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Jobe v. Argent Mortgage Co.

February 15, 2008

IAN JOBE, AND CATHERINE JOBE, HIS WIFE, PLAINTIFFS
v.
ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC, DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Vanaskie

MEMORANDUM

This action arises out of an attempt by homeowners to rescind a mortgage obligation they incurred in refinancing their home. Ian Jobe and his wife, Catherine Jobe, plaintiffs proceeding pro se, are seeking to quiet title in their favor and to cancel their contract with Defendant Argent Mortgage Company, LLC ("Argent Mortgage"). The Jobes further seek, pursuant to the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., a money judgment of $300,000, as well as a declaratory judgment affirming their withdrawal from the contract.*fn1

Presently before the Court are cross-motions for summary judgment. (Dkt. Entries 23, 30.) Because Plaintiffs' claim for damages under the TILA is untimely, the Court will grant Argent Mortgage's Motion for Summary Judgment as to that claim. Because there is a genuine issue of fact material to the issue of whether the Jobes received the required number of copies of the right to cancel the transaction, the cross motions for summary judgment will be denied in all other respects.

I. BACKGROUND

In an effort to refinance their home, Ian and Catherine Jobe contacted mortgage broker Western Thrift and Loan, which submitted their loan application to Argent Mortgage in March of 2005. (Pls.' Reply, Dkt. Entry 32, ¶ 5.) Argent Mortgage then agreed to finance the Jobes' loan.

At the closing on March 25, 2005, the Jobes signed numerous documents confirming their loan with Argent Mortgage for $248,800, at an interest rate of 8.75%. (Ian Jobe Dep., Dkt. Entry 23-4, at 14; Ex. D, Dkt. Entry 23-5, at 2.) These documents included a Mortgage (Ex. C, Dkt. Entry 23-4, at 89), an Adjustable Rate Note (Ex. D, at 2), a TILA Disclosure Statement (Ex. E, Dkt. Entry 23-5, at 6), a HUD-1 Settlement Statement (Ex. F, Dkt. Entry 23-5, at 8), and a Notice of Right to Cancel.*fn2 (Ex. G, Dkt. Entry 23-5, at 10.) According to the Adjustable Rate Note, the Jobes agreed to make monthly payments of $1,957.32, starting May 1, 2005. Richard Coburn, the title officer and closing agent, managed the closing and witnessed the signatures of the Jobes on the mortgage. (Ex. C, at 105.)

Nearly one year after closing on the transaction, the Jobes wrote to Argent Mortgage to cancel and rescind the loan agreement. (Ex. H, Dkt. Entry 23-5, at 8.) In their letter of February 15, 2006, purporting to cancel the transaction, the Jobes requested that Argent Mortgage "return the money we gave you and anyone else in connection with this transaction within 20 calender days of your receipt of this notice." (Id.)

On April 4, 2006, when Argent Mortgage failed to meet their demands, the Jobes filed this action. They assert that Argent Mortgage failed to comply with the TILA by not including "two copies of Notice of Right to Cancel." (Compl. ¶ 17.) The Jobes contend that they "have a continuing right to rescind the transaction until the third business day after they receive all 'material disclosures.'"*fn3 (Compl. ¶ 18.)

Argent Mortgage counters by pointing to the Notice of Right to Cancel, signed by both Catherine and Ian Jobe, containing a written acknowledgment that:

The undersigned each acknowledge receipt of two copies of this NOTICE OF RIGHT TO CANCEL and one copy of the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement, all given by lender in compliance with Truth in Lending Simplification and Reform Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-221.) (Ex. G., at 10; Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., Dkt Entry 23-5, at 7.) The Jobes testified that they understood this language to mean that they "collectively, as a couple, received two copies." (Pls.' Opp'n Mot. Summ. J., Dkt. Entry 28, at ¶ 14.) Richard Coburn, in contradiction to the Jobes' assertion, testified that the Jobes each received two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel:

Q: Mr. Coburn, I just want to be very clear for the record. Coburn 3, the Notice of Right to Cancel, were Mr. and Mrs. Jobe provided two copies each of the Notice of Right to Cancel at the loan closing?

A: Yes, they were. (Richard Coburn Dep., Dkt. Entry 23-4, at 52.)*fn4

The Jobes seek damages under the TILA in the amount of $300,000, or an affirmation of their withdrawal from the contract and an order for Argent Mortgage to return all money and property received under the loan. In addition to their TILA claim, the Jobes seek to quiet title in ...


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