KARUN N. JACKSON, URSULA D. JACKSON, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendant, SPECIALIZED LOAN SERVICING LLC, BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., Defendants - Appellees.
from the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 1:16-cv-00062-CG-M
TJOFLAT and JULIE CARNES, Circuit Judges, and BLOOM, [*] District Judge.
appeal involves an abuse of process engineered to delay or
prevent execution of a foreclosure judgment on a residence
and the consequent eviction of its occupants. The
homeowners' counsel effectuated this scheme by filing a
multi-count, incomprehensible complaint that flouted the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this Circuit's
well-established precedent. The District Court gave counsel
an opportunity to file an amended complaint that comported
with the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Counsel amended the complaint. He made no
effort to correct its deficiencies, however, choosing to
stand on his deficient pleading. The District Court
nonetheless accepted the amended complaint, going to great
lengths to sort it out.
spending fifty-four pages unpacking the pleading just to
determine whether the amended complaint presented a
cognizable basis for relief, the District Court dismissed the
case with prejudice for failure to state a claim. We affirm
the District Court's judgment, but we do so on an
alternative ground. By attempting to prosecute an
incomprehensible pleading to judgment, the plaintiffs
obstructed the due administration of justice in the District
Court. And they are doing the same here in urging this Court
to uphold the sufficiency of their amended complaint.
facts of this case demonstrate the scheme's operation.
Karun and Ursula Jackson, represented by Kenneth Lay, a
Birmingham, Alabama lawyer, brought this action against Bank
of America, N.A., Specialized Loan Servicing LLC
("SLS"), Bank of New York Mellon
("Mellon"), and Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. ("MERS") in the Circuit Court of
Baldwin County, Alabama on January 12, 2016, one day after
the foreclosure sale of their residence. The Jacksons'
complaint alleged fourteen causes of action under Alabama and
federal law in separate counts, spanned twenty pages, and
contained 109 paragraphs of allegations. The causes of action
were not defendant-specific, all were based on all of the
complaint's twenty-four introductory paragraphs, and all
fourteen causes of action incorporated all previous
allegations. This made it impossible for any Defendant to
reasonably frame an answer. The crux of the complaint appears
to be that Defendants classified their home mortgage as in
default, accelerated their loan, turned over their account
for foreclosure, and reported the foreclosure to the credit
reporting agencies without any legitimate basis for doing so.
the Jacksons alleged that they purchased a house in Daphne,
Alabama on August 28, 2006. To finance the purchase, they
executed a mortgage and a promissory note with First
Residential Mortgage Network, Inc. for $139, 040.00. As
specified in the mortgage agreement, MERS acted as the
servicer for the loan. First Residential later sold and
assigned the note and mortgage to Mellon.
Jacksons further alleged that from the date they bought the
house until September 2012, Defendants accepted and cashed
their monthly mortgage payments, but did not apply the
payments to the Jacksons' account. Then, in November
2012, Defendants rejected a check from the plaintiffs without
explanation. The Jacksons alleged that when they called to
find out what happened, Defendants told them that "they
were in default for failure to make payments, but could not
explain why they were allegedly in default." According
to the Jacksons, Defendants further announced that they would
no longer accept any mortgage payments and that their
mortgage would be turned over for foreclosure.
complaint avers that, in accordance with this statement,
Defendants returned all of the monthly payments made from
November 2012 to January 2014. Then, on June 12, 2015,
Defendants accelerated the mortgage and demanded payment. On
November 8, 2015, Defendants initiated foreclosure
proceedings in Baldwin County, Alabama. They published notice
of the default and foreclosure sale in the local newspaper in
both November and December of 2015. The foreclosure sale
occurred on January 11, 2016, and the property was sold to
Mellon, the highest bidder at the sale. The foreclosure was
reported to the national credit bureaus.
on these allegations, the Jacksons presented fourteen counts:
(1) negligence; (2) wantonness; (3) unjust enrichment; (4)
wrongful foreclosure; (5) slander of title; (6) breach of
contract; (7) fraud; (8) false light; (9) defamation, libel,
and slander; (10) violations of the Truth in Lending Act;
(11) violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act;
(12) violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; (13)
violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; and a
(14) claim for declaratory relief. According to the
complaint, Defendants' conduct caused the Jacksons
"to have negative credit reports" and to be
"denied homeowners insurance, held up to public ridicule
or shame, humiliated, made to suffer physically and mentally,
and endure anguish."
