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Stop Rollback of the Arbitration Rule – Give Consumers Their Day in Court

July 24, 2017
Consumer Finance
Bill Law

Dear Coalition Supporters,

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its final rule to rein in arbitration abuses and improve access to the judicial system for all consumers. This week, US House and Senate members have introduced Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolutions to overturn this CFPB rule.  We expect the US House to vote on its CRA resolution as early as Tuesday. 

On the Senate side, our NC Senator Thom Tillis is one of the leaders in the attempt to overturn this rule:

“Setting aside the looming questions surrounding the constitutionality, this CFPB rule is a boon to trial attorneys at the expense of American consumers,” said Senator Tillis. “The American people decided this past election that they were fed-up with decisions being made by unelected Washington bureaucrats, and I hope that my colleagues will stand up to this abuse of power by supporting this rule’s rejection under the Congressional Review Act.”  

Actually, forced arbitration is a boon to Wall Street and predatory lenders. And, the CFPB is hardly abusing its powers, since it was explicitly directed by Congress in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to study the effect of forced arbitration on consumers and to ban or limit its harmful use in financial contracts.

If you have opened a bank account or credit card account recently, it is very likely that your contract included an arbitration clause.  These arbitration clauses limit your options if these companies break the law. Wells Fargo’s recent scandal demonstrates the urgent need for this rule. After Wells Fargo set up phony accounts in their customers’ names, the bank repeatedly used forced arbitration to block customers from suing together over these fraudulent accounts. This practice helped the bank hide its misconduct for years. As you might guess, Wells Fargo’s CEO would love to see this CFPB rule overturned.

What Does the CFPB Arbitration Rule Do?
The CFPB’s arbitration rule reins in abuses associated with the widespread use of arbitration to stack the deck against consumers, denying them their day in court by forcing them into an arbitration system that is heavily tilted against them. The rule holds bad financial actors accountable by:

  • Restoring consumers’ right to file and join class action lawsuits, and
  • Bringing transparency to the arbitration process. Now, arbitration proceedings and decisions happen in secret, behind closed doors, keeping illegal activity out of the public eye.  

With this rule, financial companies will be deterred from violating the law, knowing that they might be sued. This levels the playing field for good companies that operate legally. Read more about the rule.

 

Act Today: Call & Tweet Your Representative

  1. Call Your Representative Today and ask them to oppose the House Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the CFPB arbitration rule. Please call the three Democrats first (bolded below), if you are in their district or with a statewide group.

    Don't know who your representative is? Find out here.
    • Rep. G.K. Butterfield, NC-01, 202-225-3101, @GKButterfield
    • Rep. George Holding, NC-02, 202-225-3032, @RepHolding
    • Rep. Walter Jones, Jr., NC-03, 202-225-3415, @RepWalterJones
    • Rep. David Price, NC-04, 202-225-1784, @RepDavidEPrice
    • Rep. Virginia Foxx, NC-05, 202-225-2071, @VirginiaFoxx
    • Rep. Mark Walker, NC-06, 202-225-3065, @RepMarkWalker
    • Rep. David Rouzer, NC-07, 202-225-2731, @RepDavidRouzer
    • Rep. Richard Hudson, NC-08, 202-225-3715, @RepRichHudson
    • Rep. Robert Pittenger, NC-09, 202-225-1976, @RepPittenger
    • Rep. Patrick McHenry, NC-10, 202-225-2576, @PatrickMcHenry
    • Rep. Mark Meadows, NC-11, 202-225-6401, @RepMarkMeadows
    • Rep. Alma Adams, NC-12, 202-225-1510, @RepAdams
    • Rep. Ted Budd, NC-13, 202-225-4531, @RepTedBudd
    Our Message
    "Hello, my name is X and I am calling as a constituent of the Representative (or I am calling from X, an organization with members in the district). I am calling to ask the Representative to OPPOSE the Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the CFPB’s important arbitration rule.

    When banks and other financial companies have done something illegal, they use arbitration to deny consumers their day in court. Instead, they force them into a private arbitration process that is stacked against them, just like Wells Fargo did. These same companies never hesitate to use the courts, which we pay for, when they want to stop consumer protections. In fact, I am sure they will use the courts to challenge this rule. Why should they have access to the courts when we do not? Please give North Carolinians our day in court too.

    Where does the Representative stands on this CRA resolution?  If they don’t know, leave your number so they can call you back.
  2. Call Your Senators Today and ask them to oppose the Senate Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the CFPB arbitration rule. Adapt the message above:
    • Sen. Thom Tillis, 202-224-6342, @senthomtillis
    • Sen. Richard Burr, 202-224-3154, @senatorburr
  3. Tweet at your Senators & Representative: Their Twitter handles are listed above. Also, you can go to @CRLOnline, @LuptonSusan and @chris_kukla and retweet, or contact us if you want sample tweets. Use @CFPB,  #DefendCFPB and #RipoffClause

Thank you so much for all you are doing to be sure that North Carolinians get our day in court.