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
sub-servicers (NSA's), 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.

NSA's 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.
NSA's 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 NSA's,
only hire those NSA's 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 NSA's 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 NSA's 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.
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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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