United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
CRYSTAL A. COMBS, Plaintiff,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., Defendants.
J. HAZEL United States District Judge
case, unrepresented Plaintiff Crystal A. Combs alleges that
Defendant Bank of America, N.A. ("BANA") violated
the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"), 15 U.S.C. §
1601 et seq., in connection with her mortgage on the
real property located at 2603 Vicarage Court, Bowie, Maryland
20721. This Memorandum Opinion and accompanying Order address
BANA's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 42, and
Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery, ECF No. 40.
Additionally, in her "Reply to Bank of America's
Motion for Summary Judgment, " ECF No. 44, Plaintiff
appears to ask the Court to reconsider its previous order
dismissing her Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
("FDCPA") claim and that request will be addressed
herein as well. A hearing on the motions is unnecessary.
See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md.). For the reasons that
follow, BANA's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.
Furthermore, Plaintiffs Motion to Reconsider is granted,
though Plaintiffs underlying claim is still denied, and
Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Discovery is denied.
previously addressed in some depth the relevant facts when
the Court considered Defendant's earlier Motion to
Dismiss, the Court will not repeat that discussion here.
See Combs v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. GJH-14-3372,
2015 WL 5008754 (D. Md. Aug. 20, 2015) ("Combs
F). Rather, the Court will only summarize those facts
necessary to resolve the present motion.
December 18, 2008, Plaintiff and her then-husband, Walter L.
Cook, Jr., executed a promissory note (the "Note")
with EquiFirst Corporation in the amount of $549, 152 to
purchase a residential property located at 2603 Vicarage
Court, Bowie, Maryland 20721 (the "Property").
See ECF No. 1-2. The Note was secured by a Purchase
Money Deed of Trust ("Deed of Trust") against the
Property. See id.
alleges that, in or about August 2010, BAC Home Loans
Servicing, LP entered into a loan modification agreement with
her then-husband even though she did not sign the
modification agreement. See ECF No. 1 at 8;
see also ECF No. 1-4 at 7. On December 15, 2011, an
assignment of the Deed of Trust was recorded, assigning BAN A
all beneficial interests under the Deed of Trust attached to
the Property originally held by EquiFirst. See ECF
No. 1-18 at 25. On October 26, 2012, Plaintiff sent a letter
to Bank of America Home Loans requesting a mortgage
modification. See ECF No. 1-29.
1, 2014, Plaintiff sent another letter to BAN A, requesting,
among other things, "the name, address and telephone
number of the owner of the obligation or the master servicer
of the obligation." See ECF No. 1-27. On June
16, 2014, BAN A responded to Plaintiffs request, identifying
BANA as the owner of her loan as of that date. ECF No. 42-3
filed the current lawsuit on October 28, 2014, disputing,
among other things, the adequacy of BANA's response to
her May 1, 2014 correspondence. ECF No. 1 at 19. On August
20, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting in part and
denying in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and leaving
Plaintiffs claim, alleging a violation of Section 1641(f)(2)
of TILA, against BANA as the only surviving
claim. See Combs I, 2015 WL 5008754.
discovery, Plaintiff produced a letter from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD")
that she had received in response to a Freedom of Information
Act ("FOIA") request. ECF No. 40-1 at 2. The HUD
FOIA letter stated that her loan "assembled into Ginnie
Mae Pool Number 709132 in January 2010 and was subsequently
included in the REMIC Trust 2009-011." Id.
After receiving this information, Defendant BANA said it
would conduct a further review of its own records. ECF No. 41
at 7. Upon said review, BANA submitted evidence that Ginnie
Mae was the investor of Plaintiff s loan from March 18, 2009
through March 1, 2010, and that BANA became the investor of
the loan again on March 1, 2010. ECF No. 42-3 at 6; see
also ECF No. 42-3 at 107. BANA's loan servicing
records also showed that BANA was the owner of the loan on
June 16, 2014. Id.
discovery, Plaintiff filed the presently pending Motion to
Compel Discovery, ECF No. 40, and Defendant filed their
opposition, ECF No. 41. Subsequently on February 16, 2016,
Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to the
remaining count. ECF No. 42. Plaintiff filed her
"Reply" in Opposition on March 4, 2016. ECF No. 44.
Included in her response was what the Court will construe as
a Motion to Reconsider the Dismissal of Plaintiffs Fair Debt
Collections Practices Act ("FDCPA") claim.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is appropriate if "materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations ...,
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials, "
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), show that there is "no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986). The party moving for summary judgment bears the
burden of demonstrating that no genuine dispute exists as to
material facts. Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props.,
810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). If the moving party
demonstrates that there is no evidence to support the
non-moving party's case, the burden shifts to the
non-moving party to identify specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477
U.S. at 322-23. A material fact is one that "might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law."
Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179, 183
(4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)).
dispute of material fact is only "genuine" if
sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party exists for
the trier of fact to return a verdict for that party.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. However, the nonmoving
party "cannot create a genuine issue of material fact
through mere speculation or the building of one inference
upon another." Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213,
214 (4th Cir. 1986). The Court may only rely on facts
supported in the record, not simply assertions in the
pleadings, in order to fulfill its "affirmative
obligation ... to prevent 'factually unsupported claims
or defenses' from proceeding to trial." Felty v.
Grave-Humphreys Co., 818 F.2d 1126, 1128 (4th Cir. 1987)
(quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324-25). When ruling
on a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he evidence of the
non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences
are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson, 477
U.S. at 255.