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Galang v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 3, 2017



          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s motion to dismiss the complaint filed by Plaintiff Pernardo Galang. Dkt. No. 15. Having considered Defendant's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff's opposition, and all related papers, the Court finds the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Civil L.R. 7-1(b). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         For purposes of deciding the motion, the Court accepts the following as true:

         In or about February 2006, Plaintiff and his wife, Teresita Galang, obtained a mortgage loan from World Savings Bank, which subsequently became Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Dkt. No. 4 (“Compl.”) ¶¶ 8, 10, 13. Plaintiff and his wife executed a promissory note and deed of trust secured against their home at 898 Camaritas Circle, South San Francisco, California (the “Property”). Id. ¶ 10.

         Plaintiff defaulted on the loan and contacted Defendant sometime in November 2011 to discuss refinancing. Id. ¶¶ 14, 15. On December 9, 2011, Defendant recorded a notice of default against the Property. Id. ¶ 16. Defendant did not contact Plaintiff beforehand. Id. ¶ 17. In response to the notice of default, Plaintiff submitted a loan modification application to Defendant. Id. ¶ 19. Defendant then sent Plaintiff a letter stating that if he was ineligible for the modification program, someone would contact him to discuss other options. Id. ¶ 20. Plaintiff received a denial letter in 2013. Id. ¶ 21. Yet Defendant never contacted Plaintiff - before or after - to discuss his application or his right to appeal. Id. For the next three years, Defendant did not contact Plaintiff. Id. Then on February 26, 2016, Defendant recorded a second notice of default. Id. ¶ 22.

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed this action on June 22, 2016. Dkt. No. 4. Based on the allegations set forth above, Plaintiff asserts five claims under California state law: (1) violation of California Civil Code § 2923.5; (2) violation of California Civil Code § 2924.17(a); (3) negligence; (4) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (5) violation of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq. (“UCL”). Id. Plaintiff seeks rescission of the most recent notice of default; preliminary and permanent injunctions barring Defendant from conducting a trustee's sale of the Property under California Civil Code § 2924.12(a); compensatory and actual damages; punitive damages; and attorneys' fees and costs. Id. at 22.


         A. Rule 12(b)(6)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” A defendant may move to dismiss a complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). “Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate only where the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory or sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal theory.” Mendiondo v. Centinela Hosp. Med. Ctr., 521 F.3d 1097, 1104 (9th Cir. 2008). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 540, 570 (2007). A claim is facially plausible when a plaintiff pleads “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         In reviewing the plausibility of a complaint, courts “accept factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe the pleadings in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Manzarek v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 519 F.3d 1025, 1031 (9th Cir. 2008). Nonetheless, Courts do not “accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” In re Gilead Scis. Secs. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008).

         B. Rule 12(b)(7)

         A party may move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to join a party under Rule 19.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(7). It is designed “to protect the interests of absent parties, as well as those ordered before the court, from multiple litigation, inconsistent judicial determinations or the impairment of interests or rights.” CP Nat'l Corp. v. Bonneville Power Admin., 928 F.2d 905, 911 (9th Cir. 1991). Rule 19 requires a three-step inquiry: (1) whether the absent party is necessary under Rule 19(a) (i.e., required to be joined if feasible); (2) if so, whether it is feasible to order that absent party be joined; and (3) if joinder is not feasible, whether the case can proceed without the absent party or whether the action must be dismissed. Salt River Project Agr. Imp. & Power Dist. v. Lee, 672 F.3d 1176, 1179 (9th Cir. 2012).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Defendant has moved to dismiss the complaint based on a failure to state a claim and on a failure to join a necessary party. Because the Court finds that most of Plaintiff's claims are time-barred, it addresses this argument first, then turns to the substance of the few remaining claims.

         A. Statute of Limitations

         1.California Civil Code ยงยง ...

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