The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a set of rules that would prohibit arbitration clauses designed to prevent class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers.

In a study released last year, the CFPB revealed consumers benefit more from arbitration than class actions. Alan Kaplinsky, head of the consumer financial services group for Ballard Spahr, said he doesn't anticipate the rules being finalized until next year at the earliest and anticipates a legal challenge in court.

The CFPB study examined 850 consumer finance agreements, 1,800 consumer finance agreements, 3,400 individual federal court lawsuits, 42,000 credit card cases in small claims court, 420 class-action settlements in federal court and 1,100 state and federal public enforcement actions in consumer finance. The report shows that consumers in class action suits end up with nothing, while a few receive an average of $32.35, Kaplinsky said.

"I pioneered the use of consumer arbitration provisions about 15 years ago and I came up with the idea of class action waivers, so this subject is very near and dear to my heart," Kaplinsky told Legal Newsline. "It is one I've been working on and involved in for a long time."

These costs are not one-time costs, but continuing costs as the increase in class action filings are perpetual.

Kaplinsky said in at least 87 percent of class action suits, consumers will not benefit because, as the CFPB found in its study, they receive no compensation.

"In the rare cases where they do receive a cash payment from a class action settlement, it will be a pittance," he said.