Mason v. Fremont Investment & Loan, 111016 FED5, 16-10249

Docket Nº:16-10249
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:JERRY MASON, Plaintiff - Appellant v. FREMONT INVESTMENT & LOAN; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.; HSBC BANK USA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as Trustee for Nomura Home Equity Loan Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-FM1; OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, L.L.C., Defendants-Appellees
Judge Panel:Before KING, DENNIS, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:November 10, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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JERRY MASON, Plaintiff - Appellant

v.

FREMONT INVESTMENT & LOAN; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.; HSBC BANK USA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as Trustee for Nomura Home Equity Loan Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-FM1; OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, L.L.C., Defendants-Appellees

No. 16-10249

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 10, 2016

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas USDC No. 3:15-CV-1909

Before KING, DENNIS, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM [*]

In September 2005, Plaintiff-Appellant Jerry Mason issued a $128, 000 promissory note (the Note) to Defendant-Appellee Fremont Investment (Fremont) in connection with his purchase of property located in Palmer, Texas (Palmer property). The Note was secured by a Deed of Trust (Deed) granting Fremont a lien on the Palmer property. The Deed named Defendant-Appellee Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS)1 as the beneficiary of the Deed "solely as the nominee for [Fremont] and [Fremont's] successors and assigns." The Deed provided that it could be "sold one or more times without prior notice to [Mason]." In May 2012, MERS transferred the Deed to Defendant-Appellee HSBC Bank USA, N.A., as Trustee for Nomura Home Equity Loan Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-FM1 (HSBC).

In April 2015, Mason, proceeding pro se, filed suit in Texas state court against various financial entities (Defendants) to determine the validity of his mortgage.2 Mason alleged breach of contract, slander of title, void assignment, and fraud. His basic contention seemed to be that invalid transfers of the Note and Deed following their issuance voided any rights that the Defendants now claimed to the Palmer property. He requested relief in the form of a declaration that the Defendants had no right to the Palmer property. The lenders removed the case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and then filed two motions to dismiss.3 The court issued a scheduling order setting a deadline of July 23, 2015, for Mason to respond to the first motion to dismiss; August 28, 2015, for Mason to respond to the second motion to dismiss; and September 1, 2015, for Mason to move to amend his complaint. Mason did not respond to the motions to dismiss by these deadlines nor did he timely move to amend his complaint.

On October 8, 2015, the magistrate judge recommended granting the Defendants' motions to dismiss all Mason's claims with prejudice. The magistrate judge also recommended denying Mason leave to amend his claims because they were all "premised on meritless theories that c[ould not] be salvaged by repleading." Mason did not file any objection to the magistrate judge's recommendation, and on October 28, the district court accepted the magistrate judge's recommendations in full and dismissed Mason's claims with prejudice. On November 13, Mason moved for reconsideration, explaining that family illnesses prevented him from responding to the Defendants' motions and from objecting to the magistrate judge's recommendations. He asked for leave to amend his complaint, explaining that he "erroneously" included a claim for slander of title in his complaint when he instead intended to include a claim to quiet title. In response, the Defendants argued that the court should...

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