CFLS will only take a case after the client has given the company an opportunity to resolve the dispute first. And since our primary mission is to help the client, we almost always handle cases for FREE on contingency. See Fees for more information.
No case is too small. Even a $25 dispute can lead to thousands of dollars in statutory damages for the client.
After qualifying and accepting the client’s case, a demand letter is mailed to the company providing a summary of the facts as currently known, the legal basis, and the amount of the claim.
We encourage the company to contact us after receiving the demand letter. Discussing the facts of the case helps both sides clarify the issues. Please remember, the client is now represented by counsel, and no employee of the company should attempt to directly contact him or her.
We will provide the company with a reasonable settlement offer and attempt to reach a compromise. This is by far the most timely and cost effective stage to reach a settlement for both parties.
If we don’t hear from the company within 30 calendar days or cannot reach a settlement, then we will file an arbitration demand as required by the terms of the company’s customer agreement. We will advance all costs for arbitration, so it is FREE for the client.
Once the arbitration demand is filed, the company will have approximately 3 weeks to file an answer and pay a mandatory filing fee of approximately $3,000. If an answer and payment are not timely received, the company will be banned from using the arbitration service nationwide and will have to remove it from the customer agreement.
Consumer arbitrations currently take approximately 5 months to complete and generally are resolved by document submission only. This includes both opening and closing legal briefs. There is little the client has to do besides sign a declaration that supports the facts in the case, but there is generally a meaningful amount of work for the company.
This process usually results in company legal fees between $10,000-$25,000 regardless of the ruling, and if the client prevails, the company is often statutorily liable for the client’s attorneys fees of a similar amount as well.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Arbitration Study - Report to Congress 2015 released on March 10, 2015 shows that Consumer Fraud Legal Services handles more consumer arbitration cases involving bank checking accounts and prepaid debit cards than any other law firm in the United States.
Specifically, CFLS has handled:
97% of all prepaid debit card arbitrations from 2013 to Present
43% of all bank checking account arbitrations from 2013 to Present
7% of all credit cards arbitrations from 2013 to Present