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General

The Financial crap keeps coming + new home purchase

Never thought I would be fighting so much for these financial things in Canada.
 
-CRA mailed tax refund to wrong address
-Called CRA to get it changed to correct address. They said I need to fill out some form to invalidate the other check they sent and prove I never deposited it in my account. I filled it out and mailed it to them.
-CRA decided that they were going to re-assess my TFSA contributions for the past 10 years, and for some reason, decided I was a non resident in 2010 and 2011 (even tho I was) and compounded penalties on my account for the last 10 years, then put a $17,000 bill on my tax account.
-I filed a dispute claiming that the CRA did not calculate my contributions correctly. They said it will take up to 18 months to look at the dispute and resolve it. CRA took my tax refunds and $2,000 that I paid them earlier and withholds it from me because they think I still ‘owe’ them money while it’s in dispute. So for the next 18 months, I cannot get anything back from the CRA.
 
If you think that wasn’t enough…
-I returned $2000 worth of Amazon packages that I purchased to review on Youtube, and sent them all back with tracking.
-My credit card gets cancelled by TD because they thought some fraudulent transactions were on it and issues me a new card.
-Because my condo unit was broken into, all mail is re-routed to some faraway postal location and I have to take Uber there and back to receive my new card.
-Seller confirms they received the returns, Amazon says they refunded me for all of them.
-The refunded transactions got stuck on the old card. I have to call TD and ask them to manually push the refunded transactions onto my new card.
-One of the transactions refunded by Amazon ($1200 worth) never shows up on either my old card or new card and it’s been well over 7 business days. Amazon says they definitely refunded me and TD says they definitely don’t see anything on my old card and on my new card.
-I have to dispute this transaction to force Amazon to push me a correct refund that will actually show up on my card.
 
So in addition to an ongoing lawsuit I’m still in (QuadrigaCX from last year, will not get resolved anytime soon), I have 2 disputes I’m currently waiting on resolution from that’s tying up at least $12,000 of my money, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that my previous Vancouver landlord scammed me earlier this year of my security deposit and I could have easily sued him for that but that would have put me into yet another lawsuit which I didn’t want to be in.
I never thought my financial situation in Canada would be so complicated all the time. Why did I leave the US again..?

Update on the Amazon refund situation: I got my refund and I asked TD to close the dispute, but instead of closing the dispute they (for some reason) added ANOTHER dispute onto the card for the entire amount of my purchase again, without crediting me. So now I got the seller hounding me again about why im disputing another charge when I actually didn’t, and I got a massive charge on my credit card that just randomly appeared out of nowhere. Why did TD do this??

Another story with Fedex:
-Fedex supposed to deliver to me last week. I called them and asked them where my package was. They said they were waiting for my payment, and because of COVID19 they can only take payment by phone not by person (which is extremely weird because I paid a Fedex guy just last month in person).
-So I paid them, and the following week they never delivered. I called and asked where’s my package. They said they were waiting for payment. I said I already paid them, and they said ok we’ll deliver it to you the next day.
-Next day comes and goes, they never delivered. I called them again, they said they take some time for someone to pick up my package or something and it will be delivered soon.
-I’m still waiting for my package
WHY are people so incompetent in this country???? Like I have to call them multiple times just to get them to do their freaking job
 
..in other news, I have decided to finally buy a new apartment, after selling my SF apartment in 2018 (effectively at a $200,000 loss since QuadrigaCX took all my proceeds of that sale), and it’s a pretty decent condo unit in Downtown Vancouver near BC place. This area is basically the ‘new’ Yaletown, and is probably going to be further developed in the future. The area has many of the same amenities and views as Yaletown, except the prices of the condos are roughly $50k cheaper for the same units on average, so I thought it was relatively ok. The place I ended up getting for $660,000 CAD ($500k USD) which was a decent discount from the list price of $689,000 CAD. It also comes tenanted which is nice, since I’m mostly looking for a place as an investment right now.
Plus, the interest rates right now in Canada are extremely low, and I managed to get approved for an interest rate of 1.6% variable, which is extremely low. 
I only have $120,000 CAD out of the $150,000 CAD I would need to cover the deposit on the condo (20% deposit) + closing costs, so I would need to borrow an additional $30k from my parents as well. I’m actually surprised that my parents can lend me that much given that I already lost them the money that they gave me for my SF apartment because of the QuadrigaCX mistake I made.

