The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, H.R. 4173, 111th Cong. § 1028 (2009) (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) to conduct a study and provide a report to Congress on the use of agreements providing for arbitration of future disputes between covered persons and consumers in connection with consumer financial products or services. The Act further authorized the Director of the Bureau to prohibit or impose conditions or limitations on such arbitration agreements by regulation if it would be in the public interest, for the protection of consumers, and consistent with the study performed.
This report is submitted by the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association to provide background and highlight issues the Bureau may wish to consider in fulfilling its charge. The report takes no position as to the appropriate treatment of consumer disputes, but strongly supports a thorough examination of dispute resolution processes to ensure that they are in the public interest and fair to consumers.