Banking & Credit

CFA Decries Senate Vote Taking Away Consumer Right to Join Together and Access Courts

Washington, D.C.—Tuesday night, the Senate, in an instant, repealed a common sense consumer protection that was years in the making and the result of a comprehensive and voluminous study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that showed that forcing consumers out of courts and into arbitration was not good for consumers.

“Ignoring the pleas of the representatives of consumers, and military families, 50 senators and the Vice President of the United States voted, in the dead of night, to take away Americans’ right to join together and access the court system when they have been taken advantage of,” said Michael Best, Director of Advocacy Outreach at Consumer Federation of America.

During the floor debate, senators who support the right of consumers to join together and access the courts noted the many representative organizations that wanted to maintain access to the courts including the American Legion whose Legislative Director sent a letter stating, in part, that “a vote to overturn the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau arbitration rule is a vote against our military and veterans.”  That 50 senators and the Vice President of the United States saw fit to either ignore or embrace that statement is shocking.

“This vote is a devastating blow to consumers,” stated Best. “The Senate has taken away a critically important right, leaving consumers to fend for themselves when they are faced with crises in the financial services industry ranging from the Wells Fargo Scandal to the Equifax scandal,” Best stated.

“The president can return consumer’s access to the courts as swiftly as the senate took it away by vetoing this resolution, and the Consumer Federation of America urges him to do so,” concluded Best.

Contact: Michael Best, 202-939-1009

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.