United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis, United States District Judge.
Memorandum Opinion addresses the pending motions to dismiss
filed by Defendants Byron L. Huffman, ECF No. 23; Bogman,
Inc., Erin M. Brady, Chastity Borwn, Laura T. Curry, Jonathan
Elfant, Laura L. Latta, McCabe, Weiberg & Conway, and
Laura H.G. O'Sullivan, Diana C. Theologou, ECF No. 25;
Qamer Ghumman, ECF No. 26; and Community Development
Administration and Jeanne Mullen, ECF No. 27. The issues are
fully briefed, and the Court now rules pursuant to Local Rule
105.6 because no hearing is necessary. For the reasons stated
below, the Defendants' motions are GRANTED.
factual background is based on the Amended Complaint and the
public record, which includes cases in the Circuit Court for
Prince George's County, Maryland, and this
case arises out of the foreclosure against property
previously owned by Plaintiff, Donna M. Ward
(“Ward”), located at 1918 St. Bernandine Way, in
Hutchinson Commons, a subdivision located in Capitol Heights,
Maryland (the “Property”). ECF No. 22 at ¶
26. Ward purchased the Property with the assistance of a Note
prepared by the Community Development Administration
(“CDA”), a government entity within the Maryland
Department of Housing and Community Development
(“DHCD”). ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 7, 26-28.
The Note executed in favor of CDA required repayment of a
principal sum of $68, 090, plus 5% annual interest, over a
30-year period (the “CDA Note”). The purchase of
the Property was also encumbered by liens filed by U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the
Housing Authority of Prince George's County. Ward alleges
that CDA “delegated its right to collect from Plaintiff
secured sums when due” to Defendant Bogman, Inc.
(“Bogman”). ECF No. 22 at ¶ ¶ 9 &
37. Bogman is a Maryland corporation with its principal place
of business in Silver Spring, Maryland. ECF No. 22 at ¶
9. Ward made her mortgage payments to Bogman.
April 2011, Ward lost her job and fell behind her mortgage
payments. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 40-41. On September 6,
2011, Bogman sent Ward a “notice of intent to
foreclose” (NOI). ECF No. 22 at ¶ 42. Ward
attempted to avoid foreclosure, and received from Bogman
information related to default assistance programs. ECF No.
22 at ¶¶ 45-46. Ward continued to make payments
when able, and Bogman repeatedly accepted Ward's
delinquent payments. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 47-49.
did not submit timely payments in December, January, and
February 2012, and on or about April 3, 2012, Ward received
another “notice of intent to foreclose” letter
from Bogman. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 49-50. Over the next
several months, Ward discussed with Bogman employees on
several occasions different loss mitigation strategies. ECF
No. 22 at ¶¶ 51-64. Bogman's employees gave
Ward conflicting advice about avoiding foreclosure, and Ward
was twice required to submit a loss mitigation application.
ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 51-64. While her loss mitigation
application was pending, Ward did not submit any monthly
payments, on the advice of a Bogman employee. ECF No. 22 at
¶¶ 55 & 61.
October 3, 2012, Ward received another notice of intent to
foreclose from Bogman. The letter stated that Ward owed $2,
826.84, but the actual sum owed, according to Ward, was $2,
077.00. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 62. Ward did not respond to this
notice, again on the advice of a Bogman employee. ECF No. 22
at ¶ 72.
few days after December 17, 2012, ” Ward learned that
her loss mitigation application was denied. ECF No. 22 at
¶ 66. Ward believes that Bogman had never intended to
grant her relief. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 67. The letter
informing Ward of the denial also demanded that Ward cure her
six-month mortgage arrears by making a lump sum payment of
$4, 249.40 within two weeks, or risk foreclosure and sale of
the Property. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 68. Then, on or about
February 28, 2013, Defendant Elefant, acting “as both a
substitute trustee and the attorney for the Substitute
Trustees” filed an Order to Docket in the Circuit Court
for Prince George's County (“Prince George's
County Circuit Court”), to procure a decree for the
sale of the Property. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 79.
