United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
AFFINITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. Plaintiff,
MICHAEL P. SKARZYNSKI, Defendant.
J. HAZEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Affinity Federal Credit Union ("Affinity") brings
this action against Defendant Michael P. Skarzynksi, alleging
that Defendant breached the terms of a settlement agreement
by failing to make regular monthly payments to Plaintiff to
resolve his unpaid debt obligations. Now pending before the
Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 15:
ECF No. 20. Defendant has not filed an opposition to the
Motion, and no hearing is necessary. Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md.
2016). For the following reasons. Plaintiffs Motion for
Summary Judgment is granted.
and Defendant entered into a settlement agreement dated
November 20, 2015 (the "Settlement Agreement") to
resolve litigation surrounding outstanding debt obligations
incurred by Defendant and non-party Daniel J. Skarzynski
("D. Skarzynski"). See ECF No. 15-3 at 4.
the Settlement Agreement. Defendant acknowledged the
existence of debts totaling $186, 898.30 due to Plaintiff as
of October 5. 2015. Id. The debts stem from credit
extended by Plaintiff through five separate accounts: three
education loans totaling $69, 675.05 (the "Education
loans"): a credit card account ending in 8161 totaling
$15, 149.94 (the "8161 Loan"); and a credit card
account ending in 8162 totaling $102, 073.31 (the "8162
Loan") (collectively. the "M. Skarzynski
Obligation"). Id. D. Skarzynski guaranteed the
obligations of the Education loans. Id.
to the settlement agreement. Defendant agreed to make regular
monthly payments of $1, 000 each, commencing January 1. 2016.
and Plaintiff agreed that if the payments were timely made.
Plaintiff would accept the reduced sum of $163, 453.65 as
payment of the M. Skarzynski Obligation in full. Id.
at 5. In the event that Defendant defaulted on his payment
obligations, the Settlement Agreement provides that the
entire M. Skarzynski Obligation would be accelerated and
immediately due. together with interest from October 5. 2015
at an annual rate of 8% on the Education loans. 9.6% on the
8161 Loan, and 8.6% on the 8162 Loan. Id. at 7.
Plaintiff may also recoup attorneys' fees and costs up to
an amount equal to 10% of the M. Skarzynski Obligation.
July 1. 2016. Defendant has failed to make his monthly $1,
000 payment and. as required by the Settlement Agreement.
Plaintiff sent Defendant two notices informing him as such.
Sec Id. ¶ 7 (Declaration of Andrew Lynch Cole):
id at 11 (First Notice of Default dated July 12.
2016): id at 12 (Second Notice of Default dated
August 2. 2016). As of December 31. 2017, the total amount
owed by Defendant is SI 88.520.05.Plaintiff has also incurred
attorneys" fees and costs in the amount of $10, 077.02.
ECF No. 15-3 ¶ 15.
may move for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
"The court shall grant summary judgment if 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). The movant has the "initial responsibility of
informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying those portions of the pleadings . . . together
with the affidavits, if any. which it believes demonstrate
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact."
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 466 U.S. 317. 323 (1986)
(internal citation omitted). In considering the motion,
'"the judge's function is not... to weigh the
evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to
determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242. 249 (1986).
To withstand a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving
party must do more than present a mere scintilla of evidence.
Phillips v. CSX Transport, Inc., 190 F.3d 285. 287
(4th Cir. 1999). Rather, "the adverse party must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
record before the Court makes clear that as of July 1. 2016.
Defendant ceased to provide his monthly installment payments
to Plaintiff, is in default of the Settlement Agreement, and
is therefore in breach of contract. See Chubb & Son
v. C & C Complete Sens., LLC. 919 F.Supp.2d
666. 678 (D. Md. 2013) (explaining that under Maryland law.
the elements of a breach of contract action are a contractual
obligation and a material breach of that obligation). In
answering Plaintiffs initial Complaint on October 12. 2016.
Defendant stated that he has submitted monthly payments of
$1, 000 from January 2016 through October 2016 in accordance
with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. ECF No. 8. While
Defendant's answer provided the Court with sufficient
grounds to deny Plaintiffs December 7. 2016 Motion for
Default Judgment, see ECF No. 12. Plaintiffs
unsupported statements are insufficient to create a genuine
dispute of material fact as to whether he is in breach of
has failed to respond to both Plaintiffs Motion for Summary
Judgment tiled on October 5. 2017 and the Court's April
19. 2018 notice informing Defendant that his failure to file
a timely written response to the Motion may result in
judgment entered against him. ECF No. 21. Furthermore.
Defendant has never answered or otherwise responded to
Plaintiffs Request for Admissions, and Plaintiffs Requests
are deemed admitted as a matter of law. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 36(A)(3) ("A matter is admitted unless, within
30 days after being served, the party to whom the request is
directed serves on the requesting party a written answer or
objection addressed to the matter and signed by the party or
its attorney."); see also ECF No. 15-2 at 2
(Plaintiffs First Interrogatories. Requests for Admission,
and Requests for Production of Documents) ("Admit that
since July 1. 2016. you have made no payments pursuant to the
Settlement Agreement."). Thus, based on the record
before the Court. Defendant is in breach of his obligation to
Plaintiff and judgment will be entered in Plaintiffs favor.
foregoing reasons. Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment.
ECF No. 15. shall be granted. Plaintiff shall be awarded the
outstanding debt obligation of SI 88.520.05. prejudgment
interest accruing at the rates set forth in the Settlement
Agreement as of December 31. 2017. and attorneys' fees in
the amount of $10, 077.02. Additionally, post-judgment
interest shall accrue until the judgment is satisfied
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961. A separate Order follows.