In Greenwood v. CompuCredit, Corp., here, Justice Scalia today authored an opinion overruling the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuits’ refusal to enforce an arbitration clause related to a claim under the Credit Repair Organizations Act. The syllabus of the Court explained:
Although respondents’ credit card agreement required their claims tobe resolved by binding arbitration, they filed a lawsuit against petitioner CompuCredit Corporation and a division of petitioner bank, alleging, inter alia, violations of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). The Federal District Court denied the defendants’ motion to compel arbitration, concluding that Congress intended CROA claims to be nonarbitrable. The Ninth Circuit affirmed. Held: Because the CROA is silent on whether claims under the Act can proceed in an arbitrable forum, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires the arbitration agreement to be enforced according to its terms. Pp. 2–10. (a) Section 2 of the FAA establishes “a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration.” Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U. S. 1, 24. It requires that courts enforce arbitrationagreements according to their terms. See Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U. S. 213, 221. That is the case even when federal statutory claims are at issue, unless the FAA’s mandate has been “overridden by a contrary congressional command.” Shearson/American Express Inc. v. McMahon, 482 U. S. 220, 226. Pp. 2–3. (b) The CROA provides no such command. Respondents contend that the CROA’s disclosure provision—which requires credit repair organizations to provide consumers with a statement that includes the sentence “ ‘You have a right to sue a credit repair organization that violates the [Act],’ ” 15 U. S. C. §1679c(a)—gives consumers theright to bring an action in a court of law; and that, because the CROAprohibits the waiver of “any right of the consumer under this subchapter,” §1679f(a), the arbitration agreement’s waiver of the “right”to bring a court action cannot be enforced. Respondents’ premise is flawed. The disclosure provision creates only a right for consumers toreceive a specific statement describing the consumer protections that the law elsewhere provides, one of which is the right to enforce acredit repair organization’s “liab[ility]” for “fail[ure] to comply with[the Act].” §1679g(a). That provision does not override the FAA’s mandate. Its mere contemplation of judicial enforcement does not demonstrate that the Act provides consumers with a “right” to initialjudicial enforcement. Pp. 3–8. (c) At the time of the CROA’s enactment in 1996, arbitration clauses such as the one at issue were no rarity in consumer contracts generally, or in financial services contracts in particular. Had Congressmeant to prohibit these very common provisions in the CROA, itwould have done so in a manner less obtuse than what respondents suggest. Pp. 8–9.