Guidotti v. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC, No. 12-1170 (3d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2009, Guidotti began attempting to settle approximately $19,550 in unsecured consumer debt without declaring bankruptcy. She entered into contracts with several “credit counseling agencies.” Dissatisfied with the results, Guidotti brought a putative class action against the companies, alleging that they conspired to provide unlicensed debt adjustment services in violation of the New Jersey Debt Adjustment and Credit Counseling Act, the New Jersey RICO statute, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, and various common law principles. With two of the companies, RMBT and Global, Guidotti opened a special bank account into which she automatically deposited a monthly amount. Those funds were then supposedly to be used to pay the various defendants for their debt negotiation services, with the remaining funds to be used to pay a negotiated settlement. The district court granted a motion to compel arbitration as to most of the defendants, but denied the motion as to RMBT and Global, finding that there had been no meeting of the minds on an agreement to arbitrate. The Third Circuit vacated, finding the record insufficient to prove that there was no genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the two companies and Guidotti agreed to arbitrate.