The absence of a fair and efficient arbitration system would ultimately harm consumer access to safe and affordable financial services, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Tuesday. CUNA sent its own letter—and one with several other organizations—noting concerns with any legislation that would restrict access to the arbitration system.
“Arbitration can be an efficient means to resolve legal disputes between parties and the choice to include arbitration agreements in contracts is highly dependent on the credit union’s policies, priorities, and resources,” CUNA’s letter reads. “As arbitration is merely one dispute resolution tool amongst many, CUNA would be concerned with any legislation attempting to arbitrarily restrict access to the arbitration system. Although arbitration may not be an appropriate forum in every dispute, it certainly can be the appropriate forum to resolve some disputes.”
CUNA also notes that it is important for Congress to “recognize the substantial harm that expensive, protracted litigation levy on credit unions and their members.”
The joint letter adds that multiple, empirical studies have shown arbitration claimants do just as well, or in many circumstances, considerably better, than in court.
“Arbitration also empowers consumers to obtain a remedy for cases that are not eligible to be resolved through a class action or involve amounts too low to attract an attorney to take an individual case.” The joint letter reads. “Arbitration is the only realistic avenue for obtaining relief for such claims.”