United States District Court, C.D. California
For Jason Alexander Geake, Plaintiff: Jamie Edwards Quadra, LEAD ATTORNEY, Edwards Quadra, PC, Roseville, CA.
For JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Defendant: David D Piper, LEAD ATTORNEY, Keesal Young and Logan APC, Long Beach, CA; Samantha Carlson, Keesal Young and Logan, Long Beach, CA.
For Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, Defendant: Nicholas Gregory Hood, T Robert Finlay, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kristina M Pelletier, Wright Finlay and Zak LLP, Newport Beach, CA.
For U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee of the Structured Asset Securities Corporation, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-BC3, Defendant: Kristina M Pelletier, Wright Finlay and Zak LLP, Newport Beach, CA.
Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS - COURT ORDER
Before the Court are two motions to dismiss. The first is a Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint filed by defendant J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (" Chase"). (Docket No. 23.) Plaintiff Jason Alexander Geake (" Plaintiff") has filed an Opposition (Docket No. 28), to which Chase has filed a Reply (Docket No. 32). The second is a Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint filed by defendants Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (" Ocwen") and U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee of the Structured Asset Securities Corporation, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-BC3 (" U.S. Bank"). (Docket No. 24.) Plaintiff has filed an Opposition (Docket No. 31), to which Ocwen and U.S. Bank have filed a Reply (Docket No. 33).
Pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15, the Court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. The hearings calendared for December 29, 2014 and January 5, 2015 are vacated, and the matters taken off calendar.
Plaintiff owns a home in Los Angeles, California. To finance the purchase of his home, Plaintiff obtained a purchase money mortgage loan from Fieldstone Mortgage Company (" Fieldstone") in May 2006. Plaintiff alleges that, over the next several years, various banks engaged in misconduct with respect to (1) servicing his loan and (2) transferring rights pursuant to the deed of trust.
A. Loan Servicing History
Plaintiff was notified in August 2006 that Fieldstone had assigned servicing rights to Chase. Sometime after that, Plaintiff had difficulty making his loan payments. In February 2009, Chase sent Plaintiff a letter concerning a loan modification program. Plaintiff submitted an application packet in June 2009 and allegedly decided to forego other options available to him, such as a deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sale. Plaintiff entered into a forbearance agreement with Chase in August 2009 providing that Chase would not foreclose during the forbearance period (lasting through October 2009) so long as Plaintiff made timely payments.
Plaintiff continued to correspond with Chase and submitted another modification application at Chase's request in May 2010. The application was denied. However, Plaintiff continued to submit payments until February 2011, when a payment was declined. The next month, Plaintiff received a letter indicating that his account with Chase had been closed. In November 2011, Plaintiff received another letter from Chase informing him that he had been " approved to enter a trial period plan under the Home Affordable Modification Program." (FAC, Ex. H.) The letter detailed " [w]hat you need to do":
To accept this offer, you must make your first monthly " trial period payment" in place of your normal monthly mortgage payment. Thereafter, send in your monthly trial period payments--instead of your normal monthly mortgage payment . . . . After all trial period payments are timely made and you continue to meet all program eligibility requirements, your mortgage would then be permanently modified. You will be required to execute a permanent mortgage modification agreement that we will send you before your modification becomes effective.
(Id.) The trial period payments were due by January 1, 2012, February 1, 2012, and March 1, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that he made timely trial payments and continued to make payments after the prescribed trial period. A permanent mortgage modification agreement was never executed.
In March 2012, Plaintiff received notice that servicing of his loan was being transferred from Chase to Ocwen. In June 2012, Ocwen sent Plaintiff a loan modification agreement that required Plaintiff to act by April 2012 to accept. Plaintiff allegedly wrote to Ocwen explaining the terms of Ocwen's offer were impossible to satisfy given that the deadline to accept pre-dated the offer. In August 2012, Ocwen allegedly sent a response that did not address the issues with the offer letter. Later in August, Ocwen denied Plaintiff's modification because he had failed to accept the offer. A notice of default was recorded in March 2014. (See Chase's Request for Judicial Notice, Ex. 6.)
B. Deed of Trust History
The deed of trust was recorded with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office on June 2, 2006, listing Fieldstone as lender, Rob V. Budhwa as trustee, and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (" MERS") as beneficiary. (FAC, Ex. 1.) First American Loanstar Trustee Services (" First American") was substituted as trustee on July 29, 2009. (Chase's RJN, Ex. 3.) MERS assigned its rights to U.S. Bank on August 12, 2009. (RJN, Ex. 2.) Plaintiff claims that he did not receive notice of this assignment. Western Progressive, LLC (" Western Progressive") was substituted as trustee on February 25, 2014. (RJN, Ex. 5.)
C. Procedural History
Plaintiff filed his original Complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court on May 23, 2014. The case was removed to this Court on August 29, 2014. Chase filed a Motion to Dismiss on October 6, 2014 (Docket No. 13), and Ocwen and U.S. Bank filed a Motion to Dismiss on the same date (Docket No. 15). Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (" FAC") on October 27, 2014. (Docket No. 20.) Accordingly, the Court denied ...