Report: #134238

Complaint Review: National Arbitration Forum - MBNA America

  • Submitted: Tue, March 08, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, July 19, 2007
  • Reported By: Lincoln Hills California
  • National Arbitration Forum - MBNA America
    1700 Highway 36 W Ste 500

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The National Arbitration Forum is nothing more that the "rubber stamp" forum for many companies. Prime is MBNA America where your rights are non-existent! The fact is if you can not afford to defend yourself with an attorney you will not stand a chance of them "researching" any material you might submit as "documented" proof of MBNA'S deceptive and misleading practices. They will lie and cheat to ensure they win.

National Arbitration chooses a "third" (proportedly) independent party to review your case, really and if you believe that you need to believe that Shakespeare is still alive and writing for Elvis.

Trust me the "law" is NOT on your side when arbitration takes place. 100% of cases are more than likely being ruled against YOU and for the BIG Business guys, especially MBNA who throws them all their business through their law firm - Wolfson et al.

Your rights are being destroyed to have your day in court by the arbitration clause in all credit card agreements that you can not find without a magnifying glass.


Lincoln Hills, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/08/2005 06:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Passive Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Are Null and Void

AUTHOR: Kenneth - (U.S.A.)

Passive mandatory arbitration clauses included in credit card slip notices are null and void under the law, not merely voidable. These slip notice agreements further violate Erie Railroad Company v. Tompkins, supra which requires a signed contract by BOTH parties to evidence the contractual agreement between the parties. If there is no signed original contract there is no basis for a cause of action as it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6); Rule 12(b)(5) of the Colorado Rules of County Court Civil Procedure).

"If there is a challenge to the arbitration, it is for the courts, not the arbitrator, to decide whether the agreement to arbitrate exists and whether the issue in dispute falls within the agreement to arbitrate.

There is No Contract:

Consumers can choose not to contract with Wolpoff & Abramson for arbitration in accordance with Hale vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 (1906) and can reject any and/or all correspondence, claims, or any other documents implying they have contracted with them for arbitration in any manner, shape or form.

Any arbitration conducted by Wolpoff Abramson and the National Arbitration Forum is in violation of many of the laws, statutes, acts, codes, rules, listed below, constitutes a willful and intentional commercial injury to the consumer where the National Arbitration Forum is legally liable for.

The National Arbitration Forum cannot provide proof that the alleged claim is in compliance with the Code as filed and said claim, as filed, further lacks several key elements required by law as follows:

National Arbitration Forum Rules:

1. Rule 1 of the Code states that both parties agree to arbitrate.

2. Rule 2A(2) of the Code requires that the initial claim shall include: a copy of the arbitration agreement or notice of the location of a copy of the arbitration agreement;

3. Rule 12A(3) of the Code requires a copy of documents that support the claim;

4. Rule 12A(4) of the Code requires an affidavit asserting that statements and documents in the claim are accurate;

5. Rule 12A(5) of the Code requires that the appropriate filling fee be paid;

6. Rule 12B requires that claimant promptly file with the forum proof of service of the initial claim on the respondent;

7. Rule 20A of the Code indicates that the arbitrator have powers provided by the code, the agreement of the parties and the applicable substantive law;

8. Rule 20C of the Code indicates that the arbitrators do NOT have the power to decide matters NOT properly submitted under this code.

For the reasons stated above, any claims submitted to the National Arbitration Forum should be deemed frivolous due to the claimants numerous violations of the code and should be dismissed involuntarily pursuant to Rule 41 of the Code. This, of course, is in addition to all of the other violations of laws, acts, statutes, codes, doctrines, maxims of law and case law as cited below.

Commercial Injury

Any arbitration sanctioned by Harold Kalina, and/or subsequently conducted by any arbitrator of the national arbitration forum in violation of any of the above listed laws, statutes, acts, codes, rules, doctrines, maxims and governing case law as well as the additionally delineated arbitration code violations listed below will constitute a willful and intentional commercial injury to the consumer which you, Mr. Kalina, and/or the national arbitration forum will be legally liable for in accordance with (case law cite supreme court decision consumer collects 804 times in damages).


A lawsuit can be brought against Wolpoff & Abramson for willful and intentional fraud and racketeering which will be prosecuted for treble damages for commercial injury pursuant to racketeering under Title 18, Chapter 96 of the U. S. Code.

