Notary Signing agent training

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					Notary Signing agent training

Module 1.1: Definition of Notary Public
A Notary Public is a person of proven integrity appointed by the government to serve the public as an impartial witness in taking acknowledgments, administering oaths and affirmat ions and performing other acts authorized by law. A Notary’s main functions are to detect and deter fraud, and to facilitate the workings of commerce and law by lending credibility to sensitive signed documents.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts
As state-appointed officials, the acts Notaries perform are called notarial acts or notarizations. State law defines the acts Notaries may perform and how to perform them. In general, Notaries have the authority to perform the following acts: • • • • • • Acknowledgments. Jurats. Oaths and affirmations. Copy certifications. Proofs of execution by subscribing witness. Witnessing signatures.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Acknowledgments
An acknowledgment is a notarial act in which a Notary certifies having positively identified a document signer who admitted having signed the document. The primary function of an acknowledgment is positive identification of the document signer — verifying that the person who signed the document is, in fact, the person named in it. There are three important Notary certifications in every acknowledgment: • • • The signer appeared before the Notary. The Notary identified the signer. The signer acknowledged signing the document.

Document signers may acknowledge documents in various capacities. • • The Notary often completes a certificate that specifies the signer’s designated capacity. Some states do not require or allow the Notary to determine whether the individual has the authority to sign in a representative capacity.

Acknowledgments are typically performed on deeds conveying real property, powers of attorney and other executable documents.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Sample Individual Acknowledgment Wording
The following is a sample of individual acknowledgment wording. It is typically used when a signer is signing in an individual capacity.

State of _______________) ) SS County of ______________)

On this _____ day of _______________, _______, before me, _____________________, the undersigned Notary Public, personally appeared _______________________, personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he/she/they freely executed it. Witness my hand and official seal. (Seal) ____________________________ (Signature) ____________________________ (Title or rank)

Sample Representative Acknowledgment Wording
The following is a sample of representative acknowledgment wording. It is typically used when a signer is signing in a representative capacity, for example attorney in fact, trustee State of _______________) ) SS County of ______________) On this _____ day of _______________, _______, before me, _______________________, the undersigned Notary Public, personally appeared _______________________, personally known to me (or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence) to be the person who executed the within instrument as trustee/executor/public official on behalf of said trust/estate/public entity herein named, and acknowledged to me that the trust/estate/public entity executed it. Witness my hand and official seal. (Seal)

____________________________ (Signature) ____________________________ (Title or rank

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Jurats

Jurat certificates are used when an individual attests to the truth or accuracy of a written statement. In executing a jurat, the signer personally appears before the Notary and the Notary positively identifies the signer, witnesses the individual sign the document and administers an oath or affirmation to the signer. There are three important Notary certifications in every jurat: • The signer personally appeared before the Notary. • The signer signed the document in front of the Notary. • The signer swore or affirmed the truthfulness of the document. A jurat is performed on verifications, which are declarations under oath or affirmation that a statement is true. Two common types of verifications are: • Affidavits. • Depositions.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Affidavits
An affidavit is a sworn written statement used in formal court proceedings and in a variety of circumstances outside of court.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Depositions
A deposition is a sworn verbal statement of a witness taken and transcribed for use in a trial or other court proceeding. Notaries in many states are permitted to take depositions, however due to their technical nature a few states have removed depositions from the list of authorized acts.

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Sample Jurat Certificate
State of _______________) ) SS County of ______________) Subscribed and sworn to (affirmed) before me this ____ day of __________________, ____. Witness my hand and official seal. (Seal) ____________________________ (Signature)

____________________________ (Title or rank

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Oaths and Affirmations
An oath is a spoken, solemn promise to a Supreme Being that is made before a Notary in relation to a jurat or as a notarial act in its own right. ―Do you solemnly swear that the statements in this document are true, so help you God?‖

An affirmation is a spoken, solemn promise on one’s personal honor, with no reference to a Supreme Being that is made before a Notary in relation to a jurat or as a notarial act in its own right ―Do you affirm that the statements in this document are true?‖

Module 1.2: Notarial Acts Acknowledgments vs. Jurats

Module 1.3: Identification Methods
State laws require the Notary to establish a signers identity through either personal knowledge or satisfactory evidence of identification

Module 1.3: Identification Methods Personal knowledge
Personal knowledge is defined as having an acquaintance derived from association with the individual in relation to other people and based upon a chain of circumstances surrounding the individual, which establishes the individual’s identity with reasonable certainty. Personal knowledge is the most reliable form of identification. The Notary should rely upon personal knowledge only when the Notary has at least reasonable certainty about the signer’s identity

Module 1.3: Identification Methods Satisfactory Evidence
Satisfactory evidence is usually defined as evidence proving that a signer is who he or she claims to be based upon on of two methods: • • ID card. The oath or affirmation of a credible identifying witness

Module 1.3: Identification Methods Identification Cards
Most states prescribe or allow document signers to present an ID card as proof of identification. Although state laws vary regarding required components of an ID card, the card should include at least a photograph of its bearer. Notaries must become familiar with the most common forms of identification to be able to determine whether it is counterfeit or altered.

