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Training the new generation of "closers"- My Big Blue Bird is catching on
by CHARLENE PERRY | 2012/01/06 |

I wish I could share a picture of my sweet big blue bird, Skyler Blue with you here, but suffice it to say, he is beautiful, and he is very smart!!  He could easily learn how to "conduct" a closing if I worked with him enough. 


Skyler, a/k/a Big Blue Bird,  is my sweet 15 year old Blue and Gold Macaw and he is very bright.  He has a vast vocabulary and he has learned to mimic many things that I say to him.  He calls for his Mommy, he says help me, cookie, cracker, ouch, and about 30 other words and phrases.  He has picked all of these words and phrases up simply because he has heard them over and over again over the years.  He does understand what some of them mean, for instance, he does know that if he says "Mom", I will come to him, if he says cookie or cracker he will get a snack, and if he says "help me" I will turn off his radio.  (I'm not sure how that came about, it's kinda strange really).

My sweet Skyler is learning "sign here" but he can't seem to grasp "initial here", but we're working on that.  Why do I bring the Big Blue Bird into this discussion? 

I hear more and more tales of "closing agents" being hired to "conduct convenience closings".  Many of these "closing agents" have in fact been involved in the title insustry and many of these closing agents may even be licensed title agents. BUT, many of these "closing agents" are notaries public who are trying to supplement their income and who have signed on with firms that offer convenience closings.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone trying to supplement their income by offering a service that is demanded by the public.  But, as a professional title agent, I just don't think that the consumer understands how very important it is to meet with a professional title agent, in a professional setting during regular business hours who is familier with your closing file and who has the ability to answer questions that may be presented at the closing, or in the alternative get the answer to your questions.

My sweet big blue bird can say "sign here" and he could probably even learn to point to a particular document while saying that; as I said he is very bright!  But if he were to be asked to answer a question about any of the documents presented he would likely respond with "help me".   And therein lies the crux of the problem with using non-professional title agents to conduct your "convenience closing".

First and foremost, a real estate settlement transaction commits you to financial obligations.  It is incumbent on YOU the CONSUMER to know what you are signing before you sign it.  Sure, you may be involved in a refinance transaction, and you may think that the signing of the new loan documents is simply a technicality but that small technicality OBLIGATES you to a debt.   Do you really want to take on that kind of responsibility while sitting at your local coffee shop or in your kitchen after business hours when there is no one available to answer your questions?

Yes, we can train almost anybody to "witness" closing, but in order for that "witness" to be able to answer your questions they need to be know the business of title specifically and real estate generally.

Call on the services of The Preferred Title Group, Inc. in Maryland for a professional settlement experience.  If you are not located in Maryland, call on the services of an Professional Independent Title Agent in your area. 


845 words | 2294 views | 6 comments | log in or register to post a comment

Larry Tacker

I would have to disagree with Ms Perry.  After reading her article, it's very apparent that she does not know what she is talking about!  She is making generalizations without having her facts straight.  I would have to argue that Ms Perry has too much time on her hands, perhaps slow with work and trying to steer business her way!

Notary Signing Agents are first and foremost public officials. They usually are neutral persons with no loyalty to the Lender or Title Company, hence they have no monetary reason, to convince a borrower to continue a signing should the borrowers have doubts, unanswered questions or incorrect figures.  All of which I have seen both title companies and lenders alike do. With the exception of a few select Sat and Holiday time signings there has been few times I did not have contact information for borrower questions or incorrect figures.  80% of the time, title contacts can not even answer questions and usually refer the borrowers questions back to the lender.

I am a full time NSA and routinely witness about 15-20 signings a week. The facts I have are that in roughly 60 % of the signings, the borrowers are not happy with the title company or the lender for various reasons, including poor and sometimes unprofessional communication.  I cannot tell you how many times neither lender or the title person has not told the borrowers they need certified funds to close, sometimes because the documents are so very last minute or even later than the scheduled appointment time.  Many times the title company will blame this on the lender, (waiting for document approval). Sometimes this is a lie. 

What the title company does not know is sometimes the loan originator calls the NSA.  Just the other day, I had a closing that almost did not close after a third try.  The borrowers were very unhappy and ready to switch lenders.  Title tried to say it was the lenders fault.  In the meantime the loan originator called me explaining that he had been trying to get title to get a final HUD to him since 10am that very morning.  Seems title had already sent 4 HUDs over for approval, all of them incorrect.  I saw the chain of emails with the loan originator pleading for a correct HUD, it was really poor and incompetent title work.

