Friday, May 3, 2019

Strike Up the Van

So the van is ours now.

I mailed off the last payment this morning.  Technically the last payment wasn’t due until next month, but that final payment was such a small percentage of the usual monthly bill that it didn’t seem worthwhile to split it into its own payment.  Also, as academics we don’t really get paid in the summer unless we find other things to do – summer classes, special appointments, things like that – so it seemed like a good idea to take care of this while we were still getting our usual direct deposits.  So the check is, quite literally, in the mail, and at some point in the near future we will get some kind of official notification that no further checks are required.

And the title, which is a nice thing to have if we ever want to sell it.  I don’t think we will – I fully expect to have it towed to the scrapyard when we are done with it in a decade or two – but you never know.

We bought it five years ago, on a sunny day in June that was full to the brim with other activities.  We still think of it as “the new car,” half a decade and 80,000+ miles later.  It doesn’t smell like new anymore, but so it goes.

We’ve taken it all over the midwest, the northeast, the upper south, and as far west as the Rockies.  It’s been pretty much everywhere in Wisconsin.  We’ve hauled children, family, friends, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, and on one memorable occasion a pig.  We went to a drive-in movie and watched from the tailgate.  Tabitha graduated middle school the day we got it, and now she’s in college.  Lauren has her own driver’s license now.  We’ve replaced the side mirrors at least twice on each side.  Our driveway runs the length of the house and is exactly as wide as the van, which makes backing down to the street something of an adventure.  The HFT is, as always, okay.

It’s been a while.

I don’t suppose it will hit me until next month, when I go to write the same check I’ve been writing since 2014 and discover that I don’t actually have to do that anymore.  It will be a welcome discovery (vide supra, re: child in college) but an odd one.

We’re hoping to keep both cars for as long as we can, since car payments are just the most useless bills in the world.  My goal is not to buy another car until both of my children have college degrees.  We’ll see how that goes.  It’s nice to have a goal.

We never did really give it a name.  Too many choices, not enough interest.  It’s still “the van.”

It is a good and faithful chariot, and it serves us well.

And now it’s entirely ours.


LucyInDisguise said...

Congratulations! Many more hoppy mumbling miles to come!

A minor correction, however:

It is still not entirely yours. Not until you get the "Release of Lien" from the lender. I have a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee sitting out there in the yard. Dead for three years now. Can't get rid of the damn thing. No title. Can't get a title. Never got a "Release of Lien" from the lender. A lender that disappeared from the face of this planet four months after we paid off the loan. State says "No Release? No Title".

I've had seven offers to buy the shell. One guy offered $1500 cash greenbacks if he could "take it today" with a clean title.

This remains, now, and apparently forever, a sore spot with me ...


David said...

As well it should. There's no process for that? They can't be the first lender to go bankrupt and disappear. Somehow the fact that lenders get protections and the rest of us get screwed doesn't surprise me, though.

Our loan originated in one of the bigger companies, so I'm pretty optimistic about them still being there in a month or so. Whether they will fulfill their obligations is another question.

LucyInDisguise said...

Ohh. Larger company. well, okay, then.

(Still waiting for Wells Fargot to send the Release of Lien for the Dodge Dakota which I paid of in August.)

Good luck with that!



David said...

Wells Fargo has our mortgage, which wasn't quite our idea but when the Lords of Finance start buying and selling it's best for the common folk to batten down the hatches and wait for the spray to settle. I suppose I'll be dealing with them soon enough on this score.

We got our financing for the van through Honda itself. The nice part about that is that there are actual human beings right here in Our Little Town representing this institution who can be leaned on to produce results. This might be more effective than emails, phone calls, and smoke signals, the way most big companies choose to hold us off these days. Or it might not.

We'll find out. I'll keep you posted.

LucyInDisguise said...

Actually, Wells Fargot (and no, that's not a typo, it's an attitude!), holds all our paper in their financial grasp.

If you have to resort to smoke signals, I have found that having my Viking blow MaryJuanna smoke directly in their faces has the best hope for satisfying results. Doesn't fix the issue, however the results are frequently at least somewhat satisfying.

Or, alternatively, a Broad Sword.


David said...

A broadsword can cut through an awful lot of red tape, yes indeed. :)

Although if you wrap the bureaucrats in enough tape, even a broadsword requires a few tries.

Some days I'm just really glad I'm too lazy to try the things that pop into my head.