to the signature on the ID.  This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of your job………VERIFYING THE SIGNERS IDENTIFICATION.

Once your journal has been completed and signed, hand the driver’s license(s) back and ask that they put them away so there is no chance they get into the documents. Put your journal back into your case and set the documents in front of you.  You can now let the borrower’s know what you will be doing. You can say something like, “we will be going through several pages of the documents together that will tell you everything you want to know about your loan. Once we go through these I will be handing you the rest of the documents one page at a time and giving you a brief description of what they are.”  You can let them know that they will just be signing the rest of the documents but if they have a question about any of the documents, you will be happy to try to answer their questions.

“I will hand the document to you first Mr. Anderson (or his first name), and you can then hand it to Mary.  Then Mary if you would, please sign and place the page upside down in front of you.” (That way when you are finished Mary can hand you the stack and all of the documents are in order and ready for you to double check). My husband prefers to have them hand the documents back to him after signing each page. Remember all of what we say here are fundamental procedures and you will change the way you do the signing to suit your own personality once you gain some experience.

Tip:  If you have a reader and they start to read each document that is handed to them, you might try saying what the document is as you hand it to them, such as “this is the document that states you must have hazard (homeowners) insurance on your property”. You will want to explain what the Compliance Agreement and Power of Attorney are.  People get a little freaked out at those documents.  Sometimes they only want to read the document to see what it is.

Managing the Signing

Critical Documents Okay, I mentioned the critical documents and we are going to go through those in phase two as well, but just so that you’ll know you’re going to put the estimated closing statement or the HUD, the Truth-in-Lending, the Note, the payment schedule, and the Notice of Right to Cancel are going to go on top of your stack of documents. Furthermore, you’re going to have to reach for these documents throughout the package I would suggest that you take little stickies and put them where the—for instance, you took the note out of the middle of the batch of documents, just put a little sticky there that says Note on it so you know where it goes when you put the documents pack together after their signed and before you ship them off.  

When you pull these critical documents up to the top, they’re going to provide the borrower with the most important and most requested information regarding the loan. Basically, the borrower’s will want to know the cost involved in their loan, they want to know the amount of money they are going to be getting if any, they want to know the terms of their loans; such as, the due date, payment amount, if there is a prepayment penalty, and the length the loan (if its 20 years, 30 years). Once you go through these critical documents you can basically start handing the rest of the documents one page at a time and direct the parties where to sign or initial or where to sign and date. As you’re handing the documents to them you can say something like, “This is the hazard insurance. This just says that you have to have insurance on your property.” Just a reminder, we will be going over all of this in phase two. 

The bottom line is to always remember what your primary responsibilities are.  To identify the parties and notarize the required documents.  It’s important to the borrower’s that they understand several crucial elements of their loan such as: 

The money in and the money out on the estimated closing statement. T

They want to know the terms of the note, 

They want information off the Truth-in-Lending, 

The payment schedule (is important), and of course 

The Notice of Right to cancel if they have one. They need to know all about that. 

By the end of this course, I need for you need to understand these documents so that you can relay the contents of them to the borrower’s. Additionally, when we get to phase two it will consist of documentation of a typical loan package and there all marked—every page, with helpful hints and information. We’ll go through them with you page by page. 

Very important again, and I’ve said this before and I will say it again: It is so important that you read and adhere to the instructions that are sent to you with the documents. One of the instructions may include that they don’t want you to review the documents with the borrowers. There are companies out there that will tell you that. It always makes me uncomfortable and it makes me a little nervous, but you are obligated to follow through with the directions. You’ve taken the signing, you need to follow their directions. 

During the Signing (Example of What’s to come in Phase 2)

You’re going to hear a lot more in phase two and if you look at the demonstration video, you’ll learn more, but this is a sample on how to review the critical documents to the borrowers and I’m using the Note in this as a sample instruction. What you’re going to do is take the Note and show what type of Note is it. Is the interest rate fixed or adjustable? At the top of the Note if it just says Note if that’s all it says then it’s a fixed interest rate. Otherwise, the type of the loan would be described in the heading and again at the bottom of the Note. So let’s say For instance, this was an adjustable rate note and at the heading it would say adjustable rate note and then at the bottom on the left hand side it will say adjustable note. Also, you’re going to be going through the amount of the loan, you’re going to be pointing out the interest rate, and when the first payment is due. 

