Our quest to find an apartment – or rather, to get approved for the one we’ve found – continues. Here’s the latest:
Last time I posted about this, we were waiting to hear what outrageous sum of money the insurance company would require us to invest in a CD as a deposit for rental of our apartment. We were told when we applied for “the CD solution” that the insurer might require anywhere between four and ten months’ rent. We waited anxiously to hear what our insurer would require. The answer? Nine months in the CD, naturally to be followed by the first month’s rent. Even with reduced housing costs in B’quilla, this is a lot of money, and more than we have on hand in the midst of this move. So we had to negotiate. We got it down to six months – a painful, but manageable amount – and proceeded to start the process for opening the CD.
All seemed to be going swimmingly until we found out that we could not open the CD because Gio does not yet have his cédula, or Colombian ID card. To be precise, he has a temporary card from the consulate in Miami, which he received four months ago now at the time of application for his cédula. We thought he would most certainly have the cédula by now; we were wrong. With respect to the CD, we were told that a relative with a cédula could open it in his/her name and then a notarized letter could be filed with the insurance company to detail the situation. Again, great! We have a relative who can do this. Now all we have to do is transfer the money, right?
Well, I spent the better part of two days trying to arrange a wire transfer from my own bank account in the U.S. to Colombia. Again, because Gio does not have his cédula (you’ll be hearing more about this as we try to overcome the red tape), we needed to send the money to a relative who does, and who also has a bank account. No problem there; one of our wonderful relatives here was willing to help. But my bank, Chase, kept shutting me out of online access to my account, either entirely or partially, and refused to approve our relative as a wire transfer recipient. I finally got them to approve the wire recipient only to be told by Chase that the receiving bank in Colombia is deemed “high risk” by the U.S. and that therefore the transfer probably won’t go through anyway. In addition, I won’t know whether it will go through for at least two business days, and if it does go through, it’ll take three to five more days to process. Ugh.
At this point, we have decided to wait until our own bank account here in Colombia is up and running. We managed to get permission from Citibank in Bogota to open an account here in Barranquilla, though it’s not yet active (tomorrow will be the fourth business day since we filed the paperwork). A wire transfer from Chase to Citibank shouldn’t (knock on wood) be an issue, even if the Citibank branch is in Colombia. Hopefully we’ll know for sure tomorrow!