United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
ELSIE S. SHARP, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendants.
GEORGE J. HAZEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Elsie Shanta Sharp brings this action against Defendants Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. Inc. ("MERS”). alleging fraud. breach or contract, and violations or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). All or Plaintiff s allegations arise from a foreclosure action on Plaintiffs former property. See. ECF No. 1. This Memorandum Opinion addresses .: Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF NO.8) and Plaintiffs Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 15). A hearing is unnecessary. Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons stated below. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED and Plaintiffs Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is DENIED.
Elsie Shanta Sharp. also Known as Elsie S. Stevenson, ECF No. 1-2. challenges the foreclosure or the property located at 14110 Kydan Court. Brandywine. MD 20613 ("Property") by Fannie Mae and MERS. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 1-8. Sharp signed a promissory note ("Note") and Deed of Trust ("DOT") for the Property in the amount of $384, 200.00. ECF No. 1 ¶ 29; BCF No. 8-2. First Chesapeake Home Mortgage. LLC was the original lender of the Note and trustee of the DOT. ECF No. 1 ¶ 31. The DOT identifies MERS as the "nominee" for the lender as beneficiary of the DOT. ECF No. 8-2 at 1. Fannie Mae is the owner of the Note and Nationstar Mortgage. LLC is the servicer for Fannie Mae. ECF No. 8-3 at 42: ECF No. 1
On January 11. 2013. a Substitution of Trustee was recorded in the Official Records for Prince George's County as instrument number 34279.560. with Nationstar Mortgage. LLC assigning all beneficial interest within the DOT to Howard N. Bierman. Jacob Geesing. and Carrie M. Ward. ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 113. Bierman, Ward, and Geesing filed a notice of foreclosure action with the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. Maryland ("Circuit Court"). ECF No. 8-3. On January 27. 2016. the Circuit Court denied six motions by Sharp that challenged the foreclosure action, finding that Sharp "failed to state a valid defense or present a meritorious argument." ECF No. 15. Ex. 2. On February 1. 2016. the Circuit Court sent an eviction notice to Sharp notifying her that the court entered a judgment awarding possession of the property to Fannie Mae. ECF No. 15. Ex. 1.
II. DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
A. Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(6) permits a defendant to present a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon when relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter. accepted as true, 'to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its lace.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678.129 S.Ct.1937 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id
When assessing a motion to dismiss, courts refer to the pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2) to determine if the complaint adequately states a claim for relief. See Bell, III. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544. 554-55. 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Rule 8(a)(2) requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A well-pleaded complaint may proceed even if the "actual proof of those facts is improbable and recovery is very remote and unlikely." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556 (internal quotation marks omitted). For a motion to dismiss, judges are required to assess "the sufficiency of the complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Presley v. City of Charlottesville. 464 F.3d 480. 483 (4th Cir. 2006).
However. "Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a "showing, " rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief.** Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3. That showing must consist of more than "labels and conclusions.*" "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." or "naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement." Iqbal. 556 FFS. at 678. "In evaluating the complaint, unsupported legal allegations need not be accepted." Reverie v. Charles Cty. Comm 'rs. 882 F.2d 870. 873 (4th Cir. 1989). Similarly. "[l]egal conclusions couched as factual allegations are insufficient as are conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events." Conn. Gen. Life Ins. Co. v. Advanced Surgery Ctr. of Bethesda. LLC. No. DKC 14-2376. 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91689. at * 13-14 (D. Md. July 15. 2015) (internal citations omitted). If the "well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, " the complaint has not shown "that the pleader is entitled to relief." Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 679. "While federal courts must liberally construe a pro se litigant's claims, this requirement "does not transform the court into an advocate.'" Bullock v. Oewen Loan Servicing. LLC. No. P.IM 14-3836. 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110622. at *7 (D. Md. Aug. 20. 2015) (quoting United Slates v. Wilson. 699 F.3d 789. 797 (4th Cir. 2012)).
B. Plaintiffs Complaint fails to state a claim
Plaintiffs primary argument is that the substitution of trustee is improper because her home loan was securitized by "originating lender banks to investment banks." ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 18-19. However, this Court has repeatedly rejected the notion that the securitization of a loan renders a note or deed of trust unenforceable. See Lawson v. MERS, Inc.. No. 8:13-cv-02149-AW, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117548. at *7 (D. Md. Aug. 20. 2013) ("Judges in this District, including this Court, have repeatedly rejected the notion that, as a general matter, the securization of notes renders them unenforceable."): Reed v. PNC Mortg., No. AW-13-I536. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93343. at *7 (D. Md. July 2. 2013) ("Even assuming that his loan was securitized. Plaintiff has presented no basis for the Court to declare the deed of trust invalid or unenforceable."): Parker v. Deutsche Bank Nat 7 Trust Co.. No. WMN-12-3358. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48029, at *7 (D. Md. Apr. 3. 2013) ("This Court has previously noted that courts, addressing challenges to MERS similar to those raised here, have consistently found that "the system of recordation is proper and assignments made through that system are valid.'").
Furthermore, Plaintiffs Complaint is replete with allegations but does not include an)' facts to allow the Court to find that there are facts to support a finding that Defendants caused a harm nor that Plaintiff is entitled to relief. Specifically. Plaintiff seeks to have the Court determine "the validity of the DOT as to any unrecorded assignees over a period of years." ECF No. 1 ¶ 42, and find that the substitution of trustee is void and unenforceable under the DOT. ECF No. 1 at 19-20. Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants "intentionally concealed the negative implications of the loan they were offering, and as a result. Plaintiff faces the potential of losing her home to the very entity and entities who placed her in this position." F.CF No. 1 ¶¶ 27-28. Additionally, Plaintiff argues that the foreclosure is improper because "the debt or obligation evidenced by the Note executed by Plaintiff in favor of the Originator, was not properly transferred and endorsed to any of the named Defendants." ECF No. 1 ¶ 38. "While pro se complaints may 'represent the work of an untutored hand requiring special judicial solicitude.' a district court is not required to ...