The Description of a Notary Signing Agent

May 10 18:12 2006 Max Weber Print This Article

Signing agent is a notary public, who works with the loan documents, obtaining and notarizing these documents with the purpose of closing the loan transactions (especially real estate loans). The existence of the signing agents is stipulated by the existence and the importance of the, middlemen. Signing agents are the kind of the middlemen and play very significant role in the loan processes. The loan process is very onerous for all its participants.

Signing agent is a notary public,Guest Posting who works with the loan documents, obtaining and notarizing these documents with the purpose of closing the loan transactions (especially real estate loans). The existence of the signing agents is stipulated by the existence and the importance of the, middlemen. Signing agents are the kind of the middlemen and play very significant role in the loan processes. The loan process is very onerous for all its participants.

As a rule, a person, who wants to receive a loan for the first time, does not know a lot about this process – where, when and how to get a loan, which documents are required and which are not, how to formalize and validate the loan etc. Lenders usually more informed about the loan process, but still want to improve insurance arrangements and check the accuracy of all the agreements. Here appears a notary public or a signing agent. His duty is to verify the accuracy of the documents about to be signed and only then the loan can be given.

Many loan companies operate in one office (city, region etc), but serve many debtors through the country. When they raise a loan in the remote location they send signing agents to these locations to identify the personalities of the borrower and of the lender, complete the loan and return all the documents signed to the main office, because it is very expensive and ineffective to send loan officers through the country to perform the closing of the loan. Often loan companies establish the networks of the signing agents through the country.

In summary, the overall duties of the loan signing agents consist of: - identification of the signers; - revision of all the documents about to be signed; - verification of the corresponding procedures with the documents (in other words signing agent must verify that all documents are signed, initialed and dated correctly); - notarization of corresponding documents; - return of these documents back to the main office (this responsibility is additional and sometimes it belongs to somebody else). There is one little but important nuance in the work of signing agent – he or she must not give any comments, advices or explanations during the signing of loan papers, because this role belongs to the closing attorney or a lawyer. Even standard questions about abbreviations are declined or at least an agent may just point on the list of abbreviations in the contract. In the case when questions arose, signing agents immediately call lender and ask to make corresponding elucidations, postpone the signing for a certain period of time or in some cases the agent can point to the document, where the borrower can find the necessary explanations.

Moreover, in many states the legal advisory, explanations of legal documents of signing agents considered to be illegal. A signing agent can give mentioned above comments, advices and explanations only in the case when he or she is certified lawyer, qualified in the sphere of loans. Also a signing agent can provide general information about the loan, which is accessible in the documents.

Indeed, it is not very difficult to become a signing agent but it is necessary to fulfill the following qualifications: - be at least 18 years old; - be a resident of the city and county, in which a person wants to be a signing agent; - speak, read and write in English; - not be imprisoned or be involved in any crime etc. It is important to bear in mind that these qualifications can vary from state to state. Thus most adult Americans of can become loan signing agents. In order to be a signing agent, a person needs to know many forms and the legal procedures. Inasmuch as a signing agent can be considered as a face of the loan company, he or she must have good ethics and techniques of tactful and delicate handling with clients. That is why loan companies usually provide all corresponding trainings for signing agents. Such companies also teach future signing agents how to use modern means of communications and copying in the most effective way: they always emphasize the importance of the proper use of the cell phone (recharging battery in time, buying an additional battery, buying automobile charger etc), quick usage of fax machines, pagers, computers, PDAs, internet, ICQ etc.

These measures are essential because a signing agent never can predict where and when he will need to establish a contact with his clients and which means of communications will be available at the moment. Nevertheless, there are not any official or required trainings in order to become a loan signing agent.

As a surety of notary public, signing agent is liable for “damages sustained by a person who is injured by the notary’s official misconduct” . The official misconduct is interpreted as unauthorized and unlawful duties or receiving an excessive fees (in excess of those established by the law). Thus this job causes responsibilities and demands much concentration. Also notaries public and signing agents are not responsive for the veracity of the documents about to be signed.

The fees of notaries public and signing agents vary from state to state. In some states the fees are cheap in some are relatively expensive: the cost of notarization varies from fifty cents up to ten dollars; signing agent receives from seventy-five up to one hundred and twenty-five dollars per signing in the average . These fees may increase significantly inasmuch as additional travel costs occur, as there are required several copies of documents, as one of the signers misses the appointment or decides to cancel the deal, as rescheduling originates or some force majeure, and must be negotiated with the client beforehand.

The next important question that finishes the descriptive part of this work is the possible work places and spheres of the loan signing agents. The loan signing agents can work in the state, region or city, where he or she has registered his activities legally and certified by the local government. They can work in the loan company and thus receive new contracts very often, but in this case a loan signing agent has to share a part of his fee with his employer. But an agent can work for himself and do not share his fee with anybody. In this case he or she is called an independent contractor. It means that this agent is busy with the self employment and finds the clients by himself and for himself. An independent contractor has much less clients than those who work for a loan company. In order to increase his client base an independent contractor must establish a good reputation and image within his working area, use every opportunity and advertise his services as much as possible (the means of advertisement of independent contractors will be surveyed in the second part of the essay).

A loan signing agent and his client usually define their responsibility to each other (including legal, material along with all additional payments) in a separate document, which is called an independent contractor agreement. This document must be in written in order to elude all possible misunderstandings and to protect the rights of the participants. The signers of the independent contractor agreement must be very careful and vigilant while reading it. Some clients require the agent’s documents additionally such as driver license, insurance documents, certificates etc. Independent contractors often establish some kind of communities, where they can share their experience with each other, discuss the main trends of the loan markets and governmental regulation of this market, create profiles of each other, share their opinions about each other and different loan companies etc. The establishment of such communities attracts new clients to its members, which have good authority, abilities and experience.

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Max Weber
Max Weber

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