USAA: Opt-Out Of Mandatory Binding Arbitration By Closing Your Account

USAA: Opt-Out Of Mandatory Binding Arbitration By Closing Your Account

The “credit union on steroids” has gone to mandatory binding arbitration for all disputes, removing customers’ ability to successfully sue them if things go wrong. Previously, USAA had arbitration as an option, but allowed members to opt out. Now, if you want to opt out of arbitration, you’ll have to close your accounts.

Bank Of America Leaves Mandatory Arbitration Behind

Bank Of America Leaves Mandatory Arbitration Behind

Another bank is ending mandatory arbitration for their customers. Not just any bank, either—it’s Bank of America!

Arbitration May Be Dead, But Courts Offer Imperfect Alternative

Arbitration May Be Dead, But Courts Offer Imperfect Alternative

Last month, the Minnesota Attorney General brought an oppressive arbitration regime to its knees. Nation Arbitration Forum handled over 200,000 arbitrations per year. But many of those cases will end up in the 50 states’ district courts, where consumers may fare no better.

Credit Card Arbitration Cabal Implodes

Credit Card Arbitration Cabal Implodes

The arbitration rollback continues apace! Last Thursday, JPMorgan Chase announced it won’t send disputes to arbitration and is rethinking putting the clauses in its consumer contracts. Coming on the heels of news that NAF and AAA will stop arbitrating consumer credit card disputes, Creditcards.com wrote, “Two more supporting beams have crumbled and now, with astonishing speed, the entire edifice of the mandatory credit card arbitration system is collapsing.”

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Just days after the National Arbitration Forum agreed to stop arbitrating consumer credit card disputes, the American Arbitration Association has decided to do the same. This is good, but passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act is still necessary.

Minnesota Attorney General Punches National Arbitration Forum In The Face

Minnesota Attorney General Punches National Arbitration Forum In The Face

Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against the National Arbitration Forum, alleging fraud, false advertising, and deceptive trade practices.

Thomas Kinkade, Painter Of Crap, Must Pay $2.1 Million To Former Gallery Owners

Thomas Kinkade, Painter Of Crap, Must Pay $2.1 Million To Former Gallery Owners

Thomas Kinkade calls himself the “Painter of Light,” and allegedly uses his “faith” to lure in investors to his gallery business. Now two former gallery owners have won a judgment from Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that forces Kinkade to abide by a 2007 arbitration decision that awarded the former owners $860,000 in damages and more than $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees and arbitration expenses. Ouchy.

Arbitration Fairness Act On "All Things Considered"

Arbitration Fairness Act On "All Things Considered"

The perils of forced arbitration and the need for the Arbitration Fairness Act were recently featured on an NPR piece. The story discusses the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, the former Halliburton employee who was gang raped in Iraq by her coworkers, then was sent to arbitration when she tried to sue her employer.

http://consumerist.com/2009/05/05/the-house-subcommittee-on-commercial/

The House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law is currently holding a hearing on forced arbitration and credit cards, appropriately titled “Federal Arbitration Act: Is the Credit Card Industry Using It To Quash Legal Claims?” Our friends at Public Citizen will be testifying. You can view (or at least listen to) the Real Player stream here.

Forced Arbitration: You Can't Sue Us For Discrimination

Forced Arbitration: You Can't Sue Us For Discrimination

Besides banning forced arbitration in consumer and franchise contracts, the Arbitration Fairness Act bans mandatory binding arbitration clauses in employment contracts. John’s story illustrates why this is necessary, inside.

"We Build In Middle Class Neighborhoods Because You Can't Afford To Fight Us"

"We Build In Middle Class Neighborhoods Because You Can't Afford To Fight Us"

Meet Michelle. We met Michelle at Arbitration Fairness Day and she told us about being forced into arbitration when she tried to get her poorly constructed home repaired. Now she’d like to share her story with you.

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Mandatory binding arbitration, which corporations use to dodge accountability for their discrimination, negligence, or harassment, is a caricature of justice that offers no protection to consumers or employees. It’s also terrible for small business owners, as one couple found out.

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

We at Consumerist really hate mandatory binding arbitration, the faux-legal sucker punch that companies deliver when they screw up and you try to sue, and so should you. We’ve talked about its evils a lot, but no one can describe this legal abomination as well as the victims themselves, so this week we’ll let them speak.

Supreme Court Rules For Injured Consumer In Big Pharma Case

Supreme Court Rules For Injured Consumer In Big Pharma Case

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Diana Levine in Wyeth v. Levine. Levine, a musician, had her arm amputated when an anti-nausea drug was improperly administered in her artery, and sued the manufacturer for failing to warn of the risks on the drug’s label. Wyeth claimed that her case was pre-empted by federal law.

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Isn't Just Bad For Consumers, It's Bad For Small Businesses

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Isn't Just Bad For Consumers, It's Bad For Small Businesses

Mother Jones has an excellent writeup of Deborah Williams and Richard Welshans, the Maryland couple whose horrific experience with franchising a Coffee Beanery we’ve covered before. Inside, MoJo breaks down the arbitration award to show just how much more expensive arbitration is than litigation.

The Arbitration Fairness Act Is In The House

The Arbitration Fairness Act Is In The House

The Arbitration Fairness Act, which will ban binding mandatory arbitration clauses from consumer, employment, and franchise contracts, was reintroduced in the House yesterday.

Mandatory Binding Arbitration: The Worst Choose Your Own Adventure Ever

Mandatory Binding Arbitration: The Worst Choose Your Own Adventure Ever

Mandatory binding arbitration agreements are bad for consumers for so many reasons that, unless you’re the victim of one, it’s hard to keep track of the various ways you can be screwed. So we’ve come up with this helpful illustration: a choose-your-own-adventure-styled trip through the arbitration process.

Old Man Sues Ripoff Dealership, Wins $41,679+

Justice has finally been served to the senior citizen who was not only ripped off on his trade-in vehicle (which is, frankly, to be expected), the dealership also got him to hand over his ATM card and just straight up stole $2000 from his bank account.