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Bank of America, N.A. v. Hartridge Homeowners Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 30, 2019

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. Plaintiff,



         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (#51). Defendant Hartridge Homeowners Association (“Hartridge”) filed a response in opposition (#56) as did Defendant Saticoy Bay, LLC series 5528 Meridian Rain (“Saticoy Bay”) (#58) to which Plaintiff replied (#60/61).

         Also before the Court is Defendant Hartridge Homeowners Association's Motion for Summary Judgment (#52) to which Defendant Absolute Collection Services, LLC filed a Joinder (#54). Bank of America filed a response in opposition (#59).

         Finally, before the Court is Defendant Saticoy Bay's Motion for Summary Judgment (#53). Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) filed a response in opposition (#57) to which Saticoy Bay replied (#62).

         I. Facts

         Donnalee E. Dugay (“Borrower”) financed her property located at 5528 Meridian Rain Street, North Las Vegas, Nevada (“the Property”) with a $118, 030 loan secured by a deed of trust. On or about July 7, 2014, the deed of trust was assigned to Plaintiff BANA.

         The Property is subject to and governed by the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions and Grant of Easements (“CC&Rs”) for Hartridge Homeowners Association. Eventually, Borrower defaulted on her obligation to pay assessments of approximately $76 per month under the CC&Rs to Hartridge. On October 30, 2013, Hartridge through its foreclosure agent, Defendant Absolute Collection Services (“ACS”), recorded notice of delinquent assessment lien. ACS recorded notice of default and election to sell on December 30, 2013. The notice stated that Borrower owed $2, 155.33 plus costs and fees without specifying which part was the superpriority lien.

         On January 31, 2014, BANA's counsel, Miles Bauer Bergstrom & Winters, LLP (“Miles Bauer”) offered to pay the superpriority lien and asked for a total. In response, ACS provided an account statement showing nine months of assessments and costs and fees totaling $2, 484.35. The statement did not indicate that they owed any maintenance or nuisance abatement charges. Based on the ledger, BANA calculated the superpriority amount as $684.00 (nine months of assessments) and tendered that amount by check to ACS on March 13, 2014. ACS received and accepted the tender on behalf of Hartridge.

         ACS proceeded with the foreclosure sale, because “ the Borrower and BANA failed to continue paying assessments [after ACS accepted the tender].” At the foreclosure sale, ACS circulated a bid sheet saying that the superpriority amount had been paid and the crier of the sale announced that the superpriority amount had been paid. Foreclosure sale was conducted on June 17, 2014 and the foreclosure deed was recorded on June 19, 2014. Saticoy Bay purchased the property for $10, 100.00. The parties now disagree as to whether Hartridge's foreclosure extinguished BANA's lien or whether Saticoy Bay purchased the property subject to the lien.

         II. Standard for Summary Judgment

         The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials by disposing of factually unsupported claims or defenses. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986); Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dept. of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994). It is available only where the absence of material fact allows the Court to rule as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. Rule 56 outlines a burden shifting approach to summary judgment. First, the moving party must demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to produce specific evidence of a genuine factual dispute for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). A genuine issue of fact exists where the evidence could allow “a reasonable jury [to] return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The Court views the evidence and draws all available inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fischbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986). Yet, to survive summary judgment, the nonmoving party must show more than “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586.

         III. Analysis

         Bank of America argues that its deed of trust survived Hartridge's nonjudicial foreclosure for four discrete reasons: (1) the bank tendered the superpriority portion of the HOA lien; (2) the association foreclosed under an unconstitutional version of NRS § 116 and violated due process as-applied; (3) the Supremacy Clause preempts NRS § 116; and (4) the sale was unfair and should be equitably set aside under Shadow Canyon. Because the Court finds Bank of America's tender argument dispositive, it need not reach the bank's other arguments. Hartridge and Saticoy Bay, on the other hand, move for summary judgment on their quiet title claims. Saticoy Bay seeks a declaration that Hartridge's foreclosure extinguished both BANA's and Borrower's interest in the property.

         A. ...

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