Capital One’s creepy new terms of service

Credit card company Capital One’s new terms of service allow the company to contact cardholders in any way possible, including a visit to the person’s residence.

According to their new agreement, Capital One can “contact you in any manner we choose.” This includes calls, texts, mail, emails, and even a personal visit at work or home if the cardholder is behind on payments.

The new terms received a lot of response on social media causing the credit card giant to issue a press release on its website, “Capital One does not visit our cardholders, nor do we send debt collectors to their homes or work,” says the statement.

And, uh, then, they offer the first exception of what may be more to come. In the case of secured collateral, jet skis, bass boat, motorcycle, whatever – “we may go to a customer’s home after appropriate notification if it becomes necessary to repossess the sports vehicle.”

English League Cup Final: Bradford 0-5 Swansea, Nathan Dyer is Man-of-the-Match

Nathan Dyer opens the scoring

Swansea City secured the first major trophy in their 111-year history as League Two Bradford City were thrashed in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.

The Bantams had beaten Premier League trio Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa on the way to becoming the first side from English football’s fourth tier to reach this final since 1962.

But Swansea proved a step too far and there was to be no storybook ending to this remarkable campaign as Bradford were taken apart by Michael Laudrup’s side en route to the biggest win in the final of this competition.

The Bantams were swiftly out of their depth and goals from Nathan Dyer and Michu gave Swansea a comfortable half-time lead that was no more than their ordered passing game merited…

Dyer’s second goal just after half-time removed any remaining doubt about the destination of the trophy and a thoroughly chastening experience for Bradford was encapsulated by Swansea’s fourth on the hour. Goalkeeper Matt Duke, a hero of the run to Wembley, was sent off for bringing down Jonathan de Guzman, who scored from the spot.

De Guzman added his own second in stoppage time – not that this stopped Bradford’s supporters rising to acclaim the team that has given them and their city so much to be proud of as they went up to collect their runners-up medals.

I can only echo remarks in the article by Phil McNulty. We all hoped against hope for Bradford City to continue their tale of performances well above their station in the English Leagues. That was not to be.

The polish and professionalism of Swansea City was too much. Their strength and skill capable of scoring at any reasonable chance. Good and ready enough to lift the silverware. Bravo!

Ten of the biggest US banks paying back bail-out

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Ten of the nation’s largest banks have received a green light from the Treasury Department to repay $68 billion in government bailout money that they got during the height of the financial crisis.

The banks have been busy strengthening their balance sheets in recent weeks by raising private capital. This move raises hope that the worst of the banking crisis is over.

The ten banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and Goldman Sachs, all got a clean bill of health following the recent stress test administered by government regulators.

Many had voiced a desire to pay back the money. Some had taken it very reluctantly, at the insistence of the Bush administration as it was trying to stabilize the financial system and insure that banks had money to lend. Along with the money came government limits on compensation for executives, which the banks are anxious to escape.

As the financial system has stabilized and the economy has shown signs of bottoming out, a number of the banks have been able to raise new capital from investors.

If the 10 large banks repay the full $68 billion, it would be a development welcomed by Congress and taxpayers. Added to loans already repaid by some smaller banks, it would bring the amount of TARP funds recovered to $70 billion. That’s about one-third of the nearly $200 billion the Treasury has injected into the nation’s banks.

Not so incidentally, these ten banks have also provided $2 billion in dividends to the Treasury during the course of the so-called bailout.

Yes, that’s right. We, the taxpayers, made money on this part of the deal.

Given a shovel, Americans dig themselves deeper Into debt

The collection agencies call at least 20 times a day. For a little quiet, Diane McLeod stashes her phone in the dishwasher.

But right up until she hit the wall financially, Ms. McLeod was a dream customer for lenders. She juggled not one but two mortgages, both with interest rates that rose over time, and a car loan and high-cost credit card debt. Separated and living with her 20-year-old son, she worked two jobs so she could afford her small, two-bedroom ranch house in suburban Philadelphia, the Kia she drove to work, and the handbags and knickknacks she liked.

Then last year, back-to-back medical emergencies helped push her over the edge. She could no longer afford either her home payments or her credit card bills. Then she lost her job. Now her home is in foreclosure and her credit profile in ruins.

Ms. McLeod, who is 47, readily admits her money problems are largely of her own making. But as surely as it takes two to tango, she had partners in her financial demise. In recent years, those partners, including the financial giants Citigroup, Capital One and GE Capital, were collecting interest payments totaling more than 40 percent of her pretax income and thousands more in fees.

More than a cautionary tale – after all, we’re describing a disaster afflicting tens of millions of Americans – this article is worth a read for analysis and examination of possible solutions.

Some of the external blame worth apportioning is in here. The call for an end to usury is overdue.