Notary Signing Agent Supplies
Are you a new Notary Signing Agent (also known as a Loan Signing Agent) but aren’t quite sure you have all the supplies you need, or even the right ones? Or perhaps you’re not a new agent but just need some guidance to make sure you have the right tools to be productive. Or maybe you’re a notary and are wondering what you need to make the transition to a Loan Signing Agent.
If you’re a loan signing agent, or plan on becoming one, then you will need the right tools in order to be the best at your job you can be.
Becoming a loan signing agent is something every notary should consider to enhance their portfolio, gain new skills, and increase their income.
What is a Loan Signing Agent?
A loan signing agent is a notary public who notarizes loan documents or other closing documents. These documents can be for a home purchase, refinancing a house, a reverse mortgage, a loan modification, or even a home equity line of credit. The signing agent basically walks the borrower through a set of mortgage loan documents. Because it involves a bit more work than regular notary duties, it’s best to take a training course on how to become a loan signing agent. The number of documents involved can be intimidating at first, but the key is to master what each document is for. The loan signing agent is there to briefly explain what a document says. There’s no legal advice given, and if the borrower has any questions beyond the description of the document they are signing, they will have to ask their lender those questions. So, as you can see, there’s no loan process knowledge one must know or anything like that to be a loan signing agent.
You can make anywhere from $75-$200 per appointment depending on a few different factors.
Duties of a Signing Agent
As mentioned earlier, the main job of a loan signing agent is to briefly explain what the document is that the borrower is about to sign. There’s also the task of checking and documenting photos IDs, and making sure the borrower signs, dates, and/or initials where indicated. There may also be a few documents within the loan packet that may need notarizing. And finally, the signed and notarized documents will need to be returned to the appropriate party or parties. The title company, escrow company, or lender will give instructions on where and how (Fedex, UPS, etc.) to return the documents. The main thing to remember is that you should never give advice about the contents of the documents.
There are just some supplies a loan signing agent should not be without. The right supplies are so valuable when it comes to this job. Below are some specific supplies and reading material I recommend.
There are a few books that I think all notaries should read. They are great for helping you not only understand the notary business, but also for helping you grow your notary business.
If you are looking to utilize different sources to grow your business, then using LinkedIn is a great place to start. The book dives deep into how to supercharge your notary business.
Another book I highly recommend if you want or need inspiration, help with explaining documents, insights of the business, resources, and more. If you want a good notary reference book then this is great for that as well.
If you’re looking for a handy sourcebook of the loan documents used in a signing then this book will help you become a loan document expert. Or, use this loan documents cheat sheet with descriptions and images.
These books will assist you in becoming a successful notary signing agent.
Since organization is a must as a notary signing agent consider a notary signing agent appointment book. This one comes with a rescission calendar. Having a rescission calendar with you makes it easy to determine the borrower’s rescission period. A rescission calendar is used to indicate when the borrower’s three business days to cancel a loan expires. Since this information is on one of the documents the borrower may sign, that is something you will check to make sure the rescission date is correct.
A must have as a signing agent is a notary journal. I like this journal because it’s great for multiple document signings such as loan closings, estate planning, and general notary work. It takes the guesswork out of it with prompts on what to do next.
The thumbprint printing portion of being a notary can get a little messy but not when you have inkless thumbprint/fingerprint pads. These are compact, easy to use, and inexpensive. They provide extra security and prevent identity fraud.
A notary embosser is used to make an impression on a document and is used to authenticate the notary’s signature and make the notarial act official. You may be wondering if you should choose a notary stamp or a notary embosser and what’s the difference. The answer lies in your state’s notary stamp and notary seal law requirements which vary from state to state. Some states require notaries to only use a notary stamp while others allow a notary seal embosser if used in conjunction with an inked notary stamp. Some states let you use either one. So be sure to check your state’s laws before purchasing these items. You don’t want to be fined, or worse, have your notary revoked for using the wrong notary stamp, or use one that has missing information.
