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Sawyer v. Dimon

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

March 1, 2019

JAMES DIMON, ET AL., Defendants.

          Marianne O. Battani District Judge.



         On May 16, 2018, Plaintiff filed a pro se civil complaint, alleging a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. [Doc. #1]. Before the Court is Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.'s [“Chase's”] motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) [Doc. #12], which has been referred for a Report and Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). For the reasons discussed below, I recommend that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. FACTS

         Plaintiff's complaint is a bit hard to follow. However, it does appear to allege a violation of RESPA. Attached to the complaint is a December 21, 2017 letter from Plaintiff to Chase “directors, President, CFO and Registered Agents, ” addressed to P.O. Box 183210, Columbus, OH 43218-3210, stating that it is a Qualified Written Request (“QWR”) for information regarding a mortgage loan. Complaint [Doc. #1], Pg. ID 13-15. The letter contains a list of 20 items of information sought, including the loan transaction history, an itemized statement of the amount owing as of 12/21/2017, the name and address of the “owner” and the “holder” of the note, and information regarding transfers and assignments of the mortgage.

         Defendant responded to Plaintiff's request in a letter dated January 9, 2018. The response enclosed copies of the loan transaction history, the note itself, and the security instrument (i.e., the mortgage), as well as the payment history of the loan. The letter also disclosed the amount of the unpaid principal balance ($70, 394.28), the accrued interest from 12/1/17 to 1/9/18 ($542.62), the escrow advances ($31.29), and “other fees and advances” ($14.00), for a total amount of $70, 982.19. In a section of the letter titled “Here are answers to common servicing questions, ” it states that information about assignments of the security instrument may be found in public records. Defendant's motion [Doc. #12], Exhibit 4, Pg. ID 231-281.[1]

         Attached to the complaint is Plaintiff's letter to Chase dated January 18, 2018, in which he states, “I Shonnon Sawyer have received your Qualified Written Request response dated January 09, 2015.” Complaint [Doc. #1], Pg. ID 19.


         Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a complaint “for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” In assessing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, and asks whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief. Rippy v. Hattaway, 270 F.3d 416, 419 (6th Cir. 2001).

         In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombley, 550 U.S 544 (2007), the Court, construing the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), held that although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, its “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level...on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true.” Id., at 555 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Further, “a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. (Internal citations and quotation marks omitted). See also Association of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007). Stated differently, a complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombley, at 570.

         In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Court explained and expanded on what it termed the “two-pronged approach” of Twombley. First, it must be determined whether a complaint contains factual allegations, as opposed to legal conclusions. “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id., at 678, citing Twombley, 550 U.S. at 555. Second, the facts that are pled must show a “plausible” claim for relief, which the Court described as follows:

“Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will, as the Court of Appeals observed, be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘shown[n]”-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” 556 U.S. at 679 (internal citations omitted).


         RESPA provides that a borrower may submit a “Qualified Written Request” (“QWR”) to its loan servicer for “information relating to the servicing of such loan.” 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(A). A QWR must identify the loan and “include[ ] a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provide[ ] sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower.” 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1) (B). “RESPA requires that a servicer acknowledge such an inquiry within 20 business days of receiving the request (12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(A)), and substantively respond within 60 business days, by either (a) correcting the account, providing a written response explaining why the account is correct and providing contact information for further assistance; or (b) providing a written response with the information ...

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