When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is launching a study into how consumers are affected by mandatory arbitration clauses contained in agreements for credit cards and other financial products, it should also have mentioned any relevant litigation in its notice soliciting public comment, said Ballard Spahr partner Alan S. Kaplinsky.

Mr. Kaplinksy said the CFPB should seek comment on whether class actions are a better alternative than arbitration for consumers that find themselves in disputes with their financial services providers.

“It really is the elephant in the room,” Mr. Kaplinsky said. “Most of the opponents of consumer arbitration are plaintiff class-action lawyers who are trying to preserve their livelihood at the expense of consumers. The studies that have been completed to date show that consumers actually do better in arbitration than they do in court.”

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