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Purpura v. JP Morgan Chase

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 24, 2017


         Not for Publication


          John Michael Vazquez, U.S.D.J.

         The present matter comes before the Court on Defendants'[1] motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction and Federal Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Pro Se Plaintiff Nicholas E. Purpura ("Plaintiff) opposes the motion.[2]This case concerns allegations that Defendants do not own Plaintiffs mortgage since the mortgage was executed with Washington Mutual Bank ("WaMu"), which was subsequently acquired by Defendants. This motion was decided without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78 and Local Civil Rule 78.1. The Court has considered the parties' submissions and grants Defendants' motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are derived from Plaintiffs Complaint ("Compl."), as well as the exhibits attached to the complaint and to Defendants' motion to dismiss.[3] On June 8, 2005, Plaintiff executed a Note and Mortgage in conjunction with a loan from WaMu. Compl. at 5. According to Defendants, the Note and Mortgage was in the amount of $633, 750.00 (the "Loan"). Def. Br., Ex. D. On September 25, 2008, Chase acquired certain assets and liability of WaMu, including Plaintiffs Loan. Compl. at 1. Plaintiff claims that his "mortgage was a nullity" when he obtained it from WaMu in June 2005. Id. at 23. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that "WAMU/Chase had ceased to exist in April 2005" and that "[WaMu] named as 'the Lender' on that mortgage was a fictitious entity engaged in fraud with [Plaintiff]." Id. at 5.

         In 2009, Plaintiff alleges that he "was no longer able to continue making payments on the [allegedly] fraudulent loan." Id. at 21. As a result, Plaintiff claims that he was "forced to agree to a 'modification' of the former mortgage agreement." Id. Defendants state that as a result of Plaintiffs default on or about September 1, 2008, Chase brought a foreclosure action in state court. Def. Br. at 3. As a resolution to that case, Plaintiff and Chase executed a Loan Modification Agreement. Compl. at 22; Def. Br. at 4 (stating that the Loan Modification Agreement was executed on July 15, 2010). Plaintiff also alleges that, when he was in default, Chase/WAMU used "acts of harassment, oppression, and abusive conduct... to extort and coerce [him]" and to threaten "to illegally confiscate [his] home." Compl. at 11.

         Since the Loan Modification, Defendants contend that Plaintiff has paid Chase monthly. Def. Br. at 7. Plaintiff also indicates that "[he] has not defaulted." Compl. at 24. However, Plaintiff alleges that his mortgage was "fraud from its inception." Compl. at 7. Additionally, according to Plaintiff, his mortgage was fraudulently obtained by Chase when it bought WaMu. Id. at 5-6, 21. As a result, Plaintiff claims that there is no entity who has a right to Plaintiffs mortgage payments. Id. at 23.

         Plaintiff concludes that "[he] has suffered grievous damage by being forced to sign fraudulent documents under false pretense[s] with WAMU Chase in 2005, and then again, with Chase/WAMU in 2009." Id. at 3. Plaintiff indicates that "Defendant's actions have resulted in severe emotional and physical distress" which "have caused Plaintiff to suffer a heart attack, shingles and other severe consequences to health." Id. at 26. Additionally, Plaintiff maintains that Chase/WAMU "must grant clear ownership of the subject property to the Plaintiff, and refund every payment, with interest, Plaintiff has made since the fraudulent mortgages' inceptions, beginning in June 2005, and continuing to the present." Id. at 10.


         Plaintiff filed his complaint on June 27, 2016. D.E. 1. Plaintiffs complaint sets forth numerous laws that Defendants have allegedly violated, including (1) "18 USC § 241: Conspiracy Against Rights;" (2) "18 USC § 242: Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law;" (3) "18 USC §§ 1961-1965 Civil [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act]" ("RICO"); (4) "28 USC § 1331 Federal question;" (5) "31 USC § 3729 False Claims Act" ("FCA"); (6) "15 USC § 1629 et seq. [Fair Debt Collection Practices Act]" ("FDCPA"); (7) the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA") and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"); and (8) "white-collar crime." Compl. at 4-14. In lieu of answering, Defendants filed their motion to dismiss on August 23, 2016. D.E. 23. Plaintiff opposed this motion. D.E. 25.

         Defendants first argue that Plaintiff does not have standing because he has not suffered an "injury in fact." Def. Br. at 5-8. Next, Defendants contend that all claims related to the origination of the Loan are jurisdictionally precluded since Chase expressly did not assume liability from wrongdoing that occurred prior to its purchase of WaMu. Id. at 8-10. Additionally, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs allegations do not state a claim sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Id. at 10-13. Furthermore, Defendants maintain that "Plaintiffs claims are untimely, are inapplicable to the case-at-bar, or simply do not exist as independent causes of action." Def. R.Br. At 1.

         Plaintiffs opposition continues to allege the central allegation of his complaint - that Chase does not own his mortgage and that the assignment from WaMu to Chase was fraudulent. PI. Opp'n. Plaintiff states that he has standing based on the "injury in fact" that "[he] has been making payments to entities not entitled to those proceeds." Pl. Opp'n at 6. Plaintiff maintains that his complaint is "extensively supported by numerous facts, as discovered and proven by Federal and State authorities and previous Courts." Id. at 13.


         Rule 12(b)(6)

         Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a defendant to move to dismiss a count for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted[.]" To withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint is plausible on its face when there is enough factual content "that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Although the plausibility standard "does not impose a probability requirement, it does require a pleading to show more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 786 (3d Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). As a result, a plaintiff must "allege sufficient facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will uncover proof of [his] claims." Id. at 789.

         In evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint, a district court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny,515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008). A court, however, is "not compelled to accept unwarranted inferences, unsupported conclusions or legal conclusions disguised as factual allegations." Baraka v. McGreevey,481 F.3d 187, 211 (3d Cir. 2007). If, after viewing the allegations in the complaint most favorable to the plaintiff, it appears that no relief could be granted under any set of facts consistent with the allegations, a ...

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