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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Contact Congress: Arbitration Fairness Now!
News Reports: Senate Passes Franken Binding Arbitration Amendment  
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Become involved - Sign Petition: Fair Arbitration Now.com plus, Arbitration Resources & Latest News

Contracts & Arbitration
Binding Arbitration & Class Action Bad for Consumer – GREAT FOR BIG BUSINESS
Thursday, 19 August 2010

Lowe's Drywall Settlement Called Unfair
It's a common argument against class action lawsuits: aggrieved consumers get little more than token compensation, while the lawyers walk off with all the money. That concern is being raised anew with a recently-proposed settlement involving drywall sold at Lowe's. The suit, filed in Georgia state court, concerns some of the defective Chinese drywall sold by the home improvement chain.The settlement totals $6.5 million, $2.1 million of which would go to the plaintiffs' attorneys. Meanwhile, class members are set to receive gift cards in varying amounts -- $50, $250, or $2,000 -- depending on how much money they can prove that they lost, according to ProPublica. Those who can prove damages greater than $2,000 are also eligible to receive as much as $2,500 in cash.

Auto Dealer Forced Binding Arbitration Launches an Inferno of Public Scorn
Monday, 16 August 2010

Arbitration Strikes Again: Used Cars
Perz signed the dealer's arbitration agreement, meaning that despite hiring a lawyer his case would never reach a judge. Despite being advertised as faster than litigation, after three years his case is still in arbitration. Now he's up against an arbitrator whose record against consumers is abysmal.  Related articles: Support The Arbitrattion Fairness Act HR 1020

Consumer Binding Arbitration Clauses my be a thing of the past
Sunday, 01 August 2010

Widely used arbitration quietly closes doors of protest for consumers
Most consumer contracts include clauses that require you to take any disputes with the auto dealership, phone company or retailer to an arbitrator — one chosen by the business. You can't take the business to court. You might not even be able to take part in a class action lawsuit with others who have similar complaints. And the arbitrator's decision — with no explanation — is generally final.Consumers often aren't aware of this because the clauses are buried in the fine print of contracts. And even those who know what to look for say it's almost impossible to avoid arbitration mandates when signing up for a product or service.

New York Times Editorial - On Binding Arbitration
Sunday, 27 June 2010

Beware the Fine Print
Buried in the fine print of most contracts for cellphones, health insurance and credit cards is a clause requiring that all disputes be decided by binding arbitration, rather than a court. Businesses love these provisions, because arbitrators act quickly and almost always rule in their favor, 
and many employers are requiring new hires to sign similar agreements... Unless Congress changes the rules, these cases may never get back to the courts, where they have a chance for a fair resolution.

AP: Arbitration in Private Schools? Calif Attempts to Fix Arbitration Abuses & Protect Civil Rights
Friday, 30 April 2010

Calif. Assembly acts to protect hate-crime victims
The state Assembly approved a bill Thursday intended to protect victims of hate crimes... The bill would ban a practice that requires people to sign away their right to a legal challenge...  Victims of hate crimes should never be forced into arbitration simply because they signed an employment or residential contract with fine print that waives their right to seek justice in the courts," Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a nonprofit group that sponsored the bill, said in a statement.

NEW Maine Law Requires Public Posting of Binding Arbitration Decisions
Friday, 02 April 2010

Bill seeking accountability in arbitration to become law (Printed April 2, 2010)
A new law initially sponsored by Maine Rep. Sean Flaherty (D-Scarborough) and signed by Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday will enlarge the fine print by requiring companies and individuals providing arbitration services in Maine to post results of their decisions on a Web site. Basic consumer information, including potential expenses and whether an attorney may be present at a hearing, also must be posted...A 2009 report by the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection showed eight individual arbitration providers from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and three national firms helped decide 2,500 cases in Maine during 2008.

