Adam Fagen

Financial Regulators Race To Finish New Rules, But Congress Can Still Try To Roll Them Back

The wheels of government turn slowly, especially when it comes to rulemaking — the process by which a federal agency proposes, drafts, and finalizes new rules. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for this process, but with the incoming Trump administration giving every indication of having a light-touch on regulation, financial regulators have reportedly kicked things into high gear to finish up pending rules in the next two months, even though Congress may be able to roll them back. [More]

More Companies Turn To Mandatory Arbitration: CreditKarma, Redbox, Kitty Bed Maker

More Companies Turn To Mandatory Arbitration: CreditKarma, Redbox, Kitty Bed Maker

People in a wide variety of circumstances, from drivers signing up to work for Uber to senior citizens entering a nursing home, sign mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Two popular online services have recently started to require that customer disputes go to arbitration, and a reader sent along a product purchased online — a cat bed — that came with a arbitration agreement of its own. [More]

Nursing Home Industry Files Lawsuit To Keep Preventing Patients From Filing Lawsuits

Nursing Home Industry Files Lawsuit To Keep Preventing Patients From Filing Lawsuits

Last month, the federal government issued new rules for nursing homes, barring most long-term care facilities from using forced arbitration agreements to stop new residents from filing lawsuits against the homes. Now nursing home operators and industry trade groups are challenging that rule by doing the one thing they want to prevent their patients from doing: going to court. [More]

New Rule Will Stop Many Nursing Homes From Stripping Residents Of Their Right To Sue

Freaktography

As we’ve written about previously, some nursing homes and other long-term care facilities use forced arbitration contracts to prevent their residents bringing a legal action against the home in a court of law. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule that will prohibit long-term care facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid from forcing residents into arbitration. [More]

Lawyer: Employers Should Take Away Workers’ Right To Sue; Arbitrators “Know Where Their Bread & Butter Comes From”

SarahMcGowen

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently working on rules to stop banks, credit card issuers, and others from forcing customers to sign away their right to a jury trial. Opponents claim that this change will only benefit trial lawyers, but some candid advice from one lawyer shows exactly why these protections are needed — and who really stands to benefit. [More]

photographynatalia

House Passes Bill Allowing Banks To Continue Using “Get Out Of Jail Free” Card

A few months back, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed new rules that would limit how banks, credit card companies, and other financial services could shield themselves from legitimate lawsuits by forcing customers to sign away their constitutional rights. Now, the House of Representatives has passed an appropriations bill that, if signed, would stop the CFPB from enforcing these rules and give banks back their “get out of jail free” cards. [More]

Adam Fagen

Lawsuit Against For-Profit Sanford Brown Institute Moves Forward, Despite Arbitration Clause

The highest court in New Jersey has ruled that a lawsuit filed by former students against for-profit educator Sanford Brown Institute can move forward, even though the school’s enrollment agreement has an arbitration clause that takes away students’ right to file such lawsuits.  [More]

Alan Rappa

Amazon Goes After Third-Party Sellers For Buying, Creating Fake Reviews

Months after filing several lawsuits to block companies from selling fraudulent positive reviews on its site, Amazon is now turning its focus to those that purchase the fake reviews, taking action against one company and two individuals who sell on the e-commerce site.  [More]

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

If you wanted to get an idea on the ridiculous overuse of forced arbitration, here’s one of the more absurd examples we’ve seen — a weight-loss supplement with the added non-benefit of stripping users of their right to sue the company that made the pills. [More]

Molly

Reminder: You Should Opt Out Of Starbucks Card Mandatory Arbitration Now. Here’s How

This week, the new terms and conditions for Starbucks cards — the gift and stored-value cards that you can use to rack up rewards in their newly revamped reward program — went into effect. That means existing users have until May 12 to opt out of the chain’s normal requirement that card users waive their right to sue the company. [More]

Are You Unintentionally Signing Away Your Elderly Parents’ Right To Sue Their Nursing Home?

Are You Unintentionally Signing Away Your Elderly Parents’ Right To Sue Their Nursing Home?

When an elderly parent is no longer able to make sensible medical decisions for themselves, an adult child is often named a medical proxy to handle these important calls. But does this life-or-death authority over a parent’s medical care carry over to things like signing legally binding contracts, and possible signing away your, or your parent’s, right so sue their nursing home? [More]

Adam Fagen

Got A Fitbit Or Other Gadget For Christmas? It’s Time To Opt Out Of Mandatory Arbitration!

Customers have filed a class action suit against Fitbit, claiming that the company’s Charge HR and Surge fitness bands don’t accurately measure users’ heart rate during vigorous exercise. We’ll keep an eye on the lawsuit and let you know if it goes anywhere, but it probably won’t, and that’s what got our attention. The users filed a class action against Fitbit despite signing (well, clicking) away their right to do so when they registered their devices. [More]

Debt Collectors Can Sue You, But Court Might Not Let You Sue Debt Collector Back

Debt Collectors Can Sue You, But Court Might Not Let You Sue Debt Collector Back

A new report claims that a growing number of debt collectors are trying to exploit a legal loophole that allows them to bring potentially frivolous lawsuits against alleged debtors, but bars those defendants from bringing their own legal action against the debt collector. [More]

Strippers Say They Were Forced To Give Up Their Right To Sue Club

Just one of 18 clauses in the arbitration agreement that some dancers say they were made to sign by the Atlanta club.

If your employer does something illegal, you have the right to sue them in a court of law. But a group of strip club dancers in Atlanta say they were forced to sign away that right — or lose their jobs. [More]

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

This morning, after months of slapping on, then removing, then replacing pork barrel riders on the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, we finally know exactly which add-ons made it into the omnibus spending bill and which ones didn’t. [More]

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

For the third time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to reverse a terrifying trend in consumer rights by doing something, anything, to rein in “forced arbitration” clauses that strip consumers of their legal rights and effectively give companies a license to steal. And for the third time in five years, the SCOTUS majority showed its interests lie in protecting the coffers of big business rather than Americans’ access to the legal system. [More]

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Nestled deep in the text of the lengthy contracts for most credit cards and bank accounts are little clauses that not only prohibit harmed customers from suing their bank or card issuer, but also prevents them from banding together with similarly injured consumers to argue their dispute as a group. In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it would consider limits on these clauses, but now the banking industry is trying to use its leverage with D.C. lawmakers to shut down that process. [More]

12 Things We Learned From The New York Times’ Investigative Report On Arbitration

12 Things We Learned From The New York Times’ Investigative Report On Arbitration

Consumerist’s first post on the subject of arbitration, back in 2007, described a dispute that was ultimately resolved in the consumer’s favor. Since then, we’ve been against the practice, pointing out when popular companies change their terms of service to add arbitration clauses. It doesn’t matter, though, because arbitration can save companies so much money that they don’t especially care what we think. Sometimes. [More]