Jacksons sought "(1) [a]n Order declaring that they are
not in default of their mortgage agreement and declaring the
notice of default is null and void," "(2) [a]n
order declaring that Defendants have no right or authority to
foreclose on the Jacksons' property," "(3) [a]n
Order prohibiting Defendants from foreclosing on the
Jacksons' property," and (4) compensatory and
punitive damages for the various forms of financial,
emotional, and defamatory harm alleged. The request for
declaratory and injunctive relief, which if granted would
undo the foreclosure sale and restore the Jacksons'
mortgage on the home, made the suit the functional equivalent
of a collateral attack on the validity of the foreclosure
February 12, 2016, Defendants removed the case to federal
court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. On February 19, all
Defendants moved for a more definite statement pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e), with Bank of America
filing its own, separate motion and the other Defendants
filing their motion jointly. Defendants identified three
problems with the complaint: first, the complaint was a
shotgun pleading that incorporated all of its factual
allegations into each count; second, the complaint failed to
identify the specific Defendant(s) to which each count
pertained; and third, the complaint "omit[ted] key facts
such as relevant dates and the particular nature of the
violations that [Defendants] allegedly committed." The
motion was referred to a Magistrate Judge on February 22. The
Jacksons responded that they did not oppose the motion and
were willing to file an amended complaint, but moved the
District Court for twenty-one days to prepare a revised
pleading. The District Court granted the motion, giving the
Jacksons twenty-one days to file an amended complaint.
March 29, 2016, the day the amended complaint was due, Mr.
Lay moved the District Court for an extension of the deadline
to file the revised pleading. Mr. Lay stated that he had been
out of the office due to illness and asked for seven more
days. The Magistrate Judge, on referral, granted the motion
and gave the Jacksons until April 5 to file their amended
complaint. On April 10, five days after the expiration of the
extended deadline, and without having filed the amended
complaint, Mr. Lay requested another extension. This time, he
stated that he had been out of the office due to illness and
a death in his family and asked for an additional seven days.
Defendants did not oppose his request. The Magistrate Judge
granted the motion and extended the deadline to April 12.
Jacksons filed their amended complaint on April 12. The
amended complaint swelled to twenty-three pages and 123
paragraphs, made minor changes to a number of the factual
allegations, added two new counts,  and listed one or more
Defendants in parentheses under the heading of each
count-presumably to clarify which count(s) applied to which
Defendant(s). Counts (1) through (14) alleged the same
injuries and requested the same forms of relief as those
contained in the initial complaint.
amended complaint was, like its predecessor, a shotgun
pleading: it incorporated all of the factual allegations into
each count without delineating which allegations pertained to
each count. On April 29, Bank of America answered the amended
complaint, denying its purported wrongdoing and asserting as
a sixth affirmative defense that the amended complaint failed
to state a claim for relief. The other Defendants moved
collectively to dismiss the complaint on the same
failure-to-state ground. The District Court ordered the
Jacksons to respond to the motion to dismiss by May
On May 13, the day the response was due, Mr. Lay moved for a
seven-day extension to the deadline to file the Jacksons'
response. As the reason for the extension request, he stated
that he was out of town for hearings in other counties. The
motion was unopposed. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge
granted the motion and gave the Jacksons until May 20 to
Jacksons responded to the motion to dismiss on May 20, 2016.
