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Cave v. Saxon Mortg. Servs.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

October 11, 2016, Decided; October 11, 2016, Filed

Civ. A. No. 11-4586; Civ. A. No. 12-5366

Opinion

MEMORANDUM

Padova, J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs Lisa and Scott Cave, and William D. Cave brought these class action suits against Defendant Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc. ("Saxon") alleging Saxon breached Trial Period Plan agreements ("TPP") entered into with thousands of distressed mortgage borrowers pursuant to the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). Specifically, they allege that Saxon breached the TPP contracts when it failed to either: (1) offer a permanent HAMP modification by the Modification Effective Date ("MED") set forth in the TPP; or (2) provide a timely written notice of denial. Presently pending are Plaintiffs' motion to certify two classes, one class for each of these two civil actions. After rigorous assessment of the class action record, we deny the motion.

II. PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMS AND THE MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

The plaintiffs in Civil Action Number 11-4586 ("Cave I") are Lisa and Scott Cave. The plaintiff in Civil Action Number 12-5366 ("Cave II") is William Cave. Both cases contain class action allegations. The claims contained in the current iterations of Plaintiffs' Complaints are: [*3]  breach of contract/breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing (Count I), based on Saxon's "failing to offer Plaintiffs and members of the Class permanent HAMP modifications after they made the required TPP payments and submitted the required documentation" (Cave I Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") ¶ 85; Cave II SAC ¶ 115), promissory estoppel (Count II), asserting Saxon is estopped from denying that the TPPs were binding contracts (Cave I SAC P 92; Cave II SAC ¶ 122), and violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law ("UTPCPL") (Count III), asserting Saxon engaged in unconscionable commercial practices. In Cave I, Plaintiffs seek as relief a declaration that Saxon breached their TPP contracts and breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (Cave I SAC at 29.) In Cave II, Plaintiffs seek similar declaratory relief and actual and statutory damages. (Cave II SAC at 39.)

The proposed Cave I Class is defined by Plaintiffs as:

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2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141033 *; 2016 WL 5930846

LISA and SCOTT CAVE, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. SAXON MORTGAGE SERVICES, INC., Defendant. WILLIAM D. CAVE, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. SAXON MORTGAGE SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by Cave v. Saxon Mortg. Servs., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17577 (E.D. Pa., Feb. 8, 2017)

Prior History: Cave v. Saxon Mortg. Servs., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75276 (E.D. Pa., May 30, 2012)

CORE TERMS

borrower, modification, permanent, class member, documentation, class action, trial period, eligibility, ascertainability, predominate, cohesive, asserts, countersigned, Plaintiffs', class certification, certification, notice, Contracts, common issue, certify, financial information, common question, qualify, individual issues, putative class, membership, questions, verbal, condition precedent, member of the class