Posted by aries/CA on 1/8/11 9:53pm
Talk about rude escrow officers!
The lender told me last week to be ready to sign a loan this week. The lender told the escrow officer, she already had her notary in place. The escrow officer never said anything back to the LO. Well, when it was time for docs to be drawn, the LO told the escrow officer to email the docs to me. The escrow officer went off on the LO and told her, they couldn't use me, because I wasn't an approved notary. The LO told her, she didn't care, she wanted to use me and had reminded her I would be the notary. The escrow officer told her, NO, they have their own and will use their own. It was war between those two, that the manager of the escrow company had to interfere.
The manager told the LO, I needed to be approved through FNF and a lot of the escrow companies are in that umbrella. The LO called and told me if I was, and I told her yes. She called the escrow officer to let her know I was; the escrow officer checked the data base and said I wasn't.
I had to call the person that approved me two years ago and said they didn't have my updated E&O Insurance, so I was inactive. I faxed her my current E&O and activated me right away. I told the LO I was approved and the escrow company assigned someone else to do the notary.
The LO is furious and will make sure, she doesn't have her be her escrow officer again.
What I would like to know, why are escrow companies taking charge of the signings from their own company and not letting the lender or broker pick their own notaries. I've had this happen before with a little mom and pops escrow company and they are all notaries. They only use their own and don't want to use anyone else. They are not even certified. Shouldn't the borrower, broker or lender pick their own notary as long as they are certified?
I think escrow officers should stick to getting docs ready and stay away from signings. LO's that are notaries can't sign their own docs, is a conflict of interest, but they can.
What do you think?
Reply by Marian_in_CA on 1/8/11 11:58pm
This is a bit off the topic, but I find the whole "FNF Approved" thing to be a bit confusing. Let's take ServiceLink for example. They are FNF's lending platform and they have pretty interesting approval process.
I recently asked them if being ServiceLink approved was the same as FNF Approved, and they told me it wasn't. Now, I'm not so sure. SL calls me all the time for signings quite a distance away because they can't find an approved notary to do it. I will give them names of notaries in the area that I know are good and am told they aren't on the approved list.
Does FNF maintain an independent list of notaries that can be used if they don't go through SL?
Reply by GOLDGIRL/CA on 1/9/11 12:01am
Dear aries, I feel your pain cos I, too, have lost out on lots of jobs where I had been requested by the LO/Realtor/borrower but Fidelity and First American said no because I wasn't "certified" or whatever it was they required. They don't care what the lender/Realtor want as far as a notary goes cos they call the shots. It does seem unfair - maybe we should consider suing them for restraint of trade of somesuch, but in the meantime, escrow is in the driver's seat when it comes to selecting the NSA. Actually, why escrow has the last word on the NSA, in that they can tell the lender no and the lender has to accept it, I don't understand. A TC I work with (through a SS) has rejected loans notarized by noncertified NSAs after being assured by the lender that the notary was TC-approved. If they couldn't find the notary on their OK list, the TC had the the loan signed again (I actually did a resign on one of those).
Anyway, many TCs love in-house signings because they can gouge the borrower big time on the notary fee. I once had a TC financial officer tell me this was a big part of their budget and that they would do anything to keep all jobs in-house so they could keep the notary fee and that the escrow officer with the most in-house notary signings got an end-of-year bonus.
Reply by aries/CA on 1/9/11 12:15am
I am glad I am not the only one going through this. FNF has escrow companies like Chicago Title & Escrow, TYCOR, Lawyers & just to name a few. I just found out about Stewart Title & Escrow, you need to be approved through them. I went there for a signing from a ss & they asked if I was approved through them, and told them I wasn't aware notaries had to be approved to do business with them. They gave me their contract and signed up directly for them instead of going through the ss.
What is SL?
Thanks for your info ladies.
Reply by Marian_in_CA on 1/9/11 12:21am
Aries, SL is ServiceLink. They are FNF's "Lending Platform" and are affiliated with Chicago Title, Ticor, ALamo, Fidelity National Title, etc.
Reply by James Dawson on 1/9/11 1:34am
I got approved after having experienced the same BS so I could get top paying assignments. The process is a trip and also who you know. I have a friend who is a broker who wanted me to do some work for him but when they found out I wasn't "approved" he couldn't use me. He immediately told a stick in the mud escrow officer to give me all the info I need and make the referral, she was pixxed. Four days later I get this call, you are now approved to work closing for yada yada and you are in both our Arizona databases. But guess what? The Escrow officers are scheduling the signings and making the $250 themselves.
Reply by Joan/CA on 1/9/11 3:39pm
That is very true! Coming from the real estate side, I know many Escrow Officers, Owners and Managers. They are not going to give up this source of revenue if they don't have to, especially in this economy. They have told me, they can not give me any of the signing business now unless they absolutely can't get it done within their own company until the real estate market picks up and they get busy again. I expect even then the doors may not open up because they have become reliant upon this revenue source.
Reply by Stamper_WI on 1/9/11 5:11am
TC has the liability for your actions. They want to screen their remotes.
Reply by Julie/MI on 1/9/11 6:00pm
"What I would like to know, why are escrow companies taking charge of the signings from their own company and not letting the lender or broker pick their own notaries. I've had this happen before with a little mom and pops escrow company and they are all notaries. They only use their own and don't want to use anyone else. They are not even certified. Shouldn't the borrower, broker or lender pick their own notary as long as they are certified?"
Title companies have always used their own closers. This is not new. Using mobile notaries IS newer and ya'll have to remember mortgages have been recorded since the founding of this country and this "signing agent" is newer.
Using in house closers allows for a proper closing and not the drama of a UPL fearing notary performing a closing.
Reply by ReneeK_MI on 1/10/11 5:48am
CRUCIAL points from Stamper & Julie! n/m