What would YOU do?
We recently refinanced our house and took out some equity to pay down some revolving debt that we had on credit cards and whatnot. The escrow company insisted on paying the bills for us since, basically, they didn't trust us with the money. Whatever. So, a couple days after the closing, the checks they mailed on our behalf started showing up in our mailbox without stamps. The idiots who felt they needed to protect us from ourselves, couldn't bother to stamp the damn envelopes when they mailed the bills. Two of three made it's way back to us.
One week passed and no sign of the third check.
A second week passed and still, there was no sign of the third check. It didn't show up as a payment to the credit card nor did it make its way back home like its stamp-less siblings. So we call the escrow company (again!) and explain what happened. We demand they put a stop payment on the check and overnight another one right away to the creditor. They did.
Well, a funny thing happened while this was all going on...
The creditor cashed both checks, thus not only paying off the balance we had on the credit card, but now there's a very sizable credit. I'm thinking brand new dining room chairs, a new mountain bike, and even a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. But, of course, that would be stealing. Right? Well, at the very least, we'd likely eventually have to pay the money back.
So we've sat and let the money sit there as a credit figuring that eventually the escrow company is going to realize they really screwed up. I would have thought so, but apparently not. More than another week has gone by and nobody has seemed to figure this out yet. Except Kristin that is, she put a refund request in yesterday to the credit card company, and we should get a check for the total dollar value of the credit sometime later this week, maybe next. We're not going to spend the money -- anytime soon, at least -- but it doesn't help to at least throw it into our ING savings account and get 4.4% interest on it. Right?
Is it our responsibility to let the escrow company know they screwed up? Twice? Is it likely that the escrow company will realize what they did and just bill us for the amount they overpaid? Either way, they can't just take it back from the creditor so there's no harm in us actually getting some interest off it in the meantime. Or is that immoral? Should I care? And how long should we wait before we can spend some of it without wondering if we'll have to repay it? Pretty tricky situation, eh? Well, not if you're the type who would just send a check back to the escrow company for the amount missing, but that's not my style. I think we'll wait for them to realize they made a huge goof. Then they can have the money back.