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Wow... I couldn't believe it... it was only my 2nd signing and I was asked to do something that was unethical, illegal and just plain wrong. A notary signing service asked me to do something that could cause me to lose my commission, lose my business and even go to jail! This quick article is my story about what happened... I hope you can use it to strengthen your own moral fitness in case something similar is asked of you.
My phone has been blowing up! I've been getting continuous text messages and emails with offers for assignments to do signings... BUT my background check has STILL not cleared from the National Notary Association... it's so frustrating! I've clicked "Yes, I'm available!" too many times to count at this point, but I keep getting declined because I don't have my background screening on file. I've talked with a few supervisors at some signing services and they WANT to put me to work, but they say that the banks just won't let someone without a completed background screening on file go do any refinances or purchases/sales.
But... I did get one assigned to me! I was so excited! I'm not sure... Should the fact that everyone said no, but this company said yes raised a red flag? Maybe!
I went out and did the refinance. It was my first time going through real loan documents with a client and I was so glad to have that experience under my belt! I got home got the documents scanned and sent back into the signing service and headed off to bed.
My Stomach Dropped...
But That Wasn't the Worst Part
The email from the notary signing agency continued on to say "Please sign the form him. His signature doesn't look hard to duplicate." (Actual wording in the email as you can see here) You guys... I couldn't believe it. I had made a mistake, and the signing service was asking me to take the EASY way out, sacrifice my integrity and do something completely ILLEGAL. They were absolutely asking me to FORGE HIS SIGNATURE.
I was stunned.
I hopped on the Loan Signing System's private Facebook group and asked, had anyone else run into this before? Am I crazy for feeling blindsided by this? Or is it actually something fairly normal?
You guys, a group with over 9,000 active members said that they had never experienced something like this!
How I Responded
What Would You Have Done?
I know that just like any small business, this one is built on integrity, building relationships and doing the right thing when no one is looking. I couldn't believe that the signing service had asked me to compromise my values... But it really made me wonder, how often is this happening? I'm glad that no one in the mentorship Facebook group had experienced the same thing... or hadn't admitted it... But I KNOW I CAN'T be the only person this has happened to.
My gut feeling tells me that if the signing agency is willing to blatantly ask me, and put it in writing, they likely have asked before and maybe a signing agent who just didn't know any better just did what they said.
Who knows, maybe if I did as they asked it would never have come to light. But I would have always known.
You guys, please don't compromise on something so important in your loan signing business. If you make a mistake, own up to it and do the right thing. It's better to be inconvenienced by having to go back out and collect another signature then potentially collapsing your whole business in the blink of an eye.
Please tell me in the comments below, has something like this happened to you? What would you have done in my case? Did I do the right thing?
Thanks for reading!