Red tape at Bank of America prevented a new bride from depositing checks from her wedding because many of her guests didn't realize she was keeping her last name.
Journalist Pete Iorizzo documented his frustrating struggle in an editorial published in the Albany Times-Union, where he explained most checks were made out to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Iorizzo. He said bank managers told him the only option was to go back to his guests and ask them to re-write the checks.
I may be married to a woman, but Mrs. Peter Iorizzo does not exists - at least not in the eyes of Bank of America, Iorizzo wrote in the Jan. 3 article.
Iorizzo said his wife tried to deposit the wedding gifts at the bank's Niskayuna branch the week before Christmas when the trouble started. Even though his wife was wearing her wedding ring and willing to turn over a copy of her marriage license, the Bank of America managers insisted the checks were void and they would have to ask their guests to rewrite their gifts - a tacky and unacceptable solution, Iorizzo wrote.
And so it began: a simple banking transaction that would tak up the better part of two days, involve several frustratingly tedious phone calls with branch management, require a 25-minute drive to a different branch and illustrate yet another way in which America's largest bank appears to have made the abandonment of all common sense a matter of principle, Iorizzo wrote.
Things eventually got sorted it out, but all it took was going to another Bank of America branch. Iorizzo said his wife went to another teller, who told her Congratulations and processed her checks.
Oftentimes, the bureaucratic confusion of keeping the name she was born with is enough to convince a new bride to take on her husband's. About 10% of women keep their maiden name when they get married, but the option continues to get more popular every year. According to a 2004 article by Katie Roiphe, a Massachusetts study showed the number of women who kept their maiden names fell 6% from 1990 to 2000. About 17% of college-educated women kept their names in 2000.