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Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 27, 2019

WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY, FSB DBA CHRISTIANA TRUST AS TRUSTEE FOR HLSS MORTGAGE MASTER TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HOLDERS OF THE SERIES 2014-1 CERTIFICATES ISSUED BY HLSS MORTGAGE MASTER TRUST, Plaintiff,
v.
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC; and WASHBURN CREEK ASSOCIATION, Defendants. WASHBURN CREEK ASSOCIATION, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
ABSOLUTE COLLECTION SERVICES, LLC, Third-Party Defendant. SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, Counter-Claimant/Cross-Claimant,
v.
WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY, FSB DBA CHRISTIANA TRUST AS TRUSTEE FOR HLSS MORTGAGE MASTER TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HOLDERS OF THE SERIES 2014-1 CERTIFICATES ISSUED BY HLSS MORTGAGE MASTER TRUST; HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, a government agency; FILIMON MIJAREZ, an individual; EVA MIJAREZ, an individual, Counter-Defendant/Cross-Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Defendant Washburn Creek Association's Second Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 67) and Defendant Counter-Claimant/Cross-Claimant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 68).

         In the complaint filed January 10, 2017, Plaintiff Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB doing business as Christiana Trust on behalf of HLSS Mortgage Master Trust on behalf of Holders of the Series 2014-1 Certificates Issued by HLSS Mortgage Master Trust (“Wilmington”) states five causes of action: (1) Quiet Title/Declaratory Relief Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201, NRS 30.010 et seq., and NRS 40.010; (2) Declaratory Relief Under Amendments V and XIV to the United States Constitution; (3) Quiet Title Under the Amendments V and XIV to the United States Constitution; (4) Permanent and Preliminary Injunction; and (5) Unjust Enrichment. ECF No. 1.

         For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Washburn Creek Association's Second Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court grants in part and denies in part SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment as detailed below.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court finds that the following facts are undisputed for the purposes of the motions under consideration.[1]

         Filimon Mijarez and Eva Mijarez formerly owned a property located at 624 Bengal Bay Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89081 (APN 124-35-315-008) (“the Property”). The Deed of Trust executed by the Mijarezes and recorded on April 28, 2008 identifies Direct Equity Mortgage, LLC as the Lender, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the nominee Beneficiary, and Fidelity National Title Agency as the Trustee, and secures a loan in the amount of $266, 945.00 On February 1, 2012, a Notice of Delinquent Assessment was recorded against the property by Absolute Collection Services, LLC on behalf of Washburn.

         On May 7, 2012, a Notice of Default and Election to Sell Under Homeowners Association Lien was recorded against the Property by Absolute Collection Services, LLC on behalf of Washburn stating that the amount due was $1, 910.00.

         On August 28, 2012, a Notice of Trustee's Sale was recorded against the Property by Absolute Collection Services, LLC on behalf of Washburn stating that the amount due as of the initial publication of the Notice of Sale was $3, 614.00.

         On January 15, 2013, a nonjudicial foreclosure sale (“HOA sale”) occurred whereby SFR acquired its interest, if any, in the Property for $13, 600.00. SFR Investments Pool is the current title holder of record.

         On June 25, 2014, an Assignment of Deed of Trust was recorded, assigning the beneficial interest in the Deed of Trust to Wilmington.

         III. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Wilmington filed its complaint on January 10, 2017. ECF No. 1. Washburn filed its answer on March 23, 2017. ECF No. 12.

         On March 30, 2017, Washburn Creek filed a third-party complaint against Absolute Collection Services, LLC. ECF No. 15. On April 6, 2017, SFR filed its answer to Wilmington with a counter-claim against Wilmington and cross-claims against Filimon Mijarez, Eva Mijarez, and Housing and Urban Development. ECF No. 18. Wilmington filed an answer to SFR's counter-claim on April 13, 2017. ECF No. 19. Absolute Collection Services filed an answer to Washburn Creek's third-party complaint on May 4, 2017. ECF No. 29.

         On May 9, 2017, the Court entered a scheduling order. ECF No. 33. Discovery closed on November 6, 2017. ECF No. 44.

         On November 28, 2017, Washburn filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 45. On January 9, 2018, Wilmington and SFR each filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 49, 51.

         On July 13, 2018, the Court denied the three pending motions for summary judgment without prejudice and issued a stay in the case pending the Nevada Supreme Court's decision on a certified question of law regarding NRS 116's notice requirement in Bank of N.Y. Mellon v. Star Hill Homeowners Ass'n, No. 2:16-cv-02561-RFB-PAL. ECF No. 49. The Nevada Supreme Court published an answer to the certified question on August 2, 2018. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. Bank of New York Mellon, 422 P.3d 1248 (Nev. 2018).

         On August 22, 2018, Washburn filed the instant Second Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 67. On August 23, 2018, SFR filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 68. The Court will now lift the stay in this case and consider the pending motions.

         IV. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate 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 judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When considering the propriety of summary judgment, the court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim, 747 F.3d 789, 793 (9th Cir. 2014). If the movant has carried its burden, the non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts . . . . Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007) (alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         V. DISCUSSION

         a. SFR's Motion ...


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