United States District Court, C.D. California
PHILLIP D. JACKSON
NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC ET AL.
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER Judge
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Filed April 7, 2017, Dkt.
January 11, 2017, plaintiff Phillip Jackson filed this action
against Nationstar Mortgage LLC ("Nationstar"),
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie
Mac"), and Does one through ten, inclusive. Dkt. 1.
Plaintiff is proceeding in this action pro se. On February
24, 2017, Nationstar and Freddie Mac filed a motion to
dismiss. Dkt. 7. On March 17, 2017, plaintiff filed a First
Amended Complaint ("FAC"). Dkt. 18. The FAC alleges
claims for (1) declaratory relief; (2) rescission of mortgage
pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq.; (3)
cancellation of instruments; (4) accounting; (5) violation of
the California Unfair Competition Law pursuant to California
Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.
("UCL"); (6) quasi contract; (7) negligence; and
(8) violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e. IA The Court found
that the filing of the FAC rendered the previous motion to
dismiss moot. Dkt. 19. On April 7, 2017, defendants filed the
instant motion to dismiss the FAC. Dkt. 20. On April 25,
2017, plaintiff filed an opposition. Dkt. 22. Defendants did
not file a reply. On May 15, 2017, the Court held oral
argument on this matter. Counsel for defendants was present.
Neither plaintiff nor plaintiffs representative appeared.
carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court
concludes as follows.
alleges that on June 14, 2006, he executed a promissory note
in favor of Mountain West Financial Inc. ("Mountain
West") for $391, 999.00 secured by a deed of trust for
the purchase of property located at 28598 Kristin Lane,
Highland, CA 92346 ("the Property").
FACat2:3-7. Jackson is the owner of the Property.
Id. at 6:11-14. The security instrument signed by
Jackson in relation to the Property was subject to an
adjustable rate rider, whereby the applicable interest rate
was calculated every six months after July 2011 and vary
between 7.125% and 13.125% per annum. Id. at 45.
undetermined time in 2010 and again on October 21, 2015,
plaintiff obtained a loan modification from Nationstar.
Id. at 7:28-8:2. Plaintiff has attached a copy of
the 2015 Modification of Deed of Trust to the FAC, which was
recorded in the San Bernardino County Recorder's Office
on December 8, 2015 (the "2015 Modification").
Id. at 8:7-12; 51-61. The 2015 Modification lists
Nationstar as the beneficiary of plaintiffs mortgage and
note. Id. at 52.
alleges that on June 14, 2016, he mailed a letter to
Nationstar requesting information about his loan ("the
Written Request"). Plaintiff has attached a copy of the
Written Request to the FAC. See Id. at 62-81. On
June 20, 2016, Nationstar responded with a letter informing
Jackson when he might expect a response. Id. at
82-83. Nationstar's letter stated that a response to the
Written Request would be provided no later than July 28,
2016. Id. at 82.
undetermined time in the summer of 2016, plaintiff began to
investigate "the true identity of his debt
obligation" and allegedly learned that his rights had
been violated. Id. at 14:17-19. Plaintiff discovered
that a sequence of assignments of beneficial interest under
the deed of trust regarding his Property had been executed
and recorded between 2006 and 2016. The FAC states
"Plaintiff adamantly disputes the contents of all
Assignments of Deed of Trust." Id. at 10:1-2.
Plaintiff claims that "the debt obligation" was
never assigned to Nationstar, Id. at 4-5, and that
neither Nationstar nor Freddie Mac has properly obtained any
security interest in the Property through valid assignment,
Id. at 11:10-14.
14, 2016, after allegedly discovering the absence of any
valid assignment, Jackson mailed a "Notice to
Rescind" to Nationstar. Id. at 6:17-19.
Plaintiff alleges that he therefore, "by operation of
law, " rescinded the "Note and Deed of Trust"
relating to the Property, Id. at 6:21-22,
"effectively voiding the contract and debt, "
Id. at 7:1-2. Plaintiff alleges that defendants
"have no standing to enforce the Deed of Trust or
collect payments under the contract" because defendants
"failed to challenge the Notice to Rescind within the
twenty (20) statutory days mandated under [the Truth in
Lending Act]." Id. at 7:2-10.
remainder of plaintiff complaint is in the nature of a legal
memorandum, containing many alleged references to applicable
law and conclusory allegations regarding violations of the
referenced laws and cases.
motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
tests the legal sufficiency of the claims asserted in a
complaint. Under this Rule, a district court properly
dismisses a claim if "there is a Tack of a cognizable
legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under
a cognizable legal theory.'" Conservation Force
v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1242 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Bahsteri v. Pacifica Police Dep't 901 F.2d 696,
699 (9th Cir. 1988)). "While a complaint attacked by a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed
factual allegations, a plaintiffs 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."
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). "[F]actual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level."
considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must
accept as true all material allegations in the complaint, as
well as all reasonable inferences to be drawn from them.
Pareto v. FDIC, 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998).
The complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors,
266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). However, "a court
considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by
identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.
While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual
allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
679 (2009); see Moss v. United States Secret
Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[F]or
a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the
non-conelusory 'factual content, ' and reasonable
inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of
a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief"). Ultimately,
"[determining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim for relief will... be a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense." Iqbal, 556 U.S.
a court converts a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into a motion for
summary judgment, a court cannot consider material outside of
the complaint (e.g.. facts presented in briefs,
affidavits, or discovery materials). In re American ContT
Corp./Lincoln Sav. & Loan Sec. Litig., 102 F.3d
1524, 1537 (9th Cir. 1996), rev'd on other grounds
sub nom Lexecon. Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hvnes &
Lerach, 523 U.S. 26 (1998). However, a court may
consider exhibits submitted with or alleged in the complaint
and matters that may be judicially noticed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Evidence 201. In re Silicon Graphics Inc.
Sec. Litig.. 183 F.3d 970, 986 (9th Cir. 1999); see
Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 689 (9th Cir.
general rule, leave to amend a complaint which has been
dismissed should be freely granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a).
However, leave to amend may be denied when "the court
determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with
the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the
deficiency." Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well
Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986).
is appropriately dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.
primary claim appears to be that he has rescinded his
promissory note thereby voiding any security interest in the
Property, accordingly the Court addresses this allegation
first. Plaintiff alleges the he was entitled to rescind his
promissory note and thereby void any security interest in the
Property. Plaintiff alleges and argues that he had, and
exercised, the authority to rescind the transaction pursuant
to 15 U.S.C. § 1635, a provision of the Truth in Lending