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Edwards v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 6, 2017

JACQUELINE EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant.

          Jacqueline Edwards, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Catherine M. DiLorenzo, Esquire, and Michelle Berkeley-Ayres, Esquire, Alba Law Group, P.A., Newport, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Jacqueline Edwards, who appears pro se and has paid the filing fee, filed this action on June 8, 2016, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. (D.I. 2). Defendant Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC moved for dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (D.I. 6). In turn, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. (D.I. 13) Defendant opposes. Briefing has been completed. (D.I. 14, 15).

         BACKGROUND

         The verified Complaint, with attached Exhibits 1 and 2, alleges that Defendant is a debt collector, Plaintiff is a consumer, and Defendant illegally communicated with Plaintiff by failing to comply with 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a). (D.I. 2, ¶¶ 14-20). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant did not have prior consent to communicate with her and failed to provide her any evidence of an alleged debt. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has "engaged in abuse acts, harassment, [and] invasion of privacy in Plaintiffs private commercial affairs, " and that "Defendant should not be in possession of any private commercial instruments or documents belonging to Plaintiff." (D.I. 2 at p.2). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant obtained the data in its possession from a third party and has used the data in its illegal conduct towards Plaintiff. (Id.). Plaintiff seeks statutory and actual damages.

         Exhibit 1 is a "debt validation letter, " dated March 14, 2016 and postmarked March 15, 2016, to Plaintiff from Defendant advising Plaintiff that it seeks to bring Plaintiffs mortgage account current, and that it is attempting to collect a debt on behalf of "U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, in trust for the benefit of the holders of WB4B REMIC Trust 2016-1 beneficial interest certificates, series 2016-1" ("U.S. Bank"), the current owner of Plaintiffs loan. The letter advises Plaintiff of the loan number, the property address, the loan amount, advises Plaintiff how to dispute the validity of the debt, and provides contact information.

         Exhibit 2 is a collection of documents, to wit: (1) a March 14, 2016 letter to Plaintiff from Defendant introducing her "dedicated point of contact to help" Plaintiff with her loan that is serviced by Defendant; (2) a March 14, 2016 "mortgage statement;" (3) a March 15, 2016 "request for initial packet for making home affordable program" sent to Plaintiff by Defendant; (4) a March 18, 2016, "transfer of service notice" to Plaintiff from Defendant advising Plaintiff that her loan that had been serviced by CitiFinancial Servicing LLC was transferred to Defendant on March 4, 2016; (5) an April 11, 2016 letter to Plaintiff from Defendant advising Plaintiff that its records show expiration of hazard insurance on the property at issue, that it does not have evidence of new coverage, and that it plans to buy insurance for the property; (6) an April 13, 2016 "mortgage statement;" and (7) an April 14, 2016 letter to Plaintiff from Defendant with instructions for applying for a "mortgage loan modification."

         Defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Plaintiff did not oppose the motion. Instead, she filed a motion to amend the complaint, which is opposed by Defendant.

         MOTION TO DISMISS

         Standards of Law

         Plaintiff proceeds pro se and, therefore, her pleading is liberally construed and her complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a motion to dismiss may be granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a court concludes that those allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007). "Though 'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.'" Davis v. Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In addition, a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has substantive plausibility. See Johnson v. City of Shelby, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted. See Id. at 346.

         When reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, a court should follow a three-step process: (1) consider the elements necessary to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that are merely conclusions and therefore are not well-pleaded factual allegations; and (3) accept any well-pleaded factual allegations as true and determine whether they plausibly state a claim. See Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp.,809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016); Williams v. BASF Catalysts LLC,765 F.3d 306, 315 (3d Cir. 2014). Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific ...


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