Sostenes Pena v. HSBC Bank USA
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 1:14-cv-01018-JCC-JFA Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [14-2329]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
SOSTENES PENA; YOLANDA PENA,
Plaintiffs – Appellants,
HSBC BANK USA, National Association as Trustee for Deutsche
Alt-A Securities Mortgage Loan Trust, Series 2007-OA2;
SURETY TRUSTEES, LLC,
Defendants – Appellees.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia, at Alexandria. James C. Cacheris, Senior
District Judge. (1:14-cv-01018-JCC-JFA)
November 4, 2015
December 28, 2015
Before DUNCAN, KEENAN, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Christopher E. Brown, TUCKER & ASSOCIATES PLLC, Vienna,
Virginia, for Appellants. John C. Lynch, Maryia Y. Jones,
Jennifer E. Bowen, TROUTMAN SANDERS LLP, Virginia Beach,
Virginia, for Appellees.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Sostones and Yolanda Pena to retain possession of their real
their mortgage loan and the property was sold at a foreclosure
associated with the Penas’ loan, and purchased the property at
the foreclosure sale.
After the sale, the Penas sued HSBC,
assignment of the deed of trust from the Penas’ original lender
to HSBC was invalid.
The district court granted HSBC’s motion to dismiss the
Penas’ complaint for failure to state a claim, holding that the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
Because this case arises at the motion-to-dismiss stage, we
“assum[e] all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations in
the complaint to be true.”
391 (4th Cir. 2011).
Aziz v. Alcolac, Inc., 658 F.3d 388,
In addition to the complaint itself, we
may consider “documents attached to the complaint, . . . as well
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as those attached to the motion to dismiss, so long as they are
integral to the complaint and authentic.”
Philips v. Pitt Cty.
Mem’l Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009).
We may also
“take judicial notice of matters of public record.”
The Penas’ complaint and the associated documents reveal
the following facts: The Penas purchased the property at issue
obtained a loan from IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. (“IndyMac”).
was secured by a deed of trust on the property.
identifying itself as the trust beneficiary, IndyMac appointed a
IndyMac’s “successors and assigns,” and MERS became the trust
documents, each entitled “Assignment of Deed of Trust.”
document purported to assign to HSBC “all beneficial interest”
under the Penas’ deed of trust.
HSBC, in turn,
substitute trustee in place of Trust Title Company, which had
been named trustee in the original deed of trust.
Penas defaulted on their loan, HSBC instructed Surety Trustees
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to initiate foreclosure proceedings.
At the foreclosure sale,
HSBC purchased the property.
In their complaint, the Penas seek various types of relief
from the foreclosure sale, asserting that MERS’s assignment of
the deed of trust to HSBC was invalid, and that HSBC therefore
trustee and no authority to instruct Surety Trustees to initiate
foreclosure proceedings. 1
The district court, in granting HSBC’s
challenge MERS’s assignment of the deed of trust to HSBC.
review de novo a district court’s decision to grant a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim.
Aziz, 658 F.3d at 391.
On appeal, the Penas do not dispute the basic principle of
contract cannot attack the validity of the contract.”
Shoosmith, 428 S.E.2d 909, 913 (Va. 1993); see Mich. Mut. Ins.
Co. v. Smoot, 129 F. Supp. 2d 912, 920 (E.D. Va. 2000) (stating
Specifically, in Count I, the Penas seek rescission of the
foreclosure sale; in Count II, they request removal of a cloud
on title; and in Count III, they seek damages for slander of
The Penas also asserted a breach-of-contract claim
against HSBC in Count IV, but they do not contest the district
court’s dismissal of that claim on appeal.
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beneficiary of, a contract to sue on that contract”). 2
beneficiaries of, the assignment of the deed of trust from MERS
Instead, the Penas argue that their complaint seeks only to
enforce the conditions precedent to foreclosure contained in the
deed of trust (to which they are a party), and point out that
under Virginia law, “[b]orrowers may sue to enforce conditions
724 S.E.2d 196, 200 (Va. 2012).
And indeed, the Penas do allege
Specifically, the Penas allege that
The lender . . . did not declare a default, nor
give notice thereof
The Lender did not accelerate the Note, nor give
The Lender did not appoint the substitute trustee
The Lender did not advise the borrower in the
notice of the right to cure . . . that she had the
right to file a court action and raise any defense
Lender provided no notice of the sale as required
by the contract and Virginia law.
Federal prudential standing doctrine likewise contains a
“general prohibition on a litigant's raising another person's
legal rights.” CGM, LLC v. BellSouth Telecomm., Inc., 664 F.3d
46, 52 (4th Cir. 2011) (quoting Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737,
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The Penas’ briefing on appeal makes clear, however, that
they are not alleging that they never received notice of their
default and of the impending foreclosure.
See J.A. 112–22.
In fact, the record
The Penas’ only contention is that
they were provided such notice by the wrong entity: the deed of
trust requires that notice be provided by the Lender (or its
agents), and according to the Penas, HSBC is not the Lender.
course, the Penas’ assertion that HSBC is not the Lender is
entirely dependent on their challenge to the validity of the
standing to raise.
Thus, even though the Penas’ complaint is
styled as a suit to enforce the deed of trust, it is clear that,
at bottom, their suit seeks only to challenge a contract to
which they are neither parties nor beneficiaries.
provides no avenue for such a challenge.
dismissing the Penas’ complaint is
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