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Meeks-Owens v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

August 13, 2009

THOMASINA YVETTE MEEKS-OWENS PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, AS RECEIVER OF INDYMAC BANK, F.S.B., ET. AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

(JUDGE CAPUTO)

MEMORANDUM

Three motions for summary judgment are presently before the Court from: (1) Defendants Mountain Valley Abstract and Annette Peterson (Doc 32), (2) Defendant Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"), as Receiver of Indymac Bank, F.S.B. ("Indymac") (Doc. 35), and (3) Defendants Lisa Marie's Appraisal Service, Inc. and Lisa Marie Gibson (Doc. 39). For the reasons set forth in greater detail below, the Court will grant the Defendants' motions.

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

BACKGROUND

On January 11, 2001, Plaintiff Thomasina Yvette Meeks-Owens purchased a home at 2212 Allegheny Drive, Blakeslee, PA from Parisi and Kishbaugh ("P&K") and their affiliated companies. (Doc. 34 ¶ 1; Doc. 36 ¶ 1; Doc. 43 ¶ 1; Doc. 45 ¶ 1.) With P&K's assistance, Plaintiff chose Nations First Mortgage Company ("Nation's First") as the broker for her loan transaction. (Doc. 34, ¶ 3; Doc. 36 ¶ 1; Doc. 43 ¶ 4; Doc. 45 ¶ 4.) Nation's First selected Defendant Lisa Marie's Appraisal Service ("Lisa Marie's") as the appraiser for Plaintiff's loan transaction. (Doc. 36 ¶ 2; Doc. 43 ¶ 2; Doc. 45 ¶ 2.) Nation's First also contacted Mountain Valley Abstract to perform the closing on this transaction. (Doc. 34 ¶ 4.) Defendant Annette Peterson represented Mountain Valley Abstract at the January 11, 2001 closing and prepared documents used in that closing. (Doc. 34 ¶ 17; Doc. 43 ¶ 8; Doc. 45 ¶ 8.) At the closing, the Plaintiff executed a promissory note for one hundred eighty-five thousand, two hundred fifty dollars ($185,250) in favor of Indymac Bank, F.S.B. for a loan to purchase the property. (Doc. 36 ¶ 3.) As security for this promissory note, the Plaintiff executed a mortgage naming Indymac as beneficiary. (Doc. 36 ¶ 4.) In the fall of 2001, the Plaintiff became delinquent on her mortgage payments and, in February 2003, filed for bankruptcy. (Doc. 36 ¶ 6.) Following Plaintiff's bankruptcy filing, Indymac foreclosed on the property. (Id.)

On January 11, 2007, the Plaintiff filed a Complaint initiating the current case and bringing six (6) claims against the various defendants. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Specifically, Count I of Plaintiff's Complaint asserts a claim against all Defendants under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 ("RICO") (Compl. ¶¶ 140-156); Count II asserts a RICO claim against Indymac Bank (Id. ¶¶ 157-168); Count III alleges that all Defendants violated Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law ("UTPCPL"), 73 P.S. § 201-1 et seq., ( Id. ¶¶ 169-183); Count IV alleges that all Defendants violated the Federal Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1639, ("HOEPA") (Id. ¶¶ 184-190); Count V alleges that all Defendants violated the Federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2601, ("RESPA") (Id. ¶¶ 191-196); and Count VI asserts a claim of negligent misrepresentation against all Defendants (Id. ¶¶ 196-201).

On April 10, 2008, the Court issued an Order (Doc. 16) adopting Magistrate Judge Mannion's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 14), thereby granting Defendants' motions to dismiss (Docs. 3 & 6) Plaintiff's Complaint with respect to Counts IV, V, and VI. In particular, Plaintiff's Count IV HOEPA and Count V RESPA claims were dismissed because Plaintiff conceded that she brought the claims outside the one (1) year statute of limitations established by 15 U.S.C. § 1640(e) and 12 U.S.C. § 2614. Plaintiff's Count VI claim for negligent misrepresentation was dismissed because Plaintiff conceded that she could not assert such a claim when her alleged loss was purely economic.

On December 12, 2008, Defendants Mountain Valley Abstract and Anita M. Peterson filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's remaining RICO and UTPCPL claims (Doc. 32), along with a corresponding Brief in Support (Doc. 33) and Statement of Facts (Doc. 34). On December 13, 2008, Defendant FDIC, as Receiver of Indymac Bank, F.S.B., filed its Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's RICO and UTPCPL claims (Doc. 36), along with a corresponding Brief in Support (Doc. 37) and Statement of Uncontested Facts (Doc. 36). Finally, on December 31, 2008, Defendants Lisa Marie's Appraisal Service, Inc. and Lisa Marie Gibson filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff's RICO and UTPCPL claims (Doc. 39) on December 16, 2008 and filed an Amended Brief in Support (Doc. 41). Plaintiff filed Statements of Facts (Docs. 43, 45, 47) and Briefs in Opposition (Docs. 42, 44, 46) on January 13, 2009. On January 27, 2009 Defendant FDIC filed its Reply Brief (Doc. 48). On April 29, 2009, Defendants Lisa Marie's Appraisal Service and Lisa Marie Gibson filed a supplemental Brief in Support (Doc. 55) and, on April 30, 2009, the Court heard oral arguments from all parties concerning the current motions for summary judgment. Defendants' motions for summary judgment have been thoroughly briefed and argued and are currently ripe for disposition.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A fact is material if proof of its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable substantive law. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

Where there is no material fact in dispute, the moving party need only establish that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Where, however, there is a disputed issue of material fact, summary judgment is appropriate only if the factual dispute is not a genuine one. See id. at 248. An issue of material fact is genuine if "a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

Where there is a material fact in dispute, the moving party has the initial burden of proving that: (1) there is no genuine issue of material fact; and (2) the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See CHARLES ALAN WRIGHT & ARTHURR. MILLER, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: CIVIL 2D § 2727 (2d ed. 1983). The moving party may present its own evidence or, where the nonmoving party has the burden of proof, simply point out to the Court that "the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing of an essential element of her case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

All doubts as to the existence of a genuine issue of material fact must be resolved against the moving party, and the entire record must be examined in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See White v. Westinghouse Elec. Co., 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988). Once the moving party has satisfied its initial burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to either present affirmative evidence supporting its version of the material facts or to refute ...


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