United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HENRY A. UMOUYO and ANIEDI H. UMOUYO, Plaintiffs,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendant.
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
September 9, 2016, Plaintiff Henry Umouyo filed this action
in King County Superior Court, seeking to quiet title to the
Property against Defendant Bank of America, N.A.'s
(“BANA”) and others. Dkt. # 1-1. This action was
then removed. Dkt. # 1. On April 16, 2018, BANA filed its
Answer and Cross-Complaint, which contained a cross-claim for
judicial foreclosure of the Property. Dkt. # 44 at 10.
Plaintiff Henry Umouyo moved to dismiss BANA's
Cross-Complaint. Dkt. # 49. While this Motion to Dismiss was
pending, Plaintiff Henry Umouyo moved for and was granted
leave to file an amended complaint adding Aniedi Umouyo as a
Plaintiff, which was filed on September 7, 2018. Dkt. ## 53,
56, 57. On September 28, 2018, BANA filed its Answer to
Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint. Dkt. # 58. On January 23,
2019, this Court denied Plaintiff Henry Umouyo's Motion
to Dismiss. Dkt. # 66. Plaintiffs also filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment, which was denied. Dkt. ## 59, 69.
motion on March 27, 2019, BANA moved to voluntarily dismiss
its judicial foreclosure cross-claim, which this Court
granted as Plaintiffs had not yet filed a responsive pleading
to this claim. Dkt. # 78. The sole issue remaining for trial
was Plaintiffs' quiet title claim.
Court heard this matter in a bench trial on April 1, 2019.
Dkt. # 80. Plaintiff Henry Umouyo testified on behalf of
Plainitffs, and Mark Madden from Carrington Mortgage Services
LLC (“Carrington”) testified on behalf of BANA.
Dkt. ## 80, 81. No. other witnesses were called. Id.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52, the Court
enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
For purposes of organization and clarity, the Court has
included some subsidiary conclusions of law with its findings
of fact, and vice versa. Moreover, as the Court previously
informed the parties, the Court takes judicial notice of the
records filed on the public docket in this matter. Dkt. ##
17, 66; Fed.R.Evid. 201; Lee v. City of Los Angeles,
250 F.3d 668, 688-89 (9th Cir. 2001).
following reasons, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have
failed to meet their burden to prevail on their quiet title
FINDINGS OF FACT
case concerns Plaintiffs' claim to quiet title to the
subject property at 11708 SE 238th St #12, Kent, WA
98031-3775 (“Property”). Trial Ex. 1.
January 10, 2008, Plaintiff Henry Umouyo took out a mortgage
loan for $329, 824.00 from CTX Mortgage Company, LLC, payable
in monthly installment payments of $1, 872.71, to purchase
the Property. Trial Exs. 2, 3.
Plaintiff's loan is secured by a Deed of Trust
(“DOT”) on the Property. Trial Ex. 2. Paragraph
9(d) of the Deed of Trust requires the Lender to comply with
the HUD Secretary's regulations before any foreclosure
can occur. Id. at ¶ 9(d) (“This Security
Instrument does not authorize acceleration or foreclosure if
not permitted by regulations of the Secretary.”).
DOT was recorded on January 29, 2008, and in 2010
subsequently assigned to BAC Home Loans, Servicing LP, fka
Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BAC”).
Id.; see also Dkt. # 17 at 3 (granting
request for judicial notice of certain documents); King
County Auditor Instrument # 20100602000169. Then, on October
24, 2011, the DOT was assigned to Bank of America, N.A.
(“BANA”). See Dkt. # 17 at 3; King
County Auditor Instrument # 20100602000169.
August 2009, Plaintiff stopped paying his mortgage loan.
Trial Exs. 4, 5, 24.
Plaintiffs have not made any payments on the loan since July
2009, and have continued to reside at the Property. Mr.
Umouyo also has not set aside any money to pay the mortgage.
October 6, 2009, BANA sent Mr. Umouyo a “Notice of
Intent to Accelerate, ” which informed him of a default
of $7, 564.32 in missed mortgage payments and late fees.
Trial Ex. 4. The Notice warned Mr. Umouyo that “if the
default is not cured on or before November 5, 2009, the
mortgage payments will be accelerated with the full amount
remaining accelerated and becoming due and payable in
November 5, 2009 passed, and Plaintiffs did not make any
June 2, 2010, Recontrust Company, N.A was appointed as
successor trustee. Trial Ex. 26.
July 2010, a Notice of Trustee's Sale was recorded in
King County, which set a trustee's sale of the Property
for October 29, 2010. Trial Ex. 5; see also King
County Auditor Instrument # 20100729000513. The Notice of
Trustee's Sale noted that Plaintiffs may avoid the sale
by paying the “Total Amount Due” in Paragraph III
of that document. Id. at ¶ V. Paragraph III
dictated that the “Total Amount Due” was $31,
310.59, which represented the sum of (a) Plaintiffs'
missed monthly payments; (b) late charges; (c) beneficiary
advances; (d) suspense balance; (e) other fees; and (f)
trustee's expenses. Id. at ¶ III. This
amount demanded to avoid the sale did not reflect the
then-outstanding amount of the debt, which was $323, 422.52,
as reflected in Paragraph IV of that document. Id.
at ¶ IV.
sale was postponed multiple times. On October 12, 2010, the
sale was postponed to November 19, 2010. Trial Ex. 6. On
November 2, 2010, the sale was postponed again to December 3,
2010. Trial Ex. 7. On November 30, 2010, the sale was
postponed again to December 30, 2010. Trial Ex. 8. On
December 1, 2010, the sale was again postponed to January 7,
2011. Trial Ex. 9. Finally, on December 28, 2010, the sale
was again postponed to January 21, 2011. Trial Ex. 10. Each
postponement notice was signed by the foreclosure officer for
Recontrust. Trial Exs. 6-10.
February 12, 2011, Plaintiff Henry Umouyo discussed the debt
with Springboard Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Trial
Ex. 24. Springboard advised Mr. Umouyo, who at that point was
21 months behind on his mortgage payments, to reduce his
monthly budget and discuss loan modification options with
July 9, 2011 Plaintiff Henry Umouyo discussed loan
modification options with BANA's Loan Modification Team,
who then sent Mr. Umouyo a “Commitment to Modify
Mortgage, ” which proposed altering the mortgage's
terms to avoid foreclosure. Trial Ex. 112. The terms
increased Plaintiffs' ...