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In re Mintze

434 F.3d 222 (2006)

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In re Mintze

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

434 F.3d 222 (2006)

Facts

Ethel Mintze (plaintiff) entered into a loan agreement with American General Financial Services, Inc. (American) (defendant). The agreement contained an arbitration provision governing all disputes. Mintze fell behind on her loan payments and filed a voluntary Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. American filed a proof of claim against Mintze’s estate. Mintze responded by filing a complaint against American in bankruptcy court, alleging violations of federal and state consumer-protection laws. American moved to compel arbitration subject to the loan agreement’s arbitration provision. The parties and the bankruptcy court unanimously agreed that the matter was a core proceeding, and the court found that it had the discretion to deny enforcement of the arbitration clause. The court decided that the dispute was best resolved in the court system. American appealed the decision in federal district court, and the district court affirmed. American appealed again to the Third Circuit, arguing that the bankruptcy court did not have the discretion to deny enforcement of the arbitration clause.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roth, J.)

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