On May 23, the District Court referred the motion to dismiss
to the Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation. On
July 19, the Magistrate Judge issued his Report and
Recommendation ("R&R"), which recommended
dismissal of the amended complaint as against MERS, SLS, and
Mellon for failure to state a claim. The R&R
comprehensively analyzed each of the Jacksons' sixteen
causes of action and determined that none made out a legally
cognizable claim. The Jacksons objected to the R&R on
the ground that their claims were sufficient.
September 2, just before the District Court was set to rule
on the Jacksons' objections to the R&R, the Jacksons
moved the Court for leave to amend their amended complaint,
submitting with their motion a proposed Second Amended
Complaint. On September 7, Bank of America moved the Court
for judgment on the pleadings.
September 15, the District Court denied the Jacksons'
motion for leave to amend, adopted the R&R, and dismissed
the amended complaint with prejudice as to MERS, Mellon, and
SLS. On October 3, the Jacksons stipulated to the dismissal
of their claims against Bank of America with prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1). The
next day the District Court terminated the lawsuit with the
entry of final judgment.
October 16, the Jacksons appealed the Court's judgment.
From that point on, Mr. Lay's delay tactics continued. He
moved this Court to extend the deadline to file the
Jacksons' opening brief six times. On December 5, Mr. Lay
sought and obtained an extension by phone. On December 19,
Mr. Lay requested a second extension. He stated that though
he had "been working diligently on the brief," he
had "had unexpected medical problems recently and ha[d]
only been able to work part time recently." On January
31, 2017, Mr. Lay requested a third extension. This time, he
stated that while he was still "working diligently on
the brief," he had been forced to travel out of town
because his brother "was hospitalized in intensive care
with a life threatening illness." Moreover, he stated,
his "work load" was "heavier than
normal." On March 2, he requested a fourth extension,
again citing his brother's medical emergency and his
workload consisting of "multiple appeals pending in this
Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Alabama Court of
Civil Appeals." On March 7, he requested a fifth
extension, stating that he had "just got back into town
on March 7" after tending to his brother's illness.
On March 14, Mr. Lay sought a sixth extension, again citing
his brother's illness as the reason for his being
"significantly behind schedule." We granted each of
final due date of the brief was set to March 16. Then, Mr.
Lay encountered technical difficulties in uploading the brief
and was unable to meet that deadline. As a result, he filed
the Jacksons' opening brief on March 22, 2017, more than
three months after its original due date of December 5, 2016.
filed their brief in response. Afterwards, Mr. Lay asked for
four extensions of the deadline to file the Jacksons'
reply brief. On June 16, he requested an additional
twenty-one days. He stated that his medical issues, his
"heavier than normal" workload, and his being
"out of town and out of the office on other
business" had prevented him from working on the reply
brief. On July 7, the final day of the twenty-one day
extension, he asked for a second extension of ten days on
account of the same reasons stated in his previous extension
request. On July 17, the last day of the ten-day extension he
received, Mr. Lay requested a third, seven-day extension. He
cited verbatim the same reasons as those listed in his prior
two extension requests. On July 24, the day of the revised
deadline, Mr. Lay filed a fourth extension request, seeking
eight additional days to file the Jacksons' reply brief.
He stated the same reasons a fourth time. The Court granted
these motions. All told, Mr. Lay sought and obtained ten
extension requests from this Court. He filed the
Jacksons' reply brief on July 25, 2017.
R&R, which the District Court adopted, the Magistrate
Judge conducted a lengthy, comprehensive review of each of
the Jacksons' sixteen counts and concluded that none
stated a cognizable claim. Rather than reviewing the District
Court's comprehensive analysis of each of the
Jacksons' causes of action, we affirm the District
Court's dismissal with prejudice on slightly different
grounds. "[W]e may affirm the district court's
judgment on any grounds supported in the record."
