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Amina v. The Bank Of New York Mellon

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 7, 2015

MELVIN KEAKAKU AMINA and DONNA MAE AMINA, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, FKA THE BANK OF NEW YORK; U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST 2006-WMC2, ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-WMC2, Defendants

Melvin Keakaku Amina, Husband, Plaintiff, Pro se, Honolulu, HI.

Donna Mae Amina, Wife, Plaintiff, Pro se, Honolulu, HI.

For The Bank Of New York Mellon, formerly known as The Bank of New York, Defendant: David A. Gruebner, Jeffrey H.K. Sia, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Diane W. Wong, Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura LLLP, Honolulu, HI.

For U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC2, Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-WMC2, Defendant: Jeffrey H.K. Sia, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura LLLP, Honolulu, HI.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, FKA THE BANK OF NEW YORK AND U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST 2006-WMC2, ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-WMC2'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DOC. NO. 140

J. Michael Seabright, United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs Melvin Keakaku Amina and Donna Mae Amina (" Plaintiffs") assert a single claim against Defendants The Bank of New York Mellon, FKA the Bank of New York (" BONY") and U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC2, Asset Backed Pass-through Certificates, Series 2006-WMC2 (" U.S. Bank") (collectively, " Defendants") to quiet title to real property located at 2304 Metcalf Street #2, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 (the " subject property"). Plaintiffs' attempts to quiet title have a long history in this court -- in March 2010, Plaintiffs filed a first action, Amina et al. v. WMC Mortgage Corp. et al., Civ. No. 10-00165 JMS-KSC (" First Action"), after they were threatened with foreclosure. Plaintiffs named multiple Defendants[1] and asserted a panoply of federal and state law claims, including a state-law claim to quiet title. After the court addressed a number of dispositive motions, Plaintiffs stopped participating and the First Action was dismissed for failure to prosecute.

In the meantime, Plaintiffs filed this action against Defendants, alleging that Defendants, who assert that the mortgage loan was sold into a public security managed by BONY and held by U.S. Bank, actually have no interest in the subject property. This court previously explained: " this is not a case where Plaintiffs assert that Defendants' mortgagee status is invalid (for example, because the mortgage loan was securitized, Defendants do not hold the note, or MERS lacked authority to assign the mortgage loans). Rather, Plaintiffs assert that Defendants are not mortgagees whatsoever and that there is no record evidence of any assignment of the mortgage loan to Defendants." See Amina v. Bank of New York Mellon, 2013 WL 1385377, at *3 (D. Haw. Apr. 3, 2013) (citations and footnote omitted).

Currently before for the court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing, among other things, [2] that there is no genuine issue of material fact that U.S. Bank is the mortgagee to the subject property. Based on the following, the court agrees and GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The court outlines the evidence presented by both parties regarding the mortgage loan and U.S. Bank's mortgagee status.

1. The Mortgage Loans

Defendants assert that Plaintiffs entered into two mortgage loan transactions with WMC in 2006 on the subject property -- executing two mortgages in favor of WMC on the subject property, and executing two notes in the amounts of $880, 000 and $220, 000. See Doc. No. 142-1, Defs.' Ex. C (Balloon Note for $880, 000); Doc. No. 141-5, Defs.' Ex. B (mortgage on subject property referring to Balloon Note for $880, 000); Doc. No. 144-5, Defs.' Ex. O-2 (Balloon Note for $220, 000); Doc. No. 145-1, Defs.' Ex. O-3 (mortgage on subject property referring to Balloon Note for $220, 000).

In their depositions, Plaintiffs acknowledged that they obtained two mortgage loans from WMC for the subject property in these amounts. See Doc. No. 144-3, Defs.' Ex. O at 13-14 (Melvin Amina Dep.); Doc. No. 144-2, Defs.' Ex. N at 18. (Donna Amina Dep.). Plaintiffs also do not dispute the facts in Defendants' Concise Statement of Facts (" CSF") that (1) Plaintiffs executed two mortgages in favor of WMC on the subject property; see Doc. No. 141, Defs.' CSF ¶ 3; and (2) these mortgages were executed by Plaintiffs on or about February 24, 2006 and recorded in the Bureau of Conveyances of the State of Hawaii on March 6, 2006. Id. ¶ 4.

Plaintiffs nonetheless assert in their own CSF that they " dispute signing note and mortgage documents in 2006 regarding the subject property." See Doc. No. 155-4, Pls.' CSF ¶ 42. In support of this assertion, Plaintiffs present evidence that (1) Melvin Amina testified that the signature on the Balloon Note for $880, 000 only looks like his signature (as opposed to admitting that he signed the Balloon Note), see Doc. No. 68-6, Defs.' Ex. E at 14-15, and (2) Donna Amina testified during her deposition that she is disputing that she signed the note and mortgage documents concerning the subject property. Doc. No. 81-5, Pls.' Ex. E at 3; Doc. No. 158-1, Defs.' Ex. N.

2. Transfer of the Mortgage Loans to U.S. Bank

Defendants assert that around June 2006, the loans were transferred to J.P. Morgan Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC2, Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-WMC2 trust (" JPMorgan Trust"), pursuant to the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, dated June 1, 2006 (" PSA"). See Doc. No. 141, Defs.' CSF ¶ 5. In support of this assertion, Defendants present the Declaration of Amber Alegria, Assistant Secretary for JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (" JP Morgan"), who is the servicer and attorney in fact for U.S. Bank. See Doc. No. 141-1, Alegria Decl. ¶ 1. Alegria explains that due to her position, she is familiar with JP Morgan's recordkeeping, and that JP Morgan's records, kept in the ordinary course of business (and attached as exhibits to Defendants' Motion), establish that Plaintiffs' mortgage loan was transferred to U.S. Bank, as the trustee for the JP Mortgage Trust.

In particular, Alegria asserts that around June 2006, Plaintiffs' mortgage loan was transferred to the JP Morgan Trust pursuant to the PSA. Id. ¶ 5; see also Doc. No. 142-2, Defs.' Ex. D (PSA). The PSA names U.S. Bank as trustee of the PSA, and recites all right, title, and interest in the mortgage loans is transferred to the trustee. See Doc. No. 142-2, Defs.' Ex. D, at 54. The PSA further names JP Morgan as Securities Administrator and Servicer, reciting that JP Morgan shall service the mortgage loans. Id. at 68. Alegria explains that Plaintiffs' mortgage loans were included in this transfer to U.S. Bank (as trustee for the JP Morgan Trust) because they are listed in the related Mortgage Loan Schedule for the JP Morgan Trust, and are identified by their Loan ID numbers, ****1019 and ****1028, which also appear on the upper left-hand corners of the notes and mortgages. Doc. No. 141-1, Alegria Decl. ¶ 6; see also Doc. No. 142-3, Defs.' Ex. E at 1, 43.

3. Subsequent Events

On October 1, 2006, BONY became the securities administrator for the JP Morgan Trust. Doc. No. 141-3, Erica Walsh Decl. ¶ 2.

On April 4, 2012, an assignment of mortgage from MERS, as nominee for WMC, its successors, and assigns, to U.S. Bank (as trustee for the JP Morgan Trust), was recorded in the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. See Doc. No. 142-4, Defs.' Ex. F. Defendants also present a copy of the Note for $880, 000, endorsed in blank, and Alegria asserts that JP Morgan Chase has possession of it. Doc. No. 141-1, Alegria Decl. ΒΆ 4; Doc. No. 142-1, Defs.' Ex. C. It is undisputed that a Release of Mortgage for the second mortgage loan for $220, 000 was recorded in the ...


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