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Category Archives: Arbitration

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Democratic Senators introduce bill to limit use of arbitration agreements

Posted in Arbitration

Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and several other Democratic Senators have cosponsored a bill that would place new limits on the use of arbitration agreements.  According to Senator Leahy’s press release, the “Restoring Statutory Rights and Interests of the States Act of 2016,” responds to the New York Times’ publication last November of a series of… More >

Alan Kaplinsky and Professor Sovern: the arbitration debate continues

Posted in Arbitration

In a new American Banker article, Alan Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, responded to an article by Professor Jeff Sovern that called into question Alan’s prediction that the CFPB’s proposed plan to ban class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements will cause companies to abandon arbitration completely. In the article,… More >

NY Times publishes another article on arbitration

Posted in Arbitration

This past Sunday, the NY Times published an article carrying the headline, “Efforts to Rein in Arbitration Come Under Well-Financed Attack.”  The “well-financed attack” to which the headline refers appears to be an advertisement critical of the CFPB that ran during last week’s Republican presidential debate and recent efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce… More >

More criticism for NY Times arbitration stance in Forbes article

Posted in Arbitration

Daniel Fisher of Forbes has written another article criticizing the NY Times for its stance on arbitration.  Last week, Mr. Fisher criticized the first article in the Times’ three-part series on arbitration for disregarding the many negative aspects of class action litigation.  (Alan Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, was quoted… More >

More criticism of NY Times arbitration articles from U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Posted in Arbitration

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued further criticism of the recent articles on arbitration published in the New York Times.  The Chamber’s initial comments focused on the Times’ first article in which Alan Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, was quoted extensively.  In its latest comments, the Chamber discusses how… More >

U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticizes NY Times arbitration articles

Posted in Arbitration

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued strong criticism of the first two articles on arbitration published in the New York Times this past Sunday and earlier this week.  (The articles were part of a series of three reports.)  Alan Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, was quoted extensively in the first article. … More >

New York Times article omits critical pro-arbitration facts

Posted in Arbitration

An article on consumer arbitration in this week’s Sunday New York Times concludes that “[b]y inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies … devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action.”  Unfortunately, the Times article (in which I’m quoted extensively and… More >

Update on arbitration SBREFA panel

Posted in Arbitration

The CFPB has now taken two more significant steps towards issuing a proposed arbitration rule. On October 20, 2015, the CFPB convened its Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel to review the proposals it is considering for regulating the use of arbitration agreements in certain consumer financial services contracts.  (The panel members are the… More >

Video of October 7 CFPB arbitration field hearing now available

Posted in Arbitration, CFPB Rulemaking

On October 7, 2015, the CFPB held a field hearing on arbitration.  At the hearing, Alan S. Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, at the invitation of the CFPB, presented the industry’s perspective on arbitration agreements. The CFPB recently released a video of the field hearing.  Alan’s remarks can be found at… More >

Our thoughts on Director Cordray’s arbitration comments to the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board

Posted in Arbitration

In his remarks today to the CFPB’s Consumer Advisory Board, Director Cordray denigrated arbitration agreements as a “free pass” that allows companies to “sidestep the legal system, avoid big refunds, and continue to pursue profitable practices that may violate the law and harm consumers on a large scale.”  He also repeated the CFPB’s claim that… More >

Responding to Professor Sovern: how Dodd-Frank Section 1028 limits the CFPB’s power to regulate arbitration agreements

Posted in Arbitration

In a blog post earlier this week, Professor Jeff Sovern took issue with statements made by a legal expert that suggest an amendment to the Federal Arbitration Act would be necessary for the CFPB to ban class action waivers in arbitration agreements.  Regardless of whether Professor Sovern is correct, proponents of a class action waiver… More >

Arbitration SBREFA panel to convene next week

Posted in Arbitration, CFPB Rulemaking

Last week, the CFPB released an outline of the proposals it is considering for regulating the use of arbitration agreements in anticipation of convening a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel.  As described in more detail in our legal alert, the proposals would ban companies from including arbitration clauses that block class action… More >

CFPB Consumer Advisory Board to discuss arbitration at October 22 meeting

Posted in Arbitration

The CFPB has announced that its Consumer Advisory Board will meet on October 22, 2015 in Washington, D.C.  The meeting, at which Director Cordray is scheduled to give opening remarks, will include a discussion of arbitration, trends and themes in the marketplace, and reaching limited English speaking consumers. According to the meeting agenda, the arbitration… More >

