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Douglas v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

May 3, 2018

JASON DOUGLAS and CHERYL DOUGLAS, Plaintiffs,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s (Wells Fargo) motion to dismiss. Doc. 12. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Wells Fargo's motion.

         I.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         This is a foreclosure case. In July 2015, Plaintiffs Jason and Cheryl Douglas purchased their home. Doc. 8, Pls.' First Am. Compl., ¶¶ 8-9. In connection with their purchase, the Douglases executed a note for $415, 266 and an accompanying deed. Id. Wells Fargo holds the note and the deed. Id. ¶ 10.

         The Douglases contacted Wells Fargo to set up automatic payments in September 2016. Id. ¶ 11. Payments were automatically withdrawn from the Douglases' bank account in September and October. Id. But the Douglases failed to pay their mortgage from November 2016 to January 2017. Id.

         On January 17, 2017, Wells Fargo informed the Douglases in a letter that their payments were past due. Id. ¶ 12. Nevertheless, the Douglases did not make past-due payments and failed to pay their mortgage in February and March. Id. ¶ 11. On March 3, 2017, Wells Fargo sent another letter stating that the Douglases' payments were past due. Id. ¶ 13. After receiving the second letter, the Douglases called Wells Fargo and asked whether they could make a $14, 000 payment over the phone. Id. ¶ 14. A Wells Fargo representative agreed to accept the payment, but the Douglases do not allege that their payment ever went through. Id.

         On March 13, 2017, Wells Fargo sent an escrow shortage letter notifying the Douglases that their May 2017 mortgage payment would increase to $3199.86 and that no further action was required from them. Id. ¶ 15. The Douglases thought that their loan was no longer delinquent based on the representative's willingness to accept the $14, 000 payment and the escrow shortage letter's indication that no action was required. Id. But on May 2, 2017, a substitute trustee sold the Douglases' home at a foreclosure sale. Id. ¶ 16.

         In August 2017, the Douglases filed suit in Texas state court. The case was removed to this Court shortly thereafter. Doc. 1. That October, Wells Fargo filed the present motion to dismiss, which is ripe for consideration. Doc. 12.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes the court to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). The court will “not look beyond the face of the pleadings to determine whether relief should be granted based on the alleged facts.” Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999).

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. When well-pleaded facts fail to achieve this plausibility standard, “the complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted).

         III. ...


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