Saturday, April 13, 2013

When applying to Wells Fargo Bank for a re-finance of a home loan I was asked to explain why my 2011 income was lower than my 2010 income. Here's my response.

To Whom It May Concern:


I have been told by the person In Wells Fargo’s mortgage department who has been dealing with our application to refinance our home loan that I need to answer one more question: why was my income in 2011 lower than my income in 2010? Early in 2010 I was at a farmer’s market and, most unusually, a vendor was offering geese for sale. This vendor assured me that one of her geese laid golden eggs and, despite the very high price she was asking, golden eggs were simply too good to pass up. Now, you may think that I was idiotic to believe this vendor but, as she pointed out, more ludicrous propositions have been presented to the general public and she told me of a time, not so long ago, when banks were offering loans to essentially destitute people who then bought four bedroom houses in wealthy suburbs without the bank even checking their income. Impossible, you will say, but I have seen evidence of this. I took my expensive goose home, and, like a magic mortgage backed by nothing more than a wing and a prayer, it laid golden eggs. Really. So, 2010 proved to be a very good one for me and I made money hand over fist even though I had to spend a lot of money on the very particular diet this golden goose required. Mind you, my accountant assured me those expenses are tax deductible.


Imagine my dismay when, on the first day of 2011, I found the golden goose had flown the coop. It seems that this particular breed mated only once in a lifetime and that mating takes place on a remote island off the coast of Scotland on the first day of the third year following the birth of the goose, after which the goose expires. Thus was my income drastically reduced in 2011.


I could as easily have written that the reason my income was lower in 2011 than in 2010 is that I earned less money. A better man than I might have taken this question in stride and supposed that there is a good reason for the question in the first place. I do not know if this question originated with Wells Fargo or with some branch of government. I do know that it is the stupidest question I have ever been asked, with the possible exception of, “You don’t believe there was really an ark with all the animals on it?” So, having wasted time, paper and ink on this idiotic inquiry I repeat: my income in 2011 was lower than my income in 2010 because I earned less money. If you have any vestige of humanity you will know how embarrassed I am both at being asked this question and at having to answer it.