Arbitration Expert & Professor Jean Sternlight: Consumer bureau’s new rule will better protect consumers from the abusive financial companies

Here.  Excerpt:

Focusing, for example, on cases involving unlawful check bouncing charges, the bureau [study] found that class actions brought on this issue alone allowed millions of financial consumers to recover nearly $1 billion of damages as well as important non-monetary relief, all of which deters future legal violations.

By contrast, the bureau learned that consumers who have been defrauded by excessive check bouncing fees or other similar financial misconduct are not likely to know that they have been harmed, even less likely to realize that the harm was illegal, and certainly not likely to try to bring an individual arbitration claim over quite a small amount of money. This, together with the fact that federal and state investigative agencies are typically underfunded, is why class actions remain a critically important means of enforcing our laws.

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