United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM E. KANTZ, JR., Plaintiff,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendant.
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion For Summary
Judgment (Doc. No. 52); Defendant's Cross Motion For
Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 56); Plaintiff's Reply (Doc.
Nos. 74, 76); and Defendant's Reply (Doc. No. 80). For
the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion For
Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 52) is DENIED,
Defendant's Cross Motion For Summary Judgment (Doc. No.
56) is GRANTED, and this action is
Factual and Procedural Background
Amended Verified Complaint, filed in this case on March 16,
2017, Plaintiff William E. Kantz, Jr. alleges that Defendant
Bank of America (“BOA”) is liable for $25, 000
and other relief for failing to provide him with certain
information required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures
Act (“RESPA”) and the Truth in Lending Act
(“TILA”). (Doc. No. 21). The claims in this case
arise out of a Note and Deed of Trust entered into by
Plaintiff and Sandra Lee with Defendant, on December 20,
2007, and secured by the residence located at 1244 Mary Helen
Drive, Nashville, Tennessee. (Doc. No. 21, at ¶¶
1-3; Exhibit A). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant foreclosed
on the property in early 2014, and that the ensuing three
foreclosure sales were fraudulent and fake. (Doc. No. 21, at
¶ 4). In a separate action, Plaintiff challenged the
foreclosure sales, and on March 30, 2017, the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the district
court's rejection of the challenge. (Doc. No. 90 in Case
No. 3:14cv01113). Plaintiff alleges that he still resides at
the address. (Doc. No. 21, at ¶ 1).
meantime, on August 17, 2015, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage
Corporation filed an unlawful detainer action against
Plaintiff seeking possession of the property at 1244 Mary
Helen Drive, and Plaintiff removed the case to federal court.
(Doc. No. 1 in Case No. 3:15cv00932). In that case, Plaintiff
raised additional claims, including claims for violations of
RESPA, TILA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and a
claim for declaratory judgment that the foreclosure sale was
unlawful. (Doc. No. 9 in Case No. 3:15cv00932).
Plaintiff's claims have been dismissed (Doc. No. 240 in
Case No. 3:15cv00932).
action, Plaintiff raises claims against Defendant for
violation of TILA, specifically 15 U.S.C. § 1639g, by
failing to provide him with information regarding the payoff
amount of his loan. (Doc. No. 21). Plaintiff alleges that, on
November 8, 2016, during a case management conference held in
the case referenced above (3:15cv00932), counsel for
Defendant indicated that BOA was the servicer of
Plaintiff's loan. (Id., at ¶ 12). Plaintiff
further alleges that, on November 9, 2016, his attorney sent
a letter, which he characterizes as a “Qualified
Written Request, ” to counsel for
Defendant. (Id., at ¶¶ 12-15).
Through the letter, Plaintiff's counsel requests 20
categories of information under the heading:
“R.E.S.P.A. Qualified Written Request, ” and the
identity of the mortgage owner or servicer under the heading:
“Truth-In- Lending Act § 131(f)(2).” (Doc.
No. 21-3). These requests were duplicated in an email from
Plaintiff's counsel to Defendant's counsel sent that
same day. (Doc. No. 21-4). Item #14 in the RESPA section
requests “[a]n itemized statement of the current amount
needed to pay-off the loan in full.” (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges that counsel for Defendant responded to the
request in a letter to Plaintiff's counsel, dated
December 8, 2016, notifying him of the need for additional
time to complete the necessary research and stating that a
response would be sent when the research was completed. (Doc.
further alleges that on January 25, 2017, counsel for
Plaintiff sent another letter, which he characterizes as a
“Qualified Written Request, ” to Defendant at a
P.O. Box in Wilmington, Delaware. (Doc. No. 21-6). This
letter appears to be substantially similar to the letters
sent to counsel for the Defendant. Plaintiff alleges that,
notwithstanding its receipt of the letter, Defendant has
failed to provide the requested information. (Doc. No. 21, at
the summary judgment briefing, however, the parties appear to
agree that Defendant sent Plaintiff a letter on February 11,
2017, stating that it was researching the January 25, 2017
request for information. (Doc. No. 75, at ¶ 4; Doc. No.
56-2). On February 21, 2017, Defendant sent a letter to
Plaintiff's counsel stating that Defendant had received
the January 25, 2017 request for information on February 3,
2017, but the request “did not include written
authorization from [Plaintiff], for us to release loan
information to you on his behalf, nor do we have existing
authorization on file.” (Doc. No. 56-3). The letter
suggested that counsel fax the authorization, and indicated
that Defendant would not be able to respond to the inquiries
if the authorization was not received by February 24, 2017.
letter to Defendant dated February 22, 2017, Plaintiff's
counsel stated that an authorization was unnecessary and that
Defendant's failure to respond violated TILA. (Doc. No.
56-4). The letter also repeated the requests for information
listed in the earlier letters. (Id.) On February 27,
2018, Defendant sent a letter to Plaintiff indicating that it
had not received an authorization for the release of
information to his attorney, and consequently, it would be
unable to respond to the inquiries. (Doc. No. 56-5). On March
10, 2017, counsel for Defendant sent a Third Party
Authorization Form, via email, to counsel for Plaintiff and
explained that Plaintiff would be required to complete the
form before Defendant could discuss Plaintiff's account
with counsel. (Doc. No. 56-6). Among other statements in his
email response on March 13, 2017, Plaintiff's counsel
insisted that an authorization form was unnecessary, argued
that the form provided by Defendant's counsel was not
appropriate, and asked for legal authority supporting the
request for a third party authorization form. (Doc. No.
undisputed that, to date, Plaintiff has not provided an
authorization form to Defendant. Nevertheless, on June 1,
2017, Defendant's corporate designate provided Plaintiff
with the requested payoff information as part of the
discovery in this case. (Plaintiff's Memorandum Of Law In
Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 53, at 2)).
The Standards Governing Motions For Summary Judgment
judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Supreme Court has construed Rule 56
to “mandate the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party
who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
considering a motion for summary judgment, a court must draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.
See, e.g., Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89
L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); Shreve v. Franklin County, Ohio,
743 F.3d 126, 132 (6th Cir. 2014). The court does not,
however, make credibility determinations, weigh the evidence,
or determine the truth of the matter. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
order to defeat the motion, the nonmoving party must provide
evidence, beyond the pleadings, upon which a reasonable jury
could return a verdict in its favor. Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 324; Shreve, 743 F.3d at 132.
Ultimately, the court is to determine “whether the
evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to a jury or whether it ...