It has come to the point, that I don’t even want to name this Bank in Dickinson, North Dakota where I keep having problems. I have already written two previous blog post articles about this Bank.
At first, when I opened an account with this local Bank in Dickinson more than three years ago, I thought that the customer service was going to be superior to the nationwide Bank, Wells Fargo, that I had become frustrated with in Dickinson. I was wrong.
My first blog post article complaining about this local Bank in Dickinson, was that they were treating me like criminal white-trash when I was trying to open an account. They directly said to me, “We have to perform a credit check on you, before we will allow you to open an account at our Bank.” And when I asked if a debit card came with this checking account, they said to me, “If you get denied for your checking account, you won’t get any debit card.”
I didn’t like hearing this kind of talk. At the time, I had accounts at three different Banks. I had never been overdrawn on an account in my life, never missed a credit card payment, never missed a car payment, never missed a rent payment. Why was this person at this Bank treating me like this?
The second blog post article that I wrote complaining about this local Bank, was when this same person at this Bank told me, that their Bank was not liable for forged or stolen checks. I explained to this person that my understanding was that Banks are liable for reimbursing account holders for forged or stolen checks, otherwise, why would anyone keep money in Banks, and that this is what the FDIC insurance on Bank accounts is for.
I had to spend a lot of my own time researching Banking laws, getting down to reading about the Office Of The Comptroller Of The Currency, which regulates Banks. Yes, Banks are legally required to reimburse account holders for “improperly paid” checks, for such things as forged and stolen checks. Why didn’t the person at this local Bank in Dickinson, even know the Banking law? Is this entire Bank, and the Bank owner crooked?
After this, I went and opened an account with the nationwide Bank, US Bank, in Dickinson. I asked the lady that was opening my new account, what was her understanding of the law regarding forged or stolen checks. She replied with almost these exact words:
“At US Bank, if you report to us that there has been a forged or stolen check drawn against your account, we require that you file a Police report immediately about this check fraud and theft. That way, the Police can begin investigating immediately. US Bank will then reimburse you the money that was stolen from your account. US Bank will conduct its own investigation, in addition to the Police investigation. If we determine that there was no involvement or wrong-doing by the account holder in this theft, this matter is closed with the account holder.”
That is exactly what I wanted to hear. The nationwide US Bank was following U.S. Law, whereas the other local Bank in Dickinson was not.
When my father died in April of this year, I was told by the representative of his estate, that I would be getting two large checks, and one smaller check. The first check was to close out his savings account. The second check was to close out his investments. The third check was to close out his checking account, which would be done after all of his final bills had been paid.
I had four different Bank accounts that I could deposit these checks in, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be the Bank that said they were not responsible for forged and stolen checks.
When I did receive the first two checks settling the estate of my father, I called ahead to the Bank manager explaining what I had, and that I wanted to come inside the Bank to complete these deposits. I said that I understood that there would be a seven to ten day hold on these checks. I said to the Bank manager that I did not want any Bank teller asking me where I got these checks, what they were for, or treating these checks like they were fake checks, or stolen checks. The Bank manager cut me off, saying, “No, no, no, no one here is going to do that to you.”
Today, I received in the mail unexpectedly, a check that was partially closing out my father’s checking account, as there were probably going to be no more bills. This check was for a little over $10,000. In order to spread the money out amongst my four different Bank accounts, I wanted to deposit this check into the local Bank in Dickinson that I had had bad experiences with. This check wasn’t for that much money, there shouldn’t be any problem just making a deposit.
I had not expected to be making a Bank deposit today, so when I went to this local Dickinson Bank, I had to ask the Bank teller for a blank deposit slip. I went over to a counter space, and completed the deposit slip for just a deposit of this one check, no money back.
I explained to the Bank teller that I had an account at this Bank, I just wanted to deposit this check, and I handed everything to her. I wasn’t expecting any problems.
Within about one or two minutes of handing this deposit slip and check to this Bank teller, she was on the telephone beside her, saying to me, “I have to verify if funds are available.”
This was not good. I am fifty-one years old now, a Bank teller does not need to make a phone call to determine if “funds are available” on a check that is being deposited. I have never had this happen to me before in my life. Either a check will clear the Bank that it is drawn upon within a period of a few days, or it won’t. Her phone call was more to determine if this was a fraudulent, fake, or stolen check.
I was becoming angry, because this check was clearly printed with the full name of my father and “Attorney At Law”, with his address on the east coast, and it was made payable to me his son, with the exact same name and Jr. My Bank account with this local Bank in Dickinson, has my full name, which is the same full name as my father, but I am a Jr.
The young lady Bank teller was on the phone for five minutes, but she received no response. She asked me what this check was, and I said that it was from my father.
What I became concerned about, besides me being angry, was that this Bank teller was not very smart. If I told her that my father had died, in her Sherlock Holmes detective mind, she would say, “Ah ha! How could your father write this check, if he is dead?”
I would then try to explain, that my father didn’t write this check, it was the representative of his estate who wrote this check to me. “Ah ha!” she would say, “You admit that this check has been forged!”
This young Bank teller went walking around the Bank in search of some kind of manager that could approve the deposit of this check. I asked the nearest Bank employee if I could speak to the Bank manager, I was becoming very angry I said.
There was no Bank manager available. The young Bank teller got back on the telephone, and I heard her say something like this check was suspicious, or that I was suspicious. Meanwhile, the Bank lobby cleared of all employees, and I was expecting the Dickinson Police to arrive at any moment.
I looked at my cell phone, in order to retrieve the email that the representative of my father’s estate had sent to myself and my sister explaining the plans for the distribution of the estate, and the checks that he had planned to send out.
Eventually, an assistant manager was located, by the Bank employees who had evacuated the Bank lobby. I walked back to the assistant manager’s office, and I explained to him that this transaction was just for a deposit of a check from my father. I wasn’t trying to get any cash back, I was just making a deposit. Your Bank teller was acting like this was a fake, fraudulent, or stolen check.
I explained that I knew that this check could take seven to ten days to clear. I wasn’t trying to get any cash back, nor was I expecting for this money to be available. Why was your Bank teller trying to call, supposedly to determine if “funds were available”? You were treating this like it was a fake or stolen check, and I am very angry, and insulted.
The assistant bank manager explained that perhaps the Bank teller was trying to find a way to not have a seven to ten day hold on this check, but she should have explained that she was doing this, or explained that there would be a seven to ten day hold.
I said to the assistant Bank manager, that I shouldn’t have to explain to your Bank teller, and all of the other Bank tellers and people in your Bank lobby within in ear-shot, what this check is for, it is none of their business, but you can go ahead and read this explanation here on my phone, and I handed him my phone.
He walked back out to the Bank tellers with me, he told the Bank teller to process this deposit, it was for the estate of my father. The check was deposited, I was handed the receipt, and I left the Bank.
I was angry and insulted, and this Bank deposit took about 20-30 minutes.
You might want to ask me, why didn’t I just explain all of this to the Bank teller in the first place? For one thing, it is none of her business, and none of the business of everyone standing within forty feet of me who can hear. Next, I realized that this young Bank teller was not very smart, if I had told her that my father had died, she would wonder who wrote this check and who signed it?
Then, since this Bank teller was on the path of being a detective, was she going to become a legal expert too and say, “Wait a minute, did this go through probate?”, “Wait a minute, does your father’s representative have legal power of attorney?”, “Wait a minute, did you pay taxes on this?”
The God damn fucking problem of young Bank tellers asking questions, is that they shouldn’t be asking fucking questions!!!! If a check is payable or processable, do it, don’t try to be a fucking detective!