Koziara v. City of Casselberry, 392 F.3d 1302, 1306
n.2 (11th Cir. 2004).
amended complaint is an incomprehensible shotgun pleading. It
employs a multitude of claims and incorporates by reference
all of its factual allegations into each claim, making it
nearly impossible for Defendants and the Court to determine
with any certainty which factual allegations give rise to
which claims for relief. As such, the amended complaint
patently violates Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, which
requires a plaintiff to plead "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). At twenty-eight pages
long and having incorporated all 123 paragraphs of
allegations into all sixteen counts, it is neither
"short" nor "plain."
Court has filled many pages of the Federal Reporter
condemning shotgun pleadings and explaining their vices:
Shotgun pleadings, whether filed by plaintiffs or defendants,
exact an intolerable toll on the trial court's docket,
lead to unnecessary and unchannelled discovery, and impose
unwarranted expense on the litigants, the court and the
court's parajudicial personnel and resources. Moreover,
justice is delayed for the litigants who are "standing
in line," waiting for their cases to be heard. The
courts of appeals and the litigants appearing before them
suffer as well.
Cramer v. Florida, 117 F.3d 1258, 1263 (11th Cir.
1997). This case is illustrative. In ruling on
the sufficiency of the Jacksons' sixteen claims, the
Magistrate Judge was put in the position of serving as the
Jacksons' lawyer in rewriting the complaint into an
intelligible document a competent lawyer would have
written. It took fifty-four pages and untold hours
of the Magistrate Judge's time to do so. And, in
conducting a de novo review of the complaint after
the Jacksons objected to the R&R, the District Court
devoted a considerable amount of its time as well. Absent the
dismissal of the amended complaint, the Defendants, in
framing their answer, would likely have responded in kind,
with a multitude of affirmative defenses bunched together
applying to each of the amended complaint's counts. Put
colloquially: garbage in, garbage out. Hence, the final
resolution of the Jacksons' claims would have been
time-consuming and even more of an undue tax on the
Court's resources. Tolerating such behavior constitutes
toleration of obstruction of justice. This is why
we have condemned shotgun pleadings time and again, and this
is why we have repeatedly held that a District Court retains
authority to dismiss a shotgun pleading on that basis alone.
See, e.g., Weiland v. Palm Beach Cty.
Sheriff's Office, 792 F.3d 1313, 1320 (11th Cir.
2015) (explaining that the district court retains
"inherent authority to control its docket and ensure the
prompt resolution of lawsuits," including, under proper
circumstances, "the power to dismiss a complaint for
failure to comply with Rule 8(a)(2)").
explained that in a case in which a party, plaintiff or
defendant, files a shotgun pleading, the district court
"should strike the [pleading] and instruct counsel to
replead the case-if counsel could in good faith make the
representations required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b)."
Byrne, 261 F.3d at 1133 n.113 (quoting
Cramer, 117 F.3d at 1263). This is so even when the
other party does not move to strike the pleading. Vibe
Micro, Inc. v. Shabanets, 878 F.3d 1291, 1295 (11th Cir.
2018). Implicit in such a repleading order is the
"notion that if the plaintiff fails to comply with the
court's order-by filing a repleader with the same
deficiency-the court should strike his pleading or, depending
on the circumstances, dismiss his case and consider the
imposition of monetary sanctions." Byrne, 261
F.3d at 1133.
authority makes clear that dismissal of a complaint with
prejudice is warranted under certain circumstances. Such
circumstances existed in this case. In dismissing a shotgun
complaint for noncompliance with Rule 8(a), a district court
must give the plaintiff "one chance to remedy such
deficiencies." E.g., Vibe Micro, 878
F.3d at 1295. The Jacksons had that opportunity. Defendants
moved for a more definite statement on the ground that the
complaint was a shotgun pleading and it could not reasonably
be expected to frame a responsive pleading. Its motion fully
explained the complaint's defects. Bank of America
stated, accurately, "The pleading is vague and ambiguous
such that Bank of America has to guess as to the particular
claims to which it individually should respond, and the facts
upon which Plaintiffs rely in support." It further
stated, correctly, that "the first sentence of each
count adopts and re-alleges all prior paragraphs." It
observed that "Count Fourteen . . . 'simply amounts
to an amalgamation of all counts of the complaint.'"
