United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Terry L. Bell, Plaintiff,
loanDepot.com, LLC, Defendant.
H. Goolsby, Esq. and Goolsby Law Office, LLC, 475 Cleveland
Avenue N, Suite 212, St. Paul, MN 55104, counsel for
Mattson, Esq. and Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, 333 South
Seventh Street, Suite 2000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, counsel
S. Doty, Judge United States District Court
matter is before the court upon the motion for judgment on
the pleadings by defendant loanDepot.com, LLC. Based on a
review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and for
the following reasons, the court denies the motion.
credit dispute arises out of plaintiff Terry Bell's
alleged loan application with loanDepot. Bell alleges that
before August 21, 2013, he “applied for a mortgage loan
from loanDepot.” Compl. ¶ 4. According to Bell, on
August 21, 2013, loanDepot sent him an “Adverse Action
Notification” denying the loan application because of
poor credit performance with loanDepot. Id.
¶¶ 6-8. Bell denies having had a previous loan
relationship with loanDepot, however, and contends that the
information in the notification was false. Id.
¶¶ 5, 9-10. At the time, Bell was aware of
unidentified “false information” on his credit
report unrelated to loanDepot. Id. ¶ 11. He
alleges that loan Depot's false explanation for the
denial of his mortgage loan application prevented him from
determining whether that “false information” was
affecting his credit and, specifically, his ability to secure
a loan from loanDepot. Id. ¶¶ 12-16. Bell
claims that this uncertainty “compounded and
exacerbated” his “distress and alarm” over
his inability to remove the “false information”
from his credit report. Id. ¶ 17. He also
claims that he has suffered actual damages due to the
“deprivation” of information and
documentation. Id. ¶ 18.
February 24, 2017, Bell commenced the instant action in
Hennepin County District Court alleging violations of the
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Minnesota
Residential Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act
(RMOSLA). loanDepot timely removed to this court and now
moves for judgment on the pleadings.
Standard of Review
same standard of review applies to motions under Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(c) and 12(b)(6). Ashley
Cnty., Ark. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir.
2009). Thus, to survive a motion for judgment on the
pleadings, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff [has pleaded] 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 a complaint need not contain detailed factual
allegations, it must raise a right to relief above the
speculative level. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “[L]abels and conclusions or
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” are not sufficient to state a claim.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation and internal
quotation marks omitted).
I and II of Bell's complaint allege violations of the
ECOA and corresponding Regulation B, which establish
procedural requirements that creditors must follow in
notifying applicants when certain action is taken on credit
applications. See 15 U.S.C.§ 1691(d); 12 C.F.R.
§ 1002.9(a). Under the ECOA, “within thirty days
... after receipt of a completed application for credit, a
creditor shall notify the applicant of its action on the
application.” 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(1). If the
applicant is denied credit, he is “entitled to a
statement of reasons for such action from the
creditor.” Id. § 1691(d)(2); see
also 12 C.F.R. § 1002.9(a). “A statement of
reasons meets the requirements of [the ECOA] only if it
contains the specific reasons for the adverse action
taken.” 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(3); see also
12 C.F.R. § 1002.9(a)(2)(i).
argues that the ECOA claims must be dismissed because Bell
“never submitted any mortgage application documents to
loanDepot in August 2013” and loanDepot was therefore
not required to provide any notification to Bell. Def.'s
Supp. Mem. at 1. But Bell alleges otherwise and also alleges
that loanDepot failed to provide the specific reason for its
denial, as required. See Compl. ¶¶ 4-10.
The court cannot resolve such factual disputes on a Rule 12
motion. Bell has pleaded the requisite elements of his claim
under ECOA and Regulation B. As a result, the motion is denied
as to those claims.