The Notary Files: Lump Sum Payments and What to Watch For

Veteran Signing Agents will tell you, especially those in the social media group forums, that Lump Sum transactions can be tricky. These are some of the least favorite transactions for some of us. Most of them are, in comparison to other assignments, usually short and sweet.

However, quite a few agents avoid these at all costs. Since I know how to operate during these types of signings, I have sat for a few over the last few years, even the last few months.

As someone just entering Notary Signing Agency, you may ask why we avoid these types of transactions at times.

One of the major reasons we might avoid these types of transactions is because of Predatory Lending. Some lending agencies contact unsuspecting signers regarding their annuity, retirement, savings and other type of received installment payments.

What the agencies do is, they attempt to contract with aw signer to ‘take over’ or transfer the annuity or like type of installment over to them, with a promise to the signer for a large lump sum payment to do so.

When this type of company requests a higher fee than would be considered fair, it is considered usury. Usury is very prevalent. There are many states and municipalities that have laws against usury.

Something else to watch out for – situations where the signer on the other end pretends to be the person receiving the annuity or lump sum payment and they are out to commit fraud.

My advice would be to double and triple-check identification. If you run into a situation where someone is very nervous or shows the identification card of someone not party to the document involved, call the signing agency and pause on your signing IMMEDIATELY.

Not trying to steer anyone clear of these types of signing, just trying to make you aware that this type of signing is famous for fraud attempts. 99% of the people signing are reputable, 99% of the companies on the other side of these signins are ALSO reputable. In my experience working on these types of assignments, they have usually been for Seniors.

Yo do not have to totally avoid these types of assignments, but be VERY CAUTIOUS before, during and after.

Stay in constant contact with the assigning signing company or outfit you’ve contracted with to complete the signing.

Double and triple-check photo identification.
Match any additional produced documents against that photo ID.

Happy Signing!

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