With the US Senate’s republicans’ recent failure over their several attempts to pass their “repeal and replace” Obamacare healthcare bills while providing tax savings for the wealthy, they are not hard at work in their attempts to roll back a July (2017) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule that protects consumers from being denied their day in court. This rule bans most types of mandatory arbitration clauses that have become standard on the multi page contracts that consumers have been forced to sign.
The timing of this maneuver just happens to planned for a week before Wells Fargo and Equifax executives are supposed to testify in court. Both these financial companies have done real harm to their consumers in the form of gross negligence to creating fraudulent accounts.
We the People need to fight back the republican US senators who are planning to enforce these financial companies’ demand that all their customers be forced into an arbitration settlement instead of them being allowed to have their day in court.
“We the people” can help by contacting our US senators to ask them to support consumers rights to sue by not being bound by arbitration clauses as per the July 2017 CFPB rule.
The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE. or U.S. Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress.
TO FAX: Resistbot will do it all for you. Text “RESIST” to 50409 or message Resistbot on Facebook and it will walk you through the steps to fax your Senator and will tell you when your fax has been delivered.
Here is the rest of the story..
On September 27, 2017, Alayna Teene of Axios penned the following report, Democratic leaders fight Senate arbitration vote.
- GOP’s thinking: “By getting this vote out of the way before the hearings, Republicans can avoid gifting financial companies with forced arbitration clauses while Wells Fargo and Equifax execs get grilled in court.”
Quotes from Dem leaders:
- Senate Minorty Leader Chuck Schumer: “We are simply urging our colleagues to say no to immunity to Wells Fargo, Equifax, or anyone else who does such horrible management deeds. We believe in allowing people to sue.”
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Forced arbitration clauses are a nasty surprise buried in the fine print that let credit card companies or big banks cheat people and get away with it. And that’s wrong.”
- Patrick Leahy: “Wells Fargo wouldn’t have gone on as long as they did if they thought people could go after them… [In the end] the average person and the consumer gets hurt, and the CEO still gets millions in salaries every year.”
On September 27, 2017 Kevin Freking of the AP for the Washington Post penned the following report, “Dems wield Equifax, Wells Fargo in fight over arbitration.”
“Democrats determined to stop Republicans from overturning a consumer-oriented rule are using the scandals roiling both companies to hammer the GOP’s efforts. A hack of Equifax’s computer system exposed the sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans. Wells Fargo was fined $100 million by federal regulators for its illegal sales practices in which employees trying to reach unrealistic sales goals opened accounts without customers’ permission.”
“In July (2017), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau decided to ban most types of mandatory arbitration clauses. The clauses require credit card or bank customers to use an arbitrator when they have a dispute rather than sue in court, and the clauses were commonly used by both companies.”
“The House has since voted to block the consumer bureau’s rule. Now the clock is ticking on action by Senate Republicans.”
“These companies did terrible, terrible wrong and they want to prevent consumers from having rights to sue them. That is outrageous,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference Wednesday in the Capitol. “Put simply, we’re urging our Republican colleagues to say no to immunity for Equifax, Wells Fargo or anyone else who does such horrible financial misdeeds.”
“They allow corporate America to take advantage of a shadow justice system,” Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said of the arbitration clauses.
“Banks have strongly opposed banning arbitration clauses.”
“In voting to overturn the rule in late July, House Republicans said the average payout for consumers in financial class-action lawsuits was $32 and attorneys made nearly $1 million.”
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has not scheduled a vote on repealing the rule, but Democratic aides said he is trying to get fellow Republicans on board with repeal of the rule.”
“Whether it is fake accounts at Wells Fargo or a massive data breach at Equifax, recent scandals have demonstrated that consumers need to access the justice system when a big, powerful company opens accounts in their name, without their consent, and leaves them vulnerable to fraud by failing to secure their personal data,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.”