United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to
transfer this action to the District of Colorado, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Plaintiffs have filed a response in
opposition to the motion and the issues are fully briefed.
the second lawsuit that plaintiffs Eugene and Sharon
Christenson have brought against CitMortgage, Inc., alleging
that it failed to adequately respond to a Qualified Written
Request (QWR),  as that term is defined by the Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. §§
2601-2617. The first lawsuit was filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Colorado, which entered
final judgment in favor of defendant on June 7, 2016.
April 20, 2009, plaintiffs executed a promissory note secured
by a deed of trust on their real property located in Grand
Junction, Colorado. The note and deed of trust are held by
defendant, which is a mortgage servicer. Christenson v.
Citimortgage, Inc., No. 12-CV-02600-CMA-KLM, 2013 WL
5291947, at *1 (D. Colo. Sept. 18, 2013). Plaintiff Eugene
Christenson was laid off in 2009 and, by May 2010, plaintiffs
were in default under the note and deed of trust. See
id. at *3.
and Bankruptcy Proceedings
8, 2010, defendant commenced a foreclosure proceeding. [Doc.
# 3 at 3]. On June 28, 2011, plaintiffs filed for Chapter 13
bankruptcy, thereby staying the foreclosure proceeding.
Christenson, 2013 WL 5291947, at *3. On November 4,
2011, the bankruptcy court confirmed a plan which required
plaintiffs to make monthly payments on the past due amounts.
In September 2014, defendant withdrew the foreclosure
proceeding. [Doc. # 3 at 3]. On September 9, 2014, the
bankruptcy court granted the trustee's motion to dismiss
the bankruptcy case because plaintiffs failed to make the
payments required under the plan. See In re
Christenson, No. 11-25398-SBB (D. Colo.) [Docs. ##42 and
2011 Letter and District of Colorado Lawsuit
March 31, 2011, plaintiffs sent defendant “a formal
written inquiry under 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e), ”
asking what actions it had taken regarding “loss
mitigation” and “special forbearance.”
See Letter [Doc. # 3-2 at 1]. Defendant failed to
respond. Christenson II, 2013 WL 5291947, at *3. On
October 1, 2012, plaintiffs filed suit in the District of
Colorado, alleging that defendant violated RESPA by failing
to respond to their March 2011 letter. Id. at *4. On
September 18, 2012, the district court dismissed this claim,
finding that the March 2011 letter was not a qualified
written request under RESPA because it did not relate to the
servicing of plaintiffs' loan. Id. at *6; see
also Christenson v. Citimortgage, Inc., No. 12-CV-
02600-CMA-KLM, 2014 WL 4637119, at *3 (D. Colo. Sept. 16,
2014) (denying motion to reconsider dismissal of RESPA
claim). Plaintiffs subsequently amended their complaint to
add claims that (1) defendant's failure to respond to the
March 2011 letter constituted a violation of Colorado Revised
Statute § 38-40-103, and (2) defendant engaged in unfair
and deceptive practices in violation of the Colorado Consumer
Protection Act. [See Doc. #4-6 (Third Amended
Complaint)]. On June 7, 2016, the Colorado court entered
summary judgment in favor of defendant on these claims.
Christenson v. CitiMortgage, Inc., No. 12-cv-2600
CMA-KLM [Doc. # 102].
October 30, 2014, plaintiffs sent defendant another letter to
“dispute your servicing of our mortgage. Please
consider this letter a ‘qualified written request'
under [RESPA], 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e).” Plaintiffs
then asked a series of questions directed to defendant's
loss mitigation activities, substantially similar to those
posed in their 2011 letter. See Letter [Doc. # 3-1]
(“We previously sent a request on March 31, 2011. Our
letter is largely a repetition . . .”]. On December 1,
2014, defendant sent a response, signed by Amanda Friedhoff,
Legal Support Specialist. Ms. Friedhoff advised plaintiffs
that, prior to initiating foreclosure, CMI “explored a
variety of loss mitigation options, ” citing eight
letters defendant sent to plaintiffs between November 23,
2009, and November 27, 2010. Ms. Friedhoff also stated that
the foreclosure had been withdrawn and that CMI was
“renewing our loss mitigation review.” Finally,
she asked the plaintiffs to complete and return the
“CitiMortgage Customer Hardship Assistance
Package” that was included with the
letter. Letter [Doc. # 3-3].
judgment was entered in the first lawsuit on June 7, 2016.
Plaintiffs filed this action on July 14, 2016. In Count I,
they assert a claim pursuant to RESPA, alleging that
defendant's response to the October 2014 letter was false
and evasive in violation of 12 U.S.C. § 2605. They seek
damages for severe emotional distress plus attorneys'
fees and costs. In Count II, they seek a declaratory judgment
that any claim defendant has against them for breach of the
note and acceleration of the debt was a compulsory