684 Fed.Appx. 235 (3rd Cir. 2017), 16-2221, In re Lau

Docket Nº:16-2221
Citation:684 Fed.Appx. 235
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:In re: JOSEPH H. LAU AND RAQUEL R. LAU, Debtors v. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.; MERSCORP HOLDINGS, INC.; FANNIE MAE JOSEPH H. LAU AND RAQUEL R. LAU, Appellants
Attorney:JOSEPH H. LAU, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Stewartsville, NJ. RAQUEL R. LAU, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Stewartsville, NJ. For BANK OF AMERICA NA, MERSCORP HOLDINGS INC, FANNIE MAE, Defendants - Appellees: Kerry A. Duffy, Esq., Philip S. Rosen, Esq., Zeichner Ellman & Krause, Roseland, NJ;...
Judge Panel:Before: RESTREPO, SCIRICA and FISHER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 27, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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Page 235

684 Fed.Appx. 235 (3rd Cir. 2017)

In re: JOSEPH H. LAU AND RAQUEL R. LAU, Debtors

JOSEPH H. LAU AND RAQUEL R. LAU, Appellants

v.

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.; MERSCORP HOLDINGS, INC.; FANNIE MAE

No. 16-2221

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

March 27, 2017

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) March 21, 2017

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Editorial Note:

This opinion is not regarded as Precedents which bind the court under Third Circuit Internal Operating Procedure Rule 5.7. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.N.J. No. 3-15-cv-06413). District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan.

JOSEPH H. LAU, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Stewartsville, NJ.

RAQUEL R. LAU, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Stewartsville, NJ.

For BANK OF AMERICA NA, MERSCORP HOLDINGS INC, FANNIE MAE, Defendants - Appellees: Kerry A. Duffy, Esq., Philip S. Rosen, Esq., Zeichner Ellman & Krause, Roseland, NJ; William M. E. Powers, III, Esq., Powers Kirn, Moorestown, NJ.

Before: RESTREPO, SCIRICA and FISHER, Circuit Judges.

Page 236

OPINION[*]

PER CURIAM

Joseph and Raquel Lau appeal from two orders of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, affirming on appeal an order issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Finding no error, we will affirm.

I.

The facts are well-known to the parties, so we will only recount those necessary to our decision. On July 31, 2006, Joseph Lau executed a note in favor of Countrywide Bank, N.A. (the " Note" ) to purchase a home. Along with the Note, Joseph and Raquel Lau (the " Laus" ) executed a mortgage to secure the amounts due (the " Mortgage" ). The Mortgage named Mortgage Electronic Registration Services, Inc. (" MERS" ) as mortgagee and nominee for Countrywide Bank, N.A. and its successors and assigns. Countrywide Bank, N.A. indorsed the Note to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., who indorsed the Note in blank. On December 3, 2012, MERS assigned the Mortgage to Bank of America, N.A. (" BOA" ), successor by merger to BAC Home Loan Servicing, L.P. (" BAC" ) f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP. According to public records adduced in the bankruptcy court adversary proceeding, BOA is the current holder, assignee, and servicer of the loan documents, while Federal National Mortgage Association (" Fannie Mae" ) is the current owner (or " investor" ) of the loan documents.1

On October 6, 2009, the Laus filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. On December 30, 2009, BAC filed a proof of claim (" POC" ) in the Laus' bankruptcy case. The Bankruptcy Court confirmed the Laus' plan (the " Plan" ) on June 24, 2010, they made their payments of $71,926.57, in full, in accordance with the Plan, and they received their discharges. Shortly after making their final Plan payments, the Laus instituted an adversary proceeding against (1) BOA and its subsidiaries including BAC Home Servicing, L.P., Bank of America Home Loans, f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans, d/b/a under trade name America's Wholesale Lender, etc.; (2) Merscorp Holdings, Inc. (" MHI" ) and its subsidiary MERS; and (3) FannieMae. The underlying basis of the adversary proceeding was several categories of documents filed or sent to the Laus during the bankruptcy.2

The Appellees filed a first Motion to Dismiss the Adversary Proceeding on November 24, 2014. The Bankruptcy Court granted it in part and denied it in part. The Order, entered on January 5, 2015, stated that the causes of action for slander of title, perjury, and automatic stay violations were dismissed with prejudice. The Laus' slander of title claims had alleged an incurable chain of broken title, an irreparable bifurcation of the Laus' instruments, violation of the recording statutes, violation of the statute of frauds, and also the claim that clear title may not derive from fraud. Additionally, the January 5, 2015

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Order dismissed with prejudice the claims of fraud based upon 18 U.S.C. § § 152, 157, 371, 513, 514, 1343 and 31 U.S.C. § 3729, because those sections do not provide for a private right of action, and, further, dismissed all claims against MHI. Critically, the Laus never appealed the January 5, 2015 Order to the District Court. In the...

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