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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Grandberry

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 12, 2019

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, As Trustee of Ameriquest Mortgage Securities, Inc. Asset Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2005-R3, Plaintiff,
v.
GINA GRANDBERRY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge.

         This case arises out of a dispute over the ownership of a mortgage (“the Mortgage”) and an Adjustable Rate Note (“the Note”). Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee of Ameriquest Mortgage Securities, Inc. Asset Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2005-R3 (“Deutsche Bank” or “plaintiff”) maintains that it is the holder of record of the Mortgage and the Note and that Gina Grandberry (“Grandberry” or “defendant”), the owner of the mortgaged property, created a cloud on the title thereof by recording an affidavit at the Registry of Deeds that denied that Deutsche Bank was the holder of either the Mortgage or the Note.

         Deutsche Bank brings this action for declaratory judgment that it is the rightful mortgagee and noteholder, is entitled to pursue foreclosure and that the affidavit recorded by defendant actually creates a cloud on the title of the subject property that should be removed.[1] Pending before this Court is defendant's motion to dismiss on the grounds that Deutsche Bank 1) lacks standing to bring its claims, 2) has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and 3) is barred from bringing this action for both claim and issue preclusion. For the reasons that follow, defendant's motion will be denied.

         I. Background

         A. The Mortgage and the Note

          Plaintiff is a nationally chartered bank with a principal office located in Santa Ana, California. Grandberry is an individual who resides in Lynn, Massachusetts.

         In April, 1999, Grandberry took title to residential property (“the Property”) in Lynn, Massachusetts, pursuant to a quitclaim deed from Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. That deed was recorded with the Essex District Registry of Deeds (“the Registry”). In February, 2005, Grandberry executed the Mortgage and the Note in the amount of $334, 950 in favor of Ameriquest Mortgage Company (“Ameriquest”). The Mortgage was recorded with the Registry in March, 2005.

         In April, 2005, the Mortgage and the Note were securitized and the Note was transferred to Deutsche Bank as trustee of the Series 2005-R3 Certificates. In February, 2007, Ameriquest assigned the Mortgage to Deutsche Bank and that assignment was also recorded with the Registry.

         B. Prior Litigation

         In December, 2011, Deutsche Bank foreclosed on the Mortgage and purportedly took title to the Property. The foreclosure deed was recorded in the Registry in January, 2012. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff filed a summary process action to evict Grandberry from the Property. In October, 2013, the Northeast Housing Court determined that the foreclosure sale was invalid and entered judgment in favor of Grandberry.

         In December, 2016, Grandberry executed an Affidavit of Clarification of Title (“the Affidavit”) pursuant to M.G.L. c. 183, § 5B, in which she stated that Deutsche Bank was not the holder of the Mortgage or the Note. That affidavit was subsequently recorded with the Registry in February, 2017. Deutsche Bank recorded the decision of the Northeast Housing Court with the Registry in March, 2017, thereby rescinding the foreclosure deed.

         In September, 2016, Grandberry filed a civil action against Deutsche Bank in the Northeast Housing Court. In June, 2017, she filed a motion to compel Deutsche Bank to pay her water and sewer bills after the water to her Property was disconnected. After the Court determined that the foreclosure had been rescinded and that Grandberry was still the owner of the property, it denied her request to compel Deutsche Bank to pay her bills.

         C. Current Action

         In December, 2017, Deutsche Bank initiated the present action. It asserts that Grandberry created a cloud on the title by recording her Affidavit which adversely affects plaintiff's ability to foreclose on the Mortgage. In September, 2018, defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the ...


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