If you haven’t moved your money out of the big banks yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Wells Fargo just notified its customers that as of February 15, 2012:
“YOU AGREE THAT YOU AND THE BANK ARE WAIVING THE RIGHT TO A JURY
TRIAL OR TRIAL BEFORE A JUDGE IN A PUBLIC COURT.”
Here’s the full notification:
Effective February 15, 2012
Important Change in Terms Notice
Dispute Resolution Program: Arbitration Agreement
This Addenda amends the Consumer Account Agreement (“Agreement”). All terms
defined in the Agreement will have the same meaning when used in this Addenda.
If there is a conflict between the addenda and the Agreement, this Addenda will
control. Except as expressly amended by this Addenda, the Agreement remains in full
force and effect.
If you have a dispute with the Bank, and you are not able to resolve the dispute informally, you and the Bank agree that upon demand by either you or the Bank, the dispute will be resolved through the arbitration process as set forth in this part. A “dispute” is any unresolved disagreement between you and the Bank. It includes any disagreement relating in any way to services, accounts or matters; to your use of any of the Bank’s banking locations or facilities; or to any means you may use to access your account(s). It includes claims based on broken promises or contracts, torts, or other wrongful actions. It also includes statutory, common law, and equitable claims.
“Disputes” include disagreements about the meaning, application or enforceability of this
arbitration agreement. This arbitration agreement shall survive any termination of your
account(s). YOU AGREE THAT YOU AND THE BANK ARE WAIVING THE RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL OR TRIAL BEFORE A JUDGE IN A PUBLIC COURT.
As the sole exception to this arbitration agreement, you and the Bank retain the right
to pursue in small claims court any dispute that is within that court’s jurisdiction. If either you or the Bank fail to submit to binding arbitration following lawful demand, the party so failing bears all costs and expenses incurred by the other in compelling arbitration.
Arbitration procedure; severability You or the Bank may submit a dispute to binding arbitration at any time, regardless of whether a lawsuit or other proceeding has been previously commenced. NEITHER YOU NOR THE BANK SHALL BE ENTITLED TO JOIN OR CONSOLIDATE DISPUTES BY OR AGAINST OTHERS IN ANY ARBITRATION, OR TO INCLUDE IN ANY ARBITRATION ANY DISPUTE AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR MEMBER OF A CLASS, OR TO ACT IN ANY ARBITRATION IN THE INTEREST OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR IN A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAPACITY. Each arbitration, including the selection of the arbitrator(s) shall be administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), or such other administrator as you and the Bank may mutually agree to (the AAA or such other mutually agreeable administrator to be referred to hereinafter as the “Arbitration Administrator”), according to the Commercial Arbitration Rules and the Supplemental Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes (“AAA Rules”). To the extent that there is any variance between the AAA Rules and this Arbitration Agreement, this Arbitration Agreement shall control. Arbitrators must be members of the state bar where the arbitration is held, with expertise in the substantive laws applicable to the subject matter of the dispute. No arbitrator or other party to an arbitration proceeding may disclose the existence, content or results thereof, except for disclosures of information by a party required in the ordinary course of its business or by applicable law or regulation. The parties agree that in this relationship: (1) The parties are participating in transactions involving interstate commerce; (2) The arbitrator shall decide any dispute regarding the enforceability of this arbitration agreement; and (3) This agreement and any resulting arbitration are governed by the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act (Title 9 of the United States Code), and, to the extent any provision of that act is inapplicable, unenforceable or invalid, the laws of the state that govern the relationship between you and the Bank. If any of the provision of this arbitration agreement dealing with class action, class arbitration, private attorney general action, other representative action, joinder, or consolidation is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that invalid provision shall not be severable and this entire arbitration agreement shall be unenforceable.
This arbitration agreement does not prohibit you or the Bank from exercising any lawful
rights or using other available remedies to preserve, or obtain possession of property;
exercise self-help remedies, including setoff rights; or obtain provisional or ancillary
remedies such as injunctive relief, attachment, garnishment or the appointment of a
receiver by a court of competent jurisdiction. All statutes of limitations applicable to any
dispute apply to any arbitration between you and the Bank. The provisions of this
arbitration agreement shall survive termination or amendment of the deposit relationship
or any other relationship between you and the Bank.
Fees and expenses of arbitration
Arbitration fees shall be determined by the rules or procedures of the arbitration
administrator, unless limited by applicable law. Please check with the arbitration
administrator to determine the fees applicable to any arbitration you may file. If the
applicable law of the state in which you opened your account limits the amount of fees and expenses to be paid by you, then no allocation of fees and expenses to you shall exceed this limitation. Unless inconsistent with applicable law, each of us shall bear the expense of our own attorney, expert and witness fees, regardless of which of us prevails in the arbitration.