United States District Court, D. Kansas
ROCKY L. LACEY, Plaintiff,
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ERIC F. MELGREN, District Judge.
Plaintiff Rocky L. Lacey brought this pro se lawsuit against Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (Ocwen), GMAC Mortgage, LLC (GMAC), and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, National Association alleging several statutory and tort violations while Ocwen and GMAC were servicing the note and mortgage held by The Bank of New York. The Defendants have moved for dismissal for failure to state a claim. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 26) for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
I. Factual and Procedural Background
Plaintiff sets out the following facts and allegations in his complaint. In 2003, Plaintiff Rocky L. Lacey executed a note that was secured by a mortgage on the property commonly described as 116 Blankenship Road, Udall, Kansas 67146. Initially GMAC serviced the mortgage. Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that Ocwen took over the servicing of the note and mortgage in January 2011. In December 2012, the note and mortgage were assigned to The Bank of New York.
Plaintiff alleges that after Ocwen took over the servicing of the note and mortgage, Ocwen informed Plaintiff that Ocwen intended to have a third-party inspection done at his property. Further, Ocwen informed Plaintiff that he would be responsible for payment of an inspection fee. Plaintiff agreed to pay this fee. After the initial inspection, Plaintiff alleges he began receiving notices from Ocwen that indicated that additional property inspections had been performed and that additional inspection fees would be assessed. Plaintiff immediately began protesting the fees. The inspection fees plus miscellaneous fees and interest totaled $3, 300.
Plaintiff alleges that he continued to pay the principal and interest payments on his mortgage but refused to pay the disputed fees throughout the disputed time. Plaintiff also alleges Ocwen and GMAC misapplied his principal and interest payments to the disputed fees resulting in his mortgage being in default.
Plaintiff alleges to have sent qualified written requests regarding the servicing of the mortgage to both Ocwen and GMAC with no responses and no corrections to his account. Throughout 2013, Ocwen and GMAC sent Plaintiff notices of his default and alerted him to the possibility of foreclosure. Finally, Plaintiff alleges he has suffered emotional distress from the fear of losing his property, his credit rating has been damaged, and he has had to miss work due to dealing with this dispute.
Plaintiff's amended complaint includes the following six claims against Ocwen and GMAC: (1) violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), (2) violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), (3) breach of contract, (4) negligence, (5) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and (6) conspiracy to commit fraud. Plaintiff also includes The Bank of New York in the breach of contract and negligence claims.
Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss.
II. Legal Standards
A. Standard of Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)
Under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff has not pled sufficient facts to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. In ruling on the motion, the court must accept all factual allegations as true. However the court does not have to accept all conclusory statements as true. The claim must state enough facts for the claim for relief to be plausible on its face. A claim is facially plausible if the plaintiff pleads facts sufficient for the court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Viewing the complaint in this manner, the court must decide whether the plaintiff's allegations give rise to more than speculative possibilities. If the allegations in the complaint are "so general that they encompass a wide swath of conduct, much of it innocent, then the plaintiffs have not nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.'" Mere conclusions or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do."
B. Pleading Standard for a Pro Se Litigant
A pro se plaintiff's pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. This rule means that "if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite the plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority, his confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading ...