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Mancias v. Onemain Financial Services, Inc.

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

July 1, 2019

JUAN B. MANCIAS, Plaintiff,
v.
ONEMAIN FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          XAVIER RODRIGUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On this date, the Court considered Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (docket no. 12). Although Plaintiff did not respond, the Court will evaluate the motion and applicable law. After careful consideration, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 9, 2007, Plaintiff Juan Mancias executed a Loan Agreement and Disclosure Statement (“the Note”) for $32, 400, [1] payable to American General Financial Services, Inc., and a Deed of Trust securing the repayment of the Note with the property at 1250 Roemer Lane, Unit D, Floresville, Texas 78114.

         The loan was transferred to Springleaf Financial Services, Inc. on December 30, 2015. OneMain is the successor to Springleaf and the current mortgagee and holder of the Note. Plaintiff has defaulted and the Note is past due for the February 3, 2013, payment and all subsequent payments. On March 2, 2015, Plaintiff was sent a Notice of Default. On December 11, 2017, Plaintiff was sent a Notice of Acceleration.

         In state court, Defendant filed an Application for an Expedited Order under Rule 736 on a Home Equity Loan. Seeking to stop the foreclosure, Plaintiff filed, on October 11, 2018, his Original Petition in the 81st Judicial District Court of Wilson County, Texas. Plaintiff, seeking declaratory relief, alleges that Defendant's Rule 736 application was filed more than four years after the alleged breach and was thus barred by the statute of limitations. On October 26, Defendant removed to this Court. On June 13, Defendant filed the motion now before the Court (docket no. 12). Although Plaintiff's response deadline has passed, Plaintiff did not file a response.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         A party is entitled to summary judgment only if it demonstrates that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In order to demonstrate that there is no genuine issue of material fact, a movant either has to negate the existence of a material element of the non-movant's claim or defense or point out that the evidence in the record is insufficient when the non-movant bears the burden of proof for that element at trial. Lavespere v. Niagra Machine & Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 178 (5th Cir. 1990). To satisfy its initial responsibility, a movant without the burden of proof at trial need only point out that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-movant's claim to shift the burden to the non-movant to show that summary judgment is not proper. See Fields v. City of S. Hous., 922 F.2d 1183, 1187 (5th Cir. 1991).

         There is a genuine issue of material fact when the evidence allows a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-movant. Rogers v. Bromac Title Servs., L.L.C., 755 F.3d 347, 350 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). In order to conclude that no genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must be satisfied that no reasonable trier of fact could have found for the non-movant. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250 n.4. A court on summary judgment must review the summary judgment record taken as a whole, but the court is not permitted to make “credibility determinations or weigh the evidence.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000). The court must review “all facts and inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Dillon v. Rogers, 596 F.3d 260, 266 (5th Cir. 2010).

         II. Application

         Although Defendant moves, in the alternative to summary judgment, for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), the Court determines that summary judgment is appropriate. The Court will first consider the central arguments of Plaintiff's Petition-namely, that the limitations period has run on Defendant's right to foreclose and that Plaintiff is entitled to declaratory relief on this point. Then, the Court turns to Defendant's counter-claim for an order authorizing foreclosure.

         a. Statute of Limitations

         Under Texas law, a secured lender “must bring suit for . . . the foreclosure of a real property lien not later than four years after the day the cause of action accrues.” Boren v. U.S. Nat. Bank Ass'n, 807 F.3d 99, 104 (5th Cir. 2015) (citing Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.035(a).) If the applicable note is payable in installments and secured by a real property lien, the limitations period does not begin until the “maturity date of the last note, obligation, or installment, ” id., but if the deed of trust contains an optional acceleration clause, the limitations period does not begin until the holder actually exercises its option to accelerate, Holy Cross Church of God in Christ v. Wolf 44 S.W.3d 562, 566 (Tex. 2001). To do so, the holder must send “both a ...


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