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Saber v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, C.D. California, Southern Division

May 22, 2014

SAM SABER, Plaintiff,


DAVID O. CARTER, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant JPMorgan Chase's ("Chase") Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 38). After considering the moving and opposing papers, the entirety of the record, and the oral arguments of each party, the Court GRANTS the motion.

I. Background

Plaintiff Sam Saber ("Saber") refinanced his home in Newport Beach, California (the "Property") using a loan from WaMu in October 2007. Defendant's Statement of Undisputed Facts ("DSUF") ¶ 1. The Deed of Trust identifies Washington Mutual Bank ("WaMu") as the lender and beneficiary, and California Reconveyance Company as trustee. DSUF ¶ 2.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") assumed control of WaMu as receiver in September 2008. On September 25, 2008, the same day it became the Receiver, the FDIC signed a Purchase and Assumption Agreement ("Purchase Agreement") selling certain WaMu assets to Chase. DSUF ¶ 4.

Saber fell behind on the loan and was in arrears by $67, 683.77 as of March 17, 2009. DSUF ¶ 5. Chase initiated foreclosure proceedings in February 2012 TAC ¶ 10. Saber applied for a loan modification, which Chase never affirmatively approved or denied. TAC ¶¶ 12-13. Chase gave notice of the Trustee's sale, and Saber resubmitted his modification application. TAC ¶ 13.

After a series of complaints in state court, Saber filed the instant lawsuit. The only remaining claim in the Third Amended Complaint is a claim under California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq. Saber claims that Chase misrepresented its relationship with WaMu, failing to disclose that it had purchased only the right to collect on many residential loans, not the liability associated with the loans. TAC ¶¶ 18-20. Saber alleges that Chase did this by using WaMu's logo on its correspondence and other Chase documents, and Chase's informing its customers that "WaMu is becoming Chase, " allegedly suggesting that the two had merged. See TAC ¶¶ 18-20.

Saber claims this harmed him because he was "prevented from knowing who the true owner of the Note was and thus prevented from being able to communicate directly with the true owner of the Note on critical matters such as: loan loss mitigation possibilities (through loan modification or short sale); reinstatement rights (under California Civil Code section 2924c); and beneficiary statements, payoff demand statement, and short-pay demand statements under California Civil Code section 2943, and this has caused Plaintiff to be at increased risk of losing the Home to non-judicial foreclosure." TAC ¶ 22.

II. Legal Standard

Summary judgment is proper if "the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Summary judgment is to be granted cautiously, with due respect for a party's right to have its factually grounded claims and defenses tried to a jury. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The court must view the facts and draw inferences in the manner most favorable to the non-moving party. United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1992); Chevron Corp. v. Pennzoil Co., 974 F.2d 1156, 1161 (9th Cir. 1992). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial, but it need not disprove the other party's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. When the non-moving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden by pointing out that the non-moving party has failed to present any genuine issue of material fact as to an essential element of its case. See Musick v. Burke, 913 F.2d 1390, 1394 (9th Cir. 1990).

Once the moving party meets its burden, the burden shifts to the opposing party to set out specific material facts showing a genuine issue for trial. See Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248-49. A "material fact" is one which "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law...." Id. at 248. A party cannot create a genuine issue of material fact simply by making assertions in its legal papers. S.A. Empresa de Viacao Aerea Rio Grandense v. Walter Kidde & Co., Inc., 690 F.2d 1235, 1238 (9th Cir. 1982). Rather, there must be specific, admissible evidence identifying the basis for the dispute. Id. The court need not "comb the record" looking for other evidence; it is only required to consider evidence set forth in the moving and opposing papers and the portions of the record cited therein. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3); Carmen v. S.F. Unified Sch. Dist., 237 F.3d 1026, 1029 (9th Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court has held that "[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence... will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for [the opposing party]." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 252.

III. Discussion

a. Causation

Chase argues that Saber cannot show that any of the alleged misrepresentations, even if they were misleading, actually caused any economic injury he suffered. The Court reasoned in its order denying Chase's Motion to Dismiss that having one's home in foreclosure could create a sufficient economic risk to satisfy the standing requirement under the UCL. Chase argues that there is no evidence supporting the inference ...

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