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U.S. Bank, National Association v. SFR Investments Pool I LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 15, 2017

SFR INVESTMENT POOL I, LLC, et al., Defendants.


          Kent J. Dawson United States District Judge.

         Presently before the Court is Defendant SFR (“SFR”) Investment Pool I, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment (#32). Plaintiff U.S. Bank filed a response in opposition (#38/47) to which Defendant replied (#49). Also before the Court is Plaintiff U.S. Bank's Motion for Summary Judgment (#36/46). Defendant SFR filed a response in opposition (#39) to which U.S. Bank replied (#48).

         I. Facts

         The present action involves a dispute over real property located at 6353 Ebony Legends Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89131 (“the Property”). Tricia Thoen purchased the Property on or about May 25, 2005. Thoen financed the purchase with a $479, 920.00 loan, secured by a deed of trust dated June 7, 2005. The deed of trust in favor of Meridias Capital, Inc. contained a Planned Unit Development Rider, prepared by the lender and signed by Thoen. The Rider recognized the need to pay assessments to the White Horse Estates Homeowners Association (“the Association”) and the ability of the lender to pay the assessments if Thoen defaulted.

         On May 23, 2006, a deed was filed with the Clark County Recorder's office transferring Thoen's interest to Cross-Defendand MAT Holdings, LLC. On April 1, 2009, the Property holder became delinquent on payments on the deed of trust. On August 18, 2009, Recontrust Company, N.A., acting on behalf of beneficiary recorded Notice of Default and Election to Sell. On September 8, 2009, the deed of trust was assigned by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP. On July 27, 2010, Fidelity National Title was substituted for Recontrust as trustee under the deed of trust. On September 9, 2010, the Association recorded Notice of Delinquent Assessment Lien, which was released on April 28, 2011 after the Association received payment for the entire amount. On December 28, 2011, the Association recorded a second Notice of Delinquent Assessment Lien, stating that MAT owed $2, 677.24 in past due assessments, late fees and interest. On February 23, 2012, the Association, through its agent Nevada Association Services (“NAS”) recorded a Notice of Default and Election to Sell under the second lien, stating that MAT now owed $3, 854.72.

         The servicers of the loan at the time, Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”), offered to pay the super-priority amount, nine (9) months of assessments. BANA's counsel contacted the Association to pay the delinquent assessments. BANA then paid the full amount of $3, 854.72. The Association then released the second lien on or about October 22, 2012. On or about August 29, 2012, the first deed of trust was assigned from BANA to Plaintiff U.S. Bank.

         On March 26, 2013, the Association, through its agent NAS, recorded a third Notice of Delinquent Assessment Lien (“the Operative Lien”). The Operative Lien stated that MAT now owed $1, 429.58. On June 11, 2013, NAS, as agent for the Association, recorded a Notice of Default and Election to Sell in order to satisfy the Operative Lien. The notice stated that the amount due the Association was $2, 740.49. A Notice of Foreclosure Sale was recorded on or about October 11, 2013. The foreclosure sale was schedule for November 1, 2013. Defendant SFR bid the highest amount at the foreclosure sale. The Foreclosure Deed was recorded on November 6, 2013 stating that the sale price was $25, 000.00. The Deed estimated that the value of the property was $308, 823.00.

         Plaintiff filed the present complaint on February 6, 2015 asserting claims for unjust enrichment, injunctive relief and a declaration that its deed of trust is superior to any interest asserted by any other party and was not extinguished by the Association's foreclosure of its super-priority lien.[1] After Defendant SFR filed a counter-claim seeking to quiet title, the parties filed the present motions for summary judgment.

         II. Standard for Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment may be granted if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The moving party bears the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to set forth specific facts demonstrating a genuine factual issue for trial. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

         All justifiable inferences must be viewed in the light must favorable to the nonmoving party. See Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587. However, the nonmoving party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his or her pleadings, but he or she must produce specific facts, by affidavit or other evidentiary materials as provided by Rule 56(e), showing there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). The court need only resolve factual issues of controversy in favor of the non-moving party where the facts specifically averred by that party contradict facts specifically averred by the movant. See Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990); see also Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Natural Beverage Distribs., 69 F.3d 337, 345 (9th Cir. 1995) (stating that conclusory or speculative testimony is insufficient to raise a genuine issue of fact to defeat summary judgment). Evidence must be concrete and cannot rely on “mere speculation, conjecture, or fantasy. O.S.C. Corp. v. Apple Computer, Inc., 792 F.2d 1464, 1467 (9th Cir. 1986). “[U]ncorroborated and self-serving testimony, ” without more, will not create a “genuine issue” of material fact precluding summary judgment. Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Summary judgment shall be entered “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. Summary judgment shall not be granted if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. At 248.

         III. Analysis

         A. Inju ...

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