Back in the mists of time, when Mark and I made the trek over to Granville to sign our lives away on a contract to buy a house that we didn’t have the money to pay for, I held a long conversation with David. David claims to have a law degree. He also claims to have written (and published) a book or two about astronomy. Apparently he knows all about marine aquariums, deep sea diving, and is a chess master. Which is all well and good – but he backs up these claims with actual knowledge of the subjects, so I am inclined to believe him.
And when he said “don’t agree to clause 36”, I thought it sounded all grown up and lawyery, so I said it, the clause was crossed off the contract, and we signed.
Fast forward to yesterday. Monday. The monday before the friday that is the settlement date. I am in the car, driving on a windy road on my way to drop the power supply for the laptop to the husband so that he can earn the not bacon to pay for the house that we are buying on friday. The shiny pink phone rings, and the solicitor acting for the vendor calls to ask that we write a letter to the real estate agent asking them to release the $35,000 that they are holding as a deposit for the house. Today. Urgently. Or it may delay settlement.
Well, I rang David. Who (thank FSM) wasn’t in class at the time. He directed my attention to clause 36. Which by omission, says that they can’t get their mitts on our money until we get our mitts on a title deed. Fair enough, right?
Well, the weasels decided, that since I am acting for myself, and I am not a solicitor, they might as well try one on, and try to get the money from me because, clearly, I had no idea what I was doing.
But I had David (and FSM) on my side.
I rang back, directed their attention to the the absence of clause 36, and told them that they would not be getting my money until they were entitled to it.
And then it got interesting…
Evil Solicitor Bitch (ESB) got exasperated with me and asked me to get my solicitor to call her, as it was clear that neither of us were smart enough to understand the finer points of her argument.
So David called ESB, who declined to take the call, and after two hours, when she still hadn’t called back, I rang her.
Apparently, she had decided in the interim that they could get the money elsewhere, and that I need not worry about the letter.
So basically, they thought they would try it on, and then I got difficult. They asked to speak to my lawyer, because they thought I was lying to them, but when they figured out that I do actually have backup, they backed down and decided to stick to the contract that their client had agreed to, and had signed. I have a copy of it if they need to check.
After this was resolved, I swore a lot. Ampersand is getting used to the sound of his mothers voice as a shrieking harridan, with the vocabulary of a sailor. Great. Anyway, I told the whole story to my mother last night, and she wants to send a letter of complaint to the Law Society. Take that ESB!
Now, if you don’t know my mother, this may seem like an idle threat. But bear in mind that this is a woman who managed to get a cheque for $5,000 and a letter of apology from the Department of Social Security (on my behalf), when Amanda Vanstone was minister. Truly, the woman is a legend.