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.