WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2015 Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement today in response to a proposed amendment scheduled for discussion during today’s markup of the FY 2016 Financial Service and General Government Appropriations Bill by the House Appropriations Committee:
House Republicans are trying to derail the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to reign in forced arbitration clauses that deny all Americans their chance to stand up for their rights in court.
An amendment to an appropriations bill would impose a series of repetitive and unnecessary steps before the Bureau could fulfill its congressional mandate of protecting consumer rights.
As required by the very statute that created the CFPB, the Bureau spent three years studying forced arbitration in consumer financial contracts, and solicited input from all stakeholders, including industry and the general public. This study yielded an exhaustive 728 page report that is comprehensive and clear in its findings: forced arbitration clauses are ubiquitous in the financial services industry, and are effectively used to deny relief to consumers who are defrauded, cheated, or otherwise harmed by large financial institutions.
The proposed amendment would put the brakes on the Bureau’s ability to take action, requiring it to redo the study it just completed, and adding other bureaucratic hurdles that will only further delay justice. Committee members should reject it.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.