Pittman v. Pacifica Loan Pool, LLC
ORDER Granting Defendant's 26 Motion for Summary Judgment and Dismissing The Case. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-13877
Honorable Victoria A. Roberts
PACIFICA LOAN POOL, LLC,
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [Doc. 26] AND DISMISSING THE CASE
Howard Pittman (“Pittman”) filed this case against Pacifica Loan Pool, LLC
(“Pacifica”), alleging nine causes of action; all claims but one have been dismissed [see
Docs. 16 and 28]. Pacifica now moves for summary judgment on that claim, which is for
breach of contract. [Doc. 26]. The motion is fully briefed.
Pittman alleges Pacifica breached the underlying mortgage agreement by failing
to pay the property taxes on his property for 2013 and 2014. Pacifica says it is entitled
to summary judgment on this claim because Pittman breached the contract first by
failing to pay monthly payments under the mortgage loan in August and September
2012. The Court agrees.
Summary Judgment is proper if “the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
Under Michigan law, a party “who commits the first substantial breach of a
contract cannot maintain an action against the other contracting party for failure to
perform.” Chrysler Int’l Corp. v. Cherokee Exp. Co., 134 F.3d 738, 742 (6th Cir. 1998)
(citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Whether a breach is “substantial” is the
determining factor. “The Michigan Supreme Court has explained that a ‘substantial
breach’ is one ‘where the breach has effected such a change in essential operative
elements of the contract that further performance by the other party is thereby rendered
ineffective or impossible, such as the causing of a complete failure of consideration or
the prevention of further performance by the other party.’” Id. (citation omitted).
Notwithstanding Pittman’s unsupported statement to the contrary, there is no
genuine dispute that he committed the first substantial breach by failing to make
monthly payments in August and September 2011. Failing to make a monthly payment
under a mortgage loan undoubtedly constitutes as a “substantial” breach. Failure to pay
completely deprives the lender of its benefit under the agreement. In this case, it also
prevented Pacifica from performing the obligation on which Pittman bases its breach of
contract claim – i.e., paying his property taxes – because a portion of each payment
made by Pittman is put in escrow for payment of property taxes. Because Pittman
committed the first substantial breach of contract, he cannot maintain an action against
Pacifica for failure to perform. Chrysler Int’l, 134 F.3d at 742.
Because no genuine issue of material fact exists and Pacifica is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law, the Court GRANTS Pacifica’s motion for summary
judgment [Doc. 26] and DISMISSES the case.
IT IS ORDERED.
S/Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Dated: May 19, 2017
The undersigned certifies that a copy of this
document was served on the attorneys of record
by electronic means or U.S. Mail on May 19,
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