Seriously, Bank of America?

(Image via Cheezeburger Network)

When sportswriter Pete Iorizzo recently married, several guests generously gave him and his bride checks as gifts. Ca-ching! Great news! While cold, hard cash is not the most romantic gift possible, it’s certainly a useful one.

Unfortunately, there was a catch when the bride headed down to Bank of America to deposit said checks in their joint checking account: the bank refused to accept the checks.

You see the checks were written to ‘Mr. and Mrs. Peter Iorizzo’ and the lady had chosen not to change her last name. The teller insisted that since she hadn’t changed her name there was no such person as Mrs. Peter Iorizzo, and so no check could be deposited with that name on it. The lady offered to produce her marriage license, but still the bank would have none of it. Discussion with higher ups at the bank offered no solution.

The next day Mr. Iorizzo went to the bank with the same results. Even when he pointed out this couldn’t be the first time the situation had been seen (some ten per cent of brides nationwide do not take their new spouse’s last name, and yet more choose to hyphenate), the manager of the branch insisted this was the first time in twenty years he’d seen such a thing.

I don’t know about you, but I know plenty of women who didn’t take their husband’s names. Yes, the rate is higher than average in California, and I do happen to live in probably the most liberal area of the state… but there are women in Utah and Montana and literally every state in the union who make the same choice I did to keep their own names. And even if a woman does choose to change her name, as most do, it’s mighty rare that the paperwork would all be done and new ID issued at the time a couple is depositing their wedding gift checks. How can this manager never have seen a new bride whose ID doesn’t match the checks before?

When Mr. Twistie and I were married nearly twenty years ago, we got a couple checks written to Mr. and Mrs. His Name His Name. We didn’t even have a joint account until we’d been married some three or four years, but we managed to get those checks dealt with sans any huge fuss. Mr. Twistie endorsed them, signed them ‘for deposit only’, explained to the teller that he’d just gotten married… and voila! Money in the account.

In the end, though, the happy couple did manage to work out their problem with Bank of America… by depositing their checks at a different branch, where they were faced with no hassle, no confusion, no problem. Oh, and where the teller congratulated them on their marriage.

The lesson learned here: some banks are dinosaurs. Find out whether yours is before you deposit any wedding checks. Oh, and if possible, spread the word on how the bride intends to style herself after the marriage… before people write you checks.

One Response to “Seriously, Bank of America?”

  1. Katie says:

    I had an issue with a couple of cheques being issued with my old and new names hyphenated. The bank was happy to accept them once I showed them my marriage certificate.