Where to Report Deadbeat Firms
by Tim Gatewood
The following is a list of places where you as a notary signing agent can report deadbeat firms.
Deadbeat firms are those signing services, title companies, attorneys, or others who refuse to pay you, give you bogus excuses, send you checks that bounce after you have had to call and call them to get the check — in other words, the biggest pains-in-the-neck in this business. They may be slow pay, pay only after much hassle, or no pay.
Most deadbeat firms rely on scamming from one to pay the one behind. Sometimes, you can get them to pay you when you threaten to expose them as the deadbeats that they are.
Be sure that you have good records of what happened and that you stick to the facts (not your beliefs or assumptions or feelings) when you make your reports. Do NOT repeat rumors in your reports, as that can open you up to charges of libel or slander.
Some of the sites on this list have forums; some have groups; some have other gatherings of people who may want to know about this particular firm that has proven themselves (to you) to be a deadbeat. Once you have found the best place or places on each site to post your report, search for the name of the firm and post a comment under the most-recently-opened topic about them. Do NOT start a new topic about them unless you have searched first and were unable to find them, as some of the forum participants or group members on some of the sites can be very snarky (or hostile-seeming or rude) toward anyone who does that.
Some sites on this list do not have forums or groups, but do have other ways that you can report. Use your awesome research skills (which you should be developing as a small business person) to find the best way to report the deadbeat firm to each site.
There are two ways you can use this list.
First, you can just take it, modify it to make it your own and to make it directly relevant to the particular deadbeat firm that you want to report, and send it to that firm along with a final demand letter. Tell them that you will start reporting to the sites and places listed unless they pay you in full by X date. Then fax, email, and mail the letter. This has gotten some NSAs paid when everything else failed. As you are sending it as a final demand letter, you can still refer the matter to an attorney or a collection agency after the deadline passes, if you decide to do that. Or, you can move on to the second option.
Second, when you are done trying to collect and just want to be sure as many other notaries (and as many other businesses and agencies) as possible are aware of how this firm treated you, then go through the list and report them. Be as clear and specific and FACTUAL as you can in your reports. Leave emotions and “I heard” and “she said he said” out of it. Focus on what was done and what was not done; what you did about it; and what they said they were going to do versus what they did or did not do.
Here is The List of Where to Report Deadbeat Firms
the title company and Lender involved with the work
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
State Attorney General in my state and in their state
Insurance Commission (for Escrow agents) or banking/lending commission (for lenders) in my state & yours
All 3 Credit Bureaus
Better Business Bureau in your state & in mine
Any Notary groups on Facebook, Google, yahoo or other sites that I can find and join
My blogs, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn page
Your firm’s Facebook page & LinkedIn page (if any)
Your firm’s Google local page (if any)
craigslist in my town and yours
and any other pages I can find where your firm is listed.
(You in the above list refers to the deadbeat firm. Me refers to the NSA who is owed money.)
For maximum impact, look the firm up by name on google, bing, yahoo, and other search engines. Make note of the websites where the firm appears. Be sure to include all of them not already in this list on your list for that specific deadbeat firm.
As an extra, I am sharing a somewhat different list that someone else created below. Some of the sites on this list are the same as on my list; some are different.
The following list was posted on Facebook in reference to no pay firms, which is a subset of the deadbeat firm (as many of them will pay if you pursue them hard and long enough). Not paying was referred to as Notary Public Theft of Services in that post. I have cleaned it up and taken out everything except the list. If you are in California, you may want to search for the original post on Facebook (or in the forum on NotaryRotary, as that was mentioned by the FB poster as their source) as it contained some California-specific elements that I have chosen to not include here.
(As with the list above “my” refers to the NSA; “your” refers to the deadbeat firm.)
Where to Report No Pay Firms
Lender (find on loan documents) – compliance officer
Title (find on loan documents)
Escrow (find on loan documents)
Bank (if applicable)
Loan Originator (if applicable)
Mortgage Broker (if applicable)
Real Estate Agent (if applicable)
Real Estate Broker (if applicable)
Better Business Bureaus (BBB) http://ask.bbb.org/complaints
Department of corporations in my state and your state (if they are incorporated, even if they are not licensed to do business in my state, I want my state to know that they are a deadbeat firm).
CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
CA Department of Justice (if the firm is in California only) or the equivalent in my state (if any) and your state
State Attorney General in my state and your state
District Attorney Office in my county and your county
FBI (It counts as Cyber Crime because most likely you have been sent an email confirmation) https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
My Governor and Your Governor (when looking them up, try “Small Business Issues/Concerns” to find where to report this deadbeat firm, as you are a small business)
Department of Insurance (All 50 States) (If a Title or Escrow company) https://eapps.naic.org/cis/fileComplaintMap.do
FHFA – Office of the Inspector General https://www.fhfa.gov/Homeownersbuyer/MortgageAssistance/Pages/ComplaintsConcernsQuestions.aspx
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Report Fraud form: https://www.fhfaoig.gov/ReportFraud
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/GettingStarted?NextQID=251&Url=%23%26panel17#crnt
Board of Realtors (if buyer or seller package) http://www.wikihow.com/FileaComplaintAgainstaRealtor
US Representative (Your State, State of loan origination, State of Escrow, State of Title Company location) http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
US Senator (Your State, State of loan origination, State of Escrow, State of Title Company location) upper right hand corner for zip code search. https://www.senate.gov/