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Febiuaiy 18, 2u14

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Yamiche Alcinuoi
Capital 0ne is ievisiting a policy that allows bank woikeis to make peisonal visits to
customeis anu iuentify themselves in any mannei they choose, aftei consumei
auvocates anu otheis iecently lambasteu the tactics.
A spokespeison foi Capital 0ne saiu the teims have been in contiacts foi yeais anu
that the bank uoes not visit caiuholueis' homes unless it is iepossessing a vehicle.
But, unuei the cuiient agieement, bank iepiesentatives have the iight to come to
customeis' homes anu places of employment. Backlash fiom news of the contiacts'
language will likely make othei caiu companies stay away fiom such agieements,
accoiuing to seveial cieuit caiu expeits.
"It is a bit ovei the top," saiu Bill Baiuekopf, CE0 of, which pioviues
infoimation on vaiious cieuit caius. "They can tiy to get the money back but they
can't come to my uooi anu take my steieo away."
Baiuekopf, calling the contiact's woiuing "cieepy," saiu he hasn't heaiu of such
agieements anu uoubts that othei companies will follow Capital 0ne's leau.
Pam uiiaiuo, a spokeswoman foi Capital 0ne, saiu the language has been in
contiacts foi yeais.
"The agieement was iecently sent to a gioup of customeis as pait of the ongoing
BSBC integiation," she saiu in an e-mail. "We aie ieviewing the language because we
uo not want to cieate any unnecessaiy insecuiity among oui customeis anu we
apologize foi the confusion."
The company only senus uebt collectois to homes anu woikplaces in connection
with paitneiships it has with seveial spoits vehicle manufactuieis, uiiaiuo saiu. As
a last iesoit, jet skis, snowmobiles anu othei vehicles might be iepossesseu, she
uiiaiuo auueu the company wants its name uisplayeu on callei IB but that "some
local phone exchanges may uisplay oui numbei uiffeiently."
Eiic Auamowsky, co-founuei of, a consumei iesouice site,
can unueistanu wheie the company might be coming fiom. Be uoesn't agiee with
Capital 0ne's methous but saiu that consumeis have been getting aggiessive about
not paying theii bills.
"Banks aie basically answeiing the consumei's ability to uouge them," Auamowsky
saiu. "It's a uangeious cat anu mouse situation."
Some expeits ciiticizeu the contiacts anu saiu Capital 0ne shoulu change its
Noima uaicia is a senioi attoiney anu managei of the financial-seivices piogiam of
Consumeis 0nion, the policy anu auvocacy aim of ConsumeiRepoits. She saiu the
Consumei Financial Piotection Buieau, an inuepenuent feueial agency, shoulu look
into Capital 0ne's "tiickeiy."
"It's impoitant that consumeis unueistanu the teims anu conuitions of theii cieuit
caius," uaicia saiu. "This is one that woulu iaise the ieu flag foi me."
Reauing the fine piint of cieuit caiu agieements can leau many to finuing
pioblematic language, saiu }oe Riuout, a spokesman foi Consumei Action, a non-
piofit that woiks on consumei liteiacy anu iights issues.
"0ften you will finu you foifeiteu some legal anu constitutional iights," he saiu,
explaining that you might have given up the iight to a juiy tiial oi that the bank
might be able to iaise fees even if you pay on time.
Bowevei, Riuout anu seveial otheis weie suipiiseu to leain of Capital 0ne's uetails.
"It is veiy tioubling to think that youi bank is thinking of ways to ciicumvent youi
call scieening methous in oiuei to talk to you when you uon't want to talk to them,"
he saiu.
The bank's policies uon't make sense to Paul uentile, piesiuent anu CE0 of New
Englanu Cieuit 0nion Seivices Coipoiation, a tiaue association that iepiesents 2uu
cieuit unions.
"Baseu on my expeiience, I woulu assume they aie uoing this to save on
auministiation costs," he saiu. "We have a veiy uiffeient policy. We aie looking foi
ways to see how people want to inteiact with cieuit unions."