Are Forum Selection Clauses and Class Action Waivers Enforceable in Georgia?

ARE FORUM SELECTION CLAUSES AND CLASS ACTION WAIVERS ENFORCEABLE IN GEORGIA?

MARCH 21, 2019

Kurt Kastorf appeared before the Eleventh Circuit to defend a district court decision on the scope of Georgia’s Payday Lending Act. The district court held that both a forum selection clause and a class action waiver were unenforceable in an action alleging violations of the Georgia Payday Lending Act and the Georgia Industrial Loan act.

As Courthouse News Service explained:

In a November 2017 opinion, U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen ruled that forum-selection clauses in payday loan contracts “contravene an expressly stated public policy against their use’ and rejected the forum clause in the Oasis contracts as unenforceable under the Payday Lending Act.

Judge Bowen also refused to strike down the plaintiffs’ class allegations, finding the class-action waivers contained in Oasis’ contracts are unlawful.

“The Georgia Legislature did not expressly create the class action remedy so that predatory lenders could effectively wipe away this consumer protection with a waiver in a single paragraph of a six-page, single-spaced agreement,” the judge wrote.”

CNS also quoted from portions of Kurt’s argument:

Kurt Kastorf, a Summerville Firm attorney representing the plaintiffs, asked the panel to uphold the district court’s decision.

Kastorf argued that the district court correctly determined that the Payday Lending Act bars Oasis from enforcing the class-action waiver contained in its financing agreements with the plaintiffs.

He told the panel that the Payday Lending Act was “meant to limit clever artifices” like forum-selection clauses and class-action waivers in contracts.

You can read more about the argument here.

To find more information on the case, click here.

Do you face similar issues in one of your cases? Contact Kurt Kastorf.

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