United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Steven L. Wirtz, Plaintiff,
Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, Defendant.
E. Christensen, Esq., Daniel M. Eaton, Esq. and Christensen
Law Office, PLLC, counsel for plaintiff.
P. Hoffman, Esq., James Schoeberl, Esq. and Stinson Leonard
Street, LLP, counsel for defendant.
S. Doty, Judge
matter is before the court upon remand from the Eighth
Circuit Court of Appeals and on the cross-motions for summary
judgment by defendant Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC (SLS)
and plaintiff Steven L. Wirtz. Based on a review of the file,
record, and proceedings herein, and for the following
reasons, the court grants SLS's motion and denies
full background of this matter is set forth in the
court's previous summary judgment order and the Eighth
Circuit's decision and will not be repeated here. The
court will set forth only those facts necessary to decide the
narrow issue presented.
order dated May 9, 2016, the court determined that SLS
violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by
failing to adequately investigate and remedy an error in
Wirtz's mortgage loan payment history. ECF No. 41 at 8-9.
The court also determined that SLS violated the Minnesota
Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act (MOSLA) given
its RESPA violation. Id. at 10-11. With respect to
damages, the court held that Wirtz had incurred $80.00 in
actual damages and $4, 137.22 in statutory damages.
Id. at 12-13; ECF No. 67 at 3-4. SLS appealed,
arguing that it did not violate RESPA or MOSLA.
Eighth Circuit agreed with the court that SLS had violated
RESPA by failing to conduct a reasonable investigation into
Wirtz's loan payment history and by failing to provide
requested information about the loan history since its
origination. Wirtz v. Specialized Loan Servicing,
LLC, 886 F.3d 713, 718 (8th Cir. 2018). The Eighth
Circuit concluded, however, that Wirtz had failed to
establish actual damages caused by the RESPA violations:
The bank records that Wirtz obtained for 2012 and 2013 were
irrelevant to the dispute whether Wirtz's loan payments
were past due before June 2011. Wirtz did not pay $80 for
bank records from 2012 and 2013 “as a result of”
[SLS's] failure to investigate and provide information
about the pre-2011 payment history. We therefore conclude
that Wirtz did not submit sufficient evidence of actual
damages under RESPA.
Id. at 719. Because actual damages are required
under RESPA before “additional” damages can be
awarded, the Eighth Circuit also reversed the award of
statutory damages. Id. at 719-20; 12 U.S.C. §
the MOSLA claim, which is premised on the RESPA violation,
the Eighth Circuit reversed and remanded for a determination
as to whether MOSLA provides a cause of action when a loan
servicer violates a federal law regulating mortgage loans,
such as RESPA, but where there is no federal cause of action.
Id. at 721. The parties now move for summary
judgment on that issue.
Standard of Review
“The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A fact is material
only when its resolution affects the outcome of the case.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute is ...