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Bank of America, N.A. v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 18, 2019

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff,
v.
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          GLORIA M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         Pending before the Court is the Motion to Amend Order and Judgment, (ECF No. 133), filed by Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”). Defendant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 135), and BANA filed a Reply, (ECF No. 136).[1] For the reasons discussed herein, BANA's Motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from the non-judicial foreclosure on real property located at 6018 Tea Light Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89113 (the “Property”). BANA's Motion to Amend concerns the Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants SFR and SBH2 Homeowners Association (“HOA”) and against BANA. The Court will briefly recite that facts relevant to deciding the present Motion.

         In 2007, Gregg and Frances Escamilla (“Borrowers”) purchased the Property by way of a $347, 274.00 loan from BANA. (Deed of Trust, ECF No. 109-1). BANA secured the loan with a deed of trust, which continued to encumber the Property until the foreclosure sale at issue in this case. (Id.). On June 15, 2010, HOA, through its agent Nevada Association Services, Inc. (“NAS”), initiated foreclosure proceedings on the Property following Borrowers' default on their payment obligations. (See Statutory Notices, ECF Nos. 109-7, 109-8, 109-10). In an effort to preserve its first-position lien, BANA sent NAS a letter requesting the amount necessary to satisfy HOA's superpriority lien. (See Letter of Inquiry, Ex. 1 to Miles Bauer Aff., ECF No. 109-16). NAS failed to respond to BANA's correspondence and proceeded with foreclosure. (See Foreclosure Deed, ECF No. 109-18). The sale took place on January 11, 2013, at which SFR purchased the Property for $17, 500.00. (Id.).

         BANA filed this action on April 27, 2015, primarily seeking a declaration that its deed of trust remains a valid encumbrance on the Property. BANA brought the following claims against various parties involved in the foreclosure and subsequent sale of the Property: (1) quiet title with a requested remedy of declaratory relief against all Defendants; (2) wrongful foreclosure against HOA; (3) breach of NRS 116.1113 against HOA; and (4) injunctive relief against SFR. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 31-64, ECF No. 5).

         On September 29, 2018, the Court issued its Order, (ECF No. 130), resolving BANA, SFR, and HOA's respective summary-judgment motions, (ECF Nos. 105, 109, 113). The Court denied BANA's motion as to all causes of action and granted Defendants summary judgment on BANA's claims. (See Order 14:1-8, ECF No. 130). The Court found that BANA's letter of inquiry to NAS, offering to pay the yet-to-be-determined superpriority amount, did not constitute a valid tender. (See Id. 8:17-9:12) (“Because BANA only declared its willingness to pay and did not present actual payment, there was no tender of the super priority amount that would have prevented HOA from extinguishing BANA's DOT through foreclosure.”). In doing so, the Court rejected BANA's argument that NAS's lack of response to the letter of inquiry excused BANA from its obligation to pay off the HOA superpriority lien. (Id. 9:5-8). The Court also found BANA's equitable arguments unavailing, concluding the record did not support a finding that the foreclosure process was sufficiently unfair to justify voiding the sale. (Id. 10:21-13:15). Following the Court's Order, the clerk of court entered judgment in favor of HOA and SFR, and against BANA. (Clerk's J., ECF No. 131).

         Shortly thereafter, BANA filed the present Motion requesting that the Court reconsider its ruling with respect to its claims against HOA for wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113. (See Mot. to Am. 2:1-11, ECF No. 133). BANA also urges reconsideration of the Court's conclusion that BANA's letter of inquiry, coupled with NAS's refusal to respond, did not excuse BANA from its duty to satisfy HOA's superpriority lien. (Id. 2:12-17, 4:7-11:12); (see also Notice of Suppl. Authority, ECF No. 137-1) (citing Bank of Am., N.A. v. Thomas Jessup, LLC Series VII, 435 P.3d 1217 (Nev. 2019)).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Rule 59(e), district courts have considerable discretion when considering a motion to amend a judgment. Turner v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe. R.R. Co., 338 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2003). There are four grounds upon which a Rule 59(e) motion may be granted: 1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which judgment is based; 2) the moving party presents newly discovered evidence or previously unavailable evidence; 3) the motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or 4) there is an intervening change in controlling law. Id. Motions under this Rule “should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances.” 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1995). A motion to amend judgment is not a vehicle permitting an unsuccessful party to reiterate arguments previously presented. Taylor v. Knapp, 871 F.2d 803, 805 (9th Cir. 1989). Further, a “Rule 59(e) motion may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (emphasis in original).

         III. DISCUSSION

         BANA moves the Court to reconsider its Order granting summary judgment in favor of HOA and against BANA on the wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113 claims. (See Mot. to Am. 2:1-11, ECF No. 133). Alternatively, BANA requests reconsideration of the Court's ruling that BANA's attempt to pay off the HOA superpriority lien was insufficient to constitute a valid tender or justify a finding of futility. (Id. 2:12-17, 4:7-11:12).

         The Court begins with BANA's arguments concerning the impact of its purported tender, followed by discussion of BANA's claims against HOA.

         A. ...


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