WASHINGTON - September 25 -
WHAT: Press conference to release Public Citizenís new report showing that arbitration disputes between consumers and credit card companies overwhelmingly favor the companies. The report, ďThe Arbitration Trap: How Credit Card Companies Ensnare Consumers,Ē details how arbitration firms and credit card companies enjoy a cozy, mutually beneficial relationship at the expense of the consumers they force into arbitration.
The report focuses particularly on predatory practices in California, the only state that requires arbitrators to publicly disclose information about their practices. However, the findings provide a snapshot of how arbitration traps consumers throughout the country in unfair, secret proceedings where for-profit arbitrators make the rules. Public Citizenís research uncovered consumers who spent years fending off collection agencies, cleaning up identity theft messes and struggling to bounce back from credit rating hits.
In response to growing concern over arbitration practices, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) have introduced legislation to protect consumers from mandatory arbitration: the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 (S. 1782 and H.R. 3010).
WHEN: Noon EDT, Thursday, Sept. 27
WHO: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
Joan Claybrook, president, Public Citizen
Laura MacCleery, director, Public Citizenís Congress Watch division
Troy Cornock, consumer from Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Other invited lawmakers include Reps. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).
WHERE: Room SD-608, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Constitution Ave. and Second St. NE, Washington, D.C.
CALL-IN: Contact Public Citizen's Press Office for assistance