This has been an insane week.

Some backstory first though. When I worked at the Vineyard in Ithaca, I had a clergy 403b (like a 401k). One key distinction is we can withdraw the money penalty free to buy a house. Because of the tax implications of bringing the money to Ireland, we decided to use only a part. After agreeing to sale on the house we are buying, we figured how much we needed from the fund. This where it goes wonky.

The fund required verification to wire money to our US bank account. They wanted a voided check, but we don’t use paper checks. Alternatively, they said a bank officer may sign a letter stating that we own the account where the money is going. The bank won’t sign such a letter unless we are present.

We contacted our bank here in Ireland and asked how long they take to process an American check. They told us twenty-five working days as Ireland does not use electronic check clearing. Twenty-five working days fit with our schedule, so we had a check mailed over, and deposited it on May 20. That day the teller told me it takes 3 weeks to clear. Later phone calls verified that 3 weeks was the time it takes. Three weeks was this past Monday.

Late last week we learned that the money still had not cleared. After a series of emails and phone calls, and official complaints filed with our bank, Liz receives a call from the head of the main branch of our bank. Twenty-five working days is an “estimate.” It may take 8 weeks. Why they had one that took almost 3 months.

We learned yesterday that the funds have finally cleared the account, which makes it likely to be here in Dublin for our closing date of June 28. We are still looking into backup plans, because no one can say when the money will arrive, and if it shows up too late, we lose the house, and our deposit. 

Our solicitor and a barrister are encouraging us to file claims with the financial ombudsman, but any action comes too late to be helpful.

At this point, it looks like we’ll be in our new place in mid-July. We would still appreciate your prayers in the meantime!


One piece of good news is that the mortgage payment is less than we thought! It will be about €1050/month less than our rent payment!!! There’ll be a few new expenses such as mortgage insurance and house insurance, but we will still be in much better shape once we resolve the current situation.

the photo was taken at the Clontarf Promenade. you should be able to see 3 swans, a heron…and an old bike