Stamps are easier to manage and maneuver and are durable so if your state allows using a stamp then you may want to go that route. Of course, if you want to be fancy and your state allows it, go ahead and get yourself an emBOSSer because that’s what you are-a BOSS!
If you live in a state that offers using both an embosser and a stamp to notarize, then consider a notary stamp and embosser package that you order by State.
Notary E&O (error and omissions) Insurance is used in the event you make a mistake, or a false claim is filed against you. If you make an innocent, unintentional error, you want to make sure you’re protected. That means as a notary, you should have insurance. This should not be confused with notary bonds. Notaries are required to be bonded in some states. Notary bonds protect consumers and entities from mistakes the notary makes that result in harm to others. In those instances, a claim can be made against the bond. On the other hand, errors and omissions insurance protects the notary and is designed to protect your personal and professional assets in the event you make a mistake that causes financial loss to a client. Although your state might not require both types of protection, as a notary it’s smart to get both coverages. To be clear, errors and omissions insurance is not required by law. But why risk it? Notary bonds are required in some states. Notary bonds protect the public. E&O Insurance protects the notary.
You will also need a good printer as well. About that printer…I recommend a laser printer because an ink printer will be way too costly in the end. The laser printer may cost more in the beginning but in the long run will save you again and again. Also, try and get yourself a printer with a built-in scanner as well as dual trays for printing out letter and legal-size documents. If your printer doesn’t come with scanning capabilities, you can always use a scanning app on your phone.
Laser printers that have it all are going to costs. But they will save you time and money. If purchasing a laser printer with dual trays isn’t in the budget right now then consider a less expensive laser printer for your notary use and needs. It may have wireless connectivity, and can print, scan, and copy, but not have a dual tray for legal and letter size paper. Also, try and get the most lightweight printer you can since you’ll be taking it with you whenever you do a signing.
Use a notary bag to keep all your supplies and important information in one place and safe and secure. Ladies, if you prefer a classy and fashionable briefcase you can use that as well. Here’s a nice waterproof briefcase for men. If you’d have physical issues or find yourself tired then this mobile business case is great for lugging around all your things. Not only does it allow you to have a folder system inside but it also locks.
Keep in mind that sometimes you may get to an appointment and find that the subject document contains a notary certificate that is not valid for whatever reason. In such instances you can attach an acknowledgement or jurat approved in your state. A better way to do this instead of attaching certificates is to purchase a Jurat Stamp and an Acknowledgement stamp specific to your state. You can even request the stamp have your county and expiration date put on the stamp although I don’t recommend putting the county on there if you practice notarizing in more than one county. These stamps are the perfect way to add the required wording to a document to make it compliant to your state. Using the stamps means you do not add additional pages to the document, which could potentially increase recording fees. It is so convenient and can do the work of several sheets of loose certificates.
Just click on this link of your state’s supplies, choose your state, and then scroll down until you get to the jurat and acknowledgment stamp for your state.
The jurat and acknowledgment are the most common types of certificates although there can be more. You can pay to download certificates on various notary websites, one such being the National Notary Association. So having a jurat and acknowledgment stamp is super convenient and can cut down on expenses.
A good notary signing agent will prepare ahead of time and preview documents before the appointment. It is a good ideal to mark the pages and documents where a signing and/or notarizing is required. To help those pages stand out use special colored sticky tabs. On that note a signature guide is also helpful for the visually impaired.
Last but not least, don’t forget your business cards! Give them out to everyone you know and post them anywhere you’re allowed.
That’s about it for now. Keep in mind that you do not need every single supply tool out there to be a notary. Start with the basics and work your way up. Of course, some tools are required. But the tools that aren’t, take your time and purchase them when you can afford them. These supplies are recommended to help make notary life easier for you.
If you’re on the fence about whether to be a notary public, loan signing agent, or both, then read more about how the process works.