Anatomy Of A Goose Chase

March 29, 2008 at 10:51 AM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
  So, I’m trying to straighten this thing out on my credit, see?  I’m trying to get my house refinanced in my name.  If you recall, I work at a bank so all of this should be a cakewalk.
  Well, not really.  You know, I accept full responsibility on this.  But not the blame.  Let me explain the difference.  It was my credit issues that got me into this, oh so many years ago.  But–but!–They have been resolved.  The blame lies with the dozens and dozens of ass clowns standing between me and clearing my (relatively) good name.
  I’m not going to bore you with the details of my debt…I’ll bore you with other things instead.  The long and short of it is, when I was young and stupid I amassed a sizable credit card debt.  By the time I wised up and tried to clear it up, the biggest one, Bank of America, went into default and then into judgment.  With the help of Bunny, my BFF who was working here at the bank at the time (before I started) I got a home equity loan and rolled all my tiny little debts into one big debt at a lower interest rate.  God Bless America.
  And I paid Bank of America, also.  Or their lawyer.  Or their lawyer’s lawyer.  Through my lawyer, of course.
  That was ’04.  Fast forward (or scene select) to today, where I’m trying to refinance.  I had a few little issues to deal with, but everything else was good.  You know, mostly.  But for some reason, The Bank of America judgment was showing as still open with the St Louis County Court, and hence, on my credit report.

Day One

  The logical place to start was with the Courthouse.  I call them, they are friendly.  Yeah, we show at being still open.  You should probably call Bank of America, and have them send us the Satisfaction of Judgment.
  K.  I call Bank of America.  Now, this was from 04–Hell, the credit card itself was even older than that, closed in 02.  I have no card, no account number.  I have the phone number on the credit report.
  Which is not a working number.  Please call–
  So I call another number, work through my options, and eventually talk to someone.  The first thing they always say in their semi-hispanic and poorly trained voice is, they want my account number.  I have no account number.  Is this a mortgage or a credit card?  Credit card.  Uno momento, por favour.
  I get transferred from one department to another, basically because no one there knows what the hell to do with me.  Yet again….Here’s the thing–let me explain this.  Have you ever heard of the term "hoo-doo"?  My mom said a hoo-doo is person around whom mechanical things do not work.  The person who always seems to have bad luck with cars, who has things that are always broke…The person who has a 13-inch black and white TV on top of a 17" TV….which is on top of a console, and none of them work.  A hoo-doo walks alot, because his car is always broke down.
  You know someone like this.
  My feeling is that I am a hoo-doo….with administrative systems.  For some reason, *I* am always the special case.  The unprecedented.  This is what I always hear:  "I’ve never seen this before."  "That’s not supposed to happen."  "You can’t do that.  I think."  "Let me call someone."  "Uhm……uh…..wait here."
  At first I thought I was special, now it’s just annoying.
Day two, three, four and five
  Bank of America continues to ask me for information I don’t have, put me on hold, and transfer me around the country.  Somewhere down the line they gave me another number, and I went through all the options and never talked to a person.  I started at the beginning, and they said–Oh, of course!  This went into judgment, you need to talk to our law firm that handles this:  Hannah and Associates.  Jack Hannah?  No, Fred.
  I begin to traipse around the country by phone again, this time counter-clockwise.  At one point I’m talking with someone here in St Louis!  He says–like all of them–"I don’t know why they transferred you here."  This office had only been open a year, and would have no records from 4 years ago.  He gave me another number.  It sounded familiar.  Sure enough, it was THE VERY FIRST NUMBER I called. 
  I continued to make calls while occasionally looking behind me for Rod Serling.  I swear I’m gonna jack his fuckin jaw if I see him–
  Yesterday I had a thought, which may end up being my saving grace while I pursue this telecommunications nightmare.  Since I work at a bank–the bank I have my loan with–and I work in the mortgage division, and have access to that software….
  I looked up my original home loan, found my credit report.  The page showing the B of A judgment says "PAID."  I printed it off and showed it to Bunny.  Four years ago, it was marked paid.  It’ll do for now; a placeholder, at least, until I get this straightened out.  I mean if.
  I continue my quest.

