United States District Court, N.D. New York
THE PLAINTIFF: Eqeel Bhatti Pro Se
THE DEFENDANTS: Federal National Mortgage Association, Green
Tree Servicing, LLC, and Mortgage Electronic Registration
W. KEATTS, ESQ. MELINDA COLON COX, ESQ.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
L. Sharpe Senior District Judge
Eqeel Bhatti commenced this diversity action against
defendants Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie
Mae), Green Tree Servicing, LLC (Green), and Mortgage
Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) alleging breach
of contract and seeking declaratory relief. (See
generally Compl., Dkt. No. 1.)
are defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction, (Dkt. No. 19), and Bhatti's motion
for leave to file an amended complaint, (Dkt. No. 24). For
the following reasons, defendants' motion is granted and
Bhatti's motion is denied.
2005, Bhatti executed a note promising to repay $169, 200 to
non-party Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. and secured the
loan's repayment by transferring a security interest in
the parcel of real property located at 731 Western Avenue in
Albany, New York to Countrywide via a mortgage. (Compl.
¶¶ 1-2, 22-24.) Bhatti's later search regarding
the property revealed that defendant Fannie Mae owns his
mortgage,  even though defendant Green, the current
loan servicer, claims “that it is the holder in due
course.” (Id. ¶¶ 26, 30.) Fannie
Mae never recorded its acquisition of the mortgage,
Bhatti “was never notified, and is yet to see any
tangible [a]ssignment of the [m]ortgage to [d]efendant
[Fannie Mae].” (Id. ¶¶ 27, 39, 42,
44) (emphasis omitted). Bhatti contends this constituted a
breach of contract and voided the note and mortgage, which
entitles him to the original property price, with interest,
and other special damages to be determined at trial.
(Id. ¶¶ 45, 91; id. at 13.)
Bhatti takes issue with the process by which Fannie Mae came
to “own” the mortgage. In sum, he argues that
Countrywide invalidly assigned his loan to Fannie Mae via
Country wide's nominee, defendant MERS, and then Green
created phony records in an attempt to validate this
assignment. (Id. ¶¶ 26-27, 32, 53.) As
such, Bhatti contends that this “render[s] any
assignments by [d]efendant MERS a nullity . . . and utter
fraud.” (Id. ¶ 21.) Moreover, Bhatti
asserts that the note was never properly transferred or
endorsed to any of the named defendants, (id. ¶
32), and thus “none of the named [d]efendants own this
loan, ” (id. ¶ 28), which “mak[es]
full title insurance impossible and a difficult sale of the
home, ” (id. ¶ 36). Nonetheless, Green
initiated foreclosure proceedings against Bhatti related to
the subject mortgage. (Id. ¶ 21.) As such,
Bhatti also seeks a “judicial determination and
declaration of the rights, obligations[, ] and interest of
the parties with regard to the [s]ubject [p]roperty.”
(Id. ¶ 99.)
Standard of Review
survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a complaint
must plead enough facts to state a claim that is
“plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
“does not require detailed factual allegations, . . .
it demands more than an unadorned,
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
In determining whether a complaint states a claim upon which
relief may be granted, “the court must accept the
material facts alleged in the complaint as true and construe
all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's
favor.” Hernandez v. Coughlin, 18 F.3d 133,
136 (2d Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). However, this tenet “is inapplicable to legal
conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
plaintiff proceeds pro se, the pleadings must be
read liberally and construed to raise the strongest arguments
they suggest. See Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed
Defendant, 537 F.3d 185, 191 (2d Cir. 2008).
Additionally, a pro se complaint should not be
dismissed “without granting leave to amend at least
once when a liberal reading of the complaint gives any
indication that a valid claim might be stated, ”
Gomez v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 171 F.3d 794, 795 (2d
Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted),
unless the problem with the pro se complaint is
substantive, such that the plaintiff's request is futile
because “better pleading will not cure it, ”
Cuoco v. Moritsugu, 222 F.3d 99, 112 (2d Cir. 2000).
determining a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court may
consider the complaint, any exhibit attached to the
complaint, materials incorporated by reference, and documents
that are integral to the complaint. See Sira v.
Morton, 380 F.3d 57, 67 (2d Cir. 2004). A document is
integral to the complaint if the complaint “relies
heavily upon its terms and effect.” Chambers ...