PLEASE READ THIS EXHIBIT CAREFULLY AS IT AFFECTS YOUR RIGHTS. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
a. Agreement to Arbitrate: This Exhibit B is referred to as the ArbitrationAgreement. If you have a dispute with us and neither you nor we are able to resolve the dispute informally, you and we agree that upon demand by either party, the dispute will be resolved through the arbitration process set forth in this Arbitration Agreement.
b. Arbitration: You agree that if you have a dispute or claim that has arisen or may arise between you and us (including any of our affiliates and service providers, such as Step Mobile, Inc., and our respective officers, directors, agents, and representatives), whether arising out of or relating to this Agreement (including any alleged breach) or any aspect of the relationship between us, and you are not able to resolve the dispute or claim informally, you and we agree that upon demand by you or we, the dispute or claim will be resolved exclusively through final and binding arbitration, rather than a court, in accordance with the terms of this Arbitration Agreement. However, you may assert individual claims in small claims court, if your claims qualify. Further, this Arbitration Agreement does not preclude you from bringing issues to the attention of federal, state, or local agencies, and such agencies can, if the law allows, seek relief against us on your behalf. You agree that, by entering into this Arbitration Agreement, you and we are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate in a class action. Your rights will be determined by a neutral arbitrator, not a judge or jury. The Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this Arbitration Agreement.
c. Parties Subject to this Arbitration Agreement: This Arbitration Agreement applies whenever there is a claim between you and us. If a third party is also involved in a claim between you and us, or if a dispute arises between you and a third party relating to this Agreement or the Loan, then the claim will be decided with respect to the third party in arbitration as well, in accordance with this Arbitration Agreement, and it must be named as a party in accordance with the rules of procedure governing the arbitration. No award or relief will be granted by the arbitrator except on behalf of, or against, a named party.
THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU IF, AS OF THE DATE OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU ARE A COVERED BORROWER UNDER THE FEDERAL MILITARY LENDING ACT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHETHER YOU ARE COVERED BY THE MILITARY LENDING ACT, IN WHICH CASE THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU, PLEASE CONTACT US AT SUPPORT@STEP.COM
d. Exclusions: You and we retain the right to pursue in small claims court (or an equivalent state court) any dispute that is within that court’s jurisdiction, so long as the disputes remain in such court and advance only an individual claim for relief. If either you or we fail to submit to binding arbitration of an arbitrable dispute following lawful demand, the party so failing will bear all costs and expenses incurred by the other in compelling arbitration.
e. Your Right to Opt Out: If you are an individual who has obtained the Loan for a consumer, personal, family, or household purpose, you have the right to opt-out of this Arbitration Agreement. If you do not want this Arbitration Agreement to apply to the Loan, you may opt out by sending us written notice of your decision within thirty (30) days of signing this Agreement. Such notice must clearly state that you wish to cancel or opt out of the Arbitration Agreement of this Agreement. It should include your name, address, and your signature and must be addressed and sent to the address in the Notice section of this Agreement. This is the sole and only method by which you can opt out of this Arbitration Agreement. Your exercise of the right to opt-out will not affect any remaining terms of this Agreement and will not result in any adverse consequence to you or the Loan. You agree that our business records will be final and conclusive evidence with respect to whether you cancelled or opted out of this Arbitration Agreement in a timely and proper fashion.
f. Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief: YOU AGREE THAT YOU MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST US ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR PROCEEDING. UNLESS BOTH YOU AND WE AGREE OTHERWISE, THE ARBITRATOR MAY NOT CONSOLIDATE OR JOIN MORE THAN ONE PERSON’S OR PARTY’S CLAIMS AND MAY NOT OTHERWISE PRESIDE OVER ANY FORM OF A CONSOLIDATED, REPRESENTATIVE, OR CLASS PROCEEDING. ALSO, THE ARBITRATOR MAY AWARD RELIEF (INCLUDING MONETARY, INJUNCTIVE, AND DECLARATORY RELIEF) ONLY IN FAVOR OF THE INDIVIDUAL PARTY SEEKING RELIEF AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO PROVIDE RELIEF NECESSITATED BY THAT PARTY’S INDIVIDUAL CLAIM(S), EXCEPT THAT YOU MAY PURSUE A CLAIM FOR AND THE ARBITRATOR MAY AWARD PUBLIC INJUNCTIVE RELIEF UNDER APPLICABLE LAW TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED FOR THE ENFORCEABILITY OF THIS PROVISION.
