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January 26, 2011

Why it’s hard to sue credit card companies

Arbitration

If you ask credit card holders what a mandatory arbitration clause is, chances are they have no clue. Yet, almost all of us have signed an agreement with such a self-defeating clause in it. 

A mandatory arbitration clause requires that any dispute raised by a customer go through arbitration before a civil lawsuit is filed.  In almost all cases, the arbitrators chosen to hear cases are not neutral; they are partial to the interests of the credit card companies.  Thus, many consumers unknowingly sign agreements that limit their constitutional right to the courts and forfeit any likelihood of a fair resolution. 

However, there are efforts to change the widespread use of such clauses in credit card agreements, employment agreements, franchise agreements, etc. For example, in 2007, the Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 1782, H.R. 3010) was introduced in Congress and called for several new measures, including a consumer’s ability to choose arbitration or the courts. Furthermore, a new movie entitled “Hot Coffee” is increasing the focus on America’s civil justice system. The documentary, which received rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, explores the tragic stories of people negatively affected by a civil justice system “under heavy attack”. 

In short, when it comes to signing any agreement, especially a credit card agreement, make sure you read the fine print, because that’s probably where you’ll find a mandatory arbitration clause.   As I like to say, the big print giveth and the fine print taketh away.   

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Not a big fan of credit cards, but they are necessary today. I think the issuers create many of their own problems. There is a free web site to help you with credit issues at http://dontroiano.yolasite.com
or
http://dontroiano.com

Credit cards are among the most common pitfalls careless consumers usually fall into. Before anything else, make sure to read and understand all the terms of agreement (especially the fine prints) before signing anything.

While watching this blog I must sure that why its hard to sue credit card companies, although credit cards are useful in emergencies but companies are make some unfair practices but there are also some different ways to dispute unfair credit charges and successfully sue a credit card company.


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About Me

Greetings! I’m Kevin D. Johnson, a business owner who has recently assumed the role of consumer advocate and internet activist. Atlanta, Georgia is my home.

My Story

Upon returning from my wonderful honeymoon in Jamaica in October 2008, I received what I thought was an ordinary American Express bill, but to my surprise it was a disappointing letter informing me that my credit line was reduced by about 65% for a highly suspicious and discriminatory reason. Considering my excellent credit score and pristine payment history, it just didn’t make sense. However, what does make sense are the unfair and insidious policies that I have uncovered when asking why. It is time to change them.

Good Morning America tells my story.

The Goal

I created this web site to document and share my challenging journey to change what is wrong, unfair, and unjust in the credit card industry. The ultimate goal of this web site is to inform consumers of ways to stand up for themselves against treacherous business practices and to educate consumers about how to improve their credit. Finally, I hope to encourage a more open dialogue with credit card companies about their policies–good and bad.

Success

I am proud to say that this blog's unyielding demand for change led to an important amendment in the final Credit CARD Act signed by President Obama on May 22, 2009. Despite this major accomplishment, there is still more work to be done.

View video of bill hearing in Maryland

Testifying at a bill hearing in Annapolis, Maryland

Speaking Engagements

In an effort to educate as many people as possible about financial management, especially about how to manage the current credit crisis, I have begun to speak around the country at colleges, universities, corporations, chamber of commerce meetings, congressional hearings, trade organization meetings, etc. Having acquired a wealth of information that will help to empower people and to improve their financial future, I feel that sharing this information is the least I can do to make a positive impact. For information on my availability for speaking opportunities, please send an e-mail to Jennifer Silverman at jennifer@silvermanworldwide.com.


Speaking at a university

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Great Resources

  1. ChangeInTerms.com

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