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What does a Signing Agent do?

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  • Written By: Marisa O'Connor
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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A signing agent makes sure all mortgage loan and refinancing documents are signed and notarized. These professionals provide a service of convenience by bringing loan documents and settlement checks to borrowers, even when long distance travel is required. Signing agents can also help answer questions a borrower might have about loan documents and applications.

A signing agent is commonly referred to as a notary signing agent or even a mortgage notary signing agent. This is because these agents specialize in mortgage loan documents and are usually public notaries. Lawyers, real estate agents, and buyers are left with the responsibility of coming up with an acceptable contract for each party, and signing agents are responsible for making sure the documents are all signed and notarized as needed.

Signing agents play a critical role in the financing or refinancing of mortgage loans. They serve as one of the final puzzle pieces in completing and submitting the documentation for financing. Loan and refinancing applications with missing signatures or misplaced signatures will cause a rejected application.

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Another key function of a signing agent is closing a mortgage loan as conveniently as possible for all parties. Signing agents will bring loan documents and settlement checks to any location that is most convenient to the borrowers, including their home. This service is valuable to the borrowers, saving them time traveling back and forth to the real estate agent's office. It is also valuable to the real estate agent by attracting borrowers with the benefit of bringing documents to them without having to take the time to travel themselves.

A signing agent may be responsible for long-distance travel to get all signatures. It is not uncommon for mortgage contracts to be set up at a far away location. If the lawyers and real estate agents are in New York but the buyer is in California, the agent will need to travel to California with the loan documents for signature. During travel, the agent serves as a representative of the real estate agent, offering professional and competent guidance to the party or parties signing.

Signing agents are qualified to answer some questions about loan documents. They are trained to understand what the purpose and requirements are of each type of loan document presented. Signing agents, however, are not qualified to give legal or financial advice, only to help with the signing of documentation.

Signing agents don't have to be certified public notaries, but they often are. Though it is not legally required, many real estate companies require certification and training of their singing agents. Often an examination is required to test the knowledge of the correct loan document signing procedures as well as the notary public laws. Loan signing procedures and notary public laws vary according to the region.

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