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Singh v. Federal National Mortgage Association

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

February 7, 2014

BARJINDER SINGH, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

RICHARD A. JONES, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on Defendants' motion to dismiss. No party requested oral argument, and the court finds oral argument unnecessary. For the reasons stated herein, the court GRANTS the motion. Dkt. # 5. Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint in compliance with this order no later than February 27, 2014, or the court will dismiss this case with prejudice.

II. BACKGROUND

The court describes the facts underlying this case as Plaintiffs Barjinder Singh and Ramandeep Kaur allege them in their complaint and as they appear in documents subject to judicial notice. The court cites the complaint with bare "¶" symbols, and uses "Ex." to cite documents subject to judicial notice attached to the declaration of Defendants' counsel. Dkt. # 6.

Plaintiffs borrowed a total of just under $380, 000 in two loans from Bank of America, N.A. ("BofA") in March 2007, securing each loan with a deed of trust to their condominium in Kent, Washington. Both deed of trusts named Prlap, Inc. as the trustee and BofA as the lender (and thus the beneficiary). Exs. A-B. The notes whose obligations the deeds of trust secure are not part of the record, but Plaintiffs do not deny their existence. Like Plaintiffs, the court will refer to their two notes as a single note and their two deeds of trust as a single deed of trust.

In a document dated October 12, 2010, but notarized on November 3, 2010, BofA appointed ReconTrust Company, N.A. ("ReconTrust") as the successor trustee. Ex. C.

Plaintiffs fell behind in their loan payments, leading them to communicate with BofA about obtaining a loan modification via the Home Affordable Mortgage Program ("HAMP"). ¶ 2.4. BofA concluded that Plaintiffs did not qualify for HAMP because Mr. Singh's income was too low. Plaintiffs protested the decision, knowing that they faced a May 6, 2011 trustee's sale of their home. ¶ 2.5. Representatives from BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP ("BAC"), a wholly-owned BofA subsidiary, communicated with Plaintiffs in April 2011, telling them to be patient and that their request for modification was still under consideration. ¶ 2.5. Just two days before the foreclosure sale, a third party whom Plaintiffs had hired attempted to negotiate with BAC. ¶ 2.5. Plaintiffs were directed to contact ReconTrust. They attempted to do so, but were unable to reach anyone. ¶ 2.5. Plaintiffs (or the third party) were told by one or more of the Defendants that the foreclosure sale would be postponed. ¶¶ 2.5, 2.6. The foreclosure sale occurred as scheduled in May 2011. Plaintiffs did not sue to enjoin the sale, nor do they allege that they could have satisfied the requirement that they make monthly loan payments to the court as a condition of an injunction against the sale. RCW 61.24.130(1). Plaintiffs attempted to negotiate a rescission of the sale, but had no luck. ¶ 2.7. A trustee's sale occurred in May 2011.

Two years after the trustee's sale, Plaintiffs sued BofA, BAC, and ReconTrust. They also sued the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as "Fannie Mae." They contend that every Defendant violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act (RCW Ch. 19.86, "CPA"), that ReconTrust breached the duty of good faith that the Washington Deed of Trust Act (RCW Ch. 61.24) imposes on trustees, and that all Defendants are liable for negligent or intentional misrepresentations to Plaintiffs.

The court now considers Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint in its entirety.

III. ANALYSIS

Defendants invoke Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), which permits a court to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim. The rule requires the court to assume the truth of the complaint's factual allegations and credit all reasonable inferences arising from those allegations. Sanders v. Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007). The plaintiff must point to factual allegations that "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 568 (2007). If the plaintiff succeeds, the complaint avoids dismissal if there is "any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint" that would entitle the plaintiff to relief. Id. at 563; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) ("When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief."). The court typically cannot consider evidence beyond the four corners of the complaint, although it may rely on a document to which the complaint refers if the document is central to the party's claims and its authenticity is not in question. Marder v. Lopez, 450 F.3d 445, 448 (9th Cir. 2006). The court may also consider evidence subject to judicial notice. United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 908 (9th Cir. 2003).

A. Most of Plaintiffs' Allegations of Wrongdoing Are Implausible.

Plaintiffs describe a host of wrongdoing to support each of their claims. Most of their allegations are implausible, as the court discusses in this section. In the next section, the court will consider whether there are plausible allegations that Defendants' wrongdoing (even ...


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