by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Dec 17, 2009
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement:
“This holiday shopping season, consumers have the choice of using credit cards that don’t take away their legal rights. Until now, all major banks have required their customers – through provisions hidden in the fine print of credit card agreements — to give up their constitutional right to their day in court. Those agreements have required customers to settle their disputes through a process called arbitration. In July, the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee, of which I am the Chairman, held a hearing in which we showed that mandatory arbitration is arbitrary, and that results depend more on the arbitrator to whom the case is assigned than on the facts or the law that applies.
“Since that hearing, my staff has been communicating with all the major banks, and today I can announce that six of those banks will not have arbitration clauses in their new credit card agreements. Those banks are JPMorganChase, CapitalOne, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Bank of America and Regions Bank. I want to congratulate those banks for their decisions.
“I particularly want to congratulate JPMorganChase and CapitalOne. Those two banks will be issuing new credit card agreements that also allow their customers the right to a jury trial and the right to participate in a class action. I strongly encourage the other banks to follow their lead.
“For the first time in years, you can choose what credit card to use by considering all its terms—interest rate, minimum payment, fees, rewards, and whether it requires you to give up your right to use the courts that our state and federal Constitutions have created for you.”