Don’t Spend it All in One Place

About six months ago The Curmudgeon received a letter in the mail telling him that he was due a refund on his mortgage.

He didn’t pay it a whole lot of attention: first; he hadn’t had a mortgage in six or seven years, which raised the question of how someone could suddenly be offering him a refund on it; second, he had never heard of the mortgage company that sent the letter and he knew it certainly wasn’t the company that had given him the mortgage in the first place; and third, having moved out of his bachelor condo but not having sold it yet, he had sent change of address notifications to everyone with whom he did business but not yet to the post office, so as a result, only junk email – oh, and stuff for his father, gone four years now but still receiving pretty regular mail, thank you – was still coming to the condo, with the rest going where it belonged, to the home owned by his wife and in which he now is a happy resident.

In short, it looked like some kind of come-on or scam, so he tossed it.

But then another letter arrived about a month ago – this time addressed to his marital home, where he now resides exclusively since selling the bachelor condo in December. It said that if the money was not claimed it would become property of the state of Pennsylvania – never a good idea because that state’s government is utterly hopeless and would just waste it on some damn fool business. (Say what you want about New Jersey but the state is run infinitely better than Pennsylvania.)

Color The Curmudgeon intrigued.

Intrigued enough, at least, to make a quick phone call to the number in the letter.

Whereupon he learned that the letter was legitimate, that the mortgage company that sent it had purchased a company that had purchased a company that had purchased a company that had purchased the original company that extended the mortgage to The Curmudgeon.

The Curmudgeon still thought he smelled something funny: his mortgage on the condo was held by Morgan Stanley, which he knew had not been sold.

Oh no, the woman informed him: not the mortgage on the bachelor condo. No, she was calling from the mortgage company that had purchased a company that had purchased a company that had purchased a company that had purchased the original company that extended the mortgage to The Curmudgeon for his first home, in Philadelphia.

In 1990.

And which he sold in 2003.

So after nearly 14 years of silence they reached out to him about a refund on his mortgage.

How much of a refund, The Curmudgeon asked.

We can’t say, the representative said. I have a number in front of me but it needs to be confirmed by our accounting office and we can’t give it over the phone. You should receive a check in about 20 business days.

Alas, it was a small check

The check just arrived: $56.84.

Leaving The Curmudgeon with one thought: did this sum include interest on the 14-year debt or was the actual amount far, far less?

He’ll never know. $56.84 is $56.84 and he knows better than to look this gift horse in the mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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