A consumer watchdog is one step closer to finally preventing big banks, payday lenders and other financial services from blocking class action lawsuits filed by disgruntled consumers. In a statement Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules that would prohibit some financial services companies from including a clause in customer agreements that forces class action legal claims to be handled in arbitration.
Arbitration is a way for corporations to make sure consumers keep their claims out of court and away from the public eye. As a consumer, it’s difficult to avoid agreeing to these clauses because they’re used by the majority of financial products and services — from checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to payday loans and student loan debt — and even if they aren’t, companies can add them to our contracts at any time.
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