Category Archives: Arbitration

Chamber of Commerce complains that consumers subject to companies’ forced arbitration clauses try to arbitrate

After years of advocating that forced arbitration provisions that deprive consumers of the option of filing claims in court and bar consumers from pursuing class actions, the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform is now complaining that consumers are using arbitration too much. Reuters’ article on ILR’s shameless report, with a link to the […]

CFPB’s repeat offenders swindling military borrowers?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in recent actions against entities it calls “repeat offenders” has zeroed in on flagrant violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA), which is meant to safeguard active-duty military members and their families from financial abuses. The MLA has features perfect for military families in search of a loan: it caps […]

CFPB proposes public registry of terms in form contracts

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule to establish a public registry of supervised nonbanks’ terms and conditions in “take it or leave it” form contracts that claim to waive or limit consumer rights and protections, like bankruptcy rights, liability amounts, or complaint rights. In some cases, terms and conditions in non-negotiable form […]

“NYT exposed the ills of forced arbitration. It’s now a company policy.”

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Eric Wemple explains: A 2015 investigative series [by the New York Times] documented how such clauses have become increasingly common in many kinds of contracts, leaving consumers at the mercy of an arbitration regime often predisposed against their interests. Subsequent coverage, on both the news and editorial […]

Tesla buyers forced to arbitrate disputes

The New York Times reports: Until last month, a class-action lawsuit by Tesla owners looked as if it would reveal new details about the carmaker’s self-driving technology, which has been blamed for serious accidents and deaths. But then Tesla deployed a legal strategy that has allowed it to avoid the kind of attention-grabbing lawsuits other […]

CFPB Spring Regulatory Agenda is up and arbitration isn’t on it

by Jeff Sovern As the American Banker's Kate Berry reported (behind a paywall but available on Lexis), the CFPB's Spring Regulatory Agenda has been posted to the OMB's web site, rather than, as has been the Bureau's practice, the CFPB web site. Here it is: Prerule stage – Consumer Access to Financial Records, 3170-AA78 Proposed […]

Some comments on Alan Kaplinsky’s comments on my comments

by Jeff Sovern I am grateful to Alan Kaplinsky for commenting on two of my earlier posts, Whither Arbitration Regulation? and Why the CFPB is right that it can act against discrimination using its unfairness power. One of Alan’s posts is titled Why the CFPB’s expansion of its UDAAP authority to target discrimination requires rulemaking. In the other […]

Whither Arbitration Regulation?

by Jeff Sovern Every six months, the CFPB director testifies before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. Each committee member gets five minutes to question the director, a process that collectively takes hours and this last time covered a wide variety of topics, including topics over which the CFPB lacks power, […]

Lawyer who created use of arbitration clauses to prevent class actions doesn’t read consumer contracts

by Jeff Sovern Probably my favorite podcast is Ballard Spahr's Consumer Finance Monitor Podcast. I learn a tremendous amount from it. Yes, it favors the industry view, as it is certainly entitled to do, but many episodes are devoted to interviewing consumer advocates as well. If you don't listen to it, and you like this […]

Some first thoughts about methodological problems with the Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Study

by Jeff Sovern The Chamber of Commerce has released a study about arbitration. I paste in immediately below the relevant portion of the press release, and then I identify some methodological issues with the study. A new study released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform found that consumers and employees […]