Day six, I think.  Whatever.  Yesterday.

  The people that were the most helpful and the nicest to me while lying to me were at B of A Recovery Center.  Back in January, someone here (I have record of it) actually said they would take care of it.  Of course nothing happened.
  "But Bryan," you ask, "If you dealt with these people before, why didn’t you just call them back?"
  That’s a very good question.  The answer is, Fuck you.  I’ve got 2 dozen goddamn phone numbers scribbled down here with various notes, names, and what-have-you.  I couldn’t keep this shit straight.  I came across the number by accident.
  Besides….they weren’t that helpful.  I called them again, and Richard was out (I don’t understand why I needed to speak with him anyway).  He told me I needed to put all this information on a piece of paper and fax it to Dina.  I had to fax it because she never answers her phone or looks at email because it’s too convenient; a fax gives her plausible deniability and is easily ignored.
  Which she did for several days, that’s why I called Richard back yesterday.  He wasn’t available but someone else said….geez, what *did* they say?  I’m having a hard time keeping all the lies separated from the half-truths.  Someone was going to call me back.  Riiiight.

Day seven

  Someone actually called me back.  She said Hannah and Associates handled their collections and judgments.  "Yeah, I know."  And…[on second thought, I won’t mention them by name] handled them for Hannah in St Louis.  That name sounded oddly familiar.  She gave me the number, and I called.  I got through several layers simply by not being able to answer any questions, which is an odd way to filter calls.  One girl said, "Let me look that up for you.  Please hold."  Then the phone rang, which, for anyone familiar with the bill collector rodeo, means I’m getting transfered to someone brand new that I can tell my sad story to for the the 68th time in 7 seven days.
  "This is Beelzebub."  An icy blast hit me through the phone.
  "Uhm.  Okay.  I thought I was just on hold; I didn’t expect to be transferred."
  "Perhaps I can help."  But her tone was saying, "Not bloody likely."
  She asked me to explain, so that she could cut me off.  "What’s the account number."  She didn’t ask, she said.
  "I don’t ha–"
  She cut me off again.  "I need your social then."
  I gave it to her.  She said that my lawyer would have to contact them. I didn’t have a lawyer.  I thought anyw–
  She interrupted my thoughts. How can she do that?  She mentioned the lawyers name,  "Does that sound familiar to you."
  Kinda, yeah.  "Kind of–"
  They cannot speak to me about the case; it has to go through my lawyer.  They cannot speak to me about it.  It has to go through my lawyer.  I can have the lawyer fax them a letter saying they are no longer handling the case, and only then can they speak to me about it.
  "Well, let me just ask you thi–"
  "I cannot speak to you about the case.  Contact your lawyer."
  "You know, I just want to say that–I’m not one of your deadbeats.  Your tone is very terse, and your attitude is very adversarial.  Is that–?"
  She got a little shrill.  "You know what sir.  I’m going to terminate this call.  You have a fabulous day."
  Well.  I think I will have a fabulous day, now that I managed to get under your skin.  That kind of made my day.  I love it when women try to put on their tough bitch facade.  Pfffftt.  Whatever.  Have you met my ex wife?
  So I look up the lawyer’s name (BTW, MSN live search is stupid, ridiculous, and unhelpful.  After a couple of failed attempts, I used it to find google, where I googled his name and went right to his personal site.  I gave his office a call, and he was in.
  I explained my sitch.  Again.  And about faxing the Law Firm From Hell.  He said, "I’ll be in court Monday, I can take a look at this."  At least–this time it was someone local.  At least this was someone whom I had previously paid to help me.  At least now….I could see an end to this.  But I ain’t holding my breath.


1 Comment »

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  1. Banks? Lawyers?
    They should all be locked up.
    Now, Bryan. Everyone in England is complaining about your accent when you do "English" when you tell a story or a joke.
    They say you sound like Cary Grant! Is that true?
    I don\’t believe it, but that\’s what they\’re saying.
    Best wishes to you, and to Kim too.

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