Big banks target grieving widows over debts they don’t owe

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The nation’s biggest banks are specifically and strategically targeting grieving widows with harassing attempts to collect on the debts of their recently deceased husbands.

Bank of America, Capital One, Discover and Citibank each have policies in place that allow their collectors to berate widows who have no legal obligation for the debts in question.

The Wall Street Journal  reports that one Bank of America collector harassed a widow with 10 calls a day over a debt owed by her late husband who had just died of colon cancer. This woman had nothing to her name except a small life insurance policy. The Bank of America collector wore her down until she surrendered the $2,000 in policy money that would have been all her money in the world.

Amazingly, the trade association for collection agencies says this kind of practice is actually a good thing. If this didn’t go on they argue, and I’m paraphrasing here for simplicity’s sake, then the banks would stop making credit available to seniors because they know they’d never be paid back. So they’re spinning it by basically saying what they’re doing is a public service!!

Absolutely, completely and totally disgusting.

Worse yet, you would think that the federal government that gave $740 billion to bailout the banks during the financial crisis would at least put rules in place to protect grieving widows (and widowers to a lesser extent.) But the feds are playing laissez-faire on this one. That’s unacceptable and inexcusable too.

If you do business with these companies, think about the kind of mentality it takes to actually see this as a good business practice that they’re specifically target grieving widows. Shame on them. Shame on the collection agencies. And shame on our federal government that stands idly by.

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