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Losing Your Rights in Arbitration

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A study published by the National Consumer Law Center shed new light on the abuses that can arise from forced arbitration.  Arbitration is a process where the parties avoid going to court by using a private process to resolve disputes that would otherwise normally end up in court.  Arbitration is a private process, with lots of secrecy and without many of the most important rights you would have in court.  Unfortunately, many agreements have forced arbitration buried in the fine print of your contract, including credit card agreements, car purchase agreements, bank agreements, phone company agreements and many others.

Millions of consumers have given up their right to have a court resolve any disputes, along with the protections provided by the court.  Instead, the big business gets to choose the arbitrator.  Often, big businesses chose arbitrators that had previously given them what they wanted in such cases.  Simply put, the deck is stacked against consumers in those cases, no matter what the facts are and no matter what the law says.  Once big business wins in arbitration, it is generally very difficult for a court to set that win aside.