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United States v. Lavender

United States District Court, C.D. California

January 12, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MINNIE LAVENDER

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Jacquelyne Nguyen.

Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.

Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, J.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Proceedings: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt. No. 28, filed September 15, 2014)

I. INTRODUCTION

This action arises from a debtor's default on a student loan. On December 4, 2013, plaintiff United States of America filed a complaint against defendant Minnie Lavender, seeking payment on two promissory notes. ECF No. 1 (" Cmplt."). On September 15, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment, dkt. 28, a statement of uncontroverted facts and conclusions of law, dkt. 28-2, and a declaration with exhibits, dkt. 28 (motion and declaration); dkt. 28-1 (exhibits). On December 22, 2014, defendant filed an opposition to the motion, dkt. 38, a statement of genuine issues of material fact in dispute, dkt. 39, and a declaration, dkt. 40. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS the motion.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Except where noted, the facts are not in dispute. On November 31, 1987, defendant executed two promissory notes for the amounts of $2, 500.00 (" Loan No. 1") and $2, 650.00 (Loan No. 2"), payable to First America Savings, F.S.B. (" Holder"). The notes thus total $5, 150.00, with interest accruing annually at 9.13% on Loan No. 1 and 8% on Loan No. 2. Dkt. 28, ex. 1 (certificate of indebtedness); id., ex. 3 (notes). The loans were guaranteed by plaintiff pursuant to Title IV-E of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Pub. L. 89-329, 86 Stat. 1219.

The Holder demanded payment on the loans. On February 22, 1990 and March 19, 1989, respectively, defendant defaulted on the two promissory notes. Dkt. 28, ex. 1, ¶ 2. The Holder made a claim on plaintiff's guarantee and assigned all rights and title in and to the notes to the Department of Education pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1087cc(a)(5). As of February 1, 1999, defendant owed plaintiff $1, 681.61 in principal, $247.13 in interest (accruing at a rate of $0.41 per day), and $86.44 in administrative costs. Dkt. 28, ex. 1; id., ex. 2 (account information).

On March 22, 1999, plaintiff demanded payment. Dkt. 28, ex. 4 (first demand letter). When defendant failed to comply, plaintiff turned over the account to its counsel for collection. On November 12, 1999, November 4, 2005, and November 2, 2011, plaintiff's counsel again sought payment. Id., ex. 5 (further demand letters). Defendant did not respond to plaintiff's counsel's letters. On December 4, 2013, plaintiff filed an action for collection. Cmplt. On January 6, 2014, defendant filed an answer denying the allegations, but asserting no affirmative defenses. Dkt. 7.

Defendant admits executing the two promissory notes. Dkt. 40 at 2. She asserts that in November 1987, she paid the proceeds of the loans to a school that promised to train her to become a corrections officer; however, the school committed fraud by closing its doors without providing any training. Dkt. 38 at 2; dkt. 40 at 2.

According to defendant, " [t]he Department of Education collected through the IRS offset of tax returns until paid in full." Dkt. 38 at 2; see also dkt. 40 at 2. Specifically, she avers that the debt " was paid in full through Internal Revenue Services Code Explanation of ...


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