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AFR Statement: Stories of Wells Fargo Victims Drive Home Injustice of Forced Arbitration

Submitted by on October 23, 2017 – 9:02 am
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October 23, 2017

Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700


Campaign to Uphold CFPB Rule on Forced Arbitration Launches New Digital Ad in Four Key States


Significant Five-Figure Ad Buy Targets Maine, Alaska, Louisiana and Arizona

Washington, DC — If you met the Monopoly Man, the costumed crusader against forced arbitration, then you’re going to want to get to know Archie Hudson and Gwen Byrd as well.

Today, Americans for Financial Reform is stepping up its campaign in support of the consumer’s right to a day in court. A significant five-figure digital campaign targeting Maine, Alaska, Louisiana and Arizona will tell the stories of Hudson and Byrd, who were scammed by Wells Fargo – and left with no means of pursuing justice.

This effort is the latest step in a broad grassroots campaign to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule curbing forced arbitration, whose fate may be determined by a Senate vote (S.J. Res. 47) as early as this week. If the rule is overturned, consumers will lose the right to hold companies like Wells Fargo publicly accountable in court. Senators from the targeted states would likely cast the deciding votes.

“Abusive business practices like the ones that hurt Archie Hudson and Gwen Byrd can flourish when big banks like Wells Fargo escape the consequences of their actions by denying people their day in court,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “Senators will be giving Wall Street and predatory lenders a brand-new get out of jail free card if they overturn the new CFPB rule restoring consumers right to hold financial companies accountable if they break the law.”

The video tells the stories of Archie and Angela Hudson, and Gwen Byrd. Archie is a disabled veteran, and Gwen is a legally blind retiree. They both sought loans to install new windows in their homes, but wound up with unwanted Wells Fargo credit cards. Finding their credit scores destroyed, they filed suit for fraud, but were told they had signed away their right due to a forced arbitration clause in the fine print.

“It makes me feel as though someone has taken away all my rights,” Gwen Byrd explains in the ad.

Please contact AFR at the email above if you’d like to speak to Archie or Gwen.

For more information on the campaign to uphold the CFPB rule, visit NoRipoffClause.com.

This work is part of a long-term grassroots effort to protect the rights of consumers who have been harmed by the actions of big corporations. While the corporate lobby has spent millions to roll back the rule, AFR and its allies have fought back with:

  • A study by the Economic Policy Institute showing that consumers on average end up paying financial institutions $7,725 in arbitration and Wells Fargo customers end up paying nearly $11,000 on average



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