United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS RE: DKT. NO.
HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a motion to dismiss Plaintiff Suhaila
Farhat's second amended complaint (“SAC”)
brought by Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A (“Wells
Fargo”), Dkt. No. 23 (“Mot.”), and joined
by Clear Recon Corp. (“Clear Recon”), Dkt. No.
37. Having considered Wells Fargo's motion,
Plaintiff's opposition, and all related papers, the Court
finds the matter appropriate for disposition without oral
argument. See Civil L.R. 7-1(b). For the reasons
below, the Court GRANTS the motion to
dismiss without leave to amend.
2007, Plaintiff refinanced her home loan and borrowed $750,
000. SAC ¶¶ 9, 24. The loan was memorialized in a
promissory note and secured by a deed of trust. SAC, Exs. A
(“Deed of Trust”), B (“Promissory
Note”). Defendant Wells Fargo is the “current
beneficiary and/or servicer” of the loan. Id.
¶ 4. Plaintiff in March 2018 received notice from Wells
Fargo that the total amount she owed on the loan was $1, 178,
580.14, which included an “Unpaid Principal
Balance” of $848, 490.44 and unpaid interest of $273,
947.69. Id. ¶ 26. According to Plaintiff, based
on language in the Deed of Trust and Promissory Note, Wells
Fargo improperly increased the loan's principal balance,
as the “Unpaid Principal Balance” purportedly
could not exceed $937, 500, or 125% of the initial principal
amount of $750, 000. Id. ¶¶ 24-26.
thereafter commenced this action against Wells Fargo and
Clear Recon, the trustee of Plaintiff's loan.
See Dkt. No. 1. On October 30, 2018, the Court
dismissed Plaintiff's first amended complaint, Dkt. No.
12 (“FAC”). See Dkt. No. 21
(“Dismissal Order”). The Court held that language
in the Promissory Note unambiguously does not prohibit Wells
Fargo from billing Plaintiff for a balance exceeding 125% of
the original amount borrowed. Dismissal Order at 4. Although
the Court was doubtful that Plaintiff would be able to amend
her complaint to plausibly state a claim, the Court granted
Plaintiff an opportunity to amend. Id. Plaintiff
subsequently filed her SAC, alleging the same four causes of
action as asserted in the FAC: (1) declaratory relief; (2)
violation of California Civil Code § 1788.17; (3) breach
of contract; and (4) violation of California Business and
Professions Code § 17200 et seq.
(“UCL”). SAC ¶¶ 45-81.
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[.]”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). 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).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 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.
544, 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).
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).
But 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).
addition, dismissal without leave to amend is proper when it
is clear that the complaint could not be saved by any
amendment. See McKesson HBOC v. New York State Common
Ret. Fund, Inc., 339 F.3d 1087, 1090 (9th Cir. 2003).
does not plead new facts or arguments not advanced in the
FAC. All four causes of action alleged in the SAC rely on the
same argument asserted in the FAC. Compare SAC
¶¶ 48, 50, 62, 71, 75-76, with FAC
¶¶ 16, 26, 28, 37, 41-42. In both complaints,
Plaintiff posits that provisions in the Promissory Note and
Deed of Trust preclude Wells Fargo from recovering more than
$937, 500 as the principal balance, and that Wells Fargo
improperly attempts to collect more than that
“cap” (hereinafter Plaintiff's “excess
principal” argument). See SAC ¶¶ 46,
48, 62, 71; FAC ¶¶ 16, 26, 28, 37.
Court previously rejected Plaintiff's “excess
principal” argument. Dismissal Order at 4. Absent new
allegations, the Court rejects Plaintiff's arguments
The Language of the Promissory Note is Unambiguous
the FAC, Plaintiff's SAC relies on a specific
interpretation of the following two ...