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Armand L. Fontaine

Tips to Homeowners

June 29, 1986|ARMAND L. FONTAINE

Question: After receiving a bonus, I decided to pay off my home mortgage on the 26th of last month. My lending institution could not tell me how much interest I owned. They had me pay the principal and gave me a receipt. On the 12th of this month I received a check from the bank for the total amount that I had paid, and they informed me that I should compute the interest at $43 a day from the first of the last month until the time I sent them a new check for the total amount. Four days later I received a late-payment charge for not having made my payment on time. Can they do this?

Answer: Yes, they can. But I suggest that you send the original check that they returned to you, along with the interest portions due to the 26th, and tell them to send you a statement for the additional interest owed from that period. This should save you considerable money, and I feel they will have to go along with it, as you have the receipts that you did pay back the principal at that time and that your check was accepted, as they issued you a new check. Hopefully, you have not cashed the check they returned to you.

Q: I live in an apartment and would like to install a fireplace. Is there such an item that can be removed from the apartment when I move?

A: Yes. The American Heartland Co. of Geneva, Ill., has developed a fireplace that will fit almost anywhere. By eliminating the flue and using a gelled alcohol fuel derived from grain, they have developed a line of fireplaces that can be moved from location to location.

Since no chimney is necessary, there is no loss of heat. The fuel produces 8,000 British thermal units an hour. It is burned in a fuel cell designed to snuff out the fire in case of earthquake, and the fuel and the lighting system are approved by the Underwriters Laboratory. The suggested retail price is about $300 and the cabinet is priced about $200. The local distributor is Southland Distributing Co., 1344 Parkview Avenue, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266.

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