g. Pre-Arbitration Dispute Resolution: We are always interested in resolving disputes amicably and efficiently, and most customer concerns can be resolved quickly and to your satisfaction by emailing customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org. If such efforts prove unsuccessful, a party who intends to seek arbitration must first send to the other, by certified mail, a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”). The Notice should be sent to the address in the Notice section of this Agreement (“NoticeAddress”). The Notice must (a) describe the nature and basis of the claim or dispute and (b) set forth the specific relief sought. If you do not resolve the claim with us within 60 calendar days after the Notice is received, you or we, as applicable, may commence an arbitration proceeding. During the arbitration, the amount of any settlement offer made by any party will not be disclosed to the arbitrator until after the arbitrator determines the amount, if any, to which you or we are entitled.
h. Arbitration Procedures: Arbitration will be conducted by a neutral arbitrator in accordance with the American Arbitration Association’s (“AAA”) rules and procedures, including the AAA’s Consumer Arbitration Rules or the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules, as applicable (collectively, the AAARules), as modified by this Arbitration Agreement. For information on the AAA, please visit its website, http://www.adr.org. Information about the AAA Rules and fees for consumer disputes can be found at the AAA’s consumer arbitration page, http://www.adr.org/consumer. If there is any inconsistency between any term of the AAA Rules and any term of this Arbitration Agreement, the applicable terms of this Arbitration Agreement will control unless the arbitrator determines that the application of the inconsistent Arbitration Agreement terms would not result in a fundamentally fair arbitration. The arbitrator must also follow the provisions of this Agreement as a court would. All issues are for the arbitrator to decide, including issues relating to the scope, enforceability, and arbitrability of this Arbitration Agreement. Although arbitration proceedings are usually simpler and more streamlined than trials and other judicial proceedings, the arbitrator can award the same damages and relief on an individual basis that a court can award to an individual under this Agreement and applicable law. Decisions by the arbitrator are enforceable in court and may be overturned by a court only for very limited reasons.
Unless the parties to the arbitration agree otherwise, any arbitration hearings will take place in a reasonably convenient location for both parties with due consideration of their ability to travel and other pertinent circumstances. If the parties are unable to agree on a location, the determination will be made by AAA. If your claim is for $10,000 or less, you may choose whether the arbitration will be conducted solely on the basis of documents submitted to the arbitrator, through a telephonic hearing, or by an in-person hearing as established by the AAA Rules. If your claim exceeds $10,000, the right to a hearing will be determined by the AAA Rules. Regardless of the manner in which the arbitration is conducted, the arbitrator will issue a reasoned written decision sufficient to explain the essential findings and conclusions on which the award is based.
i. Costs of Arbitration: Payment of all filing, administration, and arbitrator fees (collectively, the “Arbitration Fees”) will be governed by the AAA Rules, unless otherwise provided in this Arbitration Agreement. If the value of the relief sought is $75,000 or less, at your request, we will pay all Arbitration Fees. If the value of relief sought is more than $75,000 and you are able to demonstrate to the arbitrator that you are economically unable to pay your portion of the Arbitration Fees or if the arbitrator otherwise determines for any reason that you should not be required to pay your portion of the Arbitration Fees, we will pay your portion of such fees. In addition, if you demonstrate to the arbitrator that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of litigation, we will pay as much of the Arbitration Fees as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive. Any payment of attorneys’ fees will be governed by the AAA Rules.
j. Confidentiality: All aspects of the arbitration proceeding, and any ruling, decision, or award by the arbitrator, will be strictly confidential for the benefit of all parties.
k. Severability: If a court or the arbitrator decides that any term or provision of this Arbitration Agreement (other than the Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief section above) is invalid or unenforceable, the parties agree to replace such term or provision with a term or provision that is valid and enforceable and that comes closest to expressing the intention of the invalid or unenforceable term or provision, and this Arbitration Agreement will be enforceable as so modified. If a court or the arbitrator decides that any of the provisions of the ProhibitionofClassandRepresentativeActionsandNon-IndividualizedRelief section are invalid or unenforceable, then the entirety of this Arbitration Agreement will be null and void, unless such provisions are deemed to be invalid or unenforceable solely with respect to claims for public injunctive relief. The remainder of this Arbitration Agreement will continue to apply.
l. Future Changes to this Arbitration Agreement: Notwithstanding any provision in this Agreement to the contrary, if we make any future change to this Arbitration Agreement (other than a change to the Notice Address) while you have a Loan, you may reject any such change by sending us written notice within 30 days of the change to the Notice Address. By rejecting any future change, you are agreeing that you will arbitrate any dispute covered by this Arbitration Agreement in accordance with the terms of this Arbitration Agreement as of the date you first accepted this Agreement (or accepted any subsequent changes to this Agreement).