Have you ever heard the terms "notary public" and "loan signing agent?" If so, have you ever wondered what the differences (and similarities) between the two might be?
Yes, they are the same in a sense, but different in others. In this blog post, we'll take a look at these similarities and differences to help you better understand the role each plays in the notary field as well as in commerce & business.
What is a Notary?
A notary public is an essential figure in the process of document verification. Notaries are designated officials, usually appointed by the Secretary of State, responsible for witnessing document signings and confirming the identities of the signers involved. Whether you need your will, a power of attorney or another type of document notarized, a notary public is your reliable partner in these instances.
If you're in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, Blue Ink Notary is here to help you with these document notarization needs.
What is a Loan Signing Agent?
When it comes to real estate transactions - mortgage closings, refinances, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), reverse mortgages or loan modifications these professionals take center stage. A loan signing agent (LSA) is a specialized notary public with additional training in handling and explaining loan documents to the signers. They ensure that all parties involved in a real estate transaction complete the necessary paperwork accurately and efficiently.
Similarities & Differences
Training and Expertise
While both notaries public and loan signing agents utilize stamps and seals, the distinction lies in training and expertise. A notary typically undergoes basic training to understand the laws and regulations surrounding notarization. Conversely, a loan signing agent usually takes additional, more specialized courses, mastering the intricacies of real estate transactions and mortgage documents. There are nuances to a number of the documents included in a loan package and without any type of training, the likelihood of errors causing a loan to not fund could be costly!
Insurance & Bonding
Many states require both notaries and LSAs to carry errors and omissions insurance and have a surety bond. Often times though, LSAs are asked by their hiring companies to carry an errors and omissions insurance policy of $100,000 or more, offering greater protection in case of errors or negligence.
Ethical Standards & Business Practices
Notaries and LSAs both must meet the ethical standards that are required of the position including: document security, discretion, impartiality & professionalism. Record keeping by means of a notary journal is required by many states and should be utilized as a best practice for both to ensure accountability & transparency.
Where to Find a Notary & a Loan Signing Agent
Notaries are widely accessible—found in banks & credit unions, auto tag shops, AAA, libraries and shipping outfits like the UPS Store. They can be a go-to solution for quick notarization needs.
Loan signing agents, however, are usually not found at the above mentioned locations - except for banks where there usually is a notary or two on staff who may handle their bank's documents. Many loan signing agents are independent notaries who operate their own business and are found on directories geared towards real estate & title companies like:
or on other general notary directories such as:
So which type of notary is right for your notarization request? I hope this blog has helped to clarify the answer somewhat for you. While the answer is ultimately up to you, I suggest you research the options in your area first. Look at reviews on a site like Google and contact the notary or loan signing agent to ensure they are able and willing to handle your document(s). Compare pricing and ask him or her questions. When signing loan documents and potentially hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars are at stake, you want to be sure you find someone who has successfully walked other signers through their loan documents before, so it's not a quick decision to make.
At Blue Ink Notary, I am dedicated to providing all of my clients with exceptional service while keeping you informed throughout the process. Whether you're in Reading, Pennsylvania, or elsewhere, Blue Ink Notary is committed to guiding you through the intricacies of completing your documents completely and accurately. Real estate documents, estate planning documents, powers of attorney or a simple pension form - no matter the type of document you have, I am here to help you complete your documents at a time and a place that fits YOUR schedule!
Blue Ink Notary, based in Greater Reading and serving Berks County as well as Lancaster, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Lebanon counties, has been helping numerous Pennsylvania residents and businesses get their documents notarized since 2019. I am generally available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm but am also available for emergency early morning, evening & weekend appointments to help you with your documents, so contact me any time with questions.
To discuss your notary needs:
📲 Call or text 484-509-1405
📩 Email firstname.lastname@example.org