Repeal of consumer protection makes it hard to file lawsuits against financial institutions

DENVER-  Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, killing a rule that would have allowed people to file class-action lawsuits against banks instead of being forced into private arbitration.

Denver attorney Michael Burg of Burg Simpson says despite what the White House says, the decision is a win for big financial institutions.

“It’s really not a boon for consumers.  In fact it’s anti-consumer,” he told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged.

The White House says the decision by congress give consumers fewer options, which means that financial disputes can be resolved more quickly.  Burg says that give the advantage to financial institutions.

“Let’s look at Wells Fargo where they opened accounts that people didn’t want and they charged them for those accounts,” Burg said.  “Let’s assume that cost $10 a month, that’s $120 per year.  Under the repeal of this act, you would now have to go through arbitration. Number one, you go into arbitration alone to get your $120 back.  There’s no lawyer.  No one is really going to be there to help you get that money back that they’ve willfully taken from you.”

Burg says this decision, which has already passed the House and is expected to be signed by the President, impacts everyone who has every agreed to anything with fine print.

“It’s in a lot of the agreements,” Burg added.  “In fact if you looked in your iPhone it’s a lot of language that you never would even read or even understand in which they prohibit you from filing an action against them in court and prohibit you from filing and being part of a class action.”

Michael Burg is an attorney and founding shareholder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh and Jardine law firm as well as the author of Trial By Fire, One Man's Battle to End Corporate Greed and Save Lives.

Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4:30am & 4pm on Denver7.

 

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