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Macias v. WMC Mortgage Corp.

January 6, 2010

RUBEN MACIAS, MARTHA MACIAS, INDIVIDUALS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WMC MORTGAGE CORP., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY & DOES 1 THROUGH 20, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER

The matters before the Court are (1) the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Chase Home Finance LLC ("Chase") (Doc. # 13), (2) the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant WMC Mortgage Corp. ("WMC") (Doc. # 15), and (3) the Motion for Leave to Amend filed by Plaintiffs (Doc. # 21).

I. Background

On June 25, 2009, Plaintiffs initiated this action by filing a Complaint in this Court. (Doc. # 1). On August 17, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a). (Doc. # 9).

A. Allegations of the First Amended Complaint

In June of 2006, Plaintiffs obtained financing from WMC in order to purchase a home in El Centro, California. (Doc. # 9 ¶¶ 6-7). During the loan application process, Plaintiffs stated their correct annual income. (Doc. # 9 ¶ 10). "Defendants completed the loan application for Plaintiffs and inserted an inflated income for the Plaintiffs, without disclosing said change to them." (Doc. # 9 ¶ 21). "Based on the inflated income, Plaintiffs were able to obtain a loan, though Defendants were clearly aware that such loan could not be afforded by Plaintiffs." Id. At the closing, Plaintiffs were not informed of their right to rescind, nor were they provided with additional disclosures required by law. (Doc. # 9 ¶¶ 12-13, 23). On April 20, 2009, Plaintiffs received an Acceleration Warning and Notice of Intent to Foreclose regarding their home. (Doc. # 9 ¶ 16). Chase is the current servicing company of the loan, and "all actions that were made by the principal lender ... flowed through to ... Chase." (Doc. # 9 ¶¶ 8-9).

The First Amended Complaint alleges the following claims against all Defendants: (1) intentional misrepresentation; (2) breach of fiduciary duty; (3) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (4) declaratory relief; (5) quiet title; (6) violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1691; (7) violation of California Financial Code § 4970 et seq.; (8) negligence; (9) usury; (10) accounting; (11) violation of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994, 15 U.S.C. § 1639; (12) violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.; (13) violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a; (14) slander of title; (15) violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq.; (16) violation of California Civil Code § 1632; (17) violation of California Civil Code § 2923.6; (18) violation of California Civil Code § 2923.5.

B. Pending Motions

On September 3, 2009, Chase filed a Motion to Dismiss all claims in the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. # 13). On September 16, 2009, WMC filed a Motion to Dismiss all claims in the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. # 15).

On September 30, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Bankruptcy Proceedings. (Doc. # 16). The Notice of Bankruptcy Proceedings notified the Court that on September 11, 2009, Plaintiffs Ruben Macias and Martha Macias filed a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the Southern District of California, Bankruptcy case number 09-136-86.

On October 14, 2009, the Court issued an Order stating that "this action, which was initiated by Plaintiffs prepetition, is not stayed. Any opposition to the Motions to Dismiss shall be filed no later than October 26, 2009. Any reply shall be filed no later than November 2, 2009." (Doc. # 17).

On October 26, 2009, the parties filed a joint motion for a thirty-day extension of time for Plaintiffs to file their opposition to the pending Motions to Dismiss. (Doc. # 18). The parties stated that "Plaintiffs' counsel needs additional time to contact the Bankruptcy attorney handling the Plaintiffs' case to determine how to proceed in this matter." (Doc. # 18 at 2). On October 27, 2009, the Court granted the motion for extension of time. (Doc. # 19).

On November 25, 2009, Plaintiffs filed an "Opposition [and] Statement of Non-Opposition to Motion to Dismiss and Request for Leave to Amend to Make a More Definite Statement" ("Motion for Leave to Amend"). (Doc. # 21). Plaintiffs assert: "The amended complaint was drafted by a contract attorney hired as the result of a lingering illness affecting Plaintiffs counsel and is admittedly deficient. As a result, Plaintiffs seek leave to amend and file a Second Amended Complaint." (Doc. # 21 at 3). Plaintiffs request leave to amend the following claims: the first claim for intentional misrepresentation; the fifth claim for quiet title; the tenth claim for an accounting; the eleventh claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act; the twelfth claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act; the fifteenth claim for violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200; the seventeenth claim for violation of California Civil Code § 2923.6; and the eighteenth claim for violation of California Civil Code § 2923.5. Plaintiffs do not challenge the Motions to Dismiss, and do not seek leave to amend, the following claims: the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, thirteenth, fourteenth and sixteenth claims against all Defendants. "Plaintiffs request that all dismissals be granted without prejudice as discovery may reveal additional parties or facts supporting claims against existing parties that Plaintiffs are currently unaware of at this time." Id.

On December 4, 2009, WMC and Chase filed reply briefs in support of their Motions to Dismiss. (Doc. # 22, 23). Defendants contend that the First Amended Complaint should be dismissed in its entirety and leave to amend should be denied on the ...


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