A recent survey by CD&C Business & Legal Form Processing Services, LLC (“CD&C”) of Notary Signing Agents (“NSA”) resulted in several areas/topics of concern.
A recent survey by CD&C Business & Legal Form Processing Services, LLC (“CD&C”) of Notary Signing Agents (“NSA”) resulted in several areas/topics of concern. The chief response among the feedback centered on non-payment and debt collection. In a nutshell, NSAs are doing signings and are being “stiffed“ by some signing companies. This has been a problem for notary signing agents for a long time. Question is…what can be done about it?
First, let us say that there are many reputable companies out there. But there are a few bad apples. These disreputable companies take advantage of the NSAs services. In fact, it would appear that scamming NSAs is becoming its own business. There are companies that open shop, hire NSAs to do closings, then refuse to pay them or promise a “payment/check in the mail“ that can never seem to get there. Then there are other companies who agree to pay a certain fee for the services of a NSA, only to reduce the fee after the closing has been completed. Excuses range from poor quality of work to lenders not paying enough for the closing to citing slow business. What happens to these companies? Well, after enough complaints are lodged against them, they simply close shop and re-open under a different name.
There has to be a solution to this problem or, at the very least, a way to protect the NSA from being ripped off over and over again. One such way is the listing of companies that practice this scam in a public forum where NSAs can view such information before deciding whether or not to accept an assignment. There are several sites on the internet where for a nominal fee you can research signing companies. Most, if not all, of these sites also allow you to post your complaints for free. We here at CD&C have put together a manual/book called “Debt Collection Links & Resources Manual” which provides information on various resources available to assist with collecting outstanding debts. In addition, we also have a workbook titled "Notary Signing Agent Business Forms & Charts". Apart from containing a slew of very helpful charts and forms designed to facilitate a seamless work environment/product for the NSA, the workbook contains an agreement that can be used before accepting any signing.
The members of CD&C are also NSAs, and we have been burnt before as well, so we speak/write from personal experiences. We ask our clients to sign the agreement so that we have something in writing to fall back on in case of any misunderstanding about payments or our responsibilities.
The other side of the coin , according to several signing companies, is that some NSAs do very sloppy work. Some notaries would tend to agree. Think about it!! How many times have NSAs done closings for reputable companies because they needed someone to do "clean up" work. How many instances have you seen or known about where the initial closing wasn't completed because the NSA who did it neglected to make sure all the documents were signed and notarized where applicable. In these cases, the signing companies have to send another NSA to complete the closing.
This means that the signing company will have to pay twice for the same closing. In other cases, what about NSAs who have completed signings, but will take up to a week before they send back the necessary documents to the signing companies.
In the final analysis, it becomes beholden unto the NSA to do each signing correctly. If we do this, then the signing companies will have no excuse or “wiggle room“ for not paying the fees. Unless, of course, they are unscrupulous to begin with.
By CD&C Business & Legal Form Processing Services, LLC, http://www.cdcformsprocessing.com
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