Money

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Does anybody know who did that song that goes "money money money
mooooon-aayyy!" with the little bass guitar going doo-doo, dee-dee,
doo-doo ? It usually gets just 5 seconds of it played when someone
gets/sees big cash on a TV show or movie. Usually it signifies someone
getting money, not money woes.

Well, we just solved some of our money woes. We've been trying to
refinance for about 4 months, but as soon as we had everything together,
it turns out that we have a big black mark on our credit! Back as we
were getting married, Nancy was trying to shutdown her former life and
move in with me in New York. Someone the phone got left on, or
long-distance got shut off, or whatever, and the phone company billed
her for 1074 in one month. She got it all straightened out, but they
never sent a receipt. Fast forward 6 years, Sprint finds it in their
computer (without the notes that it was resolved, of course), figures we
skipped town, and slams it over to collections agency. Suddenly we go
from perfect credit to criminals.

Now you're in a weird situation, because Sprint's deleted everything
from their computers, so they don't have any records of it. The agency
doesn't care where it came from either, they just want money. Plus, the
statute of limitations on bills is only 4 years. (Ignore the fact that
the entire bill was from Sprint's mistake, since we don't have paperwork
to show it.) So this would never hold up in court, and they know it.
Even though they have our current name & address, they never send a bill
for it because it can't be collected. But, ironically, the credit
report leaves it on your record for SEVEN years. So even though they
have no legal right to the money, you're still marked as a deadbeat and
will have a hard time getting the loan or doing a refinance.

The refinancier also let me in on some secrets of the mortgage
business. The banks will ignore unpaid debts of up to 250 apiece, or
up to 1000 altogether. Above that, they won't loan you money, period.
Even if you've got 20 pages of fully paid off loans, like student loans
and car loans far in excess of these small amounts, this one ding will
shut you down. Also, the collections agencies will usually settle for
75-80% of the original amount. So you see a lot of disputed and wrong
debts in the 200-300 range just paid by frustrated consumers who have
no other recourse. It's blackmail, by anyone who wants money, enforced
by Equifax and Transunion.

Ultimately it's costing us more not to refinance than to pay. So, like
many people, I paid them their money and am getting on with the
refinance. But it sure felt like a bribe to me, greasing the financing
wheels.

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This page contains a single entry by Doug Treder published on July 8, 2004 4:20 PM.

The Beautiful People was the previous entry in this blog.

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