United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiff Derwin Bell filed suit alleging mortgage fraud under the Maryland Mortgage Fraud Protection Act (“MMFPA”), Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. §§ 7-401, et seq. (2015), violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. (2012), and the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act (“MCDCA”), Md. Code Ann., Com. Law §§ 14-201, et seq. (2013), and slander of title by Defendants James E. Clarke, Renee Dyson, Shannon Menapeace, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), and Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC (“Ocwen”). Pending before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. The Motion is fully briefed and ripe for disposition. No hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.
The following facts are presented in the light most favorable to Bell, the nonmoving party:
I. Bell’s Mortgage Loan
On October 14, 2005, Bell received a $228, 000 mortgage loan from Intervale Mortgage Corporation (“Intervale”). Bell’s promissory note (the “Note”) was secured by a deed of trust (“the Deed”) on real property owned by Bell at 626 University Drive in Waldorf, Maryland (the “Property”). The Deed named Intervale as the lender and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the nominee for the lender and as the beneficiary. The Deed provided that the Note could be sold without prior notice to Bell.
At some point, through securitization, Bell’s mortgage loan was pooled with other mortgages into a mortgage-backed security. It was one of several mortgages transferred to a trust (the “Trust”) governed by a “Pooling and Servicing Agreement Relating to Impac Secured Assets Corp., Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-2” (the “PSA”). The PSA named Wells Fargo as Trustee. The PSA, governed by New York law, also set the terms by which mortgages were to be transferred to the Trust. According to Bell, the Trust closed on December 29, 2005, after which it could no longer accept new mortgages.
On October 11, 2012, MERS, as the nominee for Intervale, executed an assignment of the Deed to Wells Fargo as Trustee (the “Assignment”). Pangmee Yang signed the Assignment on behalf of MERS. The Assignment identified Yang as an Assistant Secretary for MERS. Bell claims that Yang is not employed by MERS.
On September 4, 2013, Ocwen, as Attorney-in-Fact for Wells Fargo in its role as Trustee, executed an Appointment of Substitute Trustees. The Appointment stated that the Trust was the holder of Bell’s Note. On February 19, 2014, the Substitute Trustees-Defendants Clarke, Dyson, and Menapeace-initiated a foreclosure action against Bell in the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland. As part of the foreclosure, the Substitute Trustees submitted documents to the court asserting that Bell’s mortgage loan was in default and that the Trust had the authority to foreclose on the Property. The Property was sold at a foreclosure sale, but the sale has yet to be ratified.
II. Procedural History
On April 30, 2015, Bell filed his Complaint in the Circuit Court for Charles County. He claimed that Defendants committed mortgage fraud under the MMFPA, violations of the FDCPA and MCDCA, and slander of title by representing that the Trust was the holder of the Note and had the authority to foreclose on the Property, and that Bell owed loan payments to Wells Fargo. Defendants made these representations in the Assignment, the Appointment of Substitute Trustees, the Notice of Default filed in the foreclosure action, and Ocwen’s reports to credit bureaus. Among other relief, Bell seeks statutory, compensatory, and punitive damages; a declaratory judgment stating that Bell owns the Property and is entitled to exclusive possession, that Defendants do not have an interest in the Property, and that foreclosure was wrongful; and an injunction nullifying the Assignment, the Appointment of Substitute Trustees, and the Notice of Default.
On June 3, 2015, Defendants removed the case to this Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. On June 10, 2015, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss. On July 20, 2015, Bell filed an Opposition to the Motion. On August 14, 2015, Defendants submitted a Reply to Bell’s Opposition.