Q: Should I opt in or out of my banks Arbitration agreement?
My bank recently sent out a letter asking everyone with an account to opt in/out of their new arbitration agreement. I called their office to get more information on what this exactly meant as their letter also did not specify what changes were going to happen and how they affect me or my money. When I called they were unable to tell me what would happen so I am unsure of what my next steps should be.
A: It would be difficult for an attorney here to tell you to opt out or not opt out without seeing the arbitration agreement. In terms of arbitration agreements as a GENERAL matter, whether they apply to contract, employment, real estate, car sales, etc., what it often means is that a person accepts arbitration as an alternative to litigating a dispute in civil or other court. Another attribute of arbitration clauses is that they could designate the forum or jurisdiction where a dispute would be heard. That doesn't mean that these features apply to your situation; they are just some GENERAL qualities that arbitration clauses could impose. One way to know for certain how this would impact you would be to discuss it with the bank to learn more if you are able to reach someone who could explain it, or to review the agreement with an attorney who routinely handles transactions involving financial institutions.
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