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Bloodsuckers, Godless, or Both?

posted by Bob Lawless

In "Arbitration and the Godless Bloodsuckers," Richard Neely relates his experience as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum:

[T]he bank asks for substantial costs related to the arbitration itself, and those costs are significantly higher than court filing fees. . . . In one case that I handled, the fees alone amounted to $450. Furthermore, the arbitration company sends the arbitrator a judgment form already filled out so that all the arbitrator need do is check the appropriate box. . . .
   In my case I did not award the bank the litigation-related fees. . . . I never got another case!

In addition to writing this article, Richard Neely also happens to be a retired chief justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court. Katie Porter had previously posted about arbitration actions in credit card collection. The National Arbitration Forum seems a particular concern and appears to be nothing but a huge debt collection operation. Mr. Neely's comments are illuminating about the NAF's business practices. The article is a quick read (only two pages long) and appears in the September/October issue of the West Virginia Lawyer, which is available online here. (Note to readers: it is a huge file (9 Mb). Note to West Virginia Bar Association: thanks for making this content available online, but there are ways to do it without making a huge file.)

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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