Mandatory Arbitration Sucks

CFPB May Eliminate Mandatory Binding Arbitration

Mandatory binding arbitration sucks, but most of us have agreed to it in numerous consumer contracts, especially with banks, credit card companies, payday lenders, etc. What mandatory binding arbitration means is that if you try to sue your credit card company for, say, reordering transactions to maximize overdraft fees, the company can pull you out of court and force you into private arbitration with no option to certify a class action.

It’s a rotten deal, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reportedly considering a ban on mandatory binding arbitration provisions in at least some consumer contracts.

Keep Reading »

PayPal Puts the Kibosh on Class Actions

PayPal is the latest to join a growing list of companies (including eBay) who want to keep consumers out of courts and class actions. You can opt out of mandatory binding arbitration, at least, but you’ll be stuck with the class action ban either way. Opting out is not easy. Here’s what you have to do:

You can choose to reject this Agreement to Arbitrate (“opt out”) by mailing us a written opt-out notice (“Opt-Out Notice”). For new PayPal users, the Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than 30 Days after the date you accept the User Agreement for the first time. If you are already a current PayPal user and previously accepted the User Agreement prior to the introduction of this Agreement to Arbitrate, the Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2012. You must mail the Opt-Out Notice to PayPal, Inc., Attn: Litigation Department, 2211 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131.

Bank of America Drops Mandatory Arbitration Clause

Bank of America just announced that it will no longer require consumers to arbitrate disputes concerning credit cards and other consumer accounts. Great news! The collapse of pre-dispute, mandatory binding arbitration continues. Hopefully other credit grantors will follow suit.

Bank of America ends arbitration of card disputes | Reuters

Credit CARD Act goes far beyond the Fed’s credit card regs

According to an editorial in last Friday’s Washington Post,  the credit card bill that the President signed into law that afternoon “isn’t really needed” because it is “awfully similar” to the regulations on credit cards that were issued by the Federal Reserve last December.


In fact, the new law is remarkably broader and stronger than the regulations adopted by the Fed.  The changes happened in three stages. First, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill stronger than those regulations; second, the full House, responding to a high-profile intervention by the President, approved a bill stronger that the one that emerged from its committee; and third, the Senate approved a bill that was stronger still. Keep Reading »

Forced Arbitration: You Can’t Sue Us For Discrimination

Why you should support the Arbitration Fairness Act. Forced Arbitration: You Can’t Sue Us For Discrimination | Consumerist

Today Is Arbitration Fairness Day!

Call your representatives and tell them mandatory binding arbitration sucks! Today Is Arbitration Fairness Day! | Consumer Law & Policy Blog

Mandatory Binding Arbitration: The Worst Choose Your Own Adventure Ever

This is one of the best-executed blog posts, ever, about arbitration or anything else. Mandatory Binding Arbitration: The Worst Choose Your Own Adventure Ever | Consumerist

Minnesota Courts to Stop Handling Debt Collection Lawsuits?

Possibly, along with other “low-importance” cases like shoplifting, traffic violations, trespassing, and small claims, if the legislature delivers the 10% cut to court funding that it has suggested it will. Minnesota courts have been short-staffed and under-funded for years, and further cuts could mean that the judicial system starts to shut down some services.

While I am tempted to crow victory at the elimination of debt collection lawsuits, along with so many other low-level cases and offenses, I think the underlying reason—the funding cut—is irresponsible on the part of the legislature. Without three functioning arms of government, how can it govern? The legislature will cut back on stamps, but the courts will lose 10% on top of the cuts it has been taking for years?

And where will collections go? Why, to the National Arbitration Forum, I would bet. Bad news for consumers, in the end.

Justice: An Obligation, Not An Option | Minnesota Judicial Branch

It’s a wonderful mortgage crisis

Newsweek analyzes the mortgage crisis though the lens of my favorite holiday movie.  For those who don’t know the story, Frank Capra’s masterpiece is a film about overcoming greed through the power of friendship (with a little help from spirituality), family and love.

I wish I had a million dollars – hot dog!

It’s A Wonderful Mortgage Crisis | Newsweek

Profiles in bankruptcy: Abraham Lincoln

Brad Perri is a Minnesota bankruptcy lawyer who will be guest blogging at Caveat Emptor from September 29th through October 10th.

Welcome to another installment in Profiles in Bankruptcy!

Today’s vignette finds us in a grocery store on the prairie where a young man has invested himself in becoming a grocer.

Unfortunately, this young man doesn’t quite have the necessary acumen to be a grocer and he plummets into bankruptcy.

But as we all should know by now and as T.S. Eliot teaches us (I paraphrase):  “In the end is my beginning,” or something to that effect, or at least those words in a different order.  The end of this young man’s life in groceries gave birth to his start in his new career:  lawyering.  As a lawyer, he himself began to represent bankrupts.  Eventually, his representation of the little guy served him well in a political career that saw him rise to the Presidency of the United States where he preserved the Union and freed the slaves.

Keep Reading »