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Newgent v. Wells Fargo Bank

October 20, 2009

SUSAN E. NEWGENT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge

ORDER

The matter before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s ("Wells Fargo") Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. # 9).

BACKGROUND

On March 11, 2009, Plaintiff Susan E. Newgent filed a complaint against Defendants in California Superior Court for the County of Imperial (Doc. # 1 at 2). On July 14, 2009 Wells Fargo removed to this Court (Doc. # 1). On July 20, 2009, Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 4). On September 4, 2009, Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint (Doc. # 6). The Court dismissed Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss as moot (Doc. # 13). Wells Fargo filed its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint on September 14, 2009 (Doc. # 9). The Court heard oral argument in the case on October 19, 2009.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff purchased real property in Imperial County, California (Doc. # 6 at 1). Plaintiff and her former husband obtained a mortgage from Wells Fargo (Doc. # 6 at 2). Plaintiff and her former husband divorced on January 1, 2005 and Plaintiff subsequently acquired title to the property through a quit claim deed (Doc. # 6 at 2). Plaintiff's former husband stopped paying child support, leaving Plaintiff unable to pay her mortgage (Doc. # 6 at 2). Plaintiff stopped paying her mortgage in March of 2008 (Doc. # 6 at 2). Plaintiff attempted to obtain a loan modification, which Wells Fargo denied because she did not have a job or steady source of income (Doc. # 6 at 2). In October of 2008, after Plaintiff remarried and her financial situation changed, she contacted Wells Fargo again seeking a loan modification (Doc. # 6 at 2). However, Defendant denied her application using her income information from before she had remarried (Doc. # 6 at 3). When Plaintiff informed Wells Fargo that it had used her old income information instead of taking into consideration her new circumstances, Wells Fargo denied ever receiving that information (Doc. # 6 at 3). In late October, Plaintiff received notice that her property would be sold in a Trustee's Sale (Doc. # 6 at 3).

On October 23, 2008, Plaintiff contacted Wells Fargo and spoke with "Susie" who told Plaintiff that if she submitted a payment of $2,500.77, the sale of the property would not take place (Doc. # 6 at 3). Plaintiff submitted the payment, but Wells Fargo proceeded with the Trustee's Sale (Doc. # 6 at 3). Wells Fargo then sued Plaintiff for Unlawful Detainer, which resulted in Plaintiff being removed from the property (Doc. # 6 at 3).

Plaintiff alleges nine claims for relief: (1) Intentional Misrepresentation; (2) Conversion; (3) Breach of Fiduciary Duty; (4) Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; (5) Declaratory Relief; (6) Quiet Title; (7) Equitable and Promissory Estoppel; (8) Violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and (9) Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA").

Wells Fargo moved to dismiss all of Plaintiff's claims (Doc. # 9). Plaintiff conceded in her response that dismissal is appropriate as to her Third Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, her Fourth Claim for Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and her Eight Claim for Violation of the Equal Credit Reporting Act (Doc. # 10 at 2-3).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits dismissal for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) provides: "A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain ... a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate where the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990).

To sufficiently state a claim to relief and survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint "does not need detailed factual allegations" but the "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). When considering a motion to dismiss, a court must accept as true all "well-pleaded factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009). However, a court is not "required to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences." Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001); see, e.g., Doe I v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 572 F.3d 677, 683 (9th Cir. 2009) ("Plaintiffs' general statement that Wal-Mart exercised control over their day-to-day employment is a conclusion, not a factual allegation stated with any specificity. We need not accept Plaintiffs' unwarranted conclusion in reviewing a motion to dismiss."). "In sum, for a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief." Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) (quotations omitted).

ANALYSIS

A. Motion to ...


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