Om v. Bank of America, N.A. et al - Document 17

Court Description:

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 5 Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Grants Mr. Om leave to file an amended complaint that cures the deficiencies identified in this order within 21 days of the entry of this order, by Judge James L. Robart.(MD)

Loading PDF...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 SANG HUN OM, Plaintiff, 11 BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., Defendants. 14 15 16 ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS v. 12 13 CASE NO. C12-0496JLR I. INTRODUCTION This matter comes before the court on Defendants Bank of America, N.A. 17 (“BANA”), Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), Countrywide 18 Home Loans, Inc. d/b/a America’s Wholesale Lender (sued as “America’s Wholesale 19 Lender Corporation”) (“CHL”), and ReconTrust Company, N.A.’s (“ReconTrust”) 20 motion to dismiss Plaintiff Sang Hun Om’s complaint with prejudice pursuant to Federal 21 Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Mot. (Dkt. # 5).) Mr. Om opposes the motion. (Resp. 22 (Dkt. # 12).) ORDER- 1 1 Having considered the submissions of the parties, the balance of the record, and 2 the relevant law, and no party having requested oral argument, the court GRANTS in part 3 and DENIES in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss (Dkt. # 5). The court DISMISSES 4 WITH PREJUDICE Mr. Om’s claims for negligence against BANA and CHL and Mr. 5 Om’s claims against all Defendants for negligent misrepresentation, intentional 6 misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure, and violation of the Washington Consumer 7 Protection Act, chapter 19.86 RCW. The court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE 8 Mr. Om’s claims for negligence against MERS and ReconTrust and Mr. Om’s claims 9 against all Defendants for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and conversion, and 10 GRANTS Mr. Om leave to file an amended complaint that cures the deficiencies 11 identified in this order within 21 days of the entry of this order. 12 13 II. BACKGROUND On or about December 27, 2004, Mr. Om obtained a $307,000.00 mortgage loan 14 (“the Loan”) to finance the purchase of real property located at 33217 44th Avenue 15 South, Auburn, Washington 98001 (“the Property”). (Compl. (Dkt. # 1-1) ¶¶ 8-9; Downs 16 Decl. (Dkt. # 6) Ex. A (Deed of Trust).) 1 The deed of trust securing the Loan (“the Deed 17 18 19 20 21 22 1 Although, as a general rule, the court may not consider materials not originally included in the pleadings in deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court may take judicial notice of matters of public record and may consider them without converting a Rule 12(b)(6) motion into one for summary judgment. United States v. 14.02 Acres of Land More or Less in Fresno Cnty., 547 F.3d 943, 955 (9th Cir. 2008). As the Deed of Trust was publicly filed, the court takes judicial notice of it and the other publicly filed documents submitted by Defendants in support of their motion. Mr. Om objects to the court’s consideration of these documents based on the claim that they lack authenticity because they “are replete with duplicity of persons and signatures.” (Resp. at 5.) Mr. Om, however, confuses the test for the admissibility of matters of public record with the test for considering documents not attached to the complaint. See Lee v. City of L.A., 250 ORDER- 2 1 of Trust”) identifies CHL as the lender, Steward Title as the Trustee, and MERS as the 2 beneficiary, as “nominee of the lender and lender’s successors and assigns.” (Downs 3 Decl. Ex. A (Deed of Trust).) By document recorded May 18, 2009, MERS appointed 4 ReconTrust as successor trustee. (Downs Decl. Ex. B (Appointment of Successor 5 Trustee).) MERS subsequently assigned its interest in the Deed of Trust to The Bank of 6 New York Mellon, which was recorded on November 6, 2009. (Downs Decl. Ex. C 7 (Assignment of Deed of Trust).) 8 Several years after obtaining the Loan, Mr. Om fell behind on his payments. 2 9 (Compl. ¶ 11; Downs Decl. Ex. D (Not. of Trustee’s Sale) § IV.) On or about May 11, 10 2009, a written notice of default was served on Mr. Om. (Id. ¶ 11; Downs Decl. Ex. D 11 (Not. of Trustee’s Sale) § VI.) On June 16, 2009, ReconTrust recorded a Notice of 12 Trustee’s Sale (“the Notice”). (Downs Decl. Ex. D (Not. of Trustee’s Sale).) The Notice 13 indicated that the total amount in arrears exceeded $22,000.00, and scheduled a trustee’s 14 sale of the Property for September 18, 2009. (Id. §§ III, V.) The Notice further stated: 15 16 Anyone having any objections to the sale on any grounds whatsoever will be afforded an opportunity to be heard as to those objections if they bring a lawsuit or restrain the sale pursuant to RCW 61.24.130. Failure to bring 17 18 F.3d 668 (9th Cir. 2001) (setting forth the two different tests). Moreover, even if the court were required to consider the authenticity of public records, the court would not find Mr. Om’s alleged 19 reasons for the lack of authenticity to be persuasive. 