Module 1.3: Identification Methods ID and Document Names
Loan documents should be signed in the name in which they are drawn. The name on the signer’s ID must match or be more than the name on the documents. • Acceptable: ID name — Barry Bart Buyer Document name — Barry B. Buyer • Unacceptable: ID name — Barry B. Buyer Document name — Barry Bart Buyer

Module 1.3: Identification Methods Credible Identifying Witness
A credible witness is a known individual who vouches for the identity of a document signer who is unknown to the Notary and without identifying documents. Some states allow the use of one or two credible identifying witnesses who personally know the signer and are identified by the Notary through identification documents. A credible witness should demonstrate honesty, awareness and impartiality. Any credible witness should be aware of his or her role and be impartial to the transaction

Module 1.4: Incomplete Documents The Notary should scan the document for completeness before performing the notarization
The Notary should ask the signer to complete any blank spaces. If the signer does not know how to complete the blank spaces, the signer should contact the issuing or receiving agency. The Notary should not advise on how the blank spaces should be completed. Spaces for the county recorder and additional signature lines of signers not in the Notary’s presence may be left blank.

Module 1.5: Journal of Notarial Acts
A Notary journal is a detailed, chronological record of the official acts of a Notary Public. Although many states do not require Notaries to maintain a journal, many official publications recommend that the Notary use a journal in the public interest.

Module 1.5: Journal of Notarial Acts Journal Entries
Few states specify the entries that must be recorded in the journal, however the following entries are recommended by the National Notary Association: • • • • • •

• • • •

Date and time of notarization. Type of notarial act. Address where the notarization was performed. Title or type and date of document. Printed name and address of each signer. A description of the identification used to identify the signer. • If identified by an ID card, list the type, issuing agency, serial or other identifying number and expiration date. • If identified by credible identifying witness(es), obtain the signature of the witness(es) and ID card information. Signature of the principal. Notary fee charged, if any. The signer’s right thumbprint. Additional information.

Module 1.5: Journal of Notarial Acts Journal Shortcuts
Ditto marks may be used to record recurring information in consecutive journal entries. The signer may sign along a diagonal line for consecutive entries. Some state laws provide additional shortcut options, while others preclude the use of shortcuts at all

Module 1.5: Journal of Notarial Acts Journal Inspection and Photocopying
The Notary, as a public official, is the ―gatekeeper‖ of the journal.

Members of the public may inspect and request photocopies of journal entries upon presentation of a written request specifying: • • • Name(s) of signer(s). Type of document (e.g., ―Quitclaim Deed‖). Month and year notarized.

Module 1.5: Journal of Notarial Acts Journal Security
States are increasingly enacting statutes requiring the Notary to take steps to safeguard the journal of notarial acts, including: • • Requiring that the journal be kept in a locked and secured area under the Notary’s direct and exclusive control when not in use. Requiring Notaries to inform the state’s Notary-regulating authority in writing if the journal is lost, misplaced, stolen, destroyed or damaged.

The unlawful possession of a Notary’s journal is often considered a criminal act. Many states set criminal penalties for concealing, defacing or destroying the journal that may apply to Notaries or, if they are deceased, to the administrators of their estates.

Module 1.6: Notary Seal
The Notary seal is typically affixed to the Notary certificate as the final step in notarizing a document. The seal helps to protect the document from fraud and imparts authenticity and finality to the transaction. The Notary seal should be clearly and legibly affixed to all notarized documents. Failure to use or make a clear imprint of the Notary seal could cause document rejection by county recorders and receiving agencies. The Notary seal must be affixed at the time a document is notarized. When the Notary-employee leaves the place of employment, he or she should take the seal.

Section Review
1. Notaries typically perform acknowledgments, jurats and other acts as authorized by law. 2. Notaries identify signers through personal knowledge, ID cards or the oath or affirmation of a credible identifying witness. 3. The Notary should ensure that a document is complete before notarizing. 4. A Notary should keep a detailed, chronological record of his or her official acts. 5. The Notary seal helps to protect documents from fraud and imparts authenticity and finality to the transaction.

End of Section One
Congratulations! You have now completed Section One. The next page consists of interactive exercises to allow you to check your understanding of the material we have just covered. These exercises are scored, and a final score of 70% is required before beginning the next course section.

The Notary Signing Agent’s Role

Section Two Objectives
Welcome to Section Two: The Notary Signing Agent’s Role After completing this section you will be familiar with: • • What a Notary Signing Agent is. The loan process.

Module 2.1: What is a Notary Signing Agent?
A Notary Signing Agent (NSA) is a Notary Public who is hired as an independent contractor by a closing agent to ensure real estate loan documents are properly executed by the borrower, notarized and returned for processing.

Module 2.1: What is a Notary Signing Agent? Key Responsibilities of the Notary Signing Agent
• • • Travel to a borrower’s home or place of business to oversee signing of the loan documents as a service to the closing agent and borrower. Notarize one or more documents in a loan package. Ensure the various loan documents not requiring notarization are correctly signed, dated and initialed.

Module 2.2: The Loan Process Loan Documents
Upon loan approval, the preliminary loan documents are drawn and forwarded to the party responsible for handling the signing portion of the transaction.

The Closing Agent
The closing agent — a lender, title company, escrow company or an attorney — is responsible for closing the loan and conducting the settlement.

Module 2.2: The Loan Process The Loan Signing Assignment (Where the NSA Fits in)
In general, there are three possibilities for handling the signing of loan papers: • • • The closing agent can handle the signing at the settlement appointment. The closing agent can contract directly with an NSA to conduct the signing (―Direct Work‖). The closing agent can contract with a signing service, a ―middleman‖ who dispatches an NSA to conduct the loan signing.

