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Wentzell v. Jpmorgan Chase Bank, National Association

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

February 9, 2015




BEFORE THE COURT is the Motion to Dismiss [3] filed by Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association. This Motion is now fully briefed. After due consideration of the Motion, the related pleadings, the record, and relevant legal authorities, the Court finds that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [3] should be granted and Plaintiffs' claims against Defendant should be dismissed.


A. Factual Background

On October 19, 2001, Plaintiffs Kyrt M. Wentzell and Rhonda E. Wentzell ("Plaintiffs") entered into a loan with Bridges Mortgage Company ("Bridges"), in the principal amount of $128, 118.00 plus interest at the rate of 6.875% per year. Note [1-2] at 7. The loan was secured by a Deed of Trust which granted Bridges and its successors a security interest in Plaintiffs' real property located at 2248 Club Moss Circle, Biloxi, Mississippi (the "Property"). Deed of Trust [1-2] at 9-10. On November 1, 2001, Bridges assigned the loan to Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association ("Chase" or "Defendant"). Land Records [1-2] at 17.

The parties do not appear to dispute that following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Plaintiffs fell behind on their monthly payments on the loan. Petition [1-2] at 2; Mot. [3] at 1-2. Plaintiffs entered into a Loan Modification Agreement with Chase in June 2006, which resulted in a remaining balance owed of $131, 018.72 at an interest rate of 6.875%. June 2006 Loan Modification [1-2] at 18-22. With the modification, Plaintiffs' new monthly payments, due on and after July 1, 2006, were $909.97. Id. at 19.

According to Plaintiffs, they "believed they had secured the modification at the rate of 5.5%, but was [sic] told by representatives of Chase Home Finance that the interest rate would be adjusted to the 5.5% sometime later after the modification had been executed." Petition [1-2] at 2-3. Plaintiffs complain that Chase never made this "correction" and never provided any explanation or clarification for what Plaintiffs perceived as discrepancies in their account activity history. Id. at 3. Plaintiffs' June 23, 2008, Mortgage Loan Statement from Chase reflected a principal balance of $128, 182.13, an interest rate of 6.875%, and a monthly payment of principal and interest totaling $909.97. June 2008 Statement [1-2] at 24. As of the June 23, 2008, Mortgage Loan Statement, Plaintiffs were $9, 275.94 past due on payments and had been assessed other late charges and fees. Id.

Plaintiffs claim that sometime prior to May 1, 2009, they entered into another modification agreement with Chase which changed the interest rate to 5.25% as of April 1, 2009. Petition [1-2] at 3. Plaintiffs have supplied a copy of an unexecuted modification agreement which states that the unpaid principal balance at that point was $148, 318.14, including fees, interest, and other charges totaling $20, 136.01 that were capitalized and added to the principal balance. Modification Agreement [1-2] at 25-28. The annual rate of interest on this unexecuted agreement was 5.25%, and the new monthly payments with this modification would total $935.47 beginning on May 1, 2009. Id. at 26.

Plaintiff's June 1, 2009, Mortgage Loan Statement reflected a principal balance of $148, 232.41, with a 6.8750% interest rate, for a total monthly principal and interest payment of $935.47. June 2009 Statement [1-2] at 29. The November 23, 2009, Statement also contained an interest rate of 6.875% and a monthly principal and interest payment of $935.47. Nov. 2009 Statement [1-2] at 30. This Statement revealed that Plaintiffs were $5, 326.02 in arrears in their monthly payments at that point. Id. Plaintiffs maintain that while the interest rate listed on the June and November 2009 Statements was 6.8750%, the monthly payment due indicated on those Statements show that Chase had in fact applied a 5.25% interest rate in calculating Plaintiffs' payments. Petition [1-2] at 5.

Plaintiffs contend that they continued to "seek assistance from Chase Home Finance in correcting the interest rate and other discrepancies in Plaintiffs' account activity history, but to no avail." Petition [1-2] at 4. Plaintiffs acknowledge that they "made their last payment on their mortgage on or about July 22, 2009." Id. Chase

initiated foreclosure proceedings several times but Plaintiff [sic] was able to postpone the foreclosure sales. However, the foreclosure on May 16, 2013, was not postponed because Plaintiffs inadvertently did not recognize the notice of intent to foreclose as a notice to foreclose and thus, failed to contact JPMorgan Chase about the foreclosure date. The [Property] was sold to JPMorgan, it being the highest bidder.

Id .; see also Substitute Trustee's Deed [1-2] at 35-38; Proof of Publication [1-2] at 39.

On July 1, 2013, Chase filed a Complaint for Unlawful Entry and Detainer in the County Court of Harrison County, Mississippi, Second Judicial District [the "State Court Complaint"]. State Court Compl. [1-2] at 31. The State Court Complaint charged that Plaintiffs were in unlawful use and possession of the Property. Id. at 33. Chase sought a judgment for possession of the ...

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