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McDonald v. Indymac Mortgage Services

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 9, 2014

DARRELL MCDONALD and FLORA MCDONALD, Plaintiffs,
v.
INDYMAC MORTGAGE SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

MAXINE M. CHESNEY, District Judge.

Before the Court is defendants OneWest Bank F.S.B. ("OneWest") and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company's ("Deutsche Bank") motion, filed February 25, 2014 and joined by defendant NDEX West, LLC ("NDEX"), to dismiss plaintiffs Darrell and Flora McDonald's Third Amended Complaint ("TAC"). Plaintiffs have filed opposition, to which OneWest/Deutsche Bank has replied. Having read and considered the parties' respective written submissions, the Court rules as follows.[1]

BACKGROUND

On September 4, 2012, plaintiffs filed the instant action, by which plaintiffs challenge defendants' right to collect payments on plaintiffs' mortgage loan.

On January 9, 2014, plaintiffs filed their TAC, in which plaintiffs assert the following eighteen causes of action: "Fraud" (First through Twelfth Causes of Action); "Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)" (Thirteenth Cause of Action); "Violation of RESPA 12 C.F.R. § 226 et seq. and 12 C.F.R. § 2605" (Fourteenth Cause of Action); "Unfair Competition Law (UCL), California Bus. And Prof. § 17200 et seq." (Fifteenth Cause of Action); "Rescission or Reformation of Unconscionable Modification (California Code of Civil Procedure § 1689(b)(1)) and Fraud" (Sixteenth Cause of Action); "Break in Chain of Title and Splitting of the Note from the Deed of Trust" (Seventeenth Cause of Action); and "Cancellation of Instruments Clouding Title (California Civil Code §§ 3412-3415)" (Eighteenth Cause of Action).

By the instant motion, defendants move, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss plaintiffs' First through Thirteenth and Sixteenth through Eighteenth Causes of Action (hereinafter, "the challenged claims").

LEGAL STANDARD

Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can be based on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't , 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). Rule 8(a)(2), however, "requires only a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). Consequently, "a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations." See id. Nonetheless, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." See id. (internal quotation, citation, and alteration omitted).

In analyzing a motion to dismiss, a district court must accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, and construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See NL Industries, Inc. v. Kaplan , 792 F.2d 896, 898 (9th Cir. 1986). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual material, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 570). "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]" Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555. Courts "are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." See Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation and citation omitted).

DISCUSSION

A. Challenged Claims

Of the sixteen causes of action challenged by defendants, all but two are based solely on plaintiffs' allegation that certain assignments of the deed of trust securing their loan were defective. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that a March 4, 2009 assignment to OneWest's predecessor in interest and a May 21, 2009 assignment to Deutsche Bank as trustee of a mortgage loan trust (see id. TAC ¶¶ 3, 62, 77) were "Robo Signe[d]" (see id. ¶ 119), which "forgery" (see, e.g., id. ¶¶ 119. 125), according to plaintiffs, constituted fraud (see id. ¶ 15, 124), and, further, that the latter assignment occurred after the trust's "closing date" (see id. ¶¶ 257-260).

The remaining two causes of action, specifically the Thirteenth and Sixteenth, are based in part on the above-referenced assertedly defective assignments and in part on additional allegations. The Thirteenth Cause of Action is based on an additional allegation that defendants, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a), failed to send plaintiffs a timely notice as to OneWest's purchase of its predecessor's assets (see id. ¶¶ 3, 270), and the Sixteenth Cause of Action is based on an additional allegation that the modification of the subject loan was entered under fear of foreclosure and thus, according ...


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