Huffstickle v. 21st Mortg.

Decision Date10 April 2023
Docket NumberC.A. 19-2523-MGL-PJG
PartiesBrian James Huffstickle; Michelle Dawn Huffstickle, Plaintiffs, v. 21st Mortgage, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of South Carolina


Brian James Huffstickle; Michelle Dawn Huffstickle, Plaintiffs,

21st Mortgage, Defendant.

C.A. No. 19-2523-MGL-PJG

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

April 10, 2023



The plaintiffs, Brian James Huffstickle and Michelle Dawn Huffstickle, who are self-represented litigants, bring this action seeking equitable relief arising out of the defendant's mortgage practices. Plaintiffs file this action in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This matter is before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.) for a Report and Recommendation on the defendant's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 32.) Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised the Huffstickles of the summary judgment and dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if they failed to respond adequately to the defendant's motion. (ECF No. 35.) The Huffstickles filed a response in opposition to the motion (ECF No. 37), and the defendant replied (ECF No. 38). Having reviewed the record presented and the applicable law, the court concludes that the defendant's motion should be granted.


The following facts are either undisputed or are taken in the light most favorable to the Huffstickles, to the extent they find support in the record. This matter arises out of a mortgage held by Defendant 21st Mortgage Corporation (“21st Mortgage”) on real property owned by


Plaintiffs Brian James Huffstickle and Michelle Dawn Huffstickle. On August 28, 2018, 21st Mortgage instituted a foreclosure action against the Huffstickles in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., Ex. 3, ECF No. 33-3.) The Lancaster County Court issued an order and judgment of foreclosure and sale on November 16, 2018 and scheduled a foreclosure sale on January 7, 2019. (Id., Ex. 6, ECF No. 33-6.) The Lancaster County Court found as a matter of fact that the Huffstickles were served but failed to appear and defend, and therefore, they were held in default. (Id. at 3.) The Huffstickles filed two pro se cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina on January 4, 2019 and May 3, 2019, which delayed the foreclosure sale. (Id., Ex. 7, ECF No. 33-7.) Those cases were dismissed and the foreclosure sale was held on September 9, 2019, in which 21st Mortgage was the successful bidder. (Id.) The Huffstickles did not appeal the Lancaster County Court's order and judgment of foreclosure and sale.

The Huffstickles filed this action on September 9, 2019-the day of the foreclosure sale. The Huffstickles allege that 21st Mortgage “engaged in unethical, deceptive, and illegal mortgage practices by withholding important information, giving false information, breach of trust, and illegally foreclosing on the plaintiff's home.” (Compl., ECF No. 1 at 5.) Specifically, the Huffstickles allege 21st Mortgage failed to provide them with repayment options because 21st Mortgage believed they could not afford those options, provided them with incorrect payoff amounts and reinstatement fees, failed to uphold a loss mitigation agreement, and failed to offer reinstatement fees as provided for in their contract. (Id.) The Huffstickles ask the court to enjoin 21st Mortgage from pursuing eviction of the Huffstickles from the subject property, and they seek damages based on mental, emotional, and physical injuries caused by 21st Mortgage's practices. (Id.)



A. Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party may support or refute that a material fact is not disputed by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Rule 56 mandates entry of summary judgment “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

In deciding whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the evidence of the nonmoving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.” Id. at...

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