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Nuzzo v. O'Brien

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

January 29, 2018



          F. Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge

         This is an action alleging fraud by executives of mortgage servicing and securitization companies. The pro se complaint appears to contend that Ditech Financial LLC, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Bank of America, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) engaged in a series of fraudulent transactions injuring plaintiff Frederick Nuzzo. Defendants Mark O'Brien, David Benson, Brian Moynihan, and Bill Beckmann are executive officers of those companies.

         Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, failure to provide a short and plain statement of plaintiff's theory of relief, and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the motions will be granted.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         The facts are set forth essentially as described in the complaint.[1]Frederick Nuzzo is a resident of Saugus, Massachusetts.[2] Ditech Financial LLC is headquartered in Pennsylvania; its CEO is Mark O'Brien. (See Compl. ¶¶ 2-3).[3] Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored public corporation based in Washington, D.C.; according to the complaint, its CEO is David Benson. (See Id. ¶ 5).[4] Bank of America is a Delaware corporation based in North Carolina; its CEO is Brian Moynihan. (See Id. ¶ 6). MERS is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Virginia; its CEO is Bill Beckmann. (See Id. ¶ 7).

         Nuzzo received a loan from Countrywide Financial, which was later acquired by Bank of America. (Id. ¶ 7).[5] The complaint does not identify the date of the loan. The loan was secured by a mortgage on his home. (Id.). On June 10, 2013, Green Tree Servicing LLC sent a letter to Nuzzo stating that it acquired the servicing rights to the mortgage effective June 1, 2013. (Id., Ex. 1 at 11). Green Tree Servicing eventually became Ditech Financial LLC. (Id. ¶ 7).

         While Nuzzo's loan was being serviced by Green Tree Servicing, he had “difficulties keeping up with his loan payments.” (Id.). He signed a loan modification agreement with Green Tree Servicing on April 25, 2014. (Id.).[6]

         In August 2015, Nuzzo contacted Green Tree Servicing, which by that point had become Ditech Financial. (Id. ¶ 8). It appears he requested that his payment for that month be deferred so that he could pay for burial expenses for his mother, who had recently passed away. (Id.).[7]However, the deferral was denied, as Nuzzo was more than $18, 000 in arrears on his mortgage payment. (Id. ¶ 9).[8] The complaint alleges that Nuzzo then discovered that Green Tree Servicing had made the loan modification agreement effective “July 1, 2013, and not April 25, 2013, ” the date he signed the modification documents. (Id.). Nuzzo contends he was unaware of “any notices of amounts in [ ] arrears from either Green Tree Servicing LLC or Ditech Financial LLC.” (Id.). From there, the complaint alleges that Nuzzo unraveled “unscrupulous and fraudulent behavior by Mortgage Servicers and the Government.” (Id. ¶ 10).

         B. Procedural Background

         The complaint was filed on February 23, 2017, and was initially assigned to Judge O'Toole. It seeks two forms of relief: first, a “declaratory judgment for quiet title, ” and second, “[d]eclaratory judgment for collection of treble punitive damages allowed under the Federal Protection Act (Mortgage Fraud) to be imposed against Mark O'Brien, CEO Ditech Financial LLC for $322, 000.00, and David C. Brown [sic], CEO Fannie Mae for $322, 000.00.” (Compl. at 4-5).[9] On March 6, 2017, plaintiff filed a document that purported to be a “motion for quiet title.” (Docket No. 5).[10]

         On March 24, 2017, defendants Beckmann, Moynihan, and Benson filed motions to dismiss. (Docket Nos. 16, 21). Defendants Beckmann and Moynihan moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Defendant Benson moved to dismiss pursuant to both Rule 8(a)(2) for failure to provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief” and Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. On April 12, 2017, defendant O'Brien moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction, Rule 8(a)(2), and Rule 12(b)(6). (Docket No. 28). The case was reassigned to the undersigned judge on January 23, 2018.

         II. Analysis

         A. Defendant O'Brien's Motion to Dismiss ...

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