(Quoting PVC Windoors, Inc. v. Babbitbay Beach
Constr., 598 F.3d 802, 806 (11th Cir. 2010)). And, it
explained, "With this type of drafting, Bank of America
cannot know which factual allegations pertain to which of
Plaintiffs' claims." This was as complete an
explanation of the defects in their complaint as the Jacksons
could have asked for.
Jacksons did not oppose Defendants' motions for a more
definite statement; their failure to oppose operated as an
acknowledgement of these defects. Accordingly, the District
Court granted the motions and ordered them to file a
sufficient complaint. This was their opportunity. A chance to
amend a complaint does not need to come in the form of a
dismissal without prejudice or the striking of a portion of
the complaint's allegations. It can also be accomplished
by ordering the party to file a more definite statement.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e) ("If the court orders
a more definite statement and the order is not obeyed within
14 days after notice of the order or within the time the
court sets, the court may strike the pleading or issue any
other appropriate order."). What matters is function,
not form: the key is whether the plaintiff had fair notice of
the defects and a meaningful chance to fix them. If that
chance is afforded and the plaintiff fails to remedy the
defects, the district court does not abuse its discretion in
dismissing the case with prejudice on shotgun pleading
after being put on notice by Defendants of the specific
defects in their complaint, the Jacksons filed an amended
complaint afflicted with the same defects, attempting
halfheartedly to cure only one of the pleading's many
ailments by naming which counts pertained to each Defendant.
The District Court should have dismissed the amended
complaint with prejudice because, as we have concluded, the
amended complaint was incomprehensible. Instead, the
Court dismissed the amended complaint on the merits.
explained in Vibe Micro, in striking a complaint on
shotgun pleading grounds and affording the plaintiff with
another opportunity to file a complaint that passes muster,
the District Court should point out the defects in the
complaint. Vibe Micro, 878 F.3d at 1295. The
District Court did not do so here because it elected to
consider the merits of each claim despite the complaint's
shotgun nature and dismiss each claim on that basis. However,
in light of the Jacksons' non-opposition to
Defendants' motions for a definite statement, which fully
explained the defects in the Jacksons' complaint, the
Court would not have abused its discretion if it had
dismissed the amended complaint with prejudice without
further elaborating on its deficiencies-especially
considering that the Jacksons agreed to file an improved
complaint yet did not do so. This basis alone is sufficient
grounds for affirming the District Court's dismissal of
the complaint with prejudice.
Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 states: "If a court of
appeals determines that an appeal is frivolous, it may, after
a separately filed motion or notice from the court and
reasonable opportunity to respond, award just damages and
single or double costs to the appellee." We have imposed
sanctions under Rule 38 when plaintiffs brought RICO claims
with no underlying factual basis to support them, yet
persisted in pursuing the case and appealing the district
court's rulings to harass the defendants into settling
the case. See Pelletier v. Zweifel, 921
F.2d 1465, 1523 (11th Cir.1991), abrogated on other
grounds by Bridge, 553 U.S. at 639, 128 S.Ct. at 2131.
We have also awarded sanctions under Rule 38, in the form of
reasonable attorney's fees and double costs, when a party
ignored the governing law and relied on "clearly
frivolous" arguments. See United States v. Single
Family Residence & Real Prop., 803 F.2d 625, 632
(11th Cir. 1986); see also Sun-Tek Indus., Inc. v.
Kennedy Sky-Lites, Inc., 865 F.2d 1254, 1255 (Fed. Cir.
