Like a zombie slowly and hypnotically gamboling in my direction, the closing on our renovation loan is approaching. It’s scheduled for Friday afternoon (aka tomorrow), though hypothetically something catastrophic could still happen Friday morning if the underwriter decides something catastrophic should happen.
To be honest, part of me is looking for the catastrophe, because the months it’s taken to plan the renovation and get to this point have given my anxiety time to blossom into full-on panic. I am truly frightened by the scope of this renovation. Plus today was the last day of school for the kids, so now they’re full time with me, unless I want to pay someone. After I stop choking on the size of the wire transfer we’ll make to the bank as part of this loan transaction, I’ll check my balances to see if I have enough money left for a babysitter.
I am overwhelmed by my first world problems.
I really was a lawyer once. A litigator. But I never, ever dealt with liens, except to the extent I must have studied them to take the Virginia bar exam, and I don’t remember anything about it, and anyway I never executed a judgment on anyone.
Here’s what I do remember about taking the bar exam. Back then, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Virginia still had a dress code for the exam. Especially for women. Had I sat for the bar exam in the dark ages before the Big Bang, I would have been required to wear pantyhose. I would have been hosed. By the time I came along, I was merely warned to wear a dress. Some examiners might kick a girl out if she was wearing pants, no matter how professional those slacks might be.
Anyway. What? Oh. Remember the liens I was talking about yesterday? I got to talk with the lawyer at WE energies this morning. He called at 7:00 am. Who does that?? Peeps in Wisconsin do that. Early risers here.
The WE lawyer explained how this works. Judgments against people are recorded in court records. Title companies do searches in those court records when they’re making sure a homeowner’s title is clear. If they see judgments with our names (or similar names), they pick them up. But the plaintiffs who got the judgments haven’t gone out and found properties whose owners have those names and done something extra to “attach” the lien to their property. It’s just up to the title company to figure out what’s relevant.
Ooooh… Imagine if your name is John Smith or Mary Jones.
It turns out all you need to do when this happens is give the title company an affidavit that says, in various legalese, “that’s not me.” Done. No big deal.
I had a massive anxiety attack about these liens yesterday and fretted and fretted. Total waste of time and emotional energy, caused entirely by my own stupidity. If only I had been trained as a lawyer.
Oh. I was. God, I’m stupid and ignorant. I really do deserve to live with myself. At least I didn’t yell at anyone, so I guess it could have been worse.