You can look at the first payment and the last payment to determine the length of the loan could be 15 years, 20 yeas, 30 years even 40 years. On the Note, it does show the principle and interest payment on the loan that does not include the impound if it includes any taxes and insurance. Furthermore, when you come to the section called prepayment penalty it will tell you if there is or is not a prepayment penalty and if there is it will give you the terms. Additionally, If there is a grace period on the payment it will show like a late charge it will show the amount of the penalty. Usually, it is like five percent of the payment amount. The way I point it out, I always say there is a grace payment on the payment I don’t say there’s a late charge, if you are late by more than 15 days. I usually say you have a 15-day grace period. It sounds better. 

During the Signing: Example Note 

Here is the note itself.  During this course you’re going to see a lot more than what you see here. However, when you get into phase two, but you can see with the boxes around them the things that we can go through on the Note that will be very enlightening to the borrower. 

During the Signing (Defining the Note, The Deed of Trust)

As I stated before, once you cover these very important and key items you’ll find that you’ll have very few people who still wants to read documents because all their questions have been answered. Just for your information, the Note is the applicatory document that contains all the terms of repayment of the debt to the lender. So, it’s like an IOU but it goes into a lot more detail. Next, what is a Deed of Trust? This is a document, which is recorded and places a public notice that there is a loan against the property. Now a mortgage and a deed of trust, which you’ll learn later on is very, very similar they do both accomplish the same thing. 

Now this is something that is important, and this is when you should notarize the document? The actual notarization should always take place in the presence of the signer after they sign their name. Now you can fill in all the information on your certificates—certificates being acknowledgements and jurats, and any other notarial form that needs to be completed. So, you can fill those out before you leave home and that’ll save time while at your location. Therefore, if you want to fill out the date, the venue (which is where you’re going to be), city (where you’re doing the singing) you can do most everything there. Moreover, you can put your name down under the signature line, notary public—fill in all that information, but you cannot sign it and you cannot stamp it unless you’re in front of the signers and once you’re in front of them they sign the documents then you can go ahead and notarize the document. 

Never wait till you get home after the signing to complete your certificates because God forbid something happens to you on the way home and you didn’t complete your notarizations. Those documents would be rendered invalid and you don’t know what kind of consequences there would be to have to redraw and resign documents. 

Sometimes you are going to go into homes, especially with seniors they will have prepared for your visit by baking cookies. Sometimes they’ll ask you to stay for dinner and they’ll offer you things while you’re doing the signings. I don’t think it is a good idea to accept food at all but if they offer you a drink of water that’s fine. Just be careful where you put that water so that it does not get knocked over and spill all over the documents. For example, I learned that the hard way one time at a Taco Bell. I had a coke, while we were signing the documents and yup I knocked it over and it went all over the documents—it was a mess. Now I will tell you in places like Arizona you are automatically happy to see a bottle of water handled to you because it gets so hot and some of the homes are not air conditioned and you’re sitting in 110, 115-degree heat. So, you welcome that water because it’s important that you have it. Hence, don’t feel bad about taking a drink of water.

Once you completed the signing it’s imperative that you spend time going through those documents one more time even though you watched them sign it, even though you did it one page at a time. You want to be sure to take the time to go through them again page by page because it is so easy when people are talking, there handing documents around to miss a signature—miss an initial. This is so important that it must be part of your routine every time. Don’t ever think “I watched” that everything is good and then leave. Consequently, all you have to do is tell the borrower’s that, “I’m going to be very quiet for a few minutes so that I can concentrate. I need to double check these documents before I leave because we don’t want to have to redo this again. If you have something else to do in the house, please go ahead and do it. I will let you know when I’m done.” When you do this, they will respect you more and their going to appreciate the extra effort that you’re making because they’d don’t want to have to go through this process again any more than you do. 

To repeat once more, one missed signature or an initial can cause you to have to return to the signing location and it will be on your time and your dime. Hence, catch it before you leave. 

Okay now your signing has been completed you really enjoyed it, great people and you got everything button up and ready to go. You double checked your documents, and everything is packed up you want to be sure to thank everybody at the location for their hospitality. You can give them some idea about when the documents are going to be sent back to the lender. Furthermore, if there is a three-day recession you can point out that it will not fund and record until after those three days have come to past. Always be very cordial and always end with a smile. It really leaves a long and good impression. In addition, there is a good chance that you may see them again when they have another transaction and they ask for you. 

