Colorado Springs Notary - Leon Austin


Closing for the physically challenged

Not only do we have challenging places in which to do the closings. There are also challenging situations: doing closings for people who are physically challenged. They can be, at the same time, the most difficult and the most rewarding.  I say rewarding because, it gives us a good feeling when we know that we have really provided a convenience to the borrower, and done something for them that they otherwise would not have been able to do.

One example was a closing I did in the town of Calhan. The house is literally in the middle of nowhere. At the time I made the confirmation call, I asked the borrower if it would be possible to provide a photocopy of his ID. He said, he'll try. But it won't be easy, because he doesn't drive anymore.  When I got to the home the next day, I realized what he meant.  There was a long ramp instead of stairs. He was confined to a wheelchair.

Closing for the visually impaired is something else that we are prepared to do. I did a closing for a woman who could see, but she was legally blind. The biggest challenge was helping her find the line where she needed to sign, and to keep her from signing where she shouldn't sign. There were times when she would come close to signing on top of her husband's signature.  I used a combination of ruler and sticky tags to show her where the signature line was. By placing the ruler on the paper underneath the signature line, she knew exactly where she should sign.

It's good if we know about the needs of these people beforehand, because there are so many other ways in which we can help. We may not have the equipment in our car at the time, but we can bring it. Things such as magnifying lamps, portable tables for the bedridden, etc.

There are times when the only thing you can do is simply help as much as you can.  I did a closing for a man with one arm. Simply turning the pages for him, or holding the page down to keep it from sliding was all the help he needed.

We all have many stories like this, and I'd like to hear from some of you other notary signing agents who have been in 'challenging' situations.

Comment balloon 3 commentsLeon Austin • April 18 2007 08:27PM



I think the most challenging one i've had was where the husband was completely bedridden, he could not sit up, he had to be flat on his back. The hospital bed was in thier living room, so I had the wife sign, then I put the page on a clipboard and held it up in the air facing him so he could see it, and then tilted it to a comfortable angle for him to sign it.  I hadn't thought about the clip on magnifiers! That's a great idea! I think I'll add that to my briefcase!  I also always carry a clipboard.

The one's that really get to me are the older people with severe advanced arthiritis in thier hands, especially when it's a lender that has a really big package for them to sign. I carry special pens with a fairly large barrel that I use specifically for these people. I also make excuses to take a break from the paperwork for a few minutes when I can tell it's getting really painful for them to sign.  I'll look around and see what there is that tells me what they may be interested in, for example, a doll collection, then I ask them about it and we discuss it for a while before going back to signing papers. Yes, it does make the signing take longer, but I would hope that if that were me in that condition on the other side of the table, that someone would take a little time and care, to make it a little easier on me.

Posted by Bonnie Marie DeWolfe (Eagle Ridge Signatures Inc.) about 13 years ago

"... the husband was completely bedridden, he could not sit up, he had to be flat on his back. The hospital bed was in thier living room ..."

I had a signing like that. Almost identical situation, except instead of being in a bed, he was lying on a recliner in the living room. The wife would sign, then put the document on a clipboard and have her husband sign.

Posted by Leon Austin, Colorado Springs Mobile Notary (Mobile Notary Services) about 13 years ago

Challenges like this sure keeps our lives interesting huh? LOL

Posted by Bonnie Marie DeWolfe (Eagle Ridge Signatures Inc.) about 13 years ago

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