Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
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Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING URGES CONGRESS TO PROTECT LEGAL RIGHTS OF VICTIMIZED CONSUMERS
~ AG Herring Joins Coalition of 20 State Attorneys General in Letter to U.S. Senate Leadership ~
RICHMOND (July 28, 2017) - Attorney General Mark Herring joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in urging U.S. Senate leaders not to repeal the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Arbitration Rule, which stops companies from forcing consumers to sign away their legal rights. The House recently passed a Joint Resolution of Disapproval that would set aside the CFPB's rule under the Congressional Review Act if also passed by the Senate. The attorneys general are asking the Senate to oppose that resolution and instead support consumers' rights to go to court to assert their claims against financial institutions.
"Too many consumers don't realize they're giving up significant legal rights when they enter into contracts with financial institutions, and that's why the CFPB's Arbitration Rule is so important," said Attorney General Herring. "I hope Congress will choose to put hard-working Americans ahead of financial institutions that try to take advantage of them and keep this rule in place. As Attorney General, I will never stop fighting to protect Virginia consumers."
The multistate letter, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Healey, was sent today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
"The CFPB's Arbitration Rule would deliver essential relief to consumers, hold financial services companies accountable for their misconduct, and provide ordinary consumers with meaningful access to the civil justice system," the letter states.
In August, a coalition of attorneys general joined in sending a multistate letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray supporting the CFPB's rulemaking and calling for the restoration of these protections for consumers.
Restrictions on participation in class action cases are routinely inserted by financial institutions into contracts for financial products such as credit cards, payday loans, and checking accounts. Many consumers enter contracts without being aware that they are relinquishing significant rights, including their rights in court.
Joining Attorney General Herring in sending this letter include attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia and Hawaii's Office of Consumer Protection.
In November, Attorney General Herring announced the completion of a reorganization of the OAG Consumer Protection Section to more efficiently and effectively enforce Virginia's consumer protection laws, provide exceptional customer service in resolving complaints and disputes, and provide robust consumer education to keep Virginians from being victimized by fraud, scams, or illegal or abusive business practices. During Attorney General Herring's administration the OAG Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $200 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.
If you have any consumer-related inquiries, the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline telephone counselors are available to assist you with your consumer questions. Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or 804-786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area. You can also subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.