Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Yeager v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

February 21, 2018




         Before the court is Defendant Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC's (“Ocwen”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 12), filed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiffs Richard A. Yeager and Deana J. Yeager (“the Yeagers”) filed a response in opposition to the motion (Doc. # 16), and Ocwen filed a reply. (Doc. # 21.) After careful consideration of the arguments of counsel, the relevant law, and the pertinent facts as pleaded in the complaint, the court finds that the Motion to Dismiss is due to be granted in part and denied in part.


         Subject-matter jurisdiction is exercised pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367. The parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue.


         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the legal standard articulated by Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8 provides that the complaint must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). When evaluating a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must take the facts alleged in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Resnick v. AvMed, Inc., 693 F.3d 1317, 1321-22 (11th Cir. 2012). However, the court need not accept mere legal conclusions as true. Id. at 1325.

         To survive a 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Additionally, notwithstanding the alleged facts, Rule 12(b)(6) “[d]ismissal is . . . permitted ‘when on the basis of a dispositive issue of law, no construction of the factual allegations will support the cause of action.'” Glover v. Liggett Grp., Inc., 459 F.3d 1304, 1308 (11th Cir. 2006) (quoting Marshall Cty. Bd. of Educ. v. Marshall Cty. Gas Dist., 992 F.2d 1171, 1174 (11th Cir. 1993)); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989) (explaining that Rule 12(b)(6) allows a court “to dismiss a claim on the basis of a dispositive issue of law”).


         This action has its roots in a 1998 home mortgage that the Yeagers obtained to finance the purchase of their home. Ocwen argues that preceding litigation bars the instant action.

         A. The Yeagers' loan, bankruptcy, and dispute regarding collections

         In February 1998, the Yeagers obtained a mortgage to finance the purchase of their home. Following financial difficulties, the Yeagers filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in June 2003. Following bankruptcy proceedings and making payments on their debt, the Yeagers completed their Chapter 13 plan and received a discharge in November 2007. Rather than marking the conclusion of proceedings related to that loan, the discharge only prompted the beginning of extended frustration and litigation between the Yeagers and several debt servicing companies.

         In late 2012, Ocwen acquired Homeward Residential Holdings, Inc., and the acquisition included servicing rights to the Yeagers' loan. The Yeagers' loan was transferred to Ocwen in March 2013, and shortly thereafter, Ocwen contacted the Yeagers for the first time. Beginning in March 2013, Ocwen “treated [the Yeagers' loan] as if it were in default.” (Doc. # 1, at 4.) This treatment included a series of letters and phone calls that the Yeagers allege violate various laws and common law rights.

         As they had done with previous loan servicing providers, the Yeagers sent Ocwen a letter setting out the history of the loan and asking Ocwen to correct their account balance. Ocwen continued calling the Yeagers' landline and cellular phones “hundreds” of times, (Doc. # 1, at 8), and continued, at the time of the filing of the complaint, to report negative information to credit reporting agencies. (Doc. # 1, at 6.) Additionally, Ocwen failed to investigate and correct the Yeagers' loan balance information, despite the Yeagers requesting such an investigation-in writing-at least five different times. (Doc. # 1, at 12.)

         B. Yeager I

         Though mention of the suit is curiously absent from the Yeagers' complaint, the Yeagers previously sued Ocwen in 2014, culminating in Yeager v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 237 F.Supp.3d 1211 (M.D. Ala. 2017) [Yeager I]. There, the Yeagers sued Ocwen regarding the same loan and about some of the same behavior-letters that Ocwen sent regarding collections on an already-paid loan. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692 et seq, the Yeagers alleged that Ocwen failed to provide appropriate notice of debt validation by the deadline provided by the statute. Specifically, the Yeagers claimed that Ocwen failed to include various notices about disputing the validity of the debt until 13 days after the statutory deadline. Yeager I, 237 F.Supp.3d at 1215.

         After nearly three years of litigation-including three motions to dismiss, three magistrate judge recommendations, and three rulings on those recommendations-the court granted Ocwen's renewed motion to dismiss on the ground that the Yeagers lacked standing. Relying on the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016), Judge Thompson found that the Yeagers “allege[d] merely a procedural violation” that lacked a “‘degree of risk sufficient to meet the concreteness requirement.'” Yeager I at 1217 (quoting Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1550). At oral argument, the court asked whether, if allowed to amend their complaint, the Yeagers could identify any harm or material risk of harm that accompanied the procedural violation; they indicated that they could not. Accordingly, the court found that the Yeagers lacked Article III standing and granted Ocwen's motion for judgment on the pleadings. Id. at 1218. The Yeagers later filed an appeal, which they dismissed voluntarily on April 4, 2017. See Yeager I (Doc. # 76).

         C. Yeager II

         Following the dismissal of Yeager I, the Yeagers filed their complaint in the instant action on August 28, 2017, (Doc. # 1), again alleging claims under the FDCPA, but also including claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), as well as common law claims for invasion of privacy and breach of contract. These claims are related to Ocwen's servicing of the same loan that was the subject of the dispute in Yeager I. Ocwen filed a Motion to Dismiss on October 20, 2017, alleging that all of the Yeagers' claims are due to be dismissed as barred by res judicata and, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.