The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 13 banking and business associations have filed a federal lawsuit in a Dallas challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s so-called arbitration rule that prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in disputes between consumers and providers of financial products.
The CFPB issued the new rule this year as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as a way of cracking down on the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in contracts for specified consumer financial services.
Banking and financial groups have long opposed the rule, believing it will lead to lengthy and expensive litigation.
“Plaintiffs bring this action to challenge the constitutionality and legality of the CFPB’s recently issued [arbitration rule] that effectively precludes the use of arbitration agreements in disputes between consumer services, instead rending class action litigation the default means of resolving such disputes,” according to the Sept. 29 complaint, which requests injunctive relief and argues the new rule should be set aside.
The U.S. Chamber’s complaint also argues that long-standing federal policy under the Federal Arbitration Act favors arbitration and the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that policy.
“Its benefits are manifold: unlike litigation, arbitration minimizes transaction costs and facilitates speedy and efficient dispute resolution, providing significant advantages to consumers and the public at large,” the complaint alleges. “Arbitration gives consumers the ability to bring claims that they could not realistically assert in court, including the small and individualized claims that they care most about.”
Charles S. Kelley, a partner in the Houston office of Mayer Brown who represents the U.S. Chamber in the case, did not immediately return a call for comment.