Friday, July 24, 2009

National Arbitration Forum: Good Riddance.

There's been a stunning development in the consumer collection trade that should be of interest to all the people who, like myself, labored in the trenches and got our asses kicked by kangaroo court consumer "arbitration" mills like the National Arbitration Forum and other similar monstrosities.

In my case, I got to a point where I headed for the showers because I just couldn't take the drama any more after four years of the stuff.

Lori Swanson, the Attorney General of the great state of Minnesota filed suit against the National Arbitration Forum, charging that it had violated consumer fraud, deceptive practice, and false advertising laws by concealing its ties to collection agencies and law firms. The NAF crumbled inside of a week and agreed to exit the consumer debt arbitration business.

Mike Kelly, chief executive of NAF said that now, consumers will have no alternative to costly and unpredictable litigation. He says the NAF did not have the resources to continue defending itself against state attorneys general, class action lawsuits and the like.

Well, Mike, with your crew of kangaroo court stooges on the case, what did consumers have except a deck stacked against them? In this context, "unpredictable" represents a significant improvement for consumers over NAF-style adjudication-in which the consumer invariably got hosed no matter what the merits of their cases were. If it was me, I'd say that the consumer is almost always better off with a sitting judge and the full range of rights and remedies, in a forum where judges listen to arguments and make decisions based on the facts presented.

As Billy Mays said "But wait! We're not finished yet!" Here's a standard argument I used in every arbitration case I handled. The National Arbitration Forum found for the claimant 99.6 per cent of the time, and marketed that statistic to collection side law firms such as McCann Bracken and Wolpoff and Abramson.

This is a good day for ordinary folks everywhere, and I would like nothing better than to see all the people that the NAF and McCann Bracken and the rest of that crew get haled into court to defend what they did to people and the perversion that they made out of arbitration.

One thing's for sure-it'll never be the same.


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