Tower Loan of Mississippi, LLC v. Willis, No. 18-60344 (5th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
In adversary bankruptcy proceedings, debtor filed suit against Tower Loan for allegedly violating the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court's denial of Tower Loan's motion to dismiss or compel arbitration.
The Fifth Circuit reversed, holding that the parties reached a valid agreement to arbitrate and delegated threshold arbitrability issues to the arbitrator. Applying the two analytical steps in Kubala v. Supreme Prod. Servs., Inc., 830 F.3d 199, 201 (5th Cir. 2016), the court applied Mississippi state law to determine that the parties' two arbitration agreements should be construed as one contract. The court also held that the parties entered into a valid contract to arbitrate despite inconsistencies in the non-essential contractual terms. Finally, the court held that the arbitrator should decide whether debtor's TILA claim was arbitrable and remanded.