1989) (awarding, pursuant to Rule 38, attorney's fees and
costs actually incurred).
motions for a more definite statement cited our precedent
decrying shotgun pleadings and made clear that filing a
shotgun pleading is grounds for dismissal in this Circuit. If
Mr. Lay was not aware of this precedent when he filed the
Jackson's initial complaint, Defendants' motion told
him all he needed to know. Nevertheless, in responding to the
District Court's order requiring a repleader, he stood
fast, brazenly filing a facsimile of his initial pleading.
That the Magistrate Judge and the District Court examined the
merits of Mr. Lay's new pleading does not change the fact
that the appeal of the dismissal of the amended complaint was
doomed from the start.
does not dispute that the amended complaint is an
impermissible shotgun pleading that obstructs the
administration of justice. Indeed, at oral argument before
this Court, he stated, "I understand [the Court's]
problem with the shotgun pleadings, and I'm not gonna
argue about that." After acknowledging that shotgun
pleadings are "an issue in federal court," he
stated, as an excuse for his behavior, that his use of
shotgun pleadings had "never been an issue before"
and that "they are not disfavored in Alabama
courts." In other words, Alabama's state courts
readily accept the sort of pleadings he files. This is no
excuse here. When he brought this lawsuit in the Baldwin
County Circuit Court, Mr. Lay knew that the case would be
removed to federal district court because the complaint
contained causes of action based on federal
statutes. And he knew the District Court would
require a repleader, which would inexorably lead to
light of this Circuit's precedent, Mr. Lay's appeal
of the dismissal of his incomprehensible amended complaint is
frivolous. The prosecution of an incomprehensible amended
complaint with repeated requests for extensions in the
District Court and the prosecution of a frivolous appeal with
repeated requests for extensions in this Court, taken
together, reveal Mr. Lay's motive in filing this lawsuit.
His motive was, and is, to delay or prevent the completion of
Mellon's foreclosure. This constitutes an abuse of
judicial process, a "deliberate use of a legal
procedure, whether criminal or civil, for a purpose for which
it was not designed." Dykes v. Hosemann, 776
F.2d 942, 950 (11th Cir. 1985). The procedures of the federal
courts were not designed for the purpose of accommodating Mr.
accordingly affirm the judgment of the District Court. We
also instruct Mr. Lay to show cause why we should not order
him to pay the Appellees double costs and their expenses,
including the attorney's fees they incurred in defending
these appeals. See Pelletier, 921 F.2d at 1523;
Cramer, 117 F.3d at 1265 & n.17. He shall show
such cause in the form of a letter addressed to the Clerk of
this Court within twenty-one days of the issuance of this
District Judge, specially concurring
concur in the Court's judgment but I write separately to
provide guidance to the district courts when faced with a
shotgun pleading following a grant of leave to replead and
resurrection of a similarly improper pleading. Here, the
amended complaint fared no better than the initial pleading,
and counsel took no action to remedy the deficiencies pointed
out in either the unopposed motion for a more definite
statement or the motion to dismiss. At that point, if Rule
8(a) and Iqbal/Twombly are to have meaning, the
district courts have the authority to strike the pleading,
dismiss the case with prejudice, and reserve jurisdiction to
award the defendant's attorney fees and costs. There is
simply a point in litigation when a defendant is entitled to
be relieved from the time, energy, and expense of defending
itself against seemingly vexatious claims, and the district
court relieved of the unnecessary burden of combing through
the Plaintiff's attorney engineered a scheme, perhaps
not. It would be unfortunate, indeed outrageous, if Mr.
Lay's pleas for extensions, both at the district and
appellate levels (due to travel, workload, repeated illness,
hospitalization and death in the family) were not made in
good faith and one large ruse. We may never know his true
motivation. I write separately, however, to emphasize the
crux of the majority's holding today: Neither Mr.
Lay's numerous extensions nor the reasons behind them are
the source of the Court's finding of frivolity. Indeed,
the Court and counsel entertained his requests for extensions
of time with the record before them. Rather, it is his
plainly deficient pleading, refiled and appealed, that
marshalled substantial unnecessary resources and that leads
to the Court's finding today.