My husband and I saw people over a period of seven years. We saw people three and four times. We pull up to the house and will, “oh this is really familiar, we been here before.” We go inside and there like old friends we been there three times before when they are refinancing, selling, or purchasing a home somewhere. On a side note, you can leave a business card with them and that’s so if they need to get ahold of you for some reason. Moreover, you can let them know that you can assist them regarding any of their notary needs; therefore, if they have some documents that they need to have notarized they can contact you. However, you must never  your—you know give you a call but  market any other services. For instance, informing your client that you are an Avon dealer. Don’t talk to them about Avon. Another example is if you are an insurance agent. You should not discuss with them any details about your insurance agency. You really should not do any of those kinds of things; additionally, don’t every try and get the customer to come to you rather them going through the title company that they have been using that’s just not cool. (Video abruptly ends).

At this point you will not need to watch to make sure they actually signed.  You will do that when double checking.   If you are handing and explaining the documents to them the extra task of watching them sign is too much.done.  Once you are satisfied that you have a perfect package you can now prepare them for shipping.

The last thing you should always do is to report to the vendor that they signing has been successfully completed. Follow their instructions and be sure There are so many things that will happen while doing a signing that you will just have to learn the hard way.  You should know that you will have a lot of distractions during a signing and you need to be a little tough and try to take charge of the situation in a very positive but strong way.

Things like animals all over you, kids fighting and crying or just trying to get the parents attention, people trying to talk on their cell phones while you are getting their signatures.  When things like this happen you just have to roll with the punches.  Try to let people know that this is a very important transaction that deserves all of their undivided attention and the sooner you get that attention the sooner you will be finished and they can go about their routine.

The Signing Summary

The Reader

Okay now, at some time during your career, you’ll going to meet a reader or two. That is someone who insist on reading every page of the documents. This needs to be handled very delicately because you’ll not going to want to spend the next three or four hours with them that it may take for them to do that. So, here’s a few things you may think about doing and they usually do work:

First, you can apologize that they did not get the documents in advance of the appointment and that your time is limited because you do have subsequent signings. Now I know that the government CPFB is working with the lenders in trying to encourage the lenders to get the documents to the borrower’s three days in advance of the signings, but it remains to be seen if that’s going to happen or not. Frankly, many times they cannot get the loan documents five minutes before the appointment. 

Remind the borrower that the will have three rescission days to read the documents, so they have plenty of time if there is a problem. 

You can offer to leave the documents with them and make another appointment in a day or two. Most of the time they don’t want to do that. They want to get it done and over with and if you further advise them that they’ll need to verify with their lender if a new set of documents need to be issued if these are not signed today (that day).  We’ve never had to leave someone because they refuse to sign because they didn’t read the documents. 

Also, when I talk about the Notice of Right to Cancel, you must keep in mind that not all transactions include the Right to Rescind. If the property is an investment property, or a second home, or a purchase there is no Notice of Right to Cancel. The only property that has a Notice of Right to cancel available to the borrower is on a refinance on their primary residence that’s it. That’s a refinance on a primary residence. 

After the signing

After you have completed the signing you can let the borrowers know that you will need just a few minutes to go through the documents before leaving their home to double check for accuracy.  Let them know that if they have things to do in the house they can leave while you check.

Now you are ready to leave their home.  Thank them for allowing you to come to their home for the signing.  Let them know when the documents will be shipped and when they are expected to arrive at their destination. Try to leave on a very friendly note.

When you arrive home it is imperative that you once again go through each and every page of the loan documents to verify that they have signed and initialed all of the places they needed to.  Also, that all information required to be added to a document has been to make note of the tracking number on the shipping envelope.

Again I want to stress that I am providing you the basics about doing a Signing and all of this is subject to change as you find you own best way to do things.  

The Business

Hi, this is Carol back again, we are now at section 3 and I hope you have enjoyed what you’ve learned so far and that you find it helpful. In this section we are going to get into the subject of the business. This is going to include topics such as:


One of the things that we must deal with as signing agents is faxing documents. They are a pain in the neck. There are many times when you are going to need to fax documents, invoices, and notary information, etc. 

