FONTENO vs WELLS FARGO | CA Appeals Court - Plaintiffs have pled viable causes of action for equitable cancellation of the trustee's deed...

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FONTENO vs WELLS FARGO | CA Appeals Court – Plaintiffs have pled viable causes of action for equitable cancellation of the trustee’s deed…

FONTENO vs WELLS FARGO | CA Appeals Court – Plaintiffs have pled viable causes of action for equitable cancellation of the trustee’s deed…

Filed 8/18/14

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT
DIVISION TWO

LEROY FONTENO, et al,
Plaintiffs and Appellants,

v.

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., et al,
Defendants and Respondents.
In June 2011, defendant Wells Fargo, N.A. (Wells Fargo) foreclosed on the residential mortgage loan of plaintiffs Leroy Fonteno and Jeanette Childs and purchased their home at a trustee sale conducted by defendant First American Trustee Servicing Solutions LLC (First American). Plaintiffs sued, alleging, among other things, that defendants violated both their deed of trust’s incorporation of a pre-foreclosure meeting requirement contained in National Housing Act (NHA) regulations and the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The trial court sustained defendants’ demurrers and denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction, leading to this appeal. Plaintiffs argue numerous errors in these rulings.

We conclude that plaintiffs have pled viable causes of action for the equitable cancellation of the trustee’s deed obtained by Wells Fargo based on their allegation that Wells Fargo did not comply with the NHA requirements incorporated into the deed of trust. Because compliance is a condition precedent to the accrual of Wells Fargo’s contractual authority to foreclose on the property, if, as plaintiffs allege, the sale was conducted without such authority, it is either void or voidable by a court sitting in equity. Whether void or voidable, plaintiffs were not required to allege tender of the delinquent amount owed under the circumstances alleged in this case. Accordingly, the trial court should not have sustained Wells Fargo’s demurrers to plaintiff’s wrongful trustee sale and quiet title causes of action without leave to amend. That part of the trial court’s order is reversed. However, we affirm the remainder of the trial court’s demurrer rulings.

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