During the past three years, working as a mobile notary/signing agent, I have had the opportunity to meet many people from all walks of life. The borrowers I have encountered ranged from the very wealthy to the average person banging out a living, not poor, but definatly not rich. Their homes were equally diversified from large mansion like structures to smaller ones in need of some work to say the least. The areas I have gone into also differed from quiet manicured streets to the run down ones where I was happy to leave as soon as possible. The one common factor with all my loan signing jobs is the attitude of the signers when the loan signing is over.
Notice I said, "when the loan signing is over." I will not go as far as saying that all the people greeted me with open arms and smiling faces, though most do, but there is a very faint sense of apprehension that I detect as I, a stranger, walk in their home with a briefcase full of documents waiting to be signed. I do understand their concern. They know the importance of signing the documents, but as human nature takes over the trust factor kicks in. Are they getting the same loan as it was explained to them? Are the figures correct? Is the interest rate and the fees correct? There are so many variables that it can get confusing to them or even a little scary. I will say, there are those who know exactly what they are looking at and what they should be seeing.
When I can, I try to answer any questions the borrower may ask me (without getting into unauthorized practice of law). I try my best to place the borrowers at ease and into a more relaxed and comfortable state of mind and usually this is accomplished with light conversation as we go through the signing process. There are some signing agencies I've worked for that tell you to be straight forward and answer no questions at all. I find this inappropriate in most cases because the borrower reacts negatively when they feel you wont help them understand a point or two. Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to not offer opinions, suggestions or try to explain the figures pertaining to the loan, this is the loan officer's job, but some questions are general in nature or I can tell them where they can find some of the information they are looking for.
My point is no matter who the people are, well off or not, they respond positively to kindness and caring, and definatly honesty. If you show them you are sincere, concerned and willing to answer their questions if you can, they are most appreciative and by the time you are ready to leave them, after the signing is over, you are not that stranger anymore, but more of a friend. I enjoy being a notary signing agent and I enjoy meeting the people I encounter. I hope all of you who work with the public look at them as interesting individuals and not as numbers and that you enjoy your job as much as I do mine.
Harold H Savin, Notary Signing Agent