Home > News & Reports
Attorney General Mills urges Congress to protect legal rights of victimized consumers
July 28, 2017
AUGUSTA – Attorney General Janet T. Mills is urging U.S. Senate leaders not to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Arbitration Rule, which stops companies from forcing consumers to sign away their legal rights.
The House recently passed a Joint Resolution of Disapproval that would set aside the CFPB’s rule under the Congressional Review Act. The attorneys general are asking the Senate to oppose that resolution and support consumers’ rights to go to court to assert their claims against financial institutions.
The letter was sent today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
“The CFPB’s Arbitration Rule would deliver essential relief to consumers, hold financial services companies accountable for their misconduct, and provide ordinary consumers with meaningful access to the civil justice system,” the letter states.
Last year a coalition of attorneys general, including Attorney General Mills, sent a multistate letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray supporting the CFPB’s rulemaking and calling for the restoration of these protections for consumers.
Restrictions on participation in class action cases are routinely inserted by financial institutions into contracts for financial products such as credit cards, payday loans, and checking accounts. Many consumers enter contracts without being aware that they are relinquishing significant rights, including their rights in court.
“No one individual goes to court over $25, but if a business is unfairly skimming $25 from thousands of individuals, they should have the right to band together in a class action law suit,” said Attorney General Mills. “The CFPB rule is an important step in leveling the playing field for consumers and the Senate should reject any effort to undo the rule.”
The states that participated in this letter include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia and Hawaii’s Office of Consumer Protection.
AG joins coalition of State Attorneys General in letter to U.S. Senate Leadership urging US Senate to keep the CFPB Arbitration Rule