Wallace v. WA Mut. Bank, F.A., No. 10-3694 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Washington Mutual foreclosed on property before receiving assignment and transfer of the promissory note and the delinquent home mortgage and before recording it. The homeowner brought a lawsuit for an allegedly false claim of ownership under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692, against the law firm acting for the purported mortgagee. She claimed violation of the Act, the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress. The district court dismissed, finding that she did not state a claim under the Act and declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit reversed. The filing of foreclosure action by the law firm, claiming ownership of the mortgage by its client, constituted a "false, deceptive or misleading representation" under the Act because the bank had not obtained transfer of the ownership documents. The homeowner adequately alleged that the misidentification caused confusion and delay in trying to contact the proper party concerning payment and resolution of the problem.