In Pounds, et al. v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, the North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion that may have a significant impact on collections law and arbitrability.

Defendant is an entity that purchases consumer debt.  Plaintiffs are individual credit card holders who had racked unpaid bills on their cards.  Defendant purchased the debts of those individual plaintiffs, then brought suit and obtained default judgments against each.… Continue Reading


Arbitration can be less costly and more efficient than litigation. For this reason, businesses often prefer to arbitrate their disputes, and include arbitration provisions in their contracts. North Carolina courts generally enforce these provisions, citing the state’s “strong public policy favoring the settlement of disputes by arbitration.” Johnston Cnty. v. R.N. Rouse & Co., 331 N.C. 88, 91 (1992).… Continue Reading

Arbitration has long been touted as a magic bullet that reduces the cost and time required to resolve business disputes and that alleviates the inherent unpredictability of litigation.  (Whether arbitration actually delivers those benefits usually depends upon the specific facts and circumstances at hand.)  In recognition of these benefits, North Carolina public policy, as a general principle, favors arbitration when there is a valid arbitration agreement in place. … Continue Reading

Scratch unconscionability off the list of likely arguments to make to avoid arbitration.  In a pair of opinions issued this week, the North Carolina Court of Appeals made it much more difficult going forward for a plaintiff to escape the consequences of an agreement to arbitrate, even when included in a contract of adhesion and even when it includes a class action waiver. … Continue Reading