here's what to do:
you can fight back! you can help us stop bma (binding mandatory arbitration) abuse. read more about bma in various clauses below.
bma in credit card clauses
credit card action! most credit cards issued by national banks have bma clauses. if your credit card has a bma clause, transfer your balances to cards without these clauses and consider closing your account with the offending companies. send a letter explaining why when you close your account (word / pdf).
- aarp credit cards do not have these clauses.
- most credit union credit cards do not have these clauses.
- some small bank credit cards do not have these clauses.
bma in mortgage clauses
getting a mortgage? the vast majority of mortgage companies have bma clauses. you can protect yourself in several ways:
- make sure your mortgage qualifies for either a fannie mae or freddie mac loan. neither fannie mae nor freddie mac allows bma clauses in their loans (does that tell you anything?)
- get your mortgage through a credit union or independent financial institution. make sure that institution does not have a bma clause.
bma in installment loan clauses
getting an installment loan? a car loan? vacation loan? education loan? buying furniture? the vast majority of financing institutions have bma clauses. virtually all sub-prime lending companies have these clauses. don't finance with them
- check with your local credit union or other independent financial institution. most credit unions and some small banks do not have bma clauses.
- if you currently have a loan with a bma clause in it, see if a credit union or other financial institution might refinance your loan.
bma in regular bills and statements
how about bma clauses in your regular monthly bills and statements? you're going to have a hard time finding a phone company or insurance company or cable television company that doesn't have a bma clause. but you can still fight back.
download our statement stuffer (word / pdf) and begin including one of these every time you mail a check or letter to an offending company [note: this may not be accepted by the company, but it will help us highlight your concern. read this explanation (word / pdf)].
can you negotiate away these clauses? give it a try. some companies will allow you to strike through their bma clauses. others give you the right to opt out of them. when you are dealing with any company, always tell them you will not sign a bma clause.
help us pass legislation to protect you from bma!
support our legislative efforts to stop bma (binding mandatory arbitration) clauses in consumer contracts. our coalition is fighting to help pass both state and federal legislation, but we need your help: very few congressmen have wanted to support any bill to help you. we need your help in persuading them:
today write your congressman and senators a personal letter opposing bma (binding mandatory arbitration clauses) in consumer contracts. a personal letter is a powerful statement. ask them to help sponsor legislation to protect you from these abusive clauses. click this link to find your representative of congress.
today call your congressman's and senators' local and washington offices, and briefly state the same opposition to these clauses. find their phone numbers here. phone calls are very powerful statements.
have you been defrauded by a company or want to fight a bma clause? find a consumer lawyer with the national association of consumer advocates (naca)
thinking about a new vehicle?
stay away from dealerships with bma clauses.
want to join a credit union?
most credit unions don't have bma clauses in their credit card and lending agreements. (some credit unions do have bma clauses in their investment services contracts). if you'd like to join one, here are two links:
once you located a credit union, make sure it doesn't have a bma clause in any of the products and services you may use.
have you been defrauded by a company or want to fight a bma clause? find a consumer lawyer with the national association of consumer advocates (naca).