January 10, 2012

Supreme Court Holds CROA Claims Arbitrable, Surprising No One

By Paul Kirgis

In a thoroughly unsurprising decision, the Supreme Court today held in CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood that claims under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act are arbitrable. CROA contains a disclosure rule requiring that consumers be notified that they “have a right to sue a credit repair organization that violates the Credit Repair Organization Act.” The Act also contains a nonwaiver provision providing that “Any waiver by any consumer of any protection provided by or any right of the consumer under this subchapter— (1) shall be treated as void; and (2) may not be enforced by any Federal or State court or any other person.” The district court and the Ninth Circuit had held that these provisions, combined with other language in the statute referring to “actions,” “class actions,” and “court,” guaranteed a right to sue in court. Citing similar language from the ADEA, RICO, and the Clayton Act–statutes the Court long ago held subject to arbitration–the Court summarily rejected that argument.

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