Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

February 7, 2014

Missouri Court Dismisses Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Home Ownership Equity Protection Act Violation Claims Brought Against Nationstar Mortgage, LLC and MERS

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding White v. CTX Mortg., LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146589 (W.D. Mo. 2013) ultimately granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The plaintiff’s complaint asserted that the chain of title had been broken. Consequently, “title was not clear enough” for CTX to foreclose on the property.

Plaintiffs raised eight claims: (1) “Predatory Lending”; (2) “Servicer Fraud”; (3) violations of the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act (“HOEPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1639, et seq.; (4) violations  [5] of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq.; (5) “Breach of Fiduciary Duty”; (6) “Identity Theft”; (7) Civil Rico; and (8) quiet title to real property.

For relief, plaintiffs requested economic damages; a declaratory judgment identifying the “owner” of the note and clarifying whether the deed was actually security for the loan; and injunctive relief conveying the property to plaintiffs or a judgment quieting title to plaintiffs’ property.

At the outset, the court made several general observations about the complaint. In each count, plaintiffs had substituted legal conclusions for facts. Subsequently, Nationstar and MERS argued that the court should dismiss all eight counts because they (1) failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or (2) were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Ultimately, the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed.


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