Case Law:

Miller v. Wolpoff & Abramson, 2d Cir., No. 02-7017, 2/25/03
In the case of Miller v. Wolpoff & Abramson, 2d Cir., No. 02-7017, 2/25/03, retailer Lord & Taylor referred a debt to the Wolpoff & Abramson law firm for collection. After reviewing the alleged past due account and the retailer's efforts at collection, partner Ronald Abramson sent a debt collection letter to the credit card holder, Arthur Miller. Miller did not respond to the letter. Thereafter, Abramson referred Miller's file through the National Attorney Network (a debt collection referral service) to a second law firm, Upton, Cohen & Slamowitz. This firm filed suit against Miller seeking recovery of the credit card debt as well as attorney's fees. Miller countered with his own lawsuit alleging that the law firm violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 18 U.S.C. 1692, by sending debt collection letters on attorney letterhead without meaningful review of the circumstances of the alleged debt by any attorney. Additional counts were listed in the complaint, but this is the issue on which we will focus on. The district court granted summary judgment on all counts. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the summary judgment stating that it was premature because the lawyers' affidavits contained too little information. The affidavits stated only that Lord & Taylor reported the debt was due for collection and that Abramson had exercised independent professional judgment prior to authoring a collection letter.

Additional Authorities

United States District Courts and Supreme Court Rulings in Mile High Industries v. Cohen, Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, Szetela v. Discover Bank, Toppings v. Meritech Mortgage Services, Inc., Doctor's Associates, Inc. v. Casarotto, Vermont v. New Hampshire, Casteel vs. Clear Channel Broad., Inc., Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. vs. Gaskamp, Stout vs. Byrider, Myers vs. MBNA America and North American Capitol Corporation, Georgia v. South Carolina, Hale vs. Henkel, Erie Railroad Company v. Tompkins, Trinsey v. Pagliaro and Adickes v. Kress & Co.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

This press release regarding the arbitration scam should be read.

AUTHOR: Steve [Not A Lawyer] - (U.S.A.)

Mandatory arbitration is the biggest fraud being perpetrated on consumers that ever existed. It is a totally rigged game, where the consumer loses. Every time.


Consumer and Media Alert: The Small Print
That's Devastating Major Consumer Rights
Most Consumers Never Even Notice Mandatory Arbitration Clauses,
Now Being Slipped Into Everything from Bills to Contracts
NCLC Seeks More Protections, Crafts Model State Law ..

BOSTON It may be in tiny print among the ads stuffed into your credit-card bill. Or a few lines buried in a multi-page health insurance agreement, home-repair contract or college loan. The language is often dense legal-ese, but make no mistake: It translates into a giant trap door for consumers.

Welcome to the astonishingly unfair and undemocratic world of mandatory arbitration clauses. All that small print and buried verbiage boils down to this: that by simply continuing to use your credit card or health plan, for instance, you've suddenly agreed to resolve all disputes arising with that company - even very serious ones - through binding arbitration.

This passive consumer agreement to arbitration is a rather shocking way to obtain what passes for informed consent to a truly momentous waiver of rights. And it's only the start of the problem.

So beginning today, and in light of recent nationwide developments on this issue (details below), NCLC is calling on consumers and the news media to focus far more attention on the consequences of these clauses, which are spreading like wildfire across America.

A look at how businesses are using mandatory arbitration clauses says more about why they're so disturbing. The kind of passive notice that locks consumers into arbitration increasingly ties them to a system that thoroughly stacks the deck when serious disputes arise. Companies alone select the arbitration service often one dependent on them for repeat business. Those same companies often write the arbitration rules, and unsurprisingly those rules often demand complete secrecy about the proceeding and its outcome while limiting what evidence consumers can present. Consumers usually pay more for arbitration proceedings than they would for a public court proceeding. If they lose there's no appeal -- that means even legal errors in an arbitrator's decision are frequently beyond remedy. And if they refuse to participate in this rigged game these clauses often dictate they'll automatically lose the dispute with no further recourse.

National Consumer Law Center advocates believe these clauses are the single biggest threat to consumer rights in recent years, a de-facto rewrite of the Constitution that undermines a broad range of consumer protections painstakingly built into law. No other consumer issue hits so many Americans where they live every day.

The reality of mandatory arbitration is slowly dawning on consumers. From a major Supreme Court decision just last month to a new California law, and across legislative to judicial arenas nationwide, the battle over these noxious clauses is being joined.

