PLEASE READ THIS PROVISION OF THE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY. UNLESS YOU EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO OPT- OUT OF ARBITRATION IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED BELOW, YOU AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTE WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING ARBITRATION. ARBITRATION REPLACES THE RIGHT TO GO TO COURT, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO HAVE A JURY TRIAL, TO ENGAGE IN DISCOVERY (EXCEPT AS MAY BE PROVIDED FOR IN THE ARBITRATION RULES), AND TO PARTICIPATE AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR MEMBER OF ANY CLASS OF CLAIMANTS OR IN ANY CONSOLIDATED ARBITRATION PROCEEDING OR AS A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. OTHER RIGHTS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE IF YOU WENT TO COURT MAY ALSO BE UNAVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION.
Agreement to Arbitrate. You and we (defined below) agree that any Dispute (defined below) will be resolved by Arbitration. This agreement to arbitrate is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., and the substantive law of the State of where you live (without applying its choice-of-law rules). Nothing in this arbitration agreement is intended to prevent either of us from filing a lawsuit in an appropriate small claims court for an amount that does not exceed the court’s jurisdictional limits. If counterclaims or other motions would cause the lawsuit to be removed from small claims court to another court, the dispute must be resolved by arbitration.
What Arbitration Is. “Arbitration” is a means of having an independent third party resolve a Dispute. A “Dispute” is any claim or controversy of any kind between you and us. The term Dispute is to be given its broadest possible meaning and includes, without limitation, all claims or demands (whether past, present, or future, including events that occurred prior to origination of your Rental-Purchase Agreement (“Agreement”) and whether or not an Agreement is provided to you, based on any legal or equitable theory (contract, tort, or otherwise) and regardless of the type of relief sought (i.e., money, injunctive relief, or declaratory relief). A Dispute includes, by way of example and without limitation, any claim based upon a federal or state constitution, statute, ordinance, regulation, or common law, and any issue concerning the validity, enforceability, or scope of this arbitration agreement.
For purposes of this arbitration agreement, the terms “you” and “your” include any co-signer, co-obligor, or guarantor and also your heirs, guardian, personal representative, or trustee in bankruptcy. The terms “we,” “our,” and “us” mean Lessor and include Lessor’s employees, offi cers, directors, members, managers, attorneys, affi liated companies, predecessors, and assigns, as well as Lessor’s marketing, servicing, and collection representatives and agents.
How Arbitration Works. If a Dispute arises, the party asserting the claim or demand must initiate arbitration, provided you or we may first try to resolve the matter informally or through customary business methods, including collection activity. The party filing an arbitration must choose either of the following arbitration firms for initiating and pursuing an arbitration: the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) or JAMS, The Resolution Experts (“JAMS”). If the parties mutually agree, a private party, such as a retired judge, may serve as the arbitrator. If you claim you have a Dispute with us, but do not initiate an arbitration or select an arbitrator, we may do so. You may obtain copies of the current rules of each of the arbitration firms and forms and instructions for initiating an arbitration by contacting them as follows:
American Arbitration Association 120 Broadway, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10271 Web site: www.adr.org
Telephone (800) 778-7879
JAMS, The Resolution Experts 18881 Von Karman Ave., Suite 350
Irvine, CA 92612
Web site: www.jamsadr.com
Telephone (949) 224-1810 or (800) 352-5267
The policies and procedures of the selected arbitration firm will apply provided such policies and procedures are consistent with this arbitration agreement. To the extent the arbitration firm’s rules or procedures are different than the terms of this arbitration agreement, the terms of this arbitration agreement will apply.
What Arbitration Costs. No matter which party initiates the arbitration, we will advance or reimburse filing fees and other costs or fees of arbitration, provided each party will be initially responsible for its own attorneys’ fees and related costs. Unless prohibited by law, the arbitrator may award fees, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees to the party who substantially prevails in the arbitration.
Location of Arbitration. Unless you and we agree to a different location, the arbitration will be conducted within 30 miles of your then current mailing address.
Waiver of Rights. You are waiving your right to a jury trial, to have a court decide your Dispute, to participate in a class action lawsuit, and to certain discovery and other procedures that are available in a lawsuit. You and we agree that the arbitrator has no authority to conduct class-wide arbitration proceedings and is only authorized to resolve the individual Disputes between you and us. The validity, effect, and enforceability of this waiver of class action lawsuit and class-wide arbitration, if challenged, are to be determined solely by a court of competent jurisdiction and not by the AAA, JAMS, or an arbitrator. If such court refuses to enforce the waiver of class-wide arbitration, the Dispute will proceed in court and be decided by a judge, sitting without a jury, according to applicable court rules and procedures, and not as a class action lawsuit. The arbitrator has the ability to award all remedies available by statute, at law, or in equity to the prevailing party.
Applicable Law and Review of Arbitrator’s Award. The arbitrator shall apply applicable federal and the substantive law of the state where you live and the terms of this Agreement. The arbitrator must apply the terms of this arbitration agreement, including without limitation the waiver of class-wide arbitration. The arbitrator shall make written findings and the arbitrator’s award may be filed with any court having jurisdiction. The arbitration award shall be supported by substantial evidence and must be consistent with this Agreement and with applicable law, and if it is not, it may be set aside by a court. The parties shall have, in addition to the grounds referred to in the Federal Arbitration Act for vacating, modifying, or correcting an award, the right to judicial review of (a) whether the findings of fact rendered by the arbitrator are supported by substantial evidence and (b) whether the conclusions of law are erroneous under the substantive law of the state where you live and applicable federal law. Judgment confirming an award in such a proceeding may be entered only if a court determines that the award is supported by substantial evidence and is not based on legal error under the substantive law of the state where you live and applicable federal law.
Survival. This arbitration provision shall survive: (1) cancellation, payment, charge-off, or assignment of this Agreement; (2) the bankruptcy of any party; and (3) any transfer, sale, or assignment of this Agreement, or any amounts owed under this Agreement, to any other person or entity.
Right to Opt-Out. If you do not wish to agree to arbitrate all Disputes in accordance with the terms and conditions of this section, you must advise us in writing at our address, above, by either hand delivery or a letter postmarked no later than thirty (30) days following the date you enter into this Agreement. You may opt-out without affecting your application or status as a lessee at our address above.