Settlement (Closing)
Following any right of rescission period, the closing agent collects and disburses funds, the ―Deed of Trust‖ and any other recordable documents are recorded, the loan is funded and escrow is closed.

Module 2.2: The Loan Process Benefits to Notary Signing Agent
The following are the benefits of Notaries Public to become Notary Signing Agents: • • • • • • Small up-front investment. Work from home. Flexible schedule. Part- or full-time career. Be your own boss. Additional income.

Section Review
A Notary Signing Agent is hired by a closing agent to ensure that real estate loan documents are properly executed, notarized and returned for processing. There are three possibilities for handling the signing of loan papers: 1. The closing agent can handle the signing 2. The closing agent can contract directly with the NSA 3. The closing agent can contract with a signing service who dispatches an NSA to conduct the signing.

End of Section Two
Congratulations! You have now completed Section Two. The next page consists of interactive exercises to allow you to check your understanding of the material we have just covered. These exercises are scored, and a final score of 70% is required before beginning the next course section.

Question 01
The __________________ is responsible for closing the loan and conducting the settlement. a. Lender b. Title Company c. Signing Agent d. Closing Agent x

Question 02
A key responsibility of the Notary Signing Agent is to ensure that the various documents not requiring notarization are correctly signed, dated and initialed. True or False? True False

Section Three Objectives
Welcome to Section Three: Loan Documents After completing this Section you will: • • Have an understanding of how to handle to private information to which a Notary Signing Agent has access. Become familiar with the common loan documents that a Notary Signing Agent encounters in a typical signing.

Loan Documents Module 3.1: Use of Private Information
In reviewing loan documents, the NSA has access to very private and sensitive information, and so should act accordingly. The NSA should only scan the documents to ascertain their completeness and obtain information needed to complete the journal entry and must never divulge any information found on the loan documents to others. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act, a federal statute designed to protect consumers’ private and sensitive information, has led the lending and title services industries to now require background screening for all persons involved in the mortgage lending process. Notaries who complete the NNA’s Notary Signing Agent Training course and undergo a background check will gain a certification indicating that they are compliant with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Module 3.1: Use of Private Information How to Safeguard

The following techniques should be used to safeguard the loan documents from potential fraudulent misuse: • Whenever possible, personally receive the loan documents from the shipper. • Upon delivery, make sure that any seal on the package is not broken. • The seal will be broken when you open the package to review the documents prior to the signing. • If you are printing out the documents that were sent via e-mail, there will be no seal at all. • Keep the loan documents in a secure location before and after the assignment. Know where the documents are at all times. • Do not leave the documents unattended. • Do not allow anyone to view the loan documents. • Return the documents to the client immediately after the assignment. • If the signing takes place during the day, mail the documents off when the signing is comple • For a night signing, mail the documents off as soon as possible the following morning. • Make sure to properly seal the package before sending the documents. • Record the tracking number of the shipment in your business records. • Hand off return document packages in person rather than dropping them in a drop box. • Delete any e-Docs from your computer after the signing is complete

Module 3.1: Use of Private Information What to do if the Documents are Compromised
If the documents’ security is compromised, the NSA should: • • • Contact the Lender or Title Company to find out how to proceed. Contact the client to inquire about any procedures that need to be followed. Contact local law enforcement to report stolen documents

Module 3.1: Use of Private Information The Unauthorized Practice of Law
Anyone who practices law without being qualified and admitted to the bar of the state can charged for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. To ensure that he or she is not engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, a Notary signing agent should keep in mind three specific prohibitions: • • • Do not give advice. Do not prepare documents. Do not offer recommendations.

There are two exceptions to the law against the unauthorized practice of law: • Practicing attorneys. • Individuals trained or certified in a given field.

Module 3.1: Use of Private Information Practical Guidelines for Loan Signings
• • The NSA may identify, but not explain, documents. The NSA may provide limited answers to certain questions. • ―WHERE is an annual percentage rate (APR)?‖ • ―WHERE is the interest rate for my loan?‖ • ―WHERE can I find out if I will owe funds at closing?‖ The NSA must avoid answering specific questions. • ―WHAT does the prepayment penalty mean in my situation?‖ • ―WHEN is my loan going to fund?‖ • ―WHY am I being charged a loan origination fee?‖ The NSA may define terms, such as with a glossary, but may not explain what the terms specifically mean in each individual situation. Being able to describe documents and define terms is recommended but neither expected nor required of the NSA.

•

• •

Module 3.2: Settlement Statements Buyer’s/Borrower’s Closing Statement
The Buyer’s/Borrower’s Closing Statement (―settlement statement‖) itemizes the loan services provided and the fees charged to the borrower. In some areas, the format of the sample closing statement is preferred over the ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement.‖

Module 3.2: Settlement Statements HUD-1 Settlement Statement
The ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement‖ is the industry standard settlement statement adopted use by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement‖ itemizes the actual services provided and fees charged to the borrower. The fully completed ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement‖ generally must be delivered or mailed to the borrower at or before the settlement. In cases where there is no settlement meeting, the escrow agent will mail the final ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement‖ after settlement. The ―HUD-1 Settlement Statement‖ includes: • • • • • Settlement charges to borrower (line 103 and itemized on page 2). Gross amount due from borrower (line 120). Total amount paid by/for borrower (line 220). Cash required at settlement (line 300). Checkbox for borrower to provide funds at closing (line 303). The NSA should look at this line to determine whether the borrower must provide closing costs at the loan signing.

The ―Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Charges‖ is a form that discloses estimated loan fees to the borrower prior to the closing.

Module 3.3: Borrower’s Escrow Instructions
The ―Borrower’s Escrow Instructions‖ (―closing instructions‖) are the lender’s directions that the closing agent follows in closing a loan. Typically found near the front of the package, the closing instructions outline: • • • The terms of the loan. The stipulations the borrower must meet for escrow to close. The specific documents contained in the package

Module 3.4: Special Power of Attorney
A special power of attorney is document that designates an individual as attorney-in-fact and gives that person the authority to sign on behalf of the principal for specific documents or under specific circumstances. Special powers of attorney can be used in different situations, such as naming an individual to sign closing papers on a real estate transaction when the principal cannot be present

Module 3.5: Note
The ―Note‖ is a legal document that obligates a borrower to repay a mortgage loan at a stated interest rate during a specified period of time. The ―Note‖ includes the following information: • • • • • • Loan amount. Interest rate. Payment amount. Payment due date. Prepayment provisions. Late charge terms and conditions.

Module 3.6: Deed of Trust
The ―Deed of Trust‖ is a security instrument whereby real property is pledged as security for a debt. When a borrower signs a ―Deed of Trust,‖ he or she receives title to the property but conveys title to a neutral third party — called a trustee — until the loan balance is paid in full. The ―Deed of Trust‖ contains:

• • • • • • • • •

Account number. Date. Name of trustor (borrower). Name of beneficiary (lender). State of incorporation. Address of lender. Principal loan balance. Legal description of property. Property address. • Linkage to the ―Note.‖ The covenants and agreements of a „Deed of Trust” may be amended by one or more Attached “Riders”. The Assignmient of Deed of Trust” that may be found is not a document the notary should notarize.

Module 3.7: Mortgage
The mortgage is a legal document by which real property is pledged as security for the repayment of a loan. The ―Mortgage‖ contains: • Account number. • Date. • Name of mortgagee (lender). • Name of mortgagor (borrower). • State of incorporation. • Address of lender. • Principal loan balance. • Legal description of property. • Property address. • Linkage to the ―Note.‖ The covenants and agreements of a ―Mortgage‖ may be amended by one or more attached ―riders.‖

Module 3.8: Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement
A disclosure required by the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA). • TILA promotes the informed use of consumer credit by requiring disclosures about its terms and conditions. • TILA requires the lender to make disclosures on loans subject to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act within three days after receipt of a written application. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). • RESPA is a consumer protection statute, first passed in 1974. RESPA requires that borrowers receive disclosures at various times during the settlement process. • Some disclosures spell out the costs associated with the settlement, outline lender servicing and escrow account practices and describe business relationships between settlement service providers.

Module 3.8: Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement
The ―Truth in Lending Disclosure‖ contains the following information: • • • • • • The annual percentage rate (APR). Finance charge — the dollar amount the loan will cost the borrower. The amount financed. Total payments and payment schedule. Prepayment penalties, if any. Assumption option, if allowed.

Module 3.9: Notice of Right to Cancel
If the loan includes a rescission option, the ―Notice of Right to Cancel‖ gives the borrower three (3) business days to cancel the loan. Three important dates: • Document preparation date – the date the document was drafted or prepared. • Signing date – the date the document was signed. • End of the rescission period date – the last day of the ―cooling off period‖ in which a borrower may cancel his or her loan Some lenders calculate the rescission period; other lenders rely upon the NSA to calculate this date. In order to calculate the rescission date: • Count three (3) business days beginning with the first business day after the signing date. The rescission period ends at midnight on the third business day. • ―Business‖ day includes any day of the week except Sunday and the following federal legal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Module 3.9: Notice of Right to Cancel
The document may contain three different signature spaces: • • Borrower’s acknowledgment — This is where the borrower signs at the loan signing appointment acknowledging the right to cancel. Right to Cancel — This is where the borrower signs should he or she wish to exercise the right to cancel the loan. Do NOT have the borrower sign here at the loan signing appointment. Confirmation Certificate — This is where the borrower confirms subsequent to the rescission period that he or she has not exercised the right to rescind the loan. Do NOT have the borrower sign here at the loan signing appointment.

•

Module 3.10: PATRIOT Act Disclosure
Signed into law on October 26, 2001, the U.S. PATRIOT Act established enhanced measures to prevent, detect and prosecute money laundering and terrorism. Effective October 1, 2003, regulations implementing Section 326 of the Act required all financial institutions to establish a Customer Identification Program (CIP) for identifying all new account holders. The regulations require that institutions implement procedures for collecting standard information such as a customer’s name, address, date of birth and a taxpayer identification number (for U.S. citizens, typically a Social Security number and for non-U.S. citizens, a similar number from a government-issued document). NSAs complete a form on behalf of the lender certifying that the he or she properly identified the borrower at the signing appointment.

Module 3.11: Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement
On this document, the borrower discloses any other names under which he or she is known and writes signatures for each name. This document ensures signature verification and uniformity on all documentation. If a document requires the borrower to sign in a different name, the ―Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement‖ validates that name and corresponding signature. The Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement is routinely notarized with both acknowledgment and jurat forms. Variations also exist which are simply signed without the need for notarization. Although the borrower may enter other names by which he or she is also known and a sample signature for each, the NSA would insert the name by which the signer was identified and that is printed on the loan documents into the notarial certificate.

