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Norlito Soriano v. Countrywide Home Loans

May 9, 2011

NORLITO SORIANO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC., MANUEL CHAVEZ, MARK FLORES, SOLIDHOMES ENTERPRENEURS, INC., BANK OF
AMERICA CORP., AND DOES 5-100,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

ORDER ADDRESSING ADDITIONAL PRETRIAL ISSUES SOLIDHOMES FUNDING,

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

Code § 17200 et seq.)have survived summary judgment. See Dkt. No. 59, April 11, 2011 Order. 21 Trial in this case is set for June 6, 2011, and a pretrial conference was held on May 4, 2011. The 22 parties have been ordered to attend a settlement conference with the Honorable Ronald Whyte on May 11, 2011. At the pretrial conference, the parties raised a number of issues relating to the 24 scope of the case and the matters to be decided at trial, and asked that the Court reconsider issues 25 decided in its May 4, 2011 Order Addressing Various Pretrial Issues. The Court addresses those 26 issues here. The Court assumes familiarity with the statement of facts and background set forth in 27 its Order on summary judgment, and does not restate them here. 28

Case No.: 09-CV-02415-LHK

ORDER ADDRESSING ADDITIONAL PRETRIAL ISSUES

Plaintiff's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA", 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.) and violation of California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL," Bus. & Prof. 20

I. UCL Claim Based on Time-Barred TILA Claim of their argument that Plaintiff should not be permitted to base his UCL claim on a time-barred UCL was not preempted by TILA based on the UCL's longer statute of limitations. Defendants 6 have cited several cases holding otherwise. See Zlotnik v. U.S. Bancorp, 2009 WL 5178030 at *3 7

However, the Court finds the authority cited in the May 4, 2010 Order more persuasive. The cases 9 cited by the Court hold that there is no conflict preemption of state laws by TILA if the state laws 10 provide additional consumer protection. See May 4, 2010 Order at 2 (citing Romero v. 11 At the pretrial conference, counsel for Defendants submitted additional authority in support Truth in Lending Act ("TILA," 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.) claim. The Court previously held that the 5 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 22, 2009); Jordan v. Paul, 745 F. Supp. 2d 1084, 1098 (N. D. Cal. 2010). 8

Countrywide Bank, N.A., 740 F. Supp. 2d 1129, 1150 (N.D. Cal. 2010); Plascencia v. Lending 1st Mortg., 583 F. Supp. 2d 1090, 1099 (N.D. Cal. 2008). Conflict preemption applies "when 13 compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility, or when state law 14 stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of 15 Court concludes that because the more generous statute of limitations for UCL claims based on 17 TILA violations does not make compliance with TILA impossible, or create an obstacle in 18 accomplishing TILA's purposes, there is no conflict preemption of the UCL by TILA based on the 19 KJM, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96479 at *11-12 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 24, 2008). Accordingly, the Court 21 declines to alter its previous Order which clarified that Plaintiff may proceed with his UCL claim 22 on the basis of the alleged TILA violation. 23

In the May 4, 2011 Order, the Court held that "when attorney's fees are claimed as 25 damages, the issue of what fees to award is properly decided by a jury," and denied Defendants' 26 motion to strike Plaintiff's jury demand regarding his RESPA claim. The parties were permitted 27 one page of additional briefing to address this issue. Defendants argue that because the parties 28 have stipulated to the amount of attorney's fees in question, there is no issue for a jury to decide.

Congress . . . ." See Silvas v. E*Trade Mortg. Corp., 514 F.3d 1001, 1004 (9th Cir. 2008). The 16 UCL's longer statute of limitations. See Quezada v. Loan Ctr. of Cal., Inc., No. CIV. 08-177 WBS 20

II. Jury Demand 24

Plaintiff responds that a jury must still decide whether Defendants are liable for having violated 2

RESPA. Somewhat confusingly, Plaintiff states that he "claims $570" but that "[t]he parties have 3 not stipulated to this fact." Plaintiff's Suppl. Br. re Jury Demand (Dkt. No. 97). The Court finds 4 that the parties have stipulated to the fact that Plaintiff's claimed attorney's fees incurred as a direct 5 result of the ...


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