Not long after launching in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turned its gaze to the fine print of companies’ contracts with customers — namely, the arbitration clauses that force disputes out of court.
The bureau conducted what many consider the most comprehensive study of arbitration ever done, concluding that the contract terms make it “nearly impossible for people to take companies to court when things go wrong,” as CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. In July 2017, the CFPB finalized a rule banning arbitration agreements that prevent consumers from filing class actions.
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