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Chase Bank (now known as JPMorgan Chase Bank) is adding a “binding arbitration” clause into their terms and conditions for some credit cards. A new section titled Arbitration Agreement is being added to the end of your card agreement.
You may receive a notice by mail or email. You have until 11 December 2021, depending on the card, to reject the arbitration clause. Otherwise, the new Chase arbitration agreement automatically kicks in.
Here is a basic template letter you can send to Chase to opt out of the binding arbitration clause.
Chase Customer Service
P.O. Box 17235
Wilmington, DE 19850-5298
Your Firstname Lastname
City, State ZIPCODE
November 1, 2021
Regarding: Rejecting Chase Binding Arbitration Agreement
To Whom It May Concern:
On 26 October 2021, I received written communication from JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., explaining certain changes to the terms of my customer relationship. Among those changes is a new binding arbitration provision with an opt-out notice.
Please note that I REJECT the Chase Binding Arbitration Agreement effective December 11, 2021. Please confirm receipt of this rejection and annotate my account(s) appropriately.
I reject forced arbitration of future disputes relating in any way to my relationship with JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Chase Bank USA, N.A., and all parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and related entities (“Chase”). I reserve my right to litigate all claims against Chase — including collective actions — in court.
Name: Firstname Lastname
Account Number(s): 4147-2222-3333-4444, 1234-5678-9012-2342
Billing Address: 124 Address Street, City, State ZIPCODE
Signature: (Actually sign here)
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
MLA and Chase Binding Arbitration Clause
Thankfully, it appears if you are covered by the Chase Military Lending Act (MLA), which all military servicemembers and their spouses should be, then you are automatically opted out. Here's the quote from the Chase Military Lending Act Notice:
If you are covered by the Military Lending Act, (i) then you are not bound by the Arbitration Agreement below, and (ii) notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this agreement, to the extent required by the Military Lending Act, nothing in this agreement will be deemed a waiver of the right to legal recourse under any otherwise applicable provision of state or federal law.
Even if you are military, I think it is important to send a message to Chase that these kinds of changes are not how you treat customers fairly.
Send Chase a quick letter opting out to make it clear that they shouldn't remove our rights to a judge and jury.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chase Arbitration Agreement
What is Binding Arbitration?
Here's how Chase defines binding arbitration in their new terms and conditions:
BINDING ARBITRATION: Unless you timely reject the agreement to arbitrate, disputes with us may be resolved by binding arbitration. With arbitration, you cannot go to court, have a jury trial or initiate or participate in a class action for your dispute(s) with us. In arbitration, disputes are resolved by an arbitrator, not a judge or jury, and procedures are simpler and more limited than rules applicable in court.
Note that these terms and conditions will remove your right go to court, have a jury trial, or participate in class action lawsuits.
Will this close my credit card account?
No. Rejecting the Chase Arbitration agreement will not close your account. From the Chase email I received:
Can I (the customer) reject this agreement to arbitrate?
Yes. You have the right to reject this agreement to arbitrate if you notify us no later than 12/11/2021. You must do so in writing by stating that you reject this agreement to arbitrate and include your name, account number, address and personal signature. Your notice must be mailed to us at P.O. Box 17235, Wilmington, DE 19850-5298. Rejection notices sent to any other address, or sent by electronic mail or communicated orally, will not be accepted or effective.
Do I have to physically mail a letter to Chase?
Yes, they are purposely making this hard so people don't opt out. Send the letter to P.O. Box 17235 Wilmington, DE 19850-5298. You cannot send a rejection notice by electronic mail (email) or by communication verbally or orally (over the phone).
If Chase automatically opts me in for binding arbitration, can I participate in class action lawsuits?
No. Binding arbitration means you have waived your rights to a class action lawsuit. From the Chase email I received:
UNLESS YOU REJECT THIS AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE, YOU AND WE ARE WAIVING THE RIGHT TO ASSERT OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION, OR ANY REPRESENTATIVE OR CONSOLIDATED PROCEEDING IN COURT OR IN ARBITRATION.
Again, you MUST opt out of this binding agreement or you CANNOT participate in class action lawsuits.
How do I opt out of the Chase Binding Arbitration agreement?
The only way to opt out of the Chase binding arbritation change is to physically mail them a letter with your name, account number(s), address, and personal signature no later than December 11, 2021.
I suggest you send this letter quickly and send it certified mail so you can get receipt when they receive it. Here's the quote from the email:
YOU CAN REJECT THE BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT. YOU MUST MAIL YOUR REJECTION TO US BY 12/11/2021. PLEASE SEE THE END OF THIS NOTICE FOR INSTRUCTIONS
Please share this letter with other Chase customers so they can also opt out of the Chase binding arbitration agreement.
It depends, but usually arbitration favors the party who demanded the arbitration. This is not a consumer friendly policy.