2 Mr. Om alleges in his complaint that he fell behind on his Loan payments on or about April 2009. (Compl. ¶ 11.) The publicly recorded Notice of Trustee’s Sale, however, indicates 21 that he had been in default since November 2008. (Downs Decl. Ex. D (Notice of Trustee’s Sale) § IV.) There is no dispute that Mr. Om indeed did default on his Loan payments, and the precise time at which this occurred is immaterial to Mr. Om’s complaint and Defendants’ motion 22 to dismiss. 20 ORDER- 3 1 such a lawsuit may result in a waiver of any proper grounds for invalidating the Trustee’s sale. 2 (Id. § IX.) 3 Mr. Om alleges that before the full arrearage became due, he requested that the 4 notice of default be withdrawn provided that he pay the arrearage. (Compl. ¶ 12.) He 5 alleges that ReconTrust or “Lender” advised him that he should modify the mortgage, 6 and in reliance on that advice, he began the process for modification. (Id.) He further 7 alleges that he informed ReconTrust or “Lender” multiple times that he wanted to keep 8 the house and would pay the money if necessary to keep it. (Id. ¶ 13.) Mr. Om claims 9 that prior to the foreclosure sale, ReconTrust or “Lender” assured him a “number of 10 times” that his request for a modification was approved and that he “need not worry.” 11 (Id.) He also alleges that “Lender” told him “to ignore the pending foreclosure.” (Id.) 12 The foreclosure process was postponed and eventually occurred at the end of 13 October 2009. 3 (Id. ¶¶ 13-14; Downs Decl. Ex. E (Trustee’s Deed) ¶ 10.) At no time 14 prior to the sale did Mr. Om bring a lawsuit to restrain the sale. 15 On March 12, 2012, Mr. Om filed the instant lawsuit against Defendants in the 16 King County Superior Court for the State of Washington. (See Compl.) On March 22, 17 2012, Defendants timely removed to this court. (See Not. of Removal (Dkt. # 1).) Mr. 18 Om brings claims for breach of contract (Compl. ¶¶ 15-16), negligence (id. ¶¶ 17-18), 19 20 3 Mr. Om alleges in his complaint that the foreclosure sale was postponed until on or about October 18, 2009. (Compl. ¶¶ 13-14.) The publicly recorded Trustee’s Deed indicates 21 that the sale occurred on October 23, 2009. (Downs Decl. Ex. E (Trustee’s Deed) ¶ 10.) The exact date of the foreclosure sale appears to be immaterial to Mr. Om’s claims, as well as to 22 Defendants’ motion to dismiss. ORDER- 4 1 negligent misrepresentation (id. ¶¶ 19-20), intentional misrepresentation (id. ¶¶ 21-22), 2 wrongful foreclosure (id. ¶¶ 23-24), unjust enrichment (id. ¶¶ 25-26), conversion (id. ¶¶ 3 27-28), and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”), chapter 4 19.86 RCW (id. ¶¶ 29-30). On March 29, 2012, Defendants filed the motion to dismiss 5 that is currently pending before the court. (Mot.) 6 III. DISCUSSION 7 A. Legal Standard 8 Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate where the complaint lacks sufficient 9 facts to support a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep’t, 901 F.2d 10 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). To sufficiently state a claim and survive a motion to dismiss, 11 the complaint “does not need detailed factual allegations” but the “[f]actual allegations 12 must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. 13 Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Mere “labels and conclusions” or the “formulaic 14 recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. The complaint must 15 contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is 16 plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) 17 (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Telesaurus VPC, LLC v. Power, 623 F.3d 18 998, 1003 (9th Cir. 2010). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads 19 factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is 20 liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. Apart from factual 21 insufficiency, a complaint is also subject to dismissal where it lacks a cognizable legal 22 ORDER- 5 1 theory, or where the allegations on their face “show that relief is barred” for some legal 2 reason. Balistreri, 901 F.2d at 699; Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007). 3 In determining whether to grant a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true 4 all “well-pleaded factual allegations” in the complaint. