Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sacrifices for the greater good

On Sunday, August 2, I sold my Scion tC after owning it for only 15 months. It was my first real adult car purchase. I loved my car. So why would I sell it? Between Jericho and I, we have 5 vehicles (1 is his work truck so that technically doesn't count). Of those vehicles, only one was not paid for - mine. With our new marriage and new goals and new budgeting, it only made logical sense to eliminate the vehicle that had a payment. So a couple of months before we got married, we listed my car on Craigslist.

After almost 6 months of it being listed and numerous denials to sellers that expected way too much of their negotiation skills and way too little of my ability to hold firm to my asking price, I was so excited to finally sell the car.

Monday morning, I left my dentist appointment headed to Bank of America to pay off the loan. I had checks in hand and was anticipating the relief of paying off the loan. I walked up to the first teller at Bank of America, told her what I wanted, handed over my checks, my confidence and excitement flying high. "I'm sorry. We can't accept these checks." Excuse me? Come again? She gets another teller. This one comes back and tells me, "Ma'am, clearly you are 10 and have no business handling money. We can't do anything with these checks and you should have known what to do so I don't have to stand here and correct everything you've ever come to know about checks and the banking system." Okay, maybe that's not what she said, but it sure sounded like it. Maybe it was more like, "These checks aren't endorsed properly. Plus we don't take third party checks anyway. Try your personal bank."

With that, I board my huff train and leave for what will be two days of bank trips. In summary, on Monday and Wednesday, I traveled to or spoke to the following banks in respective order:

Bank of America - Chapel Hill. They hate me. See above.

Wachovia - Chapel Hill, west side of Willow Road. Find out the checks aren't endorsed properly. Tells me they need to say "pay to the order of..." and signed by the designee. Oh and also, the designee needs to be present in order to verify that they are in fact signing over the check to me. Grumble grumble grumble all the way back to the office. Vent to Jericho that everyone hates me that day to include my teeth who, I discovered earlier that morning, are silently rebelling against me by inflicting me with 3 new cavities.

Bank of America - Durham. She hated me too and told me I was wrong for thinking I was told from another Bank of America representative that it would take 3 business days to get the title once the money was paid. How dare I believe her coworker over her and her 2-3 week estimation for title turn around.

Wachovia - Durham. "Yes ma'am, you have been told correctly. In order to endorse a check over to you, the person endorsing it must be present for us to deposit the check." "If they are with me, why don't I just have them write me a new check? What's the purpose of endorsing a third party check if it doesn't even work?" "That's just our policy ma'am. We're not very good at what we do." "No wonder Wells Fargo had to buy you out."

Wachovia - Cary. Wins points for best customer service and cracking jokes and not talking to me like this is my first day speaking English. Calls buyer's banks to tell them the policy and why the hold up on the checks. Still nothing can be done with the checks I have. I have no car and no money for the car. I leave for Walmart after this and lock my keys in the car. Individual size rain cloud is officially ordered and shipped directly above my head.

Truliant Credit Union - Cary. Jericho's credit union. He spoke with them to confirm that B of A and Wachovia knew what they were talking about and to help talk me down from my utter frustration and out of my gun turet perched at the ready and aimed on the Bank of America building downtown.

State Employees Credit Union - Yanceyville. 10 minutes from the Virginia border. Home of my buyer's account. They reissued me new cashier's checks in my name. I'm home free. Almost.

Wachovia - Chapel Hill. East side of Willow Road. Deposit 2 of the 3 checks. Big $$ check will have to be on hold since it's a large amount. NO!!!! "So I can't write a check out of my account for this amount until....." "At least after the 7th." Boo. Banks suck. "Can I cash it?" "Not here but you can try State Employees." Done!

State Employees Credit Union - Chapel Hill. "I am praying and hoping that you can cash this check for me." "Why of course!" She hesitates when she sees the amount. She's nervous about me walking around Chapel Hill with $11,000 in cash. Makes two of us. She leaves to talk to her manager. She comes back. I ask her if they can write a check directly to B of A. Yes, they can! Do I have an account? No. Leaves again to talk to her manager. SECU makes an exception for poor, little, sad me and writes me a cashiers check to B of A. Terry at SECU in Chapel Hill is my new favorite bank teller. I may send her cookies.

Bank of America - Chapel Hill, again. Luckily, different teller. I hand her my loan number, my checks, my cash, my tears. Furious clicking of the computer. Zipping of the little machines. Bam, I have a receipt for my deposit into my loan, paid in full! My dark cloud is replaced by a rain of balloons and confetti and celebratory music.

Total PTO spent on attempts to deposit/cash/extract the money I was paid for my car: 7 hours.

After this series of events, Jericho felt even worse about me selling my beloved car. He blames himself. I don't. I love him for being so responsible and for also have a completely dependable car on hand for me to drive until we get me something better. I do miss my tC but do not miss my car payment. Even though I had no problems paying it every month, it is a relief to eliminate a source of debt. Yay for financial independence!


  1. Y'all are amazing. Can you help me turn my Ford Focus into the F150 that's for sale right outside my office window?

  2. I would have helped you out!!!

  3. Good for you guys, except for all the run around, that's crapy!

  4. Great story! Glad you got it all resolved. Congrats on being payment-free!

  5. Haha. What a day! I used to work with Terry at SECU! If you make her cookies tell her Sarah said Hi!

  6. Wow. That's crazy. My sister is looking at cars. Test drove a tC and loved it.

  7. Oh wow! So much drama for selling your car. That SUCKS! But I'm very glad it all worked out for you in the end. YAY!


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