Monday, June 21, 2010

Still in upheaval

A few weeks ago I suddenly became determined to organize my house and get rid of anything unnecessary.  Almost every day since then I have worked on that project.  Yesterday, for example,  I spent all day organizing those records that everybody has to keep for a certain number of years.  The files I ended up with look suspiciously slim.  Have I gone overboard?

I had consulted the internet beforehand.  Some items, like statements from bank accounts, should be kept "a year or indefinitely" according to the website I ended up on.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a big difference between a year and indefinitely.  I opted for the year.  Why?  Because I'm sick of stuff, including paper stuff.  And what's the worst thing that's going to happen to me if  I'm caught not owning a piece of paper from 10 years ago?  Good heavens. 

Apparently our society has not gone paperless at all.  I have a workplace retirement account which gives big fat quarterly statements (fat with paper, not with money!) which I receive at work, whether I want them or not.  On another account which I'm in control of, I went online to see if I could reduce the paper influx.  Then I caught myself, remembering I that I might be applying for a mortgage soon, if things go my way.  I found a website explaining what's needed to apply, and found out that some mortgage companies will not accept statements printed off the internet- they insist on real, old-fashioned paper statements- the kind I just hauled to the recycling bins yesterday.  Uh-oh.

Ironically, this project originally started with pure intentions.  I just wanted to be organized and efficient.  Then I learned that the last house I tried to buy downtown has been slated for sale again in July at a sheriff's auction.  So the project's purpose morphed into "clearing out space to make room for change in my life" (not to mention the practical aspect of making moving easier).  And now I may have disposed of the very paperwork I needed to apply for the mortgage!  That's no small matter, since mortgage companies are now regarding any applicant with grave suspicion in the wake of the housing/mortgage crisis.

I'm going to keep on purging.  The mortgage company can receive up-to-the-minute information about me and my finances on the internet, whether they want to admit that or not.  I know they love to see their customers jump through hoops, but I think it's more important for me to jump through my own hoops right now.



Aurora said...

Yes, exactly. I cannot fathom the b.s. of a mortgage company saying the statements can't be printed off the internet. How are they to know if you printed them yourself or the bank mailed it out? Hogwash.
Especially if your credit history is already good.
Proud of you for your clean-up.
I really think you're going to get a home you love.
This upheavel conundrum was just a test of your intention:)
And you passed with flying colors!

B.S. said...

Dear Aurora,

Hah- thank you for saying I passed the test! And I must say that I'm surprised that I'm still working on organizing the house. This time I won't stop until I'm really finished, hopefully!


Lynilu said...

If the mortgage company wants bank statements, the bank can print out "original" statements for you to give the mtg company. Even if they charge you a couple dollars for it, it is worth it. Don't sweat the missing documents.

I think you're doing great. And BTW, call an accountant to ask how long to keep documents. I'd have to look it up, but I think my accountant said to keep bank statements for about 5 years, info on real estate you've owned indefinitely, and things like bills, etc., just a year or so. If I find my list, I'll send it to you.

Anonymous said...

OMG! You're doing so much better
than me...I used to be one of
those that would pay a bill then
shred it...My hubby got upset when
I did that saying that we may need
that part again...I didn't think
so now I keep the bill after it's
paid and now they are all over my
desk with PAID written all over
them...It has been longer than
I want to keep them and yet I
still have yet to shred them...

I wish you the best and I'm really
proud of you!!!!!