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Quattlebaum v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 10, 2015

TERRY D. QUATTLEBAUM, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA N.A., COUNTRYWIDE H0ME LOANS, INC., and DELL FRANKLIN FINANCIAL, LLC, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

THEODORE D. CHUANG, District Judge.

This case is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Remand, ECF No. 7, Defendant Bank of America, N.A. and Defendant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 8, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel, ECF No. 18, and Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 20. Having reviewed the briefs, the Court finds no hearing necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Remand is DENIED, the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED, the Motion to Compel is DENIED, and the Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Terry D. Quattlebaum ("Quattlebaum") proceeds in this action pro se. The Court reads his filings to allege the following. On May 31, 2006, Quattlebaum acquired an undivided interest in 6970 Hanover Parkway, Apartment 101, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, when his wife Anna Quattlebaum, nee Obee. deeded that property to herself and him as tenants by the entirety. Compl. at 1. ECF No. 2. see Prince George's County Land Records, Book 25812 at 18. available at http://mdlandree.net.[1] At that time, the property was encumbered by a mortgage owned by Arlington Capital Mortgage Corporation in the amount of $165, 851.00. Prince George's County Land Records, Book 25812 at 21. On January 23, 2008, Quattlebaum refinanced the property with Dell Franklin Financial ("Dell"), taking out a mortgage in the amount of $188, 028.00. Compl. at 1; Prince George's County Land Records, Book 29446 at 170. On February 21, 2008, that mortgage was sold to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. ("Countrywide"). Compl. at 2. Quattlebaum notes that he himself "did not initiate" this sale of his mortgage to Countrywide. Id. At some point, the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General, presumably of Maryland, determined that Countrywide had engaged in "predatory lending and servicing schemes." Id. Quattlebaum does not identify any particular fraud or illegality on the part of Countrywide affecting his own mortgage. In July 2008, Bank of America acquired Countrywide. Campl. at 2; Mot. Dismiss at 1 n.l. On August 12, 2010, Dell dissolved as a corporate entity. See Notice Removal, Ex. 1, at 1, ECF No. 1-1.

According to Quattlebaum, at various points from 2009 to 2012, he made on-time mortgage payments, but Bank of America "erroneously reported" those payments as late and thus assessed late fees against him. Campl. at 3. On January 31, 2012, Quattlebaum filed for bankruptcy pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 701, el seq. See In Re: Quattlebaum, No. TJC-12-11569 (Bankr. Md. 2012). In the February 2012 Summary of Schedules, Quattlebaum's apartment was valued at $145, 500.00, his outstanding mortgage debt was reported as $185, 006.00, and Bank of America (abbreviated as "BAC") was identified as the holder of that mortgage. Id., Sum. of Sched. at 1 & 9, Bankruptcy Docket Entry ("BOE") No. 17. Quattlebaum's eligible debts were discharged on May 9, 2012, and his bankruptcy was finalized on May 15, 2012. See id., Order Discharging Debtor, HDE No. 23, and Final Decree, HDE No. 25. Quattlebaum's mortgage was not one of the debts discharged. Compl. at 3. Quattlebaum ultimately restructured his mortgage with Bank of America to lower his monthly payments. In Re: Quattlebaum. Letter to Court from Quattlebaum, BDE No. 26.

On August 7, 2012, the assignment to Bank of America of the deed of trust for 6970 Hanover Parkway, Apartment 101, was executed. Prince George's County Land Records, Book 33943 at 22. That executed assignment was then filed in the land records office on September 10, 2012. Id. ; CampI. at 2.

On May 22, 2014, Quattlebaum filed suit in the District Court of Maryland for Prince George's County against Bank of America, Countrywide, and Dell seeking to quiet title to 6970 Hanover Parkway, Apartment 101, and seeking damages of $4, 372.48 and a reduction of his outstanding mortgage balance to $94, 414.00 for defendants' alleged violation of the Truth In Lending Act ("TILA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq., the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq., Uniform Commercial Code ("U.C.C.") § 3-501, and unspecified aspects of "State Common Law." Compl. at 1, 4.

Bank of America and Countrywide removed the case to this Court on August 20, 2014 on the basis of both diversity jurisdiction and federal-question jurisdiction. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. On August 26, 2014, Quattlebaum filed a Motion to Remand the case to state court. ECF No. 7. On August 27, 2014, Bank of America and Countrywide filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. ECF No. 8. On September 3, 2014, Quattlebaum filed his Response in Opposition, ECF No. 10, which he amended on September 5, 2014 to correct various "clerical errors." Am. Resp. in Opp'n at 1, ECF No. 12. On September 22, 2014, Bank of America and Countrywide filed their Reply to Quattlebaum's Response. ECF No. 17.

On October 8, 2014, Quattlebaum filed a Motion to Compel in which he asks the Court to order Defendants "to produce to Plaintiff the Original Note." Mot. Compel at 1, ECF No. 18. On October 24, 2014, Bank of America and Countrywide filed their Response in Opposition to that Motion. ECF No. 19. On October 30, 2014, Quattlebaum filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 20. Bank of America and Countrywide filed their Response in Opposition on November 13, 2014, ECF No. 22, and Quattlebaum filed his Reply to that Response on November 19, 2014, ECF No. 23.

DISCUSSION

I. Claims Against Dell Franklin Financial

Dell dissolved as a corporation on August 12, 2010. The capacity of a corporation to sue or be sued is determined by the laws of the state where the corporation was organized. Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(b)(2). Dell was incorporated in Maryland, so its capacity to be sued now that it has dissolved is governed by Maryland law. See Notice Removal, Ex. 1 at 2. In Maryland, a dissolved corporation is a "legal non-entity, " and thus its "power to sue or be sued" is "extinguished." Dual Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 857 A.2d 1095, 1101 (Md. 2004). Dell is therefore not a proper party to this lawsuit, so it is dismissed as a defendant.

II. Quattlebaum's Motion to Remand

"[A]ny civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United, States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant... to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing where such action is pending." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (2012). Here, Bank of America and Countrywide assert that this Court has original jurisdiction on two bases: (1) federal-question jurisdiction, meaning that the case involves an issue of federal law, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441(c), and (2) diversity jurisdiction, meaning, as relevant here, that the parties in the case are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441(b). Quattlebaum moves to remand because the "claim (that] there is complete diversity among the parties is not accurate." Mot. Remand ¶ 7. Quattlebaum does not challenge Defendants' assertion of federal.question ...


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