What Should You Do if you Have a Dispute with your Mover?
Dispute Settlement Program
If a problem arises with your household goods carrier (mover), you should first attempt to work out an agreement to resolve the dispute. But if you and the mover are not able to agree, you have two options:
- Seek an arbitration hearing; or
- Initiate legal action against your mover.
Federal Regulations require that your mover have an arbitration program, or a legal process to handle arguments, to resolve disputes about property loss and damage as well as disputes about whether the mover charges, in addition to those collected at delivery, must be paid.
If you choose arbitration, you need to contact your mover to request a hearing, which they must agree to if your claim is less than or equal to $10,000. The mover may refuse to participate in arbitration if your claim exceeds $10,000. In this event, your only option is to initiate legal action. There is often a fee charged to initiate an arbitration hearing that is split between you and the mover, but the arbitrator has the authority to determine who should pay the cost.
If you choose to file a lawsuit in your state, you need to serve or send the legal papers to the mover’s process agent in that state. A process agent is a representative of the mover with whom court papers may be served. To locate the process agent in your state, visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/process-agents.
Follow the instructions below to locate the process agent in your state.
- Click on this link
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on CONTINUE
- At the top of the screen click on CHOOSE MENU OPTION, for the drop down box and select CARRIER SEARCH, then press GO
- Type in the U.S. DOT or MC number for the carrier
- Click on HTML
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, see BLANKET COMPANY, and click on the link
- You will see a list of process agents by state; locate the process agent for your state