James Hoyer Partner Jesse Hoyer is a strong advocate for consumers and taxpayers. She’s seen how mandatory arbitration agreements can hurt consumers and shared her concerns with ABC Action News I-team reporter Adam Walser.
Walser recently took an eye-opening look into the arbitration clauses that many home builders put into their agreements with homeowners. He profiled two families dealing with significant structural issues in their new homes. They’ve been unable to get the companies to fix the problems properly and provide them relief, in part because of mandatory arbitration agreements.
Attorney Jesse Hoyer explained in the story that arbitration agreements are often lop-sided giving businesses the edge over consumers.
“Corporations can wait them out, they can bleed them financially. They can draw everything out over time,” said Hoyer.
That’s exactly what happened to the families in ABC’s report. Both are struggling to find a resolution with companies that built their homes.
Hoyer says, because these clauses most often favor corporations, avoid them if you can. Unfortunately, consumers are often stuck, because companies make these clauses a take-it or leave-it proposition, knowing they will have the upper hand. If you want the service provided, whether it’s a home builder, doctor’s visit, or employment agreement, often times you must sign. If you feel you have no choice, ask lots of questions and understand what you’re getting into. Try to at least make sure you retain your right to pursue a lawsuit, if the dispute cannot be resolved by arbitration.