Arbitration Agreements

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Challenges CFPB Rule Immunizing Class Actions from Arbitration Clauses

On September 29, 2017, the United States Chamber of Commerce and various business and financial services groups (collectively, Plaintiffs) filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging that—for four independent reasons—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recently-issued…

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CFPB Finalizes Arbitration Rule, Paving the Way for More Class Action Litigation

On July 10, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the release of its anticipated Arbitration Rule, opening the door for more consumer class actions against financial institutions concerning financial products and services.  Many consumer contracts, such as credit card and bank agreements, contain mandatory arbitration clauses.  These clauses…

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Eleventh Circuit Invalidates Another Western Sky Arbitration Clause

On August 29, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a Northern District of Georgia decision invalidating an arbitration clause in Jessica Parm v. National Bank of California, N.A. (Docket No. 15-12509).  Defendant National Bank of California (National Bank) argued that plaintiff Jessica Parm’s (Parm) payday loan contract compelled her to arbitrate…

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CFPB Releases 2016 Rulemaking Agenda

On May 18, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced its Spring 2016 Rulemaking Agenda, setting forth its current initiatives. In its latest installment of the semi-annual update, the Bureau highlighted its recent (or imminent) activity in several high-profile areas, including arbitration and payday lending.  Below are highlights of…

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Arbitration Clauses Cannot be Used as a Vehicle to Evade Liability Under Federal Consumer Protection Statutes

On March 1, 2016, the Fourth Circuit refused to re-hear a February 2, 2016, decision in Hayes v. Delbert Services Corporation (Docket No. 15-1170).  In that decision, the Fourth Circuit reversed an Eastern District of Virginia’s decision upholding an arbitration clause on the ground that the clause was, in actuality,…

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Supreme Court Again Confirms That Class Action Arbitration Waivers Are Valid, Even In California

Facing yet another issue involving the arbitration of consumer disputes, the United States Supreme Court on December 14, 2015 held that a class action waiver clause was valid even when the contract incorporated state law standards that would have voided the waiver. The decision continued the Court’s trend toward enforcement…

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Class-Action Waivers on the CFPB Chopping Block

Earlier this month, the CFPB announced that it may propose rules designed to curtail or eliminate class-action waivers from arbitration clauses. Arbitration clauses appear in most financial-services contracts to provide both parties with a cheaper alternative to litigation. Dubbing such clauses “a free pass [to] sidestep the legal system, avoid…

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CFPB Finds Arbitration Agreements Limit Consumer Redress

On March 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its Arbitration Study, which concludes that arbitration agreements in contracts associated with consumer financial products constrain consumers’ ability to assert their rights if a dispute arises.  The study, which the CFPB was directed to carry out under Section 1028(a)…

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Ninth Circuit Ruling on Customer Agreements Affects Ability to Arbitrate TCPA and FDCPA Claims

On November 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s order dismissing and directing to arbitration a putative nationwide class action alleging Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations, finding that the Customer Agreement containing the arbitration clause was unenforceable for lack of mutual assent.  Knutson v. Sirius XM Radio…

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