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Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. v. Universal American Mortgage Co.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 30, 2014

LEHMAN BROTHERS HOLDINGS INC., Plaintiff,
v.
UNIVERSAL AMERICAN MORTGAGE COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Universal American Mortgage's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. #51.) The motion is ripe for the Court's review and for the reasons stated below, that motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. ("LBHI") is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York. On August 4, 2006, Defendant sold a residential mortgage loan to Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB ("LBB") pursuant to a written Loan Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") and the Seller's Guide, which is incorporated by reference. On August 30, 2006, LBB sold the loan to Freddie Mac. On September 26, 2007, Freddie Mac demanded that Plaintiff make it whole for its losses incurred following foreclosure of the property securing the Loan. In accordance with Freddie Mac's demands, LBB repurchased the loan on April 28, 2008. On May 19, 2008, Aurora Loan Services, Plaintiff's agent, issued a repurchase demand to Defendant.

On March 11, 2011, Plaintiff first filed suit with regard to this loan in the Southern District of Florida. On January 4, 2013, Judge King, who presided over that action, ordered that the suit, which concerned eight distinct loans, be severed and refiled as separate claims. Judge King also stated, "The date of the filing of any [of] these Complaints will relate back to the filing of Plaintiff's original Complaint (DE #1), filed on March 11, 2011." (Doc. #59-2) ( Lehman Bros. Holdings, Inc. v. Universal American Mort., Case No. 1:11-cv-20859-JLK, Doc. #95, at 2 (January 9, 2013)).

On January 16, 2013, Plaintiff filed suit in this Court. (Doc. #1.) Defendant now moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff's single claim, arguing that the action is barred by the statute of limitations.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "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. To overcome a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must present enough evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find in its favor. Vitkus v. Beatrice Co., 11 F.3d 1535, 1539 (10th Cir. 1993). In analyzing the evidence on a motion for summary judgment, this Court must view the factual record and draw reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Kidd v. Taos Ski Valley, Inc., 88 F.3d 848, 851 (10th Cir. 1996).

III. LAW AND ANALYSIS

To determine whether this action is timely, the Court must first determine which state's statute of limitations applies to the instant case. The parties focus on whether the plain language of the Agreement mandates that this Court apply New York's six-year limitations period. The Agreement states, in relevant part:

This Agreement and the Seller's Guide shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York and the obligations, rights and remedies of the parties hereunder shall be determined in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, except to the extent preempted by Federal law.

(Doc. #21-1 at 5.) The Seller's Guide further states:

The Loan Purchase Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the substantive law of the State of New York and the obligations, rights and remedies of the parties hereunder shall be determined in accordance with such law without regard for the principles of conflict of laws.

Plaintiff argues that, because the parties' contract applies "without regard for the principles of conflict of laws, " it excludes application of the New York Borrowing Statute. (Doc. ...


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