Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Davis v. CitiMortgage, Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

July 28, 2016

WALTER DAVIS, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
CITIMORTGAGE, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This case presents state causes of action for claims of fraud, breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act, and defamation of credit, as well as statutory violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), 15 U.S.C. § 45, and the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (SCUTPA), SC Code Ann. § 39-5-20. The Court has jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332, and 1367. Pending before the Court is Defendant CitiMortgage, Inc.’s, motion for judgment on the pleadings. Having carefully considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, and the applicable law, it is the judgment of the Court that Defendant’s motion will be granted.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Sometime prior to October 22, 1999, Plaintiff Walter Davis, Sr., a former railroad employee on disability, claims to have obtained a mortgage on his South Carolina property from Defendant. ECF No. 13 at 1. Plaintiff states that on October 22, 1999, his wife forged a deed conveying an undivided one-half interest in his property to her and refinancing his mortgage without his consent. Id. at 2. Thereafter, Plaintiff fell behind on his monthly mortgage payments, and Defendant brought a foreclosure action on January 29, 2003. Id.; ECF No. 8-1 at 5. The foreclosure complaint contained the names of Plaintiff and his wife and information regarding his wife’s forged deed. ECF No. 8-1 at 2. With help, Plaintiff was able to redeem his property from foreclosure. ECF No. 13 at 1.

         Ten years later, in 2013, issues arose concerning Plaintiff’s property boundaries, leading Plaintiff to research his title and allegedly discover the 1999 deed containing his forged signature. Id. at 2. Plaintiff contacted Defendant the following year to determine the status of his loan but states that he failed to receive a response. Id. On October 24, 2014, Plaintiff’s by-then ex-wife conveyed her undivided one-half interest in the property back to Plaintiff. Id.

         Plaintiff filed this case on October 7, 2015, in the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas in South Carolina, alleging, as noted above, claims of fraud, breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act, and defamation of credit, as well as violations of the FTCA and the SCUTPA. ECF No. 1-1. On November 18, 2015, Defendant removed the case to this Court. ECF No. 1. Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on December 4, 2015. ECF No. 8. Plaintiff submitted his response in opposition on January 4, 2016, ECF No. 13, and on January 12, 2015, Defendant filed its reply, ECF No. 16. The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant issues, is now prepared to discuss the merits of the motion.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, set forth under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), can also be made via a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). Burbach Broad Co. of Del. v. Elkins Radio Corp., 278 F.3d 401, 405 (4th Cir. 2002). Stated differently, a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is subject to the same standard as a motion to dismiss made under Rule 12(b)(6). Independence News, Inc. v. City of Charlotte, 568 F.3d 148, 154 (4th Cir. 2009).

         “The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency of a complaint.” Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive the motion, a complaint must have “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007), and contain more than “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation, ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court assumes the factual allegations in the complaint are true and draws all reasonable factual inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Burbach, 278 F.3d at 406. Conclusory allegations pled in the complaint are undeserving of an assumption of truth and should be accepted only to the extent “they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.

         A defendant can raise a statute of limitations affirmative defense in a Rule 12(b)(6) motion as long as the complaint clearly alleges all of the facts sufficient to rule on the defense. Goodman v. Praxair, Inc., 494 F.3d 458, 464 (4th Cir. 2007).

         IV. CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES

         In its motion to dismiss, Defendant avers that Plaintiff’s two fraud claims and his breach of contract accompanied by a fraudulent act claim are time-barred by their three-year statutes of limitations, as well as being insufficiently pled with the particularity required by Rule 9 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendant further advances that Plaintiff’s defamation of credit claim is barred by its two-year statute of limitations, preempted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681, and barred by the doctrine of truth.

         Defendant also posits that Plaintiff’s claim of unfair debt collection practice under the FTCA fails as there is no private right of action under this act. Alternatively, Defendant avows that if the claim is construed as a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, it fails for three separate reasons: (1) the claim is time-barred by the one-year FDCPA statute of limitations, (2) Defendant is not a “debt collector” as defined in the FDCPA, and (3) the allegations are insufficient to give rise to a FDCPA claim.

         Finally, Defendant contends that Plaintiff’s SCUTPA claim is barred by the three-year statute of limitations provided in the SCUTPA and that this limitations period expired in 2006. Further, Defendant argues this claim is meritless as a matter of law, because Plaintiff failed to allege an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.