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Duncan v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 18, 2015

Stephanie Jo Duncan f/k/a Stephanie Winges, Plaintiff,
v.
Bank of America, N.A.; BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP; U.S. Bank, N.A.; and Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, Defendants.

Frederic W. Knaak, Esq., Holstad & Knaak PLC; and Wayne B. Holstad, Esq., Wayne B. Holstad, PLC, counsel for Plaintiff.

Mark G. Schroeder, Esq., Briggs & Morgan, PA; and Keith S. Anderson, Esq., Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, counsel for Defendants Bank of American, N.A., BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP, and U.S. Bank, N.A.

David R. Mortensen, Esq., Wilford, Geske & Cook, PA, counsel for Defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss brought by Defendants Bank of America, N.A. ("BANA"), BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP ("BAC"), U.S. Bank, N.A. ("U.S. Bank"), and Nationstar Mortgage, LLC (collectively, "Defendants"). (Doc. No. 4.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

BACKGROUND

The facts of this case were previously set forth in a prior lawsuit in this District brought by Plaintiff against Defendants (" Duncan I "), which was dismissed without prejudice on February 13, 2014. (Doc. No. 7 ("Anderson Aff.") ¶ 7, Ex. F (Civ. No. 13-3079, PAM/FLN) (" Duncan I Order").) The Court summarizes the relevant facts below.

This is a mortgage case involving allegations relating to a mortgage loan executed on June 8, 2006, for property located in Lino Lakes, Minnesota (the "Property"). (Doc. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 8.) At the time the mortgage loan was executed, Brian R. Winges ("Winges") and Plaintiff were married and jointly owned the Property. (Compl. ¶ 7.) The mortgage loan transaction was evidenced by a note (the "Note") executed by Winges and a mortgage on the Property (the "Mortgage"), which serves as security for the Note, and was executed by Winges and Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶¶ 8-9, 12; Anderson Aff. ¶¶ 2, 3, Exs. A & B.)[1]

The original holder of the Mortgage was Mortgage Electronic Registration Services, Inc. ("MERS"), who later assigned it to BANA, successor by merger to BAC f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, on February 29, 2012. (Compl. ¶ 13; Anderson Aff. ¶ 4, Ex. C.) BANA then assigned the Mortgage to U.S. Bank, as Trustee, on April 16, 2012. (Anderson Aff. ¶ 5, Ex. D.)

On May 17, 2007, Plaintiff obtained a Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce, which granted Plaintiff all marital right, title, interest and equity in the Property. (Compl. ¶¶ 10-11.) Plaintiff has not assumed the Note obligation. (Id. ¶¶ 22-25.) On February 14, 2013, Winges filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection. (Id. ¶ 21.)

On October 18, 2013, Plaintiff filed Duncan I seeking a declaratory judgment voiding the Mortgage based on allegations that are substantially similar to those made in the present action. Defendants removed Duncan I to this Court and filed a motion to dismiss. In an Order dated February 13, 2014, Judge Paul A. Magnuson granted Defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice, and granted Plaintiff thirty days to file a new complaint. ( Duncan I Order.) In the Duncan I Order, Judge Magnuson concluded that Plaintiff's title to the Property was subject to the Mortgage, Winges' bankruptcy proceedings did not invalidate the Mortgage, and Plaintiff's purported bad faith loan servicing claim was not recognized by law. ( Duncan I Order at 3-5.)

On March 27, 2014, Plaintiff initiated the present action in Minnesota state court. (Compl.) On April 1, 2014, Defendants removed the action to this Court. (Doc. No. 1, Notice of Removal.) In her Complaint, Plaintiff asserts two claims: declaratory judgment and specific performance. (Compl. ¶¶ 28-35.) ...


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