A fax machine, and online faxing program, or some new faxing software that you can use with your cell phone or tablets are all options and by choice, but it is crucial for your business. If you’re faxing from home, I find that the best piece of equipment is a 4-in1 printer with fax capability. The reason is so that you have something that prints, copies, scans, and faxes. Faxing can be easy, or it can be frustrating. So, when you’re buying a printer, or a fax machine make sure it’s capable of faxing more than just a few pages at a time. Probably you won’t be able to fax no more than 20 to 25 at a time, but that’s good enough. Also, in most cases you can scan the material and send it via email and that saves a lot of frustration. There is nothing like being right in the middle of sending 40 or 50 pages of faxes to a lender and have something interrupt the fax transmission and there you are having to start all over again. For this reason, you want to choose carefully the best set up for your fax machine.  My suggestion is to set up the automatic answering or manual answering. This will consist of how many rings you want it to ring before you answer—before it answers or goes to a machine and the auto dial. If you going to have a home machine that’s dedicated to faxes you must be sure to have the capability to be connected to a phone line. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have a landline telephone at your home than you can go online to something like and download their free software, which will enable you to send free items via the internet. You must have a scanner for this to work.

E-faxes are a very popular and after signing up they will provide you with a fax number and the capability to fax and to receive faxes for free. The problem is that there is a limit on the number of faxes that you can send. 

The only way that you can fax items out is to scan the material that you want to fax into your computer–save it and then you attach it your fax cover to send. Either e-fax or another comparable product sends the fax to your e-mail, so you can store or forward your e-mail to someone else. This is data for you to save and manage. Furthermore, E-fax do have programs where you can pay for the account, which will allow you to send more than just a few faxes at one time. 

We at Notary 2Pro has teamed up with a company called Faxback Pro and the way that they work is by taking pictures with your cell phone or your tablet. It’s very easy to do. We are in the middle of doing a tutorial on this and hopefully it will be up shortly. Also, you can send faxes anywhere that you need them to go in a blink of an eye. Moreover, the best thing about this software is that whatever it sends out is automatically encrypted. 

This is imperative because there are new rules in this game now and part of it is that the lenders and Title Companies have their documents encrypted and not just out there for just anyone to access. The faxback Pro also sends beautiful faxes. I’ve been trying it, I had a trial period myself so could see how it worked. I’m very, very happy with that program. So, you can check on our additional resources for that link. Last, you pay for it by either the number of pages you send, or you can get it for a flat fee each month. A little perk is that you all are given extra free pages just simply because you are Notary2Pro graduates.

FaxBack’s can be tedious, and some notaries refuse to send fax backs. They just won’t do it and if that’s the case they should not take signings when they know that fax backs are a possibility or are required. Hence, if you’re not going to send fax backs or if you are going to charge for fax backs you should ask about faxes when you accept the assignments.  If you don’t want to faxback you may lose some signings, but a lot of notaries find it cumbersome and time consuming. So just be clear when you are taking the order for your assignment(s) it is good to inform them (the agency) what your position regarding faxback. 

Returning the Documents 


One of the most important duties you have involves shipping the documents back to the lender or title company.

When returning a check, staple the check to the HUD. Make a copy of the check stapled to the HUD and keep these just in case the check becomes detached and is lost.  It will be your proof that you included it in the package.  The staples holes in the HUD will prove you attached it.

Always use binder clips to hold the package together. This will help secure the documents are together in the event the package is opened and the docs spill out.

Rather than using clips you might also think about using a large legal size envelope (10\” x 15\”) to contain the documents.  (See the label I use for this envelope). You can then insert this envelope containing the documents into one of the large plastic shipping envelopes.  This looks very professional, protects the documents in all types of weather and if you have more than one set of documents going back to the same place it will hold several sets of docs in one envelope.


After the docs are in the shipping envelope secure the glued closure on the envelope. To be safe, use about 4 – 5 inches of packing tape to secure each end of the envelope, front and back.  This will prevent loss of documents in the event the envelope opens during shipping. 

NEVER put your name in the label as a sender!

You should NEVER pay for the cost of shipping!

Always get a written receipt from the facility where you dropped the documents. 

Just remember, shipping is the last control you have over those documents and your responsibilities as the guardian of those documents is of major importance.





UPS Envelope 

FedEx Envelope 

2X4 Envelope 

There is a good number of crucial areas in this training and this is one of them and that is returning the documents. When you receive the signing order it’s usually going to contain instructions as to how they want you to return those documents. These orders may state that a shipping label will be included with the documents or they might send you the returning information along with the account number that you can use when returning the documents. It gives you the ability to go in there and set up the label and everything.

Sometimes the information will be provided to you by the lender or sometimes it will be provided to you by the title company or the vendor as part of their instructions. 

