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Notary skills test.doc
Thank you for your interest in Nations Signature Closers, Inc (NSC). The information that follows
is designed to provide you with the tools required to become a successful NSC Signing Agent,
and are meant to augment and reinforce your notary skills and experience. They are not
designed to provide notary training, or specific coverage of notary laws that may exist within
your state. We rely on your expertise regarding the specific laws and customary practices in the
areas that you cover.
The job of a mobile notary is extremely important, as we have many parties relying on us to
successfully complete our tasks. The signing appointment occurs at the end of a long and labor-
intensive process. Many professionals have performed services and have incurred expenses on
the transaction, and the final step of the process is the procurement of the borrower’s
signature(s) on the requisite documents. This is the most crucial step in the process. Something
as “minor” as a misplaced or omitted initial can delay the transaction for weeks. As you can see,
the signature is the most important step of the process. Professionalism: Always Within Our Control
There are many facets of a refinance transaction that are out of our control. The type of loan,
the terms of the loan, and the loan figures are all negotiated between the borrower and the
lender. With so many variables that are beyond the scope of the service that we provide, it is
imperative that we accept full responsibility for the items that are within our control, namely our
, body language
, and behavior
§ Appearance is very important, as it helps you establish a borrower’s confidence in your
professional abilities. The borrower’s first impression of you will go a long way in determining the success of the transaction. If an agent arrives at the scheduled appointment in attire that is less than professional, the borrower is going to assume that this transaction is not important to the agent, and the success of the appointment has already been compromised. Conversely, when an agent representing Nation’s Signature Closers arrives in professional attire and presents himself or herself in a manicured appearance, the borrower is going to be confident that the signing will be handled professionally. Professional attire always includes neat, clean, and conservative clothing coupled with a professionally groomed appearance.
§ Punctuality is as important as appearance in establishing the base for a successful
signing. Arrive at your appointments on time. The appointment has been established to accommodate the borrower’s busy schedule. Make sure to get directions to the signing address prior to leaving for the appointment. Call the borrower or get directions from services such as Mapquest or Yahoo Maps on the Internet. If, for whatever reason, you are going to be delayed, please contact the borrower and NSC immediately.
§ Never bring a friend, child, spouse, or pet to a signing.
Keep in mind that we are
providing a professional service, often in the comfort of a borrower’s home. Although the setting may be more casual than that of an office environment, our behavior shall always be as if the signing were taking place at the lender’s place of business.
§ Turn off, or put on silent mode, your cellular phones, pagers, etc. It is inappropriate to
take a phone call during the signing meeting.
§ Always park your car in the street, and never park in the borrower’s driveway. Oil stains
and possibly the condition of the signer’s car, good or bad, might intimidate the borrower.
§ Use designated walkways and paths to get to the front door. Do not cross over the lawn
and/or the flowerbeds. Be careful not to track any dirt or debris into the borrower’s home on your shoes.
§ The signor should introduce himself or herself as a representative of NSC. Greet the
borrower with a handshake and wait to be invited inside. Once inside, suggest an appropriate place to conduct the signing such as a kitchen or dining room table.
§ Be organized: Have the documents ready, make sure to carry plenty of black inks pens
(or blue ink pens, if required), and be sure that the borrower(s) are seated in a setting that allows the signer to speak to the borrowers comfortably.
§ Avoid small talk. This may seem unsociable, but this is not a social gathering. It is a
professional meeting involving important documents and large amounts of money. Sports, politics, religion, news events, and even comments about the borrower’s home should be avoided.
§ Be patient with the borrowers. While you may have performed many loan documents
signings, the typical borrower is not as experienced. The nature of the transaction, which involves a large sum of money, will understandably cause some borrowers to be nervous and concerned that everything is that they expect it to be. This is where the signer’s confidence, control, and preparation will set the borrower at ease and make for an orderly signing.
§ After the signing is complete, double-check all of the documents to ensure
that everything was executed correctly, and thank the borrower(s) for their
Please make sure to leave the borrower a copy of the documents, and check to
see if you have collected the appropriate items as specified on your instruction sheet.
