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Roman v. Loandepot.Com, LLC

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

June 28, 2019

EVA ROMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
LOANDEPOT.COM, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          GREGORY A. PRESNELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court without a hearing on the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 44) filed by the Defendant, loanDepot.com (henceforth, “loanDepot”), the response in opposition (Doc. 48) filed by the Plaintiff, Eva Roman (“Roman”), and the reply (Doc. 51) filed by loanDepot.

         I. Background

         According to the allegations of the First Amended Complaint (Doc. 38) in this putative class action, which are accepted in pertinent part as true for purposes of this motion, loanDepot holds the mortgage on Roman's home in Kissimmee. In September 2017, shortly after Hurricane Irma struck the area, loanDepot offered Roman, via email, a “forbearance plan”. (Doc. 38-1 at 3). The email described the “forbearance plan” as “a temporary suspension of your mortgage loan payments intended to allow time and flexibility for you to manage the challenges affecting your ability to pay your mortgage due to the natural disaster.” (Doc. 38-1 at 3). According to the email, much of which was written in a question-and-answer format, if Roman accepted, her mortgage payments would be “suspended for a minimum of 3 months, ” “negative credit reporting will be suppressed” and “late charges will be waived for the duration of the plan.” (Doc. 38-1 at 3). In response to the question “When will I need to repay payments under this forbearance?”, the email provided the following answer:

Your current loan requirements remain in effect; however, you are not required to make any payments during the term of the forbearance plan. The amounts otherwise due have been suspended during this time. The payments that were temporarily suspended during the forbearance plan period are not being forgiven, eventually they must be paid through an approved re-payment plan or another available loss mitigation workout option.

(Doc. 38-1 at 4). The email also provided that “negative credit reporting will be suppressed and late charges will be waived for the duration of the plan.” (Doc. 38-1 at 3).

         Roman accepted the forbearance plan offer on September 20, 2017. (Doc. 38 at 2). On or about September 23, 2017, she spoke with a loanDepot representative by telephone and asked how she would need to pay the suspended payments. (Doc. 38 at 5). During this conversation (henceforth, the “September 23 Conversation”), the loanDepot representative “assured Plaintiff that her suspended payments would be added to the end of the mortgage.”[1] (Doc. 38 at 5-6).

         On or about September 25, 2017, Roman received a confirmation letter from loanDepot. It stated that the forbearance plan “will begin on 10/1/2017 through 12/1/2017. During this time you will not be required to make payment.” (Doc. 38-2 at 2). The letter also provided that

The forbearance plan will end 1/1/2018 at which time you will be contacted to reassess your current circumstances as well as be provided information on alternatives that may be available to you. …
Please note that your current loan requirements remain in effect; however, you are not required to make any payment during the term of the forbearance plan. The amounts otherwise due have been suspended during this time. . . .
CREDIT REPORTING: Please note that we will not be reporting the delinquency status or the entry into a Forbearance Plan to credit reporting agencies.

(Doc. 38-2 at 2).

         Roman did not make the mortgage payments that would otherwise have been due on October 1, November 1, and December 1 of 2017 (henceforth, collectively, the “Suspended Payments”). On or around October 17, 2017 Roman received a loan statement from loanDepot showing that she had not made her October 1 payment and now owed $3, 313.84 - twice the amount of her usual payment. (Doc. 38 at 6). On or around November 10, 2017, she received a letter from loanDepot stating that she had missed two payments and was now in default. (Doc. 38 at 6-7). In the letter, loanDepot stated that

If we do not receive these payments by 12/03/2017 legal action may be instituted, which could result in your losing your home.

(Doc. 38 at 6-7). About a week later, Roman received another loan statement, which showed that she had not made the October 1 and November 1 payments and now owed $4, 970.76. (Doc. 38 at 7).

         Shortly thereafter loanDepot informed Roman that she had to either pay the Suspended Payments immediately or enter into a loan modification that would raise her mortgage interest rate from 3.75 percent to 4.25 percent. (Doc. 38 at 7). She refused both options and instead asked loanDepot to add the extra payments to the end of the loan, as she had ...


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