Most companies use the two major overnight shipping companies: FedEx and UPS. For that reason, you should locate those facilities that are closest to your home and their drop off times. It’s important if you can to locate a manned facility so that you can get a receipt for the package when you drop it off. If a company uses a carrier that you are not familiar with, find out if there is a facility near you or if that carrier will come to your home and pick up the package. If not, you really need to call the vendor and inform them that you may have a problem returning the documents in a timely manner. Additionally, it would be good for you to find out if you’re required to use that particular carrier. Most vendors usually change the carriers just to assist you. 

Both FedEx and UPS will provide you with free shipping materials as will most of the other shipping companies. To save yourself some time you might consider collecting supplies to keep in your home so that you can prepare your return envelopes prior to dropping them off at the facilities. It will be a lot easier for you to complete the labels and double check for accuracy while you’re still at home. 

Some of the supplies that you’ll need is blank shipping labels, which you can fill in with all the necessary return information.  Also, pouches in which to place the labels. These pouches glue to the shipping labels—I mean to the shipping envelopes. Furthermore, you want legal size shipping envelopes. Some envelopes do have the plastic pouches already attached, which eliminates the need for the separate pouches. Double check to make sure you’re sending the documents to the right address. I’m going to say this again. Double check to make sure you’re sending the documents to the right address. Always make sure the right documents are going to the right company. When completing more than one loan signings it’s easy to put the wrong documents into the envelope and thus be delivered to the wrong address. Never place the documents in the shipping envelop until all the documents have been checked. 


One good tip is: While you’re preparing the return shipping envelope, write the name of the borrower on the envelope or on the label and then make sure the documents that are barring that name are placed in that envelope. Sending the wrong documents to the lender or to a title company can be disastrous and it can not only cost a delay, but it could cost the cancellation of the loan. So, I can’t say it enough, be really careful and make sure that the right documents go into the right envelope. 

This whole process of returning the document once they are signed is key. If it’s not done in a timely manner and correctly you can be the cause of a loan not funding or an escrow not closing. Your job is not complete until documents have been delivered to the designated party and processed. As you become more experience you’re going to find there are many ways you are going to be handling the return of signed documents. 

Tracking Number

One of the things that you’re going to want to do prior to shipping any package out is to be sure to record the tracking number. You can put onto your signing order sheet. If you have software that is designed for signing agents, they will have a place for you to put the tracking number. Many of the companies that you will work with, will ask you for that number upon completion of the singing. But even if they don’t require that number you may need it in an event if the package is lost in transit. As I mentioned before, if you can try and get a receipt from an attendant at the store or facility where you dropped off the package that will be very helpful because if a package was ever lost you can prove that you delivered it to the carrier.

Label Sample

This is what a typical label looks like. This label is from a post office, but this is very similar to the Federal Express or UPS shipping labels and you can see here, I have it marked the location of tracking number. The tracking number is the number that you want to be sure to right down on your confirmation sheet. 

Another way you can handle these shipments is to go online and create an account in your name with both UPS and FedEx. It’s free to do so and they don’t have any credit checks involved. The advantage to that is you’re going to always have access to all the supplies that you can order online, and they deliver them right to your door. 

The disadvantage is that if for some reason that a recipient does not pay for the shipping and they are having a problem with them you may be responsible for the cost of that shipment. You can also go online to prepare the shipping label and will be able to save all the shipping information on the shipper’s website in the event, that agent uses you again. It would make the process easier. Don’t forget that people are depending on you. 

Avery Label

This is something that I created that has turned out be something really terrific. I have done this by using two by four Avery labels. You can see here there’s the template number and what you can do when you peel these labels off and you attach it to the right-hand corner of your confirmation form, which is helpful when you’re confirming the appointment. Because you can fill all this in and when the items are checked you’ll know that you have addressed all the issues with the borrowers. The label makes finding the confirmation easy when you receive the payment for the signings. So, as you can see you can write in the signing company, the date, and the time of the signings. Is it e-docs? If it’s overnight docs, what is your fee, are you going to be doing a CD for the borrower’s copy or is it going to be paper? 

Furthermore, you want to remind yourself to obtain a copy of their identification, so you check that off when you’re talking to them. Also, you want to make sure you check their address and then when you’ve completed that you can put down the day of completion, if you invoice the company, and you can put down the day you invoiced. So, you see these labels and I think you print off something like 10 at a time and as you get your confirmation sheets you just peel this off and stick it on the confirmation form and it’s really helpful.

