November 12, 2009

I effing hate all effing lawyers

This is a rant/vent/pity party. It will not be proofed or spellchecked. You have been warned.

We are, as you know, in the process of selling our house to my cousin. The plan (and what was in the contract we drafted) was to close on the house at the end of the month for various reasons.

Monday, he leaves me a voicemail saying closing is on Thursday, the 12th. Yes, today.

The 12th....the 27th....same dif, right? Apparently, that's how the title company likes to do it. Was I contacted and asked if I was available on the 12th? No. But I made myself available (I did have an appointment, but whatever.)

In the meantime, I'm waiting for the county courthouse to return the certified POA to me - for closing. I had mailed it in because we weren't supposed to close until the end of the month, so there wasn't any rush, right? Wrong. We get it back, thankfully, on Tuesday, and I fax it to the title company. Things are going swimmingly.

Then yesterday, the escrow agent calls and says, "We can't use your power of attorney."

What? Why?

"Well, our lawyers have determined that it's not a valid Power of Attorney."

How is it not valid? It's got his signature, witnesses, it's notarized and filed with the state.

"All I know is, they said we can't accept it, and they get final say. Now, why are we using a Power of Attorney in this case anyway?"

Because my husband is at Army boot camp yes I know it's called basic but as you know civilians only know it as boot camp and it saves a lot of questions.

"Oh. Well can you give me his email address and maybe we could send him OUR Power of Attorney and he can just get that filled out and notarized there."

Um, it's boot camp. They don't have email.

"I know what boot camp is, my nephew went through boot camp."

Okay, then you know that the outside world basically isn't allowed to contact him unless I die. He doesn't have email. I can't just pick up the phone and call him. Even if I drove to the base myself document-in-hand I wouldn't be able to get to him. It doesn't work like that.

"Well, I guess we can't close on your house, then."

Can you have your lawyers contact me and tell me specifically what Oklahoma statute they feel my POA isn't in compliance with?

"Well, I'll ask them, but they really have the final say about this. If they don't approve it we can't move forward."

That's fine. Just get back to me.

Which she does. And their response: "A General Power of Attorney doesn't grant any powers to the attorney-in-fact." No statute citation. No legal precedent. Nothing. Because lawyers don't feel the need to communicate with anyone who doesn't had a JD.

Even though it specifically enumerates in the POA "full authority to act on my behalf in relation to all my property." But hey, we're down the the wire, and if we can rack up a few more billable hours to roll into those closing costs, yahoo!

Mind you, this is all by lunch yesterday. So we contact my dad's property attorney and he says that, while obviously SoldierMan's intent was to give me authority to sell the house, it's one lawyer's interpretation against another's, which means it has to go to court, which means court costs. So just have him sign a new one and be done with it.

Of course, NONE of this solves the problem that he is in basic. I can't just call and say, "Hey honey, can you sign something for me real quick?"

Add on to that, this is the last day of reception (processing) and the last chance I'll get to talk to him on the phone until who-knows-when, and we have to spend it figuring out the logistics of this mess.

SoldierMan calls and talk to his Sergeant. Sergeant says, "we'll find a way to deal with it." They locate a fax machine. SoldierMan calls the escrow lady and leaves a Why-the-crap-would-I-sign-a-full-POA-if-I-didn't-intend-it-to-allow-her-to-sell-the-house voicemail that wasn't very nice. Which was good, because it saved me the trouble.

This morning he calls and says that they've got access to a fax, so he'll call the escrow agent this afternoon and (hopefully) get it all worked out and done with by 1.

Right after that, I get an email from the escrow agent:

We've discussed it and have decided that we can use your Power of Attorney after all, and if your husband can just call and leave another voice message letting us know he is alive and well, we can proceed.


Really? REALLY? We couldn't have thought of this before right now???? Because if that had been the case we could have had this solved yesterday morning.

