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Ray v. U.S. Bank National Association

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 28, 2015

RODERICK RAY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE TO BANK OF AMERICA, SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO LASALLE BANK, NA, TRUSTEE, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF #7)

MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, District Judge.

In this action, Plaintiffs Roderick and Mattie Ray (collectively, "the Rays") contest the foreclosure of their real property in Detroit, Michigan. ( See the "Complaint, " ECF #1-2.) Defendant U.S. Bank National Association, Successor Trustee to Bank of America, Successor by Merger to LaSalle Bank, N.A., Trustee ("US Bank") has now moved to dismiss the Rays' Complaint. ( See the "Motion, " ECF #7.) For the reasons explained below, the Court GRANTS U.S. Bank's Motion.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY OF THIS ACTION

In 2006, the Rays obtained a loan from First Franklin, a Division of National City Bank ("First Franklin") to purchase real property located at 15005 Faust Avenue in Detroit, Michigan (the "Property"). ( See the "Note, " ECF #7-2.) As security for the loan, the Rays granted a mortgage against the Property to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS"), as nominee for First Franklin. ( See the "Mortgage, " ECF #1-2 at 24-32, Pg. ID 34-42.) On or about December 6, 2007, MERS assigned the Mortgage to LaSalle Bank, National Association ("LaSalle"). ( See ECF #7-4.)[1]

Thereafter, the Rays fell behind on their payment obligations under the Note. ( See Compl. at ¶2.) In 2009, LaSalle initiated foreclosure proceedings and purchased the Property at a foreclosure sale (the "2009 Foreclosure"). ( See ECF #1-2 at 23, Pg. ID 33.) However, following post-foreclosure litigation between the parties, LaSalle set aside the 2009 Foreclosure and revived the Mortgage. ( See id. )

The Rays allege that after the 2009 Foreclosure, the servicer of their loan, Bank of America, was required to "engage in loss mitigation" with the Rays pursuant to a class action settlement. (Compl. at ¶7.) The Rays submitted several loan modification proposals to Bank of America. ( See id. at ¶8.)[2] However, Bank of America never modified the Rays' loan, and the Rays again defaulted on their payment obligations under the Note. ( See id. at ¶12.)

In 2012, LaSalle assigned the Mortgage to U.S. Bank. ( See ECF #7-9, Pg. ID 273.) U.S. Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings, and it purchased the Property at a sheriff's sale on June 20, 2013. ( See ECF #7-10, Pg. ID 275.)

Following the expiration of the Rays' statutory right to redeem the Property pursuant to M.C.L. § 600.3240, U.S. Bank filed a summary proceeding in Michigan's 36th District Court (the "State District Court") to evict the Rays from the Property. The Rays then filed six counterclaims against U.S. Bank in the State District Court: (1) violation of M.C.L. § 600.3205 et seq.; (2) violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41 (the "RESPA Regulation"); (3) negligence of duty; (4) illegal foreclosure; (5) violation of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; and (6) exemplary damages. ( See Compl.)

Thereafter, the State District Court entered a stipulated order severing the Rays' counterclaims and transferring them to the Wayne County Circuit Court as a separate action (the "State Circuit Court Action"). ( See ECF #1-3.) On May 7, 2014, U.S. Bank removed the State Circuit Court Action to this Court. ( See ECF #1.) On August 7, 2014, U.S. Bank filed the instant Motion to Dismiss the Rays' claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). ( See the Motion.)

The Court deems this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons stated below, the Court now GRANTS the Motion.

GOVERNING LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a complaint when a plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when a plaintiff pleads factual content that permits a court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). When assessing the sufficiency of a plaintiff's claim, a district court must accept all of a complaint's factual allegations as true. See Ziegler v. IBP Hog Mkt., Inc., 249 F.3d 509, 512 (6th Cir. 2001). "Mere conclusions, " however, "are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the complaint's framework, they must be supported by factual allegations." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 664. A plaintiff must therefore provide "more than labels and conclusions, " or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action" to survive a motion to dismiss. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. [3]

ANALYSIS

The Rays have failed to state a claim on which this Court can grant relief. Indeed, as explained below, each of the theories under which the Rays seek relief has been rejected by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and/or by other judges in this District on facts similar to those present here. See, e.g., Campbell v. Nationstar Mortg., No. 14-10645, 2014 WL 3808934 (E.D. Mich. May 19, 2014) (Counts I-IV); Owens v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Assoc., No. 14-11452, 2014 WL 7105794 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 31, 2014), report and recommendation adopted, 2014 WL 7140015 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 12, 2014) (all counts); Bernard ...


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