I don’t want to panic and say the wheels are about to fall off but the last couple of days have the bus feeling very shaky.
It all boils down to poor communication between me and Steve. I know many of you are going to be scratching your heads wondering how I missed the boat on this one. I could write an ultimately funny book on the communication mishaps in this relationship but right now neither of us is laughing. Bear with me because I am trying to give you a complete version but lose my wordiness.
As I’ve shared before, we have had a terrible time combining our finances. There’s another book to write about how sick I am of the process that is combining money with this man! I know this is tough for anyone but I swear this man I love got an extra helping of “stubborn” on this front ! Wow! Yes, we have dramatically improved over the near 3 year marriage but this post makes me feel like we’ve gotten nowhere.
There’s a dispute about when I was made aware of the mortgage having late fees that were accruing each month because we were not making the payment on the 1st or within the grace period. I say it was a few months ago (and I contend that I still did not fully understand that there were charges adding up each and every month). Steve says I have known since the beginning of 2012 that we were not making the mortgage payment timely and, therefore, late fees accrued.
Now the history that you need to know is Steve was fiercely protective of that mortgage info in the early days, months and year. Yes I know we should have had full and complete disclosure before we married, but we didn’t. You can still comment telling me that of course we should have known if you wish, but that ship has sailed. (Tangent: I note a boat them here so maybe I should re-title this post!) It was not until January 2012 when we started to get serious that I even knew how to get account access to the mortgage. Keep in mind my name is not on the mortgage but obviously we now treat it as our debt. I did continue to leave that bill to Steve and I am not sure why that is, but I am pretty sure it was out of a desire to avoid conflict. Dumb. Really dumb. I am on top of every other bill and certainly look at statements and can see if fees are being charged and absolutely know the due dates of all bills. We have the due date of all bills on our spreadsheet and yes, the mortgage says the 1st. I don’t know for certain but maybe I went into denial and thought we were a few days ahead instead of near 30 days behind? Maybe I was completley leaving that to Steve because it was his to begin with and I just didn’t want to “go there?” I don’t know. I just know that Steve was trying to move the mortgage up each month but because we didn’t prioritize well, we owed $750 in late fees and more fees were being added each month. The situation escalated because Steve felt like I should obviously know about the late fees and I felt like I was deferring to him because of the history and he failed to communicate the situation.
Sometime in the spring of 2012, the mortgage was purchased by another lender and all account access changed. Steve receives the statements via email so there is no hard copy coming in the mail. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but I should have been asking more questions. By the same token, Steve doesn’t make it easy to ask question and should not have been sticking his head in the sand and avoiding the topic. He assumed I understood that since we were not paying it on the first we were paying late fees. Call me naive, but every mortgage I’ve had has a 30 day grace period with no late fees charged. Back then I wasn’t running late but I do know I wasn’t getting dinged for late fees at the 7 day overdue mark. We could have made a plan to pay that $750. Instead it became a very ugly fight that ended with my unilaterally taking the $750 from savings and paying the full August payment online. Yes, I can admit the decision to take the $750 from savings was driven purely by my emotion and to make a point. I’m still not convinced that was the wrong thing to do because I don’t want to give the stupid mortgage lender any more money in fees that we already have! I can admit I should not have acted so quickly.
I went silent with him for 2 days which for anyone who knows me (and reads me), that’s hard to believe. I did a lot of thinking over those couple of days and I’d like to tell you I’m over it, but I’m not. I do see where we both messed up but I’m stuck on the fact that we FINALLY get the savings up to $1600 and have to hit it for $750. I hope a good night’s sleep turns me back into a pleasant person because right now I’m a bear!
Tomorrow is a new day…RRRRRROAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!