Loan providers had been banned from enforcing out-of-state forum selection clauses and class action waivers in loan agreements because such conditions violate GeorgiaвЂ™s public policy, the Eleventh Circuit held in Davis v. Oasis Legal Finance working Co., 2019 WL 4051592 (11th Cir. Aug. 28, 2019). A course of borrowers whom joined into identical loan agreements sued their lenders, alleging that the agreements violated GeorgiaвЂ™s Payday Lending Act, O.C.G.A. 16-17-1 et seq., Industrial Loan Act, O.C.G.A. 7-3-1 et seq., and usury rules, O.C.G.A. 7-4-18. Lenders relocated to dismiss the issue and hit the borrowersвЂ™ class allegations, arguing that the mortgage agreementsвЂ™ forum selection clauses needed the borrowers to sue them in Illinois and therefore the course action waivers banned a course action. Siding using the borrowers, the region court denied the lendersвЂ™ motions, keeping that both clauses violated GeorgiaвЂ™s policy that is public had been unenforceable.
On interlocutory appeal as well as in an impression by Judge Adalberto Jordan, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed. When it comes to forum selection clause, the court reasoned that based on Georgia Supreme Court precedent, the Payday Lending Act establishes a clear public policy that prohibits loan providers from utilizing out-of-state forum selection clauses: the Act expressly bars loan providers from designating a court when it comes to quality of disputes вЂњother when compared to a court of competent jurisdiction in and also for the county where the borrower resides or even the loan office is located.вЂќ Further, the statute describes that loan providers had utilized forum selection clauses to prevent Georgia courts and that вЂњthe General Assembly has determined that such techniques are unconscionable and may be forbidden.вЂќ