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Tran v. Bank of America NA

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

May 23, 2014

NHAN PHONG VU TRAN, STEPHANIE T AU, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA NA, and NORTHWEST TRUSTEE SERVICES INC., Defendants.

ORDER ON MOTIONS TO DISMISS

RONALD B. LEIGHTON, District Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

THIS MATTER is before the Court on Motions to Dismiss by Defendants Northwest Trustee Services [Dkt. # 8] and Bank of America North America[1] [Dkt. # 13]. This is the second time Plaintiffs Tran and Au (together "Tran, " for clarity) have sued these defendants about their home mortgage and its subsequent foreclosure. Northwest and BANA argue that Tran's claims are barred by res judicata and, in any event, lack merit. All of Tran's claims are barred by res judicata, so it is not necessary to reach the merits.

II. FACTS

A. Factual History

In 2005, Tran borrowed $300, 219 from America's Wholesale Lender to purchase residential property in Clark County. The loan was evidenced by a promissory note and secured by a deed of trust. First American Title Trustee was the Deed of Trust trustee, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) was the beneficiary as nominee of the Lender and its successors. MERS assigned its interest to BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., which was later merged into BANA. BANA appointed Defendant NWTS as the successor trustee.

By 2009, Tran had defaulted and the then-trustee initiated a non-judicial foreclosure. The foreclosure halted when Tran agreed to a Trial Period Plan (TPP) under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The TPP allowed Tran to pay a reduced monthly payment while the bank determined whether he was eligible for a permanent loan modification. BANA requested documents from Tran to evaluate his eligibility. Tran alleges that he complied with all document requests even though BANA repeatedly asked for documents that Tran claims he had already submitted.

Nonetheless, in May, 2011, BANA notified Tran that it had denied permanent loan modification because his TPP application was incomplete. Tran alleges that the rejection was a "shock" and that he responded by immediately providing more documentation to BANA. He also continued to make payments in the amount specified in the TPP.

In July, 2011, BANA sent Tran a notice of default and re-initiated the foreclosure process. On August 24, 2011, NWTS scheduled the foreclosure sale for November 28, 2011.

Tran claims that BANA told him that the foreclosure would not proceed while it received and reviewed his recently submitted TPP documentation. Indeed, BANA asked Tran for additional documents eleven days before the foreclosure sale. Nevertheless, the sale occurred as scheduled on November 28, 2011.

B. Procedural History

In March, 2012, Tran sued BANA, NWTS, and others in Clark County Superior Court, alleging a variety of claims. The matter was removed here, and this Court dismissed the following claims with prejudice:

• Wrongful Foreclosure by BANA ...

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