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Man pays off mortgage with pennies

A Massachusetts man made his final house payment with more than 800 pounds of coins.

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2012 3:46PM

Image: Savings (© RubberBall/SuperStock)Thomas Daigle, an optician from Milford, Mass., made his final house payment all in pennies -- more than 62,000 in nice, neat rolls of 50 coins each, stacked in two boxes he hauled to the bank. They weighed more than 800 pounds, by Daigle's estimate.

Daigle decided to make the final payment with pennies back when he and his wife, Sandra, bought the house 35 years ago. His hometown newspaper, The Milford Daily News, offered these details:

So he began collecting an average of 2.5 pennies per day and placing them into a grape crate. But after a few years, the box began to break due to the overbearing weight. So he bought a pair of steel military rocket launcher ammo boxes to hold the pennies.

(Post continues below.)

Good thing he let the Milford Federal Savings and Loan Association know of his delivery a month in advance -- and that they supported his plan. Remember the Canadian man who encountered resistance when he paid off his student loan debt with $114,000 in cash?


Daigle isn't the first to use a large number of coins to pay a bill. (Personally, I can't imagine storing so many coins in my home or asking poorly paid bank tellers to do so much extra work.)


For instance, Paul Brant, of Indiana, paid for two vehicles with $36,000 in quarters in 1994, and then bought a new pickup with $26,000 in spare change in 2007. According to this news report, the car dealership had to use an armored car company to pick up and count the coins because no bank wanted to be bothered.


Then there was the Utah man who paid off a disputed $25 medical bill by dumping 2,500 pennies on the counter.


Others have used the penny payment method as a way to settle scores, including Thierry Cahez of San Diego County, who paid a $6,500 credit card bill with 650,000 pennies after his bank turned him down for refinancing.

Do you have a similar plan? Keep in mind that businesses are well within their rights to refuse huge payments made up solely of coins.


Of course, these penny hoarders may be on to something the rest of us don't know about. Says ABC News: "If the laws change and the (U.S.) mint decides to abolish the penny, people would be free to melt them down for the copper."


More from MSN Money:

Jul 6, 2012 4:59PM
hey, it's "legal tender", right? I liked the bit about the guy who paid off his credit card that way...get ready, Wells fargo, I got a buttload o' pennies for you!
Jul 7, 2012 9:32AM
Businesses have no rights to refuse change. It is legal tender, and refusal of a legal payment means the banks or business forfeit rights to collect payment. Know your laws and pay those bast@rds in friggin pennies or whatever else you have, show them who is boss and as always, cash is king.
Jul 6, 2012 6:58PM
I am glad he lived long enough to pay it off too! Here is to a mortgage free retirement!
Jul 6, 2012 6:44PM
I wonder what would happen he went to your bank to pay off your mortgage in pennies and they refused to take the payment would you still owe the money? I mean this is obvious since pennies are legal tender for all debts public and private they must accept them. Interesting idea because if you are doing it to settle a score and they had to count the coins you win and that they refused to take the money would seem that with mean you no longer own the debt so you win again. Just wondering
Jul 7, 2012 6:01AM
I think a store can refuse payment if done in a load of coins but I don't know if the owner of a debt can refuse payment as long as it's legal tender. I'm not a lawyer. I don't know. I have heard debtors must accept payments no matter what.
Jul 6, 2012 5:11PM
The last statement about melting them down for copper is silly since pennies are mostly Zinc.  It wouldn't be worth the effort.
Jul 7, 2012 2:57AM
Isnt it silly to think that a bank will refuse money regardless of its denominal factor?
At the end of the IS money.....and the pennies sure do grow.....I live in a country that uses euro cents........mine are being saved.....

Jul 6, 2012 6:18PM

That is quite unusual... I would never do it myself though. I would rather pay simply than drag a tub of coins around. I wouldn't be able to collect so many pennies or nickel or dimes or quarters !!!

    It is quite funny !!!! :)

Jul 9, 2012 10:29PM
I'm glad they let you do that now. By the time I'm ready to make my final payment that'll be all I'll have left...
Jul 6, 2012 6:46PM
Kudos to them if these stories are true, but they are tough to believe.
Jul 9, 2012 6:56PM
I hope he carefully looked at the pennies over the years, some are worth a lot more than a penny.
Oct 2, 2012 12:35PM
Bless both MSN and the brave people who pay their debts this way - my grandmother taught me that a penny technically was money - which I never forgot, even after 50 years but the state of New York ought to learn that pennies are money.....if they had learned that (along with the Department of Labor "rules" for employment searches), I think I would have been able to keep my $65K in liquid investments a little longer. Like maybe I would have made the $522K I estimated it would have been worth in 2010.
Oct 2, 2012 11:09AM

Yay! Someone remembered the first lesson about savings and made it pay off in a major way. Savings vs. Starbucks, or some piece of selfish, or the justified piggy raid for laundry change. But, seriously, the weight is nothing to laugh about, even spritzed with the probability of those greater-than-face-value coins. And a sack of cash may be just what every teller needs when some Al Capone wanna-be walks into the branch. Where are those pennies from heaven when you need them?


Signed: Save like the Devil 

 i  use to save  pennies  -ver a  period  of years, i filled a  5 gallon pickle jar- 28800 pennies---- 288 dollars  took them to the bank and cashed them in this is true .like the gentleman  aid  i'll bet there were some in there that had more that  a  penny value, of course i'll never know
If he had  just kept the money in ordinary cash and paid it off a few months early, he probably could have saved a few thousand in interest.  The jokes on him.
Jul 9, 2012 12:20AM
Some people are just so immature.  If they have a grudge against the bank or a creditor, there are more appropriate ways to express your dissatisfaction than to punish the poor bank teller or receptionist by making them count pennies.  Luckily for banks, there are coin counting machines and they do charge a fee for making too many coin deposits.  If I ever encounter this type of childish behavior, I'd make that person count the money him/herself, then make that person wait a long time before giving them a receipt. 
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