With a razor-thin margin, the Senate passed a resolution to nullify a signature regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which banned forced arbitration provisions. Such clauses, tucked into the fine print of contracts that nobody reads, deny consumers the ability to contest claims through a class-action lawsuit and can allow banks and other financial institutions to rip off their customers with virtual impunity.


The House passed its version of the resolution within just a couple weeks of the CFPB finalizing the rule in July. But continuing reports of petty consumer fraud at Wells Fargo and a data breach of over 140 million customer accounts at the credit reporting bureau Equifax made it difficult for the Senate to proceed. Both Wells Fargo and Equifax have attempted to use arbitration clauses in their financial contracts to force victims out of class-action litigation.

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