Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

November 27, 2013

Court Decides That Alleged Defects in Assignments Did not Give Rise to Claims Under the Washington Consumer Protection Act

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Babrauskas v. Paramount Equity Mortg., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152561 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 23, 2013) dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint.

Plaintiff alleged that Paramount’s loan origination practices, MERS’ involvement in the original deed of trust, and the subsequent defects in assignments gave rise to claims under the Washington Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) and/or the Washington Deed of Trust Act (“DTA”).

Plaintiff also asserted claims of fraud, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and quiet title. Defendants sought dismissal of all of plaintiff’s claims under Rule 12(b)(6).

The court found that the plaintiff’s insistence that MERS’ involvement somehow strips subsequent holders of beneficiary status was simply incorrect. With regards to the representation regarding MERS’ status as beneficiary, the court found that the plaintiff had not alleged that he relied on that representation or that he suffered damages caused by MERS’ misrepresentation.

The court found that the plaintiff had not, therefore, asserted a viable cause of action under the CPA regarding the representation that MERS was the beneficiary. Further, the plaintiff’s claims under the DTA therefore failed as a matter of law. Plaintiff also had failed to allege facts that gave rise to a plausible claim that defendants could be liable for a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Having failed to allege facts raising a plausible inference that plaintiff had satisfied the loan obligation or was otherwise entitled to free and clear title to the property, plaintiff’s quiet title claim was deemed defective.

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