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1950. The 5 court is not, however, required to accept as true “allegations that are merely conclusory, 6 unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” Sprewell v. Golden State 7 Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001). Nor is the court required to accept 8 “conclusory legal allegations cast in the form of factual allegations if those conclusions 9 cannot reasonably be drawn from the facts alleged.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 10 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994). 11 B. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss 12 Defendants move to dismiss Mr. Om’s complaint with prejudice pursuant to Rule 13 12(b)(6). (See generally Mot.) They argue that Mr. Om waived the majority of his 14 claims and that his remaining claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. 15 (Id.) In the alternative, they contend that his remaining claims are inadequately plead or 16 are untenable. (Id.) The court addresses the issues raised by Defendants below. 17 18 1. Waiver and Statute of Limitations In 1965, the Washington legislature enacted the Deed of Trust Act (“DTA”), 19 which created and governs statutory deeds of trust in Washington. Wash. Laws of 1965, 20 chapter 74; see 18 William B. Stoebuck & John W. Weaver, Washington Practice, Real 21 Estate: Transactions § 20.1, at 403 (2d ed. 2004). The DTA establishes the procedures 22 and requisites for nonjudicial foreclosure, including procedures by which enumerated ORDER- 6 1 entities may restrain a trustee’s sale for “any proper ground.” Brown v. Household Realty 2 Corp., 189 P.3d 233, 235 (Wash. Ct. App. 2008). This statutory procedure is “the only 3 means by which a grantor may preclude a sale once foreclosure has begun with receipt of 4 the notice of sale and foreclosure.” Id. at 236; see also Plein v. Lackey, 67 P.3d 1061, 5 1066 (Wash. 2003). 6 “The failure to take advantage of the presale remedies under the [DTA] may result 7 in waiver of the right to object to the sale.” Plein, 67 P.3d at 1066-67. Indeed, the 8 required statutory notice, which Mr. Om received in this case, includes a paragraph that 9 states: 10 11 12 Anyone having any objection to the sale on any grounds whatsoever will be afforded an opportunity to be heard as to those objections if they bring a lawsuit to restrain the sale pursuant to RCW 61.24.130. Failure to bring such a lawsuit may result in a waiver of any proper grounds for invalidating the Trustee’s sale. 13 RCW 61.24.040(1)(f)(IX); see also Plein, 67 P.3d at 1066. Accordingly, “Washington 14 courts have held that a borrower or grantor of a deed of trust who fails to employ the 15 procedures of the DTA to enjoin a foreclosure or trustee’s sale waives the right to contest 16 the underlying obligations on the foreclosed property.” Moon v. GMAC Mortg. Corp., 17 No. C08-969Z, 2009 WL 3185596, at *8 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 2, 2009) (citing Plein, 67 18 P.3d 1061, Brown, 189 P.3d 233, and CHD, Inc. v. Boyles, 157 P.3d 415 (Wash. Ct. App. 19 2007)). More specifically, Washington courts have held that waiver of any post-sale 20 contest occurs where a party (1) received notice of the right to enjoin the sale, (2) had 21 actual or constructive knowledge of a defense to foreclosure prior to the sale, and (3) 22 failed to bring an action to obtain a court order enjoining the sale. E.g., Plein, 67 P.3d at ORDER- 7 1 1067; Brown, 189 P.3d at 236. Waiver under these circumstances serves the following 2 goals of the Washington State legislature in enacting the DTA: “(1) that the nonjudicial 3 foreclosure process should be efficient and inexpensive; (2) that the process should result 4 in interested parties having an adequate opportunity to prevent wrongful foreclosure; and 5 (3) that the process should promote stability of land titles.” Plein, 67 P.3d at 1065. 6 Although the waiver doctrine bars claims that contest the underlying debt or 7 obligation, it does not preclude a borrower or grantor from challenging, in a post-sale 8 action, the procedures of the foreclosure or trustee’s sale. CHD, 157 P.3d at 419 (“A 9 party can contest the procedures of a sale in a postsale action.”). Furthermore, the 10 Washington State legislature recently amended the DTA to specify that the following 11 types of claims are not waived by a borrower’s or grantor’s failure to bring a civil action 12 to enjoin a foreclosure or trustee’s sale: (1) common law fraud or misrepresentation; (2) 13 a violation of Title 19 RCW; (3) failure of the trustee to materially comply with the 14 provisions of the DTA; and (4) a violation of RCW 61.24.026. RCW 61.24.127(1). 