Twenty years ago, I was living in a two bedroom home with two children. When the kids were getting old enough that they needed their own rooms, (one girl and one boy) I started house hunting. I found a place that I really liked and beings that my first husband had decided that he just really didn’t like Ohio winters, working to provide for his family, and coming home to the same people every night, he picked up and moved to Texas leaving me to figure out parenting on my own.
I did it! I went to work, paid all the bills each month and spent the hours off work, cooking, cleaning, and raising the kids. I loved it because I love my children. I found the place I wanted and asked my dad to go to the bank with me. He did. I bought it. I eventually remarried and started getting help from my current husband. (Glad to say I don’t think I’ve mowed but a hand full of times since.) But back to the topic at hand.
When our friends and neighbors started refinancing every time the interest rates dropped, we watched. They borrowed more and more each time. It was nice watching them add on, build nicer decks, add beautiful fences, and pools, hot tubs, all kinds of things. We didn’t. Our loan stayed the same and when everyone in the area started losing their jobs, each of our friends and neighbors started worrying. Again, we didn’t. The time came and we both lost out jobs. We started worrying. But our payment was still way lower than everyone else’s. Three neighbor’s have lost their homes and property, two have sold and moved away. We cut back on everything but were still able to keep up for our payments and the other necessities, forgetting about most luxuries.
We’ve looked forward to today for 20 years. We went to the bank, with out last payment and walked inside. Never missing a payment, never being late on a payment, we were proud. I told the teller that we were there to pay off our mortgage and she looked at me like I had just started speaking another language. She looked at our payment book and laughed after she input out account number. “That will be $2,740.00.” I nearly fell to the floor.
Their explanation was different with each person that I was able to talk to. Six different people, six different explanations. The last one was. “Well, it looks like in 2005, you missed 7 payments.” I’d had enough. I’m completely confused on how this could happen. How could they say I missed 7 payments when I have the receipts setting on the desk in front of them? Then it changed to “oh, this is all late fees.” EXCUSE ME! THE RECEIPTS ARE DATE STAMPED BY YOUR TELLERS!
“Oh, I’ll need 3 to 5 days to request a print out of your payment history.” The last lady said with a smile.
Is the underlying cause for all this mess and anguish that we aren’t actually suppose to ever pay off a mortgage? Each person that we talked to actually offered to refinance or extend the loan. Please someone explain this to me.