Be aware of bank rules

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To the editor:
Blessed with lending institutions, Brunswick County has its share of more than 4,440 vaults (branches of banks) scattered across North Carolina. Waiting for depositors’ money, the banker represents trust and security.
Use caution before placing dollars in this vault. Ask two questions: Are my funds safe? Are my rights being observed? If arbitration is security for a depositor or customer, then no problem.
Ask if you are a customer or consumer. The customer has privacy rights apart from a consumer’s rights.
If signing a note, ask for a disclosure itemizing the rights the bank has acquired as protected by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The depositor plays by a different set of rules than the borrower, and both are designed to protect bankers.
Prior to selecting a bank, check out solicitation methods. Is the account agreement easy to read and fully disclosed? As a suggestion, start at the back of the disclosure and read toward the front. Ask questions and ask why there is a deficiency clause.
A banker should not feel uneasy addressing your concerns. Do not allow the banker to bully the conversation.
Understand that you are being isolated in the legal system—some might say “hung out to dry” should something go wrong with your account or loan.
The banker will defend his paperwork with “all banks are the same.”
He is probably right, but he or she should know that it is not fair or right to treat customers and consumers this way.
Duane Lewis
Sunset Beach