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CFPB: The Quarterly Review - July 2016

In This Issue: •The CFPB Speaks •Rulemaking •Debt Collection •Payday Lending •Mortgages •Upcoming in 2016 - In the second quarter of 2016, the CFPB continued its strong pace of activity, initiating two...more

Arbitration Provisions Mauled by Consumer Watchdog

Companies offering payment services or financial products to consumers are facing a proposed rule from the CFPB that would prohibit class action waivers in binding pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Although the information...more

CFPB Updates - March 2015

CFPB Report Claims Arbitration “Less Beneficial To Consumers” than Individual or Class Litigation, Foreshadows Attempt to Impose Restrictions in Future - On March 10, Director Richard Cordray of the Consumer Financial...more

Mandatory Arbitration Undercutting Consumer Rights?

New Jersey businesses may face increased litigation if proposed legislation to bar mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts is made law. The proposed bill – recommended for passage by the Assembly Consumer Affairs...more

Blecker: GM Recalls Show Need for Harsher Penalties for "Red Collar" Criminals

July 1, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- Robert Blecker, professor of law at New York Law School, talks with Lee Pacchia about the recently released internal investigation into the failure to report a problem with ignition switches on...more

Best Practices for Choosing and Using Experts

A presentation examining Best Practices for Choosing and Using Experts.more

Supreme Court Upholds Mandatory Pre-dispute Arbitration Clause in Credit Card Agreements

This article by Victoria Holstein-Childress discusses mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer financial services contracts and the Supreme Court's January 2012 decision in Compucredit v. Greenwood. In Compucredit, the Supreme Court upheld the use of such clauses in consumer credit card contracts covered by the Credit Repair Organizations Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1679 et seq., reaffirming the Court's pro-arbitration stance as recently demonstrated in AT&T v. Concepcion, in which the Court upheld a mandatory arbitration and class action waiver clause in wireless telephone service contracts with consumers. These decisions run counter to the recent trend in which several leading banks and other card issuers have moved away from requiring arbitration in their consumer agreements or have announced that they would not enforce such agreements. While it may be too early to assess the impact of these Supreme Court precedents on such efforts to retreat from mandatory arbitration for credit card disputes, inevitably the debate over the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer credit agreements will continue given the authority Congress conferred on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB” or “Bureau”) to conduct a study of such agreements to determine whether they should be limited or eliminated. more

Scott v Terminix International

Arbitration Award for $1,000,000 plus costs

Terminix was taken to task for intentionally defrauding a lawyer and his family. Terminix knew it could not and would not prevent termite damage in the family's home. When the family insisted that Terminix repair all of the damage and not part of it, Terminix walked off the job. This well-written and thorough 31 page Award is a good read. Terminix lawyers have publicly complained that Campbell Law PC, A Purpose Filled Practice, has all of its termite related policy, practice and procedure documents dating back to the 1970's. Campbell Law handles claims against the company across America as either primary counsel or in a secondary role with local counsel.more

Sargeant v Terminix International

Arbitrator's Award

Terminix lied to an ordained pastor and his wife about the condition of a Newport Arkansas home they bought. Terminix said all damage in the house was repaired. In truth, it needed to be torn down. The managers responsible for the false inspection report confessed at the arbitration hearing. The entire sub-flooring system needed to be replaced. The arbitrator expressly stated that he awarded the maximum punitive damages the U.S. Constitution would allow.more

State & Local Foreclosure Mediation Programs Can They Save Homes

Written By Geoffry Walsh Staff Attorney National Consumer Law Center, Geoff Walsh has been a legal services attorney for over twenty-five years and is presently a staff attorney with National Consumer Law Center The Promise of Foreclosure Mediation Programs In the ongoing struggle to control the ravages of the foreclosure crisis, mediation programs have emerged as an increasingly attractive option. Many consumer advocates and community groups have supported the implementation of foreclosure mediation programs and continue to do so. In a little over a year, from mid-2008 to mid-2009, more than 25 distinct foreclosure me¬diation programs were launched in fourteen dif¬ferent states. State legislatures, state supreme courts, and local courts all played roles in creat¬ing these programs. Foreclosure mediations hold out the hope of removing major obstacles that have hindered ef-forts to slow the spread of the foreclosure epi¬demic. In particular, the securitization of mortgage debt has erected significant barriers be-tween homeowners and the owners of their mort-gages. When homeowners want to negotiate over a loan modification or other alternative to fore-closure, they often cannot find a person author¬ized to negotiate with them. With homeowners cut off from effective negotiations, foreclosures move ahead and losses to investors mount with each completed foreclosure. Today, the rate at which loans are being modified remains ex¬tremely low in relation to the high numbers of ongoing foreclosures Separating Facts from Fiction In preparing this report we interviewed legal ser - vices attorneys, court officials, and other advo¬cates who have been working directly with the 25 foreclosure mediation programs we considered. Our review raised concerns about the kind of ex-pectations that these programs may be encourag¬ing. For example, there is as yet no data to confirm that foreclosure mediation programs anywhere have led to a substantial number of af-fordable and sustainable lmore

SEC Rules For Losses Caused by Stock Brokers

On behalf of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), I am pleased to comment on the above-referenced proposed changes to the Suitability Rule and the Know Your Customer Rule, FINRA Rules 2111 and 2090. PIABA generally supports this rule proposal, which arose out of the need to harmonize NASD and NYSE rules pertaining to recommendations by registered representatives to public customers. however, PIABA also believes some revisions are necessary to ensure the protection of public customers. We•support the retention of the "fair dealing" language in Section .01 of the Supplementary Material. We also support the three components of suitability identified in Supplementary Material 2111,01 In particular, it is appropriate to emphasize that the suitability obligation must encompass having a reasonable basis to recommend the security in question. We support the rule clarifying that members have a due diligence requirement, and we agree that the level of required due diligence will be dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case. The customer-specific obligation is properly identified and defined. Finally, though we have proposals below for revisions, we support the identification of "quantitative suitability" as a category of unsuitable recommendations. We believe that the term is an improvement over words previously used, such as "churning." Finally, we support the addition of Supplementary Material 2111.03, We are especially concerned about the omission of an important word in transforming NYSE Rule 405 into FINRA Rule 2090. Rule 405 requires firms to know essential facts relating to every "order." Owing to the use of the word "order" the NYSE Rule recognizes the obligation of a firm to not only "Know Your Customer," but to "Know Your Security," We also note that the current version of NYSE Rule 405 requires a member firm to learn the essential facts relative to "every person holding a power of attorney over any account" carried by the firm. In short, the current rule requires the firm to "know the cumore

So, your business has a legal problem: 8 useful tips to get help from your lawyer

As a business owner, you are usually run off your feet with the challenges of running your business. The last thing you need to worry about is a legal problem. Many business people put off dealing with a legal problem because they don’t know where to turn, don’t have the time, or most often, are afraid of how much it will cost and how much time it will take. Igor Ellyn and Orie Niedzviecki, partners of Ellyn Law LLP, a Toronto, Canada business litigation law firm, give 8 practical and worthwhile tips about dealing with lawyers on business matters. Many business owners deal with legal matters only when there is a crisis. The tips Igor Ellyn and Orie Niedzviecki offer may smooth the bumps in your business legal issues before the next crisis happens and could save your business a lot of money. Igor Ellyn is a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation as a chartered arbitrator and mediator. Orie Niedzviecki is also admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. More information is available on the firm's website, www.ellynlaw.com, where numerous articles written by lawyers in the firm may be downloaded. more

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