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Equifax hack likely makes it harder for Republicans to kill rule allowing class-action lawsuits

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The massive data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax will make it that much harder for Republicans to strike down a federal rule that would guarantee consumers the right to join in class-action lawsuits against financial firms.

The rule in question is meant to forbid clauses in financial contracts that require customers to give up the option of joining in a class-action lawsuit, and instead rely on an arbitration process to resolve complaints.

Equifax included such a clause when they offered credit protection to people whose information may have been compromised. Reportedly, the data of 143 million Americans was exposed.

Democrats seized on the credit agency’s arbitration language Friday to argue that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule to prevent mandatory arbitration, finalized in July, must be spared from a Republican attempt to cancel the rule through the Congressional Review Act. The House voted in July to strike down the rule, leaving only a few undecided Republicans in the Senate keeping it alive.

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