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Meredith L. Manzano, An v. Metlife Bank N.A.

August 2, 2011

MEREDITH L. MANZANO, AN
INDIVIDUAL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
METLIFE BANK N.A., QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORP; AND DOES 1 TO 10, INCLUSIVE. DEFENDANTS.



MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS

Plaintiff Meredith L. Manzano brought this action against defendants MetLife Bank, N.A. ("MetLife") and Quality Loan Service Corp. ("Quality Loan") arising out of defendants' allegedly wrongful conduct relating to a residential loan agreement. On May 24, 2011, the court dismissed plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). (Docket No. 26.) Plaintiff filed her Third Amended Complaint ("TAC") on June 13, 2011, asserting only one cause of action: violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2617, against MetLife.*fn1 (Docket No. 27.) Presently before the court is MetLife's motion to dismiss plaintiff's TAC for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

I. Factual and Procedural Background Plaintiff is the owner of real property located at 168 Beaver Trail in Mammoth Lakes, California. (TAC ¶ 6 (Docket No. 27).) MetLife owns a Deed of Trust on the property and is allegedly threatening to foreclose. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.) On November 16, 2010, plaintiff allegedly sent a Qualified Written Request ("QWR") to MetLife concerning payments that she believed were not properly credited to her account. (Id. ¶ 14; Ex. A.) MetLife allegedly failed to respond to plaintiff, (id. ¶ 15), and provided adverse information concerning plaintiff's loan to various consumer reporting agencies. (Id. ¶ 24.)

II. Discussion

On a motion to dismiss, the court must accept the

allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322 (1972). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, ----, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). This "plausibility standard," however, "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully," and "[w]here a complaint pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57).

MetLife makes two specific arguments in support of dismissal: first, the letter plaintiff sent to MetLife on November 16, 2010, was not a QWR; and second, plaintiff has failed to adequately plead damages resulting from MetLife's alleged RESPA violation. MetLife does not otherwise argue that plaintiff fails to state a plausible claim for relief under RESPA.

A. Qualified Written Request*fn2

RESPA imposes a duty on loan servicers to take certain

actions upon receipt of a QWR from a borrower seeking information relating to the servicing of a loan. 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(A). A QWR is "a written correspondence, other than notice on a payment coupon or other payment medium supplied by the servicer," that

(i) includes, or otherwise enables the servicer to identify, the name and account of the borrower; and

(ii) includes a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provides sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower.

12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(B).

Within twenty days of receiving a QWR, a loan servicer must provide a written response to the borrower acknowledging receipt. 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(A). Within sixty days, the loan servicer must either (1) correct the errors complained of in the borrower's QWR, (2) provide a written explanation or clarification as to why the borrower's account is, in fact, correct, or (3) provide a written explanation or clarification as to why the information requested in the QWR is unavailable. 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(2)(A)-(C). Additionally, during the sixty-day period following receipt of the QWR, "a servicer may not provide information regarding any overdue payment, owed by such borrower and relating to such period or qualified written request, to any consumer reporting agency . . . ." 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(3).

Plaintiff's purported QWR includes plaintiff's name and account number and clearly indicates that plaintiff believed her statements were in error because "certain payments may not have been properly credited to [her] account." (TAC Ex. A.) MetLife nonetheless contends that the purported QWR "fails to state any reasons for the plaintiff's belief that the account was in error" and fails to include "any facts as to why the plaintiff believed ...


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