Last year, I closed on a home purchase at a title company. I was never sworn in so a title company agent could complete Jurats on affidavits. There was not even a title company notary in the room to witness or complete the acknowledgements in front of me that many documents require, including the Mortgage.  When I pointed this out, the processor kind of got a funny look on his face and proceeded to tell me that's how they do it all the time.

I can not begin to tell you how many mistakes I see title companies make.  I believe if Ms Perry walked a mile in a certified Notary Signing Agent's shoes, she would be very surprised at the amount of title company incompetence there is out in the title industry.

I think if I had a bird like Ms Perry, I could go into the title business.







by Larry Tacker Jr | 2012/01/09 | log in or register to post a reply

Larry, you are welcome to your opinion,

But I'd trust Charlene for my title work.  Not Skyler though. Not yet.  He needs some experience first.

I don't doubt your claim that you run into a lot of bad title work, but maybe there is a correlation between the bad title work you're encountering and the fact that a signing agent is used for the closing? 

by Slade Smith | 2012/01/09 | log in or register to post a reply

Last Post

Slade, I can assure you that there is no correlation at all between incompetent, sloppy title work and the use of NSAs.  Many times highly regarded, large volume title companies are the culprit. While I have been a full time NSA for about 10 years, I have not met an individual that can walk on water. 

I do not print, review documents, travel and witness closings to supplement my income, it is my livelihood! I take my job very seriously. While Charlene might practice her craft with as much dedication, I take offense when she makes blanket statements, some completely untrue. I just hope that by making generalizations and untrue statements, Charlene realizes that the credibility of her posts will be forever be questioned.  It appears she is trying to steer business her way at the expense of others.  I hope that's apparent to most readers.  Please consider this my last post on the subject as I believe any further comments on my part might indicate I have a greater interest on the issue then I really do.

by Larry Tacker Jr | 2012/01/09 | log in or register to post a reply


I understand the frustration if you are trying your best and taking your job seriously.  No offense intended.  But if up to 60% of the signings you are involved in the borrower is not happy with the title company, including because the title company is not communicating or even lying, and 80% of the time title contacts cannot even answer questions-- all things that you claim-- then I think this says that the title companies that are using this model for closing are not doing their job. 

That's regardless of whether they are "highly regarded, large volume title companies".  Size does not equal quality in the title business-- I don't know much but have learned this.  Some of the largest businesses in the title industry have engaged in some of the sloppiest business practicies and have been among the biggest corner cutters in many instances, while some of the smallest have fought the hardest to hold the line on quality. 

What you are basically saying as I see it is that you are prevented from providing a quality service because the folks who hire you and are supposed to enable you to do your job are not up to the task, no matter how diligent you are in your role.  That is really not all that different from what Charlene has argued, as I read this.

Peace and good luck to you.

by Slade Smith | 2012/01/10 | log in or register to post a reply

Thank you Larry

I am glad that you shared some of your more memorable experiences with title companies who have failed the consumer.  I fully understand the frustration felt by those consumers and by you as their closer.  

The point of the post was that many, not all, witness closers have never been trained in the real estate or title industry and that many, not all, witness closers are unable to answer even the most basic questions posed by the consumer at the closing.  If a closing is taking place outside of regular business hours, who is available to answer these critical questions?  That is really the crux of the problem is it not?

I appreciate the fact that you are making an effort toward change in your field, as is evidenced by the fact that you are reading and commenting on this forum. If more of those in your field would be proactive and learn more about the closing industry that would be a huge plus to the consumer and to the title industry as a whole.


by CHARLENE PERRY | 2012/01/10 | log in or register to post a reply

Charlene Hit the nail right on the head


Greetings Fellow Title People!

I agree completely with Charlene. I have been in the title insurance industry and a licensed closing agent for 26 years. When I conduct a closing it is thorough & complete. Documents are explained fully, no buyer or seller has ever left my closing table with questions or without copies of the closing documents. The closing package is prepared by me in a timely manner & yes more than half the time I am waiting for the lender to approve the HUD. Which normally happens right before closing.  I grow weary of hearing compliants from people who have had the pleasure of dealing with a signing agent. Signing agent is exactly what these mobile notaries are, sign here, sign here, initial here. What? You want to know what these documents mean? Well I don't know, that's not what I do, you should ask your bank. Buyers & Sellers also do not realize that these closing are "Un-insured" closing. The signing agent has -0- liability.  At least now in the State of Indiana ALL closing agent must be licensed, too bad most of them are still just mobile notaries. Keep up the good work Charlene, good closers are out here & we are listening!


by Kathryn Glor | 2012/04/27 | log in or register to post a reply



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