The first step is for the claimant to file an arbitration claim with NFA. If the claim meets NFA's arbitration requirements, NFA will serve it on the opposing party (a respondent). The respondent will then have either 20 or 45 days (depending on the claim amount) to submit an answer.
To encourage settlements, mediation is available as part of the arbitration process. NFA pays for the mediator if the parties use the service selected by NFA.
For cases that do not settle, NFA will appoint an arbitrator or arbitrators to decide the dispute. The total size of the claim dictates how many arbitrators there will be (one or three) and whether there will be an oral hearing or a summary proceeding (where the case is decided based on a review of the parties' written submissions).