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Meyer v. One West Bank

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 18, 2015

MELODIE MEYER, Plaintiff,
v.
ONE WEST BANK, F.S.B., AMERICAN SECURITY INSURANCE COMPANY, PETER MALONEY, Intervenor, Defendants

Page 1178

For Melodie Meyer, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Sheri L Kelly, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Sheri L Kelly, San Jose, CA; Alexander P Owings, AP Owings Attorney At Law PA, Little Rock, AR; Angela Mann, Jack Wagoner, III, PRO HAC VICE, Wagoner Law Firm, P.A., Little Rock, AR; Barry R Himmelstein, Himmelstein Law Network, Emeryville, CA; Steven A Owings, PRO HAC VICE, Owings Law Firm, Little Rock, AR.

For OneWest Bank F.S.B., Defendant: Elizabeth Lemond McKeen, LEAD ATTORNEY, Danielle Nicole Oakley, Omelveny and Myers LLP, Newport Beach, CA; Rik S Tozzi, PRO HAC VICE, Burr and Forman LLP, Birmingham, AL.

For American Security Insurance Company, Defendant: Brian P Perryman, Dawn B Williams, Frank G Burt, W Glenn Merten, PRO HAC VICE, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt PA, Washington, DC; Mark A Neubauer, Meredith M Moss, Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

For Peter Maloney, Intervenor: Adam William Hansen, Nichols Kaster PLLP, Minneapolis, MN; Matthew C Helland, Nichols Kaster LLP, San Francisco, CA.

Page 1179

ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS [Dkt. Nos. 26, 29]

DEAN D. PREGERSON, United States District Judge.

Presently before the court are two separate motions to dismiss filed by Defendants One West Bank, F.S.B. (" OneWest" ) and American Security Insurance Company (" ASIC" ). Having considered the submissions of the parties, the court grants the motions and adopts the following order.

I. Background

In January 2007, Plaintiff obtained a mortgage loan that was eventually acquired by OneWest. (Complaint¶ 25.) The Deed of Trust securing that loan requires Plaintiff to maintain hazard insurance, including earthquake and flood insurance. (Id.¶ 26.) The deed also includes a force-placed insurance provision, which reads:

If Borrower fails to maintain any of the coverages described above, Lender may obtain insurance coverage, at Lender's option and Borrower's expense. Lender is under no obligation to purchase any particular type or amount of coverage. . . . Borrower acknowledges that the cost of the insurance coverage so obtained might significantly exceed the cost of insurance that Borrower could have obtained. Any amounts disbursed by Lender under this Section [] shall become additional debt of Borrower secured by this Security Instrument.

( Compl.¶ 26.)

On March 16, 2012, OneWest force-placed Plaintiff into insurance provided by Defendant ASIC, retroactive to December 16, 2011. (Compl.¶ 30.) OneWest withdrew premiums for the ASIC policy from Plaintiff's escrow account, then required her to make additional payments to replenish the escrow account. (Id.¶ 32.) Plaintiff acquired her own insurance on April 13, 2012, apparently to OneWest's satisfaction. (Id. ¶ ¶ 31-32.) OneWest returned some amount to Plaintiff's escrow account, but retained a portion of the premiums paid between December 16 and April 13 that OneWest deemed itself to have " earned." (Id.¶ 32.)

Plaintiff alleges, on a behalf of a putative nationwide class, that OneWest colluded with ASIC in a scheme whereby OneWest allowed ASIC to automatically force-place high-cost and backdated insurance for certain OneWest mortgagors and ASIC then " kicked back" a portion of the premiums to OneWest as unearned compensation. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 5-11.) Plaintiff's Complaint alleges eight causes of action for violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act(" RICO" ), 18 U.S.C. § § 1962(c), 1962(d), 1346; breach of fiduciary duty; aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and ...


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