Veterans Blindsided by Repossession, Forced Arbitration by Banks, Lenders and More
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on Mar 18, 2015 in Firm News
Since the Civil War, Congress has extended special considerations to service members which include a number of protections from foreclosures and repossessions. The notion that the men and women who fight for our country ought not to have surprise issues at home is not a complicated one, but financial institutions dont seem to be getting the message.
The financial industry is putting up a fight, as of late, in an effort to repeal these protections by using forced arbitration to cheat veterans out of their rights as outlined by well-established laws.
The New York Times recently published a story on the subject, and examined the case of Charles Beard, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, whose car was repossessed while he was on duty in Iraq. The men told Beards wife they would take her to jail if she did not give them the keys, he told the publication.
Where one would expect Beard to have legal recourse, he found none. Bound by a forced arbitration clause hidden in the lease of his vehicle, Beard was unable to resolve the issue in court. Instead, his complaints were relegated to a secret system outside the realm of federal laws, where no true justice could be pursued by the family.
Banks, credit card companies, mobile wireless providers and auto loan lenders are quietly slipping mandatory arbitration clauses into service contracts. Customers are forced to forfeit their right to pursue legal action if they wish to use the product, and this practice is becoming more routine than not.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a statement less than a week ago on the negative consequences of mandatory arbitration for the consumer. It benefits only one party in the agreement, and thats the company requiring it. The CFPBs stance was backed by research that concluded forced arbitration limits relief for consumers with problems.
Veterans are falling prey to hidden arbitration clauses like other consumers, except veterans are being denied protections that Congress gave them specifically. If this issue is affecting you or your family, our firm wants to hear from you.
Contact Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice today to discuss your legal options.