A killa in manila

Friday the 13th started out about the way I thought it would: my weekly file-purge routine crashed, not once but twice. Eventually I figured out that the size of one particular array was set too low, and ran it twice more, each with half the batch. No one’s reported anything horrible to me yet, so I’m assuming this workaround actually worked.

Still, this was nothing compared to the horror that awaited me in my mailbox at home: a large, official-looking envelope from the bank that holds the note on my house. It didn’t precipitate a cardiac event, but it seemed to come awfully close. What in the world was this? Foreclosure? Not likely: I’m never actually late on a payment. Eventually I picked out one of the swirling thoughts that sounded plausible, and decided that they were selling me out to some uninterested (as distinguished from “disinterested”) third party.

It was, of course, none of the above. They’d sent me a copy of an appraisal they had ordered, stating no particular reason, though I figured that a two-year decline in property taxes might have spooked them about the value of the place, property values in this area having been stagnant for a while — or maybe it was just that I’d been here ten years. Worse, the cover letter was signed by someone from the Loss Mitigation Department, and contained the inscrutable phrase “one or more of the enclosed valuation(s) may or may not be used in determining the value of the property.”

The drive-by appraiser, though, figured it at about $8k above what the County Assessor had calculated earlier this year, and more than $25k over what I actually still owe on the place. (Status: Not underwater.) Still: never underestimate my ability to panic.


  1. Bill Peschel »

    14 June 2014 · 9:07 am

    Remember, it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you. Especially when you’re in the line of sight of the eye of Mordor.

    We worked hard to pay off the note on our house, partly through paranoia, and partly because I was about to be ejected from my profession. In the last few years, our mortgage from USAA — a stable, reliable company — was sold twice and nearly caught up in first company’s bankruptcy proceedings.

    Once the note was paid off, we made sure to get all the paperwork that said we own the property free and clear, including one from the county that confirmed it.

  2. CGHill »

    14 June 2014 · 12:01 pm

    I wrote this last night and went to bed. Upon semi-sober reflection, it occurs to me that they may be bundling a bunch of these for securitization — though that way, we have seen, lies madness.

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