So far, so good. Here's how we stood.
We managed to pick up the mortgage cheque from the lawyer, Mr. Kerry McClelland of the Bowness Montgomery Law Offices. The problem was that the cheque was written for a value in the neighbourhood of about CDN $125,000. We had to take it to Kerry's bank (coincidentally a branch in the same chain as our bank) and have it divided into two subsequent cashiers cheques. One of those was to be a BIG cashiers cheque for about CDN $8,000 made out to Customs Canada. The other was an even BIGGER cashiers cheque for a value between US$ 80,000 and US $90,000 made out to "Mrs. Smith" to pay for the motorhome.
Banks tend to be very hesitant about issuing such cheques because once issued, they're beastly hard to withdraw and the bank is on the hook for the full amount in case of an error or fraud. Thus, we ran headlong into another bureaucratic stone wall.
Calgary is in a different time zone than Toronto. In fact, there's a two hour difference, Eastern Daylight Savings Time versus Mountain Daylight Savings Time. Thus, while Calgary is still doing banking business at 2:00 PM, local time, Toronto has already closed and gone home for the day because it's after 4:00 PM there!
We marched into the bank holding the cheque for CDN $125,000 and our hopes high, thinking that we could get the two cashiers cheques and be gone in a flash.
How silly of us!
The bank had a rule that it could not write any cashiers cheque for more than about CDN $10,000 without getting special permission from the head office in Toronto. But Toronto had already closed for the day.
The women working there tried every trick they knew. They even tried to write a number of smaller cheques (e.g., ten cheques at US $8,000 each) but for some reason the computer wouldn't even accept that. Nothing would do but that we had to deposit Kerry's cheque into our account directly and wait until the next morning so that the bank could get formal, direct permission from big brother in Toronto.
So, we had to wait until the next day. We arrived at their doorstep promptly at 10:00 AM to do battle with the banking bureaucracy, our hearts pounding in anticipation and trepidation. This was Friday, September 26. There was no margin for error. We had to get those two cheques now or we were going to have to pay big bucks as a penalty.
Surprisingly, all went very smoothly. Within a matter of 30 minutes we had our two cashiers cheques and were out the door, ready to fly to Austin.
Life is good!
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This page was initially created on 2003-November-09.
The last revision occurred on 2005-December-19.