Dear residents of Athens, IL; We are not having money problems.
I mean, we're trying to pay for a very expensive adoption, but honestly, we aren't having money problems.
We're having technology problems.
Apparently our name appeared in the local newspaper as though we had not paid our property taxes.
For all of you who don't live in the glorious town of Athens, here's a peek:
(And, yes, I took a picture. It's not everyday your name makes it in the Menard County Review. The only other time we've been in it was when we won an iPad! Very exciting times...)
Because we had previously decided to live outside of the continental United States during the months of July and August, I decided to pay our property taxes early... EARLY! Ahem... They ought to put people's names AND pictures in the paper for doing such a noble thing.
I paid the taxes using our bank's online bill pay feature. I use it for everything. Just in the past two years, I've saved over $100 in postage by allowing the bank to mail or wire my payments. Love it. Or well, I used to.
Evidently, if you are making payments to a new payee, you have to "authenticate" the payment. First you have to tell them to send your money to the payee (i.e. Menard County Collector) and then you have to tell it again.
Apparently the online bill pay feature is actually an obstinate teenager.
So, being a person who has never raised teenagers, I didn't realize you had to tell the bill pay to do everything twice.
The bill pay has a cute little way of telling you that you need to "authenticate" the payment. They use a pink post-it note. Awwwww... isn't that just so darn cute?! (That was sarcasm, kids...)
After spending time on the phone with the Menard County Collector and time in the office of the bank's technology guru, we finally figured out what was wrong with our tax payment. I only told the bill pay to pay it once, not twice.
If it were my kid, I would ground it.
So, I paid our bill in full (including some HEFTY late fees) last week. I even said to the people at the collector's office, "This isn't going to get my name in the paper, right?" And they said, "No, no, we're not doing that yet."
Apparently the people of the Menard County Collector's office are also obstinate, lying teenagers.