United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
DISMISS  AND DISMISSING THE CASE
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
resides at 21817 Whittington, Farmington Hills, MI (the
Property). Defendant Nationstar owns the mortgage on the
Property and Defendant Federal National Mortgage Association
(Fannie Mae) holds a sheriff's deed on the Property.
Plaintiff filed an eight-count complaint and Defendants now
move to dismiss it. A temporary restraining order (TRO) is
currently in place, but will expire on the same day that the
Court will issue this Order. For the reasons below, the Court
will not further extend the TRO, but will instead grant the
motion and dismiss the case.
purchased the Property in 2006 and obtained a warranty deed
and a mortgage on the home. ECF 1-2; PgID 33-34. Apparently
Plaintiff ran into financial difficulties and by October 2015
he was behind on two mortgage payments. ECF 18, PgID 392.
Nationstar allegedly invited Plaintiff to apply for a loan
modification, and on October 13, 2015, Nationstar sent him a
letter that informed him he was "eligible for a Loan
Modification Agreement, which [would] permanently change the
terms of [his] mortgage." ECF 1-2, PgID 58. The letter
stated that if Plaintiff "compli[ed] with the terms of
the required Trial Period Plan, " Nationstar would
modify his mortgage and might "waive all prior late
charges that remain unpaid." Id. The letter
instructed Plaintiff to sign and return two copies of an
attached agreement by October 23, 2015 and to "[m]ake
all remaining trial period payments on or before the dates
they are due." Id. Plaintiff claims he returned
the signed agreements on October 22, 2015 and that Nationstar
confirmed receipt over the phone.
avers there was a "glitch" in Nationstar's
system, so around January 2016, Nationstar told him to submit
updated financial information, which he claims he did. ECF
1810, PgID 474. But on February 16, 2016, Nationstar sent him
another document that differed from the documents purportedly
sent in October 2015. The February documents included a
"Borrower Assistance Form" that directed the
borrower to provide verifying financial documents "to be
considered for available solutions." ECF 1-2, PgID 77.
Unlike the copies of the October documents provided to the
Court, the February documents are completed, signed, and
dated February 21, 2016. Id. at 77-84.
point, Plaintiff's version of the timeline becomes
slightly unclear. From the Response brief and the affidavit
upon which it relies, it seems that Plaintiff was
"accepted in the Trial Payment Program
('TPP')" following his submission of the
completed February documents, made three payments under the
TPP that corresponded to October, November, and December
2015. ECF 18, PgID 393. Nationstar then directed
Plaintiff to make a fourth payment and Plaintiff complied,
but Nationstar rejected the payment. Id. Nationstar
also "failed to execute the Loan Modification
Agreement" and discussions about modifying the loan
began in August 2016. Id.
crystal clear is that on August 12, 2016, Nationstar sent
Plaintiff a letter. It informed Plaintiff that Nationstar was
unable to grant his request for assistance and specifically
listed three programs for which he had been declined. ECF
1-2, PgID 86. The letter also listed possible alternatives
Plaintiff might be able to pursue, including reinstatement.
Id. Plaintiff claims he "attempted in good
faith to implement the Loan Modification Agreement and
reinstate the loan" but has been unsuccessful. ECF 18,
finally foreclosed on Plaintiff's home in January 2017
and Defendant Fannie Mae purchased the home at a
sheriff's sale the next month. ECF 1-2, PgID 36-43. The
redemption period would have ended on August 21, 2017, but
the Court stayed the expiration date. ECF 15, 17.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The Court may only grant a
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss if the allegations are not
"sufficient 'to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level, ' and to 'state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'" Hensley Mfg. v.
ProPride, Inc., 579 F.3d 603, 609 (6th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555, 570 (2007)). In evaluating the motion, the Court
presumes the truth of all well-pled factual assertions.
Bishop v. Lucent Techs. Inc., 520 F.3d 516, 519 (6th
Cir. 2008). Moreover, the Court must draw every reasonable
inference in favor of the non-moving party. Dubay v.
Wells, 506 F.3d 422, 427 (6th Cir. 2007). But a
"pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions'
or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
One - Quiet Title
asserts that Defendants knew he was trying to enter into a
loan modification agreement but they intentionally acted to
preclude him from doing so. ECF 1-2, PgID 16-17.
Consequently, the Property is currently in Fannie Mae's
name. Id. In response, Defendants emphasize that
quieting title is a remedy, not a stand-alone cause of action
and further, Plaintiff has failed to satisfy the statutory
prerequisites to quiet title. ECF 16, PgID 335-36.
law permits "[a]ny person . . . who claims any right in,
title to, equitable title to, interest in, or right to
possession of land" to bring a quiet-title action
"against any other person who claims or might claim any
interest inconsistent with the interest claimed by the
plaintiff[.]" Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2932(1). To
succeed, a plaintiff must allege "(a) the interest the
plaintiff claims in the premises; (b) the interest the
defendant claims in the premises; ...