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Dillon v. BMO Harris Bank, N.A.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 29, 2015

JAMES DILLON, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
BMO HARRIS BANK, N.A.; GENERATIONS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION; BAY CITIES BANK, Defendants - Appellants, and FOUR OAKS BANK & TRUST COMPANY, Defendant

 Argued March 27, 2015

Page 708

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 709

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at Greensboro. (1:13-cv-00897-CCE-LPA). Catherine C. Eagles, District Judge.

ARGUED:

Kevin Scott Ranlett, MAYER BROWN LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellants.

Stephen N. Six, STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP, Kansas City, Missouri, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Lucia Nale, Debra Bogo-Ernst, MAYER BROWN LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Mary K. Mandeville, ALEXANDER RICKS PLLC, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant BMO Harris Bank, N.A.; Eric A. Pullen, Leslie Sara Hyman, Etan Tepperman, PULMAN, CAPPUCCIO, PULLEN, BENSON & JONES, LLP, San Antonio, Texas; Reid C. Adams, Jr., Garth A. Gersten, Jonathan R. Reich, WOMBLE CARLYLE SANDRIDGE & RICE, LLP, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Appellant Generations Federal Credit Union; Eric Rieder, New York, New York, Michael P. Carey, Atlanta, Georgia, Mark Vasco, BRYAN CAVE LLP, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant Bay Cities Bank.

Darren T. Kaplan, DARREN KAPLAN LAW FIRM, P.C., New York, New York; F. Hill Allen, THARRINGTON SMITH, L.L.P., Raleigh, North Carolina; Norman E. Siegel, J. Austin Moore, STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP, Kansas City, Missouri; Jeffrey M. Ostrow, KOPELOWITZ OSTROW P.A., Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Hassan A. Zavareei, TYCKO& ZAVAREEI LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.

Before DUNCAN, KEENAN, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Judge Duncan wrote the opinion, in which Judge Keenan and Judge Thacker joined.

OPINION

Page 710

DUNCAN, Circuit Judge

After Plaintiff-Appellee James Dillon obtained loans from online lenders and then sued Defendants-Appellants BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Generations Federal Credit Union, and Bay Cities Bank (the " Banks" ) for facilitating collection of those loans, the Banks sought to enforce arbitration clauses in the loan agreements between Dillon and the lenders. The district court denied these motions, and the Banks filed renewed motions seeking to cure the deficiencies the court relied on in dismissing their claims. The district court then denied the renewed motions without considering their merits; it construed them as motions for reconsideration, and denied them on that basis. The Banks appealed. For the reasons that follow, we vacate the district court's order denying the renewed motions and remand for further proceedings.

I.

A.

In October 2013, Dillon, a North Carolina resident, filed this putative class action against the Banks.[1] He alleges that he applied in late 2012 and mid 2013 for four online payday loans from tribal and out-of-state lenders.[2] As a part of the application process, Dillon authorized the lenders to collect the amount due under the loan agreements by debiting his checking account. The lenders approved Dillon's applications and deposited a total of $3,575 into his checking account. Soon after, the lenders began collecting loan payments by initiating electronic fund transfers from that account. The Banks, although not parties to the loan agreements, processed these transfers on behalf of the lenders, thereby acting as intermediaries between the lenders and Dillon.

Dillon maintains that North Carolina law prohibits the loans he took out because, among other reasons, they carried interest rates that substantially exceed the maximum allowable rate under State law. In this action, however, Dillon does not sue the lenders or any other party to his loan agreements. Rather, he sues the Banks, alleging that they were complicit in, and necessary parties to, the lenders' unlawful practices. Specifically, Dillon claims that the Banks made it possible for the lenders to make and collect payday loans in North Carolina by providing the lenders with access to the ...


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