Recently, the bank Kris and I had our joint account with went under. When it did, it took seven years of bank records with it. Oh, sure, our money was FDIC insured, so we didn't actually lose any money, but do you know how devastating the loss of seven years of bank records can be?
Especially since we went to "digital monthly statements" about 5 years back.
Honestly, I hated the bank from the beginning. Kris, however, was overly enthusiastic about the idea of an online-only bank, so I kept my mouth shut (well, I SORTA kept my mouth shut) and went along.
I did, however, complain very loudly when the bank shut down. Kris definitely heard me.
As did all of my neighbors for at least 3 houses in any direction, I'm sure.
So, we've had this joint account funds check for a while now. The bank closed, we received a check, it sat there. I decided I needed the money to pay a particularly painful bill that showed up recently, so off to the bank to set up a joint account.
I went in with two pieces of information: Kris' name and his checking account number with the bank. That's it.
I told the woman at the desk I wanted to open a joint account with Kristofer McQueen, here was the number of his checking account with the bank, and here was my account number. The woman spent all of maybe three minutes looking up our information, another 2 minutes setting up the account, and one minute explaining that she needed me to have Kris sign this piece of paper (the signature card) to make the account all official.
I said I'd return the paper the next day, and left.
On my walk back home, I called Kris and told him we were all set. He was incredulous. "Banks are so ghetto," he said. "I wish they weren't so trusting."
I thought about it, about the ease and speed of the transaction, and decided that, yes, I was a bit annoyed with the ease, too. Here's why:
I told the woman Kris and I were married. I didn't bring any proof of the marriage. The only item I had with Kris' name on it was a business card.
Kris and I have different last name.
Kris and I have different addresses.
Kris and I have different phone numbers.
The bank didn't ask for his SSN. It didn't ask for his driver's license. The woman did ask for mine, but she already knew who I was, as I had "verified" identity with my bank card.
Essentially, the woman opened a joint checking account for two people on the word of one person: me.
I can understand that this probably doesn't happen much, someone opening a joint checking account with someone else, then bailing out on the account. Sure, I'm partially responsible for the account, but so is Kris. I can take him down with me.
Or, I can transfer funds from his linked account, into our joint account, and voila! I have access to his cash.
Sure, the woman could have cancelled the account if the signatures on the paper I brought back didn't match. However, ask anyone: I can fake a signature, or even someone's handwriting, quite well, thank you very much. If I wasn't actually married to Kris (note the lack of subjunctive in that phrase: I actually am married to Kris, so "was", and not "were" is correct), this would have been one of my most brilliant social engineering feats ever.
Too bad I didn't have the foresight to set up a joint account with Andy's funds.
Ooooooo, or maybe Keith's!