United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis, United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendants Diane S. Rosenberg and
Rosenberg & Associates, LLC's motion to dismiss the
Complaint filed by Plaintiff Edna Marie Larson
(“Larson”). ECF No. 12. Also pending is Defendant
Nationstar Mortgage LLC, d/b/a Champion Mortgage Company of
Texas' (“Nationstar”) motion to dismiss
Larson's Amended Complaint. ECF No. 27. Larson has
opposed both motions to dismiss. ECF Nos. 18 and 29. Also
pending are Larson's motions for leave to file an Amended
Complaint (to which Nationstar has filed its motion to
dismiss), ECF No. 24, and for leave to file a surreply. ECF
No. 33. 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, Larson's motion to file an
Amended Complaint is GRANTED, the motion to file a surreply
is DENIED and Defendants' motions to dismiss are GRANTED.
case arises out of a reverse mortgage obtained by Larson on
July 6, 2009, for the property at 3973 Wendy Lane, Silver
Spring, Maryland (“the Property”). ECF No. 27-2.
On May 6, 2015, the loan was assigned to Nationstar, ECF No.
27-3, the current holder of the reverse mortgage. ECF No.
2-21. On March 31, 2016, Diane S. Rosenberg and Rosenberg
& Associates (collectively, “Rosenberg”), as
substitute trustees, filed a foreclosure action against the
Property in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. ECF No.
2-2. On May 23, 3016, Rosenberg dismissed the foreclosure
case. Id. The Property was not sold, and Larson
continues to live there.
January 19, 2018, Larson filed suit in the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County, asserting a variety of statutory and
common law claims stemming from the prior foreclosure
proceedings and requesting millions of dollars in damages.
ECF No. 2. Nationstar removed the case to this Court, ECF No.
1, to which Rosenberg consented. ECF No. 10. Thereafter,
Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. ECF Nos. 12, 14.
Larson responded and also moved for leave to file an Amended
Complaint. ECF No. 24. Nationstar then moved to dismiss the
pending Amended Complaint, which Larson opposed. ECF Nos. 27
& 29. Larson also moved for leave to file a surreply. ECF
the somewhat tangled procedural history, the substance of the
initial and Amended Complaints is the same, save for
Plaintiff's withdrawal of Count II, “Wrongful
Future Foreclosure.” See ECF 24-6
(manually redlined version of Amended Complaint). The Court
will therefore grant Larson's motion to amend and treat
the motions to dismiss as challenging the sufficiency of the
Standard of Review
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a
plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations are accepted as true
and the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). “However, conclusory statements or a
‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not [suffice].'” EEOC v.
Performance Food Grp., Inc., 16 F.Supp.3d 584, 588 (D.
Md. 2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above a speculative level.” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555. “‘[N]aked assertions' of
wrongdoing necessitate some ‘factual enhancement'
within the complaint to cross ‘the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to
relief.'” Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d
186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 557). “A court considering a motion to dismiss can
choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they
are not more than conclusions, are not entitled to the
assumption of truth.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 665 (2009).
argues that Larson's seventy-eight page Amended Complaint
should be dismissed under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
8(a) and 12(b)(6) because it is “so lengthy, confusing,
and rambling that it is . . . impossible to answer.”
ECF 27-1 at 5. Larson proceeds pro se which requires
this Court to construe her Amended Complaint liberally,
“however inartfully pleaded” and hold her to a
less stringent standard than that which applies to attorneys.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, at 106 (1976)). The
Court declines to dismiss a pro se complaint simply
because it is long and, at times, confusing. Nevertheless,
the Court cannot ignore a clear failure to allege facts
setting forth a cognizable claim. See Weller v. Dep't
of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990)
(“The ‘special judicial solicitude' with
which a district court should view such pro se
complaints does not transform the court into an advocate.
Only those questions which are squarely presented to a court
may properly be addressed.”) (internal citation
omitted)). See also Bell v. Bank of Am., N.A., No.
RDB-13-0478, 2013 WL 6528966, at *1 (D. Md. Dec. 11, 2013)
(“Although a pro se plaintiff is general[ly]
given more leeway than a party represented by counsel . . . a
district court is not obligated to ferret through a
[c]omplaint that is so confused, ambiguous, vague or
otherwise unintelligible that its true substance, if any, is
well disguised.”). With these principles in mind, the
Court reviews Larson's claims.
Wrongful Foreclosure (Counts I and V)
alleges that Rosenberg and Nationstar took steps to foreclose
wrongfully on the Property, that she was not properly served
with notice of the foreclosure action, and that Defendants
and their agents made false representations in affidavits.
Larson asserts that these actions amounted to a
“wrongful fraudulent and tortious attempted
foreclosure, ” (Count I) and “wrongful
foreclosure violations of [several Maryland foreclosure
regulations]” (Count V).
Court has previously determined that no such claim for
“Wrongful Foreclosure” exists in Maryland.
Davis v. Wilmington Fin., Inc., No. PJM 09-1505,
2010 WL 1375363, at *7 (D. Md. Mar. 26, 2010). Moreover, no
foreclosure sale took place, and Plaintiff still occupies the
Property. See Id. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim
fails as a matter of law.
Predatory Loan ...