Forced arbitration’s harmful impact on servicemembers

The New York Times reports today on financial companies' use of forced arbitration provisions to eliminate servicemembers' rights.

Over the years, Congress has given service members a number of protections — some dating to the Civil War — from repossessions and foreclosures.

Efforts to maintain that special status for service members has run into resistance from the financial industry, including many of the same banks that promote the work they do for veterans. While using mandatory arbitration, some companies repeatedly violate the federal protections, leaving troops and their families vulnerable to predatory lending, the military lawyers and government officials say.

“Mandatory arbitration threatens to take these laws and basically tear them up,” said Col. John S. Odom Jr., a retired Air Force lawyer now in private practice in Shreveport, La.

The full article is here.

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