Exploring the Debt Collection Industry

National Arbitration Forum Attorneys under Microscope

Attorneys handling arbitration claims for the National Arbitration Forum, (NAF) Minneapolis, MN may find the fee being paid is not worth the potential negative publicity that could follow. 

Attorneys and Judges who decide arbitration claims for the NAF are paid an average fee of $250/hour with the understanding they handle six claims per hour. The forum’s largest customer base are comprised of debt collection agency’s and law firms who purchase defaulted consumer debts for pennies on the dollar, then pay a fee of $250/per account for an arbitration hearing that the debtor never gets to participate in.  The main problem raised by consumer advocates is that the forum is unfair in its policies, that consumers have no say in the outcome and that the attorneys and judges handling arbitration claims have found a lucrative income stream that allows them to handle as many claims as they desire in the comfort of heir homes or offices. Until now, they have been able to stay mostly under the radar of detection because their work went (for the most part) unnoticed and their identities and backgrounds were mostly shielded from those they ruled against. 

All of that is about to change. A new organization has popped up and ready to expose what they call the corruption of arbitration and the ‘rubber-stamping’ of National Arbitration Forum claims by those they claim are seduced by the easy money. A group calling itself “Arbitration Justice for Consumers” has been quietly putting together a list of names of those who are getting paid by the NAF and has plans to publish the names, locations state bar numbers and other pertinent information of the arbitrators they claim are rubber stamping arbitration claims for the $250/hourly fee they earn. 

The website will be used to call attention to what is perceived as a one sided system, where arbitration claims are awarded on more than 90% of the claims filed, with little or no scrutiny given to the records that are made, or not made available to make those decisions, including the fact that the consumers are party to an arbitration agreement.  Attorneys who engage in arbitration claims for the National Arbitration Forum could see a hostile reaction from consumers who feel they were victims of a one sided process that rewards the claimants and arbitrators for a process where they were denied their rights. Another website  “Give Me Back My Rights” www.givemebackmyrights.org is gaining strength with consumer advocates nationally and gathering stories about consumers being railroaded by alleged bogus arbitration claims. Many senior attorneys and retired judges may find the $250 fee they are collecting is not worth the negative publicity it could generate. 

61 Comments »

  1. Okay… got a slight variation for you… In 2005 I used a 3rd party debt settlement company to negotiate a settlement on my Bank One account. The first 3 payments were withdrawn from account without any problem, the final payment was submitted incorrectly to my bank and was denied as an unknown account #. At this time Chase took over B-1. We (myself and the 3rd party company) contacted and re-initiated the final payment with the same result. In dealing with Chase they refused to honor the settlement agreement and tried offering a new settlement on the balance (which had accrued major interest). While dealing with Chase I received notice from Mann Bracken on their collection effort. I supplied them with all documentation(bank documentation as well) of Bank One/Chase’s error in trying to withdraw the final payment and disputed the account with Chase as well. Next thing I received was an Arbitration notice (May 2006). I responded back to Mann Bracken with all of the documentation that backed up the settlement agreement and proved the creditors error is submitting the request for final payment. I have not heard anything from Mann Bracken since they received this packet in 2006. This past week I received a 2nd Notice of Arbitration along with their letter of offer to settle for 75% of the balance! In reviewing the paperwork, the only thing that has changed was my address (the amount of accrued interest was still the same as in 2006 and stating that interest would continue to accrue until settlement/judgement!)The rest of the form was exactly the same (the same NAF case # as well from 2 years ago!) My question is this… I feel that they are trying to bluff me with the notice, and my intention is to respond with all of the same backup as before, but do I need to go head and send this to NAF as well (as I did not the first time)? Should I contact NAF to verify the case # that is listed on the notice to see if it is actually valid? It is obvious that MB did not proceed with Arbitration process the first time, but will they this time or are they just trying to use scare tactics (since my SOL is up in 9 months) I have the response packet ready to go to MB (I feel the quicker I respond with so much documentation,the more effect it has, that way they realize I am completely on top of this issue) Any insight would be appreciated!!! Thank You!!!

