Senate Panel Supports Consumer Protection Rules

National VFW - 9/25/2017

On Wednesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member and former Army officer Senator Jack Reed held a panel discussion comprised of military service members and representatives from Americans for Financial Reform. The panel discussed the impact of the recent Equifax data breach and Wells Fargo credit card scandal on service members, veterans and their families, and highlighted the need for increased oversight and accountability for companies, specifically as it pertains to a consumer’s ability to challenge a company’s illegal activity in a court of law. The most discussed tactic, commonly referred to as "forced arbitration,” is often times slipped into the fine print of a contract, and waives the consumer’s rights to certain legal actions, such as a public court hearing, and in many situations class-action lawsuits. To better protect consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a final rule that prohibits banks from using forced arbitration clauses with class-action bans. Because predatory lending disproportionately impacts service members and veterans, this final rule was supported by numerous veterans organizations and consumer protection advocates. Despite this support, the House voted only 15 days later to permanently repeal this protection under the Congressional Review Act. In order for this repeal to become law, Senate Joint Resolution 47 (S.J. Res. 47) needs only a simple majority of 51 votes to pass in the Senate when it comes up for a vote between now and late October. The VFW supports efforts to protect service members and veterans from forced arbitration and calls on the Senate to vote down S.J. Res. 47. Learn more about how the CFPB protects service members and veterans.