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Mulleneaux v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, C.D. California

June 15, 2017

JUNE H. MULLENEAUX
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.

          Present: The Honorable BEVERLY REID O'CONNELL, United States District Judge

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [10]

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff June H. Mulleneaux's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand. (See Dkt. No. 10 (hereinafter, “Mot.”).) After considering the papers filed in support of and in opposition to the instant motion, the Court deems this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument of counsel. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-15. For the following reasons, the Court REMANDS this action.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff is a resident of Riverside County, California, who owns real property at 72781 Bursera Way, Palm Desert, California (the “Subject Property”). (See Dkt. No. 1, Ex. A (hereinafter, “Compl.”) ¶ 1.) Defendants in this action are Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), a banking institution with its headquarters located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Quality Loan Service Corporation (“Quality Loan”), a California corporation, who was trustee of the underlying loan at issue in this case.[1] (See Dkt. No. 1 (hereinafter, “Removal”) at 3-4.)

         On April 30, 2008, Plaintiff obtained a first lien mortgage loan in the amount of $786, 000 from Wells Fargo secured by the Subject Property. (Compl. ¶ 33.) During the recession, Plaintiff suffered financial hardship and began to have difficulty making her loan payment. (Compl. ¶ 36.) Plaintiff contacted Wells Fargo, who encouraged her to submit a loan modification application. (Compl. ¶ 37.) According to Plaintiff, she submitted her loan modification application along with all required financial documents. (Compl. ¶ 38.) Plaintiff avers that Wells Fargo “engaged Plaintiff in a series of duplicative and inconsistent document requests, ” with which she complied. (Compl. ¶ 39.)

         On November 6, 2015, while Plaintiffs application was under review, Defendants recorded a Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under the Deed of Trust against the Subject Property.[2] (Compl. ¶ 40, Ex. A.) Plaintiff alleges that the Notice of Default includes a “false declaration” in which Wells Fargo averred that it tried to contact Plaintiff before filing the Notice, as required by California Civil Code section 2923.55(f). (Compl. ¶ 41.) Plaintiff claims that within the thirty days preceding Defendants recording the Notice of Default, Wells Fargo never informed Plaintiff of her foreclosure avoidance options as required by California law. (Compl. ¶¶ 42-44.) Upon receiving the Notice of Default, Plaintiff contacted Wells Fargo to confirm that it was incorrect and that her loan modification application was under review. (Compl. ¶ 45.) A Wells Fargo representative informed Plaintiff that her application was under review and there would be no foreclosure while the application was pending. (Compl. ¶ 46.)

         Nonetheless, on February 9, 2016, while her loan modification application was still pending, Defendants executed a Notice of Trustee's Sale against the Subject Property. (Compl. ¶ 47.) Plaintiff contacted Wells Fargo to ensure that no sale would take place. (Compl. ¶ 48.) But despite verbal confirmation, Plaintiff claims that Defendants sold the Subject Property to a bank on or around August 1, 2016, and have taken possession of the Subject Property. (Compl. ¶ 49.) Plaintiff avers that she has been unable to cure the default because of the “substantial arrearages, which include unnecessary fees added” to the loan balance. (Compl. ¶ 50.)

         B. Procedural Background

         Accordingly, on March 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant action in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, bringing five claims against Defendants:

(1) violations of California Civil Code section 2923.7 (against Wells Fargo only);
(2) violations of California Civil Code section 2923.55 (against both Defendants);
(3) violations of California Civil Code section 2923.6 (against both Defendants);
(4) violation of California Business & Professions Code section 17200 (against both Defendants); and,
(5) negligence (against Wells Fargo only). (See Compl.) On April 24, 2017, Wells Fargo removed the action to this Court. (See Removal.) Quality Loan filed its Consent to ...

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