National Arbitration Forum Successfully Sued

Did you know that when you sign a cell phone contract, or agree to the terms and conditions of a credit card account, or take out a consumer loan, or have an issue with your utility company, etc., etc., that you pretty much have no right to sue?

That’s right. When you enter into those agreements you also give up your right to sue and instead agree that an arbitrator will handle any disputes you may have with any one of those entities. Of course, it is all buried in the fine print so no one actually knows that except for perhaps trial lawyers and insomniacs.

Simply by signing on the dotted line you agree that any and all disputes will be handled by an arbitrator and you forgo your right to take legal action. It doesn’t sound all that bad until you understand that the nation’s largest administrators of arbitration in these types of situations has ties, deep undisclosed ties, with the very companies that are involved in the disputes with the consumer.

That means that if you have a problem with your credit card issuer and take him to arbitration, the arbitor already has a pre-existing relationship with that credit card issuer. Doesn’t seem all that fair does it? It pretty much seems as though the deck is stacked against the consumer from the get-go doesn’t?

Well that is what Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson thought as well and the court agreed with her. She successfully brought suit against the National Arbitration Forum, who just happened to be the largest administrator of arbitrations for consumer collections in the United States, and won.

The National Arbitration Forum has agreed to settle the suit and to also stop hearing all consumer arbitrations.

Game, set, match Attorney General Swanson. Chalk one up for the consumer.

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