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Ridenour v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

May 22, 2014

L. STEPHEN RIDENOUR, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., Defendants

Page 1202

For L. Stephen Ridenour, Vickey J. Ridenour, Plaintiffs: Susan P Weeks, JAMES VERNON & WEEKS, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

For Bank of America, BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, Recontrust Company NA, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc., Defendants: Amber N. Dina, Kelly Greene McConnell, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Givens Pursley LLP, Boise, ID.

Page 1203

ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (Doc. 4)

Honorable Richard C. Tallman, United States Circuit Judge.

Introduction

Stephen and Vickey Ridenour sued several companies connected to their residential mortgage. Those companies have moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 4. The court reviewed the complaint and the briefs and held oral argument on May 8, 2014. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

Background

The Ridenours borrowed $553,000 to buy a home on the Spokane River near Post Falls, Idaho, in 2005. Doc. 1 at ¶ 8. Three years later they stopped making payments. Id. ¶ 9. After a year of negotiation, their loan servicer sent them a " Loan Modification Agreement" adjusting the terms of their mortgage. Id. ¶ 10, 11, 14. The agreement misspelled the Ridenours' first names, each by a single letter. Doc. 1-3. The Ridenours inked in the correct letters, signed the contract, and mailed it in. Doc. 1 at ¶ 14; doc. 1-3. A few days later, the servicer rejected the contract, apparently because the Ridenours fixed their names. Doc. 1 at ¶ 15; doc. 1-4 at 2. That rejection kicked off five years of phone calls, letters, and negotiations--even two lawsuits. Doc. 1 at ¶ ¶ 16-40; doc. 4-3 at ¶ 3(a).

In this, the second lawsuit, the Ridenours complain against Bank of America, N.A. (ultimate successor to Banner Bank, the original lender), BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (a Bank of America subsidiary created to service acquired loans), ReconTrust Company, N.A., and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. Doc. 1 at ¶ ¶ 2-6. They bring five claims: one

Page 1204

entitled " Bank of America Has Repeatedly Failed to Provide the Requested Net Present Value Inputs and Cannot Maintain a Trustee Sale," id. ¶ ¶ 44-63; a breach of contract claim, id. ¶ ¶ 64-69; a fraud claim, id. ¶ ¶ 79-88; a promissory estoppel claim, id. ¶ ¶ 70-78; and a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, id. ¶ ¶ 89-92. The defendants move to dismiss the entire complaint. Doc. 4-1.

Legal Standards

Motions to Dismiss

Rule 12(b)(6) motions assert that the plaintiff has failed " to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." What it takes to state a claim depends on the type of claim. " In alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake." Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b). Other causes of action require only " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The " short and plain" standard is satisfied if the plaintiff's allegations, taken as true, " nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible." Bell Atantic Corp. v. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). " Detailed factual allegations" are unnecessary, but " unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation[s]" are inadequate. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

Leave to Amend

Rule 15(a)(2) provides that " the court should freely give leave when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The " freely give leave" policy is " to be applied with extreme liberality." Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc.,316 F.3d 1048, 1051-52 (9th Cir. 2003). But courts do consider whether the plaintiff has shown bad faith, delayed the proceedings unduly, or repeatedly failed to plead successfully. Id. at 1051-52 (citing Foman v. Davis,371 U.S. 178, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962)). They also consider whether amendment will prejudice the ...


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