Module 3.12: Uniform Residential Loan Application
The Uniform Residential Loan Application is the standard loan application form used in the industry. The borrower’s execution of a completed loan application is often a stipulation for the closing of a loan. Depending upon the form, the application may require a signature on each page, a signature on page 3 and 4 and initials on pages 1 and 2 or a signature on the last page only

Section Review
The NSA has access to very sensitive information and should act accordingly. The NSA should only scan the documents for completeness and to obtain information for the journal entry. In addition, an NSA must never divulge any information found in the loan documents to others. The NSA should be careful to ensure that he or she does not engage in the unauthorized practice of law. However, there are two exceptions to this: practicing attorneys and individuals trained or certified in a given field. There are several loan documents with which an NSA should be especially familiar. They include: 1. Settlement Statement 2. Borrower’s Escrow Instructions 3. Special Power of Attorney 4. Note 5. Deed of Trust 6. Mortgage 7. Truth in Lending Disclosure 8. Notice of Right to Cancel 9. PATRIOT Act Disclosure 10. Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement 11. Uniform Residential Loan Application

End of Section Three
Congratulations! You have now completed Section Three. The next page consists of interactive exercises to allow you to check your understanding of the material we have just covered. These exercises are scored, and a final score of 70% is required before beginning the next course section.

Question 01
Which of the following questions may an NSA not answer? a. Where is the APR listed? b. Where can I find out if I will owe funds at closing?x c. When is my loan going to fund?

Question 02
On which of the following documents would you find the terms of the loan? a. Signature Affidavit and AKA Statement b. PATRIOT Act Disclosure c. Notice of Right to Cancel d. Borrower's Escrow Instructions

Question 03
On which of the following documents would you find the late charge terms and conditions? a. Deed of Trust b. Mortgage c. Note
x

d. Borrower's Escrow Instructions

#4 Steps to a Successful Loan Signing

Section Four Objectives
Welcome to Section Four: Steps to a Successful Loan Signing In this section, we will discuss the five steps a Notary Signing Agent performs to complete a successful loan signing. These steps are: • • • • • Receive the assignment. Contact the borrower. Organize the documents. Conduct the signing. Finalize the assignment.

Module 4.1: Step 1: Receive the Assignment
The first step in performing a successful loan signing is to receive the loan signing assignment. During this initial contact with the client, the NSA should: • • • • Be available. Ensure that he or she has an ―Independent Contractor’s Agreement.‖ Confirm the shipment of documents. Verify that the client will send the assignment form

Module 4.1: Step 1: Receive the Assignment Be Available
Clients will request the hours the NSA is available. Always be reachable at the primary contact phone number provided. Plan for the ―end-of-the-month rush,‖ when a volume of loans close.

Independent Contractor’s Agreement
The NSA should confirm that the contractor’s agreement is in his or her possession. • The NSA will usually already have the agreement in his or her possession. • If the NSA does not have the agreement, the NSA should request and obtain an Independent Contractor’s Agreement. • Confirm the terms of the Contractor’s Agreement with the client. • Obtain an evening or weekend contact number from the client, if necessary.

Module 4.1: Step 1: Receive the Assignment Shipment of Documents
The client will arrange for the shipment of documents. Most often, the documents will be shipped to the NSA who should verify that the client has his or her correct address. Occasionally, the documents will be shipped to the borrower.

Assignment Form
The client will typically e-mail or fax an assignment form to the NSA. The assignment form may vary, but will always include at least the borrower’s contact information.

Module 4.2: Step 2: Contact the Borrower
In the second step, the NSA will contact the borrower and help to alleviate any potential problems prior to the signing.

Set or Confirm the Appointment
The NSA should call the borrower immediately upon receiving the assignment to: • • • • Set or confirm the appointment. Address the need for proper identification to avert any potential problems before the signing. Inform the signer of any additional stipulations (W -2, check, etc.) Inform the borrower of the NSA’s role.

Many clients require the NSA to call the agency to confirm the appointment within a certain amount of time.

Module 4.3: Step 3: Organize the Documents
In the third step, the NSA will organize the documents in preparation for the loan signing appointment. • If the documents are shipped to the borrower, the NSA will contact the borrower to discuss how to prepare for the signing. • If the documents are sent to the NSA, he or she will take the proper steps to prepare the documents for the signing. • The NSA should make logistical preparations.

Module 4.3: Step 3: Organize the Documents Documents Sent to the Borrower
When the documents are shipped to the borrower, the NSA should ask the borrower to: •
•

Review the documents for correct name spellings, property addresses, loan terms and dates. Complete information forms before the signing.

Ask the borrower not to sign any forms in the loan package prior to the signing. Call the lender to answer questions about the loan or documents. Verify that the name on the ID card is acceptable.
•

Have the borrower read and spell the name. Remember to apply the ―less-but-not-more‖ rule when determining if the ID name is acceptable

Module 4.3: Step 3: Organize the Documents Documents Sent to the NSA
• • • • Determine which documents require notarization and list the documents on the prep sheet, along with the type of notarization required for each. Scan the documents for completeness, especially those being notarized. Check for the borrower’s copy and note on the Prep Sheet that it has been included in the package. Verify that return shipping instructions and packaging have been included.

• Be aware of different document dates: •Document Preparation/Drafting Date — May be dated in the past. •Signing/Transaction Date — Dated the day of transaction or the day of signing. •Notarization Date — Dated on the day of actual notarization.

