Be Careful, Not All Notaries Are Signing Agents

If your lender has sent you loan documents and left it up to you to find a notary, where do you find a notary?  A good place to start is a notary directory like where you will find notaries in your zip code. It is highly recommended that you pick someone with experience with mortgage loans. You can read the notary’s profile on the site to see his/her background and experience. In addition, when you call the notary, ask them if they are familiar with your lender’s documents and if they carry errors and omissions insurance.

Not all notaries are signing agents. A signing agent aka mobile notary or mobile signing agent is a notary public who specializes in the real estate mortgage industry. Many times, a signing agent is a real estate or mortgage company or title company dropout. The serious signers have gone through a certification or training process and carry the designation Certified NSA or Certified Notary Signing Agent.  The situation described here is not typical. Most lenders do not leave it to the borrower to pick a notary.

Primarily, a mobile signing agent is hired by the title company who is handling a real estate transaction. The escrow officer chooses from their favorite signers and a list of alternates who they hire directly. Most escrow officers will also have a  “notary signing service” on their list for “out of area” signings which their regular signers can’t handle.