United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION FOR
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Terry
Steiner's Second Motion for Reconsideration. Dkt. #31. On
August 19, 2019, this Court granted Defendant Asset
Acceptance, LLC's Motion to Dismiss and dismissed the
action with prejudice. Dkt. #27. Plaintiff moved the Court to
reconsider its decision, and on September 26, 2019, the Court
denied Plaintiff's First Motion to Reconsider. Dkt. #30.
Plaintiff now requests that the Court again reconsider its
decision. Dkt. #31. The Court has determined that response
briefing from Defendant is unnecessary. See Local
Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(h)(3).
summary of the case is not necessary given this Court's
previous order on Plaintiff's first motion to reconsider.
See Dkt. #30. Plaintiff brought this action against
Defendant under the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), Washington Consumer Protection Act
(“CPA”) and related Washington state law on the
basis that Defendant was demanding money from decedent David
Steiner's estate to which it was not entitled. Dkt. #1 at
9-11. Plaintiff argued that Washington law governing the
creation of liens on homestead property, RCW § 6.16.030,
prevented Defendant from having any claim to Mr.
Under RCW § 6.16.030, a judgment does not become a lien
on homesteaded real estate until the equity in the homestead
exceeds $125, 000. David's homestead sold for$70, 000. AA
now demands that its judgment be satisfied from the proceeds
of the sale of David's homestead before it will release
the judgment lien.
Dkt. #1 at 2. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on this
same theory of the case:
Under Washington State law, a judgment does not become a lien
on homestead real estate until it is recorded with the local
county's auditor's office and the equity in the real
estate exceeds the amount of the homestead of $125, 000. . .
. Because the value of David Steiner's real estate never
exceeded $125, 000, AA never obtained a judgment lien on his
Dkt. #13 at 11-12. In dismissing Plaintiff's claims, the
Court determined that Plaintiff's reading of RCW §
6.16.030 was based on outdated case law that preceded the
1984 amendments to Washington's homestead statutes. Dkt.
#30 at 7. Current law confirmed that Defendant indeed created
a lien when it recorded its judgment against Mr. Steiner and
therefore had a claim against the estate. Id.
Plaintiff's First Motion to Reconsider, she abandoned her
original homestead exemption argument. Instead, she argued
that the Court should have considered the fact that Defendant
never filed a claim in probate court to collect on its
judgment lien, as required under RCW 11.40. Dkt. #29 at 2.
Plaintiff described this probate issue as “the
lynch-pin of the case” but conceded that she never
plead the claim in her original complaint. Id. at 8.
The Court denied Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration
on the basis that it improperly used the motion to raise a
new argument that could have been raised earlier. Dkt. #30 at
3. Nevertheless, the Court considered the merits of
Plaintiff's argument and found that even if the argument
were timely raised, Plaintiff had still failed to state a
claim under the FDCPA or CPA. Id. at 3-4
(“Whether Defendant complied with RCW 11.40 to bring
its claims against the estate falls under Washington state
probate law-not debt collection laws.”).
Second Motion for Reconsideration sets forth the same
argument regarding application of Washington's probate
law. However, instead of characterizing Defendant's claim
as a “judgment lien, ” Dkt. #29 at 4, she now
argues that Defendant only had an unsecured claim- not a
judgment lien-against Mr. Steiner's estate:
“[T]he legislature in RCW 11.040.130 of the probate
code converted whatever judgment lien rights AA might have
into an unsecured claim against David Steiner's probate
estate that required it to file a claim. It did not file a
claim (Doc. 24-2). AA's failure to file denied it the
right to participate in the estate's assets, which are
Dkt. #31 at 3-4.