Module 4.3: Step 3: Organize the Documents Documents Sent to the NSA
Use ―flags‖ or ―sticky notes‖ to mark documents that require signatures, initials and dates. Look for additional stipulations required at the signing (W -2 forms, pay stubs, insurance information, funds for closing costs, etc.). • Scan for documents printed double-sided. The chance of missing a signature is greater when documents are printed back to back. •Closing/Effective Date — May be dated in the future • •

Module 4.3: Step 3: Organize the Documents Documents Sent to the NSA

When the documents are shipped to the NSA, he or she should prepare the package by organizing and reviewing the documents prior to the signing. • Look for specific lender instructions that may be included in the loan package. • Use the Prep Sheet as an organizational tool when review the documents in the loan package

Module 4.4: Step 4: Conduct the Signing A Loan Signing Step-by-Step
Give the borrower(s) an overview and instructions for carrying out the document signing process. Request the borrower’s ID and solve any ID issues before proceeding. Show the borrower the borrower’s copies and then place them out of reach until the end of the signing. Obtain any required stipulations (W -2, pay stubs, insurance policy, check, etc.) and attach them to the settlement statement. Complete the journal entries for the notarized documents. •Group journal entries by signer. •Keep Notary fees separate from signing fees in the journal. fees should not appear under the ―Notary Fee‖ column.

Sig

Module 4.4: Step 4: Conduct the Signing A Loan Signing Step-by-Step
Execute all loan documents and complete notarizations as necessary. • Remind the borrower to sign in the exact name typed on the documents and to initial documents with the same number of initials. • Sign the documents with the same type and color of pen. • Flag and execute the following documents first: • Settlement statement. • Note. • Notice of Right to Cancel. • Deed of Trust. •Contact the lender to have the borrowers address any questions. •Review all documents for missed signatures, initials and dates

Module 4.4: Step 4: Conduct the Signing When the Borrower Won’t Sign
•Remind the borrower of the rescission period and that they have three days to contact the lender to settle any concerns. •Attempt to reach the borrower’s loan officer or escrow agent. •To avoid any claim of ―duress,‖ never attempt to persuade the borrower to sign. •If the signing appointment halts, take all documents with you (including the borrower’s copies). •Ask the company that provided the assignment for instructions on how to proceed with the unsigned documents.

Module 4.5: Step 5: Finalize the Assignment
The last step is to finalize the assignment. In this step, the NSA will: • • • Look over the loan package to make sure it is complete. Inform the client that the signing is complete. Handle the return of the documents as specified by the client

Module 4.5: Step 5: Finalize the Assignment Prepare the Package for Shipment
At home and before shipping the completed loan packet, give it a once-over. Inform the client that the assignment has been completed and fax any requested documents to the client. Also, complete the log book entry and invoices for the signing. Ship the loan package in the shipping materials provided the same day (next day for evening appointments). • Keep the tracking number for the shipment for your records. • Contact the client to inform them that the documents have been shipped and provide them with the tracking number.

Section Review
The five steps a Notary Signing Agent performs to complete a successful loan signing are as follows:

Section Five Objectives
Welcome to Section Five: Starting Your Signing Business In this section, we will discuss: • The Notary Signing Agent’s clients. • How to market your signing services. • How to manage your signing business. • Keeping business records. •What your clients will expect from you

Module 5.1: Notary Signing Agent Clients
There are two main types of clients that an NSA will work with — direct clients and signing services. NSAs may work with a combination of different clients and types of clients.

Module 5.1: Notary Signing Agent Clients Direct Work
When the NSA contracts with the closing agent, this is considered direct work. Potential clients include: • • • • Title and escrow companies (closing agencies). Lenders. Mortgage brokers. Banks and savings-and-loan institutions.

The advantages of enlisting with direct clients are: • • • The NSA can make more money contracting with closing agencies. The NSA will learn how to execute the signing according to company specifications. Familiarity with the loan documents may reduce the length of the signing appointment

Module 5.1: Notary Signing Agent Clients Signing Services

Signing services are middlemen between the NSA and the closing agent. Advantages of enlisting w signing services include: • • • Signing services provide the new NSA the best opportunity to gain valuable experience. Contracting with an agency may provide a volume of assignments. Reputable signing services typically have fair and generous payment policies.

Module 5.1: Notary Signing Agent Clients Where to Find Clients
To locate a client, the NSA may use resources such as: • • • The NSA Section company database. Online contact forms at company Web sites. Other NSAs.

Module 5.1: Notary Signing Agent Clients NSA Section Company Directory
The NSA Section Company Directory is a directory where NSAs can search for potential clients or clients can search for NSAs.

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Market Research
When marketing yourself to potential clients, focus marketing efforts on companies that will be most beneficial and profitable to you as an NSA. Research companies to discover: • Business volume. • Does the company do a large number of closings in your area? • Company history. • How long has the company been in business? • Company reputation. • Are other Notaries in the area happy working with this company? Where to find company information: • Better Business Bureau www.bbb.org • Online customer complaint sites. • State, county and city consumer protection offices www.consumeraction.gov/state.shtml • Networking with other NSA

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Certified Notary Signing Agent
NSAs who pass the Notary Signing Agent Certification Examination offered by the NNA achieve the highest standing among practitioners of the profession, earn the designation of Certified Notary Signing Agent and receive a priority listing in the NNA’s Signing Agent directory. Once the NSA has obtained membership on the database, it is important to update and maintain the member profile with NationalNotary.org.

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Networking

A network is an extended group of people with similar interests or concerns who interact and rema in informal contact for mutual assistance or support. How to build a network: • Brainstorm and compile a list of contacts in the real estate industry. • Mortgage brokers. • Real estate agents. • Loan officers. • Appraisers. • Other NSAs.