Once you have left the signing, please drop off the executed document package at the
specified overnight courier location. Remember, the transaction is not complete until the
executed documents are in the customer’s possession.
§ The signer should explain that he/she is only a notary and cannot interpret items in the
documents that have been placed by the lender. This will avoid questions that the notary is not allowed to answer. The signer should not give advice, or offer an opinion as to the content of the documents being signed. If questions do arise, call the lender and/or the escrow officer and have them answer the questions.
§ If you do not receive the loan package by 10:00am local time, immediately contact
Nations Signature Closers, Inc. at (866) 291-8891.
§ Show the borrower the “borrower’s copy” of the documents prior to the signing, and let
the borrower know that he/she will receive the copy at the conclusion of the signing meeting. Put the “borrower’s copy” away so it will not be mixed with the other documents that are being signed. Go through one document at a time and after the borrower has signed, place the document face down (to maintain the same stacking order) and go on to the next document.
§ Remember to ask for photo ID at the beginning of the signing.
§ Inform the borrower that they must sign their name exactly as printed on the documents
prior to them signing anything. This will avoid complications during the signing.
§ When a corporate officer or other representative signs on behalf of a corporation, a
corporate acknowledgement certificate is used.
§ If the signature on the documents contain an “also known as”, or AKA, the notary
notarizes only the name that appears on the ID. First, the signer signs the document using the name as it appears on the ID, next writes “AKA”, and then signs the name as required on the document.
§ If the borrower refuses to sign and the signer cannot reach the loan officer or escrow
officer, the signer should gather all of the loan documents (including the borrower’s copy) and contact Nations Signature Closers for further instructions.
§ Never leave unsigned documents with the borrowers.
§ Certain states require additional witnesses (in addition to the notary) for the signing. In
this situation, it is preferable that the borrower be responsible for providing a second witness at the time of the signing. However, it is your responsibility to determine if a witness will be present at the signing.
§ In cases where the borrower is unable or not available to sign the documents, a person
may act with a Power of Attorney (POA) for the borrower. In this case, the notary must witness (notarize) the person acting as the POA, and record their signature in their notary log. When exercising their signature, the POA will sign the name of the person as printed in the documents, then directly below that signature, they must sign their name and print under in “Power of Attorney”.
§ If the borrower does not have the mental capacity to sign documents, appears to be
under extreme duress, or is incapable of making the decision to sign the documents, inform the borrower that you would like to reschedule the signing, and contact your Nations Signature Closers representative immediately.
§ If the borrower cannot or will not produce requested stipulations, make a note of that in
the file and proceed with the signing. If the signer is to pick up certified funds and the borrower produces a personal check, take it and report it when checking in. To help avoid this situation, call the borrower prior to the signing meeting to remind them of the stipulations.
§ Never commit to a funding date for the loan if asked. As with most questions that the
borrower may ask, the only acceptable answer is to refer them to their loan or escrow officer.
§ Review all signatures and dates prior to leaving. Pay attention to documents that have
printing on the front and back of a page. When finished, ask the borrower for a few minutes to review the documents to ensure that there are no missed signatures, initials, or dates.
§ Always call us immediately after a signing is completed to report the outcome, and to
provide us with the overnight tracking number. It is imperative that we know the outcome immediately after the signing. In the event that the signing appointment did not go as planned, we want to contact our customers immediately with the outcome.
§ Rescission Period
– The three-day time frame the borrower has to cancel the loan
transaction without penalty. The rescission period starts at midnight the date following the signing, and concludes at midnight the third day after. When calculating the expiration date, remember: Do not count the transaction date (date of borrowers signing the documents), do not count Sunday, and do not count legal holidays (New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). Please note that not every transaction is subject to a rescission period (see below).
§ Loose Certificate / Acknowledgement
- Notarial certificate wording on a
separate sheet of paper that is attached to a document. Used when no wording is provided, when the provided certificate wording does not comply with state requirements, when there is no room for the seal on the document, or when another notary has already preprinted a certificate.
