If you’re interested in becoming a loan signing agent in Maryland, you need to know the right steps. There are many steps you will need to follow to enter this career. It can be rather lucrative, with the right training.
When you have decided this is the career path you want to take, the right steps will make a difference. Before we go through the steps, let’s look at the job duties of a loan signing agent in Maryland.
Job Duties of a Loan Signing Agent in Maryland
When you decide to become a loan signing agent in Maryland, you’ll spend a lot of time at mortgage closings. Your job will include helping borrowers sign the documents for their mortgage or refinance.
You won’t provide any legal or professional advice, however. You will verify the identity of the signers, stamp the signed documents with a notary seal and deliver them back to the singing service company. You are not allowed to explain any of the loan documents to the borrower.
How To Become a Loan Signing Agent in Maryland in 8 Steps
Step #1 – Meet all the Basic Requirements
The state of Maryland only requires that you are 18 years of age and you either live or work in Maryland to become a loan signing agent. You will need to be of good character with integrity, as well.
Step #2 – Go Through the Maryland Notary Education
You will need to complete a notary course before you can become a loan signing agent. You can choose an approved course provider from the National Notary Association.
You will learn the application process and the responsibility of a Maryland Notary Public with this course. It will also teach you the five steps for notarization, both traditional and remote.
Along with this information, you will also learn what you can and cannot do and how to handle unique circumstances. There will also be some examples of misconduct and penalties that come from misconduct.
Once you reach the end of the training, you will need to pass an exam.
Step #3 – Submit Your Notary Commission Application
After you complete the training and the exam, you will need to send in your application. This application will need to go to the Maryland Secretary of State’s office. They will decide whether your notary commission application is approved or not.
The application will need to be submitted, along with a copy of your driver’s license or a valid ID and proof of your education and passing of the exam. You will also need to submit an $11 fee, which is a $9 application fee and a $2 convenience fee.
Three references will need to be provided on your application, too. These three references should be able to attest to your character. It’s best if they are residents of Maryland.
Step #4 – Make an Appearance at the Clerk of the Circuit Court
After the application is reviewed, it will be sent to the State Senator. They might contact your references. When your application is approved, the Secretary of State will issue the notary commission. You will receive an email from the Notary Division, and you may get a postcard in the mail, too.
This information will tell you that you need to visit the Clerk’s Office within 30 days and take your oath of office. There will also be a fee of $11 that you will pay to the Clerk.
Make sure all the details are correct when you receive the Notary Commission Certificate.
Step #5 – Complete Loan Signing Agent Training
While becoming a Notary Public is important, the education you gain won’t teach you how to be a loan signing agent. You will need additional training, which can be completed online. Without this training, you might find it difficult to become a successful loan signing agent in Maryland.
Typically, this training comes in different levels, based on whether you want to work part-time or full-time. If you plan to be a very successful loan signing agent, you want the right training.
Good training will teach you how to find more appointments, charge a higher fee, and complete appointments faster.
Step #6 – Get Your Notary Seal
You will need to get a notary seal in Maryland. This seal needs to follow the parameters from the Handbook for Maryland Notaries Public. It must have the correct wording to be official.
You will need to keep your notary seal in a secured and locked area under your own exclusive control.
Step #7 – Keep a Notary Journal
You have to keep a fair register of all official acts as a loan signing agent in Maryland. When you work as a loan signing agent, you want to keep good records. The Handbook for Maryland Notaries Public also talks about how to keep your journal.
It’s best to have one that is bound with pre-printed pages, which can be found at an office supply store. You will need to make sure your entries are properly made into your journal.
Step #8 – Get a Title Insurance Producer License
When you want to become a loan signing agent in Maryland, you need to get a Title Insurance Producer Independent Contractors (TIPIC) license. The state requires this license as an added layer of protection for consumers.
You will need to complete pre-licensing education, pass the exam, submit your application, and pay the registration fee to get your TIPIC license.
Frequently Asked Questions About Loan Signing Agents in Maryland
What type of salary can I earn as a loan signing agent in Maryland?
According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average pay for a loan signing agent is about $47K. They put the range at about $20K to $97K.
With the right training, you can earn far more than the average as a loan signing agent. Some agents earn more than $10K per month.
Can I become a remote notary in Maryland?
Yes, Maryland allows any notary public in the state to become a remote notary. You will need to complete the Remote Notary Notification Form. You won’t need to pay an application fee, however.
You will also need to have an electronic platform that will work for e-notarization. It may include digital signing pads, encryption processes, and fingerprinting.
You will not be able to use technology designed specifically for video conferencing for this task, such as Skype or Zoom. Instead, you need technology from an authorized vendor that complies with all the rules and regulations. Most associations will have vendors you can trust, including the National Notary Association, Maryland Bankers Association, or Maryland Land Title Association.
What is the cost of becoming a Maryland loan signing agent?
You will need to pay a few fees in your journey to becoming a loan signing agent in Maryland. The application fee is $11, and so is the Clerk Registration Fee. You will also spend $17 on a notary stamp and about $15 on a journal. The Notary Course and Exam range from $59 to $89, depending on the provider.
You will also likely need an E&O insurance policy, pay travel expenses, and pay for remote notary technology. If you complete loan signing agent training, expect to spend another $200 to $400 on this training.
How long will it take me to become a loan signing agent in Maryland?
The amount of time it takes the Maryland Secretary of State to perform a criminal background check will determine how fast you can become a loan signing agent. The total amount of time will also depend on how quickly you register with the Clerk’s office once approved.
For most loan signing agents, it will take three to four weeks to complete the entire process.
Will I need to renew my Maryland notary commission?
Every five years, you will need to reapply to renew your notary commission in Maryland. A notice will be sent to you 60 days before your expiration, and you can start the process at this point.
You will need to pay a $9 renewal fee when you appear at the Clerk of the Court this time. It will also be necessary to get a new notary seal with your new expiration date.
Can I act as a Notary Public for a family member in Maryland?
It’s not okay to notarize any documents where you may have a beneficial or financial interest in the actual transaction. This can be seen as an issue if you notarize any documents for family members. This practice should be avoided.
With the right training and education, you can become a loan signing agent in Maryland. This type of career can be rather lucrative with advanced training. Of course, you can also become a loan signing agent to complement your current career.
Use the steps above to become a loan signing agent in Maryland. These steps will help lead you to a successful career and help you get the Notary Public commission you need.