How This Spreading Wildfire Burns Consumers
Even a cursory investigation shows that these clauses are popping up not only in the agreements mentioned above but also in mortgages and other loans, phone bills, home construction and repair contracts, stock brokerage agreements, pest-control contracts, bank depositors' agreements, college loans, mobile home purchases, employment agreements and many more.

Arbitration isn't necessarily a bad thing if both parties agree to it after a dispute arises. It's mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration clauses that are the problem. Not only are they often hard to find in agreements, they're even harder to notice because so many routine transactions contain so much boilerplate language. And consumers aren't on the lookout for a back-door attack on their rights in a dispute during a seemingly innocuous transaction prior to any dispute. The clauses just aren't relevant to them then.

One example: An NCLC staff member recently -- and after the fact -- discovered such a clause in the sign-in papers of his elderly, desperately-ill father, who was being sent from a hospital to a rehabilitation center in Florida. What fair-minded person believes any family member would take issue at such a moment or choose to go shopping for another facility than the one the hospital chose? The family member who'd traveled from afar to accompany the sick man says she never even noticed the clause when signing him in. She may well not have recognized its significance if she had.

To make things even more interesting the sick man's medication regimen was somehow mixed up for the first week at the rehab center. Luckily no serious harm was done, but if there had been serious harm the rehab center would have already all-but-dictated the process for settling damage claims -- against itself. That's a little like letting one side set the rules for the World Series, except the sportsmanship's missing.

The business community loudly proclaims that these clauses are merely a private-sector alternative to the courts, a way of streamlining and speeding up the judicial process while controlling costs.

But one party to a public court proceeding doesn't get to pick the judge, write the rules, limit the evidence and demand that testimony and outcomes never come to light. Unlike many arbitrators, judges aren't dependent on one side for future business. And the costs of arbitration proceedings for plaintiffs at least -- according to a report by the consumer group Public Citizen -- are almost always higher than the cost of instituting a lawsuit. It can cost a consumer several thousand dollars just to have a complaint heard a situation that remains true today despite industry claims that arbitration fees have fallen. Public Citizen says such costs have a deterrent effect, often preventing a claimant from even filing a casehigh arbitration costs can be used to bludgeon an adversary.

The business community loudly complains about the supposed perils of class-action lawsuits which many arbitration clauses specifically ban and which business is hotly trying to curb in Washington right now. In fact crowding out class actions is a main underlying reason for the rise of mandatory arbitration. But that smokescreen obscures a compelling counter-argument: Class-action suits are the only reasonable way to pursue many consumer ripoffs, especially small and medium-size ones. When arbitration fees can quickly exceed the amount of individual consumer claims, or when many are ripped off for small amounts, that makes those claims impossible to prosecute individually. And that leaves companies with a perverse incentive to rack up tens of thousands of small improper charges or other illegal fees a crime wave of mini-heists and a major reason class-action protections exist in the first place.

There's clearly a place for class-action cases involving larger-size ripoffs or wrongdoing as well. Businesses that do great individual harm to large numbers of consumers love to impose the burden of fighting on thousands of people separately it usually limits the numbers who actually do so and thus the company's overall exposure. And individuals are more easily whipsawed by aggressive lawyers, high costs and lowball payoff offers. Class-action suits can better make the punishment fit the crime one of the most effective ways of deterring further egregious corporate behavior.

This is why when you have a problem with a creditor your choices are limited. You either file bankruptcy, or just walk away like I did and let them chase you until the SOL runs out.

Big business hard at work to get the upper hand in every aspect of your life.
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#3 Consumer Comment

TLPJ Charges National Arbitration Forum with Violating CA Disclosure Law

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

TLPJ Charges National Arbitration Forum with Violating CA Disclosure Law

California Legislator and Consumer Group File Lawsuit to Force Company to Disclose Information on Outcome and Cost of Arbitrations

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ), a national public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit on May 17, 2004 in Superior Court in San Francisco against the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), charging that the private arbitration company has violated a California consumer protection law by refusing to disclose information about how it handles cases when consumer rights are at stake. That law requires private arbitration companies to disclose data about how many consumer cases they handle, which corporate defendants are involved, who wins, and how much consumers had to pay the arbitration company. Although the suit alleges that the NAF has handled numerous arbitrations subject to the law, it has not released any of the required information. For example, the NAF has failed to meet requirements to post such information online and to file reports in California on the outcomes of consumer and employment arbitrations.

