closing: Calhan, Colorado: A Divided Town - 05/23/09 11:43 PM
I always thought that Calhan, Colorado is located in El Paso county.
It is. But it's also located in Elbert county.  That's what I discovered last week when I was assigned to do a closing in Calhan.
One of the first things I do when I get a closing assignment is find out where the borrowers are located.  I thought it was unusual that the trip would take me more than an hour and a half, according to Mapquest. 
Just where in Calhan is this?  Where in Colorado is this?  It was when I looked at the map view that I … (0 comments)

closing: The Challenges of Closing in Florissant, Colorado - 04/26/09 02:55 AM
Whenever I get a request to do a closing in Florissant, Colorado, I think of that saying: 'It's not just a job. It's an adventure.'
For starters, Florissant, Colorado isn't actually a city.  You won't find paved streets with traffic lights.  There are no neighborhoods with rows of houses and kids playing on the sidewalks, or people walking their dogs.
No. Florissant isn't a city.  It's wilderness.  Instead of streets, avenues, and boulevards, you have county roads.  And they aren't laid out in a grid.  They twist and wind.  As you may have guessed, not all of the … (0 comments)

closing: Not 'closed' on Sunday means closing on Sundays - 04/19/09 07:01 AM
I did a closing this morning at 10:30 a.m. in Colorado Springs.
What's so unusual about that, you're probably asking.
It's Sunday.
To a notary signing agent, being asked to do a closing on a Sunday morning is not at all unusual.  For those of us who are available 24/7, it's part of the job.  We gladly provide the service to the mortgage industry.
The disadvantage for the notary signing agent is that, we don't have a "day off".
There is no "Miller Time".
We never know when we'll be called to do a closing, so we have … (4 comments)

closing: Remote loan closing in Florissant, Colorado - 04/12/09 12:27 AM
I have a confession to make. A few years ago I had a closing assignment in Florissant, Colorado.  On the way there I took a wrong turn and had a hard time finding the borrower's home.  It didn't help that he lived far off the beaten path, and that there was no cell phone coverage so that I could call him and get directions.  I finally located him through trial and error. 
Actually, just about everyone in Florissant lives far off the beaten path.  Florissant, Colorado isn't a city.  It's more like an area.  Wilderness, to be exact.
Things have changed … (0 comments)

closing: Where is Elizabeth? - 04/04/09 08:26 AM
I got a call last week to do a closing.  It would be in a place in Colorado that I had never been to before.  The first thing that came to my mind was:
Where is Elizabeth?
No, Elizabeth is not my personal assistant who helps me with scheduling my closing assignments, etc.  Elizabeth is the name of a small Colorado town in Elbert county.  It's a little more than 50 miles from Colorado Springs -- about a one-hour drive.
One of the things that I like about being a notary signing agent is that I have opportunities to visit places in Colorado … (0 comments)

closing: Military Officers as Notaries - 01/31/09 09:45 AM
I recently did a closing for a woman who was signing with a Power of Attorney.  Her husband is in the military, stationed in Iraq.  She told me that there was a bit of a delay in getting the Power of Attorney notarized because he had to take a helicopter trip to where there was a notary -- a flight that lasted a couple of hours.
I felt sorry for her.  And I felt even more sorry for her husband who had to endure such an ordeal in order to get the Power of Attorney notarized.
I don't know the exact details of the … (2 comments)

closing: Closing in Trinidad, CO: getting out of the comfort zone - 01/27/09 10:50 PM
There's a saying: 'You won't know how far you can go, until you've gone too far.'
For a runner it might mean setting a goal to complete a marathon.  For a mountain climber -- reaching the summit of Mount Everest.
It doesn't have to pertain to distance or height.  It could mean pushing yourself to achieve more in your career -- doing things that require you to take on more responsibility, gain more skills, ... etc.
Seeing 'how far you can go' can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.
For me it meant accepting an assignment … (5 comments)

closing: Make it happen: finding solutions for closings - 01/24/09 07:47 PM
There seems to be a 'prime time' for remote closings, and it's usually in the evenings when most people are home for the day after getting off work.
What this means for notary signing agents is that we usually will get several requests to do a closing at times when we are already booked.  For the company looking for a closer, it means they have to look for someone else to do the closing. And they might not be able to find anyone else.  For the borrower it might mean that there isn't another notary signing agent available, and their closing … (5 comments)

closing: A $.M.A.R.T. loan that wasn't so smart - 01/23/09 11:02 PM
I got a short-notice call to do a $.M.A.R.T. loan closing. There was a non-borrowing spouse on the documents. I told the husband that his wife needed to be there to sign some of the documents.
Apparently no one told the wife.
Sometimes the financial representative shows up for these closings. It would have been a good idea if he had been there for this one.
The wife was upset because her husband didn't tell her about the loan, and that she would need to sign some of the documents. To keep a long story short, I won't tell you all … (0 comments)

closing: Shh!: a quiet closing - 01/21/09 02:15 AM
I had a closing last night, and we had to keep our voices down -- almost to a whisper.  The reason: we didn't want to disturb any of the patrons who were reading or studying. 
The closing was at the public library.
It was originally scheduled to be conducted at the borrower's home.  But the wife requested that we do it at the library instead.  She had to go to work after the closing, and her place of work was nearby.
Not a problem.  And that's the beauty of remote closings.  They can be done just about anywhere.
But … (14 comments)

