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Senate Leadership Pushing to Give Equifax and Wells Fargo Immunity

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Melissa Stegman

News Report Indicates Senate Might Vote Imminently to Take Away Consumers’ Right to Sue Financial Companies for Wrongdoing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As reported by Politico, the “Senate GOP leadership is considering holding a vote later this week on legislation that would block a CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] rule prohibiting banks and credit card companies from forcing their customers into arbitration during disputes, sources familiar with the matter said."

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Melissa Stegman issued the following statement:

Equifax, Wells Fargo, and other financial companies have used forced arbitration to deny Americans their day in court and to get away with cheating consumers.

That Senate Leadership is considering a 'Get Out of Jail Free card' for Equifax and Wells Fargo – a week before their CEOs testify before Congress and while attention is on the health care debate – shows remarkable gall and a blatant disregard for Americans' legal rights and financial wellbeing.

According to the CFPB’s extensive study of disputes with financial companies, in the average year, even with all the restrictions on class action suits, at least 6.8 million consumers get a total of at least $440 million in class actions – after deducting attorneys’ fees and court costs; by contrast, arbitrations result in 16 consumers receiving a total of $86,216.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Matthew Kravitz at matthew.kravitz@responsiblelending.org or 202-349-1859.