Skip to Content

What You Agree To: The Price of Hidden Arbitration Clauses


A quick question: Do you read the entire contract before you sign? If you’re like most people, you don’t. Studies even confirm the fact that we tend to skip to the bottom of the page and click or sign to get what we want.

The danger comes when those contracts contain language which limits the legal rights of consumers by not allowing class-action lawsuits or making arbitration the only way involved parties can address potential legal issues.

For many, the hidden arbitration clause is something we hope never affects us. After all, these clauses are hidden in several different contracts we sign every day. Credit cards, car loans, checking accounts, insurance policies, student loans, and nursing home agreements all potentially carry language which limits the ability of consumers to take legal action against businesses.

In some instances, your ability to use a product is contingent on agreeing to terms of use, but in other situations, you can negotiate, or even refuse to sign a contract with a business that limits your legal rights. Review all contracts and have a lawyer review the language if you’re not certain.

Read our next blog to understand the very real affects arbitration clauses have on families.