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Carvalho v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 30, 2019

MICHAEL CARVALHO, Plaintiff,
v.
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PATTI B. SARIS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Michael Carvalho has sued Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) for claims arising out of a mortgage on a property in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Carvalho executed a note and mortgage on the property in 2003 and received a loan modification from Chase in April 2014. Since June 2014, he has failed to make timely payments on his mortgage, and he stopped making any payments in July 2015. In light of his default, Chase foreclosed on the property in May 2018. Carvalho alleges Chase (1) “cancelled” the loan modification; (2) induced him to make mortgage payments in reliance on the loan modification; and (3) lacked standing to foreclose on his home.

         After hearing, the Court ALLOWS Chase's motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 61).

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are undisputed, except where otherwise noted.

         Carvalho purchased the property located at 279 Fairview Avenue, Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1999. On October 22, 2003, he executed a note in the amount of $167, 925 in favor of First Horizon Home Loan Corporation (“First Horizon”). On the same day, he granted First Horizon a mortgage on the property to secure the note.

         On February 28, 2009, First Horizon assigned the mortgage to MetLife Home Loans (“MetLife”). MetLife subsequently assigned the mortgage to Chase on March 13, 2013. In addition to holding the mortgage, Chase states it services the note on behalf of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”).

         In October 2013, Carvalho submitted a request for mortgage assistance to Chase. In response, Carvalho and Chase executed a loan modification agreement in April 2014. The loan modification provided Carvalho with a lower monthly payment and longer amortization period. In exchange for these more favorable terms, Carvalho promised to make monthly payments of principal and interest beginning on May 1, 2014.

         Carvalho started to miss timely and full loan payments in June 2014, a month after the loan modification went into effect. He submitted another request for mortgage assistance on October 5, 2014, along with a letter two weeks later in which he asked for another loan modification with a lower interest rate and forgiveness for his delinquent payments. He continued to miss payments and stopped paying altogether in July 2015. He alleges that he received notice at some point between June 2014 and July 2015 that Chase had “cancelled” the 2014 loan modification. Chase claims it has no record of cancelling the modification.

         On June 1, 2016, Chase sent Carvalho notice of its intent to foreclose. Chase held a foreclosure auction on May 29, 2018 after Carvalho failed to cure his default. Hanscom Federal Credit Union purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $225, 000.

         On March 24, 2017, Carvalho sued Chase in state court. His complaint includes five causes of action: (1) breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (2) promissory estoppel, (3) lack of standing to foreclose, (4) quieting title, and (5) declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. Chase removed this action to federal court on April 25, 2017. After discovery, Chase moves for summary judgment on all Carvalho's claims.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is appropriate when there is “no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine dispute exists where the evidence “is such that a reasonable jury could resolve the point in the favor of the non-moving party.” Rivera-Rivera v. Medina & Medina, Inc., 898 F.3d 77, 87 (1st Cir. 2018) (quoting Cherkaoui v. City of Quincy, 877 F.3d 14, 23-24 (1st Cir. 2017)). A material fact is one with the “potential of changing a case's outcome.” Doe v. Trs. of Bos. Coll., 892 F.3d 67, 79 (1st Cir. 2018). “The court must view the facts ...


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