Call each of these people and request an ―informational interview‖ over the phone. Be optimistic an upbeat. Send the contact a package the same day of the appointment. This package should include: • Flyer advertising your services. • The NSA’s business card or Rolodex card can be clipped to the flyer. •Thank you note.

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Networking
Ask for the names of additional contacts. Follow up with the interviewee. When communicating with someone who could offer the NSA work as an NSA, following a simple outline will help keep the NSA on track while establishing identity and credentials and offering services.

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Application Procedures
Application procedures vary by company. • Clients will want to know the hours and days the NSA is available. • Clients will want to know the cities and/or counties the NSA is willing to travel to. • Proof of Notary credentials. • Errors and omissions insurance. • Notary bond. • Photocopy of Notary’s commission certificate. • Signed IRS Form W-9. • Photocopy of a driver’s license. • Relevant industry experience/training. • NNA’s training seminars. • Taking and passing the NNA’s ―Notary Signing Agent Certification‖ course. • NNA member. •NSA section member.

Module 5.2: Marketing your Signing Business Application Procedures
• Signed Independent Contractor’s Agreement. • The NSA may ask if provisions in the agreement are open to negotiation. • The NSA should thoroughly read and agree to all terms in the contract. Notary skills test. • Potential clients may require a short exam to determine Notary skills. • NSA Certification Course Book may be used as a reference to help.

•

Two to three days after the package is sent out, the NSA should call the client to confirm he or sh listed in the client’s network. Continue to call weekly or biweekly to inquire about signings in the a

Module 5.3: Advertising Strategies Advertising Strategies

NSAs will need to set a marketing budget and use it to promote their services in order to obtain m signings. Once the NSA begins receiving signings, he or she should assign a percentage of the earnings to be used to market services.

Module 5.3: Advertising Strategies Offer Services
• •
•

Offer a ―trial run‖ of your signing services to closing agencies. Offer in-house services to closing agencies. Donate services.

Module 5.3: Advertising Strategies Business Cards and Flyers
Print business cards or Rolodex cards. Business cards should include: • • • • • The Notary’s name. The words ―Notary Signing Agent.‖ The Notary’s contact numbers (especially a cell phone number). E-mail address. Web site address (if applicable).

Place flyers on community bulletin boards. • Religious centers. • Apartment complex. • Employers. •Local post office.

Module 5.3: Advertising Strategies Promotional Items
Purchase promotional materials: • • • Pens. Notepads. Keychains.

Place a yellow pages ad. Construct a Web site.

Module 5.3: Advertising Strategies Referrals
• • • Local Chamber of Commerce. Local community events. Other NSAs.

Module 5.4: Managing Your Signing Business Standard Business Tools
• • • • • • • • Cell phone. Access to a fax machine. Office supplies, including access to a computer with internet connection. E-mail account. Notary supplies. Log book for record-keeping. Appointment book or PDA. Carrying case.

Tools to Expand Your Business
•
•

Laser printer that can print out legal size documents. Fax machine.

Setting up Shop
Create a filing system based upon personal preference. Create a folder for each client and staple each company’s signing procedures to the inside of the folder.

Module 5.4: Managing Your Signing Business Accepting E-docs
In order to be able to accept electronic documents, you will need: • Access to a computer and an e-mail account that can accept large files. • Documents may be sent as an Adobe® PDF file. • Documents may be sent in a loan creation program format. • NSAs may be required to download documents from company Web sites. Access to a laser printer. NSAs may charge for accepting e-docs, usually $25-$35

• •

Module 5.4: Managing Your Signing Business Scheduling Appointments
There are scheduling challenges that a NSA may encounter, including: • Contracting with multiple companies. • Market fluctuations. • Short planning cycle (e.g., today’s calls are for tomorrow’s signings). • Overlapping assignments. • ―Pre-set‖ appointments. • Uncertain traffic patterns. • Appointments that run late.

Module 5.4: Managing Your Signing Business Scheduling Appointments
How to take control of your schedule: • • • • • • Be realistic about the number of appointments you can handle. Schedule appointments no less than 1 ½ hours or more than 25 miles apart if taking on volume. Get to know the top schedulers in each company. Make your top companies aware of your weekly schedule. When offered a pre-set appointment, ask to contact the borrower before you decline. Be flexible, especially at the end of the month.

Module 5.4: Managing Your Signing Business Scheduling Appointments
Strategies for keeping an appointment on track: • • • • • Tell the borrower how long the signing should take. If you have an appointment scheduled immediately after the signing, inform the borrower of your time constraints. Reassure the borrower that you will help him or her through the signing process (―I’m going to make this signing task painless‖). Remind the borrower that the borrower’s copies are provided so that he or she can read the documents through leisurely after the signing. Refer to the ―Right to Cancel‖ form and the three-day right of rescission period

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a blueprint of the development of your business. Before you begin writing your business plan, consider four core questions: • • • • What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill? Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will purchase it from you? How will you reach your potential customers? Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Obtaining Permits and Licenses
Many states and localities require businesses to obtain business licenses or permits, no matter what type of entity is involved. Examples of the licenses often required are business licenses, zoning occupancy permits and tax registrations. You should call local government offices for information and application forms. If the name selected as your business name is not your legal name, you may be required to file a "fictitious name" certificate in the or county where your principal place of business is located.

