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Brown v. Newrez LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 22, 2019

Judith V. Brown, Plaintiff,
v.
NEWREZ LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          DOMINIC W. LANZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In May 2012, Plaintiff Judith Brown stopped making payments on the nearly $1 million mortgage on her home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Since then, Brown has filed a series of lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings in an attempt to stave off foreclosure. This is the latest such lawsuit. Now pending before the Court are motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Bank of America (Doc. 9) and Newrez LLC (doing business as Shellpoint) (Doc. 13), as well as Brown's motion to amend her complaint (Doc. 25). As explained below, the Court will grant the motions to dismiss, deny the motion to amend, and terminate this action.[1]

         BACKGROUND

         The facts as alleged in the complaint, and as established though the exhibits attached to the complaint, Shellpoint's unopposed request for judicial notice (Doc. 14), and Shellpoint's unopposed supplemental request for judicial notice (Doc. 27), [2] are as follows.

         I. Brown's Lawsuits And Bankruptcy Proceedings

         In May 2004, Brown borrowed $999, 999 to refinance her home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. (Doc. 1-1 at 4-14; Doc. 14-1 at 3-4 ¶ 8, 38-41.)

         In May 2012, Brown filed a petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (Doc. 14-1 at 9 ¶ 33; Doc. 14-2 at 19-20.) Around this time, Brown stopped making her monthly mortgage payments. (Doc. 14-2 at 59; Doc. 14-3 at 11.)

         In April or May 2016 (after Brown's Chapter 11 plan had been confirmed), Brown received a letter from Shellpoint stating that she was in default and that foreclosure proceedings would be initiated in 30 days. (Doc. 14-1 at 10 ¶¶ 39, 42.)

         In June 2016, Brown filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court asking that the court “quiet title on the home and order that any and all lien(s) held by the defendant(s) be released.” (Doc. 27-1 at 1.)

         In November 2016, after the case was removed to federal court, Brown stipulated to the dismissal of the case without prejudice. (Doc. 27-1 at 16.)

         In March 2017, Brown received a notice of trustee's sale of her home. (Doc. 1-1 at 2-3; Doc. 14-112 ¶ 50.) The sale was originally scheduled for June 29, 2017 but was then rescheduled.

         On August 17, 2018, Brown filed a lawsuit against Shellpoint and certain other defendants in Maricopa County Superior Court and also sought a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) to prevent those defendants from pursuing a trustee's sale. (Doc. 14-3 at 20.)

         In October 2018, following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the TRO request. (Id.) Specifically, the court found that “[a]ll of Plaintiff's claims for relief appear to be based upon the argument that somehow, despite not making any payments on her mortgage since 2012, and eight years into a 30-year mortgage, she is now absolved from making any future payments and may continue to retain possession of her residence.” (Doc. 8 at 3, citation omitted.)

         In November 2018, Brown filed a first amended complaint in the state-court action, arguing that a complex chain of transfers resulted in none of the defendants in that case (including Shellpoint) having the power to foreclose on her home. (Doc. 14-1 at 20 ¶¶ 109-110; Doc. 14-1 at 32.)

         On January 2, 2019, Brown filed another TRO request in the ...


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