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Pitts v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 29, 2018

GENOEVA PITTS and ISAAC PITTS, Plaintiffs,
v.
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC and ROBERT HALL, Defendants.

          Genoveva Pitts, Isaac Pitts Plaintiffs Pro Se

          Francis X. Crowley, Esq., Matthew Michael Maher, Esq. Attorneys for Defendants

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

          I. INTRODUCTION

         This case arises out of a foreclosure action involving a property located at 44 Gravelly Hill Road in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In this matter, Plaintiffs Genoveva and Isaac Pitts (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed suit against Defendants Bayview Loan Servicing (“Bayview”) and its Vice President, Robert Hall (“Hall” and, collectively, “Defendants”), alleging claims to quiet title and recover damages due to common-law fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment against Defendants. (See generally Plaintiffs' Complaint (hereinafter, “Compl.”) [Docket Item 1].) Specifically, Plaintiffs contend, inter alia, that Defendants defrauded them in obtaining a foreclosure judgment in state court without disclosing to them the “dissolution” of Bayview in 2010. (Id.)

         Notably, and as discussed below, the Complaint was filed shortly after two virtually-identical federal suits were dismissed by this Court, the latter of which was dismissed with prejudice. See Pitts v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2018 WL 1151711, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 5, 2018); Pitts v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, 2017 WL 2311664 (D.N.J. May 25, 2017).

         Currently pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, because New Jersey's entire controversy doctrine bars Plaintiffs' claims, and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (See generally Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (hereinafter, “Defs.'s Mot.”) [Docket Item 4].)

         Plaintiffs have not opposed this dismissal motion. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant the motion to dismiss with prejudice.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND[1]

         On January 8, 2014, Bayview filed a foreclosure action against Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts and Godfrey Pitts (but not Isaac Pitts) in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Salem County, Docket No. F-000581-14 (hereinafter, “the Foreclosure Action”). (Compl., Ex. G.) Plaintiff had been in default on her mortgage for failure to make payments on the Note since November 2011. (Defs.'s Mot. at 5.) The Foreclosure Action was initiated by Bayview, the servicer of the mortgage loan, on behalf of the investor, Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”). (Id., Ex. H.) Bayview subsequently replaced BANA and named Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts in the Foreclosure Action by the Superior Court's Order for Entry of Default dated April 29, 2016. (Id., Ex. G at 2.)

         Plaintiff filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey on February 19, 2014 (hereinafter, the “Bankruptcy Action”), which automatically stayed the foreclosure proceedings. (Defs.'s Mot., Ex. F.) On October 1, 2014, the Bankruptcy Court issued a Discharge of Debtor Order, which discharged only Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts's personal liability of the Mortgage and Note. (Id.) The foreclosure action then resumed until November 10, 2016, when the Superior Court entered final judgment in favor of Bayview in the sum of $233, 042.42 (hereinafter, “the Final Foreclosure Judgment”). (Compl., Ex. H.)

         On July 20, 2016, Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts filed her first federal action against Defendant Bayview (but not Defendant Hall), alleging that Bayview violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., on five occasions between January 20, 2016 and May 20, 2016. See Pitts v. Bayview, No. 16-4501-JBS-AMD (D.N.J. filed on July 20, 2016). Bayview filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which Plaintiff did not oppose. On May 25, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims after finding she "fail[ed] to allege adequately in what respect the communications at issue violated any specific provision of the FDCPA." See Pitts, 2017 WL 2311664, at *2-3.

         Ten days later, on June 5, 2017, Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts filed a second complaint in federal court. Pitts v. Bayview, No. 17-3990-JBS-KMW (D.N.J. filed on June 5, 2017). Again, Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts raised violations of the FDCPA based on “written communications” she stated were sent by Bayview's foreclosure accounting firm, Pheland Hallinan, whom Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts also named as a Defendant. Defendants Bayview and Phelan Hallinan filed a motion to dismiss, which Plaintiff Genoveva Pitts did not oppose, and the Court granted the motion to dismiss with prejudice on March 5, 2018. See Pitts, 2018 WL 1151711, at *5 (emphasis added).

         Plaintiffs filed the present Complaint on January 17, 2018.[2][Docket Item 1.] The Complaint seems to be premised on four theories: 1) Bayview lacked standing to foreclose on Plaintiffs because the February 20, 2015 Assignment of Mortgage to Bayview was void (Compl. at ¶¶ 9-24); (2) “fraudulent misrepresentation” of the fact that Defendant Hall was Vice President of Bayview Assignment at the time Bayview Assignment was dissolved in 2010 (id. at ¶¶ 33-54); (3) “fraudulent concealment” against Defendant Bayview for violating its legal obligation to disclose to Plaintiff that Bayview Assignment was executed by a “dissolved entity” (id. at ΒΆΒΆ 66-80); and (4) a claim to quiet the title to the property based on the aforementioned allegations, for ...


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