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Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Springs Property Owners Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 13, 2018



         Presently before the court is plaintiff Nationstar Mortgage LLC's (“Nationstar”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 36). Defendants Springs Property Owners Association, (“the HOA”) and SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) filed responses (ECF Nos. 38, 41), to which plaintiff replied (ECF Nos. 42, 43).

         Also before the court is defendant HOA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 33). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 39), to which the HOA replied (ECF No. 44).

         Also before the court is defendant SFR's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 37). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 40), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 45).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 1056 Chip Court, Minden, Nevada, 89705 (the “property”). (ECF No. 1). On July 25, 2002, Alberto Dacayanan, Jr., Samantha Dacayanan, Alberto Dacayanan, and Adela Dacayanan purchased the property. Id. The Dacayanans obtained a loan in the amount of $352, 000 from Quicken Loans, Inc., to refinance ownership of the property. Id. The loan was secured by a deed of trust recorded on March 6, 2006. Id.; (ECF No. 36-1). The deed of trust lists Quicken Loans, Inc., as the lender and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as the beneficiary “solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns.” (ECF No. 36-1). The covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CC&R”) governing the property contained a mortgage protection clause. (ECF No. 36-11).

         On January 22, 2010, MERS assigned the deed of trust to HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as trustee for Deutsche Alt-A Securities Mortgage Loan Trust, Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-AR6 (“HSBC”) via a corporation assignment of deed of trust (recorded on January 28, 2010). Id.; (ECF No. 36-2). On November 18, 2014, HSBC assigned its interest in the deed of trust to Nationstar via a corporate assignment of deed of trust (recorded on December 1, 2014). (ECF No. 36-3).

         The Dacayanans stopped paying dues to the HOA. On April 20, 2011, Phil Frink & Associates, Inc., acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $1, 115.72. (ECF No. 36-4). On October 10, 2012, Kern & Associates, Ltd. (“Kern”), acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $3, 055.09. (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 36-5).

         On November 6, 2013, Kern recorded a notice of homeowners association sale, stating an amount due of $5, 874.51 and an anticipated sale date of December 4, 2013. (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 36-6).

         On January 10, 2014, the HOA foreclosed on the property. (ECF No. 1). The HOA purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $450.[1] (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 36-7). A foreclosure deed in favor of the HOA was recorded on January 17, 2014. Id.; (ECF No. 36-7).

         On April 14, 2014, the HOA transferred the property to SFR via a quitclaim deed (recorded on April 18, 2014). (ECF No. 1); (ECF No. 36-9). SFR paid $22, 500 to purchase the property. (ECF No. 36-10).

         On August 24, 2016, Nationstar filed the underlying complaint, alleging four causes of action: quiet title against all defendants; breach of NRS 116.1113 against the HOA; wrongful foreclosure against the HOA; and injunctive relief against SFR. (ECF No. 1).

         On November 23, 2016, SFR filed its answer to the complaint. (ECF No. 15). The answer includes crossclaims against the Dacayanans, as well as counterclaims against Nationstar. Id.

         In the instant motions, plaintiff, defendant HOA, and defendant SFR all move for summary judgment in their favor. (ECF Nos. 33, 36, 37).

         II. Legal Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy its initial burden. “When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

         By contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159- 60 (1970).

         If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

         In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

         At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is “to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See Id. at 249-50.

         III. Discussion

         As an initial matter, the court takes judicial notice of the following recorded documents: the first deed of trust (ECF No. 36-1); the assignment to Nationstar; (ECF No. 36-3); the notice of delinquent assessment (ECF No. 36-4); the notice of default and election to sell (ECF No. 36-5); the notice of trustee's sale (ECF No. 36-6); and the trustee's deed upon sale (ECF No. 36-7). See, e.g., United States v. Corinthian Colls., 655 F.3d 984, 998-99 (9th Cir. 2011) (holding that a court may take judicial notice of public records if the facts noticed are not subject to reasonable dispute); Intri-Plex Tech., Inv. v. Crest Grp., Inc., 499 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2007).

         i. Quiet title The court will first address the parties' competing arguments regarding Nationstar's claim for quiet title ...

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