ED Magedson – Founder
Wells Fargo Bank27702 CROWN VALLEY PKWY D1 Ladera Ranch, California USA
Wells Fargo Bank Does Not Honor Their Own Checks Ladera Ranch California
Wells Fargo does not honor their own debt instruments (checks drawn on their own bank). Due to unfortunate circumstances I was forced to liquidate an investment account with Wells Fargo Advisors (a division of Wells Fargo & Company). I requested the funds be issued in the form of a check which I assumed would be cashed by Wells Fargo Bank since it would be drawn on their institution. Not only was I wrong, I was treated as if I were attempting to scam the bank out of money that was not mine. The check arrived with my name as the payee, my current address and drawn on Wells Fargo Bank, NA. I presented this check to the Wells Fargo Bank Branch at 26042 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA with valid California state issued identification (driver's license) and was refused assistance in cashing the check. I was informed that this was a check issued by a third party and could not be honored unless I was a Wells Fargo account holder (which I am not). Otherwise I would have to find another way to obtain cash for the debt instrument.
I then contacted Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service by phone and was informed that indeed Wells Fargo Advisors was a legitimate entity of Wells Fargo & Company and that the funds were being held by Wells Fargo Bank, NA. I was advised by the representative that presentation of the check along with a valid picture ID was enough to cash the check at any of their branches (remember, this is Wells Fargo's corporate call center). With the representative on the phone I attempted to cash the check at the Ladera Ranch, CA branch. I was told by the teller that a valid California driver's license which contains two pictures of me, my legal name, my current address, a copy of my written signature, descriptive characteristics (eye color, hair color, height and weight) was not good enough to allow the conversion of the check to cash.
I explained to the teller, and subsequently the branch manager, that unfortunately (due to unemployment) I no longer have a checking account (at any institution), credit or debit cards, valid passport or any other "ID" that they would seem to accept. I countered with the fact that the State of California in addition to the other 49 states plus many foreign countries have no problem in accepting a valid driver's license as the only form of identification to issue traffic tickets, arrest on misdemeanor or felony crimes or apply for governmental documents. Since the check has my name on it (with no other payee / single party check), has my current address on it (otherwise how did it get through the mail to me) which matches the one on the driver's license, I think identity and ownership has been established within a 99% probability.
In addition, the money is coming from Wells Fargo not a third party bank. The funds are already being held by Wells Fargo Bank, therefore there is no risk by the branch of the funds not being available or being pulled back after the check is cashed. The risk of paying the wrong person has been eliminated by legitimate and current identification. This as close to a 100%, no risk guarantee as it gets. But all the Wells Fargo personnel could say was "We need two forms of ID". Repeating this over and over, even when asked how I could cash the check without two forms of ID, like a mantra that would make me go away like a bad dream. No advice as to what action to take. No compromise solution so that the bank has a degree of comfort from fraud and the check casher will be able to obtain his/her funds in a timely manner. Nothing. Go away with your worthless piece of paper.
This is extortion, plane and simple. Withholding a legal debt (by basically issuing a worthless piece of paper if it is not going to be honored by the issuer) when presented for payment, requiring arbitary and unusual terms is the definition of extortion. While the amount of my check is infinitesimal, when combined with others it could add up to a sizeable sum, even if Wells Fargo holds you off from executing the cashing / depositing of your check for a technicality by one day, it could mean hundreds of thousands or even millios of dollars when combined accross the US. I can only conclude that by refusing payment Wells Fargo can hold on to a certain percentage of their funds in order to benefit by earning additional interest in the overnight financial markets.
This is another example of kicking people when they are down and continuing to take advantage of the little guy. Beware! Your branch may some day impose capricious and arbitrary procedures that will delay or prevent you from gaining access to your funds. Know that Wells Fargo will do everything in their power to keep from honoring their financial (and legal) obligations. Wells Fargo Bank, NA does not honor their own checks.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/14/2014 04:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/wells-fargo-bank/ladera-ranch-california-92694/wells-fargo-bank-does-not-honor-their-own-checks-ladera-ranch-california-1123648. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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