In Betancourt v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, 2013 WL 6644560 (M.D.Fla. 2013), Judge Moody ordered a TCPA claim to arbitration.
This case involves similar claims to those in Ownings v. T–Mobile USA, Inc., 3:12–CV–1385–J–12, 2013 WL 4401824 (M.D.Fla.2013), where the court held that Plaintiff’s TCPA and FCCPA claims were significantly related to a cellular contract service agreement. In that case, the Plaintiff brought claims against his former cellular service provider for “willfully and knowingly placing non-emergency calls to Plaintiff’s cellular telephone, using an artificial dialing system and/or an artificial or pre-recorded voice, without Plaintiff’s prior express consent.” The complaint further alleged that “tele-phone communications … occurred with such fre-quency as could reasonably have been expected to abuse or harass the Plaintiff.” ¶ When the Plaintiff terminated his cellular ser-vice contract early he owed a past due balance and was charged an early termination fee and late charges. The service agreement had an arbitration clause. The Court held that since the alleged TCPA and FCCPA violations were tied directly to the late fees and early termination charges set forth in the service agreement, the requisite significant relationship and nexus be-tween Plaintiff’s claim and the agreement to arbitrate existed. The Ownings court cited to Jackson in support of its holding. ¶ The Court finds the holding in Ownings persuasive. The Plaintiffs’ allegations are tied directly to Shute’s alleged failure to pay on the Note and Green Tree’s authority to collect on the Note .FN2 The FCCPA provides prohibitions against debt collectors when engaged in “collecting consumer debts.” Fla. Stat. § 559.72. Therefore, Shute’s FCCPA claim must be tied to a consumer debt; namely the Note. Further, Shute’s claims for invasion of privacy and violation of the TCPA also have a nexus to the Note, since all of the claims are tied to Green Tree’s actions in attempting to collect on the Note. See also Rhodall v. Verizon Wireless of E., L.P., CA 1:10–3195–MBS, 2011 WL 4036418 (D.S.C.2011) reconsideration denied, CA 1:10–3195–MBS, 2012 WL 1825259 (D.S.C.2012) (finding disputes over collection of past due charges fall within the ambit of a similarly broad arbitration provision); Shea v. BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc., 1:12–CV–23324–KMM, 2013 WL 869526 (S.D.Fla.2013) (holding that Plaintiff’s TCPA claim against bank based on unsolicited text message “clearly arises from the Parties’ contractual relation-ship as embodied by the Agreements and relate to the Plaintiff’s accounts with Defendant.”) Therefore, the Court concludes that the Shute’s claims have a significant relationship or nexus to the Note and should be submitted to arbitration.