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Nece v. Quicken Loans, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

February 14, 2018

EILEEN NECE, Plaintiff,
v.
QUICKEN LOANS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          STEVEN D. MERRYDAY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         At 6:06 a.m. on December 7, 2012, Eileen Nece submitted a form on Quicken Loans' website. The form (Doc. 117-1 at 9) requires a prospective mortgagor to provide her name and a phone number and asks the prospective mortgagor several questions about her “mortgage goals, ” including the amount she aspires to borrow. Although some confusion appears about the exact content of her submission, Nece undisputedly provided her name and the number for her residential landline, which ends in 7355. During the next thirty minutes, Nece submitted either the same form or a similar form four more times. At 6:28 a.m., Nece e-mailed Quicken:

Do you have any local offices in Pinellas County, Florida? I prefer dealing with a Mortgage Broker who has a local office. I live in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Found a house I like in my area, zip 34685 for $139, 900. Will need a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage . . .
Can you help me, as I need Pre-Approval [first], before a Realtor will work with me.
Thank you.
Eileen A. Nece [] 727-785-7355

(Doc. 40-2 at 40)

         At 10 a.m., Quicken employee Brandon Pach called the 7355 number (Doc. 40-2 at 21), and a transcript (Doc. 40-2 at 42) shows that Pach introduced himself and Quicken. Nece immediately asked whether Quicken operated a local branch; Pach said “no” but attempted several times to inform Nece about a mortgage. After stating that she preferred to deal with a local lender and after mentioning the frequent Better Business Bureau complaints against Quicken, Nece said, “I'm not interested in the rates. I just don't want to deal with you at all right now, ” and Pach ended the call.

         Soon after 4 p.m., Quicken employee Alex Dobija called Nece. (Doc. 40-2 at 44) After Dobija identified himself, Nece said, “I'm actually not interested in Quicken Loans anymore.” Again, Nece mentioned the lack of a local branch and the frequent BBB complaints. Dobija responded, but Nece interjected, “[I]f you have complaints against you and it's that many, I don't even want to deal with you.” Nece ended the call by saying, “I don't want to get involved [with Quicken] so I'm not going to waste your time and don't waste mine.”

         Two hours later, Quicken employee Ryan Matthey called. (Doc. 40-2 at 46) After Matthey identified himself, Nece repeated her reasons for preferring not to “get involved” with Quicken. Nece ended the call by stating, “I don't want to waste your time and I'd rather you didn't waste mine.” Three days later, on December 10, 2012, Quicken employee Alex Malinowski left a voicemail for Nece and invited Nece to call Malinowski for a quote. An hour after the voicemail, Nece returned Malinowski's call and repeated her reasons for preferring not to borrow from Quicken. Malinowski's attempt to explain the BBB rating produced this exchange:

Nece: Well, hold it right there. Over a thousand [complaints] in three years is an outrageous amount and I just don't want to deal with Quicken Loans. I'm busy. I really don't want to be bothered further. [I'm] just giving you a courtesy call saying I got your message and I'm no longer interested...
Malinowski: Sure.
Nece: ... so thanks and goodbye.
Malinowski: Did you read online...
Nece: [Line Disconnected]
Malinowski: ... about our three consecutive JD Power and Associate awards for customer satisfaction?

         The calls persisted for at least another day, and Nece continued to rebuff Quicken. On December 10, Quicken employee Matthew Sucharski called and introduced himself. (Doc. 40-2 at 52) Nece immediately said, “I just want to tell you that I changed my mind about loans with Quicken.” After repeating her reasons for preferring not to borrow from Quicken, Nece said, “I don't want to waste your time, I don't want to have my time wasted either so I'm just not interested. But thank you for calling.”

         Around 11:30 in the morning on December 11, Quicken employee Kevin Bell called Nece. (Doc. 40-2 at 54) Following a familiar pattern, Nece immediately told Bell, “Before you go any further I've talked to about ten people from Quicken Loans and I told them I'm just no longer interested.” After a brief conversation in which Nece repeated her reasons for preferring not to borrow from Quicken, Nece said:

I prefer to go with [a local lender] and I wish you'd just make a note of it. Not[e] for your representative not to keep calling me because it's getting really annoying. . . . .
I don't want to waste my time, I don't want to be bothered, I don't want you or your co-workers . . . to please keep . . . stop calling me.

         Around 11:30 a.m. the next day, Quicken employee Elma Eminovic left a voicemail for Nece. Quicken's records show five more calls to Nece between December 12 and 14, but none resulted in a conversation or a voicemail. (Doc. 40-2 at 21)

         On December 11, Nece penned a letter to Quicken's chief executive officer “RE: HARASSMENT AND STALKING.” The letter says:

Each time one of your representatives called me, I told them I was not interested and preferred to deal locally. That did not stop them from calling me daily, regardless of how many times I told them I do not want to deal with your company so stop calling me, it did not do any good. Your staff persisted in harassing and stalking me daily, even though I told them I was busy and to stop calling me.

(Doc. 1 at 35 (underlining original)) No. record evidence shows when or if Quicken received the December 11 letter.

         Additionally, Nece complained to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services about Quicken. In the December 13, 2012 departmental complaint (Doc. 1 at 36), which asks a person to identify “one date of call per complaint, ” Nece reported that Quicken called on December 13 at a quarter after one in the afternoon and that the call was not pre-recorded. In the comment section of the departmental complaint, Nece wrote: “Have ...


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