Cate’s Column #18

I spent the last five years sitting on my hands, doing nothing to incur expenses so I could throw every dime at my mortgage. I cannot stand paying interest plus a monthly service fee; entering into a ten-year mortgage freaked me out. I want out from under it ASAP! Finally, my statement shows I have a little more than $2,000 left to pay and I called the loan company to arrange the final payment. Here’s how THAT went:

Me: “I’d like to get the payoff balance on my mortgage, please.”

Loan lady: “I can’t give you that information. I can give you the payoff principal.”

“Please.” The number she gave me matched the figure on the mortgage statement. “Okay, what’s the difference between that amount and the payoff?”

“The interest and fees will be on your payoff statement.”

“So give me the payoff statement balance.”

“I can’t. You have to request it.”

“I just did.”

“No. It costs forty dollars.”

“Forty bucks? Why — what’s the difference between principal and payoff balances?” I started feeling a little dumb.

“The payoff statement will show all the interest and fees.”

“What fees?”

“The close out fees.”

“What close out fees? How much are they?”

“I can’t give you that amount. Usually two-fifty to three-fifty.”

“Um, where’s the decimal point?”

She snorted, made me feel even dumber. “Two hundred fifty to three hundred fifty dollars.”

“Hundreds! What’s that for?”

“It’s to close out your loan. After all the fees are paid, in a month or so we will send out the Deed of Release and Reconveyance to the county.”

“I just want to pay off my house. I don’t want to pay all these extra, surprise fees. Have you any advice how I can get around them?”

This time she laughed at me. “You can’t. All servicing agents charge a closeout fee.”

You can imagine by this time I felt dumb and mad. ‘Servicing agent’? More like road agent. This company is holding my deed hostage.

Wait, it will get worse: Keith and Juanita have the same mortgage company. What is Juanita’s nickname…?

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.


  1. Slaves are not supposed to be free!

  2. I’m not sure how to word this, but it feels like forced prostitiution. They want me to pay them so they can ___ me. Isn’t prostitution illegal?

  3. Isn’t prostitution an agreement between two consenting adults though? Here you are being raped!

  4. I “occupied” Bouse to protest. No body noticed. As wrong as this is, it was probably a good thing we did not send every last dime to this mortgage One Percenter.

    Thursday, the Jeep blew the crankcase pulley into the radiator fan and the Mercury’s air conditioner compresser froze up.

    Odd, how an air conditioner that hasn’t worked in months can “freeze.”

    It doesn’t rain but it pours!

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