In the last twenty years arbitration agreements have become increasingly popular in the United States. The agreements are pervasive across any contract between individuals and companies and have been promoted by chambers of commerce and better business bureaus across the country.
The language has become standard boilerplate in contracts even though very few people who sign these contracts know what they are really signing away when they agree to them.
The gist of these agreements is that the signor is agreeing to give up any right he would have to bring a lawsuit in the Courts of the state where he lives, and agrees to binding arbitration with a “neutral” who is often affiliated in some way with the chamber of commerce or better business bureau.
Individuals should have access to the courts of their home state, and arbitration agreements represent an artificial barrier to this access without any good reason. Recently 107 organizations have asked that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make new rules prohibiting individuals to be forced into arbitration agreements.
In contracts in Mississippi it is possible to make changes on the fly, cross out paragraphs, write in paragraphs and make other changes and then sign your initials next to these changes prior to signing if you are the first to sign. We recommend crossing out the paragraphs pertaining to Arbitration agreements, initialing that cross out, or just refusing to sign a contract that includes an Arbitration agreement.