Pizarro v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 010719 FED3, 17-1775

Docket Nº:17-1775
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:PEDRO J. PIZARRO, individually, Appellant v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.; DOES 1-20
Judge Panel:Before: CHAGARES, BIBAS and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges
Case Date:January 07, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

PEDRO J. PIZARRO, individually, Appellant



No. 17-1775

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

January 7, 2019


Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) November 23, 2018

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil Action No. 3-16-cv-05419) District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan

Before: CHAGARES, BIBAS and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges



Pedro J. Pizarro appeals pro se from the District Court's order dismissing his complaint with prejudice and the District Court's subsequent order denying reconsideration. For the following reasons, we will affirm.

This matter arises from a $165, 000 loan that Pizarro received from Washington Mutual Bank, FA. The loan is evidenced by a note and is secured by a mortgage on Pizarro's residence in Hamilton, New Jersey. Pizarro executed the note and mortgage on June 10, 2005. On April 9, 2007, this mortgage was assigned to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo).

Pizarro defaulted on the loan, and Wells Fargo filed a foreclosure action against him in New Jersey state court on June 24, 2009. On September 7, 2016, while the foreclosure action was still pending, Pizarro filed this complaint before the District Court. In his complaint, Pizarro claims that he has effected rescission of the note and mortgage under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by mailing notice of that rescission to Wells Fargo on March 21, 2016. Pizarro sought a declaration that Wells Fargo consequently held no interest in the note or mortgage, an order directing Wells Fargo to return the note and mortgage, and a declaration that no other unknown persons (named as Does 1-20 in his complaint) held an interest in his residence.1

Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the complaint. Oral argument was scheduled for January 17, 2017. At Pizarro's request, argument was rescheduled for January 24, 2017. Pizarro apparently sought again to reschedule argument, but for reasons that are not apparent on the record, his efforts failed; argument was held on January 24, and Pizarro did not attend. At the close of argument, the District Court stated that the motion to dismiss would be granted, and the Court entered an order to that effect the next day. Pizarro then wrote a letter to the Court explaining that his absence from the hearing was a result of a misunderstanding and asking for an opportunity to present his case to the Court. The Court granted Pizarro's request and held argument on February 28, 2017. After argument-which Pizarro attended-the Court entered another order. The Court treated Pizarro's letter as a motion for reconsideration and denied it, concluding, among other things, that Pizarro's claims were time-barred. Pizarro appealed.

We have jurisdiction over this appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291.2 Because Pizarro's timely appeal from the denial of his timely motion for reconsideration "brings up the underlying judgment for review," we will review the District Court's dismissal of the complaint as well as its denial of the motion for reconsideration. See McAlister v. Sentry Ins. Co., 958 F.2d 550, 552-53 (3d Cir. 1992). We review de novo the District Court's decision to grant a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Free Speech Coal., Inc. v. Att'y Gen., 677 F.3d 519, 529-30 (3d Cir. 2012). We review the District Court's denial of a motion for reconsideration for abuse of discretion, but we...

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