United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Aiken United States District Judge
Tatyana Page and Robert Pinard allege that defendant
RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation violated federal
and state law when processing their application for loss
mitigation programs in connection with the foreclosure of
their residential home loan. In June 2017, this Court granted
defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 12) in
part, with respect to plaintiffs' federal law claims and
one theory of liability for plaintiffs' state law claims.
Now, defendant asserts that plaintiffs' remaining claims
should be dismissed because defendant's compliance with
federal law exempts defendant from the state laws at issue.
For the reasons stated below, defendant's Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings (doc. 35) is DENIED.
factual background of this case is well known to the parties
and will not be reproduced here.
2016, plaintiffs filed this action asserting that defendant
violated federal regulations promulgated under the Real
Estate Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C.
§§ 2601 et seq., and state regulations
promulgated under Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act
("UTPA"), ORS 646.605 et seq.
Plaintiffs' RESPA claims alleged that defendant (1)
failed to timely notify plaintiffs that it had received their
loss mitigation application and failed to state in writing
whether the application was complete or incomplete, in
violation of 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41(b)(2)(i), and (2)
failed to timely evaluate plaintiffs' complete loss
mitigation evaluation and provide a specific notice of
approval or denial, in violation of 12 C.F.R. §
1024.41(c) and (d). Compl. ¶ 14. Plaintiffs' UTPA
claims alleged that defendant engaged in unfair or deceptive
trade practices by (1) violating the RESPA regulations, in
violation of OAR 137-020-0805(5); (2) misrepresenting
material information regarding a loan modification, in
violation of OAR 137-020-0805(3); and (3) failing to deal
with plaintiffs in good faith, in violation of OAR
137-020-0800(2). Compl. ¶ 21.
2017, the Court granted defendant's motion for summary
judgment, in part. Opinion & Order (doc. 20). The Court
granted summary judgment in favor of defendant on the RESPA
claims, ruling that plaintiffs' evidence was insufficient
to establish that defendant committed the alleged RESPA
violations. Id. at 10, 13. Accordingly, the Court
also concluded that defendant was entitled to summary
judgment on plaintiffs' UTPA claim for defendant's
alleged RESPA violations. Id. at 15 n. 13. The Court
denied defendant's motion for summary judgment with
respect to plaintiffs' UTPA claims for material
misrepresentation and failing to deal in good faith.
Id. at 18.
may move for judgment on the pleadings after the pleadings
are closed but early enough not to delay trial. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(c). "Analysis under Rule 12(c) is substantially
identical to analysis under Rule 12(b)(6) because, under both
rules, a court must determine whether the facts alleged in
the complaint, taken as true, entitle the plaintiff to a
legal remedy." Pit River Tribe v. Bureau of Land
Mgmt., 793 F.3d 1147, 1155 (9th Cir. 2015) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, "[a] judgment on
the pleadings is properly granted when, taking all
allegations in the pleadings as true, the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Owens v.
Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 713 (9th
Cir. 2001) (quotation marks omitted). To survive a motion for
judgment on the pleadings, "the non-conclusory
'factual content' [of the complaint]," and
reasonable inferences from that content, "must be
plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to
relief." Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d
962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). "A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. "[O]nce a claim has
been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any
set of facts consistent with the allegations in the
complaint." Bell All. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 563 (2007).
evaluating a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the
allegations of the non-moving party are credited as true,
whereas those allegations of the moving party which have been
denied are deemed false for purposes of the motion. See
Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., 896
F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir, 1989) (citations omitted).
"Judgment on the pleadings is proper when the moving
party clearly establishes on the face of the pleadings that
no material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that it
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
argues that this Court's grant of summary judgment with
respect to plaintiffs' RESPA claim entitles it to
immunity from the UTPA claim under ORS 646.612(1), which
provides that the UTP A does not apply to "[c]onduct in
compliance with the orders or rules of, or a statute
administered by a federal, state or local government
agency." Defendant asserts that plaintiffs cannot rely
on defendant's conduct in processing plaintiffs'
applications to state a claim under the UTP A because the
Court found on summary judgment that defendant had complied
with all the RESPA regulations that plaintiffs had alleged
ORS 646.612(1), mere compliance with other laws will not
immunize a defendant from liability under the UTPA. Instead,
Oregon courts have interpreted the provision to exempt
"only conduct that is mandated by
other laws." Hinds v. Paul's Auto Werkstatt,
Inc., 107 Or.App. 63, 67 (1991) (emphasis in original).
Courts have, therefore, emphasized that the statute immunizes
a defendant from liability when the conduct mandated by other
laws is the conduct that allegedly violated the UTPA.
Ratheberger v. James Hemenway, Inc., 355 Or. 404,
410-11 (2003) (concluding that, although an Oregon law
required defendants to give plaintiffs a disclosure form,
plaintiffs' UTPA claim based on defendants'
"representation that [they] would fulfill certain
fiduciary duties identified on the statutory disclosure form
and [their] subsequent failure to do so" was not barred
by ORS 646.612(1) because "[n]o statute required
[defendants] to breach [their] fiduciary duty to plaintiffs
or act in any manner that was inconsistent with that
duty" (emphasis omitted)).
mentioned, plaintiffs' UTPA claim alleged that defendant
engaged in unfair trade practices in three ways: (1) by
violating RESPA's application processing and notice
requirements, (2) by misrepresenting material information
regarding loan modification, and (3) by failing to deal with
plaintiffs in good faith. At summary judgment, the Court
concluded that plaintiffs failed to establish that
defendant's conduct in processing the loan modification
application violated RESPA and granted partial summary
judgment on the first theory of liability supporting
plaintiffs' UTPA claim. Only the conduct underlying
plaintiffs' misrepresentation and good faith theories is
at issue at this stage.
Complaint (doc. 1), plaintiffs allege that defendant
misrepresented material information regarding their loan
modification application by "making statements and
sending written communications to plaintiffs that led them to
believe the January 14th trustee's sale would be canceled
or postponed" and that defendant failed to deal with
them in good faith by "secretly complet[ing] a trustee
sale foreclosure during the time ...