January 8, 2024

What is a Signing Agent?

National Notary Association has provided an excellent article about what a signing agent is and the difference between the duties of a notary public and a signing agent. Read from the NNA website below.

What do Notary Signing Agents do?

The responsibilities of a Notary Signing Agent generally include printing loan documents, meeting the signer and notarizing their signature, and quickly returning the documents for processing. NSAs are also responsible for following any additional instructions from the lender, title company or signing service that hires them for loan closing work. For example, an NSA may be asked to fax back documents right away or use a specific mailing service to return the paperwork safely.

Since Notary Signing Agents have access to private financial information about borrowers and are sent into their client’s home, the mortgage finance industry requires all Signing Agents to undergo a background screening on an annual basis. This helps prevent mortgage fraud and ensures the consumer’s information is secure.

What is the difference between a mobile Notary and a Notary Signing Agent?

The main difference between a mobile Notary and a Notary Signing Agent is the focus of their work. While Notaries encounter a wide variety of documents, Signing Agents specifically handle home loan documents.

Mobile Notaries and Notary Signing Agents are both required to have a traditional Notary commission, but NSAs must also pass a background check and an exam every year. Some states have specific restrictions related to real property documents and may require additional professional licenses.

How do Signing Agents make money?

Notary Signing Agents are independent contractors and decide how much they charge for their signing services. As contractors, Signing Agents typically charge per assignment, ranging from below $100 to a couple of hundred dollars. The amount you make will be based on how many assignments you can complete in a day.

Other factors that affect the cost of an assignment is the contracting company, whether you’re working for a lender or an escrow office, and their budget. In addition to the notarization fees set by state law, Signing Agents can also charge for courier services, which includes printing and delivering completed loan packages to the contracting company. All fees should be agreed to before the signing.

Why become a Notary Signing Agent?

Becoming a Notary Signing Agent has a few benefits. The first is the income opportunity. The fee you can charge for handling loan document packages is separate from the fee for regular notarizations, which means you’ll earn more per assignment. The second benefit is that you can be your own boss. Since Notary Signing Agents are independent contractors, you’ll control your schedule and decide how many notarizations you want to take on for the day.

If you’re already commissioned as a traditional Notary Public, you’re one step closer to becoming a Notary Signing Agent. If you’re not currently a Notary, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements and follow your state’s rules regarding Signing Agents.