15 These claims, however, may not seek any remedy at law or in equity other than monetary 16 damages and must be asserted within two years from the date of the foreclosure sale or 17 within the applicable statute of limitations for such claims, whichever expires earlier. 18 RCW 61.24.127(2)(a)-(b); see also RCW 61.24.127(2)(c)-(f) (setting forth additional 19 limitations for claims asserted under RCW 61.24.127(1)). Additionally, this section 20 applies only to foreclosures of owner-occupied residential real property. RCW 21 61.24.127(3). 22 ORDER- 8 1 The task before the court, therefore, is to determine whether Mr. Om’s claims 2 involve the underlying obligation, the foreclosure procedure, or one of the statutory 3 exceptions to waiver—which will indicate whether they have been waived or are 4 otherwise subject to the two-year statute of limitations provided for in RCW 61.24.127. 5 First, the court concludes that Mr. Om’s claims for negligent misrepresentation, 6 intentional misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure, and violation of the CPA all fall 7 within the statutory exception to waiver. See RCW 61.24.127(1). Thus they are subject 8 to a two-year statute of limitations. RCW 61.24.127(2)(a). The foreclosure sale for the 9 Property occurred in October 2009, therefore these claims, which were not raised until 10 the filing of this lawsuit in March 2012, are barred by the statute of limitations. See id. 11 Accordingly, the court grants Defendants’ motion to dismiss Mr. Om’s claims for 12 negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, wrongful foreclosure, and 13 violation of the CPA with prejudice. 14 Mr. Om’s remaining claims are for breach of contract, negligence, unjust 15 enrichment, and conversion. Each of these claims is premised on Mr. Om’s allegation 16 that his request for a modification was approved and that one of the defendants told him 17 that the foreclosure would not go forward. (See Compl. ¶¶ 15-18, 25-28.) In Moon, the 18 court determined that the plaintiff’s claims alleging that the defendants made 19 misrepresentations concerning their authority to postpone the foreclosure sale 20 predominately related to the foreclosure process and that, accordingly, they fell outside of 21 the scope of the waiver doctrine. Moon, 2009 WL 3185596, at *9. Similarly, in 22 YongBae Kim v. Bank of America, No. C11-269 MJP, 2011 WL 3563325 (W.D. Wash. ORDER- 9 1 Aug. 11, 2011), the court allowed the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claim to go forward, 2 despite the defendant’s argument that it was waived, where the plaintiffs alleged that the 3 defendant implicitly agreed not to foreclose on the property while it reviewed their loan 4 modification application. Id. at *4-*5. Both Moon and YongBae Kim are similar to this 5 case in that they involved claims that were based on alleged representations by the 6 defendants that the foreclosure sale would not go forward. Accordingly, the court 7 follows their guidance and concludes that Mr. Om’s remaining claims fall outside of the 8 scope of the waiver doctrine. The court therefore denies Defendants’ motion to dismiss 9 these claims based on the waiver doctrine. 10 11 2. Inadequate Pleading Defendants additionally argue that any claims not barred by the waiver doctrine or 12 the two-year statute of limitations still must be dismissed for failing to state a claim. 13 (Mot. at 7-18.) For the reasons described below, the court agrees with Defendants that 14 Mr. Om has failed to properly allege his claims for breach of contract, negligence, unjust 15 enrichment, and conversion, and therefore grants Defendants’ motion with respect to 16 these claims. The court concludes that leave to amend would not be futile with respect to 17 all claims except the negligence claim against BANA and CHL. The court dismisses Mr. 18 Om’s negligence claim against BANA and CHL with prejudice, and grants Mr. Om leave 19 to amend the remaining claims. 20 a. Breach of Contract 21 “Generally, a plaintiff in a contract action must prove a valid contract between the 22 parties, breach, and resulting damage.” Lehrer v. Dep’t of Soc. & Health Servs., 5 P.3d ORDER- 10 1 722, 727 (2000). Forming a contract requires an offer, its acceptance, and consideration. 