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Jean Antoine et al v. U.S. Bank National Association et al

October 24, 2010

JEAN ANTOINE ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document Nos.: 82, 83

MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING THE CREDITOR DEFENDANTS'MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT; GRANTING THE GOLDBERG DEFENDANTS'MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

I.INTRODUCTION

This matter stems from the foreclosure of a piece of real property located in Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs, Jean and Mildred Antoine, obtained a loan to purchase real property in Washington, D.C. They subsequently obtained two mortgages on the property; when the mortgages went unpaid, the property was foreclosed upon. The plaintiffs then brought suit against a number of individuals and companies who were involved with issuing the loan or foreclosing on the property, alleging that the loan and the foreclosure violated a number of state and federal laws. The defendants now move for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Because the defendants have demonstrated that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the court grants their motions.

II.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In April 2006, the plaintiffs entered into a credit transaction with Fremont Investment and Loan ("Fremont") to purchase real property in Washington, D.C. Compl. ¶ 6. The plaintiffs obtained two mortgages on their property from Fremont. Id. ¶ 7. Later that year, Fremont sold the plaintiffs' mortgages to SG Mortgage Securities, LLC ("SG"), which designated Wells Fargo Bank National Association ("Wells Fargo") as the master servicer of the loan. Id. ¶ 9. Wells Fargo later delegated its servicing functions to its subsidiary, America's Servicing Company ("ASC"). Id.

In November 2006, the plaintiffs received a letter from ASC informing them that both of their mortgages were in default; as a result, they had accrued late fees and other default charges. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. After disputing the additional charges without success, the plaintiffs received a letter from ASC's law firm, Draper & Goldberg, PLLC ("Draper PLLC"), stating that the minimum balance required to cure their monetary obligations was $10,658.92. Id. ¶ 15. The letter also included a notice of foreclosure and indicated that L. Darren Goldberg ("Goldberg") was the designated contact person to stop the foreclosure sale. Id.

Although the plaintiffs maintain that they continued to make timely payments throughout the relevant time period, in early January 2007, a Draper PLLC employee informed the plaintiffs' counsel that the plaintiffs owed ASC $16,994.70. Id. ¶ 16. The plaintiffs contend that they repeatedly requested that Draper PLLC send them certain information in writing and that Draper PLLC allegedly failed to do so. Id. ¶ 17. The defendants maintain, on the other hand, that the plaintiffs never made any such request. Defs. Draper & Goldberg, PLLC & L. Darren Goldberg's Mot. for Summ. J. at 4-5. The plaintiffs claim they had submitted a cashier's check for $13,195.68 in January 2007 to satisfy the amount owed on the first mortgage. Compl. ¶ 17.

Soon thereafter, Draper PLLC sent the plaintiffs a second notice of foreclosure indicating that the foreclosure sale would occur on February 1, 2007 at 10:03 a.m. Id. ¶ 24. The plaintiffs claim they submitted a second cashier's check for $3,799.02 in February 2007 to satisfy the amount owed on the second mortgage. Id. ¶ 17.

Three days prior to the scheduled foreclosure sale, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a permanent injunction against SG in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Id. On February 1, 2007, the Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order ("TRO") until February 16, 2007, and the court later granted a temporary extension of sixty days. Id. ¶ 25. On April 30, 2007, Draper PLLC mailed a third notice of foreclosure to the plaintiffs that indicated that the foreclosure would take place on June 7, 2007. Id. ¶ 19. Finally, on June 7, 2007, Draper PLLC foreclosed on the plaintiffs' real property. Id. ¶ 21.

Two months after the June 7, 2007 foreclosure sale, the plaintiffs commenced this action. See generally Compl. The plaintiff alleges five substantive counts: Count I alleges that defendants SG, Wells Fargo and ASC violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. §§ 2605 et seq. Id. ¶¶ 23-29. Count II alleges that defendants SG, U.S. Bank National Association, Wells Fargo Bank and ASC committed a breach of contract. Id. ¶¶ 30-33. Count III alleges that defendants Draper & Goldberg, PLLC, and Darren Golberg, Esq. violated the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq. Id. ¶¶ 34-43. Count IV alleges that defendants Darren Goldberg, Esq. and SG committed fraud and intentional misrepresentation. Id. ¶¶ 44-51. Count V alleges that defendants U.S. Bank National Association, SG, Wells Fargo, ASC and Draper & Goldberg, PLLC violated the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Act, D.C. CODE §§ 28-3904 et seq. Id. ¶¶ 52-54.

In June 2010, two groups of defendants filed separate motions for summary judgment. First, Defendants Draper & Goldberg, PLLC and defendant L. Darren Goldberg ("the Goldberg defendants") filed a motion for summary judgment. See generally Goldberg Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Goldberg Defs.' Mot."). Second, defendants U.S. Bank National Association, SG, Wells Fargo and ASC ("the creditor defendants") filed a similar motion. See generally Creditor Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Creditor Defs.' Mot."). With these motions now ripe for adjudication, the court turns to the parties' arguments and the relevant legal standards.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Legal Standard for a Motion for ...


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