I know most of us think of credit card companies as awful - and I agree they often are. But today I encountered a human and surprisingly ethical side of Capital One that I had to share.
I called the bank to tell them that my mother had passed away, fully expecting them to ask me to pay the balance on her cards. Other debtors have already tried to push me into paying her debts, even though legally I'm personally not responsible for any of these financial obligations. I thought Capital One would be the worst. Obviously I was wrong or I wouldn't be writing this post.
First of all, they have a dedicated line that when you call, they know you have lost someone. Meaning - that person on the other end is prepared for what you are dealing with and knows how to handle it right away. The first thing she said to me was that she was sorry for my loss and she wanted to make the process as simple as possible - before I even told her why I was calling. They don't require a death certificate, which makes things so much easier, and the process wrapped up in about 2 minutes. The other 3-5 minutes or so were the representative expressing her condolences, and then the thing that surprised me:
Rather than trying to get me to pay, the representative firmly stated that I am not responsible for the balance. Only the estate, if there is an estate, is responsible, and I should not make any payments to any creditors holding accounts in my mother's name. She reiterated this several times.
I knew this already, but I thought I was going to have to be the one defending that. I was so surprised that someone representing a large bank would be so adamant about my rights.
So thank you, Capital One, for making this easier. And for making sure you're not exploiting grieving families.