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
N. JACKSON, URSULA D. JACKSON, PLAINTIFFS,
OF NEW YORK MELLON BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. SPECIALIZED LOAN
SERVICES MERS DEFENDANTS.
ACTION NO. CV-2016-0062
now, the Plaintiffs, Karun Jackson and Ursula Jackson, by and
through their attorney of record and file their complaint
against Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, N.A.,
Specialized Loan Services, and Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems in accordance with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and in support of said complaint states as
Defendants, Specialized Loan Services, Bank of America, and
Bank of New York Mellon in this action are foreign
corporations doing business in Baldwin County Alabama, and
are "debt collectors" as that term is defined by 15
U.S.C. § 1692a(6).
Plaintiffs, Karun Jackson and Ursula Jackson, in this action
are adult resident of Baldwin County, Alabama, and are
"consumers" and/or persons affected by a violation
of the FDCPA.
Jurisdiction is proper in this Court as the underlying action
is based upon a contract executed in Baldwin County, Alabama.
The action is brought regarding an attempted foreclosure
instituted in Baldwin County, Alabama, and is in the nature
of a complaint regarding that attempted foreclosure action.
The action is brought to enforce the contractual remedies
allowed in the mortgage document. The action seeks damages in
contract and tort for the actions of the Defendants with
respect to their servicing and attempted foreclosure on the
loan in question.
Venue is proper in this Court as the Plaintiffs are citizens
of Baldwin County, all or substantially all of the wrongs
complained of occurred in this county, and the property is
situated in this county.
Karun Jackson and Ursula Jackson bought the property located
at 26235 Jackson Circle extension Daphne AL 36526. On August
28, 2006, the Jacksons bought their property and executed a
mortgage loan and received and executed a mortgage with First
Residential Mortgage Network Inc. and also signed a
promissory note with First Residential Mortgage Network Inc.
The Mortgage contract provides for an escrow account for the
taxes and insurance. The mortgagee is required to pay for the
insurance and taxes from the escrow account.
Jacksons currently reside at 26235 Jackson Circle extension
Daphne AL 36526.
loan was allegedly later transferred and sold to Specialized
Loan Services and Bank of New York Mellon although the
Plaintiffs dispute the validity of the alleged transfer.
November 8, 2015, Defendants improperly and wrongfully began
foreclosure proceedings on the Jacksons property. The
mortgage governs acceleration and sets for the lenders
remedies and provides that Lender shall give notice to the
borrower prior to acceleration following borrower's
breach of any covenant or agreement in this Security
Instrument. The Defendants or their agents refused to
engage in a legitimate and good faith mortgage foreclosure
avoidance workout, accept the proper payments, inflated the
amount due, and have threatened to foreclose on Plaintiffs
without any basis to do so
Jauregui Law Firm handled the attempted foreclosure sale.
Defendants began foreclosure proceedings on Plaintiffs'
property on November 8, 2015 despite knowing that the
Plaintiffs, the Jacksons claimed that they were not in
default and that the attempted foreclosure sale was wrongful
foreclosure sale date was reported to the national credit
bureaus and the Jacksons' credit was damaged as a result
of the reporting of the foreclosure sale date which was
invalid and wrongful.
Jacksons, upon information and belief, contend that the
alleged Assignments of the note and mortgage is defective,
void, or otherwise unenforceable as to the security
instrument in question in this case. None of the Defendants
are the original lender. Federal law 1641(g)(1)(B) requires a
new creditor to provide the date of transfer, which has not
Jacksons contend that the attempted sale was wrongful,
illegal, in violation of law and the documents governing the
relationship between the Jacksons and the owners of the note
and mortgage. Furthermore, the Jacksons allege that they were
not behind in their payments on the mortgage and that they
were improperly defaulted and that the note was improperly
Jacksons contend that the foreclosing entity lacked standing
or authority to initiate foreclosure proceedings on his
Jacksons allege that the actions of the Defendants and its
agents, employees and ...