United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JUSTIN H. KNOPP, Plaintiff,
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., as Trustee, in trust for the registered holders of Park Place Securities, Inc., Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-WCW1, BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., SELECT PORTFOLIO SERVICING, INC., CORELOGIC SOLUTIONS, LLC, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., MERSCORP HOLDINGS, INC., VILLAGE OF ALSIP, LAW OFFICES OF IRA T NEVEL, PIERCE AND ASSOCIATES, P.C., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L.ELLIS United States District Judge
the foreclosure of his property in state court, Plaintiff
Justin H. Knopp turned to federal court and filed this action
disputing the title and ownership of the property and the
actions taken by certain parties in servicing his loan. In
this action, Knopp, proceeding pro se, has sued
several parties he claims had some involvement with the
underlying mortgage and note at issue in the state
foreclosure proceedings: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as Trustee
for the certificate holders of Park Place Securities Inc.,
Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2005-WCW1 (the
“Trust”); Bank of America, N.A.
(“BANA”); Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.
(“SPS”); CoreLogic Solutions, LLC
(“CoreLogic”); Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. and Merscorp Holdings, Inc. (collectively,
“MERS”); the Village of Alsip (the
“Village”); the Law Offices of Ira T. Nevel
(“Nevel”); and Pierce and Associates, P.C.
(“Pierce”). On January 30, 2017, the Court
dismissed Knopp's complaint, giving him leave to replead
certain claims. See Doc. 97. After Knopp filed his
first amended complaint, all Defendants but Nevel filed
motions to dismiss. Because Knopp has again failed to state a
viable claim against any Defendant, the Court grants the
motions to dismiss and dismisses Knopp's first amended
complaint with prejudice and terminates the case.
about March 25, 2005, Knopp took out a loan with Argent
Mortgage Company, LLC (“Argent”), secured by
property at 12237 S. Avers Avenue, Alsip, Illinois. According
to Knopp, Argent ceased doing business in 2007. On October 3,
2011, Argent assigned the mortgage to the Trust. The Cook
County Recorder of Deeds recorded the assignment of the
mortgage on October 21, 2011. CoreLogic prepared and filed
this assignment of mortgage. BANA serviced the mortgage until
August 16, 2012, at which point SPS took over the servicing
of the mortgage. Knopp received notice of the change of
servicer in a letter sent on August 7, 2012.
defaulted on the loan in 2009, failing to make the required
payments. In December 2009, the Trust, BANA, and SPS, through
the Village and the Alsip Police Department, told Knopp he
would be charged with criminal trespass to property if he did
not leave the property. On December 23, 2011, the Trust,
using Nevel as counsel, filed a foreclosure action to enforce
its security interest in the property. A new assignment of
mortgage, prepared by Nevel, was signed on January 10, 2012
and filed with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds on January
26, 2012. The Trust voluntarily dismissed the 2011
foreclosure case on January 2, 2014.
received correspondence from Pierce in June 2014 indicating
that SPS had hired it to initiate a second foreclosure
proceeding and setting forth certain information as required
by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”). In response, in July 2014, Knopp sent
a letter to Pierce and SPS requesting documentation of his
indebtedness. In that letter, he indicated that he had
informed both Pierce and SPS that they are not the legal
servicers of the mortgage in January 2014. Pierce responded
that SPS would provide the required documents, and SPS sent
Knopp numerous letters in October and November 2014. Knopp
contacted the Illinois Attorney General's Office of
Consumer Fraud in February 2015, complaining about the
foreclosure procedures in his case.
March 2015, the Trust initiated the second foreclosure action
against Knopp. Knopp then acquired documentation from the two
foreclosure cases in August 2015, observing that the
documents used in the two cases were different. The second
foreclosure action remains pending.
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the
sufficiency of the complaint, not its merits. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6); Gibson v. City of Chicago, 910 F.2d 1510,
1520 (7th Cir. 1990). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts
in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable
inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor.
AnchorBank, FSB v. Hofer, 649 F.3d 610, 614 (7th
Cir. 2011). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint
must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a
claim's basis but must also be facially plausible.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); see also Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d
929 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
his initial complaint, Knopp's second attempt at pleading
viable claims does little to help the Court decipher the
claims he seeks to bring against Defendants and the factual
bases underlying them, particularly where, as noted above, he
fails to include the relevant background facts to support his
legal theories. See Scott, 725 F.3d at 782-83
(“[W]hen a plaintiff files an amended complaint, the
amended complaint supersedes the original complaint. . . .
[F]acts or admissions from an earlier complaint that are not
included in a later complaint cannot be considered on a
motion to dismiss.”). In the first amended complaint,
however, Knopp does narrow his claims to ones for fraud, and
violations of the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act
(“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e), the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c), the False
Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, and 42
U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986.
addressing the merits of these claims, the Court must address
Knopp's objections to the timeliness of all but
BANA's motions to dismiss. Only BANA filed its motion to
dismiss within the time limits provided by the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, with the remaining moving Defendants
filing their motions in the following days and weeks and
seeking leave to file those motions instanter. SPS,
the Trust, and MERS maintain they filed late due to a
calendering error, calculating the due date from the date
Knopp's complaint was electronically docketed instead of
file-stamped. The Court allowed Knopp ample opportunity to
respond to all the arguments raised by the moving Defendants
and Knopp cannot show any prejudice for the untimely filing
of the motion to dismiss. Therefore, instead of resolving the
issue on a procedural technicality, the Court finds it
appropriate to extend the time for filing the motions to
dismiss for each of the late-filing Defendants given the
stage of the proceedings, the fact that in some cases the
reason for the filing was a calendaring mistake, and the fact
that Knopp has suffered no prejudice from the late filings.
See Crue v. Aiken, 370 F.3d 668, 680-81 (7th Cir.
2004) (in deciding whether to allow for enlargement of time
after expiration of specified period, court should consider
“whether there will be prejudice to the opposing party,
the effect on the judicial proceedings, the reason for the
delay, and whether the movant acted in good faith”).
as it did in addressing Knopp's initial complaint, to the
extent only certain Defendants raise arguments that apply
equally to all Defendants, the Court extends them to all
because Knopp had the opportunity to respond to all
arguments. See Malak v. Associated Physicians,
Inc., 784 F.2d 277, 280 (7th Cir. 1986) (court may
sua sponte enter judgment in favor of additional
non-moving defendants if motion by one defendant is equally
effective in barring claim against other defendants and
plaintiff had adequate opportunity to respond to the motion);
Roberts v. Cendant Mortg. Corp., No.
1:11-CV-01438-JMS, 2013 WL 2467996, at *5 (S.D. Ind. June 7,
2013) (although three defendants had not entered appearances
and it was not clear if they had been served, court could
impute arguments made by other defendant to all of them and
dismiss claims against all defendants). Although Knopp may
have a defense to the foreclosure action proceeding in state
court, the proper place to raise any arguments against
foreclosure is in the state court action, not in this federal
court action where he has attempted to bring in as a
Defendant every possible player involved with his mortgage.
Here, none of his claims or speculation concerning the
propriety of the securitization and assignment of his
mortgage can proceed, as set forth in detail