There are ways to filing materials as well that will really help you to stay organize. You want to keep the confirmation in a chronological file. Write on it the date of the signing and the follow-up date when you expect payment. Use this as sort of a “tickle file” when you’re calling for payment that don’t come in a timely manner. Keep an index card with the date of the loan and keep that in chronological order. Or you can create an Excel spread-sheet by date.  To save you from so many accounting nightmares, I highly recommend you use one of those software’s that I just mentioned to you, such as, Notary Assist or Notary Gadget. These programs are worth every penny that you are going to spend on them. 

For one thing, they create reports when you’re doing your taxes so that you can keep track of all of the expenses, all of your income, people that have paid you, and people that have not paid you. That we offer both of these software on the additional resources page and they both offer you as a graduate, free trials.  

Data Management

Now were going to talk a little about data management. There is data coming and going in this job. How you organize and manage it will make your life much, much better.

E-mail: most of your communication will be by e-mail. You may want an e-mail address dedicated just for your business. And please make sure it is a professional email. Something like just does not make someone feel like they’re dealing with a professional.

When you’re choosing an internet provider, you’re going to need one that handles large file transfers. Some of them you’ll may have to—if you really find that you’re transferring large files such as, sets of documents. There are other alternatives but that’s something that we can talk about at a later time not at the course. 

You may want to get an iPhone or an Android to access your e-mails while you’re on the road. That’s huge when you get busy to be able to just look at your e-mail on your phone is great and important.

You also want to give some thoughts on how you want to organize your e-mail. Most e-mail systems come with the ability to create folders so that you can file the different types of e-mails. Some of the notaries keep their confirmations until the account is paid. Some of them clean out their e-mail weekly. At a minimum, you might want to keep the e-mail that contain— is contain for the week. Some e-mails are good to keep for marketing purposes. 

Destroying Confidential Information

There is a couple of other items that you will be dealing with. Every once and a while you may have a loan cancel at the last minute. So, you already printed documents and you’re stuck with those documents and you must be very, very careful with that confidential data. You have to destroy those documents very safely. One option is to purchase a small shredder and do it yourself. It can be very time consuming and messing but it’s not very expensive. And there is a couple of other options that my husband came up with, which I thought was genius and it works beautifully: 

One is to place the unwanted documents into a small barrel filled with bleach and water and when the paper has been dissolved and into pulp, you can safely discard the paper, and no one can get into it.

Also, there are personal and small business shredding offering in your town sometimes where you can bring your stuff to them and it’s very inexpensive some of them even do them as a courtesy. So, keep the box of unwanted paper and when it’s full you can take it in to be shredded. Never, never, never throw documents in the trash. Please just remember there is a lot of very personal information. (Video abruptly stops).

Very important: You want to have a backup system. Do a backup on your computer on a regular basis. There are online systems that are good, like Cloud, etc. Do it for a monthly fee. It’s not very expensive, or you can do it yourself with using an external hard drive or a flash drive with plenty of room. Back up is commonly over looked on a computer maintenance issues and you don’t want to miss it until you need it. If you forget to backup and you lose some important data you’re going to be kicking yourself. All you need to do is lose everything just one time and you’ll never forget to back up again. Losing your accounts receivable data can cost you money.

Accounting – Your Money In/Your Money Out


Now we are going to get into accounting. Your money in and your money out. Here’s some things that will help you with record keeping. Just don’t forget you’re really going to be setting up this office for success. First, I’m going to be showing you later—actually really soon some labels for confirmations. This is something that I designed, and this is so helpful. I have had so many students tell me that they used this, and it really helped them organize. You’re also going to need folders for current signings, previous signings, and paid invoices.

 Also, a day planner or a calendar. Now if you’re using one of the notary software systems that we have available on our website such as, Notary Assist or Notary Gadget so much of this work is just taken care of with this program. The software is wonderful and is worth looking into how it works. With either software you do get to have 30 days free, so you can decide on which software is more suitable for your needs. In addition, our students do get a discount on these programs.  Here at Notary2Pro we just wanted to get out students a discount. We do not make money from referring you all to this website. 

Accounts Receivable

Unfortunately, an unnecessary evil of this job is collections. Every once and a while you’re going to run into a company that is really, really slow and you need to know how to handle it. It makes a significant difference in how you do the collection so give it some thought on your style. It’s not that difficult, its money that you earned so calling for it shouldn’t be an arduous job. Be organized, have your accounts those who have paid and those who have not. Decide how long you’re willing to wait for payments. 

Payments are typically made between 30 and 45 days from the day of the signings. Some notaries call before the account is do just as a reminder and some call the day after its due and some wait two weeks. Whatever, you decide what’s best for you. 

