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Arbitration in credit card cases decried

September 30, 2007|From Times Wire Services

Credit card disputes settled through arbitration are part of "a rigged game" that overwhelmingly favors companies over consumers, according to a report by a Washington-based consumer advocacy group.

Arbitration companies have a financial incentive for siding with credit card issuers, which generate most of the cases they handle, Public Citizen said in a report. Credit card companies track how arbitrators rule and don't choose arbitrators who don't rule for them, the study found.

The Minneapolis-based National Arbitration Forum favored companies in 94.7% of the 19,000 California cases it handled from January 2003 to March 2007, according to the report.

Arbitration is "one of the fairest, most efficient methods" for resolving complex disputes, said Edward Yingling, chief executive of the American Bankers Assn.

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