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I just got a letter from a law firm that says that "the contract between you and Bank One provides for the resolution of claims or disputes by means of bindng arbitration: then goes on to explain what arbitration means".

It also says that "in the event that we cannot reach an amicable arrangement, the filing of an arbitration claim will be evaluated as our client's rememdy."

Then it says "my firm is NOT licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction and will not pursue any legal action in the state or frederal courts, but legal counsel will be obtained in my local area if an arbitration award is obtained."

I don't understand. They either represent Bank One or they dont. Has anyone heard of this before? I sent a letter to Bank One last August disputing this and never got a response.

How should I reply to this letter? Just request validation info? I don't have my original Bank One contract to even know if this info was in there.

How should I reply to this firm??


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Arbitration clauses are starting to be included in cc contracts. How old is this account? If you opened it in the past few years likely you agreed to arbitration.

Who is the law firm? MBNA has been very aggressive in sending cases to arbitration. Bascially, you by pass the legal system. You present your evidence to an arbitrator they select and they render a decision. They take that decision to the local court and get an order enforcing it.

Others may have a better idea but I'd start by asking for validation and demanding a copy of any arbitration agreement with my signature.

[Edit by bingo on Monday, February 17, 2003 @ 01:34 PM]

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This account was opened several years ago and I don't have a copy of the contract. It was opened w/First USA which is now Bank One.

Should I ask them for a copy of the contract that I signed to show I agreed to binding arbitration? I disputed this balance as not mine and they never got back to me!

The law firm is Mann Bracken LLC out of Atlanta. I verified them through Martindale. They are collection attorneys.

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I think I'd demand a copy of all my account documents. If they do send it to arbitration they'll have {I'd think} to prove you agreed to this procedure.

I dunno what to suggest. Hopefully someone will have a better idea. Arbitration is a killer to he consumer. They pick the forum and venue and pay the arbitration service so for sure you don't get a fair shake.

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So I would demand that the attorney send me this information?

My hope is that they will not proceed with this because they realize that it is meritless. This account is not mine.

What bothers me is that I will have to incur costs to go through this whole debacle only to prove that it is not. Surely they would check into everything before they proceed.

Thanks for your input.

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