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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Dear Evil Loan Company: I’ve created a Voodoo doll

DEAR EVIL LOAN COMPANY

Dear Evil Loan Company:

When I first embarked upon the journey of securing a mortgage with your company, it was for good reasons. My experience with you has now left me questioning why bad people happen to good reasons.

It was an exciting day, when you looked at credit scores in the 800’s and announced that pre-approval for a pretty-penny wasn’t going to be any trouble at all. Papers were signed and trust was handed over to you as you promised to do some hand-holding, if needed. After all, buying a home is an emotional and scary prospect, but you assured us that it wasn’t going to be as bad as all that.

What you didn’t say, was that you – and your cohorts – were going to turn out to be as bad as all that and more.

Initially, there was a flood of the expected paperwork, as emails, faxes and scans swelled ever higher all around us and you requested we give your company a check large enough for some folks to purchase a used mid-size sedan. I should have known that customer service wasn’t high on your company’s list when I walked into your office with the check and was told I could just drop it at the reception desk. Gosh, I get it. But handing over that kind of money, watching it slip through my fingers in a matter of seconds? Call me crazy, but I sort of want a warm handshake from the person receiving it, letting me know that it’s going to a good place. Not a bad one.

Yet the clues kept comin’.

Once that fat check was handed over to you, the silence from your camp was deafening. You didn’t write. You didn’t call. For such a large amount of money that passed between us, our relationship felt cheap. It was a full two weeks before you finally called.

It was then that I was asked to fill out some paperwork I realllly wasn’t comfortable with. You said that in order for this loan to be considered there had to be a contract and a check showing that my old house was rented. I reminded all parties involved that such a transaction was still a few months away, because a home of 20+ years was going to require a whole lot of downsizing. “No trouble!” you said. It didn’t have to be a done deal yet, it was just paperwork showing intention. Oh. Well, there was this young family interested in perhaps renting the house after their third child was born, so maybe they’d be okay with signing the dotted line – even though we all knew that moving boxes weren’t in their immediate future nor mine (since I had to move out of the old house into the new house before the old house could be shown to be rented in order to secure the loan for the new house – it’s a theme, stay with me). So, on a Friday the documents were signed, even though we all agreed it felt weird and premature, but you said it was a necessary evil in order to secure a loan. Here we were at evil and bad.

And the clues kept comin’.

Monday morning you said the check had to be deposited. What? Wait! No!! The young couple with two toddlers and an infant on the way are not people that can have thousands of dollars ripped out of their bank account! Plus, this was not what I signed on for when I asked them to sign their name to something that wouldn’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t have to be carried out YET!!!!! [Please know, the italicized, bold, underlined, capitalized and multiple exclamation points don’t even begin to come close to expressing the shouting I engaged in when you called me, but I feel it’s important to remind you, and anyone listening, that I think you’re evil.] You snapping at me, stating that you set the loan up the way we “asked you to” – did nothing to calm me down. As a result, that part where I snapped back and told you that you were the one who bought the books and went to school to come up with multiple ways to design a loan?… While not my proudest moment, it’s still not one I regret.

True evil raised the stakes when a message showed up on my voicemail (and I’m quoting here, as I pull it off my smartphone and edit a bit):

“Hey, T. [Insert name here] and [Insert other name here] of the “[Name] & [Name] <blah-blah-blah radio program> Show, here! Sound familiar? Listen, wanted to let you know that we’re So & So’s [Name changed to protect the not-so innocent] Branch Managers and we’ve asked So & So to step away from the vehicle *laughter* to help you get the keys to your place. It’s a simple fix…”

There was more to the call, but the bottom line was I was told that everything was going to be okay. That was a lie on a lot of levels. Lying, when money is involved is pretty stinkin’ evil and bad.

Yet, I ignored the signs.

A brief game of phone tag finally came to a close when [Insert other name here] finally got a hold of me and, I’ll make it brief for the sake of time, suggested I hand over a “box of money” (direct quote) to cover the cost of the check to be deposited from the young above-mentioned family – since banks don’t like paper trails of checks taken out, checks handed over and deposited checks all showing the same amounts. *Laughter* [Not mine.]

There aren’t enough italicized, bold, underlined, capitalized and multiple exclamation points attached to minced oats to fully express how angry that suggestion made me. However, I told you REPEATEDLY that I was not going to follow through with this. You gave me a couple of days to think it over and assured me that I wasn’t going to have to deal with So & So again. A few frustrated, tear-filled, anguished phone calls to you and the realtor from me (italicized, bold, underlined, capitalized and multiple exclamation points do that to me) – you caved and said you understood. I asked you if we “threw more money” at the loan, could we make it happen without having boxes of money and fraudulent paperwork (because I’m a bigger fan of morals and ethics than I am of gratification) and you said it could. I asked how much? You said, “I don’t know, maybe [insert six figure number here].” Ok. While not the path I was hoping to travel toward the end of this journey, I made frantic phone calls and shuffled and sacrificed and pulled from retirement money to fulfill your request. When I called you back to say that I had what you asked for, I’m pretty sure you choked on your Friday morning cup of fire and brimstone (or whatever it is your kind drinks), when you spat out, “What? I only threw that number out because I thought it would scare you.”

Excuse me?!

Your voice went up an octave and the caffeine from your brimstone must have kicked in, because you started talking fast and furiously about how you hadn’t even done the numbers yet to see exactly WHAT it was going to take to make the loan happen. Here it was Friday and you made a big deal out of how you were going to have to work through the weekend to even begin to know what this new loan was going to look like.

I didn’t know the paperwork might be covered in chlorine until I saw the photo of you and So & So poolside at that resort in Las Vegas. That also explains why you didn’t return phone calls, texts or emails for three days. Or ever, by the time this story would end.

So & So dried off sufficiently, as to not electrocute himself, and called Monday to state that in order to finish our loan project you and your merry band – of dare I say, demons – now required THREE times the original amount of money asked for [Somehow, your trip to Lost Wages emboldened you to request an additional six figures] to close the deal. While admittedly not a math-y person, it turns out I’m not the only one mystified by your numbers. My in-residence Viking (who loves charts and graphs), my accountant and my lender law litigation specialist and a financial specialist all looked at your numbers and howled in laughter (and I do believe shared pain at our misery).

Voodoo Doll

It wasn’t until you resorted to further bullying tactics (for example: asking that the one credit card with the low balance and high stored mileage account be closed, which would result in a huge credit score ding) that I made the decision, none-too-lightly, to fire you in an email that read as follows (edited a bit to protect the still not-so-innocent):

So & So, So & So, So & So –

 In our last conversation with [someone in your office] on Friday, the one where she said we need to close [Gigantaur Credit Card Company] account and I declined (for a number of reasons, the least of which being that it will injure my credit) — my parting words were that you and [Insert other name here] could call me personally to tell me that you were denying my loan based on this final straw.

 Because of the lack of professionalism, the multiple errors in critical paperwork, overall bad behavior and [Insert other name here]’s abandonment (despite promising guidance and assistance to us) in not returning communication — I would like to terminate our relationship.  It is abundantly clear that [the company you work for] is not interested in securing a loan that is in our best interest.

 As I told you, Evil Loan Company: I tell stories. To anyone who will listen. The voodoo doll in your likeness, isn’t a bad thing. Just artistic expression and a healthy outpouring of frustration. Should bad things happen, there might be good reasons.

Sincerely,

xo – t.

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“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. – The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” – Dr. Who

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” – Thomas Paine

“Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to.” – Author Unknown

“I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for public, and another for a private man.” – Thomas Jefferson