I'm trying to breathe deeply right now. Deeply and slowly... to control my anger.

I casually mentioned to a guy in a ward last week that I am a notary, so I am available to help him out if he ever needs one for his business. A few days later, I get a call that he needs me to notarize some loan documents. I think, hey, no big deal, it's a little extra money, great. Next thing I know I am in communication with the title company, they email me 103 pages of loan documents and I am doing the entire closing. ME - who knows NOTHING about loans is going to explain all these documents to the client. Notaries don't need to know anything about the documents they are signing and stamping. In fact, that is the great thing about being a notary. It is very simple because you typically do nothing but sign and stamp. To make matters worse, I have 45 minutes to do the whole thing because I have to teach the Beehives about babysitting tonight at church.

I just called my "friend" from the ward and he confirmed that yes, I will be explaining all the documents. I told him that this isn't what I was expecting, and he said, "Oh, it'll be fine." I reminded him that if the client asks a single question or deviates at all from the documents, we will not have enough time to get through the whole thing. I don't think my "friend" thinks I'm being serious.

I used to love "faking it till I make it." I had a job where I once pretended I knew Word Perfect and ended up teaching 5 people how to use it while I was figuring it out myself. (Word Perfect really is just like Microsoft Word anyway, so I don't know what the big deal was.) Another example is that I really know nothing about parenting, cooking, or cleaning either, but somehow we are making it work out. However, I am at a point in my life where things like this are really irritating to me. I feel like I've been "had" and the $70 I'm going to make suddenly doesn't seem worth it for this 45 minutes of hell I'll sure to be experiencing as I stumble through and pretend I understand loan documents that I don't.

Breathe deeply.


  1. Don't do it. You obviously don't feel comfortable with it. Tell your friend that you'd be happy to help with any notary needs, but that's where you draw the line! Then punch him in the face for putting you in this position!

  2. I think you need to tell your friend that you are a notary and not going to give advice or explain anything regarding those documents. To me that has trouble written all over it. You are just there to witness the signatures and put a cute little stamp on pieces of paper.

  3. Courtney and Valerie, I did EXACTLY what you guys suggested. I explained the cute little stamp thing and how there has been a misunderstanding. He wasn't happy and gave me this, "I believe in you" line, but I ultimately said I'm not going to do it, and that it was unethical (how can you argue with ethics?) I feel so much better now, even though I'm sure it ruined his day... oh well, I feel bad, but not that bad.

  4. Way to go, Cristin by not letting that guy walk all over you. Let him find someone else who might actually want to do this job. Oh, and did you take Valerie's advice and punch him? That would be sweet, I know, not nice, but sweet.

  5. Loan documents are so tricky. And there will be questions...that is inevitable. Your "friend" should be there too to answer and questions HIS CLIENTS might have. Good Luck and chalk it up as a learning experience - NEVER to be repeated. :)

  6. I've worked in the mortgage industry and I know that this is done all the time. I don't think the loan officer is hardly ever there. If I were you I would charge a lot more than $75.00. You can charge whatever you want for your travel fee usually I saw notary fees from $100 to 250. If they have any questions let them know that the loan officer should answer those questions. You should probably have the phone number in case they don't have it on hand.



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