There are so many Tennessee residents dealing with the prospects of a personal bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy filing can discharge certain debts and stop harassing calls from collectors. Some of these debts and calls are from credit card companies, many of which have been involved in a prolonged legal case accusing them of conspiracy.
The case began about ten years ago and was brought against many financial institutions that were forcing credit card users to enter forced arbitration. Those that did not comply with the arbitration clause were then barred from obtaining a credit card, the suit claims.
While many recognizable brands have since settled out of court - such as Bank of America, JPMorgan & Chase and Capital One - Citigroup and Discover maintain their innocence and are the only remaining defendants in the antitrust suit. They recently made a formal request to dismiss the case, which was denied by a federal judge in New York.
Stating that there is evidence that "could suggest that (the) defendants used the meetings to concoct a conspiracy to adopt arbitration clauses and boycott consumers who rejected them," the judge seems to believe that the case still has legs. He cited a "voluminous record" showing that companies named in the suit frequently met during a period that spanned from 1999 to 2003, and the judge also noted that arbitration policies were "roughly mirrored" amongst all of the companies.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made many rulings in recent years that have sided with credit card issuers on the subject of forced arbitration. However, just last week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission refused Carlyle Group L.P.'s IPO because the company had a forced arbitration clause for shareholders.
Source: Business Insurance, "U.S. judge won't end credit card antitrust case," Reuters, Feb. 9, 2012