WILLIAM E. BISHOP, Plaintiff,
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO., et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
MARY PAT THYNGE, Magistrate Judge.
In this matter, plaintiff, William Edward Bishop ("Bishop"), sued defendants, JPMorgan Chase & Co. ("JPM"); JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association ("JPMCB"); and, John Doe for violating the Truth-in-Lending Act ("TILA"). The complaint, filed on January 2, 2013, was apparently composed by Bishop and his brother Romie David Bishop, both non-attorneys. The complaint, a compilation of claims and Bishop's arguments in support, alleges fifteen counts of TILA violations relating to the assignment of Bishop's mortgage to JPMCB.
The present action arises from a foreclosure action filed by JPMCB in the Superior Court of Delaware on November 20, 2012. In the state court action, JPMCB alleges Bishop failed to make payments on his mortgage. On the same day the complaint was filed in the instant action, Bishop also filed a motion to dismiss the foreclosure action, arguing the same or similar TILA issues presented in his federal complaint.
On February 22, 2013, defendants filed a motion to dismiss all fifteen counts of Bishop's complaint. Alternatively, defendants moved to stay the action pending the resolution of the state court action. Bishop filed his answering brief in opposition on March 25, 2013. Defendants' reply brief was filed on April 4, 2013.
Prior to a court resolution of the motion to dismiss, on May 28, 2013, Bishop filed a motion for judicial notice to further argue why the court should not grant defendants' motion to dismiss or to stay the proceedings. On June 5, 2013, defendants responded that Bishop's motion for judicial notice operates as an improper sur-reply brief, which is prohibited in this court. Both motions are now before the court.
Bishop owns residential property located in Delaware City, Delaware. On April 1, 2008, Bishop closed on a refinanced loan for $120, 531 (the "mortgage") through Freedom Mortgage Corporation ("Freedom"). On April 17, 2008, the mortgage was recorded. On June 1, 2011, Bishop defaulted on the mortgage.
On January 10, 2012, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS"), as nominee for Freedom, assigned the mortgage to JPMCB. On February 7, 2012, that assignment was recorded. JPMCB is a national banking association organized and existing under the laws of the United States,  and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPM.
In the state foreclosure action, JPMCB seeks $115, 666.19. As noted previously, in his motion to dismiss filed in state court, Bishop asserts the same arguments under TILA raised in the instant action.
Concurrent with his motion to dismiss the state foreclosure action, Bishop filed a complaint in this court against JPMCB, JPM, and John Doe under the TILA. The complaint, however, is not typically formatted. It consists of thirty-four pages, and contains a "statement of facts" and "argument" section. It vaguely alleges TILA violations against all three defendants collectively, without differentiating the violations among them. John Doe is listed as a defendant because Bishop alleges the disclosure statement assigning the mortgage to JPMCB is fraudulent, and there is a mystery company that currently holds, or used to hold, the mortgage other than Freedom, MERS, JPM, or JPMCB. Bishop further asserts the time stamp and filing with the Delaware Recorder of Deeds is fraudulent. He provides no factual basis to support the fraud allegation.
Prior to the filing of the actions in this court and the Superior Court, on August 16, 2012, Bishop forwarded to JPMCB the first of two qualified written requests. In his initial letter, he requested: "(1) a debt verification; (2) information about the account; (3) copies of documents; (4) a list of all employees with whom Bishop spoke since January 2010; (5) the original copy of the complete chain of title of the security instruments; and (6) a first lien principal reduction and modification."
In the second request dated September 12, 2012, and sent to JPMCB,  Bishop represented:
(1) receipt of JPMCB-NA's response letter dated August 23, 2012;
(2) JPMCB-NA failed to provide employee contact information;
(3) the documents which JPMCB-NA enclosed, including HUD-1 and TILA Statement, showed a different loan number and/or was not a copy of the original;
(4) he requested a loan modification; and
(5) he would initiate bankruptcy proceedings if JPMCB-NA files an action against him.
JPMCB responded to Bishop's written requests on at least seven separate occasions. Those letters provide:
(1) August 23, 2012: (a) acknowledges receipt of Bishop's August 21, 2012 letter, (b) provides the account details, (c) identifies the investor as "JPM Chase, " and (d) encloses the requested documents.
(2) September 1, 2012: advises JPMCB-NA is researching Bishop's questions.
(3) September 13, 2012: advises JPMCB-NA researching Bishop's questions.
(4) September 20, 2012: (a) acknowledges receipt of Bishop's August 11, 2012 letter, (b) identifies the obligation is with [JPMCB], (c) encloses the requested ...