In Decker v. Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC, 2014 WL 4976771 (W.D.Mich. 2014), Judge Quist entitled a Debt Collector accused of “Flat Rating” to enforce an Arbitration Clause in a Credit Card Agreement.
The Court finds that there was a valid agreement to arbitrate. The Bank mailed Decker a copy of the Agreement with her credit card, and she accepted its terms by activating her card and using it to make purchases. She did not reject the arbitration provision when she received the Agreement, nor did she do so when she received the change in terms. Moreover, the arbitration provision explicitly stated that it applied not only to the Bank, but to its agents as well. Advanced Call Center Technologies has submitted evidence that it acted as the authorized agent of the Bank with regard to the letters at issue. (Dkt. # 17–1 at Page ID# 168.) Accordingly, there was a valid agreement to arbitrate between the parties. The Agreement provides that “any dispute or claim” is subject to arbitration “if it relates to [Decker’s] account.” ( Id. at Page ID# 133–34, ¶ 14.) The letters at issue in this case involved attempts to collect an outstanding debt that Decker allegedly owed on her JC Penney credit card account. There can be little doubt that a dispute over such letters relates to her account. See Caudill v. Cavalry SPV I, LLC, No. 14–32–ART, 2014 WL 4230811, at *6 (E.D.Ky. Aug. 15, 2014) (finding that claims were within arbitration clause under similar circumstances). Accordingly, the dispute in this case falls within the substantive scope of the parties’ arbitration agreement. Finally, there is no reason to believe that Decker’s claims would not be subject to arbitration simply because they are based on the FDCPA. See Green Tree Fin. Corp.-Ala. v. Randolph, 531 U.S. 79, 89, 121 S.Ct. 513, 521 (2000) ( “[W]e have recognized that federal statutory claims can be appropriately resolved through arbitration, and we have enforced agreements to arbitrate that involved such claims.”). On the contrary, courts in this Circuit have routinely enforced arbitration clauses in FDCPA cases. See e.g., Green v. G. Reynolds Sims & Ass., P.C., No. 12–12488, 2013 WL 1212775 (E.D.Mich. March 25, 2013) (granting motion to compel arbitration). In sum, the parties entered into a valid arbitration agreement, and the dispute at issue in this case falls within the scope of that agreement. Accordingly, Decker must submit her claims to arbitration
Similarly, in Lagrone v. Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC, 2014 WL 4966738 (W.D.Wash. 2014), Judge Robart ordered an FDCPA case to arbitration.
The credit card agreement’s arbitration provision applies to any dispute between Ms. L arone and GE Capital, its affiliates, and it agents, that “relates to [Ms. Lagrone’s] account.” ( See Agreement.) When evaluating arbitration agreements, courts give the language “relating to” a “broad” interpretation. See Tracer Research Corp. v. Nat’l Envtl. Servs. Co., 42 F.3d 1292, 1295 (9th Cir.1994); Cape Flattery Ltd. v. Titan Mar., LLC, 647 F.3d 914, 922 (9th Cir.2011). The Ninth Circuit has held that similarly broad arbitration clauses encompass any matters that “touch on” the relationship referenced by the arbitration provision. See Simula, 175 F.3d at 719; In re TFT–LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litig., No. M 07–1827 SI, 2011 WL 2650689, at *4 (N.D.Cal. July 6, 2011) (holding that an arbitration provision applicable to “any disputes related to” the parties’ contract “includes matters that, while not arising directly under the contractual relationship, are nevertheless related to it”). Here, the arbitration provision references Ms. Lagrone’s credit card account with GE Capital. ( See Agreement at 2.) There can be no dispute that, as required by the arbitration provision, Ms. Lagrone’s FD CPA claims against Advanced Call Centers “relate to” this account. ( See generally id.) After all, Ms. Lagrone’s claims are predicated solely on Advanced Call Centers’ efforts to collect outstanding debt associated with that account. ( See generally Am. Compl.) Ms. Lagrone does not seriously contend otherwise. ( See generally Resp.; Lagrone Supp.) This court recently held that FD CPA claims regarding improper attempts to collect credit card debt were “clearly covered” by an arbitration provision that applied to “all claims relating to [the plaintiff’s] account.” See Coppock v. Citigroup, Inc., No. C11–1984–JCC, 2013 WL 1192632, at *5 (W.D.Wash. Mar. 22, 2013). The same result is appropriate here. Mindful of the federal policy that “any doubts concerning the scope of arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration,” the court finds that Ms. Lagrone’s FDCPA claims against Advanced Call Centers fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement. See Simula, 175 F.3d at 719; Tracer Research, 42 F.3d at 1295. With that last piece of the puzzle in place, the court concludes that Advanced Call Center has successfully shown that it is entitled to compel Ms. Lagrone to arbitrate this dispute.