Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Two Cent's Worth

What does two cents buy these days? Would you seriously consider giving someone a piece of your mind for that price?  Would you contemplate selling your thoughts for half that amount? Do you or anyone you know still go around pinching pennies (and are you willing to risk a charge of assault and battery for such action)?

There is actually a grassroots organization, Citizens for Retiring the Penny, spending its time (and presumably some hard earned dollars) lobbying for the elimination of this puny excuse for coin of the realm.

But while you would be hard pressed to find anything of value that can be acquired for what is clearly as close to next to nothing as white is to rice, I can tell you what two cents has just purchased for me. Aggravation.

Without going into great detail, in closing a mortgage loan the lender requires a financial statement (HUD) which accurately reflects all the costs relating to the transaction. Among these are the lender's calculations on what sums must be placed in escrow with them for payment of certain future obligations.

I recently acted as counsel for the buyer in such a matter. The HUD was pre-approved by the lender, and all went forward without a hitch. Until today that is. I received the following at 6:54 this evening:

" My post closing department has found an error on this HUD. Line 1001 should read $5842.38, the Aggregate Adjustment amount on line 1007 should be -$614.98. Unfortunately, this error affects page 1 and 3 as well. This HUD will have to be re-signed by all."

I immediately thought that something must have slipped my attention, and now I was going to have to pay dearly (whoever dearly is).

I rushed to pull up the original HUD and this is what I found:
Line 1001 - $5842.40
Aggregate Adjustment-  -$614.96
The mistake, which was of the lender's doing (as the figures set forth had been provided by them to me) involved two measly one cent pieces.

For the lender's pressing forward to remedy the boo-boo, the following results:
1. A letter was prepared by the "Loan Closing Specialist" advising me of the problem.
2. I read the letter.
3. I got pissed off about the letter.
4. I either have to fight the bureaucracy, which will involve my writing my own letter and/or making a call discussing why the requested course of action is without value, economic or otherwise; or, in the much more likely outcome
5. Revise the HUD to match the numbers now given.
6. Send this document along with a letter of explanation for my insanity to my client and counsel for the seller.
7. Hope that neither my client or the seller throws my request in what should be the appropriate receptacle.
8. Await the return of the signed revision., eventually forwarding a fully executed document back to the lender.
9. Ask the lender to mail to me the two cents of my client that they are improperly holding in escrow, based on their earlier errors.
10. Retire from the practice of law.

There is nothing common about sense and there is nothing rational to be gained from going through the exercise I have outlined. But then reasoned contemplation and paper pushing are about as compatible a couple these days as penny wise is to pound foolish.

For two cents I'd chuck it. But right now that money is in the lender's account and I want it back.


Alex said...


Ron said...

I learned at an early age the golden rule. those that have the gold make the rules