I will say that when you are calling or sending an e-mail, you may want to start off with a very polite conversation, such as; “I am reviewing my records and I have not recorded your payment on the Jones signing from 6/20/14. Can you give me the check number or let me know if it has actually been sent?” This wording will allow you some grace in case your errors are in error and I have had that happen. Once you have had this conversation or sent this e-mail it is good to set a time that you’re going to wait for this response. 

A couple of days to a week is recommended. Never call and be offensive or accuse them of not paying you. This behavior will not get you very far and it could be this payment fell through the cracks and you will save a lot of embarrassment. Also, another tip: do not call and collect money on the last day of the month for signings. Everyone is going to be so busy it would look to them like you don’t have any work.

If they don’t pay you and you don’t hear from them than a second e-mail or phone call may be in order. Then you need to be a little stronger. You can say, “I have not been paid for the Jones signing dated 6/20/14. Is there anything missing that I need to provide in order to get my payment?” You can follow this e-mail with a call within a day or two.

In addition, keep track of your accounting system. When you send each e-mail, who you talked to and with whom you spoke with when you called. Try to find the appropriate person to talk to about this issue and if you get to the correct person you will get payment quicker. 

Waiting for payment is the hard part. When the payment has allegedly been sent wait at least five business days for the mail before calling them again—wait for that day’s mail to arrive. If you don’t get the check at this point, go up the chain of command. Always maintain your composure and stick to the facts. 

Ask what fax number you can send the invoice to, to ensure payment. If the chain of command doesn’t work, find the highest person in the organization that you can and send a polite e-mail, or call once a week. Mark your calendar. There are a few other things you can do ultimately: 

Always keep track of who the title company was and if you have to call.

If this is a signing service and they are not paying you. Call the title officer who was involved in the transaction and let them know that you have not been paid. Ask if the company has been paid and let them know that you have not been paid.

You can also hire a collection agency or get a lawyer but that’s difficult decision since the fee you are receiving isn’t that substantial and you would probably spend a lot more money trying to collect than what you would have earned. 

There are a couple of good demand letters available, I think I have one that may work. I know that there are a few floating around on the internet. 


One of the things that you should be doing is reading some of the notary websites so that you can stay current on who is not paying. Look for multiple complaints rather than just one person saying they didn’t get paid. If you can look up companies before working for them. This is the one step that can save you from a lot of free work. Most of the time as I had mentioned earlier, we don’t have that kind of time to keep that scheduler on the phone to look up the company. So, if you remember—if you find out that they are a bad company to work for, don’t hesitate to call them back and tell them you’re not going to do the assignment and tell them because they do not respect their notaries. 

You can also, keep a card or a paper list with the companies that you find that do not pay. If you find them on the internet. This can be through experience, peers, or the websites. Most notaries keep this posted onto their computers, so it is burned into their brain. People do make mistakes so if you start your collections with this in mind, you’re going to save yourself a client and some embarrassment just in case it did slip through the cracks and your system. 

If you choose to set up your own method of filing and data maintenance, one of the things that you’ll want to do is to have an accounts receivable list and this is kind of what you might want to have it look like. You want to include:

The date of the signing 

The name of the company

The borrower’s last name. 

How much they owe you for the signing 

When they paid you

If there is a balance due; and 

Keep track of your mileage

And don’t forget your home office, the mileage, your supplies are all deductible at the end of the year. 

Accts. Receivable Example

This is—another way of doing things especially if your using something like Excel you can set it up this way and keep a running tab each month of the totals. 

Tracking numbers 



Documents on CD

How to 

Advantages and disadvantages

The Advantages to placing borrower\’s copies on a CD works two ways.  For the borrower it means that they do not have to deal with the huge packages of paperwork which are usually on both legal and letter sized paper.  The CD makes it very convenient for them to store and if they choose they can download the file onto their computer and store it there as well as on the CD itself.

For the Notary the ease of creating the CD\’s is a huge time saver and saves a lot of money.  The cost of printing has become a real issue with the large packages we are required to print and the use of the CD will save wear and tear on your printer, the cost of paper and of toner or ink. And personally I just think it looks really nice to provide the borrowers with a very professional CD.

You must be very careful however,  to be compliant with the Lender requirements with regard to creating a CD.  When I first began doing CD\’s I checked with every lender to make sure that this was something that they would approve of.  I only had one lender at that time that told me NO they wanted nothing but paper copies to go to the Borrower.  Since then I read my instructions to make sure that they do not indicate to you that you are not to use CD\’s.  Very rarely do I see that instruction from the lender but it does happen once in a while.  There is a lot of discussion amount Signing Agents about the use of CD\’s.  Some are clearly against it and for others that is the only way to go.

