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Pitre v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 6, 2013

RICKY AND LORRAINE PITRE, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. MORTGAGE SERVICER: ALSO KNOWN AS ASC (AMERICA'S SERVICING COMPANY); NORTHWEST TRUSTEE SERVICES, Defendants.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

WILLIAM ALSUP, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

In this action arising out of a trustee sale, plaintiffs move for leave to file an amended complaint. This motion follows a previous order granting defendants' motion to dismiss all of plaintiffs' claims. For the reasons stated below, plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.

STATEMENT

Pro se plaintiffs Ricky and Lorraine Pitre's claims against defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Northwest Trustee Services arise out of an attempt to invalidate a trustee sale. Plaintiffs Ricky and Lorraine Pitre acquired a loan from Wells Fargo in 2001 to purchase a residential property in Richmond, California. Plaintiffs do not allege that they live there. Plaintiffs contacted Wells Fargo in January 2012, told Wells Fargo they were unable to make their payments, and inquired whether they could qualify for a loan modification. Wells Fargo told plaintiffs they had to be three months behind their loan payments before they could start the loan modification process. In alleged reliance on this statement, plaintiffs fell behind on their payments for three months. The first amended complaint alleges Wells Fargo denied the loan modification three times, each time failing to specify why the loan modification was denied (Compl. ΒΆ 55; Amd. Compl. at 1-2).

The first denial of plaintiffs' loan modification occurred in July 2012. Plaintiffs mailed their initial set of loan modification documents to Wells Fargo in May. On July 26, plaintiffs received a notice of default, which stated that it had been recorded on July 16. On July 31, plaintiffs received a letter from Wells Fargo's Home Preservation Department stating the parties were unable to reach a mutual agreement regarding the options available to assist the Pitres with their situation. This denial did not provide specifics why the loan modification was denied (First Amd. Compl. at 3).

Plaintiffs were denied a loan modification a second time later in 2012. They contacted the home preservation department in August 2012 and spoke to a representative about submitting a loan modification. The representative told plaintiffs to submit another modification package by fax. Plaintiffs submitted a complete application in August 2012. In early September 2012, plaintiffs received a second denial from Wells Fargo. This denial did not explain why the loan modification was denied ( ibid. ).

Plaintiffs submitted a third loan modification request in September. They received a letter stating that Wells Fargo had received the documents and were assigned home preservation specialist Ryan Smart. Specialist Smart sent plaintiffs a letter of introduction. The next day, plaintiffs faxed him a loan application with supporting documentation. On November 11, Specialist Smart requested additional materials: a hardship letter, updated profit and loss statements, updated bank statements, and updated mortgage statements. Three days later, plaintiffs submitted the requested documents. In late November, plaintiffs received notice of a trustee's sale scheduled for January 11, 2013 ( id. at 3-4).

One month after receiving notice of a trustee's sale, plaintiffs received a letter from Specialist Smart, which stated that Wells Fargo was not able to help them find a mortgage solution. This was the third denial, again with no explanation why Wells Fargo could not assist plaintiffs with a loan modification. That same day, plaintiffs received a letter advising them that the sale date of the residential property was postponed to January 23, 2013 ( id. at 4-5).

In mid-January 2013, plaintiffs received a second notice that the trustee's sale would be held on January 23. On January 23, plaintiffs hired VeriTrust, a company specializing in delaying trustee sales dates, to help them delay sale. That same day, plaintiffs received notice that the trustee's sale was postponed one day to January 24 ( id. at 5).

On February 7, plaintiffs filed their complaint. On March 1, defendants moved to dismiss. After a hearing, defendants' motion to dismiss was granted on May 17. On June 12, plaintiffs moved for leave to amend their complaint and submitted a proposed amended complaint. A hearing on plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint was held on August 1, 2013.

Before the merits of plaintiffs' motion to amend were considered, both parties were required to meet and confer over plaintiffs' potential loan modification several times. On August 1, plaintiffs' motion for leave to file an amended complaint was held in abeyance and defendant Wells Fargo was ordered to process plaintiffs' loan modification request. Both parties were ordered to attend a hearing on August 15 to discuss the status of the loan modification request. On August 15, Defendant Wells Fargo stated under oath that it did not have sufficient information to process the loan modification request. Defendant Wells Fargo was ordered to submit to plaintiffs an email listing the exact information it required and was further ordered to notify the Court by August 19 when it had received all of the necessary documentation. Another hearing was set for August 22 to discuss the status of the loan modification request. On August 21, Defendant Wells Fargo notified the Court that it had received all necessary documentation and requested additional time to consider the loan modification request. The August 22 hearing was vacated. Both parties were ordered to file a joint status update on August 30, and another hearing was scheduled for September 5 to discuss the loan modification request. On August 29, plaintiffs notified the Court that defendant Wells Fargo denied their loan modification request and asked for more time to file an "appeal" that defendant Wells Fargo offered to them. On August 30, defendant Wells Fargo moved to vacate the September 5 hearing. The September 5 hearing was vacated.

The Court is satisfied that defendant Wells Fargo has considered and denied plaintiffs' loan modification request in good faith. This case will not be delayed pending further "appeals" ...


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