The basic definition of a "Signing Agent" is a Notary Public who handles the execution and notarization of mortgage, refinancing and real estate transactions. This designation of "Signing Agent" is now being used widely. And it varies from state to state and unfortunately from Notary to Notary. Our course is an in depth training program in these real estate documents and how they are executed. There are many organizations that do this. But not all are the same.
What is a Signing Agent?
What is an ASA?
The acronym ASA means "Accredited Signing Agent". Which is a Notary Public extensively trained by The Notary Academy to handle real estate closings. Our certification course focuses only protecting the NotaryPublic as wellas the signer. We teach a Notary Public what they can and can not do during a real estate transaction. All of our seminars and courses are taught by experienced providers in their fields. And this class is no different. Title agents, settlement officers and ASAs are the main sources for this course. Their experience and success in the business make this the best and most comprehensive course available. They are successful as "Signing Agents" and share that knowledge and experience with you, unlike educators who only teach the subject.
The definition of a Notary Public according to the law is a "neutral" witness to the signature of documents and identification of the signers, nothing more ...nothing less. Therefore any further education must stay within your states Notary law. Each state approves and certifies their notary and for those who require education their education providers on their "Mandatory Notarial Educational Course" for Notaries Public. Most do not approve the "Signing Agent" course. These type of courses are offered by these numerous entities are fully optional and vary in education, training and local law.
Notary Law meets ASA education
A "Signing Agent" may hold a designation such as a "Master Closer" or "Certified Closer" from other providers but in fact Signing Agents are never a "closer" in some states and we believe this is a misleading designation. Notary Signing Agents do not "close the loan".
A Notary Public cannot draw the document package for execution. They execute the documents by witnessing the signatures of the people involved. All documents are sent to the Signing Agent via email or overnight delivery already to be signed and notarized. They are an independent "neutral party" to the transaction.
They do not disburse funds, nor do they set up escrows or terms. They will collect the funds required at the signing of the documents, which they will return to the lender with the documents via overnight delivery. At NO time will they take cash or have a check made out to them personally.
They never handle these "closing procedures" nor do they act as closers. Unless the Notary Public also holds licensure or is a practicing attorney this designation should not be used nor recognized.
An ASA is taught to know the documents involved in these transactions. Most Notary laws prevent a Notary Public from giving advice or helping with the document completion.
If there is a question on the documents, the Signing Agent CAN NOT provide the client with the information. But because of their education they are aware of where that information can be found in the document package and direct the client to that information. If this does not provide the information the client wants, they know to direct the customer to call the proper person who can give them ALL the information they need on their loan.
With the differences in classes, education and designations a Signing Agent can get lost in the shuffle. Most settlement services who hire Signing Agents want them to have more than the average education in this field. Therefore this course was developed by them and us to focus on Notary laws. And that means more work for the ASA.