Have you ever done a public records search for your name?
This morning, I spent 20 minutes reviewing the public record available on-line through the Clerk and Comptroller of Palm Beach County. Since 1999, between the two of us we have bought five properties and sold one. We also have refinanced various mortgages three times. As such, there is a plethora of public records (deeds, mortgages, satisfactions, etc.) with our names on them.
The most interesting find was the MERS recordation for our home mortgage. If you pay attention to the mortgage foreclosure mess, you probably have heard of MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) which permits the big banks to get around transferring or assigning a mortgage each time its sliced, diced and sold as a mortgage backed security.
Sadly, looking at all this information, I realized that since June 2004 (when we purchased our primary home) we have only paid down the principal of our home mortgage by $53,240. We have made more progress on the principal since we refinanced the mortgage in 2009 and since we have been paying extra principal this year and last year.