2 Veith v. Xterra Wetsuits, LLC, 183 P.3d 334, 337 (Wash. 2008) (citation omitted). An 3 offer consists of a promise to render a stated performance in exchange for a return 4 promise being given. Pac. Cascade Corp. v. Nimmer, 608 P.2d 266, 268 (Wash. Ct. App. 5 1980) (citing Restatement of Contracts § 24 (1932)). Acceptance is an expression 6 (communicated by word, sign, or writing to the person making the offer) of the intention 7 to be bound by the offer’s terms. Veith, 183 P.3d at 337. Consideration is “any act, 8 forbearance, creation, modification or destruction of a legal relationship, or return 9 promise given in exchange.” King v. Riveland, 886 P.2d 160, 164 (Wash. 1994). Put 10 another way, consideration is a bargained-for exchange of promises. Williams Fruit Co. 11 v. Hanover Ins. Co., 474 P.2d 577, 581 (Wash. 1970). 12 In support of his breach of contract claim, Mr. Om alleges that “Defendants 13 breached the agreement with Plaintiff when Defendant(s) informed that the Plaintiff’s 14 request for modification was approved and that Plaintiff should ignore the pending 15 foreclosure.” (Compl. ¶ 16.) Mr. Om further alleges that he “justifiably relied on the 16 representations made by the Defendants suffering irreparable damages and injury.” (Id.) 17 Mr. Om does not specify to which agreement he is referring in this claim, but his 18 response brief suggests that the agreement was the alleged oral agreement between 19 himself and either ReconTrust or “Lender” to enter into a loan modification. (See Resp. 20 at 6-7.) 21 The allegations in the complaint, however, are insufficient to establish the 22 existence of a valid and enforceable contract aside from the original loan documents. In ORDER- 11 1 particular, Mr. Om fails to allege facts establishing consideration. As the court in 2 YongBae Kim observed in a similar situation, “Plaintiffs fail to allege any facts 3 suggesting they provided consideration in exchange for [the defendant] agreeing not to 4 foreclose on the property. There is no reason to believe [the defendant] would agree to 5 delay foreclosure without receiving any bargained for promise.” YongBae Kim, 2011 6 WL3563325, at *5. These observations are wholly applicable here. Furthermore, Mr. 7 Om does not specify which of the four defendants were parties to the contract, or which 8 defendants breached the contract. For example, there are no allegations in the complaint 9 that suggest that MERS was a party to the alleged contract. Accordingly, Mr. Om fails to 10 state a claim for breach of contract, and the court thus dismisses this claim but grants 11 leave to file an amended complaint that, at the very least, alleges facts supporting the 12 existence of a valid and enforceable contract and identifies the parties to the contract. 13 b. Negligence 14 The essential elements of a negligence action are (1) the existence of a duty to 15 plaintiff; (2) breach of that duty; (3) resulting injury; and (4) proximate cause between the 16 breach and the injury. Hutchins v. 1001 Fourth Ave. Assocs., 802 P.2d 1360, 1362 17 (Wash. 1991). “The threshold determination in a negligence action is whether a duty of 18 care is owed by the defendant to the plaintiff.” Taylor v. Stevens Cnty., 759 P.2d 447, 19 449 (Wash. 1988). “In the law of negligence, a duty of care is defined as an obligation, 20 to which the law will give recognition and effect, to conform to a particular standard of 21 conduct toward another.” Affiliated FM Ins. Co. v. LTK Consulting Servs., Inc., 243 P.3d 22 521, 526 (Wash. 2010) (internal quotation omitted). The existence of a duty is a question ORDER- 12 1 of law. Hutchins, 802 P.2d at 1362. Furthermore, under Washington’s independent duty 2 doctrine, “[a]n injury is remediable in tort if it traces back to the breach of a tort duty 3 arising independently of the terms of the contract,” but an economic injury is not 4 remediable in tort if the tort duty is not independent of the terms of the contract. 5 Affiliated FM, 243 P.3d at 526; see also Eastwood v. Horse Harbor Foundation, Inc., 241 6 P.3d 1256, 1262 (Wash. 2010) (“An injury is remediable in tort if it traces back to the 7 breach of a tort duty arising independently of the terms of the contract.”). 8 Here, Mr. Om alleges, “Defendants owed certain duties to plaintiff, including [a] 9 fiduciary duty to disclose the fact that subject residence was being foreclosed, and 10 plaintiff’s modification would not stop the pending foreclosure causing irreparable 11 damages and injury to Defendant.” (Compl. ¶ 18.) The independent duty doctrine, 12 however, bars Mr. Om’s claims against BANA and CHL, as their relationship is 13 governed by contract and there is no independent duty. See Gaylean v. OneWest Bank 14 FSB, No. C10-827 MJP, 2010 WL 5138396, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 9, 2010) 15 (dismissing borrower’s negligence claim against lender based on the independent duty 16 doctrine). Accordingly, the court dismisses any negligence claim against these 17 defendants with prejudice. 