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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Spring Mountain Ranch Master Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 30, 2019

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Plaintiff,
v.
SPRING MOUNTAIN RANCH MASTER ASSOCIATION; NEVADA ASSOCIATION SERVICES, INC.; PREMIER ONE HOLDINGS, INC. and WV INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

          GLORIA M. NAVARRO, DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 64), filed by Defendant Spring Mountain Ranch Master Association (“HOA”). Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, NA. (“Plaintiff) filed a response, (ECF No. 72), and HOA filed a reply, (ECF No. 80).

         Also pending before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 65), filed by Defendant Premier One Holdings, Inc. (“Premier One”). Plaintiff filed a Response, (ECF No. 72), and Premier One filed a Reply, (ECF No. 79).

         Also pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 66). HOA and Premier One (collectively, “Defendants”) each filed Responses, (ECF Nos. 69, 73), and Plaintiff filed Replies, (ECF Nos. 81-82).

         For the reasons discussed below, HOA's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, Premier One's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, and Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from the non-judicial foreclosure on real property located at 8904 Meisenheimer Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89143 (the “Property”). (See Deed of Trust, Ex. 1 to Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J. (“MSJ”), ECF No. 66-1). On October 18, 2005, Michael Vattima and Beatrice Vattima (collectively, “Borrowers”) purchased the Property by way of a loan in the amount of $201, 500.00 secured by a deed of trust (“DOT”), naming Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the original beneficiary, recorded on October 24, 2005. (Id.). Plaintiff gained beneficial interest in the DOT through an assignment recorded on October 4, 2010. (See Assignment, Ex. 2 to Pl.'s MSJ, ECF No. 66-2).

         Upon Borrowers' failure to stay current on their payment obligations, Nevada Association Services, Inc. (“NAS”), on behalf of HOA, initiated foreclosure proceedings by recording a notice of delinquent assessment lien. (See Notice of Delinquent Assessment Lien, Ex. 3 to Pl.'s MSJ, ECF No. 66-3). The HOA subsequently recorded a notice of default and election to sell. (Notice of Default, Ex. 4 to Pl.'s MSJ, ECF No. 66-4).

         On March 15, 2012, the law firm Miles, Bauer, Bergstrom & Winters LLP (“Miles Bauer”), on behalf of Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”), the servicer of the loan, requested a ledger from HOA, through NAS, identifying the amount owed on the superpriority portion of HOA's lien. (First Miles Bauer Letter, Ex. 2 to Miles Bauer Aff., ECF No. 66-6). NAS did not respond, and BANA calculated the lien amount, “the sum of nine months of common assessments, ” to be $369.00 based on a previous ledger it had received from HOA regarding a different property. BANA then sent NAS a check for the amount. (See Tender Letter, Ex. 3 to Miles Bauer Aff., ECF No. 66-6); (Confirmation of Receipt, Ex. 4 to Miles Aff., ECF No. 66-6).

         Notwithstanding the alleged tender, NAS proceeded with the foreclosure by recording a notice of foreclosure sale and subsequently foreclosing on the Property. (See Notice of Foreclosure Sale, Ex. 5 to Pl.'s MSJ, ECF No. 66-5). On August 30, 2013, Premier One recorded a foreclosure deed stating it purchased the Property for $21, 500.00. (Foreclosure Deed, Ex. 7 to Pl.'s MSJ, ECF No. 66-7).

         Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint, (ECF No. 9), on July 5, 2016, asserting the following causes of action arising from the foreclosure and subsequent sale of the Property: (1) quiet title against HOA, NAS, Premier One, and WV International, Inc.; (2) breach of NRS 116.1113 against HOA and NAS; (3) wrongful foreclosure against HOA and NAS; and (4) injunctive relief against Premier One. (See Compl. ¶¶ 30-78). In its Answer, (ECF No. 45), Premier One asserts counterclaims against Plaintiffs for: (1) quiet title; and (2) a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting Plaintiff from transferring its interest in the Property. (See Answer 14:9-19:5).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication 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). Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Id. “Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor.” Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship, 521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing United States v. Shumway, 199 F.3d 1093, 1103-04 (9th Cir. 1999)). 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).

         In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. “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). In 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 nonmoving 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. ...


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