Zero Dollars and Zero Cents

I-44 Sunset

I-44 Sunset

“As of April fourteenth, two-thousand and fourteen, the amount of principal owed on this loan is zero dollars and zero cents. The amount of interest owed on this loan is zero dollars and zero cents. The amount of escrow owed on this loan is zero dollars and zero cents. This account is now closed. Thank you. Goodbye.”

I liked the sound of that automated message so much that I ended up listening to it three times, before I decided to speak to a human, who once again confirmed that our thirty-year loan had been paid-off. She seemed suspicious at first, when I first announced that our account had been closed, but she patiently answered all my questions, repeating things when I asked her to. Maybe she was a bit peevish at first, because I was the one that got away. She eventually warmed up to me though, because I was always courteous to her and maybe because I symbolized the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are now free and clear, masters of our own domain, home safe. What triggered my phone calls was our monthly mortgage statement. It was like no other of the 360 previous mortgage statements that we have received over the years. For one, instead of a bill, it included a check from the bank. I really wasn’t surprised by any of this. I had been anticipating this day for some years now, but I was surprised by the amount of the check, I had expected a much bigger payout. As it turned out, the bank had used most of our escrow funds to pay our insurance for this next year. We’ll have to pay our taxes at the end of the year and then the insurance again at this time next year. Then we’ll repeat, for as long as we can or care to, but we’ll never pay another penny to the bank.

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