In the past decade, more and more evidence has come out to show that fine print traps like forced arbitration clauses in consumer terms and conditions are unfair. That’s because they shield lawbreakers from accountability and strip consumers of their ability to make meaningful choices about how to hold corporations to the law when people are harmed, and block us from taking our cases to a judge and jury.
In other words, these fine print traps strip consumers of the constitutional right to seek accountability and insulate big corporations from accountability by sending all claims into the rigged forced arbitration system that is secretive, biased and lawless.
These restrictive forced arbitration clauses are virtually inescapable because they’re in fine print traps in the terms and conditions for just about everything, including necessities like checking accounts and credit cards.
Most people don’t even know they have agreed to these fine print traps because corporations stick the clauses into lengthy take-it-or-leave-it boilerplate terms and conditions consumers must sign to access even basic financial services.
Consumers have little choice over the fine print in contracts like this in the first place. Even if we did, most people do not realize that these forced arbitration clauses protect lawbreakers and take away your choice of how to seek justice. Opening a simple checking account shouldn’t require the advice of a lawyer.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has the power to rein in or even completely ban the inclusion of forced arbitration in consumer contracts.
Join us in calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to stop fine print traps and to write a rule to rein in forced arbitration in the financial services marketplace by adding your name now.
Please also consider submitting a formal comment at regulations.gov in support of a petition urging the CFPB to require meaningful consent regarding the use of arbitration to resolve disputes involving consumer financial products and services.