D EAR HARRY: I negotiated with my bank to let me pay the balance due on my mortgage for a $15,000 discount. This was in accordance with a letter they sent me suggesting that we discuss an early payoff. I sent them a check in October marked "payment in full." They deposited the check and sent me back a canceled note that I signed when I got the mortgage in 2001. My wife told me that she heard that I could use that same "paid in full" statement to pay off some credit-card debts. She said that she heard that people do this all the time to get a fresh start with their banks. I know what you say about things that sound too good to be true, but this sounds like it's worth a try. How about it?