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The check is in the mail

Name bar The single silver lining for me in this downward spiral of a real estate market is that my property taxes have sunk. Low. Way low. They are something like a third of what they were when I bought my home.

My mortgage company forces me to escrow my taxes and insurance, so while the payments toward interest and principal haven't budged a cent in nearly seven years, the declining property taxes have meant lower monthly payments. (Perhaps "force" is a strong word. But my interest rate would increase if I didn't fork over the taxes and insurance in monthly installments and paid them on my own instead.)

The payments drop based on the schedule of my mortgage company. When they decide to review my escrow holdings, they send me a check and notify me of my new payment amount. But since it's my money anyway, why should I rely on their schedule?

This week, after three attempts (the automated phone system kept disconnecting me), I reached a person who could discuss my escrow amount. She gave me an estimate for what I'd be due when the amount they collect each month is reviewed: $465! I asked for a review on the spot. She said they were going to look at it anyway next month. I said I could use any sum of money now, especially when it's mine to begin with. She punched some buttons on her computer and voila, there's a check in the mail to me for $432, the official amount I'm due.

I highly recommend doing the same if you are a property owner or if you already have, I'd love to hear the kind of paybacks you're anticipating.

Happy holidays, indeed.

Posted by Nirvi Shah at 12:31 PM on December 3, 2010 in Housing | Permalink | Comments (0)

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