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Ditech Financial LLC v. Antelope Homeowners' Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 30, 2019

DITECH FINANCIAL LLC FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
ANTELOPE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION and LEODEGARIO D. SALVADOR, Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association and Ditech Financial LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment, and Defendant Antelope Homeowners' Association's Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 73, 85. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiffs' Motion.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and Ditech Financial LLC (“Ditech”) sued Defendants Antelope Homeowners' Association (the “HOA”) and Leodegario D. Salvador dba GDS Financial (“Salvador”) on July 26, 2017. ECF No. 1. Fannie Mae and Ditech seek declaratory relief that a nonjudicial foreclosure sale conducted in 2012 under Chapter 116 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) did not extinguish Fannie Mae's interest in a Las Vegas property. Id. To obtain the relief, Plaintiffs asserts five claims in the Complaint: (1) declaratory relief under 12 U.S.C. § 4617(j)(3) against Salvador; (2) quiet title under 12 U.S.C. § 4617(j)(3) against Salvador; (3) declaratory relief under the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution against all Defendants; (4) quiet title under the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution against Salvador; and (5) a declaratory judgment against all Defendants. Id. Salvador answered the complaint on August 8, 2017. ECF No. 12. On March 23, 2018, the Court stayed the case and denied all pending motions without prejudice. ECF No. 69. On August 23, 2018 the Court lifted the stay. ECF No. 71.

         Plaintiffs and the HOA both now move for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 73, 85. Both motions have been fully briefed. ECF Nos. 90, 91, 93, 94.

         III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court makes the following findings of undisputed and disputed facts.[1]

         a. Undisputed facts

         This matter concerns a nonjudicial foreclosure on a property located at 7852 Pronghorn Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89149 (the “property”). The property sits in a community governed by the HOA. The HOA requires the community members to pay community dues.

         Nonparty Jeremy J. Putinta borrowed funds from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. to purchase the property in 2007. To obtain the loan, Putinta executed a promissory note and a corresponding deed of trust to secure repayment of the note. The deed of trust, which lists Putinta as the borrower, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. as the lender, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., (MERS) as the beneficiary, was recorded on April 26, 2007. MERS assigned the deed of trust to nonparty Bank of America, N.A. (BANA) in August 2012. BANA then assigned the deed of trust to Ditech on or about April 30, 2013.

         Putinta fell behind on HOA payments. From July 2011 through August 2012 the HOA recorded two separate notices of delinquent assessment liens concerning past-due assessments, followed by a subsequently recorded notice of default and election to sell and then a notice of foreclosure sale. On September 26, 2012, the HOA held a foreclosure sale on the property under NRS Chapter 116. Salvador purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. A foreclosure deed in favor of Salvador was recorded on October 2, 2012.

         However, Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) previously purchased the note and the deed of trust in May 2007. While its interest was never recorded under its name, Fannie Mae continued to maintain its ownership of the note and the deed of trust at the time of the foreclosure. BANA serviced the note and was listed as the beneficiary of the deed of trust, on behalf of Fannie Mae, at the time of the foreclosure. Ditech now services the note for Fannie Mae.

         The relationship between Fannie Mae and its servicers is governed by Fannie Mae's Single-Family Servicing Guide (“the Guide”). The Guide provides that servicers may act as record beneficiaries for deeds of trust owned by Fannie Mae. It also requires that servicers ...


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