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Gemma Ramsour v. Jp Morgan Chase Bank; Chase Home Finance

August 23, 2011

GEMMA RAMSOUR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK; CHASE HOME FINANCE, LLC, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER

The matter before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, filed by Defendants JP Morgan Chase Bank and Chase Home Finance, LLC (collectively, "Chase"). (ECF No. 11).

I. Background

On May 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint, which is the operative pleading. (ECF No. 9).

A. Allegations of the Second Amended Complaint

Plaintiff is 76 years old, and "Defendants know or should have known of Plaintiff's status as a senior citizen based on Defendants' prior dealings with Plaintiff and Defendants' access to Plaintiff's credit reports and other documentation." Id. ¶ 24.

"In the early 2000's Plaintiff's then investment planner encouraged Plaintiff to invest in the conversion of an apartment complex into a condominium development." Id. ¶ 25. "Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, her [investment planner] used Plaintiff's financial information to obtain mortgages and financing on various individual condominiums within the development." Id. ¶ 27. "Plaintiff was taken to Las Vegas by her investor to sign what she thought were loan documents relating to her finance portion of the condominium project. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, the documents she signed were loan documents for individual condominium units. These documents include the initial loan documents for the alleged debt in the instant case, a delinquent mortgage for an individual condominium unit." Id. ¶ 28. In August 2007, Plaintiff's investment planner "was charged with a criminal information in the United States District Court, Southern District of California Court (Case No. 07CR2260H) alleging mail fraud for his condominium investment scheme." Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiff's investment advisor "pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the criminal case." Id. ¶ 30.

On February 7, 2007, "Defendants' predecessor Washington Mutual Bank filed a complaint against Plaintiff in the San Diego Superior Court ... alleging unjust enrichment and conversion against Plaintiff in regards to the alleged debt." Id. ¶ 31. On March 27, 2008, "Washington Mutual Bank filed a case management statement in the state court case stating 'WAMU is contemplating dismissing the suit against [Plaintiff] and filing against those she claims are responsible.'" Id. ¶ 32. In April 2008, "Defendants' predecessor, Washington Mutual Bank, determined that Plaintiff was a victim of identity theft and fraud and therefore not responsible for the alleged underlying debt giving rise to the state court action. Accordingly, Washington Mutual Bank dismissed the state court action against Plaintiff with prejudice." Id. ¶ 33.

On December 31, 2008, Washington Mutual Bank sent Plaintiff a letter "informing her that Defendant JP Morgan Chase had acquired the alleged debt on September 25, 2008." Id.

¶ 34. "Washington Mutual Bank's December 31, 2008 letter further stated that the underlying loan was in default on September 25, 2008. This was false as the case against Plaintiff had already been dismissed with prejudice." Id. ¶ 35.

"On or about early 2010, Defendants telephoned Plaintiff and demanded payment of the alleged debt." Id. ¶ 41. On November 2, 2010 and November 10, 2010, Plaintiff's counsel telephoned Defendants' Quality Assurance Department and left voice-mail messages identifying counsel and counsel's telephone number, "requesting that Defendants cease calling Plaintiff," and "request[ing] that all communications be directed to counsel's office." Id. ¶¶ 44-45.

"Over the course of approximately one year, Plaintiff received daily telephone calls from Defendant[s]. At a minimum Plaintiff would receive one call per day, but often times she would receive two or three times in a single day." Id. ¶ 65. "From approximately October 2010 to January 2011, Plaintiff received two to three telephone calls from Defendants on a daily basis. Plaintiff would answer the calls and tell Defendants' representative that she was represented by current counsel and not to contact her again." Id. ¶ 66. "Despite having knowledge that Plaintiff was represented by counsel and that Plaintiff does not legally owe the alleged debt, Defendants continued to place telephone calls to Plaintiff with the purpose to harass or annoy her." Id. "Plaintiff estimates that hundreds of calls took place between October 2010 and January 2011 alone." Id. ¶ 67.

"Defendants' multiple communications to Plaintiff have caused Plaintiff unnecessary stress and anxiety, fear of answering the phone." Id. ¶ 76.

The Second Amended Complaint contains four counts: (1) violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq.; (2) violations of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788-1788.32; (3) "Invasion of Privacy ... Intrusion into Private Affairs"; and (4) "Treble Damages ... Deceptive Acts Against a Senior Citizen." Id. at 13. The Prayer for Relief requests statutory damages, "actual ...


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