Freaking crap. Of course, there are still two hours to go before the actual closing appointment. Who knows what could happen by then?
Something completely unrelated, but I want your opinion. SoldierMan and I have talked extensively about what it means to be a "veteran." Not just a "servicemember," but a "veteran." To us, those terms are not interchangeable. A servicemember is anyone in the military, but a veteran is someone who has actually been in harm's way for his country. At least, that's how he has chosen to define it. To that end, whenever someone thanked him for joining or something, he felt very awkward, "since I haven't even done anything yet." He has been adamant - "I am not a veteran, I haven't been to war." Which is why, in order to honor that, I didn't list him among the list of relatives yesterday. Sunday, at church, they asked all the veterans to stand and be honored. Then they asked all those representing a veteran to stand and be honored. The lady I was sitting with is an AF wife (Ret) and she stood, because her husband was (obviously) involved in Iraq and A-stan. She kept trying to get me to stand with her, but I didn't. Not because I don't respect my husband or his new profession, but because, knowing how he feels about this issue, I know that he wouldn't have wanted me to stand. Afterwards I thought about how that may have looked to those around me who knew why SoldierMan wasn't in church with me that day. So now I'm wondering, should I have stood so as not to give the wrong impression? What do you think? I know that nearly all of you have spouses who have served or are serving overseas, so maybe I'm just coming frmo a newb's viewpoint.


  1. HOLY FIGGIN' COW! MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS SO HIGH AFTER READING THAT RANT! (sorry, caps lock happened to be on, but i guess it works here)

    *oh, and jon told me (a long long time ago) that a vet is someone who's been in at least 6 months. don't know where he got that or if it's a line of BS, but whatever. i don't believe you have to be sent to war to be a veteran, though going to a war zone / duty station does entitle you to say that you're a veteran of such and such - like my hubs is a veteran, adn he's a veteran of OIF and OEF)

    goo luck this afternoon with the closing!

  2. Don't even get me started. It was a pain to sell my house....AND I WORKED FOR THE ATTORNEYS DOING THE CLOSING!!! Crazy.
    So the last time I talked to Josh I told him Happy Veteran's Day, and he told me that he wouldn't consider himself a veteran until he got back from this tour. I thought this was strange....only because I have known some servicemembers that were in the guard, etc that never deployed and then got out. Well...they are still considered veterans...right? I am confused as well...

  3. Hi, I am an 8 yr veteran of the US Army. I just wanted to say that people are thanking him because he is volunteering for something that very select few choose to do. He should be honored b/c on Veterans Day we should remember those who put themselves in harm's way. I don't like to say or be told Happy Veterans Day simply b/c it is not a happy day but a day of remembrance. Your husband will soon be one of those that we should honor in the future.

  4. Oh goodness. You deserve a glass of wine after that day! I love how people (civilians) think that our loved ones are just so accessible when clearly they ARE NOT. I hope you get everything worked out so you can close on your house.

    About the veteran issue: I've always been a little confused about who constitutes as a veteran.
    I can't help but want to recognize all military service-members who have made any sacrifices for the United States of America. Regardless of whether or not they served in duty stations in combat zones or not.

  5. I admire you for following what your husband believes.

    Personally, I believe that a veteran is anyone who has been a service member, regardless of if they deployed overseas or not. However, I also agree that they need to have made it through basic and have received their first assignment. :)

    Are you hanging in there?

  6. Ha Ha had it not been Veteran's Day yesterday my blog would have been a rant about my P.O.A. drama at the bank...their solution to doubting it's relevance was that if my husband was with me they could honor the P.O.A. What use would I have for one if I brought my husband to the bank with me!? Ha Ha I thought ours was iron-clad to an undisputed degree but apparently people still question sister you are so not alone in that struggle! It's funny now but it really wasn't yesterday at the bank.

  7. Oh my goodness! What a rough day. I want to shake those people. Or kick them in the shin. ;) ha

    Trevor and I had the same "veteran" discussion. I guess growing up with military uncles and mil.his. buffs, I always considered veterans to be those who have been to war, in harms way, etc.

  8. Oh my! What an ordeal!!!! I hope you can get it all sorted out!

  9. yuck yuck yuck... you're going to need this girls night tonight!!

    Trey and I have had the same discussion and he feels the same way David does. He had a really hard time with that when he graduated Basic with people thanking him already. He would respond the same way, "I haven't done anything yet". That used to make me so frustrated... I couldn't believe he couldn't see that just him signing up is HUGE. I think I've heard that less than 1% of our country does even that. I think they are just being modest, but regardless, i think you did the right thing. You two had talked about it and you did what you feel he wanted.


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