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HOBB Weekly Update Message
Thursday, 19 July 2007

A message from Janet Ahmad - Senator Feingold and Cong Johnson File  Arbitration Bill 

A message from Janet Ahmad
A couple of months ago I told of some exciting news to come, and to
stay tuned… That time is now.  More than two dozen public interest organizations launched a nationwide effort called "Give Me Back My Rights" to stop the corporate use of binding mandatory arbitration (BMA) clauses.  HOBB has become a participating member of that distinguished Washington DC based coalition.  After many years of cooperate abuses of these inequitable clauses in homebuilder contracts as well as many other consumer products, the consumer advocacy movement to remove BMA clauses has begun in earnest.  

With your continued help and support we are definitely making a difference. Our collective efforts have been far reaching from the various local and state levels to Washington DC, where there is renew enthusiasm for positive consumer protection and talk of congressional hearings.  Not since Congressmen Charles Gonzalez and Ciro Rodriguez filed the first American Homebuyer Protection binding arbitration bill in 2001 have things looked so promising.   
Together we have and will continue to make a difference!  Help us to help you.
 *************************************************************************************************

If this message sounds a little familiar it should, it is a reprint of the HOBB Weekly Update Message, dated January 16, 2007.  The effort of so many has finally been realized as Senator Russ Feingold and Congressman Hank Johnson held a Press Conference in the Capitol announcing the filing of The Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA) of 2007. 
To repeat:
Together we have and will continue to make a difference!  Help us to help you.  

Hear Press Conference Audio: SENATOR FEINGOLD, REP. JOHNSON INTRODUCE MEASURE TO PRESERVE CONSUMER JUSTICE
See:
Arbitration Fairness Act 2007

See the HOBB Press Released below or attached original Press Release.  See photos and remarks

Thank you,
Janet Ahmad, President
Home Owners for Better Building

HOMEOWNERS for  BETTER  BUILDING 

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   - Website: www.hobb.org

PRESS RELEASE —  

          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact:  Janet Ahmad           
                   July 18, 2007                                                                            (210) 494-6404
 

Senator Feingold and Congressman Johnson File Arbitration Bill  


            Washington DC –  
 Senator Russ Feingold (D) from Wisconsin and Congressman Hank Johnson (D) from Georgia and Give Me Back My Rights, a coalition of consumer groups gathered at the nations Capitol to announce the filing of The Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA) of 2007. 

The comprehensive legislation would ensure Americans are not forced into mandatory arbitration agreements to resolve employment, consumer, franchise or civil rights disputes.

“Arbitration can be a fair and efficient way to handle disputes, but only when it is entered into knowingly and voluntarily by both parties,” Feingold announced.

The bill establishes that agreements will not be enforceable if they are entered before the actual dispute arises.  It extends to disputes arising under civil rights statutes and statutes regulating contracts or transactions between parties of unequal bargaining power.

A growing number of corporations, including the homebuilding industry require consumers to sign contracts that include binding arbitration clauses that leave millions with no meaningful opportunity to fairly negotiate the terms of purchasing new homes.  As a result, mandatory arbitration systems are skewed in favor of the powerful repeat business from corporate players like homebuilders with the take-it or leave-it arbitration clauses in their contracts.

“Over the years we have persistently expressed our frustration over the growing problems of defective homebuilding and the inequities of binding mandatory arbitration that deprive families justice and basic rights to hold their builder accountable under the law,” said Janet Ahmad, national president of HomeOwners for Better Building ( HOBB ) who was in attendance.

This bill if passed restores basic constitutional rights which will ensure that citizens have a choice between arbitration and the traditional civil court system.

“We are very grateful to Senator Feingold and Rep. Johnson and the collaborated efforts of so.  We are delighted at the possibility of the restoration of basic rights when purchasing a home, the biggest investment of a lifetime.” concluded Ahmad.

Senator Russ Feingold – S.1782
Representative Hank Johnson – H.R.3010  

                                                                                                    ### 

 
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