18 With respect to MERS and ReconTrust, there are insufficient allegations in the 19 complaint of a breach of any duty that they may have owed Mr. Om. Aside from 20 identifying MERS as one of the parties to the action (see Compl. ¶ 4), the complaint 21 includes no factual allegations involving MERS whatsoever. Additionally, the 22 allegations in the complaint regarding ReconTrust fail to satisfy Iqbal’s requirement that ORDER- 13 1 a plaintiff plead “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference 2 that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949. In 3 particular, Mr. Om states several times that ReconTrust or “Lender” committed certain 4 acts, including advising Mr. Om that the “modification was approved therefore he need 5 not worry.” (Compl. ¶ 13.) Even assuming the alleged acts support a breach of a duty of 6 care, stating that ReconTrust or another party took certain action is insufficient to give 7 rise to a reasonable inference that ReconTrust is liable for the misconduct alleged. 8 Finally, the court notes that the DTA expressly provides that trustees have “no fiduciary 9 duty or fiduciary obligation to the grantor or other persons having an interest in the 10 property subject to the deed of trust.” RCW 61.24.010(3). Thus any claim that 11 ReconTrust owes Mr. Om a fiduciary duty fails as a matter of law. For the foregoing 12 reasons, the court dismisses Mr. Om’s claim for negligence against MERS and 13 ReconTrust but grants leave to amend. 14 c. Unjust Enrichment 15 Under Washington law, there are three elements to an unjust enrichment claim: 16 (1) a benefit conferred upon the defendant by the plaintiff; (2) an appreciation or 17 knowledge by the defendant of the benefit; and (3) the acceptance or retention by the 18 defendant of the benefit under such circumstances as to make it inequitable for the 19 defendant to retain the benefit without the payment of its value. Young v. Young, 191 20 P.3d 1258, 1262 (Wash. 2008). In support of his unjust enrichment claim, Mr. Om 21 alleges: “Defendants have been unjustly enriched by failing to inform Plaintiff of 22 Defendant’s intention to proceed with the foreclosure. Plaintiff justifiably relied on the ORDER- 14 1 representations made by the Defendants suffering damages and injury.” (Compl. ¶ 26.) 2 The complaint, however, lacks factual allegations that Mr. Om conferred a benefit on any 3 of the defendants, nor does he allege an appreciation or knowledge by any defendant of 4 the benefit. The complaint is similarly lacking in allegations supporting the final element 5 of unjust enrichment. Accordingly, the court dismisses Mr. Om’s unjust enrichment 6 claim with leave to amend. 7 d. Conversion 8 To state a claim for conversion, a plaintiff must allege (1) his or her entitlement to 9 possess the chattel, (2) that he or she was deprived of such possession, (3) due to the 10 defendant’s willful interference, and (4) that such interference was not justified. Potter v. 11 Wash. State Patrol, 196 P.3d 691, 696 (Wash. 2008) (“Conversion is the unjustified, 12 willful interference with a chattel which deprives a person entitled to the property of 13 possession.”). Here, Mr. Om alleges that “Defendants have wrongfully converted said 14 property for their profit causing injury to Plaintiff.” (Compl. ¶ 28.) Mr. Om’s complaint, 15 however, fails to contain allegations against each defendant establishing liability for 16 conversion. Further, as discussed above, alleging that certain acts were committed by 17 either one defendant or another defendant is insufficient to satisfy Iqbal’s pleading 18 standard. Any amended complaint must include facts supporting each element of 19 conversion. Accordingly, the court dismisses Mr. Om’s conversion claim with leave to 20 amend. 21 22 ORDER- 15 1 2 IV. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part 3 Defendants’ motion to dismiss (Dkt. # 5). The court DISMISSES WITH PREJUDICE 4 Mr. Om’s claims for negligence against BANA and CHL, and Mr. Om’s claims against 5 all Defendants for negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, wrongful 6 foreclosure, and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, chapter 19.86 7 RCW. The court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Mr. Om’s claims for negligence 8 against MERS and ReconTrust, and Mr. Om’s claims against all Defendants for breach of 9 contract, unjust enrichment, and conversion, and GRANTS Mr. Om leave to file an 10 amended complaint that cures the deficiencies identified in this order within 21 days of 11 the entry of this order. 12 Dated this 15th day of June, 2012. 13 15 A 16 JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge 14 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER- 16