Melissa Stegman

Melissa Stegman is Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization

Recent Articles

The GOP Believes Businesses -- But Not Consumers -- Are Entitled to Their Day in Court

A new bill signed into law by President Trump overturns an Obama-era rule that protects consumers from forced arbitration.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Senator Charles Grassley, right, joined at left by Senator Orrin Hatch, opens a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. W hile taxes and Russia were dominating the headlines, President Trump quietly signed a bill into law that severely weakens America’s consumers—all 325 million of us. This law lets financial companies block consumers from going to court when those companies illegally take money away from them. Instead, consumers are forced into arbitration, a process rigged against them with little chance for compensation. Big banks, credit card companies, and payday lenders received a “get-out-of-jail-free” card. Since the 1990s, more and more companies have inserted forced arbitration clauses into the fine print of contracts. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in 2010, authorized the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to investigate forced arbitration and to take action in the public interest...