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Write It Again, Sam!

It’s been four years since I told this karmic-balancing tale from a closing long ago, so I’m sharing it again.

My clients were buying a home with a mortgage. The bank’s closing attorney, a stranger to them both, treated one of the buyers with undisguised loathing.  Each document signed by Mr. Buyer was rejected with a toss of the paperwork back in his direction by the bank attorney, who’d say, “That’s illegible — sign it again”. 

I protested, as a person’s signature is unique and legally binding, no matter the state of the penmanship.  Furthermore, the documents were signed in the presence of a Notary who was willing to affix her stamp and verify the documents, so what’s the problem?

My protests were waved away. This lawyer (his last name escapes me, but his first name was Sam) had some bug up his butt against Mr. B.  As we all wanted to get the hell out of that office, my client just kept re-signing the papers as directed.

As the closing grinded towards the end, it turned out that my clients had overpaid the lender and were due a refund.  As this was back in the days of fully-funded loans and closing attorney authority, the bank attorney wrote out a check to my clients from his mortgage closing account.  He handed the check to me, as I was seated closest to him.  Without making eye contact, but with sudden hope in my heart, I passed the check to Mr. B, seated on my other side.

That check flew back in front of me within seconds. My client commanded the bank closing attorney to redo the refund.  “I can’t read what you wrote on this check—write it again!”

Sam turned fourteen shades of red, while everyone else at that closing table broke into spontaneous smiles. Hooray for Mr. B— I couldn’t contain my glee!

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