King et al v. Homeward Residential Inc et al
ORDER denying 121 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Chief Judge Brian S. Miller on 8/1/2017. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
SAVOIL KING and DOROTHY KING,
for themselves and all Arkansas residents
CASE NO: 3:14-CV-00183 BSM
HOMEWARD RESIDENTIAL, INC. and
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment [Doc. No. 121] is denied because
summary judgment is appropriate only when there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249–50 (1986).
Plaintiffs Savoil and Dorothy King filed this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and
potential class members. Since filing this case, Mr. King has passed away, but Ms. King
continues to pursue her claims. Class certification was recently denied. See Doc. No. 149.
Defendants Homeward Residential, Inc. (“Homeward”) and Ocwen Loan Servicing,
LLC (“Ocwen”) move for summary judgment claiming that King has been made whole
because she has been reimbursed for the cost of the force place insurance that was placed on
her account. King appears to admit that Homeward refunded the charges for insurance
premiums. Doc. No. 138, at 3 (“Defendants only returned the money it had taken from Dr.
King after wrongfully force-placing insurance on her on two separate occasions, and after
she was forced to file this lawsuit against them to get them to stop.”). Nonetheless, King
asserts that she is also entitled to interest on the money wrongfully charged because “a ‘full’
refund is not ‘full’ compensation unless it comes with compensation for the lost time value
of the money.” Weidenhamer v. Expedia, Inc., No. C14-1239RAJ, 2015 WL 1292978, at *4
(W.D. Wash. Mar. 23, 2015). King is also seeking punitive damages. Second Am. Class
Action Compl., Doc. No. 110, at 18.
Defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on the assertion that King has been
made whole is denied because defendants have not addressed whether King is entitled to
interest and punitive damages. In one instance, King was charged for force place insurance
beginning on August 18, 2012, which was not refunded until August 4, 2014. Def.’s
Statement of Material Fact ¶¶ 6–7, Doc. No. 123. Defendants wrongfully kept King’s money
for almost two years before returning it. A “wrongdoer should not be allowed to use the
withheld benefits or retain interest earned on the funds during the time of the dispute.”
Christianson v. Poly-Am., Inc. Med. Ben. Plan, 412 F.3d 935, 941 (8th Cir. 2005). This is
true under theories of both unjust enrichment and conversion. See id.; Cobb v. PayLease
LLC, 34 F. Supp. 3d 976, 988–89 (D. Minn. 2014); First Nat’l Bank of Brinkley v. Frey, 668
S.W.2d 533, 535 (Ark. 1984).
Defendants also move for summary judgment based on the assertion that King is
attempting to hold Ocwen liable merely because it purchased Homeward. They assert that
summary judgment is appropriate because Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC is not the entity that
purchased Homeward and because legally distinct corporate entities are not liable for one
King’s complaint, however, clearly makes allegations against both Homeward and
Ocwen. It states that “Ocwen began servicing [King’s] loan in about March of 2013” and
that the “[d]efendants” charged her monthly. Second Am. Class Action Compl. ¶¶ 12, 42.
The complaint also alleges that both Homeward and Ocwen profited from their conduct and
that Ocwen was the entity responsible for cancelling and reimbursing the charges wrongfully
imposed. Id. ¶¶ 20, 45. Thus, King is attempting to hold Ocwen liable for its own conduct
and not merely for the conduct of Homeward.
Even if the facts stated by defendants are true, they do not demonstrate that defendants
are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Accordingly, the defendants’ motion for
summary judgment [Doc. No. 121] is denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 1st day of August 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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