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Boone v. Quicken Loans Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division

July 2, 2018

Thelma Boone, Plaintiff,
v.
Quicken Loans, Inc., Defendant. Vance L. Boone, Plaintiff,
v.
Quicken Loans, Inc., Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         In these consolidated actions, Plaintiffs Thelma Boone and Vance L. Boone (together “Plaintiffs”) filed the above-captioned actions against Defendant Quicken Loans, Inc. alleging claims for violation of the South Carolina Attorney Preference Statute (“SCAPS”), SC Code § 37-10-102 (2017), in the context of a mortgage loan closing. T. Boone v. Quicken Loans, Inc., C/A No. 5:15-cv-04772-JMC, ECF No. 1-1 at 9 ¶¶ 8-13 (D.S.C. Nov. 30, 2015) (“Boone 1”); V. Boone v. Quicken Loans, Inc., C/A No. 5:15-cv-04843-JMC, ECF No. 1-1 at 10 ¶¶ 8-13 (D.S.C. Dec. 4, 2015) (“Boone 2”).

         This matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' Motions to Alter or Amend Judgment pursuant to Rules 52(b) and 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 156 (Boone 1); ECF No. 153 (Boone 2).) Specifically, Plaintiffs seek to alter or amend the Orders entered on February 9, 2018 (ECF No. 154 (Boone 1); ECF No. 151 (Boone 2)) (the “February Orders”), in which the court granted Quicken Loans' Motions for Summary Judgment and denied Plaintiffs' Motions for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 88, 91 (Boone 1); ECF Nos. 86, 89 (Boone 2).) Quicken Loans opposes Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend asserting that they should be denied. (ECF No. 157 at 2 (Boone 1); ECF No. 154 at 2 (Boone 2).) For the reasons set forth below, the court DENIES Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend.

         I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND TO PENDING MOTION

         Quicken Loans “is a nationwide online mortgage lender that provides, among other things, residential mortgage loan refinances.” Boone v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 803 S.E.2d 707, 709 (S.C. 2017). “Under the Quicken Loans refinance procedure, the borrowers have already purchased the property and are simply seeking a new mortgage loan (presumably with more favorable terms) to replace the existing loan.” Id.

         On or about September 13, 2012, Thelma Boone provided information by telephone to Quicken Loans' mortgage banker for purposes of completing a loan application to refinance the mortgage on Plaintiffs' residence located at 226 River Drive, Rowesville, South Carolina.[1] (ECF No. 88-5 at 3 ¶¶ 4-5 (Boone 1); ECF No. 86-5 at 3 ¶¶ 4-5 (Boone 2).) As a result of the information provided by Thelma Boone, Quicken Loans generated loan application documents that were sent to Plaintiffs to review and sign. (Id.) In addition to the loan application package, Quicken Loans included an Attorney/Insurance Preference Checklist (the “AIPC”). (Id.; see also ECF No. 1-1 at 13 (Boone 1); ECF No. 1-1 at 14 (Boone 2).) Based on the information provided by Thelma Boone, Quicken Loans sent Plaintiffs an AIPC that was prepopulated with the following relevant information (in bold):

         1. I (We) have been informed by the lender that I (we) have a right to select legal counsel to represent me(us) in all matters of this transaction relating to the closing of this loan.

(a) I select I/We will not use the services of legal counsel.
_____________Borrower Vance L. Boone Date
_____________Borrower Thelma Boone Date
_____________Borrower Date
_____________Borrower Date
(b) Having been informed of this right, and having no preference, I asked for assistance from the lender and was referred to a list of acceptable attorneys. From that list I select
Not Applicable__________Borrower Date
Not Applicable__________Borrower Date
Not Applicable__________Borrower Date
Not Applicable__________Borrower Date

(ECF No. 1-1 at 13 (Boone 1); ECF No. 1-1 at 14 (Boone 2).)

         On September 17 and 18, 2012, Plaintiffs signed the loan application documents and the AIPC. (ECF No. 88-5 at 3 ¶ 6 (Boone 1); ECF No. 86-5 at 3 ¶ 6 (Boone 2).) Plaintiffs then sent the signed loan application documents to Quicken Loans by telefax on September 17, 2012, and the AIPC to Quicken Loans on September 19, 2012. (ECF Nos. 1-1 at 13 & 88-7 (Boone 1); ECF Nos. 1-1 at 14 & 86-7 (Boone 1).) On October 19, 2012, Thelma Boone had a telephone conversation with a Quicken Loans' representative to discuss the details of the loan closing, including who would be in attendance. (ECF No. 88-5 at 3-4 ¶ 7 (Boone 1); ECF No. 86-5 at 3- 4 ¶ 7 (Boone 1).) On October 25, 2012, Plaintiffs met with attorney Justin Tapp of McDonnell & Associates, P.A. and signed a disclosure form agreeing to the terms of McDonnell & Associates' representation at the loan closing. ...


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