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Marciel v. Springleaf Financial Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

November 17, 2014

DAVID MARCIEL & DEANNA MARCIEL, Plaintiffs,
v.
SPRINGLEAF FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

JOSHUA R. TRIGSTED, Trigsted Law Group, P.C., Lake Oswego, OR, Attorney for Plaintiffs.

MILES D. MONSON, Anderson & Monson, PC, Beaverton, OR, Attorneys for Defendant.

AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion (#7) to Compel Arbitration. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

BACKGROUND

On January 5, 2009, Plaintiffs David and Deanne Marciel entered into a Personal Credit Line Account Agreement with lender Household Finance Corporation II (HFC). The Agreement defined "we, us, and our" as "the Lender" and "you" as "the Borrower(s)." Decl. of Dana Wassam, Ex. 1 at 1. The Agreement provided in pertinent part that "[t]he terms of the Arbitration Rider signed by you as part of your agreement are incorporated herein by this reference." Wassam Decl., Ex. 1 at 3. The Arbitration Rider also signed by Plaintiffs on January 5, 2009, provides in pertinent part:

By signing this Arbitration Rider, you agree that either Lender or you may request that any claim, dispute, or controversy (whether based upon contract; tort, Intentional or otherwise; constitution; statute; common law; or equity and whether pre-existing, present, or future)... arising from or relating to this Agreement or the relationships which result from this Agreement, including the validity or enforceability of this arbitration clause... shall be resolved, upon the election of you or us by binding arbitration pursuant to this arbitration provision and the applicable rules or procedures of the arbitration administrator selected at the time the Claim is filed.
* * *
This Arbitration Rider is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce, and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16 (the "FAA").

Wassam Decl., Ex. 1 at 5-6.

On April 1, 2013, Springcastle American Funding Trust purchased Plaintiffs' Personal Credit Line Account from HFC.

At some point after the sale of Plaintiffs' Personal Credit Line Account and before September 1, 2013, Plaintiffs were advised their Personal Credit Line Account had been sold to Springcastle and that Springleaf Consumer Loan, Inc., [1] was going to become the servicer of their Account.

On September 1, 2013, Springleaf Consumer Loan became the servicer of Plaintiffs' Personal Credit Line Account.

On May 19, 2014, Plaintiffs filed an action in this Court against Springleaf Financial Services alleging Defendant had violated several provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692a, et seq., in its efforts to collect "a debt" from Plaintiffs.

On July 1, 2014, Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration. The Court took Defendant's Motion under advisement on July 29, 2014, and concludes the record is sufficiently developed to resolve the Motion without oral argument.

STANDARDS

Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., to "advance the federal policy favoring arbitration agreements." Lowden v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 512 F.3d 1213, 1217 (9th Cir. 2008). The FAA provides arbitration agreements generally "shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable." Id. See also 9 U.S.C. § 2. The court must "rigorously enforce" arbitration agreements and "must order arbitration if it is satisfied that the making of the agreement for arbitration is not in issue." Simula, Inc. v. Autoliv, Inc., 175 F.3d 716, 719 (9th Cir. 1999)(citing Dean Witter Reynolds v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 218 (1985)). Accordingly, the court's task is to "determine (1) whether a valid agreement to arbitrate exists, and, if it does, (2) whether the agreement encompasses the dispute at issue." Lowden, 512 F.3d at 1217 (citation omitted).

If the court determines there are unresolved issues of fact as to the formation of the arbitration agreement, the court must "proceed summarily" to a jury trial on the merits. 9 U.S.C. § 4. See also Sanford v. Memberworks, Inc., 483 F.3d 956, 962 (9th Cir. 2007). If the court determines the matter is subject to arbitration, it may either stay the matter pending arbitration or ...


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