The complaint in Corbett and Consumer Action v. National Arbitration Forum was filed as a representative lawsuit on behalf of all California consumers. The named plaintiffs in the case are Assemblymember Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) - who chairs the Assembly Judiciary Committee and authored the arbitration disclosure law - and Consumer Action, a San Francisco-based, national public interest organization that has successfully challenged abuses of mandatory, pre-dispute arbitration clauses. The plaintiffs seek a court order declaring that the NAF's refusal to disclose information about the arbitrations it handles violates California law, and requiring the company to disclose this information on its website immediately.

Although the California Code of Civil Procedure requires that arbitration companies disclose information about their consumer arbitrations by generating quarterly reports and posting this information on their websites, the NAF has not posted any such information. On its website, the NAF states that it has had no arbitrations in the period between January and December of 2003. However, the TLPJ lawsuit alleges that the NAF has presided over many California arbitrations in this period, and simply refuses to post information about these arbitrations on its website.

California consumers may be surprised to know that if they drive a car, own a phone, or use a credit card, they're almost certainly subject to binding arbitration. That's why they need to know basic information about who is deciding their cases, and how much they may have to pay an arbitrator, said Corbett. I am proud to have authored California's arbitration disclosure law, which ensures that consumers can make informed decisions about how to choose between private judging companies. The NAF - like every other private arbitration firm that does business in California - must give consumers the basic information required by California law.

The NAF is one of the country's three largest arbitration companies. Consumer contracts often specify which one of these companies will hear any dispute between the consumer and the corporation supplying the consumer with goods or services. When the contract specifies a particular arbitration firm, that firm provides an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators to hear the dispute, and sets out the rules that will govern that dispute. The other two major arbitration companies, the American Arbitration Association and J*A*M*S, comply with California's disclosure law.

By refusing to follow California's consumer protection laws, the NAF is deliberately denying consumers the ability to learn about the fairness and expense of its services, said Cliff Palefsky of San Francisco's McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky, co-lead counsel in the case. The NAF is not above the law. How can consumers expect NAF's arbitrators to follow the law when the NAF itself refuses to do so?

It is particularly important that consumers be able to access information about the NAF because of allegations that it has engaged in a pattern of bias in favor of corporations and against injured consumers, said TLPJ Staff Attorney F. Paul Bland, Jr., co-lead counsel. Several courts across the country have refused to enforce arbitration agreements that required consumers to arbitrate their claims before the NAF. The complaint in this case should give many consumers particularly strong reasons to want to know about the NAF's track record.

In addition to Bland and Palefsky, the plaintiffs' legal team includes TLPJ's Executive Director Arthur Bryant and TLPJ Baron-Brayton Fellow Kate Gordon. The complaint in Corbett v. National Arbitration Forum is posted on TLPJ's web site (((ROR REDACTED LINK FOR SECURITY PURPOSES)))

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice is the only national public interest law firm dedicated to using trial lawyers' skills and resources to advance the public good. Founded in 1982, TLPJ utilizes a nationwide network of more than 3,000 outstanding trial lawyers to pursue precedent-setting and socially significant litigation. It has a wide-ranging litigation docket in the areas of civil rights and liberties, consumer rights, environmental protection, toxic torts, worker safety, and access to the courts. TLPJ is the principal project of The TLPJ Foundation, a not-for-profit membership organization. It has offices in Washington, DC, and Oakland, CA. TLPJ's State Coordinators for California are Ingrid Evans, tel. (((ROR REDACTED PHONE NUMBER))) and Sharon Arkin, tel. (((ROR REDACTED PHONE NUMBER)))

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Information and Assistance

AUTHOR: S. - (U.S.A.)

The National Arbitration Forum is aware that there is much misinformation on the Internet about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including arbitration and mediation. Our recently redesigned website addresses many common concerns: we have expanded our FAQ section, added ADR process flowcharts and filing aids, and published more helpful information and links to other ADR resources. We invite you to visit us at to learn more about our organization and alternative dispute resolution.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

MBNA and all the rest of the collection agencies consumers are getting ripped off daily by the banks and credit card companies..

AUTHOR: Jen - (U.S.A.)

Merchants' Bank v. Baird 160 F. 642

Plain and simple-we consumers are getting ripped off daily by the banks and credit card companies..
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

MBNA and all the rest of the collection agencies consumers are getting ripped off daily by the banks and credit card companies..

AUTHOR: Jen - (U.S.A.)

Merchants' Bank v. Baird 160 F. 642

Plain and simple-we consumers are getting ripped off daily by the banks and credit card companies..
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