Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Steiner v. Asset Acceptance, LLC

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

October 21, 2019

TERRY STEINER, Plaintiff,
v.
ASSET ACCEPTANCE, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This 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).

         II. BACKGROUND

         A full 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. Steiner's estate:

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 real estate.

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.

         In 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.”).

         Plaintiff's 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 the homestead.

Dkt. #31 at 3-4.

         III. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.