– The yearly cost of a mortgage, including interest, mortgage insurance, and
the origination fee, shown as a percentage.
§ Interest Rate
– Interest per year divided by principle amount, shown as a
§ Investment property
– A property that is not occupied by the owner. In instances
where the owners are taking out a loan that is being secured by an investment property, the borrowers are not offered a right to rescind.
Summary of Loan Documents
Following is a list of common documents that may be contained in the loan package.
Please note the following:
§ It is possible that not all documents below will be contained in every loan package; it
is also possible that other documents may be included which are not described below.
§ It is possible that the documents will not be stacked together in the order that they
are described below (it is the notary’s responsibility to ensure that the stacking order is not changed from how it was received).
§ The notary is allowed to explain the name of the document to the borrower, and
where certain information may be contained, however, the notary is not allowed to comment on the source(s) of the information, it’s accuracy, or his/her opinion of the information contained therein.
HUD-1 Statement / Settlement Statement:
This document is generated at the close of escrow and details all costs and expenses that
are associated with the transaction. Included in the HUD-1 are: The settlement charges to
the borrower (line 103), the amount of the loan to be paid off (line 104), the gross
amount due from the borrower (line 120), the principle amount of the new loan (line
202), and any other deposits or fees. At the bottom of the first page it subtracts line 220
from line 120 to see if the borrower either needs to pay additional cash or if cash is owed
back to the borrower. An “x” will be placed on line 303, which will let the notary know
which one it is. If the borrower is required to provide additional funds, the notary should
attempt to collect those funds. If the borrower does not have a check (cashier’s check,
unless otherwise specified by escrow), alert the borrower that the funds should be
submitted to escrow as soon as possible. All of the settlement charges (line 103) are
itemized and then totaled on the second page. A notary can explain what the charges are
for, but cannot explain the reason for the amount of each charge. Generally, if no
Addendum to the HUD-1 (see below) is attached, there will be a place (generally provided
by escrow) on each page of the HUD-1 for the borrower’s signature. Addendum to HUD-1 Settlement Statement:
This is an additional page that may be attached, and verifies that the borrowers have
read and understand the HUD-1. This document will require the borrower’s signature. Closing Instructions:
This document contains instructions from the lender specifying certain loan requirements
and conditions. This rarely needs a signature or initials, but let the borrowers review it
Deed of Trust:
This document secures the subject property as collateral in consideration for the loan, and
is recorded with the county. Have the borrower check that the loan amount is correct and
that the length of the loan is accurate. Since this document is recorded, as long as there
are no specific restrictions in your state and/or county, have the borrowers initial every
page. The Deed of Trust is a standard form; therefore the terms and paragraphs in the
body of the document may, or may not apply to the loan. Have the borrower sign their
name, in black ink (unless another color is specified) exactly as it is printed. This
document will need notarization. Note:
The Note is the loan agreement, and it outlines the terms of the loan. The Note
§ Address of the property in question § Loan amount § Lender § Interest rate § Date on which first payment of the new loan is due § Where the payments need to be mailed § Monthly payment (does not include the impact of impounds such as real
§ Percentage charged by the lender if payment is more than 15 days late
Make sure the borrower(s) understand these terms and agree with them before they sign.
At the end of the Deed of Trust, there may be a list of Riders (additions or amendments)
to the document. If one or more of the boxes are checked, then the appropriate Rider
will be attached. Examples include the Condominium Rider for condominiums, 1-4 Family
Rider in multi-family dwellings, and Balloon Rider where a “balloon payment” is part of
the loan. These will need signatures, but not notarization since the Riders are part of the
Deed of Trust. Subordination Agreement:
This document alters the priority of existing liens against the property, such as an
existing HELOC or second mortgage, ensuring that the new Deed of Trust will be placed
in the first position on the title of the property. There may be multiple subordination
agreements. This document requires notarization. This document will usually have
notarized signatures from the entity that is agreeing to the terms of the subordination
agreement. Notarization of the borrower(s) signature must also be completed on the
agreement. Mortgagor’s Affidavit:
This document is used by the Federal Housing Administration to insure the loan, or by
the Veterans Administration to guarantee the loan, or by a Private Mortgage Insurance
Company to insure the loan. This document also states whether or not the borrower
intends to occupy the property as a primary residence. It also determines if a property is
located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. This document will need to be signed and
Escrow Waiver Agreement:
This document allows the lender to waive its right to require the borrower to establish an
escrow impound account to pay for such things as real estate taxes or hazard insurance
premiums. Escrow Transfer Request and Disclosure:
This document requests that the funds in an escrow account for the borrower’s old loan
be transferred to the escrow account of the new loan when the old loan is paid off.
