Unfiltered Story #210623

, , | Unfiltered | October 12, 2020

I work for a municipality in the treasurer/collector’s office. Most of our customers/residents come to pay tax bills, water bills, etc.

Resident: Hi, I need some help.

Me: Okay, how may I help you?

Resident: I live at [address]. Can you pull up my real estate account?

Me: Sure. *pulls up account* What’s your question?

Resident: I have a mortgage through [Bank], but [Escrow Company] sent me a letter the other day with information about my taxes. I don’t have an account with [Escrow Company]. How did they get my information? It’s shady!

Me: Well, looking into your payment history, it looks like [Tax Service Company] pays us for your taxes. [Escrow Company] falls under [Tax Service Company]. When you have a mortgage and your taxes are escrowed, sometimes the larger banks like [Regional Bank] or [National Bank] will pay us directly each quarter. In your case, it looks like [Bank] uses a tax service called [Tax Service Company]. That just means [Bank] sends their tax payments for all of their customers to [Tax Service Company], and near the due date, [Tax Service Company] sends all of the payments from all of their banks to us. So your taxes are all paid and up-to-date.

Resident: But how did they get my information? It’s shady! I don’t even have an account with them! I have an account with [Bank]! How do they know my address! How do they know about my taxes! It’s shaaadyyyyyy! *she said it elongated like that*

Me: Taxes are public record. Anyone can call and ask for the taxes on any property. [Escrow Company] probably got your address from [Bank].

Resident: But that’s so shadyyyyyyyyy! And they’re asking about my taxes! Shaaaadyyyyyy! I don’t even know who they are! They’re so shady, they could be anybody! Shaaaaadyyyyyy!

Me: Um, ok, well, I mean, it IS public record, so they have every right to ask for that information. You can call [Bank] if you’re not sure about it.

Resident: *walking away* That’s so shadyyyyyy! They’re so shadyyyyyyy! Shaaaaaadyyyyyyyyy!

Manager: What. Was. That?

Now whenever she comes in, one of us always says “shaaaadyyyyyy!” after she leaves.