The chore now is getting the money from Bank of America to here. When I online chatted with a customer service rep, she gave me 6 pages of instructions of what I would need to do since we were not about to return to California to transfer the money in person. They have a “SafePass” program now, which though cumbersome at first is much more convenient than the horror they put us through when we first bought this place. We had to send thousands of dollars to my best friend, who in turn wired it to us. I had set up the SafePass, but had not tried using it yet. The exchange rate from the bank on either end is not anywhere close to the exchange booths, so I am still thinking of a work around.
At noon, we met with Peter who filled out the paperwork bilingually, so we knew what we were signing. After giving him a small chunk of change, he put the wheels in motion to place our offer. We need to get the money here by the middle of December; I was chewing my nails worrying.
Once home, I tried doing the transfer. For security reasons, I had to put in all of the info on my ATM card. Easy-peasy. Next step, register your mobile phone number, which has to be US based. There was the hitch. We ran down the list of those we thought may have a mobile phone, plus one that could accept text messages. Don’t laugh, but we know a number of Luddites, so this was no easy task. Targeting the youngest generation for whom we had phone numbers, of course none of them answered. I called our friend Laszlo who has taken off to NJ. He gave me his number; I entered it. Number accepted, send code now. Once the code is sent to the mobile phone, you only have ten minutes to use it or lose it. Laszlo gave me the 6 digits that appeared on his phone. I put them in. Code accepted. Make transfer. “Sorry, we cannot complete that action at this time.”
I called the bank. I explained the whole process. She had no clue why it did not go through, but could tell it didn’t. She referred me to the technical unit. I called them. The guy said I would need to remain logged into the error screen while at the same time calling him and having my friend with the mobile phone on the line also. It sounded like a bizarre juggling act. I don’t want to play this game. We spoke further. Eureka! The first call and code is only to register the phone. Then you send the code again to complete the transfer. Viola! I didn’t want to bother Laszlo again, so I called my friend Daphnee. Great, she was home. I sent and received the code to validate her phone followed by another go around to get the transfer code. Done, accepted, congratulations you have money.
I was allowed to rest easy for an hour when I was checking my mail. There was a notice from the Bank of America fraud unit telling me if I did not call them immediately, they would put the kabash on the transfer. There were concerns about fraud and money laundering. Of for love of cold hard cash, not again.
I called in immediately so we could play twenty questions. One was the number on my driver’s license. I did not want to tell her it expired 7 years ago, but I still know it by heart. After answering all of the routine questions, she wanted to know why I was transferring so much money. The only reason I gave was to buy a property. What I did not say was that Bank of America was the corporate form of Satan in all of his guises, which made us want to distance ourselves to the fullest extent possible at the moment.
We were one step closer. The next step was to contact the company that administered the stocks that my father gave us twelve years ago. They have been stable all of these years, but never earning any more than they lost. Time to cash in the chips, but I don’t want to pay taxes on it in 2012. The broker and I arranged for me to sell them on my birthday, January 5th. That seemed like a lucky day, here is hoping.