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Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. SFR Investments Pool I, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

November 12, 2019

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Plaintiff(s),
v.
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL I, LLC TALASERA AND VICANTO HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION Defendant(s).

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are Plaintiffs Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), and Nationstar Mortgage LLC's (“Nationstar”) Joint Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant Talasera and Vicanto Homeowners Association's Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 88, 89. For the following reasons, the Court grants Plaintiffs' Motion.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed their complaint in this matter on February 13, 2015 and asserted claims for quiet title and declaratory relief. ECF No. 1. Defendant SFR Investments Pool I, LLC (SFR) filed a motion to dismiss on April 17, 2015. ECF No. 30. Defendant Talasera and Vicanto Homeowners Association (“HOA”) answered the complaint on that same date. ECF No. 33. On March 31, 2016, the Court denied SFR's Motion to Dismiss without prejudice. ECF No. 58. On August 31, 2016, the Court granted a joint stipulation to stay proceedings in this case pending the issuance of the Ninth Circuit's mandate in Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA. 832 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2016), cert denied 137 S.Ct. 2296 (2017). On April 8, 2019, the Court lifted the stay. ECF No. 87. Plaintiffs filed their joint motion for summary judgment on May 13, 2019. ECF No. 88. SFR filed opposition. ECF No. 91. Plaintiffs filed a reply. ECF No. 92. The HOA filed its motion for summary judgment on that same date. ECF No. 89. Plaintiffs opposed the motion and the HOA replied. ECF Nos. 90, 93.

         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 9147 Cantina Creek Court, Las Vegas, NV 89179 (the “property”). The property sits in a community governed by the HOA. The HOA requires its community members to pay HOA dues.

         Nonparty Magdolna Drafi borrowed funds from Ryland Mortgage Company to purchase the property in 2006. To obtain the loan, Drafi executed a promissory note and a corresponding deed of trust to secure repayment of the note. The deed of trust listed Ryland Mortgage Company as lender and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as beneficiary and was recorded on March 27, 2006. MERS subsequently assigned its interest under the Deed of Trust to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, (“BAC”) as recorded on or about July 16, 2010. On May 15, 2013, all beneficial interest in the Deed of Trust was assigned from Bank of America, N.A., (“BANA”)-successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP-to Nationstar, as recorded on or about June 5, 2013.

         Drafi fell behind on HOA payments. From April 13, 2012 through November 15, 2012, the HOA, through its agent, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien concerning past-due assessments, followed by a notice of default and election to sell, and finally a notice of foreclosure sale upon the property. The foreclosure sale occurred on February 15, 2013, and SFR purchased the property on that date.

         However, Fannie Mae previously purchased the note and deed of trust in April 2006. 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. At the time of the foreclosure sale, BAC was the servicer of the loan 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 assign the deeds of trust to Fannie Mae on Fannie Mae's demand. The Guide states:

The servicer ordinarily appears in the land records as the mortgagee to facilitate performance of the servicer's contractual responsibilities, including (but not limited to) the receipt of legal notices that may impact Fannie Mae's lien, such as notices of foreclosure, tax, and other liens. However, Fannie Mae may take any and all action with respect to the mortgage loan it deems necessary to protect its ... ownership of the mortgage loan, including recordation of a mortgage assignment, or its legal equivalent, from the servicer to Fannie Mae or its designee. In the event that Fannie Mae determines it necessary to record such an instrument, the servicer must assist Fannie Mae by [ ] preparing and ...

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