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I Was April’s Fool

I was completely taken in by a seemingly lovely couple who came into my office for a consultation the last week of March.

They related that they gave a private mortgage to their son and daughter-in-law, but payments had stopped six months before. “We want to foreclose,” they said.

As I had on the phone, I told them that I wasn’t a litigator, and I could do nothing more for them than write a threatening letter.  They both nodded eagerly. The woman added that since they were paying me a consultation fee, I could at least use my stationery to let the deadbeats know mom and dad were serious about collection.

I was asked to wait a couple of days to mail the letter, as “the kids are away on some fancy vacation.” They’ll be back April 1, and they should have the letter that day.

No, readers, not a single bell went off and my kook-meter never pinged. The couple seemed legit and their check cleared, so out went the letter.

On April 1 my phone rang; the defaulting son was on the line, so angry I could almost feel his spit. “Who the hell are you to threaten me? And what’s this about us stiffing my parents and them foreclosing?”

I explained that I couldn’t speak with him, and that he should hire counsel to protect his interests.  In response, he called me a most unpleasant name and slammed the receiver.

Late that day, the mom called to thank me for helping play “the best ever April’s fool prank” on her son and his wife.  Seems there was no mortgage and no delinquency. They are just a “fun-loving, happy family!”

In all my years of practicing law, that’s far and away the dirtiest money I ever made.



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