CHICAGO, IL  – The U.S. Senate voted last night to repeal a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule, which limited financial institutions from forcing consumers into arbitration to resolve disputes, a process in which consumers rarely win. Vice President Pence broke the Senate tie shortly before 9PM (CST) despite the outcry from consumer advocates and military and veterans groups. Consumers will no longer be able to file class action lawsuits when financial institutions violate the law, if those financial institutions have incorporated a forced arbitration (“rip-off”) clause into their contracts.

Woodstock Institute President Dory Rand made the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed and alarmed that members of the U.S. Senate and Vice President Mike Pence put the interests of the financial industry ahead of consumers in voting to repeal the CFPB’s forced arbitration rule. As a result, millions of military personnel and other consumers have lost their right to join together in class action lawsuits to gain redress against abuses such as the recent Wells Fargo fraudulent account opening scandal and the Equifax data breach that exposed personal information of millions of Americans.”

This defeat does not change Woodstock’s priorities, as Rand noted, “Woodstock Institute will continue to fight to defend the CFPB and its rules.”