WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act) (H.R. 1423), a bill that would restore the ability of Americans to take their disputes with companies to a real court of law. Specifically, the legislation would prohibit contracts from requiring civil rights, consumer, or employment disputes be settled in arbitration – a process shown to be rigged in favor of powerful companies and against the average American.
Center for Responsible Lending Executive Vice President Debbie Goldstein issued the following statement:
The increasingly pervasive practice of forced arbitration is being used to shut the doors of justice on the American people. Companies have effectively opted themselves out of following the law by using forced arbitration clauses to shut down the most effective means for redress available for people who have been wronged. Today in passing the FAIR Act, the House of Representatives moved to pry back open the doors of justice. The Senate and White House should stop standing in the way by refusing to enact this commonsense, widely supported legislation.
Just looking at the financial services market, a range of companies have used the fine print of contracts to give consumers a raw deal. It has been used to prevent accountability for payday lenders that have overcharged people, for-profit colleges that have defrauded students, and banks that have manipulated the order of debit-card payments in order to trigger overdraft fees.
Americans should once again be able to freely challenge misconduct and have their day in court.
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