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Padilla v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, El Paso Division

May 14, 2018

ERNESTO PADILLA, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC d/b/a CHAMPION MORTGAGE COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          Philip R. Martinez, Judge

         On this day, the Court considered Defendant Wells Fargo Bank LLC d/b/a Champion Mortgage Company's [hereinafter "Defendant"] unopposed[1] "Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support Thereof (ECF No. 26) [hereinafter "Motion"], filed on April 16, 2018, in the above-captioned cause. After due consideration, the Court concludes that Defendant's Motion should be granted for the reasons that follow.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises from the foreclosure of the real property located at 1308 Fewell Street, El Paso, Texas 79902 [hereinafter "Property"]. On or about October 19, 2009, Plaintiff Ernesto Padilla's [hereinafter "Plaintiff'] mother, Gloria Padilla, executed a Closed-End Fixed Rate Note on the Property [hereinafter "Note"]. Mot. to Dismiss 1. Concurrently, Gloria Padilla also secured a Closed-End Fixed Rate Home Equity Conversion Deed of Trust [hereinafter "Deed of Trust"]. Id. In securing the Note and Deed of Trust, Gloria Padilla placed a reverse mortgage on the Property for $113, 000 through Wells Fargo. Pl.'s Original Compl. 1 [hereinafter "Amended Complaint"], April 10, 2018, ECF No. 23. At "some point, " the reverse mortgage was transferred from Wells Fargo to Nationstar Mortgage LLC d/b/a/ Champion Mortgage Company. Id. at 2.

         Gloria Padilla passed away intestate on October 12, 2013. Id. at 1. According to Plaintiff, Gloria Padilla's legal heirs at the time of her death were Plaintiff, Gloria Ytturalde, and Artuor Padilla.[2] Id. On May 29, 2015, Gloria Ytturalde and Artuor Padilla then purportedly deeded their interest in the Property to Plaintiff.[3] Id. at 2.

         Following the death of Gloria Padilla, Wells Fargo had the Property appraised by a licensed appraiser as required by law. Id. The Property was appraised for approximately $135, 000, and Plaintiff allegedly offered to buy the Property for ninety-five percent of the appraised value. Id.[4] However, Plaintiff avers that Wells Fargo, "through various bureaucratic issues, failed to consummate the sale [of the Property to Plaintiff] and then attempted to foreclose." Id.

         On October 30, 2017, Defendant sent a "Notice of Acceleration and Notice of Trustee Sale" addressed to Gloria Padilla at the Property. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant did not notify Gloria Padilla's legal heirs, including Plaintiff, of the impending foreclosure as required by law. Accordingly, Plaintiff filed his Original Petition in state court. Id. Defendant then removed the case on January 16, 2018, based upon diversity jurisdiction.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This is the Court's third occasion to consider Plaintiffs claims in relation to the foreclosure of the Property.[5] Plaintiff filed his first case in state court on April 8, 2015, and brought suit against Defendant Wells Fargo requesting accounting, declaratory relief, and a temporary restraining order. Padilla v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A, EP:15-CV-00114 (W.D. Tex. 2015) (notice of removal). The case was removed to the Court one week later. Id. However, on June 10, 2015, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case before the Court made any determinations on the merits. Id.

         On December 2, 2016, Plaintiff then filed a new Petition alleging virtually identical claims. Padilla v. Wells Fargo Bank, JV.A, EP:17-CV-00037 (W.D. Tex. 2017) (notice of removal). Defendant Wells Fargo Bank again removed the case to the Court on February 8, 2017, and subsequently filed an unopposed[6] Motion to Dismiss. Id. Specifically, Defendant alleged that Plaintiffs claims failed as a matter of law. Id. The Court granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on June 28, 2017, finding, in relevant part, that Plaintiff lacked standing to bring the suit and failed to allege facts that demonstrate that a judicially remediable controversy exists between Plaintiff and Defendant Wells Fargo Bank. Id. Thus, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs claims without prejudice.

         On December 1, 2017, Plaintiff then filed his third suit regarding foreclosure of the Property which is presently before the Court. In this case, Plaintiff filed his Original Petition in state court raising a breach of contract claim and seeking a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the Property's foreclosure.[7] Notice of Removal Ex. 3, Jan. 16, 2018, ECF No. 1. Defendant then removed the case on January 16, 2018. Id. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint which raised only two claims against Defendant-the first regarding Defendant's alleged breach of contract and the second regarding Defendant's alleged breach of the Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") regulations. Am. Compl. 2-3. Defendant then filed its Motion to Dismiss on April 16, 2018, contending that, like Plaintiffs previous claims, these claims fail as a matter of law. The Court now considers whether Plaintiffs claim should again be dismissed.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court may dismiss an action for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In determining whether a plaintiff states a valid claim, a court "accept[s] all well-pleaded facts as true and view[s] those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs." Gonzalez v. Kay, 577 F.3d 600, 603 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Dorsey v. Portfolio Equities, Inc., 540 F.3d 333, 338 (5th Cir. 2008)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         In considering a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a district court's review "is limited to the complaint, any documents attached to the complaint, and any documents attached to the motion to dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the complaint." Lone Star Fund V(U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. ...


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