Sheets v. Bank of America

This was a case involving a dispute over a mistakenly released deed of trust, which secured a 2004 residential mortgage between Ralph Sheets and the lender, Bank of America, N.A., f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (Countrywide); the servicer of the loan; and the trustee who executed the mistaken release (companies collectively referred to as “Bank of America”). Sheets borrowed $65,250 from Countrywide. He executed a promissory note, secured by a deed of trust to his home in New Meadows. Between December of 2004 and April of 2009, Sheets timely paid the amounts due on the note. In 2008, Countrywide sent Sheets a letter telling Sheets that he “may” qualify for a lower interest rate on a refinancing loan and estimating he had $88,056 equity in the home. Around this time, Bank of America acquired and merged with Countrywide. In the late spring of 2009, Sheets applied for a new loan (the 2009 Refinancing). Closing on the new loan was scheduled for October 27. Sheets testified that the title company agent at the closing would not let him execute the documents because they were “bad” and incomplete. Thus, the 2009 Refinancing did not close. Sheets arrived home and found proposed closing documents, but he did not sign the documents because he did not agree with the terms contained therein. The trustee of the deed of trust, ReconTrust Company, N.A. (ReconTrust), erroneously recorded a full reconveyance of the deed of trust securing Sheets’ original note. How the erroneous reconveyance came to be recorded was not clear. Bank of America claimed that it caused the reconveyance to be recorded because it mistakenly proceeded as if the 2009 Refinancing had closed. On March 29, 2010, Bank of America sent Sheets a letter asking Sheets to stipulate to rescinding the reconveyance. The next day, Bank of America filed a complaint against Sheets seeking reinstatement of the deed of trust. On May 25, 2010, Bank of America sent Sheets a notice of its intent to commence foreclosure proceedings. Sheets filed an answer, counterclaim, demand for jury trial, and third party complaint against the third-party defendants in this action. He brought counterclaims for: (1) breach of contract; (2) specific performance; (3) violation of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act; (4) violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act; (5) slander of credit; and (6) violation of Idaho Code section 45-1502. In 2012, Bank of America filed two motions for summary judgment, seeking reinstatement of the deed of trust and dismissal of Sheets’ counterclaims. The district court granted summary judgment reinstating the deed of trust and dismissing Sheets’ counterclaims. Finding no error in the grant of summary judgment, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Sheets v. Bank of America" on Justia Law