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5 Tips to Conduct Debt Settlements Like a Pro

Lately, there has been an increase in debt settlement signings throughout the country. These signings vary from law firm to law firm, so it can be quite easy to make mistakes. In fact, a couple of signing companies that I have worked with in the past have reported that as many as 1 out of 3 completed signings come back with errors! As a respected signer and professional, you want to make sure you’re getting these signings right the first time.

Consistently turning in documents quickly, and without errors, will set you apart from other notaries, and insure repeat business.  And we all want more of that, don’t we! I have compiled the top 5 tips that have helped me consistently complete debt settlement signings without any errors the first time around. In practicing these methods, I have created a steady flow of business for myself.


Review the Documents and Instructions Carefully

This may seem very obvious, but it is often overlooked and is the simplest way to avoid unnecessary errors.  These signings usually come with a lengthy set of instructions.  PLEASE READ THESE! To have a debt settlement signing completed without mistakes the first time, it is assuredly in your best interest to go through these instructions carefully before meeting with the signer.  I have worked with several companies where the very last sentence of the instructions directs you to watch a video.  And if I hadn’t read all the way to the end, I would have missed something critical to the signing! I highly recommend reviewing instructions and comparing them to the documents well before the scheduled signing.  This allows you plenty of time to clear up any questions you may have.  DO NOT wing it if your goal is to gain repeat business from the company that hired you!


Have a Quality and Reliable Scanner

I cannot stress how IMPORTANT this is. In my years of doing debt settlement signings, I have always had to scan the documents, instead of shipping them.  Having a quality scanner that provides clear and legible PDF documents is a must.  You want a printer that will scan at least 300 DPI (Dot Per Inch), but 600 DPI is ideal, so the documents can be reprinted clearly. Personally, I use a Brother MFC L5700DW, and it works beautifully.  I haven’t had any clients complain about the quality of my scans. I DO NOT recommend using an app like Camscanner. In certain situations, these types of apps can be very useful, but typically they will leave a logo on the docs and that creates more work and is unacceptable for most law firms.


Practice Presentation and Position Yourself as a Local Rep

Many of these signings require you to act on their behalf as a local representative.  This requires educating yourself with the necessary information provided by the firm. Again, READ EVERYTHING THOROUGHLY and be well prepared prior to the signing. Typically, the signer is fully informed of all of the terms of the agreement, and while you are not expected to act as a sales agent, it is your responsibility to be well prepared and represent your client as instructed. Bumbling and fumbling through the presentation can leave a signer uneasy and nervous about their decision.  Remember, for most clients, this is a large commitment.  By being knowledgeable and prepared will make the process much smoother for all parties.


Dress Professionally

For most of you, this is a no brainer.  However there are some who tread a fine line between business and business casual. How you appear is extremely important in debt settlement signings, considering you will most likely be the only in-person contact for the signer.  Your professional appearance will not only give them confidence, but we all know how much better we feel about ourselves when we are groomed and dressed nicely.


Be Impartial with the Product

In these signings, it is not your job to determine what is best for the signer and their financial situation. You are there as a representative to review the program, answer basic questions, and collect signatures.  Remember, prior to the signing, the client has had many conversations with the law firm and ample time to weigh all options in settling their debts.  If the signer appears unsure, assist them in reaching their representative at the law firm to answer questions.  Most importantly, your personal opinions about debt settlement programs or any options the signer is considering, have no place at the signing table.

And there you have it; my top 5 tips for conducting successful debt settlement signings.  Armed with these tips, any notary can consistently provide perfectly executed documents to their client. Your knowledge and professionalism in conducting these signings will help you earn repeat business time and time again!

Nicole Brame, Notary Signing Agent, www.dottedii.com – December 8, 2017

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