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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Maricela Jimenez decided to apply for a home-equity loan on her residence. Jimenez met with Octavio Realzola, a mortgage broker doing business under the assumed name of Amiracle Mortgage Group. Realzola arranged for a home equity loan through People’s Choice Home Loan Inc. After the closing, Jimenez realized that she had been overcharged in fees and other costs. People’s Choice later sold the loan to GMAC Mortgage Corp.. Jimenez and her husband filed suit against Octavio Realzola d/b/a Amiracle Mortgage Group, People’s Choice and GMAC, seeking declaratory relief in connection with the loan fees, cancellation of the loan and the return of all sums of money paid to defendants. As part of the loan transaction, the Jimenezes had each signed an agreement for the arbitration of disputes. The court denied a motion by People’s Choice to abate and compel arbitration. In an original proceeding, the relator, People’s Choice, sought mandamus relief from the order denying its motion. HOLDING:Mandamus relief conditionally granted. The court finds that the arbitration agreement executed by the Jimenezes is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act because the loan transaction involves interstate commerce and the contract contains an express agreement to arbitrate under the FAA. The Jimenezes argue that the arbitration agreement was not enforceable for lack of consideration because Mr. Jimenez did not apply for or receive a loan. But, the court notes, under Texas law, a nonsignatory plaintiff may be compelled to arbitrate if its claims are based on a contract containing an agreement to arbitrate. The court concludes that People’s Choice established the existence of an arbitration agreement between People’s Choice and the Jimenezes and that the claims asserted by the Jimenezes in their suit were within the subject matter covered by the agreement. The Jimenezes argue that People’s Choice had failed to timely demand arbitration after their notice of overcharge and service of their original petition and had, therefore, waived its right to arbitration. The court disagrees and notes that, according to the agreement, either party can request arbitration within 60 days after a complaint, answer, counterclaim or an amendment to a complaint has been served. People’s Choice filed its motion to abate and compel arbitration well within the 60-day period. The Jimenezes also argue that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable and unconscionable, contending that it was a one-sided adhesion contract obtained with unequal bargaining power, that it was too costly and that it provided that the Jimenezes, but not People’s Choice, waived their rights to resolution of disputes in court. The court finds that no evidence was admitted to show the Jimenezes’ lack of bargaining power or inability to change the contract terms, that no evidence was admitted to show that the Jimenezes lacked the financial capability to pay the alleged expensive arbitration costs and that the arbitration agreement was not unconscionable merely because the Jimenezes are required to submit to arbitration while continuing their suit against the remaining defendants. Because the Jimenezes failed to prove any defenses to avoid enforcement of the arbitration agreement, the court concludes that a valid arbitration agreement exists between People’s Choice and the Jimenezes and that the agreement encompasses the claims asserted against People’s Choice. Therefore, the court holds that the trial court clearly abused its discretion in denying the motion to abate and to compel arbitration. Since People’s Choice has no adequate remedy by appeal, the court determines that mandamus relief is appropriate. OPINION:Chew, J.; Barajas, C.J., McClure, and Chew, JJ.

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