Did credit card issuers conspire against their customers?
On behalf of Ellett Law Offices , P.C. posted in 1. Credit Card Debt on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
There are some signs that the U.S. economy is recovering from its recent recession, but the financial told the past few years has had on millions of Americans is still being felt. Many have no choice but to file for bankruptcy and many more have had other fiscal matters, such as their credit card debt, encroach on their lives.
For many Arizona residents, credit card debt is a major contributor for going through with a personal bankruptcy filing. Credit card debt can be discharged (or, sometimes, restructured) after filing for bankruptcy, allowing people to get back on their feet financially. But imagine if you were to find out that the company that issued a credit card to you colluded with its competitors to deceive consumers, possibly landing you in the financial trouble you find yourself in?
That could be true as an antitrust case against many major credit card issuers continues its decade-long run, as the claim states that the companies conspired to force credit card holders into forced arbitration for any disputes they had with their debt. The defendants included Bank of America, Capital One and JPMorgan & Chase, but they have since settled out of court.
The remaining defendants, Citigroup and Discover, pushed on in their defense, requesting the case be dismissed. However, a federal judge in Manhattan rejected their dismissal request.
That same judge also pointed to a bevy of evidence against the companies, including a “voluminous record” of meetings between representatives of the companies starting in 1999 and concluding in 2003. Stating that the evidence “could suggest that defendants used the meetings to concoct a conspiracy to adopt arbitration clauses and boycott consumers who rejected them,” it seems the judge wants the plaintiffs to have their fair shot in court.
Source: Business Insurance, “U.S. judge won’t end credit card antitrust case,” Reuters, Feb. 9, 2012
Tags: antitrust lawsuit, conspiracy, credit card debt