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It’s Not Square to Round

The “666” blog post reminded me of a client who passed me back an escrow check I’d written him for some odd amount (let’s call it $7,821.07 for today’s tale). “Sorry, but I don’t like such strange amounts,” he said. “Will you make it out for an even number, please?”

I advised him that the funds represented what I had left in escrow after paying his closing bills, and legally, I had to turn it all over to him. He wondered if I could “round it up” to $7,822.00, but I told him that I couldn’t legally write out more than I had. Nodding, he asked me to write the check again, but for $7,820.00.

Of course I could do that, I advised. I’d rip up the offending check, write a new one for $7,820.00, and one for the balance. Who was getting the $1.07?

“Oh, just donate it to your favorite charity,” he said. I pointed out that it would cost me 30-some-odd-cents to mail such a small check to the charity (this was years ago), and it really wouldn’t be worth the effort.  “Never mind the charity,” he finally said, after grasping my reluctance. “Write the check to my son and I’ll give it to him. He’s not weird about money.”

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