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My mortgage on the other hand was a complete mystery. I doubt anyone who wasn't a real estate attorney looking at them every day could figure it out.

It's possible, if you read carefully. I read my first mortgage very carefully and asked questions. The answers indicated that the people at the closing didn't understand the mortgage as well as I did.

One of the clauses in that first mortgage was that if I paid extra principal, I had to pay it in increments of how much principal was due in the next month(s) according to the amortization table. So instead of sending them $100 extra the first month, I sent $104 and change that represented six months of principal payments. It was clear to me that this requirement was a holdover from the days before calculators, when clerks handled mortgage manually and staying on the published amortization table made processing things easier.

The interesting thing is that after the mortgage had been sold a couple times, the mortgage processor cleared a payment for the wrong amount. The extra principal in scheduled amounts clause apparently meant nothing to the mortgage processor at the time, as they went off the amortization table and on their merry way correctly crediting the incorrect amounts of extra principal. I got that mess straightend out, but was amused that I understood the mortgage better than the mortgage processor did.

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