Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh Bank of (Redacted), How Thou Dost Vex Me

Part One

Yesterday was not a banner day in our little quest to make this house a home.

Prospect Mortgage sold our loan to a large bank, which while understandable is still is sort of like having an intermediary sell your soul to Satan. We signed documents that had our first three months of payments built into the loan, meaning we don't start paying the mortgage until June 1 (when we anticipate moving in). But the bank in question thinks we're already three weeks late with our first payment.

I got this news via IM from my husband. I'm at work, trying to arrange interviews for stories, he's at work, where his group is undergoing a massive reorg that has him switching from a much beloved boss to a completely unknown entity.

Him: This is weird, I keep getting phone calls from a 1-800 number.
Me: Give me the number.
Him: 1-800-Yada Yada.

I call it, it's Bank of (Redacted).

Me: It's Bank of (Redacted).
Him: Huh, wonder what they want.

Massive fight ensues. Call them back, I say. You call them back, he says. I don't have the information I need to talk to them, I say. You have as much information as I do, he says. Repeat four or five times.

So I call. They want to know where their first payment is. I explain to them that we're not supposed to pay until June. They say, "As if!" (As an aside, it took me 45 minutes to get through to a live human being. The first time they hung up on me, the second time they transferred me into the void, the third time they hung up on me and the fourth time a woman looked up our account, said "You're late," and then told me to talk to whoever originated the loan.)

This is the point at which I felt like vomiting. What if we were wrong? Are we wrong? Did we sign the wrong papers?

Chuck reached out to the folks at Prospect Mortgage and they responded quickly, saying we were right and that they would fix the problem. I tweet to the bank's Help account that help is what I need and get a call from a very sympathetic Sharon about an hour later.

We don't have a resolution yet, but they're working the problem. Apparently the bank was in the middle of processing the payments and just decided to throw the fear of God into us for grins. Or something like that.

Part Two

Not knowing if we had screwed up on our end and were actually late on a payment and wrong about the documents is minor in the general scheme of things, but it added another element of uncertainty to a situation rife with it. Family-wise, we're split up right now, with Chuck and the boys living at his mom's place, and the dog and I living at our friend Todd's place on the opposite end of town. Someone commented to me today to "enjoy the vacation," but I miss being with the kids and I miss my husband snoring. I joined them for dinner the other night and ended up with hives the next day, probably from spending 90 minutes with the cats.

We're waiting for the city right now to either request changes to the plans, or issue a building permit so we can get started. Once we can get started, we're going to do the basement apartment first, because we can at least all live there while the rest of the house is being worked on. It's such a beautiful day today, and is supposed to be for the rest of the weekend, that we're going to work on the yard this afternoon/evening and tomorrow--lots of weeds to slaughter. Orchard Supply Hardware is having a 20 percent off sale on all living things, so we're going to check on their fruit tree situation and may start planting the lemon trees.

I had a personal day today because I need to renew my driver's license, only to discover that today is a state employee furlough day and the DMV offices are closed. I spent hours at the Cherry Bean Coffeehouse (my third place) making work phone calls and going through paperwork, etc. There was a little excitement--a run-by robbery. Guy came in, asked for a cup of water and then grabbed the bills from the tip jar and left.

He then came back an hour later and hung out long enough to be arrested, sans cash, of course. He had spent it on cigarettes.

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