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Oskoui v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 13, 2017

Mahin Oskoui, an individual, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.; U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee, Successor in Interest to Bank of America, National Association as successor by merger to LaSalle Bank NA as Trustee for WAMU Pass-Through Certificates Series 2007-HY06 Trust Erroneously Sued As U.S. Bank, N.A., Defendants-Appellees.

          Argued and Submitted January 13, 2017 Pasadena, California

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California D.C. No. 2:12-cv-03511-FMO-AGR Fernando M. Olguin, District Judge, Presiding

          Richard L. Antognini (argued), Law Office of Richard L. Antognini, Grass Valley, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

          Richard P. Steelman, Jr. (argued) and Glenn J. Plattner, Bryan Cave LLP, Santa Monica, California, for Defendants-Appellees.

          Before: Stephen S. Trott, M. Margaret McKeown, and Paul J. Watford, Circuit Judges.

         SUMMARY[*]

         Loan Modification

         The panel reversed the district court's summary judgment in favor of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in Mahin Oskoui's action seeking damages she allegedly suffered when she unsuccessfully attempted to modify the loan on her home.

         The panel held that the facts plainly demonstrated a viable claim under California's Unfair Competition Law on the ground that Oskoui was a victim of an unconscionable process.

         The panel also held that the district court erred in failing to acknowledge Oskoui's claim for breach of contract in her pro se complaint. The panel remanded with instructions to permit Oskoui to amend if necessary and to proceed with her complaint for a breach of contract.

         The panel also remanded with instructions to permit Oskoui to amend her complaint to allege a right to rescind pursuant to Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 790 (2015) (holding that the Truth in Lending Act gives a borrower the right to rescind certain loans), conditioned on Oskoui's delivery of a rescission letter.

          OPINION

          TROTT, Circuit Judge:

         Mahin Oskoui sued defendant J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("Chase") for damages allegedly suffered when she unsuccessfully attempted over a two-year period to modify the loan on her home. Acting as her own attorney, she asserted inter alia claims for a breach of contract, "breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, " and a violation of California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, the latter based on an assertion that she had been victimized by Chase's unfair or fraudulent business acts or practices. She also attempted to sue Chase for a violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1601, the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"). Without argument, the district court declined to consider Oskoui's breach of contract claim and granted summary judgment to defendant Chase.

         We have jurisdiction over this timely appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We reverse and remand.

         I

         In reviewing de novo the district court's decision, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Olson v. Idaho State Bd. of Med., 363 F.3d 916, 922 (9th Cir. 2004).

         In 1990, Mahin Oskoui, a registered nurse, purchased a single-family home for herself in Los Angeles, California. Her down payment on the property was $250, 000. In 2007, the appraised value of the property was $1, 250, 000. On March 27, 2007, she refinanced her acquisition with a loan from Washington Mutual Bank ("WaMu"). As security, she executed a promissory note and a deed of trust securing the note with the property. At that time, WaMu was the United States' largest savings and loan association until it imploded in 2008 during the subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of the so-called "housing bubble." In turn, this debacle triggered massive loan defaults and a severe national economic recession. The Office of Thrift Supervision closed WaMu on ...


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