Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry

S. Sandberg: "Lean in." -- M. Carberry: "Lien GONE!"

This post has nothing to do with anything the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook has said recently, or in her book, regarding women in the workplace or anything else. It's all about my car. The last two words of that sentence take on new meaning, because as of the middle of last week, it's officially my car. As in, Ford Credit no longer owns any piece of it. The thirty-sixth and final payment went through, and I own my Focus free and clear. Besides the feeling of satisfaction at completing this, I'm happy to have my monthly expenses drop by over $450 per month.

I've been anticipating this for some time now. But even had I not been, I would have been reminded at the start of this month when I unexpectedly got a paper statement from Ford Credit.

After thirty-four months of nothing but solicitations from Ford Credit in the mail, I got that about three weeks ago. (I got a paper statement for my first payment, after which I set up automatic withdrawal.) I wonder if there is some requirement that a paper statement be sent when an account has only one payment remaining, possibly because the payment amount went up by a few cents. Otherwise, why would they send me a statement -- with a tear-off stub as the bottom third -- when they know the account is on auto-payment? I am absolutely certain they know the account is on auto-payment, because they printed, in capital letters in red, "DO NOT MAIL IN A PAYMENT" and just below that, "Your account is on automatic withdrawal..." And of course, there's also the matter of putting a large enticement to finance another vehicle on the right side. I don't blame them for doing this, because it's probably standard, but as I've written before, if there was truly fine market segmentation, they'd know that barring an unforeseen catastrophe, I don't intend to re-enter the vehicle market for at least five years, and probably for at least seven.

Today, I got the letter from Ford Credit saying the lien is satisfied, and was subjected to another example of how the government gets you coming, going, and coming again. The lien release is electronically transferred to the New York State DMV, but that doesn't automatically trigger the issue of a new "clean" title. To make that happen, I had to mail the old title, the lien release letter, and a check for twenty dollars to DMV. I don't think that's an absolute requirement, but I did so anyway, because as a general matter, it's best to keep the document up to date. Especially when it involves exchanging a title that says "LIENS" for one that decisively states I own the car.

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