Notice of Right to Cancel:
If the loan allows for the borrower to cancel the loan that is being signed within three
business days (including Saturday) this notice will be included (please see the Important
Terms section above for more detail on the Rescission period). National holidays are
excluded from the calculation of three business days. Be careful to monitor where the
borrower signs this document. The borrower should usually sign on the line that says
they have received the document (not the line that states they wish to cancel). There will
usually be multiple originals of this document. Have the borrowers sign all originals. Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure:
This disclosure is provided to the borrower because they may have inquired about a
lender-affiliated mortgage or escrow company. The lender is stating that any referrals
were only suggestions and that the borrower is free to choose any company that he/she
desired. Overnight Fee Statement:
This allows the lender to use overnight express mail to payoff the previous mortgage. Let
the borrower know that this fee is already reflected in their HUD-1 statement. Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification:
Allows the lender to request and review tax return information from the borrower, and or
governmental agencies. This document is for each individual borrower, so there should
be one for each borrower. Close Application (Payoff Letter):
This document authorizes the lender to payoff the old loan with the funds from the new
(refinance) loan. Payoff Statement:
Itemizes the old loan with other fees that may include: Prepayment interest, Optional
insurance, Fees required for payoff, Funds to be credited, Funds to be retained.
This tells the borrower how the amount of payoff of the old loan was reached. Generally,
the total payoff amount on this statement will match the payoff amount listed on the
HUD-1 statement. Statement Information:
This document is to be completed entirely by the borrower(s) and signed. Since this
takes some time, it is recommended that this document be saved until the end so that
you, the notary, can do your necessary paperwork (i.e., filling out the notary journal,
reviewing the signing documents for errors, etc…).
Notary Skills Test
Using the enclosed training materials as a reference, please answer the following
1. If a borrower refuses to sign the loan documents, the signor is to:
b. Leave only the borrower’s copy with the borrower c.
d. Overnight the entire document package back to the sender
2. When Signature Services first contacts the borrower, they get all of the following information, except:
b. The date the signing will take place c.
The amount of funds needed (in certified check form) from the borrower
d. The time that is convenient for the borrower
3. In the HUD-1 Statement, on which line is the principal amount of the new loan?
4. The Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement discloses all of the following, except:
When should you contact the borrower(s) to schedule the exact sig ning time and location if not already established?
Within one hour of accepting to appointment
b. It depends on the proposed signing date c.
Within twenty-four hours of accepting the appointment
d. Within eight hours of accepting the appointment
6. It is acceptable to dress casual (jeans and a T-shirt) only if the appointment is scheduled:
After normal business hours (after 5:00pm)
d. Never, business attire is mandatory at all signings
If the borrower’s name is printed “Joe R. Doe” on the loan documents, the borrower may sign his name:
8. The Notice of Right to Cancel gives the borrowers how many business
days after the sig ning date to change
their mind and cancel (or rescind) the loan?
5 days if the period is over the weekend
9. The Annual Percentage Rate and the Interest Rate are the same thing:
10. Which of the following documents required notarization?
11. It is polite and encouraged to make small talk with the borrower to set them at ease during a signing:
12. Usually with whom has the borrower met “face to face” prior to meting the notary at the signing
13. When is it appropriate to ask for the borrower’s photo identification?
d. Anytime during the signing is appropriate
14. If you did not receive the loan document package by 11:00am local time, what course of action should you
b. Call the borrowers and cancel the signing c.
