Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another Bill Mystery Solved

I was eager to get this delinquent property tax problem fixed so I brought all of my evidence with me to work on Friday.  The bank hadn't even sent the cancelled check information but I wanted to find out if I was going to have to go down to the office or if I could email my findings.

First, I got the receptionist or whatever she was.  I don't want to call her unfriendly but she sounded over-worked and weary and it was only 9:15am.  I was prepared to be polite and patient but our conversation went something like this:

Me:  Hello, I received a notice in the mail that I have delinquent property taxes from 2004 but...
Her:  What is the state code.
Me: 10034523
Her:  It will take a moment while I look that up....  Yes, that is correct.  The property taxes were not paid.
Me:  Well, I'm pretty sure I paid them and...
Her:  Hold on a moment.
Me:  ....
Her:  Now, what was the issue?
Me:  I have evidence that I paid the taxes and I would like to know where to send it?
Her:  Just a moment, the phones are ringing.
Me:  ....
Her:  You want to do what?
Me:  I want to know where to send the evidence that I paid these taxes.
Her:  That would be Administration.  I'll transfer you.
Me:  (Oh please let them be more helpful.)

The next lady to get on the phone was initially skeptical of my claim and told me that I would need a copy of the cancelled check but then she looked it up in her computer and she found some sort of record of my  check being cashed.  She said the magic words, "I believe you."  And I wanted to hug her through the phone.  She said she needed to look through the old records in the back room and someone would get back to me today.  A few hours later, I got a call from a fellow who told me that they found that my check had been applied to something else (I'm still not sure what) and now it has been applied correctly to my 2004 mobile home property tax.  I am thrilled that it was straightened out and I didn't have to go down there or pay more money.  Later on I got the copy of my cancelled check from the bank.  It is nice to know that my bank will do that for me.

So, that is fixed.  I wonder if I should be worried about whatever the check used to be applied to.  Do I have a new delinquent debt floating around out there now?  I definitely need to keep better track of my property tax receipts.  Moving from house to house is not good for my record-keeping and getting brightly colored letters from the sheriff department telling me that my property is going to be sold for back taxes is no way to start a weekend.


Dave said...

I am delighted to read you had a favorable outcome without a lot of additional stress and like my 2004 tax problem, with only a phone call.

In the aftermath of my problem, I asked my bank a few years ago how they would have helped me without the actual canceled check. I had told my local bank's rep that the incorrect ID # the taxing authority had stamped on the back of my check was difficult to read and might not have been legible from a miniature image shown in the bank statement. The rep told me they can produce enlarged images, images even larger than the actual check, at no charge. Earlier this year, for an unrelated, minor issue, a bank rep did just that.

Daizy said...

I was delighted too. My bank recently over-hauled their online site. Their digital records only go back 3 years so it is good to know that I can call them for help when these problems creep up. Your bank sounds especially helpful.