The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected to publish in the Federal Register on Friday, June 7, a notice of a telephone survey it proposes to conduct. The survey would be targeted at consumers holding credit cards and would test their awareness of arbitration provisions in their credit card agreements. The notice will provide the public 60 days to comment on the proposed survey. We understand that the goal is to receive at least a thousand responses.

The survey would support a study that the CFPB is required by Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to conduct concerning the use of agreements providing for arbitration of any future dispute between providers of consumer financial services and consumers; the CFPB is also required to provide a report to Congress. That statute also authorizes the CFPB to prohibit or impose limitations on the use of such agreements if the CFPB finds that such prohibition or limitations are in the public interest and for the protection of consumers. Any such finding, by statute, must be consistent with the study.

It is not clear why the telephone survey that the CFPB will propose is to be limited to credit cardholders when the scope of the required study is considerably broader than credit card services.