Remaining things to do:
-get a lawyer to write up the transfer of the deposit/rent/etc
-purchase insurance for the unit
-electricity isnt covered by the strata, so have to open a BC Hydro account for the condo and pay that as well
-borrow $30k from my parents to cover the deposit + closing costs
-Get $2000 bonus from CIBC for getting the mortgage with them. Lock in the 1.6% variable rate (I can switch to fixed at any time but the guy said that the rates should remain low for the next little while so I got nothing to worry about) for a $528,000 mortgage.
-Wait for CRA updates on dispute
-Wait for TD/Amazon updates on dispute 
-Wait for updates on QCX lawsuit from EY/MT
 
Items I purchased still waiting on:
-Astro Slide phone, coming out next year
-Nixie Tubes, shipped from Ukraine should be coming in next few days
-Cinera Edge, HMD backed in Kickstarter should be coming next year
-Refund for Atari VCS which I initially pre-ordered but decided against it
-Jelly Phone 2, should be getting end of year
-Jerry West jersey, shipped from China
-Klipsch R-41PM speakers + Pokemon game, shipped from US
-iPhone 12 Mini, pre-ordered with my Apple friend’s discount, shipped from US
 
 
Categories
General

2019: Year in Review

Every year, I do a year in review, with highlights and lowlights and a summary so this is my year in review for 2019.

Highlights

-I found a great job at a great company with great co-workers at Kong
-Had a great time in Korea this year, met all my friends again, made a Korean gf
-Went on a nice cruise with my family this year

Lowlights

-Still recovering from all the financial issues I suffered last year mainly losing the majority of my life savings because of the QuadrigaCX crypto exchange collapse
-More difficult to make new friends in Vancouver than I expected

Summary

I don’t have a whole lot of updates for this year, because this year was pretty much a recovery year from the disaster that was last year. Last year took away my San Francisco apartment, my life savings, and most of my best friends away from me. I started out this year with almost no savings, no house, unemployed and with no friends in Vancouver.

The start to this year was really rough. I was told that the exchange that I used last year to transfer my savings over to Canada, QuadrigaCX had gone under with over $215M CAD owing to creditors once the CEO died under mysterious circumstances in India. The rest of this year was basically waiting for updates from the ongoing lawsuit – Ernst&Young being the bankruptcy trustee and Miller Thomson being the lawyers.

So far they are still processing claims, and have been doing so for the last 4 months with no updates to us creditors so far. They have roughly $33M + $12M (the CEO and his widow enriched themselves by purchasing Nova Scotia property so there’s extra assets here) for us but roughly $7M I estimate will be in legal fees paid to EY and MT. After that there’s roughly $38M left in the pot for us creditors, depending on how much people claim. There’s $215M in total claims outstanding but me and several other creditors theorize that at least half of those claims are not real or left on the exchange by money launderers. And then there’s the CRA (Canada’s IRS) waiting to take even more money from us.
So I calculated it and I think roughly we’ll get back anywhere from 15% (worst case scenario) to 40% (best case)  with 25-30% being the most likely percentage we’ll get back. I have no idea how long this process will take but hopefully sometime next year we’ll get it back.

So that being the backdrop, a hammer that was dropped on me at the beginning of the year, you can see the rest of the year takes a backseat to this whole lawsuit thing.
I did manage to luck out finding a great SF company to work for (Kong Inc) that I could work remotely for, and everything about that company I liked better than my previous company. My manager, coworkers, the type of work I was doing etc I learned way more in 6 months than I did in a whole 1.5years at my previous company.
And I did manage to have some time to travel to Korea for a bit and that was a really great experience, much better than last year (God really had it in for me last year), got to meet all my friends again and dated a bunch of girls, etc it really transported me back to the days when I lived there (2015-2016). I also got a chance to go on a cruise with my family (to the Bahamas) which I haven’t traveled with since late 2013 and especially getting to see my brother again is nice since he’s usually busy and very isolated since he lives in Winnipeg.

But once I got back to Vancouver, it became lonely again, and I think it might be just because its hard in general to make friends once you’re out of school but even harder when you work from home and have no co-workers to really talk to. At least in San Francisco I still have one really good friend to hang out with. In Vancouver I didn’t know anyone. I tried going to some language exchange meetups but the people I meet there are always very transient, they change every time so its hard to meet someone stable.
I did get into a relationship with a girl I met in Korea but its long distance and that’s always really difficult to maintain. I hope I can though, because she seems much more stable than my ex gf was, and much more mature (she’s 3 years older than me). On top of that, I don’t really like my landlord and am looking to find a new place to move to next year. He is incredibly strict with his house rules and seems always ready to fine me since he blames me for  everything that happens around the house (I have 6-7 housemates) and raised my rent by $100 because he said I ‘stayed at home too much thus using more electricity’ which is ridiculous. 

So yeah this year is mostly a recovery year, but after the initial shock that happened early this year and lucking out into finding a good company to work for, the rest of the year went reasonably smoothly. Let’s hope that next year will continue to go smoothly and hopefully I’ll have some luck finally with crypto (I still have some reserves but its down a whopping 80% and I missed a good chance to sell it in the summer, hopefully it will go back up next year), and with the lawsuit as well (oh please don’t let that $215M in claims be a real number, hopefully most of those big claims are fake).

Otherwise I’m just slowly saving up money again trying to afford a place in Vancouver eventually. This process might be considerably faster or slower depending on how much crypto goes up/down next year and how much/when money I get back from the QuadrigaCX lawsuit…