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The new rule would unwind a series of legal maneuvers undertaken by major American companies to block customers from going to court to fight potentially harmful business practices.The rule is one of the signature efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul to safeguard the rights of millions of Americans in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis.In another, a group of merchants challenged American Express over high processing fees.The rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would apply only to the financial companies regulated by the agency and would not touch arbitration clauses buried in the fine print of nursing home or employment contracts.The rule “should be thoroughly rejected by Congress under the Congressional Review Act,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who has been leading the charge to weaken the agency.

As arbitration crept into tens of millions of contracts, prosecutors, judges and lawmakers started sounding alarms.Kaplinsky, a lawyer with the firm Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia who is widely considered the father of arbitration clauses. Kaplinsky, who opposes the rule, arbitration offers a faster and more efficient way to resolve legal disputes.In the debate about arbitration, those assertions were almost entirely anecdotal.Prevented from banding together in a class and pooling their resources, most people simply abandon their claims entirely, never making it to arbitration at all.The new rule could change all that when it comes to consumer finance.

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