If you have a document needing a Notary Public
signature and stamp, then a general notary
public is what you need.

In Illinois, a notary public does not need any
specific training nor does a notary public require
special insurance other than their state required
bond which is needed in  order to obtain an IL
Notary Commission.

A Notary Signing Agent is a notary public, that is
specifically trained and insured with a specific
amount of errors & omissions insurance, and
passes a criminal background check, in order to
close on real estate and other loan transactions.

Financial institutions or its service providers hire
subservicers (NSAs), to perform or close on
various types of settlement or loan closings.  
Samples of service providers include title and
signing service companies, as well as
attorney-title firms. Real estate transactions
involve closings for residential, commercial, or
construction loans.  Settlement services include
structured annuities, debt consolidation, or loan
modifications.
A Notary Public and a NSA are the same entity,
and both professions use the same tools of the
trade, such as a notary stamp, signature and
journal for record keeping purposes.

NSAs primarily provide loan closings services.
The notary acting in the NSA capacity, is
required by industry standards, to have
specialized training, meet federal compliance,
specific nsa insurance, and have more than
adequate experience in the financial,
mortgage  & real estate industries.

CNS recommends that you do not hire a
regular notary public to assist you with your
loan transactions, because if that notary public,
makes a mistake on your loan documents, any
damage caused by that notary is not covered
by insurance, and costs will come out from the
borrower / seller pocket.
NSAs are required by federal and state laws (in
some states) to have or meet certain training in
the financial, mortgage, and real estate
industries, be criminally special insurance
policy called Errors & Omissions (E&O).  

Companies that hire NSAs,
only hire those NSAs
that meet all of the above AND that have been
"certified".  

Certification is not a requirement to become an
NSA, and was only offered as part of
'membership packages' with certain notary
public associations.

The above is why our pricing for the two types
of services, are very different.  

An IL Notary may refuse to notarize any
documents, and may or may not charge the
state fee for a notarial act of a $1.00.

This fee doesn't include an administrative,
recording, or travel fees.
Can an NSA legally close on residential, commerical or construction loans in Illinois?

Yes.  Under prior law, Illinois Notary Signing Agents were limited to performing loan
closings for lenders who handled the entire  transaction without the assistance of a
title company conducting the settlement, or were required to become
“independent escrowees” and maintain prohibitively expensive insurance, bonds
and securities in order to perform closings for title companies.

With the enactment of Senate Bill 2718, ALL Illinois NSAs are now considered
lawful
escrow agents
who can perform closings when hired as independent contractors
by a title insurance company or title insurance agent.

There are no restrictions on the operation of NSAs in Illinois. In addition, Senate Bill
2718 specifically excludes employees and independent contractors from the
definition of “independent escrowee” under the Title Insurance Act, effectively
eliminating any requirement that an NSA must become an independent escrowee
in the future.
Why do NSA's need to participate in a criminal background screening?

To protect the privacy of borrowers, Congress developed certain rules
for Financial Services Modernization Act (GLBA) and the resulting
Inter-agency guidelines require that all persons involved in the lending
process,  undergo a criminal background screening.

Most if not all lenders are mandating title companies, and title
companies in turn are requiring signing service companies, to ensure
that anyone and everyone, that has access to mortgage documents,
to have a clean criminal background report.

This requirement covers everyone who receives access to borrowers'
private financial information, including Notaries who act as Signing
Agents handling loan document closings.
Chicago Notary Services
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NOTARY PUBLIC AND A NOTARY SIGNING AGENT?
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Illinois Notary Publics are not licensed to practice law, and can not accept fees for giving legal advice

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