Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bank of America, N.A. v. Esparza

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

August 28, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT ESPARZA, SHARLA ESPARZA, LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL BANK, N.A., AMWEST SURETY INSURANCE COMPANY, and DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Defendants.

          Natalie C. Lehman, Esq. WRIGHT FINLAY & ZAK, LLP Attorney for Plaintiff

          Kurt Sommer, Esq. SOMMER, UDALL, SUTIN, HARDWICK & HYATT, P.A. Attorney for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARTHA VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the Notice of Errata to Judgment Pursuant to Local Rule 58.1 (“Notice of Errata”) [Doc. 134] filed by INXS V (“INXS”), successor in interest to plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”), and the Motion to Strike or Disregard Notice of Errata to Judgment Pursuant to Local Rule 58.1 [Doc. 135] filed by defendants Scott Esparza and Sharla Esparza (collectively, the “Esparzas”). This Court, having considered the motions, briefs, relevant law and being otherwise fully informed, finds that the Motion to Strike is denied and, pursuant to the Notice of Errata, the Court amends its prior judgment.

         I. Background

         The New Mexico District Court Foreclosure

         On March 19, 2003, BANA filed a foreclosure action on real property located at 54 Honeysuckle Circle in Santa Fe, New Mexico (the “Property”), belonging to the Esparzas. [Doc. 1]. On October 28, 2003, the Court entered a Stipulated Decree of Foreclosure, Order of Sale and Appointment of Special Master [Doc. 93], in which it awarded damages in favor or BANA and against the Esparzas in the sum of $3, 451, 719.62, and authorized foreclosure of the Property by a special master. All parties, including the Esparzas, were represented by counsel and entered into the Stipulated Decree, which included the following language:

If the proceeds of the sale are insufficient to satisfy the amount due the Plaintiff as set forth herein the Plaintiff shall have judgment for any deficiency against Defendants Scott and Sharla Esparza.

[Id. at 7]. On December 19, 2003, the real property collateral for the loan was foreclosed and, after application of the proceeds of the foreclosure sale, the balance owing was reduced to $793, 268.62. [Doc. 107 at 2-3, Special Master's Report]. On January 15, 2004, the Court entered an Order Approving Special Master's Report and Confirming Sale. [Doc. 109].

         Together, the Stipulated Decree, Special Master's Report and Order Confirming Sale are referred to as the “New Mexico Judgment.” On February 5, 2004, the Esparzas filed a Motion to Alter or Amend the Order approving Special Master's Report and Confirming Foreclosure Sale. [Doc. 109]. In their motion, the Esparzas argued that the bid price on the house had been too low and allowed BANA to obtain a substantial deficiency judgment against them. [Id. at 5, ¶¶ 14-17]. Their challenge went to the amount of the deficiency judgment-not to BANA's right to a deficiency judgment. On November 4, 2004, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the Esparzas' Motion to Amend. [Doc. 129].

         Domestication of New Mexico Judgment and Collection Efforts

         On May 23, 2005, BANA caused the New Mexico Judgment to be domesticated in the Superior Court for the State of California In and For the County of Ventura, in Bank of America, N.A., v. Scott Exparza and Sharla Esparza, Case No. CIV 233913. [Doc. 134-1]. The domesticated judgment is referred to as the “California Sister State Judgment.” At that time, the balance owed on the judgment was $889, 413.25, including accrued, unpaid post-judgment interest. Id.

         On August 25, 2005, BANA caused the New Mexico Judgment to be domesticated in Arizona by filing a Notice of Filing of Foreign Judgment and Affidavit in the Arizona Superior Court, Maricopa County, Case No. CV 2005-052039. [Doc. 139-3]. The domesticated judgment is referred to as the “Arizona Sister State Judgment.” BANA records indicate that the Esparzas made two partial payments on the New Mexico Judgment-a payment of $182, 734.22 on June 1, 2006, and payment of $4, 338.12 on July 5, 2005 [Doc. 139 at 3, Declaration of Jamie Rand]. With respect to the second payment, BANA filed an Acknowledgment of Partial Satisfaction of Judgment in the California court. [Doc. 139-2]. On January 7, 2015, INXS, recognizing BANA had failed to file an acknowledgment of the first payment, filed an Acknowledgment of Partial Satisfaction of Judgment in the California court, in which it acknowledged the first payment and stated that as of December 22, 2014, the outstanding balance on the California Sister State Judgment was $1, 476, 999.56 (comprised of $798, 003.51 in principal and $678, 996.05 in accrued, unpaid post-judgment interest). [Doc. 139-3].

         Assignment of Judgments to INXS

         On November 8, 2011, BANA sold and assigned its right, title and interest in the California and Arizona Sister State Judgments to INXS. [Doc. 134, Ex. 1, Acknowledgment of Assignment]. The Acknowledgment of Assignment specifically referenced the California and Arizona Sister State Judgments and acknowledged that BANA “assigned its right, title and interest in the judgment consisting of the unpaid amount of $889, 413.25 to INXS V LLC, ” and copies of the Sister State Judgments and the Bill of Sale from BANA to INXS are attached thereto. [Doc. 134-1 at 2-9]. At the time of the assignment, the Esparzas owed a balance of $780, 733.99 on the judgment. Id.

         Collection Efforts by INXS

         On November 21, 2013, INXS obtained a Writ of Execution issued by the California court in connection with the Sister Statement Judgment (the “Writ”). On December 2, 2013, INXS caused the Writ to be levied on the Esparzas' Wells Fargo bank account in Arizona, which attached to $39, 348.84 held in one or more deposit accounts in the name of one or both of the Esparzas. Wells Fargo complied with the writ.

         On March 7, 2015, the Esparzas filed a Motion to Quash the Writ of Execution issued by the California court. [Doc. 138-1]. In their Memorandum of Points and Authorities in support of the motion, the Esparzas acknowledged BANA had obtained a deficiency judgment against them for the outstanding balance of $793, 268.62 plus accrued interest, and had domesticated the judgment in both California and Arizona. Id. at 4. Further, they stated that BANA had sold its judgment to INXS. Id. However, they asserted that the California court did not have jurisdiction to attach their assets located outside the state and, therefore, the writ must be quashed. Id. The California court granted the Esparzas' Motion to Quash and the levy was reversed.

         Fair Debt Collection Act Lawsuit

         On November 25, 2014, the Esparzas sued BANA, INXS and their respective attorneys in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC565012, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act and the Consumer Protection Act; abuse of judicial process; and intentional misrepresentation. They sought a permanent injunction. The Esparzas alleged inadequate communication by defendants concerning the debt they owed pursuant to the Judgments. However, they did not challenge the validity of the Judgment. INXS and BANA filed a Motion to Strike the FDCPA Complaint, which was granted by the court on April 6, 2015.

         Challenge to California ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.