Friday, December 24, 2010

Where did THAT come from?

I did something really stupid this month with the bills—well, only two of them.  We have two mortgages and I swapped the payments.  I don’t know how or why, because I take such care to be sure that never happens, but it did.  I only found out when I got the bill from the smaller mortgage stating that I owed nothing for next month.

Now what?  I immediately went to pay the January bills, allotting the money I usually put into the smaller mortgage to the larger.  For better or worse, the difference between the two payments is substantial, so redirecting that payment was just a drop in the bucket.  Then I went through the rest of the bills to see where I could start scraping enough to cover the difference.  Thankfully, I have credits with a couple of utilities, so I am only about $400 short right now.

I got a call last night from the mortgage company.  The guy told me I had failed to make my payment.  I said that I hadn’t failed to pay; I just hadn’t paid enough.  He didn’t have my sense of humor.  He asked if I wanted to pay right then over the phone to avoid late charges.  I told him I could not do that.  So he asked why not.  How do you NOT laugh at that question? I managed to not laugh and explained I do not have the money to pay anything right now, but that I have a payment set to go on the first of January. 

So he asked again if I wanted to pay over the phone right now so that I could avoid late charges and being sent to collections.  I reiterated that I could not pay.  He asked if I had a credit card that I could use.  I said no.  He asked if I wanted to be sent to collections.  Again, what a question!  I said if he needed to send me to collections, then that is what he needed to do.  He asked why I didn’t have the money to pay.  Are these interviews scripted??

I explained that my husband got a 15% pay cut and we are doing the best we can.  I reiterated that I will pay the difference and late fees as soon as I can.  He asked again if I wanted to be sent to collections.  Then he asked if I had friends or family from whom we could borrow.  I yelled, “THAT is none of your business and TOTALLY inappropriate!”

I continued with the conversation, answering the same questions, explaining my mistake several times and dealing with the difficulty in understanding his accent.  My husband heard me and came close, ready to take over if things got worse.

But I handled it.  Maybe I should be more supplicating to someone who could send me to collections, but it is what it is.  I know I take the best care of paying bills that I can.  I know that collectors can’t complain about my payments.  I am faithful, and will take from our food bill before we fail to make a payment.  So we shall see how this little adventure plays out.

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