Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Payday Loan Victims in Two Separate Appeals
Two separate panels of the Indiana Court of Appeals have ruled in favor of payday loan victims represented by Cohen & Malad, LLP in two separate class action cases. The two appeals, Geneva-Roth Ventures, Inc. v. Edwards, 956 N.E.2d 1195 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), reh’g denied, and Apex 1 Processing, Inc. v. Edwards, No. 49A05-1103-PL-85 (Ind. Ct. App. Jan. 20, 2012), involved whether payday loan victims would be allowed to bring their case in court—where the thousands of loan victims can seek to vindicate their rights through a single representative class action—or whether the lenders would be able to force victims into out-of-court, individual arbitration, which few victims have the resources or knowledge to pursue. The appeals courts in both cases agreed with the trial judge who found that the arbitration clause the lenders had used in their contracts was void and impossible to perform because it required the use of an arbitrator that no longer conducts consumer arbitrations. Absent further appeal, the case will go back to the trial court where Ms. Edwards will seek to have the case certified as a class action on behalf of all Indiana loan victims of the online payday lenders in both of the two cases. The lenders, Geneva-Roth and Apex 1, are commonly known as LoanPoint USA and Paycheck Today respectively.