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Joe K. Longley
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Binding Mandatory Arbitration

Top 5 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Legal Rights

Be aware. Without even knowing it, you have already signed dozens of these clauses. They are everywhere….car contracts, credit card contracts, leases, loans, mortgages, nursing home admittances, building contracts and many more.

Read the fine print & cross it out. Be sure to carefully read all the provisions in a contract or service agreement. You should look for words like "dispute resolution" or "settling claims." You have the power to nullify mandatory arbitration clauses simply by crossing them out before you sign the agreements or by opting out under set procedures. The company may require you to agree to mandatory arbitration in order to receive services, but often there are other service providers in the area that may suit your needs.

Shop around. Some service providers do not require mandatory arbitration. When comparing prices and services, be sure to check their arbitration policies. Shop for consumer-friendly companies that refuse to be involved in mandatory arbitration.

Read mail stuffers. Thoroughly read any paper that comes with your monthly statements to be sure they don't include new provisions to your contracts, including mandatory arbitration clauses or changes.

Join a credit union. Most credit unions do not have mandatory arbitration clauses in their loan or credit card contracts. Some credit unions do have mandatory arbitration clauses for other services, so you should read the fine print to be sure.

  Link to ATLA web for more information