closing: Can a person who is 'mentally incompetent' buy a home? - 01/14/09 03:50 AM
Well, it depends on what you mean by 'mentally incompetent', since there are many definitions and interpretations. And in the case of someone buying a home, or someone refinancing their mortgage, that interpretation just might come from someone whom you would least expect:
a notary
One of the responsibilities of a notary, in addition to identifying the person signing a document that needs to be notarized, is to establish whether that person is 'mentally competent' to sign the document.
For example, a sibling may want their mother who is in a nursing home to sign a Power of Attorney.  The mother … (5 comments)

closing: 'How long will the closing take?' - 01/13/09 09:14 PM
'It depends.'
That's usually how I will begin trying to answer that question. Because it really does depend -- on a lot of things.
First of all, it depends on the borrower, and how much time they are going to take.  All borrowers are different.  Some will say, 'I've done this a thousand times. Just show me where to sign.'  They want to get it over with as quickly as possible. 
And there are those who are very cautious.  Mistrustful even.  They want to take the time to read everything.  What might normally take one hour can turn into two hours. 

closing: Making a second trip to the borrowers after a closing - 01/13/09 08:46 PM
It's something that any notary signing agent would dread: having to go back out to the borrowers for some reason.
There are several reasons why a notary signing agent will have to go back to the borrowers after a closing.  A document might be missing a signature or initials, is one reason.
Not only will the signing agent have to go back, but they will have to do it at their expense, if it was an error on their part.  And they have to fit it into their schedule.  Then they have to track down the borrower, and hope that the … (0 comments)

closing: Waiting for a closing confirmation - 01/10/09 06:59 PM
I got a call to do a closing. I agreed to do it.
I waited for a closing confirmation so I could start preparing. None came. An hour later. Still no confirmation. I called the company. Someone other than the person I spoke to answered and told me that they are still getting the loan documents together. 
I explained that I need a confirmation, or some information so I at least know where I'm going. I also want to contact the borrowers. 
That person told me that the closing isn't in Colorado Springs, as I was told.  It's actually in Pueblo.
Pueblo … (0 comments)

closing: Handling a 'no-sign' - 01/08/09 10:50 PM
Two minutes into the closing last night the borrower found a problem on the HUD Settlement Statement, called the loan officer, and was instructed by the loan officer to not sign the documents -- that they would be re-drawn.  I hardly had a chance to finish filling out my notary journal.
I had spent time downloading the documents and printing them out, then sitting at my desk and preparing everything for the closing.  I even had the FedEx envelope prepared for shipping the documents back. Then I drive to the closing. All of that -- only to find out that the … (2 comments)

closing: Mobile Offices: Are they necessary? - 01/08/09 06:18 AM
It usually goes like this:  I'll have a closing at 4 p.m.  I'll have another closing at 6 p.m. Normally there would be no problem handling those two assignments.  Colorado Springs isn't that big.  I can finish the 4pm closing, then go straight to the 6pm closing.
There's just one problem: I haven't received the loan documents for the 6 p.m. closing.  The title company is waiting for final HUD approval.
Now it's not a simple matter of going from one closing to the other.  I have documents that I need to print.  And if I drive back to my office … (8 comments)

closing: Reverse Mortgage closings: the borrower's comfort - 01/07/09 06:58 AM
I got a call this morning to do a Reverse Mortgage closing.  No problem. I have a lot of experience with reverse mortgages.
Out of that experience I have learned that, because of the age of the reverse mortgage borrowers, there are certain things that I want to keep in mind.
Of primary concern is their comfort.  It's difficult enough for most borrowers to sit through the many loan documents that need to be signed in a closing.  But it can be even more difficult for the elderly.  I make it a point to tell the borrower to feel free to … (2 comments)

closing: The next frontier in loan closings - 01/04/09 10:06 PM
I have witnessed many closings as a notary signing agent, and seen many changes.  One of the biggest changes in loan closings is merely the fact that a borrower can do their closing in their own home, or wherever they choose.  I'm often told by borrowers that they are amazed that this is possible.  They really appreciate it.
What they don't appreciate is the amount of paper.
Admittedly there are very many documents that the borrower has to sign.  I don't mince words when they ask me how long it should take.  I tell them to expect to spend around an … (4 comments)

closing: New year's resolution: take more risks - 01/03/09 10:47 PM
In a previous post (Signing services that 'get it') I wrote about signing services, and the bad reputation that a lot of them have.  But when you read the comments that notary signing agents write about them, you have to really decide for yourself if the comments are justified.  For example, there was a negative post a while back on one of the message boards about a particular company.  I have had only positive experiences whenever I worked with that company.  So you have to wonder if it was something that the signing agent did that caused them to have the … (0 comments)

closing: 'Sorry, a photocopy is not sufficient ID' - 12/30/08 03:47 AM
A remote closing is supposed to be a convenience to the borrower.  But sometimes the convenience will have to be mixed with a bit of inconvenience.
One of the requirements of the notary signing agent is to properly identify the borrowers.  And one of the requests made of the borrower is that they provide a photocopy of their ID.
In a closing I had last Friday, the borrower handed me the photocopy of his and his wife's ID.  Nevertheless, I asked to see the original. 
This meant that the borrower had to go outside, in the cold, and get his … (0 comments)