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Gloria-Romani v. Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

December 12, 2013

GLORIA-ROMANI, Plaintiff,
v.
NORTHWEST TRUSTEE SERVICES, INC., as Successor Trustee; WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., dba WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE CORPORATION; FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION; MORTGAGE-ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., as Nominee Beneficiary of Trustee, Defendants.

ORDER

OWEN M. PANNER, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (#38). For the reasons set forth below, that motion is GRANTED. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's renewed Motion to Amend the Complaint, made at oral argument. That motion is DENIED.

Legal Standard

Summary judgment shall be granted when the record shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed R. Civ. P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). The moving party has the initial burden of showing that no genuine, issue of material fact exists. Celotex Corp. V. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 , 323 (1986); Devereaux v. Abbey , 263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th Cir: 2001) (en bane). The court cannot weigh the evidence or determine the truth but may only determine whether there is a genuine issue of fact. Playboy Enters., Inc. v. Welles , 279 F.3d 796, 800 (9th Cir. 2002). An issue of fact is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc. , 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Anderson , 477 U.S. at 248).

Background

In 1998, Plaintiff borrowed $153, 000 from Northwest Mortgage, Inc. to finance the purchase of a home. To secure that loan, Plaintiff executed a Promissory Note and Deed of Trust.

In the following years, Plaintiff experienced repeated financial difficulties, including a bankruptcy in 2000. Plaintiff repeatedly fell behind on her mortgage payments, but was able to negotiate loan modifications in 2002 and 2004.

In June 2008, Plaintiff refinanced her loan with Sunset Mortgage; Co. Plaintiff executed a new Note and Deed of Trust for $171, 000. The Note obligated Plaintiff to make regular payments and permitted the lender to demand the full amount of the principal in the event of default. The Note was subsequently transferred by endorsement in blank to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.. The Deed of Trust permitted the lender to initiate a non-judicial foreclosure in the event of Plaintiff's default on the Note. The Deed of Trust identified Defendant Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) as the beneficiary "solely as nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns."

Plaintiff once again experienced difficulties in meeting her obligations under the second Note. She made her last mortgage payment in July 2009. In August 2009, Plaintiff applied for a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Plaintiff's HAMP application was denied. By March 2010, Plaintiff was $9, 884.02 in arrears.

In May 2010, MERS assigned the second Deed of Trust to Defendant Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo appointed Defendant Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. (NWTS) as successor trustee under the Deed of Trust. Both assignments were recorded in Clackamas County. NWTS sent Plaintiff a Notice of Default and Election to Sell on May 28, 2010. The property was sold to Defendant Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation at a trustee's sale on October 4, 2010.

In January 2011, Plaintiff brought this action in Clackamas County Circuit Court. Defendants removed to this court in March 2011. In March 2012, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. In July 2012, the case was stayed pending the Oregon Supreme Court's decision in Brandrup v. Recontrust Co., N.A , 353 Or. 668 (2013). In June 2013, the case was stayed again while the parties pursued loan modification. On August 13, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint, which was denied.

Discussion

Defendants move, for summary judgment. At oral. argument, Plaintiff acknowledged that there were no disputed issues of fact remaining in the case, but renewed her previous motion to amend the ...


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