Contact Nation’s Signature Closers for further instructions
15. Where can you find the loan amount, the interest rate, and the monthly payment information?
16. If the borrowers sign on Friday evening, when does the rescission period expire?
17. The Note includes all of the following, except:
18. The Payoff Statement itemizes the new loan with other fees that may include: optional insurance, fees
required for payoff, funds to be credited, and funds to be retained.
19. If there is no room for the Notary seal imprint, it:
b. May be affixed by notary’s signature c.
May be affixed on the back of the document
d. May be affixed on a loose certificate that is attached to the document and contains the notarial
20. For notarization completed on May 11, 2000, for a document dated May 9, 2000, the notarial certificate
date should read, “On this, the _________ day of May, 2000:
21. When notarizing for two signors, the Notary should __________ the certificate wording
d. “White out” the wording and insert individual names
22. If you are running late for an appointment, you must contact the borrower(s) first:
23. A loose certificate _______________________.
May be completed and mailed to the signor or receiving agency separate from the document when necessary.
b. May be completed and attached to a document when the notarial wording on the document. c.
May be completed and attached to a document in addition to completing the notarial wording included on the document.
d. Must be completed and attached to every document notarized, because notarial wording included
24. The date of the acknowledgement on the Notary certificate _________________.
Always coincides with the document’s date of signing.
b. May coincide with or follow the document’s date of signing. c.
May precede or coincide with the document’s date of signing.
d. May precede or follow the document’s date of signing.
25. A corporate acknowledgement certificate is required when _____________.
A person signs for a corporation as an officer or agent
b. A person signs a document that will be sent to a corporation c.
Articles of incorporation are signed and notarized
d. A person signs a document while in a corporate environment
26. Blank spaces on a document ____________________.
d. Are acceptable if noted in the journal
27. A person identified as M. Jean Trudeau may sign and have his signature notarized as _________.
28. With an AKA signature, the Notary notarizes _____________________.
The undocumented name first and the identification name second
b. The identification name first and the undocumented name second c.
29. Personal appearance before the notary is required ______________________.
Whenever it is practical for the signor to comply
b. For notarial acts involving only married signers c.
d. Except when the signer’s attorney dictates otherwise
30. It is better to over-sign (sign more than the signature line calls for) than to undersign (sign less than the
31. It is okay to undersign documents if this is the borrower’s standard signature?
32. When completing an acknowledgement, it is acceptable to leave areas blank if you are uncertain what
33. The borrower’s Right to Cancel exists on ALL loans, regardless of loan type, property type, or lender?
34. If a borrower refuses to provide the required funds to close the transaction, and the signing is occurring at a
time that prevents you from contacting either escrow, the lender, or NSC, you should:
Continue with the signing of the documents, and return the completed package without the funds
b. Leave the documents with the borrower(s) and return the following day to complete the signing c.
Collect all of the documents, politely excuse yourself from the signing, and contact NSC for further instructions
d. Immediately leave the signing and return the entire loan package to the appropriate party
35. Once a signing appointment has been completed, you must report the outcome of the signing (signing
completed, borrowers refused to sign and why, etc…) __________ after the signing.
36. What line on the HUD discloses the amount due to the borrower and/or the amount due from the borrower?
37. If a closing is set to be with Mr. Mark Clark and he shows up for the closing with Mrs. Lois Clark, his wife
and the documents have not mentioned her name at all on anything- what should you do?
Stop the closing and call the title co and/or lender to ask how to proceed.
b. Close the loan, not mention to anyone that Mark is married, and just let him sign.
38. What docs are to be signed by a Non-borrowing spouse?
Mortgage / Deed of Trust, Right to Cancel and Truth-in-lending
b. Note, Mortgage / Deed of Trust, Payment Letter and Truth-in-lending c.
Mortgage/Deed of Trust, Name Affidavit, Right to Cancel and Truth-in-lending
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