United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
IN RE LARRY GREEN and EDRIS GREEN, Debtors. LARRY GREEN and EDRIS GREEN, Plaintiffs/Appellees,
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant/Appellant. Adversary No. 18-3351
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. ATLAS, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the Court on the Motion for Leave to File
Interlocutory Appeal (“Motion”) [Doc. # 2] filed
by Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”), to which
Debtors Larry Green and Edris Green filed a Response [Doc. #
7], and Ocwen filed a Reply [Doc. # 8]. Having reviewed
the record and the governing legal authorities, the Court
denies the Motion.
March 26, 2013, United States Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur
entered an Order [Doc. # 67 in BR Case 12-38016] confirming
the Chapter 13 Plan proposed by Debtors Larry and Edris
Green. On December 27, 2017, Judge Isgur found that Debtors
had completed all payments to Ocwen required under the
confirmed Chapter 13 Plan as of October 31, 2017.
See Order Deeming the Mortgage Current and Directing
Debtor(s) to Resume Payments [Doc. # 182 in BR Case
12-38016]. Judge Isgur ordered Debtors to begin making direct
payments to Ocwen in the amount of $790.66 beginning November
1, 2017. See Id. Debtors received an Order of
Discharge [Doc. # 186 in BR Case 12-38016] under 11 U.S.C.
§ 1328(a) on January 22, 2018.
November 25, 2018, the Greens filed this Adversary
Proceeding. The Greens allege that they made the required
payments to Ocwen through July 6, 2018, after which Ocwen
refused to accept payments and initiated foreclosure
proceedings. See Complaint [Doc. # 1 in Adv. No.
18-3351');">3351], ¶ 18. The Greens allege that Ocwen has
continued to attempt collection of amounts that were cured in
the Chapter 13 Plan and has improperly initiated foreclosure
proceedings. See id., ¶ 14.
Adversary Proceeding, the Greens requested a copy of all
transcripts (“CFPB Transcripts”) of proceedings
before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
(“CFPB”) that were referenced and quoted in a
complaint filed by the CFPB against Ocwen in the Southern
District of Florida. See Joint Discovery/Case
Management Plan [Doc. # 9 in Adv. No. 18-3351');">3351], p. 5. The
CFPB complaint was filed in Florida on April 20, 2017,
relating to a time period between 2014 and 2016. Ocwen
opposed disclosure of the CFPB Transcripts, and Judge Isgur
ordered briefing on the issue.
February 27, 2019, Judge Isgur held that the CFPB Transcripts
were not “Confidential Information” that was
“restricted from turnover” under the applicable
federal regulations because the CFPB had used the information
in the complaint in the Southern District of Florida,
because the applicable regulations do not preclude Ocwen from
disclosing the CFPB Transcripts pursuant to a Court order and
with appropriate protective measures. See Order
Overruling Objections to Turnover of Transcripts
(“February Order”) [Doc. # 32 in Adv. No.
18-3351');">3351]. Judge Isgur provided an opportunity for the CFPB to
file any objection to the turnover of the CFPB Transcripts.
See Id. Judge Isgur also imposed restrictions on the
Greens' use of the information in the CFPB Transcripts
if they ultimately received copies, ordering that
they “may not quote from or refer to information
contained solely in the transcripts except (i) in a sealed
motion; or (ii) as authorized in advance by order of this
Court.” See Id. There is nothing in the record
suggesting the CFPB filed an objection to the turnover of the
filed an Objection to Production of CFPB Transcripts
(“Objection”) [Doc. # 35 in Adv. No. 18-3351');">3351]. In
the Objection, Ocwen proposed additional “protective
provisions” should the CFPB Transcripts be disclosed to
the Greens. See id., ¶ 27.
April 22, 2019, Judge Isgur issued an Order to Produce
Transcripts (“April Order”) [Doc. # 39 in Adv.
No. 18-3351');">3351]. Judge Isgur ordered Ocwen to produce the CFPB
Transcripts only to the Greens' attorney, who was ordered
to maintain them in confidence and was precluded from making
any disclosures, in pleadings or otherwise, of the
information in the CFPB Transcripts. See April
Order, ¶¶ 1-2.
2, 2019, the Bankruptcy Court conducted a hearing on
Ocwen's request for a broad, general protective order for
the CFPB Transcripts. On July 3, 2019, Judge Isgur issued an
Order (“July Order”) [Doc. # 52 in Adv. No.
18-3351');">3351], denying Ocwen's request for a general
protective order, stating however:
If Ocwen believes [certain information concerning identified
borrowers or proprietary operations processes] was disclosed
in the CFPB Transcripts, it must identify the appropriate
volume, page, and line numbers to the Court by July 19, 2019.
The Court will then conduct an in camera review of
the identified information to determine whether limited
portions of the Transcripts should be protected.
Order, p. 2.
17, 2019, Ocwen filed a Notice of Appeal [Doc. # 55 in Adv.
No. 18-3351');">3351] and the pending Motion for Leave to File
Interlocutory Appeal. On July 19, 2019, Ocwen filed its
Notice of Designation of Portions of Material in CFPB
Transcripts Pursuant to Order [Doc. # 57 in Adv. No.
18-3351');">3351]. Consideration of Ocwen's designations remains
before Judge Isgur.
Order [Doc. # 63 in Adv. No. 18-3351');">3351], entered August 6,
2019, Judge Isgur stayed the July Order, except for the
paragraph giving Ocwen an opportunity to designate portions
of the CFPB Transcripts for in camera review, until
August 31, 2019, “or such longer date as is imposed by
the United States District Court. By Order [Doc. # 5] entered