This Arbitration Provision sets forth the circumstances and procedures under which claims (as defined below) may be arbitrated instead of litigated in court.
As used in this Arbitration Provision, the term “Claim” means any claim, dispute or controversy between you and us arising from or relating to the Deposit Account or this Agreement as well as any related or prior agreement that you may have had with us or the relationships resulting from this Agreement, including the validity, enforceability or scope of this Arbitration Provision or the Agreements. “Claim” includes claims of every kind and nature, including, but not limited to, initial claims, counterclaims, cross-claims and third-party claims and claims based upon contract, tort, fraud and other intentional torts, statutes, regulations, common law and equity. The term “Claim” is to be given the broadest possible meaning that will be enforced and includes, by way of example and without limitation, any claim, dispute or controversy that arises from or relates to (i) your Deposit Account, or the debit cards of any additional authorized users designated by you; (ii) the amount of available funds in the accounts; (iii) advertisements, promotions or oral or written statements related to the account, goods or services purchased with the debit cards, checks or other electronic means; and (iv) the benefits and services related to the account. We shall not elect to use arbitration under the Arbitration Provision for any Claim that you properly file and pursue in a small claims court of your state or municipality, so long as the Claim is individual and pending only in the court.
As used in the Arbitration Provision, the terms “we” and “us” shall for all purposes mean the Issuer, wholly or majority owned subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, predecessors, successors, and assigns; and all of their agents, employees, directors and representatives. In addition, “we” or “us” shall include any third party using or providing any product, service or benefit in connection with any account (including, but not limited to, merchants who accept the debit card tied to the account, third parties who use or provide services, debt collectors and all of their agents, employees, directors and representatives) if, and only if, such third party is named as a co-party with us (or files a Claim with or against us) in connection with a Claim asserted by you.
As solely used in this Arbitration Provision, the terms “you” or “yours” shall mean all persons or entities approved by us to have and/or use the account, including, but not limited, to all persons or entities contractually obligated under any of the Agreements and all additional authorized users.
Initiation of Arbitration Proceeding/Selection of Administrator
Any Claim shall be resolved, upon the election by you or us, by arbitration pursuant to this Arbitration Provision and the code of procedures of the national arbitration organization to which the Claim is referred in effect at the time the Claim is filed. Claims shall be referred to either Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (“JAMS”) or the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as selected by the party electing to use arbitration. If a selection by us of one of these organizations is unacceptable to you, you shall have the right within 30 days after you receive notice of our election to select the other organization listed to serve as arbitrator administrator.
For a copy of the procedures, to file a Claim, or for other information about these organizations, contact them as follows: (i) JAMS at 1920 Main Street, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 92614 (www.jamsadr.com); or (ii) AAA at 335 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (www.adr.org).
Significance of Arbitration
IF ARBITRATION IS CHOSEN BY ANY PARTY WITH RESPECT TO A CLAIM, NEITHER YOU NOR WE WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE THAT CLAIM IN COURT OR HAVE A JURY TRIAL ON THAT CLAIM, OR TO ENGAGE IN DISCOVERY EXCEPT AS PROVIDED FOR IN THE CODE OF PROCEDURES OF JAMS OR THE AAA, AS APPLICABLE (THE “CODE”). FURTHER, YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY OR AS A MEMBER OF ANY CLASS OF CLAIMANTS PERTAINING TO ANY CLAIM SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW, THE ARBITRATOR’S DECISION WILL BE FINAL AND BINDING. NOTE THAT OTHER RIGHTS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE IF YOU WENT TO COURT ALSO MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION.
Restrictions on Arbitration
If either party elects to resolve a Claim by arbitration, that Claim shall be arbitrated on an individual basis. There shall be no right or authority for any Claims to be arbitrated on a class action basis or on bases involving Claims brought in a purported representative capacity on behalf of the general public, other account holders or other persons similarly situated. The arbitrator’s authority to resolve Claims is limited to Claims between you and us alone, and the arbitrator’s authority to make awards is limited to you and us alone. Furthermore, Claims brought by you against us or by us against you may not be joined or consolidated in arbitration with Claims brought by or against someone other than you, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by all parties.
Location of Arbitration/Payment of Fees
Any arbitration hearing that you attend shall take place in the federal judicial district of your residence. At your written request, we will consider in good faith making a temporary advance of all or part of the filing, administrative and/or hearing fees for any Claim you initiate as to which you or we seek arbitration. At the conclusion of the arbitration (or any appeal thereof), the arbitrator (or panel) will decide who will ultimately be responsible for paying the filing, administrative and/or hearing fees in connection with the arbitration (or appeal). If and to the extent you incur filing, administrative and/or hearing fees in arbitration, including for any appeal, exceeding the amount they would have been if the Claim had been brought in the state or federal court that is closest to the mailing address we have in our records and would have had jurisdiction over the Claim, we will reimburse you to that extent unless the arbitrator (or panel) determines that the fees were incurred without any substantial justification.
This Arbitration Provision is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, as it may be amended (the “FAA”). The arbitration shall be governed by the applicable Code, except that (to the extent enforceable under the FAA) this Arbitration Provision shall control if it is inconsistent with the applicable Code. In conducting the arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator shall not apply the federal or any state rules of civil procedure or rules of evidence.
Either party may submit a request to the arbitrator to expand the scope of discovery allowable under the applicable Code. The party submitting such a request must provide a copy to the other party, who may submit objections to the arbitrator with a copy of the objections provided to the requesting party, within 15 days of receiving the requesting party’s notice. The granting or denial of such request will be in the sole discretion of the arbitrator who shall notify the parties of his/her decision within 20 days of the objecting party’s submission.
The arbitrator shall take reasonable steps to preserve the privacy of individuals and business matters.
Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding, except for any right of appeal provided by the FAA. However, any party can appeal that award to a three-arbitrator panel administered by the same arbitration organization, which shall consider anew any aspect of the initial award objected to by the appealing party. The appealing party shall have 30 days from the date of entry of the written arbitration award to notify the arbitration organization that it is exercising the right of appeal. The appeal shall be filed with the arbitration organization in the form of a dated writing. The arbitration organization will then notify the other party that the award has been appealed. The arbitration organization will appoint a three-arbitrator panel that will conduct arbitration pursuant to its Code and issue its decision within 120 days of the date of the appellant’s written notice. The decision of the panel shall be by majority vote and shall be final and binding.
This Arbitration Provision shall survive termination of your account as well as voluntary payment of any debt in full by you and any legal proceeding by us to collect a debt owed by you. If any portion of this Arbitration Provision is deemed invalid or unenforceable under any principle or provision of law or equity, consistent with the FAA, it shall not invalidate the remaining portions of this Arbitration Provision, the Agreement or any prior agreements you may have had with us, each of which shall be enforceable regardless of such invalidity.