United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Aiken United States District Judge
Northwest Priority Credit Union ("NWPCU"), Brad
Abrams, and Sarah Muffenbier, move to dismiss plaintiffs
Regina Cederberg and Beau Cederberg's first amended
complaint ("FAC"). (doc. 11). For tbe reasons
discussed below, defendants' Motion is GRANTED IN PART,
and DENIED IN PART.
facts are drawn from plaintiffs' FAC; they are accepted
as true and construed in the light most favorable to
plaintiffs for purposes of this motion. Skilstaf, Inc. v.
CVS Caremark Corp., 669 F.3d 1005, 1014 (9th Cir, 2012).
Plaintiffs are a married couple who were pregnant in August
2015, when Ms. Cederberg first contacted defendant seeking a
loan to purchase a home in Warrenton, Oregon. Ms. Cederberg
discussed the loan process with NWPCU loan officer Brad
Abrams. She informed him that she was pregnant and would soon
be on maternity leave. Ms. Cederberg alleges that Abrams told
her that if she took maternity leave her income from her
employment would not be considered as a part of her loan
application until she had been back at work for 30
Ms. Cederberg's next contacted Abrams, she alleges that
she informed "him that refusing to allow her to apply
for [a] loan because she was on maternity leave was a
violation of the law." FAC. at ¶ 14. Abrams then
sent Ms. Cederberg a loan application and a list of documents
that would be required by a lender.
this interaction, defendant Sarah Muffenbier took over Ms.
Cederberg's case and ultimately processed her
application. NWPCU submitted Ms. Cederberg's application
for approval, but the application was allegedly denied based
on Ms. Cederberg's insufficient credit scores. Muffenbier
informed plaintiff that she needed a score of 620 to qualify
for the loan. Plaintiff alleges that the report upon which
Muffenbier relied was not directly from any credit reporting
bureau. Rather, NWPCU obtained a credit report from a service
that pulls reports from all three credit reporting agencies
("CRAs") and compiles them into one report. Def.
Mot. Dismiss at 3. Muffenbier relayed that Ms.
Cederberg's score from all three CRAs was below the 620
score required for loan for which Ms. Cederberg was applying.
Cederberg alleges that she disputed that her credit score was
too low and provided credit reports to Muffenbeir that were
directly from the two of the credit reporting bureaus. These
reports purportedly showed that Ms. Cederberg had a credit
score over 620. Muffenbier informed Ms. Cederberg that she
had to use the scores provided by her broker when reviewing
Ms. Cederberg's loan application. Ms. Cederberg's
application was ultimately denied on or about October 2,
2015. Plaintiffs were ultimately pre-approved for a home loan
from another lender following the final denial by defendant.
September 29, 2017, plaintiffs filed a complaint before this
Court alleging: (1) violations of the Fair Housing Act, Title
VIII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3061, 3067
("FHA"); (2) violations of Oregon's Unlawful
Discrimination in Real Property Transactions Act, O.R.S.
659A.42l ("UDRPTA"); and (3) negligence. On
December 8, 2017, with leave from the Court, plaintiffs filed
their FAC, clarifying their discrimination claims and
removing their negligence claim. On December 22, 2017, NWPCU
filed the present motion to dismiss, with prejudice, pursuant
Fed R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain sufficient factual
allegations, which, if assumed to be true, "state a
claim for relief that is plausible on its face."
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). A claim is plausible on its face if the factual
allegations in the complaint allow a court to reasonably
infer the defendant's liability based on the alleged
conduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). "The court must accept as true the allegations
in the complaint and construe them in favor of the
plaintiff." Din v. Kerry, 718 F.3d 856, 859
(9th Cir. 2013). The factual allegations in the complaint
must present more than "the mere possibility of
misconduct, " Id. at 679, and more than a
"formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
argue that the FAC is conclusory and lacks factual support
and that plaintiffs are unable to establish the requisite
elements of their claims. Additionally, defendants assert
that Beau Cederberg's claim should be dismissed on the
grounds that he is not a member of a protected class and that
he had no interaction with defendants, I address each
argument in turn.
§ 3605 FHA Claim
the FHA, it is "unlawful for any person or other entity
whose business includes engaging in residential real
estate-related transactions to discriminate against any
person in making available such a transaction, or in the
terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race,
color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national
origin." 42 U.S.C. § 3605. Thus, to state a claim
under the FHA, "the plaintiffs must plead that (1) they
were a member of a protected class; (2) they attempted to
engage in a 'real estate-related transaction5 with [the
defendants], and met all relevant qualifications for doing
so; (3) [the defendants] refused to transact business with
the plaintiffs despite their qualifications; and (4) the
defendants continued to engage in that type of transaction
with other parties with ...