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Arbitration Overload

By Will from Holland

About a year ago, I watched a Dateline NBC undercover camera crew film a friend of mine as she was ripped off buying her first car. Because of the dealership's unethical sales techniques, Tori paid about $9,000 more than she needed to pay for a stripped Ford Mustang. Would that ruin your day?

Well, that wasn't the bad part. Tori didn't stop the finance manager when he casually falsified her income on her credit application. "No big deal," the guy said. Wrong. Even though the guy did the forging, Tori could have gone to jail for his actions, since she signed the credit application.

When Dateline confronted the dealership with the $9,000 ripoff and the forgery, however, the dealership wasn't the least bit worried. Tori, without knowing it, had also signed a Binding Mandatory Arbitration (BMA) clause that forever took away her rights to sue the dealership—regardless of what the dealership had done to her.

When a corporation includes a BMA clause in its contracts, it means your dispute must be decided by a private legal system. Because BMA clauses are "binding," you must abide by the decision and have no right to appeal.

This private, for-profit system is "outside the law" in a real sense: the "judges" do not have to be lawyers and don't even have to follow the law or justify their decisions. You also have no right of "discovery." (Discovery is the right to request documents and information from the opposition and their experts to use to build your case. Many times discovery is crucial to making a case.) And to make all this even worse, if an arbitration decision goes against you, you give up your right to appeal.

Who would agree to a clause like that? You, for instance. BMAs have been sneaked into virtually everything. Look at your credit card statements and your loan contract agreements. Look at your phone bill. Look at your rental agreement.

BMA clauses are taking away your rights.
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Want to see how my friend got ripped off for $9000?
Here's: How To Throw Away $9000.