For Immediate Release
Monopoly Man Photobombs Senate Equifax Hearing
Highlights Forced Arbitration Rip-Off Clauses Abused by Equifax and Wells Fargo.
WASHINGTON - In a story that exploded on social media this morning, an activist dressed as the Monopoly Man photobombed the U.S. Senate Banking Committee’s hearing on Equifax (see images and video). The surprise appearance is part of a campaign organized by Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform to draw attention to forced arbitration rip-off clauses, used by Equifax, Wells Fargo and other financial companies to evade accountability and take advantage of consumers.
Forced arbitration clauses buried in the fine print of take-it-or-leave-it contracts may be the single most important tool that predatory banks, payday lenders, credit card companies and other financial institutions have used to escape accountability for cheating and defrauding consumers. These clauses push disputes into secretive arbitration proceedings rigged to favor financial companies and conceal wrongdoing from regulatory authorities. In response to this abusive practice, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a rule allowing consumers to join together in class actions to challenge wrongdoing in court. But now, the U.S. Senate leadership is pushing to strike down the rule using the Congressional Review Act. The Senate has until early November to act.
Amanda Werner, arbitration campaign manager for Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, dressed up as the Monopoly Man and led the delivery of “Get Out of Jail Free” cards to Tuesday’s Wells Fargo hearing as well as to all 100 Senate offices – a symbol of how forced arbitration grants virtual immunity to financial institutions. She and other leading experts on forced arbitration are available for press interviews. Please contact any of the individuals listed above to speak with an expert.
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.