The first thing you will need to do is to go to your local office supply store and choose which labeling system you want to use.  They have various kits which will include everything you need to get started.  I like the ones that have the little round device with a spindle where you place the CD to hold in place when you apply the label.  You will get the software for that system which you will download onto your computer and they will include a number of the blank labels that work with that particular system.  The cost varies but I don\’t think you should pay anymore that about $25.00 for the system.

You will also need to purchase CD\’s.  We use the writeable not re-writeable CD\’s so they are not accidentally erased and they really are relatively inexpensive.  You do not need high capacity CD\’s for that one set of documents.  We personally purchase ours at our local wherehouse store and can usually find 100 of them for under $10.00.

As you get busy you will also need to purchase more of the labels because they don\’t give you many with the kit.

You will also need to provide the borrowers with a container for the CD.  We use the little white CD envelopes that have a celophane center so that the contents of the label can be seen without having to remove the CD from the envelope.  Jewel cases are very nice but can be very expensive. The envelopes generally come in a package of 50 each and are very inexpensive.


I believe that the presentation of the CD\’s to the borrower\’s is very important.  With this software you are able to design the labels and put personal information on the labels so it looks very professional and you will be proud to hand the CD to the borrower\’s.

I usually put the following information on our CD labels.

The address of the property being refinanced or purchased.

The name of the Lender

The Month and Year of the transaction

The fact that there are loan documents on the CD 

and I usually use the Borrower\’s last name as the Title of the CD

Occasionally you will be required to use a password to retrieve documents.  If you do, be sure to write that password on the envelope for the borrowers or they will not be able to access their documents.

Making the CD itself is really a simple procedure.  You will need to download your documents to your computer and save them.  I always choose to download to my desktop.

You will then insert the CD into the CD drive in your computer.  You will then Right Click on the documents and send them to the CD.  That\’s it!  The documents will be on the CD and ready to eject.  Place the CD on the spindle that came with the software and you are ready to print the label.  After completing your design (which you only have to do one time then save it), and putting the information on the label you will then insert the label into your printer and print it.  The labels all have a \”sticky back\” and you will peel it off of the backing, place on the label and use the clear plastic apparatus to make sure it adheres completely to the CD.  Place in the envelope and you are ready to go.  

Please do take the time to check the CD to make sure your documents are actually on it and they are able to be opened.  

When I call the borrowers to confirm the appointment I will go through the usual confirmation of time and location,  ask for copies of ID (I do this with every signing so I will have this if it is required), and will then approach the CD this way.  I will say to them, \”As you probably know your loan documents are a very large package.  If you like, and we do not charge for this, we would be happy to put your copies on a CD for you. 
We will leave paper copies of the most important documents as well.\”

When we first began to do this about 35% of the borrowers chose the CD over paper.  That was about 5 years ago and now we have about 90% who are delighted to get their documents on the CD as opposed to paper.

So that is it!  Now it is up to you if you would like to use CD\’s or not.

Always Remember – Constant Reminders 


ALWAYS ….. ALWAYS Read your instructions upon receipt of the confirmation.

Make notes of anything unusual you need to remember.

Adhere to the instructions.

If you have any questions, call the vendor right away and get the answers.

Double check the documents as they are printing to make sure they are printing properly.

Always check the documents before leaving the Borrower’s location.

Even if you watched as each document was signed and think they are perfect, CHECK AGAIN! 

If you ever have that nagging little doubt that you missed something, check again before shipping.

When Things go wrong 

I do want you to be aware of what to do when things go wrong and they do go wrong from time to time. We’re only human and the trick is, learning how to be perfect in not so perfect situations. When you make a mistake be gracious, admit it, and fix it. It is as simple for that. There is a lot of reasons you can give for you not doing it right, but don’t dwell on that just skip it and go onto: “How can I fix it?” Now there’s no guarantee that you will keep the customer, but you will keep some of them. Some of your customers make it very ugly about your error. Keep your composure and again be gracious and fix it. But believe me, it is often the times that you make the mistake that the vendor will not remember the mistake, but they will remember how you rectified the error. Repeat that again in your head: It’s not so much the mistake that you made but how you fixed it. When you have fixed it, you can call a friend and complain—you won’t lose a customer by calling them to complain and your friend probably would not lie.