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Hawai‘i Joins 20-State Coalition to Protect Consumer Rights

August 1, 2017, 10:01 AM HST
* Updated August 1, 10:54 AM
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Hawai‘i has joined a coalition of 20 states urging U.S. Senate leaders not to repeal a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule which prevents companies from forcing consumers to sign away their legal rights.

Attorney General Doug Chin and Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection are key Hawai‘i members supporting the coalition in response to a recent Joint Resolution of Disapproval passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution would set aside the CFPB’s rule under the Congressional Review Act.

The attorneys general are asking the Senate to oppose that resolution and protect individual rights to assert claims in court against financial institutions.

A multi-state letter led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey stated: “The CFPB’s Arbitration Rule would deliver essential relief to consumers, hold financial services companies accountable for their misconduct, and provide ordinary consumers with meaningful access to the civil justice system.”

Restrictions on class action lawsuits are regularly put into contracts by financial institutions for products like credit cards, payday loans and checking accounts. Many consumers enter contracts without knowing their are giving up significant rights, including litigation in court.

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The states that participated in the letter include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia and Hawai‘i’s Office of Consumer Protection.

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