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11-10368 Dixon v Wells Fargo MTD Mem & Order

11-10368 Dixon v Wells Fargo MTD Mem & Order

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Published by cbsradionews
Federal Court Ruling on Mortgage Foreclosure case.
Federal Court Ruling on Mortgage Foreclosure case.

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Published by: cbsradionews on Jul 23, 2011
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1UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS)FRANK T. DIXON; DEANA M. DIXON, ))Plaintiffs, ))v. ) CIVIL ACTION) NO. 11-10368-WGYWELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. formerly )known as WACHOVIA MORTGAGE, FSB )formerly known as WORLD SAVINGS )BANK, FSB, ))Defendant. ))MEMORANDUM AND ORDERYOUNG, D.J.July 22, 2010
I.INTRODUCTION
Frank and Deana Dixon (collectively “the Dixons”) bring thiscause of action against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”),seeking (1) an injunction prohibiting Wells Fargo fromforeclosing on their home; (2) specific performance of an oralagreement to enter into a loan modification; and (3) damages.Wells Fargo, having removed the action from state court, nowmoves for dismissal of the Dixons’ complaint under Fed. R. Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that the allegations are insufficient toinvoke the doctrine of promissory estoppel and that, to theextent the Dixons have stated a state-law claim, it is preempted
 
2by the Home Owners’ Loan Act (“HOLA”), 12 U.S.C. §§ 1461-1700,and its implementing regulations, 12 C.F.R. §§ 500-99.
 A.Procedural History
On January 6, 2011, the Dixons initiated this civil actionin the Massachusetts Superior Court sitting in and for the Countyof Plymouth, Civil Docket No. PLCV2011-00015, by filing a“Verified Complaint for Injunctive Relief, Specific Performanceand Damages.” Compl., Ex. A, ECF No. 1-1; Summons & OrderNotice, Ex. D, ECF No. 1-4. They also filed an ex parte motionfor a temporary restraining order. TRO, Ex. B, ECF No. 1-2.After an initial continuance, the hearing on that motion was heldon February 14, 2011, and the Superior Court issued a preliminaryinjunction, enjoining Wells Fargo from prosecuting theforeclosure action it had filed against the Dixons until furtherorder of the court. Sup. Ct. Civ. Dkt. 3-4, Ex. C, ECF No. 1-3;Order Prelim. Inj., ECF No. 4. At the present time, thepreliminary injunction remains in effect. Mem. Opp’n Pls.’ Mot.Remand 1, ECF No. 13.On March 4, 2011, Wells Fargo removed the action to theUnited States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.Notice Removal, ECF No. 1. Wells Fargo filed its motion todismiss the Dixons’ complaint on April 11, 2011. Def.’s Mot.Dismiss, ECF No. 5; Mem. Supp. Def.’s Mot. Dismiss (“Def.’s Mem.Supp.”), ECF No. 7. The Dixons opposed Wells Fargo’s motion and
 
3moved to remand the case. Mem. Opp’n Def.’s Mot. Dismiss (“Pls.’Mem. Opp’n”), ECF No. 12; Pls.’ Mot. Remand, ECF No. 9; Mem.Supp. Pls.’ Mot. Remand, ECF No. 10.After a hearing on May 9, 2011, this Court denied theDixons’ motion to remand and granted Wells Fargo’s motion todismiss the Dixons’ contract claim as insufficiently pleaded.The Court took under advisement the two remaining issues: (1) thesufficiency of the allegations in the complaint with respect tothe doctrine of promissory estoppel; and (2) HOLA preemption.With leave of the Court, both parties have since filedsupplemental briefing. Supplemental Mem. Supp. Def.’s Mot.Dismiss (“Def.’s Supplemental Mem. Supp.”), ECF No. 16;Supplemental Mem. Opp’n Def.’s Mot. Dismiss (“Pls.’ SupplementalMem. Opp’n”), ECF No. 18.
B.Facts Alleged
The Dixons reside at their home in Scituate, PlymouthCounty, Massachusetts. Compl. 2. Wells Fargo is a corporationdoing business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Id. ¶ 3.Wells Fargo alleges that it is the holder of a mortgage on theDixons’ home. Id. 6.On or about June 8, 2009, the Dixons orally agreed withWells Fargo to take the steps necessary to enter into a mortgageloan modification. Id. 7. As part of this agreement, WellsFargo instructed the Dixons to stop making payments on their

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