Bank of America, N.A., v. The Willows Homeowners' Association, et al

Filing 35

ORDER Staying Case pending exhaustion of all appeals and denying all pending motions without prejudice. Joint Status Report to be filed beginning 10/10/2017. Signed by Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro on 4/10/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - JM)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 1 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO BAC HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP FKA COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP, ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiffs, ) vs. ) ) THE WILLOWS HOMEOWNERS' ) ASSOCIATION AKA THE WILLOWS HOA; ) PREMIER ONE HOLDINGS, INC.; WEISUN ) PROPERTY, INC.; and ABSOLUTE ) COLLECTION SERVICES, LLC, ) ) Defendants. ) ) Case No.: 2:16-cv-00347-GMN-CWH ORDER 13 14 Lenders and investors have been at odds over the legal effect of a homeowners’ 15 association’s (“HOA”) nonjudicial foreclosure of a superpriority lien on a lender’s first trust 16 deed pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes § 116.3116. See Freedom Mortg. Corp. v. Las Vegas 17 Dev. Grp., LLC, 106 F. Supp. 3d 1174, 1180 (D. Nev. 2015). The Nevada Supreme Court 18 seemed to have settled the debate in SFR Invs. Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, 334 P.3d 408, 419 19 (Nev. 2014), holding that “NRS 116.3116(2) gives an HOA a true superpriority lien, proper 20 foreclosure of which will extinguish a first deed of trust.” SFR, 334 P.3d at 419. 21 However, on August 12, 2016, two members of a Ninth Circuit panel held in Bourne 22 Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank that Chapter 116’s nonjudicial foreclosure scheme 23 “facially violated mortgage lenders’ constitutional due process rights” before it was amended in 24 2015. Bourne Valley Ct. Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, 2016 WL 4254983, at *5 (9th Cir. Aug. 12, 25 2016). As a result, Bourne Valley is likely dispositive of this and the hundreds of other Page 1 of 4 1 foreclosure cases pending in both state and federal court. To save the parties from the need to 2 invest resources briefing the effect of the Bourne Valley opinion before the finality of that 3 opinion has been determined, the Court STAYS all proceedings in this case pending exhaustion 4 of all appeals of Bourne Valley. 5 I. LEGAL STANDARD “[T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to 6 7 control the disposition of the causes of action on its docket with economy of time and effort for 8 itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). “A trial 9 court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for its own docket and the fairest course for the 10 parties to enter a stay of an action before it, pending resolution of independent proceedings 11 which bear upon the case.” Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal., Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863 (9th Cir. 12 1979). In deciding whether to grant a stay, a court may weigh the following: (1) the possible 13 damage which may result from the granting of a stay; (2) the hardship or inequity which a party 14 may suffer in being required to go forward; (3) the orderly course of justice measured in terms 15 of the simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be 16 expected to result from a stay. CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962). 17 However, “[o]nly in rare circumstances will a litigant in one case be compelled to stand aside 18 while a litigant in another settles the rule of law that will define the rights of both.” Landis, 299 19 U.S. at 255. A district court’s decision to grant or deny a Landis stay is a matter of discretion. 20 See Dependable Highway Exp., Inc. v. Navigators Ins. Co., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th Cir. 21 2007). 22 23 II. DISCUSSION At the center of this case are the HOA-foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to Nevada 24 Revised Statutes § 116.3116 and the competing arguments that the foreclosure sale either 25 extinguished the bank’s security interest under the SFR holding or had no legal effect because Page 2 of 4 1 the statutory scheme violates due process. Because the Ninth Circuit in Bourne Valley held that 2 the scheme was facially unconstitutional, see Bourne Valley, 2016 WL 4254983, at *5, the 3 Bourne Valley opinion and any modification of that opinion have the potential to be dispositive 4 of this case. Under this circumstance, the Landis factors weigh strongly in favor of staying this 5 action pending final resolution of the Bourne Valley decision. Indeed, the possible prejudice to 6 the parties is minimal as the only potential harm is that the parties may wait longer for 7 resolution of this case if it is stayed. However, if this case is not stayed, a delay would also 8 result from any motions for reconsideration that may be necessitated if the current decision in 9 the Bourne Valley case does not stand. Accordingly, a stay is not likely to appreciably lengthen 10 the life of this case. Further, in the absence of a stay, judicial resources may be unnecessarily 11 expended to resolve issues which may ultimately be decided by higher courts to which this 12 Court is bound to adhere. Because the Bourne Valley decision is squarely on point, the orderly 13 course of justice likewise weighs in favor of a stay. Accordingly, the Court finds that staying 14 this action pending final resolution of Bourne Valley would be efficient for the Court’s own 15 docket and the fairest course for the parties. See Leyva, 593 F.2d at 863. 16 III. 17 CONCLUSION IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this case is administratively STAYED pending 18 exhaustion of all appeals of Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 15-15233 (9th 19 Cir. Aug. 12, 2016). Once exhaustion occurs, any party may move to lift the stay. Until that 20 time, all proceedings in this action are stayed. 21 22 23 24 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all pending motions are DENIED without prejudice with leave to refile within twenty-one days after the stay is lifted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Premier One Holdings, Inc., shall care for, preserve, and maintain the Property. 25 Page 3 of 4 1 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, beginning on October 10, 2017, the parties must 2 file a joint status report updating the Court on the status of this case every one-hundred and 3 eighty days. Along with the joint status report, Premier One Holdings, Inc., shall submit a 4 statement affirming that all expenses necessary to maintain the property, including but not 5 limited to, timely and full payment of all homeowners association assessments, property taxes, 6 and property insurance premiums due and owing or past due at any time during the effective 7 period of this Stay are current and up to date. 8 9 10 DATED this _____ day of April, 2017. 10 11 12 ___________________________________ Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Page 4 of 4

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