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Dent v. Regions Bank

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Albany Division

January 23, 2015

SELENIA C. DENT, Plaintiff,
REGIONS BANK, Defendant.


W. LOUIS SANDS, Sr., District Judge.

This action, originally filed in Dougherty County Superior Court on August 19, 2014, was removed to this Court on September 18, 2014. Presently before the Court is Defendant Regions Bank's (Regions) Motion to Dismiss, filed on September 25, 2014. (Doc. 6.) Plaintiff Selenia Dent filed a Response on October 28, 2014 after the Clerk of Court granted her an extension of the deadline to file a response. (Doc. 9.) Regions filed a Reply to Dent's Response on November 14, 2014. (Doc. 10.) The Court now considers Regions' Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 6.)


Plaintiff Selenia Dent alleges the following facts in her Complaint. (Doc. 1-3.) On May 19, 2014, Dent and her spouse, Benjamin F. Dent, executed a security deed, creating a security interest in favor of Regions in Dent and her husband's principal dwelling, located at 2821 Moultrie Road, Albany, Georgia. The security interest was created to guarantee a promissory note on which Benjamin Dent is listed as the sole borrower and on which Selenia Dent's name does not appear. (Doc. 6-3.)

At the time the security deed was executed, Regions delivered to Dent two copies of a "notice of right to cancel, " which Dent signed to acknowledge having received them. On May 21, 2014, Dent signed the "notice of right to cancel, " indicating that the she wished to cancel the transaction and delivered the signed notice to Regions the same day. On June 9, 2014, Regions filed the security deed executed by Dent and her husband in the Dougherty County Superior Court Clerk's Office. The security deed was recorded by the Clerk.

Dent now asserts two claims against Regions: one for violation of 15 U.S.C. ยง 1635, the right of rescission provision of the Truth in Lending Act and one for breach of contract. As relief, Dent seeks the voiding and cancellation of the recorded security deed, actual damages, costs, and attorney's fees.


I. Motion to Dismiss Standard

Regions moves to dismiss Dent's claim based on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Rule 12(b)(6) permits a party to assert by motion the defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. A Motion to Dismiss a plaintiffs complaint under Rule 12(b) (6) should not be granted unless the plaintiff fails to plead enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible, and not merely just conceivable, on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "Dismissal for failure to state a claim is proper if the factual allegations are not enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'" Edwards v. Prime, Inc., 602 F.3d 1276, 1291 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Rival v. Private Health Care Sys., Inc., 520 F.3d 1308, 1309 (11th Cir. 2008)). "Stated differently, the factual allegations in the complaint must possess enough heft' to set forth a plausible entitlement to relief.'" Edwards, 602 F.3d at 1291 (quoting Fin. Sec. Assurance, Inc. v. Stephens, Inc., 500 F.3d 1276, 1282 (11th Cir. 2007)).

While the Court must conduct its analysis "accepting the allegations in the complaint as true and construing them in the light most favorable to the [p]laintiff, " Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003), in evaluating the sufficiency of a plaintiffs pleadings the Court must "make reasonable inferences in [p]laintiff's favor, but [is] not required to draw [p]laintiff's inference.'" Sinaltrainal v. Coca-Cola Co., 578 F.3d 1252, 1260 (11th Cir. 2009) (quoting Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce, NA., Inc., 416 F.3d 1242, 1248 (11th Cir. 2005)), (abrogated on other grounds by Mohamad v. Palestinian Auth., 132 S.Ct. 1702 (2012)). The Supreme Court instructs that in considering a Motion to Dismiss "a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint;" this principle, however, "is inapplicable to legal conclusions, " which "must be supported by factual allegations." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, for the proposition that courts "are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation" in a complaint).


I. Dent's Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) Claim

Regions moves to dismiss Dent's TILA claim on the basis that she has no standing under the statute to bring the claim. (Doc. 6-1 at 6.) The TILA right of rescission provision at issue in this Motion to Dismiss provides in pertinent part:

[l]n the case of any consumer credit transaction... in which a security interest, including any such interest arising by operation of law, is or will be retained or acquired in any property which is used as the principal dwelling of the person to whom credit is extended, the obligor shall have the right to rescind the transaction until midnight of the third business day following the consummation of the transaction or the delivery of the information and rescission forms required under this section... The creditor shall also provide, in accordance ...

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