15 June 2018

Stanescu on the Issue of Arbitrability of Abusive Non-Judicial Debt Collection Practices

The article titled ”Arbitrability of Disputes Pertaining to Abusive Debt Collection Practices in the USȘ Striking the Balance between Efficiency and Fairness” was presented in 2017 at the I-CONS International Conference 2017, organised by the University of Copenhagen, and was published in May 2018 in Vol 33, no 2 of Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, by Moritz School of Law.

This article examines whether the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings favoring arbitration is compatible with public policies that protect consumers from abusive debt-collection practices. In addition to policy issues raised by the “arbitrability” of consumer protection clauses, this paper argues that the “arbitrability” of abusive debt collection practices raises specific concerns.

Specifically, the arbitration of such clauses brings into conflict two federal acts—the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which both promote important public policies. Which should prevail? By analyzing the “clash of policies” in a consumer-debtor protection context, the author contends that public interest should prevail over private interests. The article concludes with recommendations calling for a complete ban of arbitration in consumer disputes concerning abusive debt collection practices