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.

Stephens v. Navient Solutions Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 16, 2016

JEANINE STEPHENS, Plaintiff,
v.
NAVIENT SOLUTIONS INC., f/k/a Sallie Mae, Inc., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA R. PALLMEYER United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Jeanine Stephens filed a pro se state court complaint against a loan servicer, Navient Solutions, Inc., for attempting to enforce a loan that Stephens claim was was a product of allegedly mishandling an identity theft. Stephens had taken out a student loan from Sallie Mae, Inc. (Navient's predecessor) while she was a student from 1999-2001. She asserts that her loan was paid off in full by 2004. Navient, however, asserts that Stephens took out two other loans in 2004: tuition loans for $25, 000 and $5, 000. Stephens denies taking out these two loans, but Navient declared a default on both of them in 2009 and reported negative information to the credit bureaus. Stephens filed her complaint against Navient in 2014, asserting that Navient defamed her, enabled identity theft, and reported false information to credit bureaus. Navient removed the case to this court.

         Counsel has agreed to represent Stephens and, on her behalf, filed an amended containing a single count of negligence. The parties conducted discovery and Navient filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there is no evidence of identity theft and that Stephens acknowledged the legitimacy of the loans in two bankruptcy proceedings. Before ruling on the motion, the court requested briefs from the parties to determine whether it had subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons below, this matter is remanded to the state court.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Jeanine Stephens alleges Defendant Navient Solutions, Inc. (formerly Sallie Mae, Inc.), has erroneously attributed student loans to her that she did not negotiate, and subsequently reported those loans as unpaid to credit reporting agencies. Stephens filed a state court complaint pro se in February, 2014 alleging the following (quoted verbatim):

• Defamation - failure to correct information after provided with proof.
• Willful enablement of identity theft. Failed to validate accounts that were believed to be obtained through identity theft.
• Reaging accounts.
• Validating fradulent [sic] accounts as accurate with credit bureau.
• I have been unable to obtain credit, jobs and pay extremely high interest due to their willful neglect.

(Compl., Ex. 1 to Notice of Removal [1-1]). She sought $3, 000 in damages. (Id.) Navient timely removed the case and filed a motion for a more definite statement of Stephens' claims [7]. Through counsel, Stephens filed an amended complaint (Am. Compl., Ex. to Mot. to Amend [13]), in which she alleges that Navient had a duty to “exercise reasonable and ordinary care in the servicing of loans, recordkeeping and related functions” (id. at ¶ 9), but it breached that duty when it “repeatedly placed student loans on Plaintiff's account, making it appear that Plaintiff had taken out unpaid student loans; . . . reported loans as being unpaid by Plaintiff; . . . [and] repeatedly placed new loans . . . under Plaintiff's Sallie Mae account number.” (Id. at ¶ 10.) Stephens averred damages to her credit, mental state, and employment opportunities proximately caused by Navient's “negligent acts.” (Id. at ¶ 11.) The amended complaint demanded $60, 000 in compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, and other appropriate relief. (Id., Prayer for Relief.) After Navient filed its answer [26] and the parties conducted discovery, Navient filed a motion for summary judgment [33].

         In reviewing the motion, the court noted a concern about its jurisdiction, and asked the parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue. Order, Sept. 29, 2015 [44]. Each party submitted a memorandum of law, and the parties agree that the court has jurisdiction on the bases of an underlying federal question, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and diversity, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Pl.'s Mem. with Regard to Ct.'s Jurisdiction Under 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1332 [45] [hereinafter Pl.'s Br.]; Navient Solutions Inc.'s Mem. Regarding Jurisdiction [46] [hereinafter Def.'s Br.].

         Despite that agreement, it is the court's responsibility to hear only those cases over which it has jurisdiction. Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir. 2009). The court concludes that there is no substantial federal question posed by Stephens' allegations in her amended complaint. Further, though the parties are diverse in ...


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.