United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS [DKT.
Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge
Jacqueline Johnson (“Plaintiff”) commenced this
action pro se against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
(“Defendant”) alleging that Defendant violated
the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“CUTPA”), breached its contract with Plaintiff
and inflicted emotional distress upon her. Presently before
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”)
in its entirety. For the foregoing reasons, Defendant's
Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
October 3, 2005, Plaintiff purchased real property located at
157 Jonathan Drive, Stamford, CT. [Dkt. 34 (Compl.) at 1].
Plaintiff financed the purchase with Washington Mutual Bank
with a mortgage in the amount of $798, 750. Id. In
September 2008, Defendant acquired Washington Mutual Bank,
including Plaintiff's mortgage. Id. In early
2010, Plaintiff sought a mortgage modification to take
advantage of lower interest rates. Id. Plaintiff and
Defendant began a Verbal Mortgage Process, the prerequisite
to entering into a Trial Mortgage. Id. at ¶ 16.
alleges that from June 24, 2010 to July 23, 2010 iterations
of the Trial Mortgage cancelled each other out, subjected
Plaintiff to foreclosure before the trial process began, and
failed to specify the amount for payment. Id. at
Exs. 8-10. On June 24, 2010 and July 23, 2010, Plaintiff
received a letter from Defendant informing her that she had a
Chase Modification Program Trial Plan Payment due July 1,
2010 (and August 1, 2010, respectively) as a condition of or
approval for a permanent modification. Id. at Exs.
2-4. Neither letter included the amount of the mortgage
payment due. Plaintiff further alleges “[t]he trial
plan that was supposed to begin on July 1, 2010 was canceled
before it started as per our conversation with Jennifer
Rogers at Chase, on or about June 28, 2010. She said the
[June 24, 2010] letter was sent out in error.”
Id. at Ex. 8. On July 23, 2010, Defendant wrote
Plaintiff informing her “Your Chase Home Affordable
Modification Program Trial Period Plan is at Risk” [. .
. because] “as of the date of this letter we have not
received the payment due on the first of July under your
Chase Home Affordable Modification Program Trial Period Plan
. . . and your eligibility for participation in this program
is at risk.” Id. at Ex. 3. The TAC does not
allege a July mortgage payment was made.
alleges “[d]espite the late notice, on the advice of
Ms. Regan at Chase, we sent in a check for $4, 881.54 for the
August 2010 payment on an unspecified date.”
Id. at Exs. 8-10. The TAC does not allege a payment
was made for September 2010. Plaintiff alleges
“[a]nother fax transmission to Chase dated October 18,
2010 confirms that we also sent another check for the same
amount [$4, 881.54] by mail that Chase claims they did not
response to Plaintiff's inquiry, she had a conversation
with Defendant's representative Jeffrey Zahorujko.
Id. at Ex. 16. On October 21, 2010, Plaintiff wrote
a letter to Mr. Zahorujko memorializing their conversation in
which she wrote “we returned from a conference in
Barbados [on an unspecified date in October 2010] and went to
pay the October mortgage.” Id. The letter
states “the bank would not accept the [October]
payment, and [Plaintiff] called to find out why, only to be
told that the house was in foreclosure.” Id.
In her letter, Plaintiff also states Mr. Zahorujko informed
Plaintiff he “was also going to find out the name of
the lawyer that is supposed to be [handling Plaintiff's
foreclosure] and inform him/her that [mortgage modification]
papers are going to be re-submitted.” Id.
acknowledged that in October 2010 Defendant asked her
“to refile the information that was previously sent
requesting modification and provide some updated information,
as the information previously submitted to qualify for the
[modified mortgage] rate of 2.8% was dated, ” not
had to deal with Defendant's “contrived
foreclosure” and fear of losing her home. Id.
at ¶¶ 13-14. The modification process took
approximately two years to complete. Plaintiff claims the
process took so long because Defendant falsely claimed
Plaintiff's modification application was missing
documents and forced her to resubmit her application
repeatedly. Id. at ¶¶ 24-25. Plaintiff
further claims Defendant intentionally created these delays.
Id. Thus, the modification process was complete in
2013. Plaintiff spoke with twenty-four different
JPMorgan representatives during this time and was confused by
the conflicting information they provided. Id. at
¶¶ 16, 23. Plaintiff suffered from undue stress at
the thought of losing her home, emotional injury and
sleepless nights. Id. at ¶¶ 12-13, 36.
the mortgage modification was approved, Plaintiff learned
that the payoff-mortgage costs and penalties would
significantly exceed the initial mortgage with Washington
Mutual. Id. at ¶ 27. The principal balance of
Plaintiff's mortgage grew from $798, 750 to $881, 521.
Id. at ¶ 28. Defendant demanded that Plaintiff
sign and return the documents immediately. Id. at
¶ 26. Plaintiff signed them under duress and out of fear
that Defendant would foreclose on her home. Id.
requested information from Defendant years later.
Id. at ¶ 30. By letters dated May 1, 2015,
January 14, 2016, March 30, 2017, and April 9, 2018 Plaintiff
requested information concerning her modified mortgage.
Id. at Exs. 8-10, 11-15. Defendant did not provide
an explanation for the increased principal balance, but
informed Plaintiff that its Executive Office would review her
concerns. Id. at Ex. 8-10. On September 15 and
October 6, 2015, Defendant wrote Plaintiff informing her that
it needed additional time to investigate her mortgage file
and respond to her requests for information. Id. The
Executive Office requested over forty extensions to research
the case. Id. at ¶ 30, Exs. 11-15.
2018, after this lawsuit was filed, Defendant added a
“Deferred Principal Balance” to her statement for
the first time in the amount of $112, 836.88. Id. at
¶ 33. Through the date of the TAC, Defendant
intentionally impeded Plaintiff from online access to pay her
monthly mortgage. Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiff paid
approximately $486, 229 from September 2005 through June
2018, but her balance is still $82, 771 more than the balance
when she purchased the home. Id. at 1. Assuming a
monthly mortgage payment of $4, 881.54 and total payments of
$486, 229, Plaintiff made 99.6 monthly mortgage payments over
the 153-month period from September 2005 through June 2018.
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court should follow a “two-pronged approach”
to evaluate the sufficiency of the complaint. Hayden v.
Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2d Cir. 2010). “A
court ‘can choose to begin by identifying pleadings
that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not
entitled to the assumption of truth.'” Id.
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). “At the
second step, a court should determine whether the ‘well
pleaded factual allegations,' assumed to be true,
‘plausibly give rise to an entitlement to