WASHINGTON — The finance industry faces a steep, uphill battle in trying to convince the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that its common use of arbitration agreements is beneficial for consumers.

The CFPB released a 728-page study on Tuesday showing that most consumers aren't aware they have agreed to binding arbitration when they sign financial contracts and that millions could be missing out on refunds from class action lawsuits because some of those agreements restrict a consumer from filing a claim in court. A few hours after the study was published, the CFPB held a field hearing in New Jersey on the topic, where consumer lawyers used the study as Exhibit A in their case against mandatory arbitration agreements.

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