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United States v. Dawson

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

October 20, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff
v.
ANNA DAWSON Defendant, pro se

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NITZA I. QUINONES ALEJANDRO, U.S.D.C. J.

         INTRODUCTION

         United States of America (“Plaintiff”), on behalf of its agency the Rural Housing Service (“RHS”), United States Department of Agriculture, filed the instant mortgage foreclosure action against Defendant Anna Dawson (“Defendant”) alleging that she defaulted on a loan provided by RHS. Presently before this Court is Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment with supporting documents. [ECF 9, 10, 11]. Defendant has not filed a response though the time to do so has long passed. The motion for summary judgment has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons stated herein, the motion for summary judgment is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint and averred therein that pursuant to Title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1471, et seq., Defendant applied for and received a loan in the amount of $190, 650.00 from RHS secured by a mortgage on real estate located in Pennsylvania. [ECF 1]. Defendant subsequently defaulted on the loan, and Plaintiff seeks to foreclose on the mortgage. (Id.). On March 6, 2017, Defendant, proceeding pro se, filed an answer in which she admitted to the underlying secured indebtedness but denied that she had defaulted on the loan and disputed the amount owed. [ECF 3]. On July 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for summary judgment.[1] [ECF 9]. The deadline to file a response to the motion for summary judgment was August 14, 2017. As of the date of this Memorandum Opinion, Defendant has yet to file a response.

         When considering the motion for summary judgment, this Court has considered all the relevant facts in this matter in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, i.e., Defendant. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). These relevant facts, as gleaned from the affidavit attached to the motion for summary judgment, are summarized as follows:[2]

On June 25, 2010, Defendant obtained a mortgage on a property located at 82 Hannah Court, Royersford, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (the “Property”) from RHS. [ECF 11 ¶ 3, Ex. A]. The mortgage secured the payment of a promissory note in the amount of $190, 650.00. (Id. ¶ 4, Ex. B). The mortgage and promissory note were continuously held by Plaintiff and were never assigned or transferred. (Id. ¶ 6).
Defendant failed to pay the principal and interest payment due on December 25, 2013, and every monthly payment thereafter, despite Plaintiff's willingness to accept payment. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8). As such, Defendant defaulted on the mortgage. (Id. ¶ 7). On January 20, 2015, the loan was accelerated and Plaintiff was sent a “Notice of Acceleration of Your Mortgage Loan(s); Demand for Payment of that Debt; Notice of Right to Cure Your Delinquency; Notice of Intent to Foreclose and Notice of Your Opportunity to Have a Hearing Concerning this Action.” (Id. ¶¶ 7-10, Ex. D). By July 31, 2017, the amount due was calculated at $245, 832.51, which broke down as follows: (1) principal balance of $183, 524.17; (2) $25, 247.19 in interest from November 25, 2013 to September 20, 2016 at 4.875% ($24.5118 per diem); (3) $16, 999.83 of interest recapture; (4) $262.34 in late charges; (5) escrow/impound of $4, 313.51; (6) $1, 034.19 for fees required with payoff funds; and (7) $14, 451.28 in currently accessed fees. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14, Ex. G).[3]

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 56 governs summary judgment motion practice. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Specifically, this rule provides that summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Id. A fact is “material” if proof of its existence or non-existence might affect the outcome of the litigation, and a dispute is “genuine” if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Under Rule 56, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Galena v. Leone, 638 F.3d 186, 196 (3d Cir. 2011).

         Consistent with Rule 56(c), the movant bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for the motion and identifying those portions of the record which the movant “believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This burden can be met by showing that the nonmoving party has “fail[ed] to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case.” Id. at 322.

         After the moving party has met the initial burden, summary judgment is appropriate if the nonmoving party fails to rebut the moving party's claim by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials” that show a genuine issue of material fact or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute.” See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A-B). The nonmoving party must “do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The nonmoving party may not rely on “bare assertions, conclusory allegations or suspicions, ” Fireman's Ins. Co. of Newark v. DuFresne, 676 F.2d 965, 969 (3d Cir. 1982), nor rest on the allegations in the pleadings. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. Rather, the nonmoving party must “go beyond the pleadings” and either by affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or admissions on file, “designate ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Id.

         DISCUSSION

         As averred in the complaint, Defendant obtained a loan from RHS secured by a mortgage on the Property and, subsequently, failed to make the required mortgage payments and defaulted. Plaintiff seeks to ...


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