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.

Baker v. U.S. Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

March 31, 2017

MICHAEL BAKER, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. BANK, N.A. IN ITS CAPACITY AS TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED HOLDERS OF CSFB HOME EQUITY PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2005-F1X1, and OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendants.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          HAL R. RAY, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court are Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17), Brief in Support (ECF No. 18), and Appendix in Support (ECF No. 19), filed February 6, 2017; Plaintiff's Response and Brief to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 22) and Attachments (ECF No. 23), filed February 27, 2017; and Defendants' Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 24), filed March 9, 2017. United States District Judge Reed O'Connor referred this case to the undersigned for pretrial management by Order entered on February 24, 2017. ECF No. 20. A motion for summary judgment is an enumerated dispositive motion to which the undersigned may only make a recommendation to Judge O'Connor. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).

         Based upon a full review of the relevant pleadings on file and applicable legal authorities, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that Judge O'Connor GRANT Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Michael Baker (“Baker”) filed suit in the 348th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, alleging breach of contract, breach of the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”), and violations of the Texas Debt Collection Act (“TDCA”) against Defendants U.S. Bank, N.A., in its capacity as trustee for the registered holders of CSFB home equity pass-through certificates series 2005-F1X1, and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (collectively, “Defendants”). ECF No. 1-3. Baker's claims are based on the Defendants' foreclosure of a property subject to the terms of a mortgage and deed of trust executed by Defendant Ocwen as the lender and Baker's mother, Evelyn L. Lewis, and her husband, Douglas C. Lewis, as borrowers. Id.; ECF No. 19. On June 1, 2016, Defendants removed this action based on diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. ECF No. 1. Thereafter, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment, contending that (1) Baker is not entitled to relief on his breach of contract claims because no contract exists between Baker and Defendants, (2) Baker's claims under the TDCA are time-barred, and (3) the UCC duty of good faith and fair dealing does not apply to mortgages. ECF No. 17.

         Baker filed his Response, arguing that Defendants are not entitled to summary judgment on the breach of contract claims because Baker stepped into his mother's shoes with respect to the loan when “the Property, with lien attached, passed to Baker upon his mother's death[.]” ECF No. 22 at 6. Baker also asserts that Defendants are not entitled to summary judgment on his UCC claims because Defendant Ocwen violated its “duty of good faith and fair dealing with regard to its obligations under the Deed of Trust” by requiring Baker to submit a loan assumption package but failing to review it before instituting foreclosure. Id. at 8. Baker did not address Defendants' argument that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on his TDCA claims because he did not file suit within the applicable statute of limitations. See ECF No. 22.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Summary Judgment Standard

         Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is proper when the pleadings and evidence illustrate that no genuine issue exists as to any material fact, thereby entitling the movant to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Slaughter v. Southern Talc Co., 949 F.2d 167, 170 (5th Cir. 1991). Disputes concerning material facts are genuine if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Douglass v. United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1429 (5th Cir. 1996) (en banc) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). An issue is “material” if it involves a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Burgos v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., 20 F.3d 633, 635 (5th Cir. 1994). “The movant bears the burden of identifying those portions of the record it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Triple Tee Golf, Inc. v. Nike, Inc., 485 F.3d 253, 261 (5th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-25 (1986)).

         When a movant carries his initial burden, the burden then shifts to the nonmovant to show that the entry of summary judgment is inappropriate. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-24; Duckett v. City of Cedar Park, Tex., 950 F.2d 272, 276 (5th Cir. 1992). Although the nonmovant may satisfy this burden by tendering depositions, affidavits, and other competent evidence, “conclusory allegations, speculation, and unsubstantiated assertions are inadequate to satisfy the nonmovant's burden, ” Douglass, 79 F.3d at 1429, as “the adverse party's response . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Merely colorable evidence or evidence not significantly probative, however, will not defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50. Furthermore, a mere scintilla of evidence will not defeat a motion for summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Davis v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 14 F.3d 1082, 1086 (5th Cir. 1994).

         Summary judgment evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd., v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Rosado v. Deters, 5 F.3d 119, 123 (5th Cir. 1993). In addition, factual controversies are resolved in favor of the nonmovant, but only when both parties have submitted evidence of contradictory facts, thus creating an actual controversy. Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (en banc). In the absence of any proof, however, the Court does not assume that the nonmovant could or would prove the necessary facts. Id.

         In making its determination on the motion, the Court looks at the full record including the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Williams v. Adams, 836 F.2d 958, 961 (5th Cir. 1988). However, “the [Court's] function is not [ ] to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. The movant's motion for summary judgment will be granted only if he meets his burden and the nonmovant fails to make the requisite showing that a genuine issue exists as to any material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2).

         B. Erie Doctrine

         Baker's claims do not invoke a federal question; therefore the Court applies the law of the forum state, which here is Texas. Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 78 (1938). “Under the Erie doctrine, [courts] are bound in diversity cases to apply the substantive law of the forum state as interpreted by the state's highest court.” Am. Nat. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Ryan, 274 F.3d 319, 328 (5th Cir. 2001) (citing Ladue v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 920 F.2d 272, 274 (5th Cir. 1991)). The Court “look[s] to decisions of the state's highest court, or in the absence of a final decision by that court on the issue under consideration, [ ] must determine in [its] best ...


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.