United States District Court, D. Maine
US BANK N.A. AS LEGAL TITLE TRUSTEE FOR TRUMAN 2013 SC3 TITLE TRUST, Plaintiff,
HLC ESCROW INC., and FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Z. Singal United States District Judge
the Court are Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (ECF Nos. 13
& 24) and Defendant HLC Escrow's Motion to Strike
(ECF No. 23). As briefly explained herein, the Court
determines that Plaintiff's claims are time barred and
therefore GRANTS Defendants' Motions and DENIES AS MOOT
the Motion to Strike.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require only that a
complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . . a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and a demand for the relief
sought[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)-(3). A viable complaint
need not proffer “heightened fact pleading of
specifics, ” but in order to survive a motion to
dismiss it must contain “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6), a defendant
may present a statute of limitations defense when the passage
of time prevents a plaintiff from stating “a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” However, the facts
supporting the defense must be apparent on the face of the
pleadings. Santana-Castro v. Toledo-Dávila,
579 F.3d 109, 113-14 (1st Cir. 2009). Generally, the Court
“may consider only facts and documents that are part of
or incorporated into the complaint” when resolving any
motion brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). United Auto.,
Aerospace, Agric. Implement Workers of Am. Int'l Union v.
Fortuño, 633 F.3d 37, 39 (1st Cir. 2011)
(quotation marks omitted).
this standard in mind, the Court lays out the well-pled
factual allegations as they relate to Defendants' statute
of limitations arguments.
April 16, 2007, Douglas and Sara Trask executed a promissory
note with original lender Home Loan Center Inc. d/b/a
LendingTree Loans (“Lending Tree”). The Note was
secured by a mortgage granted to Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), solely as
nominee for Lending Tree and its successors and assigns, on
real property located at Stream Road in Winterport, Maine
(the “2007 Mortgage”). HLC Escrow Inc.
(“HLC”) was the closing agent on the mortgage
loan and First American Title Insurance Company
(“FATIC”) was the title insurer for MERS as
nominee for Lending Tree and its successors and assigns.
to Plaintiff U.S. Bank N.A. as Legal Title Trustee for Truman
2013 SC3 Title Trust (“US Bank”), the 2007
Mortgage accidentally described “an unimproved parcel
that was vacant land, ” as opposed to an
“improved parcel with [a] residential structure”
on the property. (Compl. (ECF No. 1-2) ¶¶ 7-8.) The
2007 loan refinanced a previous loan to the Trasks that was
secured by a mortgage describing the improved parcel. U.S.
Bank alleges the value of the property encumbered by the 2005
Mortgage was $230, 000, while the value of the property
encumbered by the 2007 Mortgage was merely $40, 000.
2010, as part of the Trasks' personal bankruptcy
proceedings, an adversary proceeding was brought to determine
what property was covered by the 2007 Mortgage. This
proceeding resulted in a June 10, 2011 Judgment finding the
mortgage covered only the Trasks' unimproved
received an interest in the 2007 Mortgage via Quitclaim
Assignment on November 7, 2014. In light of the Trasks'
default under the Note and 2007 Mortgage, U.S. Bank filed a
foreclosure action and judgment entered in its favor.
However, the foreclosure was limited to the unimproved parcel
described in the 2007 Mortgage documents. U.S. Bank
foreclosed on the property via public sale on April 14, 2015,
and was the highest bidder, taking title to the property.
BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., U.S. Bank's predecessor
in interest, had filed an insurance claim with FATIC on April
8, 2010, which was denied on May 20, 2010, via
email. In its denial, FATIC stated, in part:
From the documents provided, it appears that you are not
alleging any title defect as to [a] parcel which is insured.
As the Polic[y] insures the same land described in the
insured mortgage, and as the mortgagor owned the land on
which he granted th[e] mortgage, your assertion that an
additional or different parcel was to be encumbered does not
give rise to a claim under th[e] Policy.
(Ex. C to FATIC'S Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 24-3), Page
ID # 311.) The same claim was filed and again denied, for the
same reasons, in 2011. In a third denial on ...