We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers covering private mortgage insurance. In this ruling, the court granted defendant’s partial motion to dismiss the plaintiff-intervenor’s amended complaint with prejudice and to strike certain allegations from the remaining pleading.
Previously, the court granted the plaintiff-intervenor leave to file an amended complaint to cure deficiencies identified in the court’s order for partial judgment on the pleadings against the plaintiff-intervenor for failure to plead sufficient facts. In that August 2014 order, the court found that PHH’s loan disclosure documents had adequately placed the tolling subclass on notice of their claims, and that no extraordinary circumstances justified the late filing. The court also found that the plaintiff-intervenor failed to sufficiently plead a claim of fraudulent concealment apart from the underlying RESPA claim.
The court found that the allegations in the amended complaint would involve the re-litigation of these previously resolved issues. It reasoned that the amended complaint’s equitable estoppel and tolling claims “merely cloak[ed] the same facts or irrelevant facts in new legal theory, one amenable to the same defenses that have already prevailed” and were therefore barred under the law of the case doctrine. The court dismissed with prejudice because its previous order granted the intervenor one opportunity to amend, and the intervenor failed to cure the complaint’s deficiencies. Because the court had dismissed the claims with prejudice, it struck certain pleadings filed after the date of the order permitting the filing of an amended complaint as immaterial. Munoz v. PHH Corp., Case No. 08-00759 (USDC E.D. Cal. May 21, 2015).