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Henok v. Chase Home Finance, LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 26, 2013

Araya HENOK, Plaintiff,
v.
CHASE HOME FINANCE, LLC, et al., Defendants.

Page 101

Araya Henok, Washington, DC, pro se.

Jeffrey L. Tarkenton, Paul A. Kaplan, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Washington, DC, Todd D. Ross, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Tysons Corner, VA, Bizhan Beiramee, Beiramee Law Group, P.C., Matthew Daniel Cohen, BWW Law Group, LLC, Bethesda, MD, Gregory Nelson Britto, Shapiro & Burson, LLP, Fairfax, VA, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, District Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Araya Henok brings this action against Chase Home Finance, LLC (" Chase" ), Shapiro & Burson, LLP (" Shapiro" ), and Fannie Mae, challenging the legality of the foreclosure on a property he owned on 16th Street N.E. in Washington, D.C. (" the property" ). Henok moves for partial summary judgment against Chase arguing that Chase and Shapiro failed to send to Henok valid notice of default and notice of foreclosure. Henok also moves for sanctions against Chase and Shapiro and their counsel. Because Henok has failed to show that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, his motion for partial summary judgment will be denied and judgment as to the notice of default will be entered for Chase since the undisputed material facts entitle it to such a judgment as a matter of law. Because Henok has not met the requirements of Rule 11 or shown that the defendants committed sanctionable conduct, Henok's motions for sanctions will be denied.

BACKGROUND

Henok purchased the property in 2006 with financing from JP Morgan Chase Bank. Pl.'s Mot. for Partial Summ. J. (" Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot." ), Exs. 2-3; Defs. Chase & FNMA's Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Pl.'s Second Mot. for Partial Summ. J. (" Chase's Opp'n to Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot." ) ¶ 2. In August of 2009, Chase returned his monthly payment and " stated that [his] property [was] going into foreclosure." Am. Compl. ¶ 8; Chase's Opp'n to Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot. ¶ 8. Fannie Mae bought the property in a foreclosure sale on November 18, 2009. Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot. ¶ 16, Ex. 1; Chase's Opp'n to Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot. ¶ 16, Ex. 2.

Henok filed a complaint in D.C. Superior Court challenging the foreclosure in February 2012 and the defendants removed the case to federal court and answered the complaint. Henok v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, 915 F.Supp.2d 162, 165-66, Civil Action No. 12-336(RWR), 2013 WL 167941, at *1 (D.D.C. Jan. 16, 2013). Henok moved for partial summary judgment arguing that Chase and Shapiro breached the contract by failing to provide notice of default and failing to mail to the correct address the notice of foreclosure. Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot. at 6-9. Further, Henok moved for sanctions against Chase's attorneys, Shapiro's attorneys, Chase employee Kevin Johnson and Shapiro employee Brett Callahan claiming that Chase and Shapiro intentionally made false representations that they did not receive letters Henok had sent them by certified mail.

Page 102

Mot. for Sanctions Against Shapiro at 1; Mot. for Sanctions Against Chase at 1.

DISCUSSION

I. PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Summary judgment is warranted on an individual claim or part of a claim if " there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). " A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by ... citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including ... documents, ... declarations, ... or other materials; or ... showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute [.]" Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). A party may not rely merely upon denials in pleadings to show a genuine dispute, but must come forward with specific evidence that reveals a genuine factual dispute. Rogers v. District of Columbia, 880 F.Supp.2d 163, 165-66 (D.D.C.2012); Ali v. District of Columbia Gov't, 810 F.Supp.2d 78, 82-83 (D.D.C.2011). At the summary judgment stage, " ‘ [t]he evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.’ " Feirson v. District of Columbia, 506 F.3d 1063, 1066 (D.C.Cir.2007) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)). Where there are no disputed facts to resolve regarding a claim, and it is the non-movant who is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, judgment may be entered for the non-movant on that cause of action. Henok v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, 922 F.Supp.2d 110, 117-18, Civil Action No. 12-335(RWR), 2013 WL 525696, at *4 (D.D.C. Feb. 13, 2013).

Henok's motion for partial summary judgment argues in part that Chase never gave him the required advance notice of default, Pl.'s Summ. J. Mot. at 6-7, and that he never received such a notice, id. at 7-9. The deed of trust securing Henok's mortgage required Chase before foreclosing to " give notice to Borrower ... [that] shall specify (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than 30 days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration of the sums secured by this Security Instrument and sale of the Property." Id., Ex. 3 ¶ 22. The deed also provided that " [a]ll notices given by Borrower or Lender in connection with this Security Instrument must be in writing. Any notice to ...


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