Lending Agreements’ Out-of-State Forum Selection Clauses and Class Action Waivers Violate Georgia Public Policy Blog 11thCircuitBusinessBlog

Lending Agreements’ Out-of-State Forum Selection Clauses and Class Action Waivers Violate Georgia Public Policy Blog 11thCircuitBusinessBlog

Next, the court addressed the course action waiver

Loan providers had been barred from enforcing out-of-state forum selection clauses and class action waivers in loan agreements because such conditions violate Georgia’s general public policy, the Eleventh Circuit held in Davis v. Oasis Legal Finance working Co., 2019 WL 4051592 (11th Cir. Aug. 28, 2019). A course of borrowers whom joined into identical loan agreements sued their loan providers, alleging that the agreements violated Georgia’s Payday Lending Act, O.C.G.A. § 16-17-1 et seq., Industrial Loan Act, O.C.G.A. § 7-3-1 et seq., and usury regulations, O.C.G.A. § 7-4-18. Lenders relocated to dismiss the problem and hit the borrowers’ class allegations, arguing that the mortgage agreements’ forum selection clauses needed the borrowers to sue them in Illinois and that the class action waivers banned a course action. Siding because of the borrowers, the region court denied the lenders’ motions, keeping that both clauses violated Georgia’s general public policy and had been unenforceable.

On interlocutory appeal as well as in a viewpoint by Judge Adalberto Jordan, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed. Are you aware that forum selection clause, the court reasoned that relating to Georgia Supreme Court precedent, the Payday Lending Act establishes a clear public policy that prohibits loan providers from utilizing out-of-state forum selection clauses: the Act expressly bars lenders from designating a court when it comes to resolution of disputes “other than the usual court of competent jurisdiction in and also for the county where the debtor resides or even the loan office is located.” Further, the statute describes that loan providers had utilized forum selection clauses to prevent Georgia courts and that “the General Assembly has determined that such techniques are unconscionable and may be forbidden.”

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