United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
JON E. DeGUILIO, District Judge.
This case arises from actions taken by the Defendant Sallie Mae, Inc. ("Sallie Mae"), to collect on a student loan incurred by the Plaintiff Melissa Tuttle. Ms. Tuttle alleges that Sallie Mae's collection calls to her cellular telephone violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). In lieu of answering the complaint, Sallie Mae moved to stay the litigation and compel arbitration based on an alleged arbitration agreement between the parties. [DE 9.] Ms. Tuttle filed a response in opposition [DE 12] and Sallie Mae filed a reply in support [DE 13]. For reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Sallie Mae's Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Litigation.
I. Factual Background
On September 12, 2007, Ms. Tuttle signed a College Advantage Loan Program Application and Promissory Note ("Note") in order to obtain a loan to help pay for her education. [DE 10-1 at 5-17.] The Note contains many terms and conditions. Some of the terms are intended to apply to Ms. Tuttle; others were form terms applying to borrowers from other states. [ See DE 10-1 at 14-15.] One of the terms relevant to this case is an arbitration clause, which provides, in part:
S. ARBITRATION AGREEMENT
To the extent permitted under federal law, you and I agree that either party may elect to arbitrate - and require the other party to arbitrate - any Claim under the following terms and conditions. This Arbitration Agreement is part of the College Advantage Loan Promissory Note ("Note").
1. RIGHT TO REJECT: I may reject this Arbitration Agreement by mailing a rejection notice to P.O. Box 147027 Gainesville FL, 32608 within 60 days after the date of my first disbursement. Any Rejection Notice must include my name, address, telephone number and loan or account number.
2. IMPORTANT WAIVERS: If you or I elect to arbitrate a Claim, you and I both waive the right to: (1) have a court or a jury decide the Claim.... Other rights are more limited in arbitration than in court or are not available in arbitration.
4. "CLAIM" means any legal claim, dispute or controversy between you and me that arises from or relates in any way to the Note, including any dispute arising before the date of this Arbitration Agreement and any dispute relating to: (1) fees, charges or other provisions of the Note; (2) any application, disclosure or other document relating in any way to the Note or the transactions evidenced by the Note; (3) any insurance or other service or product offered or made available by or through you in connection with the Note, and any associated fees or charges; and (4) any documents, instruments, advertising or promotional materials that contain information about the Note or any associated insurance or other service or product. This includes, without limitation, disputes concerning the validity, enforceability, arbitrability or scope of this Arbitration Agreement or the Note; disputes involving alleged fraud or misrepresentation, breach of contract, negligence or violation of statute, regulation or common law; and disputes involving requests for injunctions or other equitable relief....
[DE 10-1 at 16-17 (emphasis in original).] After the Note was signed, Sallie Mae disbursed funds to Ms. Tuttle in accordance with the Note. [DE 10-1 at 3.] Sallie Mae's records do not show that Ms. Tuttle ever exercised her right to reject the arbitration agreement. [DE 10-1 at 3.]
On June 10, 2013, Ms. Tuttle filed a complaint in this Court against Sallie Mae [DE 1]. Ms. Tuttle asserts that Sallie Mae made numerous collection calls to her cellular telephone in an attempt to collect on the loan and that such calls violate the TCPA, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. [DE 1 at 2-3.] In lieu of answering the complaint, Sallie Mae filed its Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Litigation, which is now ripe for decision.
The Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") provides that an arbitration agreement in a contract involving interstate commerce "shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract." 9 U.S.C. § 2. If a suit is brought upon an issue that the parties have agreed to arbitrate, the Court "shall on application of one of the parties stay the trial of the action until such arbitration has been had in accordance with the terms of the agreement." 9 U.S.C. § 3. Further, the Court shall order arbitration "upon being satisfied that the making of the agreement for arbitration or the failure to comply therewith is not in issue." 9 U.S.C. § 4. The FAA creates "a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration agreements" and "requires courts to enforce agreements to arbitrate according to their terms." CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, 132 S.Ct. 665, 669 (2012). "That is ...