Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 23, 2013

Georgia Court Dismisses Wrongful Foreclosure Claim

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Bowman v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149660 (N.D. Ga. 2013) eventually granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Plaintiff’s complaint was wide-ranging and repetitive, the gravamen of the complaint was a wrongful foreclosure claim which was premised on plaintiff’s allegations that: (1) Castle Rock Trustee was not the “secured creditor,” (2) the actual “secured creditor” was not identified to plaintiff in any notice, (3) the Castle Rock Trustee did not send notice of the November 6, 2012, foreclosure sale to plaintiff, (4) the assignments were invalid, and (5) the discharge of the underlying debt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case precluded foreclosure.

The court eventually held that plaintiff had fraudulently joined the LLC did not defeat diversity; the value of the property was the appropriate benchmark for the amount in controversy and there was no dispute that tax records value the property at $188,900. The court also found that plaintiff’s Chapter 7 discharge did not bar defendants from initiating foreclosure proceedings against the property nor did the Chapter 7 discharge render “false” defendants description that plaintiff had failed to pay the mortgage debt.

The court also found that plaintiff’s complaint failed to state a claim for wrongful foreclosure due to errors in the Foreclosure Notice where the Notice was sent to the property address, which was authorized under the statute, and plaintiff had not alleged that he requested the Notice be sent to an alternate address.

After considering the merits of both claims, the court ultimately agreed with the defendant and granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and dismissed with prejudice.

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