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WA State Court Denies MTD “Unfair Deceptive Acts, Fraud, Securitization, Trustee Aiding & Abetting” | VILLALOBOS v. DEUTSCHE BANK, BARCLAYS

WA State Court Denies MTD “Unfair Deceptive Acts, Fraud, Securitization, Trustee Aiding & Abetting” | VILLALOBOS v. DEUTSCHE BANK, BARCLAYS


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
AT SEATTLE

MARCO VILLALOBOS & ANGELA
YBARRA,
a marital community,
Plaintiffs,

v.

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST
COMPANY, BARCLAYS CAPITAL REAL
ESTATE, INC.
, et al.,
Defendants.

EXCERPTS:

B. Substantive Claims

Plaintiffs’ claims which sound in the Washington State Consumer Protection Act survive. Plaintiffs have successfully alleged that certain named defendants committed unfair deceptive acts and that these acts have injured their property interest in their home. See Guijosa, 32 P.3d at 255 (listing elements). It goes without saying that such acts have the potential to adversely affect the public interest: The banking defendants allegedly securitized more than three billion dollars of mortgages initiated by Defendant WMC Mortgage alone. The allegedly wrongful acts were therefore “part of a pattern or generalized course of conduct,” and had the potential “to affect many different customers.” See Hangman Ridge, 719 P.2d at 537–38.

Plaintiffs claims which sound in the common law of fraud also survive. Plaintiffs allege that certain named defendants misrepresented terms such as the interest rate and term of their mortgage loans. (Second Amended Complaint 13–16 (Dkt. No. 45)). Plaintiffs further allege that defendants fraudulently charged them for brokerage fees to which they were unentitled, and that the defendants listed these fees as “final settlement fees” on federal disclosure forms. (Id. 15). A reasonable person would consider such key terms to be “material,” and a reasonable person would be entitled to rely on the representations of individuals who hold themselves out as mortgage professionals. See Beckendorf, 457 P.2d at 606–07 (listing the elements of fraud).

C. Theories of Liability

However one wishes to describe the allegedly wrongful participation of Defendant Barclays Capital and Defendant Deutsche Bank—whether sounding in civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting, or joint venture—the analysis is essentially the same: Plaintiffs have successfully alleged that the banking defendants knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud borrowers. To support these allegations, Plaintiffs rely on a letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and fraudulent misstatements in the loan documents that the banking defendants received. Because a plaintiff may rely upon circumstantial evidence to support each of the proffered theories of liability, see, e.g., Gilbrook, 177 F.3d at 856 (civil conspiracy), Refrigeration Engineering, 486 P.2d at 311 (joint venture), and because Plaintiffs have submitted circumstantial evidence tending to indicate that the banking defendants knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud, their claims survive.

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