    Comment by mla913 — August 5, 2008 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

  2. Does any lawyer know how to fight a judgment from MBNA through NAF? Details: 4 years ago. $30,000.00 plus 10% per year. State: CA Please–I do not need a pat on the back, but would like hear from “someone in the know” about fighting this, or future retroactive legislation that might alleviate my burden. Only respond if you know what you are talking about. I feel
    sorry for anyone who has gone through this. Am willing to pay for good advise-After all this-I could probably pass the
    bar, but if their is something i’m missing please inforn me-I will compensate you. Thanks

    Comment by broke — September 18, 2008 @ 7:11 am | Reply

  3. broke – this isn’t the place to look for a lawyer. Try http://www.naca.net.

    Comment by impishredhead — September 18, 2008 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  4. I am coming up on my appeal to over-turn the NAF’s Award. The court confirmed it, W&A has been successful in pretty much getting my case-law citations over-looked and stricken, or not the correct law. Their case-law is not on target, waltzes around the facts and truth. I was under the impression that anything they alleged or claimed had to be backed up with documentation. They claim I defaulted on payments, no figures to prove it, no records from bank. I have copies of their submission to NAF, but see nothing of mine ( which was a request to dismiss, on lack of jurisdiction & objection to arb.) Am I entitled to see what evidence was viewed for me, that W&A’s superceeded or was better? W&A, disregarded my letters to them about an unresolved dispute via cert.mail with RRC. So they received my letters (stamped & sometimes dated). What can I use to expose their many violations, and disregard for law and proceedure. I have shot myself in the foot on a couple items, very minor compared to the misleading arguments they’ve spewed. HELP!!!

    Comment by Woody Kitchen — September 28, 2008 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  5. Woody, you might try over at http://arbitrationjustice.com/index.php

    Comment by impishredhead — September 29, 2008 @ 10:25 am | Reply

  6. To All:

    Check under Debt Collection in U.S.C. Title 28. Know what is earnings. Are excluded to discharge a debt. Only “substantive nonexempt interest” can be used. In other words the interest from your earnings. Non other!

    Comment by Norb — December 6, 2008 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  7. NAF is a lawless arbitration, they basically invented themselves & their rules. I say rules because they are lawless. Their biggest customers are debt buyers wolpoff & abramson. NAF can obtain Jmt on you w/o your even showing up to the arbitration.
    That means a jmt on any prpoerty you own, unauthorized payroll & bank garnishmernts,
    interest rates at the defaulted rate, atty fees, court costs…ect…

    Thing I dont unserstand is if the Taxpayer is having to pay for the bank failures..why are the consumers then sued? doesnt that mean the debt is paid twice?
    Once thru taxation of taxpayers & then thru garnishment of the consumer?
    Do the taxpayers get a refund on all debts collected thats been returned to the original creditor , citi, chase, ford motor credit, crysler? Because as a former debt collector of the banks & auto industries “they” get the money collected
    The collection lawfirms only get 10-30% and 90 to 70% is sent to the original creditor.
    They should only have it one way …collect it from the consumer who defaulted of from taxpayers…otherwise its double collected. That gestapo theift in the highest form against taxpayers & consumers!!

    Comment by chere — December 7, 2008 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  8. Hi just off topic . just wanna ask anyone introduce what is the best identity theft prevention out there ?

    Comment by MelvinXH — December 16, 2008 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  9. I received an arbitration claim from the National Arbitration Forum on behalf of Asset Acceptance LLC (MBNA – original creditor) for a 5 and half years old debt (June 2003). I have no idea as to what is the best option at this point. The claim says I need to respond within 30 days or else an award will be given to the claimant which is enforceable in a regular civil court. I want to avoid going to court.

    At this point, is it advisable for me to contact Asset Acceptance LLC directly and negotiate to settle the debt and ask them to cease the arbitration process? Or if I hire a lawyer what kind of fees will I be looking at for a $5000 debt claim?

    Comment by Raj — January 15, 2009 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  10. I am a newbie to this forum site. I hope you guys help me always if I fall in trouble. And I’m really happy to join with you. Pls share your valuable tips and tricks with me.

    Comment by carriebergovitz — May 21, 2009 @ 1:42 pm | Reply


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