For Immediate Release: May 21, 2015

AAJ Applauds Members of Congress for Urging the CFPB To Stop Forced Arbitration

Contact:
Tanea Jackson
Email:
media.replies@justice.org
Phone:
202-684-9588

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) were joined by 57 Members of Congress in signing a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) urging the Bureau to act swiftly in issuing new rules that would prohibit the use of forced arbitration in disputes over consumer financial services and products.  

“The American Association for Justice is pleased to stand with Sen. Al Franken, Rep. Hank Johnson, and their colleagues in urging the CFPB to end Wall Street’s abusive use of forced arbitration,” AAJ President Lisa Blue said. “For too long, consumers have been denied their right to go to court when they are bullied by powerful financial institutions. We hope that the CFPB will act in the public interest and swiftly issue a rule to ensure that Americans are not subjected to this appalling anti-consumer practice.”

By burying forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of their terms and conditions, financial institutions are able to kick cheated consumers out of court and instead funnel them into a rigged, secretive forum decided by an arbitration company chosen by the bank. In forced arbitration, the arbitrator is not required to follow the law but their decision is almost impossible to appeal.

The CFPB is explicitly empowered by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) to ban or limit the use of forced arbitration in financial services or products after it issues a comprehensive report on the subject. This highly anticipated report was released on March 10, and confirmed what consumer advocates have long known – forced arbitration eliminates Americans’ ability to hold Wall Street accountable when they cheat, steal, or harass their customers. 

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The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and 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