Howard helps NYC photographer with Multiple Sclerosis after bank rejects her stamp signatures

Posted at 10:57 PM, May 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-06 23:05:27-04

Flo Fox is a real New York City character. She’s been a photographer for more than 40 years.

Her work is in galleries. She hung out at Studio 54 back in the day and her friends included Andy Warhol. She’s been in Playboy.  We don’t mean her work has been in Playboy. She posed for photos that can’t be shown on TV.

But Multiple Sclerosis has wracked her body. Her hands are now numb and gnarled. She has aides round the clock to help. But that hasn’t stopped her bank from making an amazing demand.

For years Flo banked with Emigrant and used a signature stamp for checks and official business.  But Emigrant was taken over by the Apple Bank for Savings.  And Apple insisted the stamp was no good.  Flo had to sign with an “X”.

And she wasn’t happy about the change in policy, saying “It’s discrimination against the handicapped.”

Flo Fox

Then a few days ago her aide put a pen in her hand and then manipulated the hand to sign a check. When the aide went to cash the $40 check, the bank wouldn’t accept it.  How could it be sure that the “X” was really made by Flo and that she wanted her aide to transact her business?

So the bank called her. “They said we recognize your voice, “ Flo told PIX11. “We will let you do  it. But next time you put a note with it.  A note? How am I going to write a note?”

She couldn’t, of course.  So she had her aide email Help Me Howard.

Howard got right on it.  And the bank listened.

Apple Bank spokesman Brian Maddox said, “It wasn’t immediately clear that this was an issue that needed to be accommodated.  But once Apple learned what that was, we were able to fix things.”

Flo told Howard that just a couple of hours after PIX11 left her home, “ I got a call from the Senior Vice President telling me from now on every Apple Bank will be changed to accept the stamp. And I said, wow, Help Me Howard.”