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Muhammad v. County Bank

New Jersey Supreme Court
912 A.2d 88 (2006)


Facts

Jaliyah Muhammad (plaintiff) borrowed $200 from County Bank (defendant) on May 23, 2003, as a short-term, single advance. Muhammad agreed to repay the advance plus a finance charge of $60 by June 13, 2003. The annual percentage rate of the loan was 608.33 percent. Muhammad extended the loan twice, incurring a new $60 finance charge each time. As part of the loan and extensions, Muhammad signed contracts with County Bank. The contracts required the arbitration of any disputes, barred class claims in arbitration, and prohibited class action suits in court. Muhammad filed a putative class-action suit against County Bank in February 2004, alleging that County Bank was charging an illegal interest rate. The trial court stayed the case, pending arbitration. Muhammad appealed to the New Jersey Court of Appeals, which affirmed. Muhammad then appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (LaVecchia, J.)

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Concurrence/Dissent (Rivera-Soto, J.)

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