Pulte-Centex Rivermist: Needed wake-up call
Monday, 08 February 2010

Express-News Letter to the Editor: Needed wake-up call
Recently I participated in a hearing at the state Capitol in regards to mandatory binding arbitration. Filled with arbiters, trial lawyers, consumer groups and consumers, the hearings led to a tell-all of experiences with the homebuilding industry. As a victim of a homebuilder in Houston, I participated in earlier hearings asking our elected officials to enact laws protecting unsuspecting potential homebuyers if their homes are deemed defective, and making homebuilders responsible for all costs.  Aside from the abolishment of the Texas Residential Construction Commission, nothing changed and pleas remain unanswered. The San Antonio subdivision in which houses are literally sliding down a hill sends a wake-up call to legislators.  If you do nothing to hold the homebuilding industry accountable for mistakes, the next case could be catastrophic.  Marcia Kushner, Houston

Homeowners testify as community evacuates again
Monday, 08 February 2010

Chance of rain sparks additional landslide evacuations
More residents of the Hills of Rivermist subdivision on the city's Northwest Wide were evacuated Wednesday.
Police walked up and down Treewell Glen to issue the voluntary evacuation notice. Police say houses on that street located at the top of a hill behind the retaining wall are in danger of moving if significant rainfall moves in. This latest evacuation includes about 20 houses.The people who live in the neighborhood continues to want answers to the longer range problem.Karen Maxwell, who lives in the Hills of Rivermist, told us, "A lot of the homeowners feel they want Centex to buy back their homes because they feel like the value of their house has gone down so quickly and it's not any fault of theirs." Meanwhile, some of Rivermist homeowners testified Wednesday in Austin before a House committee that is looking to make changes in how disputes like this are handled. Charles Cervantes told the House Committee on Civil and Jurisprudence in Austin he's stuck because his home near the landslide is worthless. He urged lawmakers on Wednesday to make changes protecting new home buyers who are often forced to sign contracts agreeing to binding arbitration. The committee hopes to have recommendations for lawmakers to consider by the end of the year.  WOAI 4 News Report....

Pulte-Centex Residents Attend Committee Hearing on Binding Arbitration
Monday, 08 February 2010

Rivermist residents to take complaints to state capitol
Residents in the Rivermist subdivision are now taking their gripes to the state capitol. The group will testify on the Forced Binding Arbitration law, which they say denies justice for homeowners. Residents also held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss establishing a united front. Previous meetings offered few answers with Pulte offering to meet with homeowners individually, but homeowners at the meeting believe forming a community voice will be more beneficial. “There are things we can do as whole community if we act as one person.” said homeowner Gil Morales, “We are pushing unity, first of all.” The meeting was so well attended, many homeowners were forced to listen from the hallway. Morales said many actions will be taken as a group although no definite plans for lawsuits or other legal action were confirmed.
See KENS TV News Report...

Homeowner take binding arbitration concerns to Texas Capitol
Monday, 08 February 2010

Rivermist homeowners find no comfort at capitol
It was another day of questions with no answers for residents of the Hills of Rivermist. About two dozen families remain evacuated in the northwest-side subdivision, where a landslide threatens to topple and crush homes. Some of those property owners took their concerns to the state capitol Wednesday. Martin Bartlett has their story.
See Channel 5 News Report...

Homeowner concerns all about Arbitration and Politics
Friday, 29 January 2010

Texas Politics - Homeowner: Too late to start over
Homeowners from San Antonio's Northwest Side neighborhood that underwent a landslide had a few minutes apiece before a House committee today. The committee is considering the issue of consumers being required to agree that they'll take any claims to arbitration in deals such as home-purchase contracts. Janet Ahmad of HomeOwners for Better Building said the San Antonio homeowners' contracts had such clauses for all disputes. "I live in the Hills of Rivermist... The sliding Hills of Rivermist," said Charles Cervantes, saying when he bought his home, he thought he'd be protected by a warranty if anything went wrong.

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