Info about Signing Agents From www.signingagent.com,
What is a Notary Loan Signing Agent (NSA)?
A Notary Loan Signing Agent is a Notary that has specific expertise background screening, and experience to handle and notarize loan papers. If you are a lender, Notary Signing Agents are the crucial final step to complete a loan. Notary Signing Agents are hired as independent contractors to make certain that real estate loan documents are executed by the borrower, notarized and then returned for processing within a specified time. Without this critical part of the loan process the loan can not be funded.
What are the requirements to be a Notary Signing Agent?
A Notary Signing Agent must be a licensed Notary Public. In addition, a Signing Agent must complete an examination and background check.
Why is a Background Screening required?
To protect the privacy borrowers and their documents, Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act (GLBA). This act and its guidelines works to insure that the lending industry will safeguard the borrowers' private financial information. It also requires that all of the people involved in the lending process have undergone background screenings. This applies to lenders as well as title services companies to make sure that everyone that has access to your or any mortgage documents has been screened. This congressional requirement applies to anyone handling loan documents including Notaries who also act as Signing Agents.
The requires background screening includes items like identity verification, residence verification, federal criminal record database search, residence county criminal record search (through court records, not a database), state motor vehicle records search and an Office of Foreign Assets Control (known-terrorist list) check.
This comprehensive screening meets the highest lender standards and is far more expansive than other screenings. It is therefore recognized and accepted by the nation's leading title and mortgage services companies — including First American Lenders Advantage, LSI/LPS, ServiceLink and Stewart Lender Services .
Are there any Notary Signing Agent restrictions?
Different states have different restrictions or regulations that may apply to Notary Signing Agents and their ability to handle loan signings in their state:
- Connecticut – Requires an attorney's signature on the title policy, but does not require attorneys to close real estate transactions. Nevertheless, by custom, attorneys close most real estate transactions in Connecticut.
- Delaware – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.
- Georgia – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.
- Indiana – Requires a title insurance license for all closings.
- Maryland – Requires a title insurance license for all closings.
- Massachusetts – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions. A Notary who is employed by a lender may notarize a document in conjunction with the closing of his or her employer's real estate loans.
- Nebraska – Limits the fees Notaries may charge (to the statutory maximum fees for notarial acts only). No ancillary fees, such as a courier fee, may be charged.
- Nevada – Limits the fees Notaries may charge (to the statutory maximum). These fees include an hourly travel fee based upon the time of day traveled.
- North Carolina – Limits the fees Notaries may charge (to the statutory maximum fees for notarial acts). No other ancillary fees may be charged.
- South Carolina – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.
- South Dakota – Authorities conflict about whether Notary Signing Agents can conduct signings without being an attorney.
- Texas – Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loans are subject to Article XVI, Section 50 of the Texas Constitution and must be signed and closed in the office of a lender, attorney or title company.
- Utah – Notaries are restricted from handling funds. For example, if a Notary Signing Agent handles funds at a loan signing, he or she must obtain a license.
- Vermont – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.
- Virginia – Restricts Notaries from conducting real property signings without an escrow license if they but once handle monies for closing costs.
- Washington, D.C. – A licensed title insurance producer or a title attorney must be present at a closing appointment. While D.C. Notary Signing Agents are not technically required to hold a title insurance producer license, NSAs who seek to perform loan signings without a title insurance producer or title attorney present must be licensed as a title insurance producer.
- West Virginia – Requires an attorney admitted to the state bar to be present or involved in the closing of real property transactions.
Note: These notices are based upon the best available information at the time of publication (November 30, 2011) and are not intended as legal advice. The conditions described above are subject to change at any time due to legislative, executive or administrative decisions or developments.
How often does a signing agent need to complete the certification?
Every two years. An examination of the skills and knowledge as well as a background screening are required every two years.