Burniac v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 15-1230 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2003, the Burniacs executed a mortgage on their home in Plymouth, Michigan to secure a loan from WaMu. Wells Fargo acted as servicer of the mortgage and sent Burniac monthly mortgage statements. WaMu assigned ownership of Burniac’s mortgage to Wells Fargo in 2007. Burniac continued to receive statements from Wells Fargo. WaMu filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Burniac sent his mortgage payments to Wells Fargo for several years, but eventually stopped making payments. Wells Fargo initiated foreclosure proceedings;a foreclosure sale was scheduled for May 23, 2013. Burniac filed suit to prevent the sale, arguing that the assignment was invalid. The state court purportedly entered a default judgment against the bank and preliminarily enjoined the foreclosure sale. Wells Fargo then removed the action to a federal district court, which refused to remand and later entered summary judgment for the bank. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting an argument that the purported state court default prevented the federal court from entering summary judgment and required a remand. Burniac failed to demonstrate that the alleged assignment irregularities will subject him to double liability, placed him in a worse position to keep his property, or prejudiced him in any other way.