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Lehrman v. U.S. Bank, National Association

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

April 12, 2017

FREDRIC LEHRMAN, a single person, Plaintiff,
U.S. BANK, N.A. as trustee for Stanwich Mortgage Loan Trust, Series 2012-3; REGIONAL TRUSTEE SERVICES CORPORATION; ELIZABETH A. OSTERMANN, an unknown person or entity; CARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES, LLC; JOHN DOES Nos. 1-50, Defendants.




         This matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Stanwich Mortgage Loan Trust, Series 2012-3 (“U.S. Bank”), Elizabeth Osterman (“Osterman”) and Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC (“Carrington”). Dkt. #39. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion and dismisses Plaintiff's claims with prejudice.


         A. Factual Background [1]

         On or about November 28, 2006, Plaintiff Frederic Lehrman sought and obtained a loan for $530, 400 related to his real property located at 13609 SE 58th Place, Bellevue, Washington. He states he was never informed of the true identity of the actual lender that funded that loan. On April 24, 2013, a Notice of Default issued as to this loan. A trustee sale was scheduled for March 27, 2014. Plaintiff asserts that there is no legitimate deed of trust or note that evidences a debt owed by the plaintiff, and that there is no competent chain of title to establish standing for any defendant to assert claims against the plaintiff or his real property.

         Plaintiff attaches a loan auditor's analysis of the history of the alleged loan in this action. The “lender” in this report is listed as “Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.” Dkt. #1-1 at 43. The report appears to indicate that an assignment of the loan in favor of Defendants was recorded on January 24, 2013, effective March 29, 2012. Dkt. #1-1 at 52.

         B. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff's Complaint was originally filed on March 27, 2014, in King County Superior Court. Dkt. #1-1. In the Complaint, Plaintiff named as defendants U.S. Bank in its capacity as trustee of the Stanwich Mortgage Loan Trust, Series 2012-3, the securitized trust which owns Plaintiff's loan; Elizabeth A. Osterman; and Carrington Mortgage Services, the former servicer of the Loan. Id. Plaintiff brings six claims: (1) wrongful initiation of nonjudicial foreclosure under Washington's Deed Trust Act, RCW 61.24 et seq.; (2) fraud; (3) slander of title; (4) declaratory judgment; (5) negligence; and (6) violation of Washington State's Consumer Protection Act. Id. Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that “[n]one of the defendants has standing to assert claims against the plaintiff or his real property, and they are strangers to this loan transaction.” Id. at 19. The Complaint alleges that Defendants “are complicit in supporting a fraudulent, illegal, void nonjudicial foreclosure of the plaintiff's real property.” Id. The Complaint asserts that the Court should “require the defendants to participate in vigorous discovery before any pre-trial motion practice is considered for disposition of this action.” Id.

         Although this case was removed to this Court on April 23, 2014, the action was stayed pending resolution of the receivership of former defendant Regional Trustee Services Corporation (“RTS”). Dkt. #23. On September 20, 2016, this Court issued its Order lifting the stay of proceedings. Dkt. #36. The instant Motion was filed on December 28, 2016. Dkt. #39. Plaintiff's Response was filed on January 11, 2017, with a Reply filed by Defendants on January 17, 2016. Dkts. #40 and #41. There has been no further activity in this case.


          A. Legal Standard

         In making a 12(b)(6) assessment, the court accepts all facts alleged in the complaint as true, and makes all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Baker v. Riverside County Office of Educ., 584 F.3d 821, 824 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted). However, the court is not required to accept as true a “legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). The complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 678. This requirement is met when the plaintiff “pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The complaint need not include detailed allegations, but it must have “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Absent facial plausibility, Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed. Id. at 570.

         Where a complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim, “leave to amend should be granted unless the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency.” Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986).

         B. Plaintiff's Request in Response Brief to ...

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