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Blindsided

The closing was 99% done; I was just adding up the checks given to my selling client one last time.

When I passed my calculator over to her and said, “That’s the total you’re netting today,” she nodded.  Then, as she passed it back, she said, “Well, except for the $15,000 home equity loan I need to pay back.”

What? The title closer grabs her phone, the buyer’s counsel grabs back the checks, and I make a futile grab at keeping the closing from falling over the edge.

“What home equity loan?” I stammer. “You never mentioned one, and it didn’t come up in the title search.”

“Oh, yes,” she blithely says. “I took it about a week ago to have enough to make my move and put up the security deposit on my new place. It’s no big deal… I’ll just stop at the credit union when I leave here and pay it back.”

What ensued thereafter was a whole lot of cursing, finger-pointing, hard feelings, name-calling, and about three hours of telephoning, pleading, faxing, changing bank checks, and reconvening. My client must have said, “Oh, I’m so sorry” 15 times, but I grew tired of telling the buyer’s attorney to stop calling me “ill-prepared” after he demanded three times that I compensate him for his “”lost afternoon.”  As if mine wasn’t smashed to smithereens as well.

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