To the editor,

Many Wyomingites don’t realize the fine print of most financial service contracts contains a “rip-off” clause known as forced arbitration.

Signing the contract essentially forfeits your Seventh Amendment right to your day in court if your bank or lender rips you off. Instead, you are forced into a secretive system in which a private firm picked by the banks decides your case – only 9 percent of consumers win in arbitration against financial companies. The watchdogs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a rule to restrict the use of these “rip-off” clauses and restore our right to a day in court – but Congress wants to repeal the rule.

Wells Fargo, which has 25 branches in Wyoming, used forced arbitration to keep consumers quiet. When the company opened 3.5 million fake accounts, consumers’ only option was to pursue an arbitration suit.

If our Wyoming delegation is serious about protecting Wyomingites from financial scams, then the CFPB needs to remain strong, and the arbitration rule needs to remain in place.

Cole Ehmke

Laramie

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