Found a backdoor in my mortgage payoff!

While paying off the mortgage recently, CitiMortgage said I had to send in the payoff amount as certified funds to a particular address in Iowa.  Sure enough, if I tried to pay the balance as a one-time electronic payment through the web interface, it wouldn’t let me.

Now, I’m really sick of dealing with companies that force users to do thing via 1) snail mail or 2) fax or even 3) phone calls.  That’s one of the reasons we switched our checking accounts over to a place that lets me just scan in the check and be done with it – no more having to take the check to some place (ATM or otherwise) to deposit it.

Anyway, back on topic, I really wanted to avoid having to go to a bank to get a certified check then mail it in, hope it didn’t get lost in the mail, hope they processed it by the end of the month when the payoff amount would “expire”, etc. etc.

So, I tried something that I didn’t expect to work, but it did.

I paid the remaining balance except for one penny through their web site.  That part worked fine.  Logged in to the web site the next day (after the payment posted) and sure enough, Principal Balance is listed as $0.01

Then I called their customer service number today and asked the nice lady if I really needed to get a certified check for $0.01 and mail it in.  She laughed and said that if the balance is below $10 they’ll typically just take it out of the escrow balance and close the mortgage.  Sure enough, she did that for me and the mortgage is now closed and a check for the remaining escrow balance is on its way to me.  I got pretty immediate feedback from the web site as well since I then tried to log back into the web interface to confirm it, and I can’t even login any more since the account’s been closed 🙂

Yay for sneaking around stupid silly corporate requirements! 🙂