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Mosley v. Quicken Loans, Inc.

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

July 9, 2018

Tyrone Mosley, Plaintiff,
v.
Quicken Loans, Inc., Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         Plaintiff Tyrone Mosley filed the above-captioned action 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. (ECF No. 1-1 at 7 ¶ 5-8 ¶ 12.)

         This matter is before the court on Mosley's Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment pursuant to Rules 52(b) and 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 136.) Specifically, Mosley seeks to alter or amend the Order entered on March 9, 2018 (ECF No. 134) (the “March Order”), in which the court granted Quicken Loans' Motion for Summary Judgment and denied Mosley's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF Nos. 68, 71.) Quicken Loans opposes Mosley's Motion to Alter or Amend asserting that it should be denied. (ECF No. 137 at 2.) For the reasons set forth below, the court DENIES Mosley's 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 May 24, 2013, Mosley provided information to Quicken Loans for purposes of completing a loan application to refinance the mortgage on his primary residence located at 225 Bennett Street, Williston, South Carolina 29853.[1] (ECF Nos. 68-1 at 21:14-25, 68-3 at 2 & 68-5 at 3 ¶ 5.) As a result of the information provided by Mosley, Quicken Loans generated loan application documents that were mailed to Mosley for his review and signature. (ECF Nos. 68-1 at 29:15-18 & 68-5 at 3 ¶ 5.) 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 8 ¶ 11.) Based on the information provided by Mosley, the AIPC 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.

Tyrone Mosley

5-28-13

Borrower Tyrone Mosley

Date

Borrower

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

Not Applicable

Borrower

Date

Borrower

Date

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

Borrower

Date

Borrower

Date

(ECF No. 68-6 at 2.)

         On May 28, 2013, Mosley signed the loan application documents and the AIPC. (Id.; see also ECF No. 68-5 at 3 ¶ 6.) Mosley returned the signed loan application documents and the AIPC to Quicken Loans on May 29, 2013. (ECF No. 68-5 at 3 ¶ 6.) On August 26, 2013, Mosley 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. 68-5 at 3 ¶ 7.) Thereafter, Mosley was contacted by the law firm McDonnell & Associates, P.A. “to introduce the firm, discuss the closing, confirm the scheduled closing date and location, and inform him [Mosley] that he needed to have a witness present.” (ECF No. 68-8 at 3 ¶ 6.) On August 30, 2013, Mosley met with attorney Andrew Thompson of McDonnell & Associates and signed a disclosure form agreeing to the terms of McDonnell & Associates' representation at the loan closing. (ECF No. 68-8 at 3 ¶ 7, 6-8.) Afterwards, Mosley completed his loan closing. (ECF No. 68-1 at 25:1-26:3.)

         On November 11, 2015, Mosley filed a Complaint against Quicken Loans in the Court of Common Pleas for Barnwell County, South Carolina alleging violation of the SCAPS.[2] (ECF No. 1-1 at 8 ¶ 12.) After Quicken Loans removed the case to this court (ECF No. 1), the parties engaged in and completed discovery on March 1, 2017. (ECF No. 36.) Quicken Loans then moved for summary judgment on March 31, 2017. (ECF No. 68.) On that same day, Mosley filed his Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 71.) After the court entered the March Order, Mosley moved to alter or amend judgment on April 6, 2018. (ECF No. 136.)

         II. JURISDICTION

         The court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) based on Quicken Loans' allegations that there is complete diversity of citizenship between Mosley and Quicken Loans, and the amount in controversy herein exceeds the sum of Seventy-Five Thousand ($75, 000.00) Dollars, exclusive of interest and costs. (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Quicken Loans is a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan with its principal place of business in Detroit, Michigan. (ECF No. 1-3 at 3 ¶ 5.) Mosley is a citizen and resident of Barnwell County, South Carolina. (ECF No. 1-1 at 7 ¶ 1.) Moreover, the court is satisfied that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00 in accordance with Defendant's representation. (ECF No. 1 at 3-11.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD AND ANALYSIS

         In the March Order, the court made the following observations in granting Quicken ...


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