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  1. #1
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Arbitration award enforcement

    State of MI
    Several months ago a binding arbitration award was taken against me by the purchaser of my former marital home. The demand was for $68,000 based only on false claims of post closing problems. No documentation was presented to support the claims. There was only one issue of truth for which the $1,000 award was taken against me.

    I sent full payment, via certified mail to the buyers lawyer to satisfy the award prior to avoid having the Circuit Court involvement for collection. Receipt was refused.

    According to the rules of the AAA payment is to be made within one year of the issuance of an award. Due to lack of knowledge of the AAA rules the buyers lawyer tried to enter a judgment with the local District Court. District Court has no jurisdiction in a home buyer/home seller issue so that was dismissed.

    The lawyer representing the buyer is of the mistaken belief that because it was refused by the District Court and not entered in Circuit Court, she is unable to collect. If this is not settled within the year given by the AAA, will it be considered dead?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    Clair is a fairly new poster? From what I can see, in fact she Is An Able Longtimer.

    As for the original question, if this was a Michigan statutory arbitration, the judgment can be enforced through the courts If the arbitration agreement took it outside of the statute, it can't be and becomes a private matter for collection.

    Beyond that, read your arbitration agreement.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    Mr. Knowitall, thanks for the civility in your response. Greatly appreciated! On to the original question.

    The purchase agreement contains a voluntary agreement to have any claims or disputes to be settled by the American Arbitration Association. This agreement incorporates the provisions of MI law governing arbitrations.

    A judgment of any circuit court shall be rendered upon the award. The buyer was unaware of what she had agreed to and retained counsel to bring a civil action in district court.

    This should never have been allowed in court, however the lack of familiarity with the arbitration rules went without notice. After learning of the rules & procedures, the matter was dismissed and arbitration was commenced. The final determination was binding, however the buyer was not satisfied and once again attempted to file a civil action in district court. This was unsucessful

    Two years had been wasted with inappropriate filings, delays due to lack of funds to commence arbitration and several other issues. I was of the belief that the buyer was responsible for presenting the award to the Circuit Court to initiate the collection process. If payment had been made, the award would need to be finalized by the Circuit Court.

    I realize my post of yesterday was intercepted by a "senior member" who has no knowledge or experience with the real estate issues presented and served to create more unnecessary chaos. It was unfair to me, however it was somewhat expected.

    In closing, I will thank you Mr. Knowitall for your educated and "on topic" response. I am confident that you realize my "contributions" are usually confined to the "Banter" board where they belong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    984

    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    Please note the bold section.

    http://www.adrinstitute.org/news/0404.htm
    April 9, 2004

    Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Binding Arbitration of Warranty Claims

    In Abela v. General Motors Corp. , the Michigan Supreme Court agreed with the courts of last resort in several states as well as federal appellate courts when it held that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (MMWA), 15 U.S.C. 2301, et. seq., read in conjunction with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not bar binding arbitration of claims made under warranties covered by the MMWA . Abela involved a couple who purchased a truck from General Motors, and in the process accepted a warranty containing an arbitration clause. When the truck started having problems, the couple sued under the warranty . When General Motors tried to compel arbitration, the plaintiffs claimed that the MMWA bars binding arbitration. The trial court agreed, but both the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan's highest court disagreed. The Supreme Court emphasized that it was not bound by the federal circuit decisions cited by the lower court , but agreed with the reasoning of those decisions.

    After carefully examining both the MMWA and the FAA , the court concluded that the text, legislative history, and purpose of the MMWA did not evidence a congressional intent under the FAA to bar agreements for binding arbitration of warranty claims. As ADRI recently reported, this decision falls in line with an Illinois Supreme Court opinion holding that the MMWA's restrictive policy toward arbitration was essentially preempted by the FAA . Other than Missipppi, federal Courts of Appeals and state courts of last resort that have addressed the issue, have unaimously concluded that binding arbitration clauses in warranty agreements are enforceable. These decisions recognize that pre-dispute binding arbitration provides consumers and businesses with an ideal way to have their dispute resolved efficiently, affordably, and effectively. Courts are always available to review arbitration procedures and awards involving consumer waranties to make sure the process and results are fair. Arbitration saves the courts and the parties a lot of time and money by not having to litigate and go to trial, but rather use a faster and less expensive way that is just as fair.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    An arbitration over a house sale is not covered by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty - Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (MMWA), 15 USC 2301 et seq. Also, the bold-faced portion is not actually a holding from the Abela case, but is the author's interpretation of how courts in general review MMWA arbitration issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    984

    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    This was from an ADR publication, so it is very possible that it is also the belief of other attorneys that there is opportunity to take it for review whether or not is it covered by the MMWA or not. That is why I provided the link for authentication. We don't know what the wording of the contract was or any of the other facts. And since OP's story re the same situation changes, it is hard to ferret out the facts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    rmet you know nothing of what you're talking about. The American Arbitration Association has Rules and Procedures that apply only to home buyer home seller issues.

    Very rarely will an arbitration award be overturned by a Circuit Court. That would defeat the purpose of arbitration. The main function of the court is to enforce the satisfaction of the award after it becomes a judgment.

    Modifications are made within twenty days of the transmittal of an award. During those twenty days, either party may request the arbitrator to correct any clerical, typo's or computational errors in the award. Redetermination of the merits of any claim cannot be done by the arbitrator.

    Real estate arbitration hearings are held at the home site to ensure fairness. If either party elects not to attend, this is not viewed as "default". The arbitrator makes the final determination based on the evidence presented to support the claims.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    Rare doesn't mean, never.
    Perhaps there is a reason for her taking pictures of you and your activities if she plans on taking you back to court. Evidence.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Arbitration award SOL

    If you find a lawyer who believes that a house sale falls under the MMWA, find a better lawyer.

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