wernda1234

Arbitration with vehicle puchase and financing agreements

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Good afternoon,

I am working with a friend (I am asking him to post his own information here this week), and had a question about arbitration on vehicle purchase and financing agreements.  I am making this post with his permission.

My friend bought a car in 2016 and financed through Santander Consumer USA.  Later that year, he had the car repossessed.  Car was sold, and my friend owned the balance.  The debt was then purchased by a company in Missouri.  The filed suit last month and my friend answered within the time allowed.

Here is my question - I know the government has a database of credit card agreements - is their a similar DB of car financing agreements?  I believe that Santander has an arbitration agreement; however, the exhibit in the lawsuit he showed me only contained the only the first page of the purchase/finance agreement.

Any assistance would be appreciated.  I know this isn't a JDB credit card case, but it is a JDB case, and my friend needs help.

Thank you!

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4 hours ago, wernda1234 said:

I know the government has a database of credit card agreements - is their a similar DB of car financing agreements?

No.

4 hours ago, wernda1234 said:

I believe that Santander has an arbitration agreement; however, the exhibit in the lawsuit he showed me only contained the only the first page of the purchase/finance agreement.

You need a complete copy of exactly what he signed.  Only what is contained in the document/contract he signed will apply to his case.

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5 hours ago, wernda1234 said:

is their a similar DB of car financing agreements?

There isn't because no two vehicle financing contracts are the same. The length of the loan, interest rate, amount being financed and monthly payment are all fundamental parts of each agreement, and those things will always vary between agreements. 

Since the agreement wasn't attached to the complaint, the only way you can get it is if they turn it over in disclosure (they are supposed to do this) or you ask for it in discovery. The potential problem is that, depending in how your state has ruled on the issue, participating in discovery could be considered a waiver of your right to use arbitration. At a minimum, i would include arbitration as an affirmative defense in your answer. That will possibly preserve your right to use it if you end up having to ask for the agreement in discovery. 

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@Clydesmom@Harry Seaward  Thank you both for your assistance.  He did include arbitration as an affirmative defense and is trying to locate his copy of the purchase and financing paperwork.  He does remember that the document was two sided with information on the back.

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Was the car purchased at a dealership?  If so, the dealership may be able to provide a copy of the agreement.  If they didn't retain a copy for their files, they may be able to provide a "blank" copy of a 2016 agreement that will include everything but your friend's information and the specific details regarding the vehicle and loan details.

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@Stephenhaven Thank you.  I have asked him to go to the dealer and get a copy of the sales agreement and the terms and conditions booklet.  To me, his only hope is if there is an arbitration clause in that paperwork. 

Plaintiff did jump the gun and filed a motion for default judgement 23 days after he was served the complaint.  He filed his Answer 25 days after he was served.  He did submit a timely response to their motion quoting the time allowances under the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and asking the court to deny their motion.

The other really weird thing about this Complaint is that they filed in under the District Court of Pulaski County, North Little Rock Division.  From all I can find online, this court is a small claims court.  Proper venue, based on the 11k they claim, would have been the Circuit Court of Pulaski County.  Oh well, as a wise person on this site said many times, it isn't our job to correct the Plaintiff's mistakes.

Appreciate the assistance - I want to give my friend the best advice possible.

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Your friend could argue that the court is not the correct venue but then, the court would dismiss without prejudice and they would file in the correct court. That would buy your friend some time to get the loan agreement and they would have to pay to restart the case again.

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