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Owens v. Ameriquest Mortgage

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

March 11, 2019

WILLIAM ANDRE OWENS, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on defendants' Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”) and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company's (“Deutsche”) motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim.[1] The matter is fully briefed, and ready for decision. For the following reasons, the Court grants defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claim and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims.

         Legal Standard

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint so as to eliminate claims “which are fatally flawed in their legal premises . . . thereby sparing litigants the burden of unnecessary pretrial and trial activity.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir.2001) (citing Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989)). To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint need not contain “detailed factual allegations, ” but it must contain facts with enough specificity “to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). As the United States Supreme Court reiterated in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009), “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, ” will not pass muster under Twombly.

         Upon considering a motion to dismiss, a federal court must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Davenport v. Farmers Ins. Grp., 378 F.3d 839, 842 (2004). Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         Background

         Plaintiff, William Andre Owens, has filed the present action against defendants Ameriquest Mortgage, Ocwen, Deutsche, alleging seven causes of action: (1) violations of the FDCPA; (2) negligence; (3) fraud in the concealment; (4) fraud in the inducement; (5) slander of title; (6) declaratory relief; and (7) rescission.

         Plaintiff states the Court has federal question jurisdiction based on his FDCPA claim. Plaintiff also states the Court has diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332; however, he has not alleged the citizenship of any parties and the Court cannot find that it has diversity jurisdiction. See Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 96 (2010) (“The burden of persuasion for establishing diversity jurisdiction, of course, remains on the party asserting it.”).

         Plaintiff alleges that on February 8, 2017, he received a “Notice of Acceleration and Foreclosure, ” which demanded payment of $133, 200.00. Plaintiff does not attach this document, and he does not indicate which defendant sent the document. He states, “Defendant claimed to be an agent of the bona fide holder of a certain promise to pay a debt securitized by a certain deed of trust filed with the county registrar of deeds.” Plaintiff has not identified the loan, the property at issue, or any information on the alleged foreclosure.

         Plaintiff's “statement of claim” is difficult to discern, but seems to challenge defendants' legal right to enforce the Notice of Acceleration and Foreclosure. Although plaintiff does not state what individual or entity he believes could assert such right, he claims defendants cannot. Plaintiff then cites to Texas, Georgia, and Iowa case law on the issues of agency and authority.

         As to his stated causes of action, only plaintiff's FDCPA claim asserts a federal question. In it, plaintiff alleges as follows:

Defendant did violate the [FDCPA], 15 U.S.C. 1692e and 1692f by providing false and misleading information by mailing a dunning letter dated 8-Feb-17 by U.S.P.S. to the Plaintiff which asked for a lump sum of money. Defendant failed to prove up the existence of a debt to which Plaintiff was liable. Defendant failed to provide evidence to show that Defendant was a bona fide holder of a debt instrument to which Plaintiff was liable. Defendant failed to show agency for a bona fide holder of a debt instrument to which Plaintiff was liable. Defendant further failed to show that said bona holder was also a bona fide holder of a document establishing a lien against real property owned by Plaintiff. Defendant failed to itemize the various charges that comprised the total amount of the alleged debt . . . Defendant used false, deceptive and misleading representations in connection with collection of any debt . . . . by demanding payment of a debt Plaintiff did not owe and by making direct, indirect, and valid threats of dire consequences to Plaintiff if Plaintiff failed to pay the alleged debt, Defendant acted in clear violation of [the FDCPA].

         Defendants Ocwen and Deutsche move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Defendants state plaintiff has alleged no substantive allegations ...


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