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Contract Work FAQs

What's the Difference Between a Closing Agent, a Notary, and a Signing Agent?

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not necessarily the same. Here are the distinctions:

A Closing Agent is the individual, typically from an escrow or title company, who is coordinating the assembly of the documents, disbursement of funds, and other duties associated with the closing of a loan. The closing agent may also be a notary, and will often locate a suitable signing agent through a service like Statewide Document Services.

Even though the time when everyone is sitting down to sign papers is often referred to as a "closing," this signing is really only one part of the closing process.

A Notary Public is someone who has been commissioned by their state to be an impartial witness to certain kinds of transactions, which vary from state to state. Even though notarization is an essential part to real estate transactions, just being commissioned does not necessarily qualify a person to recognize and identify various elements of loan documents.

A Signing Agent is a duly commissioned notary public who has become skilled in the signing portion of the mortgage loan closing process, through experience and/or education. There are some certification programs available, but being certified is not a legal requirement. In some states you may be required to carry a title insurance producer's license to close a loan.

What's a Witness Closing?

Also called a “Courtesy Closing,” the lender obtains title evidence, payoffs, and all closing requirements. Signing agent takes the signer's ID(s) and has documents executed appropriately.

Do I Need to Have Loan Document Signing Experience to be a Statewide Partner?

A good portion of our business involves mortgage loan documents. We will be unable to call you with an assignment if you have no familiarity with mortgage loan documents or experience in the closing field.

Do You Have Work in my Area?

Statewide Document Services currently has closing opportunities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We are eagerly searching for qualified licensed notaries in Maryland and Indiana, and attorneys in Delaware, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Being included in our database is merely an indication that you, as an independent contractor, are soliciting work from us. It does not guarantee we will call you to offer an assignment.

Do I Need a Fax Machine or Scanner?

Yes. We email all assignments; however, all assignments require certain documents to be faxed or scanned and emailed to us after the closing to confirm the loan closed. Sometimes additional loan documents need to be faxed or emailed for funding purposes.

These days almost all packages are emailed and you will, therefore, need a laser jet printer and e-mail access.

Are All Assignments the Same?

No. Every title company/lender has unique and specific requirements. Statewide Document Services maintains a comprehensive set of specific requirements for each customer that will be relayed to you at the time of the assignment.

How Do I Sign Up?

You will need to fill out our online packet (link to notary sign up page) and submit it to Statewide Document Services. A representative will contact you to confirm your application.

Being included in our database is merely an indication that you, as an independent contractor, are soliciting work from us. It does not guarantee we will call you to offer an assignment.

How Do I Get You to Call Me With Signing Opportunities?

Statewide Document Services prefers to deal with notaries who are easy to reach, available, and flexible. Keep your information up-to-date with every service, including changes to your experience level and counties you are willing to travel to.

Statewide Document Services can not guarantee any amount of work to any partner. Each week, new signing agents ask to be included in our database.

Do not call Statewide Document Services to ask if we have assignments available in your area.

If I'm Overbooked, Can I Have One of My Associates Fill In?

No. Statewide Document Services is set up to deal with individual notaries, signing agents and attorneys, not signing service companies. We want to keep our reputation of quality and commitment; using individuals not in our database could undermine this goal. If you want all associates listed with Statewide Document Services, each associate must sign up with us individually.

The individual who completes the signing MUST be named on the assignment sheet. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Statewide Document Services at 888-288-0572.

Can a Husband and Wife Team, Working Together, Sign Up Under One Account?

Yes. Husband-and-wife (and similar family relationships) teams can sign up under one account. However, each individual must initially sign up with Statewide Document Services individually. A written request must be sent to Statewide Document Services requesting to be listed as one account for payment, etc.

Are Fees Negotiable?

Fees may be negotiable at the time of the assignment for distance and other reasonable factors. Routinely demanding a higher fee may decrease your chance of getting work from Statewide Document Services.

What if I Make a Mistake on the Documents?

We do try to catch errors before the documents are sent back to the title company; however, sometimes there are items that need to be fixed after a signing. If an error is made on your part, you will be required to fix the mistake in a timely manner and at your expense.

What if a Borrower Asks Me for Advice or a Referral?

It is strictly prohibited for you to offer your opinion or make judgment about, or in regards to, any of the loan terms, figures, or any part of the borrowers' loan or the lender/broker they are using.

When Will I Be Paid for My Services?

Payments are sent the 15th of the month for all closings completed the prior month. You must send us an invoice by the 5th of the month for all closings completed the prior month to be paid on time. Invoices can be faxed to 317-203-7910 or emailed to mail@statewidedocuments.com.

The full fee will be payable for signings that are completed without incident.

Ex. 1 — You complete a closing on May 5th. Your payment will be mailed on June 15th.

Ex. 2 — You complete a closing on May 30th. Your payment is still mailed on June 15th.