AAJ Statement on Bank of America’s Announcement That It Will Halt Forced Arbitration

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For Immediate Release: August 13, 2009

Contact: Kyle Murphy or Ray De Lorenzi
202-965-3500, ext. 369

AAJ Statement on Bank of America’s Announcement That It Will Halt Forced Arbitration

Renews Call for Legislation Vital to Protecting Consumers

Washington, DCOn August 13, Bank of America Corp. announced that it would no longer participate in forced arbitration proceedings.  The decision follows the recent settlement between the Minnesota Attorney General and the National Arbitration Forum, in which the NAF agreed to no longer conduct consumer forced arbitrations, and the decision by the American Arbitration Association  to halt debt collection arbitration proceedings pending revised guidelines.  In July, JPMorgan Chase also announced that it would no longer submit consumer disputes for arbitration.

The following is a statement from American Association for Justice Associate Director of Federal Relations Julia Duncan:

“While the decision by Bank of America to no longer rely on forced arbitration in consumer disputes is a positive step, it’s clear that Congress must intervene to protect consumers.  Forced arbitration clauses are buried in the fine print of everything from credit card and cell phone contracts to employee handbooks and nursing home agreements.  These clauses eliminate Americans’ access to the courts, forcing them instead into a private system set up by corporations to favor corporations.  That is why Congress must pass the Arbitration Fairness Act and prohibit this abusive practice.”

To learn more about abusive forced arbitration clauses, visit www.justice.org/forcedarbitration

As the world's largest trial bar, the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) works to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. Visit http://www.justice.org/newsroom.

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