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Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Grandberry

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 8, 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 its lien on the subject property.

         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 creates a cloud on the title of the subject property that should be removed. Pending before this Court is plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on all claims asserted in the complaint and on all counterclaims asserted by defendant. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion will be allowed with respect to Count II of the complaint for declaratory judgment and with respect to all of defendant's counterclaims.

         The Court previously declined to dismiss Count I of the complaint for Quiet Title because of the inadequacy of the briefing on the issue of whether a party can state a claim for quiet title to a mortgage. While plaintiff moves for summary judgment on all counts of the complaint, it fails to cite any law in support of its claim to quiet title nor even to argue specifically for such relief. Plaintiff has therefore failed to satisfy its burden as the moving party with respect to Count I of the complaint. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

         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 pursuant to a Pooling and Servicing Agreement (“the PSA”). 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 asserted 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 nominal owner of the Property, it denied her request to compel Deutsche Bank to pay her outstanding bills.

         C. ...


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