about March 13, 2013, Ward was notified by mail that
“in February 2013, [DHCD] authorized [Bogman] to
commence a foreclosure action, which is now in
process.” ECF No. 22 at ¶ 75. Ward contends that
the foreclosure ensued because she did not respond to the
October 3, 2012 written notice of intent to foreclose. ECF
No. 22 at ¶ 76. On or about May 5, 2013, the Clerk of
the Prince George's County Circuit Court authorized the
Property sale. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 80. According to Ward,
the Prince George's County Circuit Court could not order
sale of the property because the Court lacked personal
jurisdiction over her and had wrongfully denied her the
opportunity to defend against “Bogman's falsely
declared default and CDA's unenforceable remedial right
to forfeit and convey [Ward's] legally protected
title.” ECF No. 22 at ¶ 80.
requested to engage in post-file foreclosure mediation which
took place on May 3, 2013. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 81-82.
At the mediation conference, Ward's father offered to pay
the delinquent sum, but Defendant Brady, who was acting as
CDA's attorney under Ward's account, declined to
provide the amount needed, instead stating that Brady could
not accept the check or approve a repayment plan. ECF No. 22
at ¶¶ 82-83. Ward claims that although Brady could
have accepted the check, Brady instead refused so CDA could
continue the foreclosure proceeding. ECF No. 22 at
¶¶ 83-84. As a result, Ward argues, the
administrative judge was forced to inform Prince George's
County Circuit Court that the mediation was unsuccessful. ECF
No. 22 at ¶¶ 86-87.
attempt to prevent the foreclosure action from proceeding,
Ward filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 88.
During the bankruptcy proceedings, Ward asserts that
Defendants interfered with her legal rights, and caused the
bankruptcy proceeding to be “more burdensome and
costly.” ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 89-90. During the
bankruptcy proceeding, Bogman continued to accept Ward's
monthly payments, but upon dismissal of the bankruptcy
action, Bogman began rejecting the monthly payments. ECF No.
22 at ¶ 91.
around July 5, 2015, Ward received a “Notification to
Party of Contemplated Dismissal, ” informing her that
Prince George's County Circuit Court had issued a show
cause order to the Substitute Trustees as to why the
foreclosure proceeding should not be dismissed for lack of
prosecution. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶ 93-94. On August 7
and October 16, 2015, the Substitute Trustees moved to defer
or suspend dismissal, which Ward opposed. ECF No. 22 at
¶¶ 95-96. Ward alleges that the Substitute Trustees
failed to show the Prince George's County Circuit Court
“cause for continuing the foreclosure action.”
ECF No. 22 at ¶ 98. As a result, Ward believed that the
foreclosure action had been dismissed in early December 2015,
and Ward took no further action. ECF No. 22 at ¶¶
98-99. In actuality, the foreclosure proceeded and the
Property was sold at auction on November 2, 2015 to HUMG, LLC
(“HUMG”). ECF No. 26-2, Brady v. Malloy,
CAE13-04955 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George's Cty. 2016); ECF
No. 26-3, HUMG LLC v. Malloy, 0501SP076182016 (Dist.
Ct. for Prince George's Cty. 2016); 26-4. HUMG's sole
member is Defendant Qamer Ghumman (“Ghumman”),
ECF No. 26, and Defendant Byron L. Huffman, Esq.
(“Huffman”) represented HUMG in the foreclosure
action. See Brady v. Malloy, CAE13-04955 (Cir. Ct.
for Prince George's Cty. 2016); HUMG LLC v.
Malloy, 0501SP076182016 (Dist. Ct. for Prince
George's Cty. 2016).
asserts that at an unspecified time prior to May 2, 2016, she
had received notice that the Property had been alienated,
“or that CDA had conveyed or assigned its equitable
right to a third party.” ECF No. 22 at ¶ 102.
Ghumman appeared at the Property on or about May 2, 2016,
asserting that he had acquired the Property in a foreclosure
sale. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 101. Then, on or about July 14,
2016, Prince George's Circuit Court ratified the property
sale to HUMG. ECF No. 22 at ¶ 104; see also Brady v.
Malloy, CAE13-04955 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George's
Cty. 2016). Ward moved to set aside the ratification of