United States District Court, C.D. California
Graham and Tammie A. Wilson
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al.
Present: Honorable JESUS G. BERNAL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Order: (1) GRANTING Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand and
REMANDING the matter to Riverside Superior Court (Dkt. No.
11); (2) DENYING Plaintiffs' Request for Attorney's
Fees (id.); and (3) VACATING the September 11, 2017 Hearing
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand the action to
Riverside Superior Court and Plaintiffs' request for
attorney's fees. (Dkt. No. 11.) These matters are
appropriate for resolution without a hearing. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After considering all papers
timely filed in support of, and in opposition to the matters,
the Court: (1) GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand, and
(2) DENIES Plaintiffs' Request for Attorney's Fees.
(Dkt. No. 11.) The matter is hereby REMANDED to Riverside
Superior Court, and the September 11, 2017 hearing is
March 27, 2017, Graham and Tammie A. Wilson
(“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint in Riverside
Superior Court against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
(“Chase”), MTC Financial, Inc. dba Trustee Corps.
(“MTC”), Preeminent Investment Corporation
(“Preeminent”), and Does 1 through 20
(collectively, “Defendants”), alleging thirteen
causes of action pertaining to Defendants' alleged
failure to properly follow the pre-foreclosure procedures
established in the California Homeowner's Bill of Rights.
(“Complaint, ” Dkt. No. 1-1.)
7, 2017, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal based on
diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Notice of
Removal, Dkt. No. 1 at ¶ 11.) On July 7, 2017,
Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Remand the matter to Riverside
Superior Court, arguing that Defendants have not met their
burden to show complete diversity exists between the parties
and that the amount in controversy has been met.
(“Motion, ” Dkt. No. 11.) On August 23, 2017,
Defendants filed an Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion.
(“Opposition, ” Dkt. No. 17.) Plaintiffs filed
their Reply on August 24, 2017, which attached an
accompanying exhibit. (“Reply, ” Dkt. No. 18; Ex.
A, Dkt. No. 18-1.)
Factual Allegations and Claims
allege that they obtained a loan in the amount of $435, 350
on April 27, 2007 secured by a Deed of Trust on 35929 Lexi
Lane, Wildomar, California 92595 (“subject
property”). (Compl. at ¶ 9.) The Deed of Trust
identifies Chase as the lender and beneficiary, Chicago Title
Company as the trustee, and the Wilsons as the borrowers.
(Id.) Plaintiffs allegedly experienced financial
difficulties and defaulted on their loan sometime in 2008.
(Id.) Plaintiffs allege that on April 29, 2009, a
Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under Deed of Trust
was recorded with the Riverside County Recorder's Office.
(Id.) On June 4, 2009, a Substitution of Trustee was
recorded, naming NDEx West LLC (“NDEx”) the new
trustee. (Id. at ¶ 10.) On August 3, 2009, a
Notice of Trustee's sale was allegedly recorded.
(Id. at ¶ 11.) Thereafter, a series of Notices
of Trustees Sales and Substitutions of Trustees were recorded
with the Riverside County Recorder's Office spanning
November 2010 to July 2012. (Id. at ¶¶
12-14.) Plaintiffs allege that on August 31, 2012, a
Trustee's Deed Upon Sale conveyed title to the subject
property to Preeminent for a sale price of $253, 200.
(Id. at ¶ 15.) Plaintiffs allege, however, that
on April 25, 2013, a Notice of Rescission of Trustee's
sale was recorded conveying the property back to NDEx.
(Id. at ¶ 16.) A Notice of Rescission of Notice
of Default was allegedly recorded by NDEx on February 21,
2014, and then by MTC on March 29, 2016. (Id. at
¶¶ 17, 18.)
result of the foregoing, Plaintiffs allege that the
conveyance to Preeminent, which triggered a reassessment of
the subject property, “more than doubled their mortgage
payment, to an amount the Wilson's could not afford to
pay.” (Id. at ¶ 19.) Plaintiffs allege
that during this time, they continued making monthly mortgage
and escrow payments until their lender started rejecting
payments. (Id. at ¶ 20.) Plaintiffs allege that
when their lender started rejecting payments, they were $32,
000 in arrears. (Id.)
December 2015, Plaintiffs allegedly entered into an agreement
with Chase to pay all arrears in exchange for reinstating the
loan at $1, 300 per month (“Reinstatement
Agreement”). (Id. at ¶21.) Still, two
months later, Chase allegedly increased Plaintiffs'
monthly payment to $2, 800 per month, adding an additional
$7, 500 in arrears. (Id. at ¶ 22.) Plaintiffs
allege that Chase never responded to their efforts to work
out more affordable terms, and Chase was aware of the
negative balance in the Escrow account when it calculated the
reinstatement amount. (Id. at ¶ 24, 26.)
Plaintiffs, therefore, maintain that Chase failed to conduct
proper due diligence and “[b]ut for Chase's
wrongful foreclosure of the property the county never would
have had cause to reassess the property.” (Id.
at ¶ ¶ 27, 31.) On January 26, 2017, a Notice of
Trustee Sale was recorded. (Id. at ¶ 33.)
Notice of Default allegedly contained a false declaration of
compliance under California Civil Code section 2923.55
because it stated that Plaintiffs were contacted and assessed
for foreclosure prevention and 30 days had passed even though
Plaintiffs allege they were never contacted. (Id. at
¶ 32.) Plaintiffs also allege that Defendants: (a)
failed to properly record a substitution of trustee under
California Civil Code 2934, (b) failed to, at any point,
assign a single point of contact despite Plaintiffs'
requests, (c) initiated unlawful non-judicial foreclosure
proceedings, yet failed to consider Plaintiffs for
foreclosure prevention alternatives, and then, (d) denied
Plaintiffs any foreclosure alternatives without any
explanation. (Id. at ¶ 32.) Plaintiffs further
allege that they had to pay penalties, interest, and back
dues that they would not have owed but for Defendants'
breach of California Civil Code section 2924. (Id.
at ¶ 40.) On those bases, Plaintiffs bring six claims
under the California Homeowner's Bill of Rights, Cal.
Civ. Code § 2924, et seq., and claims for
unfair business practices, Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code §
17200, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing, injunctive relief, negligence, quiet title,
negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract loan