LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Feds May Order Financial Firms To Allow Class Action Lawsuits

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, center, participates in a panel discussion in March. His agency is considering banning financial companies from routinely requiring consumers to sign away the right to sue.

New federal rules could be in the works to make it easier once again for Americans to seek relief through class action lawsuits. That's the latest word out just this morning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB is considering a ban on so-called forced arbitration clauses, which require customers to submit their claims to arbitration and stay out of court. Consumer rights attorneys complain that they see many people harmed by banks or other financial firms. But those customers, often unknowingly, have signed, for example, a credit card agreement that included a clause that blocks them from joining a class action suit.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray spoke to NPR last night:

"Under this proposed approach, consumers would again get their day in court to hold companies accountable for potential wrongdoing," Cordary said. "We think that's quite important."

Financial industry trade groups are lobbying against such a move by the CFPB. They say the rule would hurt financial firms and wouldn't help consumers.

But under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, Congress required the CFPB to study this issue. And it gave the bureau the power to craft new regulations to protect consumers, if it sees a need. The CFPB is now moving in that direction.

"Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card," said Cordray.

All this might create some political fireworks in the near future. Just a few months ago, a group of more than 80 House Republicans sent a letter to Cordray asking the CFPB to re-open the study it did which concluded that consumers were being harmed by arbitration clauses. The letter said the study was "fatally flawed."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)