We are applying for a new HELOC for one of our houses in the States. Apparently our 10-year term is about to run out on our previous HELOC and we would like to get another one. As you probably know, applying for a loan is no easy feat. Doing it from another country is even more difficult. The worst part by far are the signatures. To apply for a HELOC Amy and I will each need to sign our name 6 times. Those signatures need to be notarized. The only legal notary in a foreign country is the consular at the U.S. Embassy. They charge for their services: $50 per signature!
(Don’t worry, my brother has power of attorney for us so he can sign for us. Wait a minute. I gave my brother power of attorney. I’m the one who should be worried!)
But this blog isn’t about the outrageous fees our government charges its citizens or about how much I should worry that my kid brother can enter into legal contracts on my behalf. This is about the importance of our signatures. I take mine for granted. I sign checks. I sign loans. I sign love letters to my wife. I sign notes to friends. I also sign work contracts.
This last week I was able to sign a contract with one of our new employees at the gym. He’s never had a job before. He’s been living on the streets for a long time now. And because of that, he has never been to school before. He just started classes in February. He is learning to read and write and to do basic math. Like most people who learn to write he started with learning to write his name.
It was so clear he had been practicing when we signed his work contract. His first work contract. His first legal signature. His first chance at a new life around a bunch of guys who are going to love him and support him.
I was so proud as I saw him carefully form the letters of his name, just like he practiced in school. He smiled when he handed me back the contract. I was so excited, I almost wanted to take it to the embassy to get it notarized…