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It is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure that all legal requirements, laws and regulations are met. This must be accomplished on all levels: federal, state, county and locally.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Taxes
An NSA is taxed on all business income at applicable individual tax rates. income and expenses of the business are included with your personal tax return. The business income and allowable business expenses are reflected on the individual tax return. However, an NSA must also pay self-employment tax the business income. All income earned and expenses incurred as an NSA and for general Notary be reported as taxable income on IRS Form 1040 Schedule C or C-EZ (Profit and Loss from Business). If fees received for services performed for the same payer total $600 or more for the year, the NSA may receive a Form 1099 – MISC. The

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Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Taxes
Fees received for services performed as a Notary Public are exempt from self-employment tax rates (IRS Publication 17, Chapter 12). Only the portion of the signing fee (less the value of the fees received for Notary services) must be claimed on Form 1040 Schedule SE (Self-Employment). An NSA filing a Schedule C or C-EZ income of $5,000 and tax exempt self-employment tax Notary earnings of $3,000 would pay $282 in selfemployment tax. Without the tax exemption the NSA would pay $706. For clarification on the exact calculation formula, see IRS Form 1040 SE.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Keeping Records of Business Finances

The NSA should open a separate bank account to keep track of business finances and should keep records of all of the expenses and revenues connected with running th business. The NSA should be able to account for the current operating costs of running the busi All business expenses that are claimed as deductions must be ―ordinary‖ and ―necessary.‖ • The IRS defines ―ordinary‖ as an expense that is common and accepted. • ―Necessary‖ is defined as an expense that is helpful and appropriate. The costs incurred to start up a business are considered business expenses

and may be considered a deduction. This includes: • Any advertising, travel, research and training. • The costs for particular assets. •Machinery, such as computers and office equipment, may be deducted through a deduction called depreciation. •Depreciation is for property used in your business that’s useful life extends beyond a year; the cost must be spread over more than one tax year and deduct part of it each year. This machinery must be used 100% for the business and this type of equipment has a depreciation life of five years.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Recordkeeping System

The NSA must keep track of and account for all deductible business expenses that he or she cla This information is needed to separate business from non-business expenses as well as taxable versus nontaxable income.

Choose a recordkeeping system that clearly shows your expenses and your income including a summary of all business transactions, the income, deductions and credits. A checkbook (ideally from a separate business checking account) is usually a good source. The system used to record business transactions is more effective when you follow good record keeping practices, such as recording expenses on a daily Supporting documents that show the amounts and sources of income you receive from you business should be kept for seven years. •Proof of payment of an amount by itself does not establish entitlement to a tax deduction. •Keep other documents to show you incurred the cost.

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Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records

Recordkeeping System
Examples of supporting documents that should be kept include but are not limited to: • Sales slips for any items purchased. • Paid bills. • Invoices. • Receipts. • Deposit slips. • Receipt books. • Credit card charge slips. • Form 1099 – MISC. • Canceled checks. • Bank account statements. •Petty cash slips.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Recordkeeping System

The Notary Signing Agent Log is a record keeping system that enables the NSA to enter a writ record of: • • • • • Loan signing appointment information. Notarizations. Invoices and payment information. Fees for tax purposes. Tracking numbers.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Invoicing Clients
―Fax-back‖ assignment forms may serve double duty as an invoice for signing services rendered. The Notary Signing Agent will often be asked to record any details of the signing assignment and document shipping information including the name of return courier, tracking number and the date the documents were shipped.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Invoicing Clients
Direct invoices. •Many companies require the NSA to directly invoice the company for signing services. •Invoices may be sent per signing or monthly for all signings performed in that month, depending upon the client’s invoicing policy.

Module 5.5: Keeping Business Records Getting Paid
Complete assignments according to the company's requirements. Follow all post-appointment requirements. • Assignment forms. • Invoices. Keep track of all appointments. Maintain thorough records of all services performed. Record date and method of invoice submission. Setup a well-defined process for monitoring your accounts receivable. Follow-up with companies who are late paying.

Module 5.6: What Clients and Borrowers Expect

Any client that you will work with will expect: • • • • • • • • Flexibility. Communication. Promptness. Attention to detail. Service. Follow-through. Professionalism. Expertise.

Section Review
An NSA may receive work directly from the title escrow company, lender, mortgage broker, or bank. Conversely, the NSA may receive an assignment from a signing service. In order to locate clients, an NSA may use resources such as: • The NSA section company database • Online contact forms at company Web sites • Other NSAs When marketing yourself to potential clients, focus marketing efforts on companies that will be most beneficial and profitable to you as an NSA. Company information can be found by gathering research from: • The Better Business Bureau • Online customer complaint sites • State, county and city consumer protection offices • Other NSAs In order to better ensure success, the NSA should obtain all necessary business tools, permits and licenses; investigate accepting e-docs, create a system of schedule appointments and recordkeeping and adhere to the expectations of his or her clients.

End of Section Five
Congratulations! You have now completed Section Five. The next page consists of interactive exercises to allow you to check your understanding of the material we have just covered. These exercises are scored, and a final score of 70% is required before beginning the next course section.

Certification Page
Sections may be completed in any order. However, you must achieve a score of 70% or better on avery section Test in order to print your Certificate of Completion. Section test results are listed below. If you have missed any section or have not achieved a passing score, please complete the section and take the test.

Section 1 -75 Section 2- 100 Section 3- 80 Section 4- 100 Section 5- 80

Congratulations! You have now completed this course!


				
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