So much in life occurs by happenstance.
A dozen years ago, we were hunting for a home equity loan as a way of financing a new car with tax-deductible dollars.
Partly because it had a bunch of frequent flyer miles attached, the best deal at the time came from a company called Countrywide.
We got the loan, bought the car and started making relatively modest interest payments. That was, I suspected, the end of it.
But Countrywide would not quit. Flyers, phone calls and more flyers followed.
Countrywide wanted to offer us credit, consolidate our debt, do everything, it seemed, except take out the garbage.