United States District Court, D. Minnesota
C. Walker and Paul H. Weig, Walker & Walker Law Offices,
PLLC, Counsel for Plaintiffs.
Lousene Hoppe, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. and Thomas N.
Abbott, Perkins Coie LLP, Counsel for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Michael J. Davis United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion to
dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
Bakko and White each filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy - Bakko
in September 2017 and White in April 2018. (Am. Comp.
¶¶ 9, 10.) At the time of Bakko's bankruptcy
filing, both plaintiffs owed a mortgage loan secured by their
homestead in Ramsey County, and serviced by Defendant Quicken
Loans, Inc. (“Quicken”). (Id. ¶
Bakko signed a reaffirmation agreement for the mortgage loan
in bankruptcy. (Id. ¶ 12.) Following the filing
of this agreement, Quicken charged $125 in attorney's
fees to Plaintiffs' loan for what it described as
“Bankruptcy - Reaffirmation Agreement.”
(Id. ¶ 13.)
claim that a reaffirmation agreement is a simple document
that is routinely filed in bankruptcy cases, and that such
form is available online from the United States Bankruptcy
Court website. (Id. ¶¶ 14, 15.) There is
no filing fee for such document. (Id. ¶ 16.)
Plaintiffs further claim that the reaffirmation form filed in
this case could not reasonably have taken an attorney between
15 minutes and half an hour to complete - which would
represent $125 in attorney's fees - therefore the fee
charged to Plaintiffs was unreasonable. (Id.
to filing suit, counsel for the parties exchanged
correspondence as to whether Quicken could charge
attorney's fees for the preparation of the reaffirmation
agreement. (Id. ¶¶ 23, 24.) Because the
parties were not able to reach an agreement on this issue,
Plaintiffs filed the instant action.
Count I, Plaintiffs claim that Quicken violated the Real
Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12
U.S.C. § 2605, by not removing and refunding the $125
attorney's fee charge for the completion of the
reaffirmation agreement. (Id. ¶ 32.)
Count II, Plaintiffs claim that Quicken has engaged in a
pattern or practice of charging unauthorized unreasonable
fees by charging other consumers attorney's fees for the
preparation of a reaffirmation agreement that was not
negotiated or included changes to any information which would
ordinarily be provided by a loan servicer. (Id.
¶ 38.) RESPA provides for additional damages in the case
of a pattern or practice of noncompliance with the
requirements of § 2605. (Id. ¶ 43.)
Count III, Plaintiffs claim that Quicken breached the terms
of the mortgage and note by charging Plaintiffs unreasonable
fees in a legal proceeding that might significantly affect
Quicken's interest in the property and/or rights under
the contract. (Id. ¶¶ 46-48.) Not only was
the attorney's fee unreasonable, Bakko's chapter 7
bankruptcy proceeding did not modify the secured status of
the mortgage and was therefore not a circumstance that might
significantly affect Quicken's interest or rights under
the contract. (Id. ¶¶ 48, 49.)
Count IV, Plaintiffs claim that Quicken violated Minn. Stat.
§ 58.13 by: failing to perform in accordance with the
terms of the mortgage; charging an unauthorized and
unreasonable attorney's fee; violating RESPA; and making
false or misleading representations when servicing the loan.