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Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC v. Martinez

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

May 31, 2019

OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ARMANDO MARTINEZ, BENITA MARTINEZ, and BBVA COMPASS FINANCIAL CORPORATION, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC's (“Plaintiff” or “Ocwen”) Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 7), filed April 15, 2019. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Ocwen's motion.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 10, 2019, Ocwen filed a complaint against Armando Martinez and Benita Martinez, alleging that Armando Martinez and Benita Martinez (“Individual Defendants”) defaulted on a mortgage agreement held by Ocwen. Doc. 1, Pl.'s Compl., ¶¶ 18-19. Ocwen's complaint also alleges that BBVA Compass Bank (“BBVA”) failed to extinguish its own lien on Individual Defendants' real property commonly known as 2918 Bay Oaks Drive, Dallas, Texas 75229, and more particularly described as:

LOT 4, BLOCK 34/6461 OF WALNUT HILLS ADDITION, FOURTH INSTALLMENT, AN ADDITION TO THE CITY OF DALLAS, DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS, ACCORDING TO THE MAP THEREOF RECORDED IN VOLUME 23, PAGE 215, MAP RECORDS, DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS.

Id. ¶¶ 9, 30. Ocwen alleges that BBVA's lien on the property was already satisfied in full by proceeds from the loan agreement on May 26, 1999. Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff seeks a judgment allowing foreclosure and quieting title on the property.[1] Id. ¶¶ 26, 30.

         Plaintiff's quiet-title claim relies on the following allegations: Plaintiff claims that on July 31, 1990, the property's prior owners executed a deed of trust on the property to Capitol Mortgage Bankers, Inc., with the agreement entered into official public records in Dallas County, Texas under the name “Document Number 6480.” Id. ¶ 15. Plaintiff also claims that Capitol Mortgage Bankers Inc., merged into Temple-Inland Mortgage Corporation on July 16, 1992, which then changed its name to Guaranty Residential Lending, Inc. on June 7, 2001. Id. ¶ 16. Plaintiff also asserts that Guaranty Residential Lending, Inc. was subsequently acquired by Guaranty Bank. Id. Finally, Plaintiff claims that the FDIC assumed control over Guaranty Bank, at which point the FDIC sold Guaranty Bank's interest in the property to BBVA. Id. Plaintiff asserts “upon information and belief” that the Capitol deed of trust was satisfied prior to March 26, 1999. Id. ¶ 15. Based on these events, Plaintiff seeks a judgment against BBVA declaring that Plaintiff holds a superior lien on the property, and requests that BBVA's lien is released as a cloud on title. Id. ¶ 30.

         Plaintiff's foreclosure request relies on three sets of allegations: the issuance of the original mortgage, the assignments of the deed of trust, and the subsequent default. First, as to the original mortgage, Individual Defendants borrowed $94, 951 from the Shelter Mortgage Company on or about May 26, 1999. Doc. 1-1, Pl.'s App., 3 (Ex. A) (note). As collateral for the loan, Individual Defendants agreed that their lender was allowed to invoke power of sale and other remedies against the property should Individual Defendants fail to pay. Id. at 12 (Ex. B) (deed of trust). The agreement stated that should Individual Defendants fail to make required monthly payments within 30 days, Individual Defendants would be in default and the lender could exercise a right to accelerate the date of the Note's maturity by mailing notice of the default to the borrowers and demand that the entire amount owed be paid within 30 days. See Id. at 9. If the lender accelerated the debt and demanded payment in full, the lender was authorized to exercise power of sale on the property. See Id. at 12.

         Second, as to the assignments of the deed of trust, Plaintiff alleges that on June 4, 1999, the Shelter Mortgage Company assigned the deed of trust to the Corinthian Mortgage Corporation. Id. 16 (Ex. C) (first assignment of the deed of trust). The Corinthian Mortgage Company then assigned the deed of trust to the GMAC Mortgage Corporation on March 1, 2000. Id. 19 (Ex. C) (the second assignment). The GMAC Mortgage Corporation then assigned the deed of trust to its own successor entity, GMAC Mortgage, LLC, on November 11, 2011. Id. at 22 (Ex. C) (the third assignment). Finally, GMAC Mortgage LLC assigned the deed of trust to Plaintiff on May 22, 2013. Id. at 24 (Ex. C) (the fourth assignment).

         Third, Plaintiff's foreclosure request also relies on the Individual Defendants' alleged default. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on September 25, 2018, Plaintiff mailed the notice of default to Individual Defendants. Id. at 27-38 (Ex. D) (notices of default). After Individual Defendants failed to cure the default, Plaintiff sent Individual Defendants notices of acceleration, stating that the note was due in full on December 28, 2018. Id. at 40-43 (Ex. E) (notices of acceleration).

         On January 30, 2019, Plaintiff served all Defendants with copies of its complaint. Doc. 5, Return of Summons. To date, Defendants have neither answered nor otherwise made an appearance in this case. On April 15, 2019, Plaintiff requested the clerk enter default (Doc. 6) and moved for default judgment (Doc. 7). Plaintiff served Defendants copies of both documents. Doc. 6, Request for Default, 4; Doc. 7, Mot., 5. The clerk has since entered default (Doc. 8). Defendants failed to respond to Plaintiff's motion and the time to do so has passed. The Court now considers the motion for default judgment.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55 provides for the entry of default judgments in federal court. According to Rule 55, “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, . . . the clerk must enter the party's default.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Once default has been entered, the Court may ...


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