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McCrea v. Wells Fargo

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 7, 2019

NICOLE RENA MCCREA, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO, et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On June 17, 2019, this Court granted four Motions to Dismiss filed by the Defendants in this matter, Wells Fargo Bank, NA. ("Wells Fargo"); Mark S. Devan, Thomas P. Dore, Brian S. McNair, and Angela Nasuta (collectively, the "Substitute Trustees"); and DSDJ Properties and Daniel Wilson ("Wilson") (collectively, the "Defendants") and dismissed with prejudice all claims asserted by Plaintiff Nicole Rena McCrea ("Plaintiff or "McCrea"). Now pending is McCrea's self-styled Rule 59(e) and 60(b) Motion for Relief from the June 17, 2019 Order of Dismissal (ECF No. 39) (hereinafter, the "Motion for Reconsideration"). The parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons stated herein, McCrea's Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 39) is DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case have been discussed at length in a previous Memorandum Opinion. (ECF No. 37.) In sum, McCrea alleges that Wells Fargo improperly administered the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"), a mortgage assistance program established by the Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program ("TARP"). See Allen v. GtiMortgage, Inc., CCB-10-2740, 2011 WL 3425665, at *1 (D. Md. Aug. 4, 2011) (explaining the history of the program). In 2010, Wachovia Mortgage[1] and McCrea agreed to a mortgage loan modification under HAMP guidelines. (Compl. at ¶ 15.) In June 2014, McCrea defaulted on the modified loan. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Wells Fargo subsequently denied McCrea's repeated requests for a second loan modification under HAMP. (Id. at ¶ 18.) McCrea alleges that Wells Fargo's denials were unreasonable, and that they frequently rejected her modification applications by sending her "various unwarranted addendums asking pier] to articulate and/or clarify one or two random and trivial items in her modification application." (Id. at ¶ 24.)

         On May 23, 2016, Wells Fargo sent McCrea a Notice of Intent to Foreclose and appointed the Substitute Trustees. (Id. at ¶ 27.) On October 19, 2016, the Substitute Trustees initiated a foreclosure action in the Circuit Court for Charles County captioned Devan, et al. v. McCrea, case number 08-C-16-002735. (Id. at ¶ 28.) During foreclosure proceedings, Wells Fargo continued to deny McCrea's request for HAMP assistance. (Id. at ¶¶ 33-43.)

         In January 2017, Wells Fargo offered McCrea a proprietary loan modification, and she began making trial payments under a Trial Payment Plan. (Id. at ¶¶ 37-48.) On April 17, 2017, Wells Fargo provided McCrea with instructions for finalizing the loan modification. (Id. at ¶ 49.) The instructions required her to sign a loan modification agreement by May 2, 2017, or else Wells Fargo would be "unable to complete the modification" and could resume collection communications and legal proceedings. (Id.) On the May 2, 2017 deadline, McCrea informed Wells Fargo mat she would be seeking an "independent review" of the proposed Loan Modification Agreement. (Id. at ¶ 51.) The next day, McCrea filed a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accusing Wells Fargo of committing fraud by, inter alia, refusing her requests for a HAMP modification. (Id. at ¶ 52.) Between May 3, 2017 and June 20, 2017, Wells Fargo representatives called her "at least three times a week and often twice a day" seeking her signature on the April 17, 2017 modification agreement. (Id. at ¶ 54.) In response, McCrea accused Wells Fargo of harassment. (Id.)

         The foreclosure action resumed in the summer of 2017. In July 2017, the Substitute Trustees filed a bond with the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland and a foreclosure sale was scheduled for August 11, 2017. (Id. at ¶¶ 61-62.) On August 9, 2017, McCrea filed an Emergency Motion to Stay and Dismiss Foreclosure Sale in which she asserted numerous state and federal causes of action as purported defenses to the foreclosure action. (Substitute Trustees Ex. 2, ECF No. 33-3.) The Circuit Court denied McCrea's motion, and her home was subject to a foreclosure sale on August 11, 2017. (Id. at ¶ 70.) Subsequendy, McCrea appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court, finding that McCrea's motion "failed to allege with particularity the factual bases of the defenses asserted against the validity of the lien or lien instruments and the right of the Trustees to foreclose." McCrea p. Devan, No. 1320, Sept. Term, 2017, 2019 WL 1200732, at *8 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. March 13, 2019), cert, dismissed 464 Md. 21 (June 21, 2019).

         While McCrea challenged the foreclosure in state court, she also pressed claims in this Court. On August 13, 2018, McCrea initiated this action pro se. Just as in state court, McCrea asserted a laundry list of claims presented in a single paragraph, as follows:

Based on the above mentioned actions of Wells Fargo and the Substitute Trustees, the Plaintiff asserts causes of action and/or claims under: Title VI Discrimination; Title VI Retaliation, Fair Housing Act Discrimination; Fraud in the Inducement; Detrimental Reliance; Substantive Unconscionability; Procedural Unconscionability; Misrepresentation under Maryland Consumer Protection Act; Material Omission under Maryland Consumer Protection Act; Common Law Fraudulent Misrepresentation; Reformation of the Mortgage; Material Omission under Maryland Mortgage Fraud Protection Act; Material Misrepresentation under Maryland Mortgage Fraud Protection Act; Violation of Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act; Violation of Maryland Real Property Article; Common Law Breach of Contract; Misrepresentation under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act against Wells Fargo; Misrepresentation under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act against Plaintiffs; Violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; Violation of the Maryland Equal Credit Opportunity Act; Violation of the Truth in Lending Act; Violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41 (Regulation X of RESPA) Violation of Regulation X of the RESPA.
(Compl. ¶ 98.)

         In sum, McCrea listed over twenty common law and statutory causes of action without any explanation of their relevance to her factual allegations.

         On June 17, 2019, this Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss and dismissing McCrea's claims with prejudice. (ECF No. 37, 38.) This Court held that McCrea's claims failed because they were premised on her unsuccessful applications for a second HAMP mortgage loan modification, for which there is no private cause of action and that she otherwise failed to adequately plead any of her two-dozen causes of action. (ECF No. 37 at 12-14.) As an alternative basis for dismissal, this Court determined that McCrea's claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. (Id. at 15- 18.) McCrea filed a Morion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 39) on July 15, 2019 which all Defendants oppose.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         McCrea's Motion for Reconsideration is brought under both Rules 59(e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 59(e) authorizes a district court to alter, amend, or vacate a prior judgment, and Rule 60 provides for relief from judgment. See Katyle v. Penn Nat'lGaming Inc.,637 F.3d 462, 471 n.4 (4th Cir. 2011), cert, denied,132 S.Ct. 115 (2011). As this Court explained ...


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