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.

Lopez-Garcia v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division

July 5, 2017

Jessica Lopez-Garcia, Plaintiff,
v.
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for Argent Securities Inc., Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2005-W5 Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Royce C. Lamberth United States District Judge

         Before the Court is defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment against all claims asserted by plaintiff Jessica Lopez-Garcia. Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 9. Having considered the motion, responses, replies, exhibits, filings, and applicable law, the Court will grant the defendant's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case involves the preclusion of foreclosure on the homestead of decedent Jesus Garza Jr. Plaintiff Jessica Garcia Lopez, Administratrix and heir of decedent's estate, contends that in 2005 the decedent executed a Texas Home Equity note with Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, and that he timely paid payments each month until his death on July 11, 2011. Compl. 1-2, ECF No. 1-1. Plaintiff alleges that after her appointment as Administratrix of his estate on February 10, 2012, she continued to make payments according to the loan agreement. Id. at 2.

         Plaintiff claims that on or about November 2014, the successor lender began refusing to accept premium payments that were being made on a regular basis-premium payments supposedly made as payment for a credit life insurance policy. Id. Plaintiff claims that in mid-2014 she received a verbal explanation that the decedent never had a credit life insurance policy, and that was why the lender was refusing the premium payments. Id. Plaintiff does not dispute the fact that she has made no payments on the loan since November 2013. PL's Resp. to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 7, ECF No. 13.

         In November 2015, plaintiff was served regarding the foreclosure of decedent's house based on the loan agreement. Plaintiff claims that a credit life insurance policy was issued to the decedent at the time of the loan, the premiums were paid for that policy, and on death of the decedent that claim was neither paid nor properly denied. Compl. 2.

         On January 29, 2016, plaintiff filed the present action against Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for Argent Services, Inc., Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2005-W5, in the 288th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas. Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleged the following: (1) that defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company is in conflict of interest with its wholly owned affiliate, Credit Life Insurance Company;[1] (2) that defendant breached the deed of trust by not demanding payment from its affiliate while collecting premiums on the affiliate's behalf; (3) that defendant breached its contract and fiduciary duty, as well as the Texas Insurance Code, by failing to promptly pay the claim upon notice of the death of Jesus Garza Jr.; (4) that defendant has, by a series of acts and omissions, violated the provisions of the Texas Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (TDCA); (5) that defendant has, by violating the TDCA, engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive practices declared unlawful by the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTP A); and (6) that defendant has breached the terms of the Deed of Trust and the insurance policy. Id. at 3-4. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief from the foreclosure, as well as actual and exemplary damages from the above claims. Id. at 5.

         On March 1, 2016, defendant removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Def.'s Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company has filed a motion for summary judgment as to each of plaintiffs claims. The parties have filed responsive pleadings, and this Court is now prepared to review the defendant's motion. However, plaintiff also moved to remand on the basis that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction.[2] This Court will address each motion separately, and will review the jurisdictional issue first.

         II. JURISDICTION

         The Court first attends to plaintiffs claim that this case should be remanded to probate court on concerns of a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. PL's Resp. to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. Defendant removed this case on the basis of diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. District courts have jurisdiction in diversity actions-actions between citizens of different states that involve an amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A national bank, for diversity purposes, "is a citizen of the State in which its main office, as set for the in the articles of association, is located." Wachovia Bank, N.A. v. Schmidt, 546 U.S 303, 307 (2006). Deutsche Bank National Trust Company is a national banking association "organized under federal law with its main office in Los Angeles, as designated in its Articles of Association." Def.'s Notice of Removal 4, ECF No. 1. Therefore, defendant is a citizen of California for diversity purposes. Natural persons are considered a citizen of the state where that person is domiciled, and where the person has an intent to remain indefinitely. See Freeman v. Nw. Acceptance Corp., 754 F.2d 553, 555-56 (5th Cir. 1985). Plaintiff is a resident of Texas, and therefore a citizen of Texas for diversity purposes. Plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $100, 000, which exceeds the statutory requirement of $75, 000. Def.'s Notice of Removal 3. The Court, therefore, finds that diversity jurisdiction exists.

         The plaintiff argues that this case was not properly removed, as there is no "specific statutory or case authority in Texas authorizing persons to deal directly with heirs without any probate court action of any type." PL's Resp. to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 10. However, as this case does not require the Court to probate or annul a will, administer the decedent's estate, or dispose of property in the custody of the probate court, diversity jurisdiction is not precluded. See Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293, 298 (2006) (restricting broad interpretations of the probate exception). The plaintiffs request to remand to probate court on the basis of a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction will be denied.

         The Court now considers defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is proper when the evidence shows "that 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). The main purpose of summary judgment is to dispose of factually unsupported claims and ...


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.