Tiny Debts

When we moved and did the giant rigamarole that is navigating the notary public office, we were doing lots of things at once: selling a townhouse in Ross and his parents name to one couple (and the deal had two holdbacks*) who also chose to use our notary, and just Ross and I buying a house from a person who also chose to use our notary. It actually made life a little easy, all transactions occurring at the same office. There was definitely less uncertainty.

The holdbacks, which are lump sums the notary administers a trust account for, and which are dispersed after certain agreed upon conditions are met, were for two separate things. There was a very small one for the electrical bill, to make sure that we didn’t leave behind any bills since the utilities is done by address rather than person. Apparently this type of holdback is fairly boilerplate, and we received a cheque back in the fall for it. The other one was larger – about $1700 – and was specific to a special painting levy the strata council had been considering for the better part of a year. Essentially, the buyers didn’t want to move in and get slapped with a huge levy to have the exterior of the complex painted, and they felt it was our cost to bear. We agreed to a holdback of the amount the strata had estimated the levy would be, and agreed to have it held back for 6 months.  Also, when we got our mortgage, we paid off a few small debts like student loans and the tiny amount remaining on our car loan. We instructed the bank and the notary to pay those off on our behalf, and we ended up with a small amount of funds that has been earmarked for future renovations, which we received as a cheque within a week or two of moving in.

Well, we’ve been here six months as of yesterday. We should get a cheque in the mail soon for that $1700 holdback and I’ve been watching the mail closely – that money will likely go into the renovation fund or it might just be a new TV. This morning, I received an envelope from the notary and assumed it was a cheque from the holdback.

The letter today reads (and I’m paraphrasing) “We noticed an accounting discrepancy on your account, and are submitting to you the difference. Due to the Guidelines set out by the Society for Notaries Public, I am required to send this to you, despite it being such a small amount”.

It’s 80 cents.

And, funnier, they taped three quarters and a nickel to the letter instead of cutting us a cheque. I love it.

11 years ago