CFPB Proposes Ban on Class Action Waivers

Posted in Arbitration

Today, the CFPB announced at a field hearing in Denver, Colorado that it is considering proposing rules that would prohibit consumer financial services companies from using class action waivers in consumer arbitration clauses.   The CFPB has published an outline of its proposals in preparation for convening a Small Business Review Panel to gather feedback from… More >

Director Corday testifies before House Committee on Financial Services

Posted in Arbitration, Auto Finance, CFPB General, Mortgages, Payday Lending, TILA / RESPA

On Wednesday, September 29, CFPB Director Richard Cordray appeared before the House Committee on Financial Services to answer questions regarding the Bureau’s activities since March. Director Cordray used his introductory remarks to highlight the expansion of the marketplace for consumer credit over the last year. He specifically noted increases in home mortgage lending, auto loan origination… More >

Director Cordray to testify tomorrow before House Committee on Financial Services

Posted in Arbitration, Auto Finance, CFPB General, Fair Lending, TILA / RESPA

On Tuesday, September 29, Director Cordray will testify once again before the House Committee on Financial Services at 10 am.   The Hearing is entitled “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection”. While I’m not expecting Director Cordray ‘s prepared remarks to announce any new development, it seems likely that he’ll be… More >

CFPB schedules October 7 field hearing on arbitration; Alan Kaplinsky to represent industry

Posted in Arbitration

The CFPB has announced that it will hold a field hearing about arbitration in Denver, Colorado on October 7, 2015 and has asked Alan Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, to represent industry at the hearing. As the CFPB typically uses field hearings as the venue for announcing new developments, we… More >

Setting the Record Straighter

Posted in Arbitration

Recently, Professor Jeff Sovern sent an email to the editor of the Consumer Financial Services Law Report commenting on an article we published in the August 9, 2015 issue of the Report titled, “CFPB Makes Consumer Arbitration a Numbers Game – and the Numbers Overwhelmingly Support Consumer Arbitration.” In that article (as well as in… More >

Noted Scholars Critique the CFPB’s Arbitration Study and Find It Lacking

Posted in Arbitration

We have previously blogged about the comment letter concerning the CFPB’s March 10, 2015 Study on consumer arbitration that we submitted to the CFPB on behalf of the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable. That comment letter was highly critical of the conclusions drawn by the CFPB from its own… More >

Professor Sovern’s comments about CFPB arbitration study numbers don’t add up

Posted in Arbitration

In a recent blog post, Professor Jeff Sovern responded to our blog post indicating that the CFPB’s March 10, 2014 Arbitration Study strongly supports the industry’s view that consumers fare better in arbitration than litigation in general and class actions in particular.  Among other things, we showed that consumers who prevailed in arbitration recovered an average of $5,389, compared… More >

Director Cordray appears before Senate Banking Committee

Posted in Arbitration, CFPB General, Military Issues, Mortgages, Payday Lending

On Wednesday, July 15, CFPB Director Richard Cordray appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs to answer questions regarding the Bureau’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress and the President, which it published on June 15, 2015. Dir. Cordray observed that during the six month period covered by the report, from October 2014 through… More >

Trade groups comment on CFPB final arbitration study results

Posted in Arbitration

The American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable (Associations) have filed a joint letter commenting on the final results of the CFPB’s arbitration study released in March 2015.  Ballard Spahr served as counsel to the Associations in preparing the comment letter. Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB… More >

Video of CFPB arbitration field hearing now available

Posted in Arbitration, CFPB Rulemaking

On March 10, 2015, the CFPB held a field hearing on arbitration.  At the hearing, Alan S. Kaplinsky, Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, presented the industry’s perspective on arbitration agreements. (The hearing coincided with the CFPB’s release of the final results of its consumer arbitration study as mandated by Section 1028… More >

New empirical study of AAA arbitrations is a study in contradictions

Posted in Arbitration

A new empirical study of approximately 5,000 American Arbitration Association (AAA) consumer arbitrations conducted between 2009 and 2013 purports to find a “repeat player” effect favoring companies that previous researchers, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) itself, have not discerned.  In an article to be published later this year in the Georgetown Law Journal,… More >