United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
LEO R. MADDOX, Plaintiff,
CITIFINANCIAL MORTGAGE CO., et al.. Defendants.
Michael F. Urbanski, Chief United States District Judge
pro se, plaintiff Leo R. Maddox filed die instant
Complaint (die "Complaint" or "Compl."),
ECF No. 2. In the accompanying order entered with this
memorandum opinion, the court will grant Maddox leave to
proceed in forma pauperis due to his indigence.
After reviewing the Federal Complaint, the court concludes
that the action must be dismissed for failure to state a
claim, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
28 U.S.C. § 1915, district courts have a duty to screen
initial filings and dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis "at any time if the court determines
that... the action ... is frivolous or malicious .. . [or]
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted."
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(ii); see also Eriline
Co. S.A. v. Johnson, 440 F.3d 648, 656 (4th Cir. 2006)
(internal quotations omitted) ("[Section] 1915 permits
district courts to independently assess the merits of in
forma pauperis complaints, and to exclude suits that
have no arguable basis in law or fact.").
court construes pro se complaints liberally,
imposing "less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976)). Nonetheless, "a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
'state a claim of relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). From the face of the Complaint, it is
clear the parties lack complete diversity and the court
cannot exercise subject matter over the action.
Complaint appears to raise four causes of action: (1) a
violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the
"FCPA"); (2) a violation of 12 U.S.C. § 5531
("UDAAP"); (3) a violation of the Real Estate
Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"); and (4) a
Delaware state law breach of contract claim. Compl.
first two claims raise putative violations of the FCPA and
the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection
Act's UDAAP provisions. See Id. ¶ 13.
("The lender and it's [sic] former CEOs violated the
FCPA and the UDAAP prohibition and other laws in connection
with origination in servicing, it's Loans [sic].").
Neither the FCPA nor UDAAP provide a private cause of action,
however. See Republic of Iraq v. ABB AG, 768 F.3d
145, 169-71 (2d Cir. 2014) (finding no private cause of
action and noting that a bill introduced to provide a private
cause of action "was deleted by a committee of the
Senate"); Lamb v. Phillip Morris. Inc.. 915
F.2d 1024, 1027-30 (6th Cir. 1990) (same); McCray v. Bank
of Am., Corp., Civ. No. ELH-14-2446, 2017 WL 1315509, at
*16 (D. Md. Apr. 10, 2017) (holding that "various courts
have concluded that there is no private right action to
enforce 12 U.S.C. §§ 5531 and 5536(a)"). As
such, Maddox's FCPA and UDAAP claims must be dismissed
for failure to state a claim.
third claim alleges violations of 12 U.S.C. §§ 2605
and 2607 of RESPA.Compl. ¶¶ 13-14. Claims for
violations of Section 2605 must be brought within three years
of the alleged violation, and claims for violations of
Section 2607 must be brought within one year of the alleged
violation. 12 U.S.C. § 2614. Maddox alleges that
"Citimortgage did harm and victimize Leo R. Maddox
between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010." The
Complaint was filed on February 14, 2018, over seven years
after the alleged violations of RESPA ended. Maddox's
RESPA claims are therefore time barred and must be dismissed
for failure to state a claim.
forth claim alleges breach of contract under Delaware law.
While Maddox alleges breach of contract under 10 Del. C.
§ 8106, Section 8106 does not establish a cause of
action for breach of contract. It is, however, beyond
peradventure that such a cause action exists. See H-M
Wexford LLC v. Encorp. Inc.. 832 A.2d 129, 140 pel. Ch.
2003) (setting forth elements of a breach of contract claim).
Instead, Section 8106 prescribes a three-year statute of
limitation for breach of contract claims in Delaware. The
last alleged injury was on December 31, 2010, over seven
years before the Complaint was filed. Again, the breach of
contract claim is time barred and must be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
court notes that while Maddox claims breach of contract under
Delaware law, Maddox does not provide the mortgage contract
underlying the claim. It is possible that the contract has a
choice-of-law provision requiring application of another
state's law. With this in mind, the court will dismiss
the breach of contract claim without prejudice.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this Memorandum Opinion
and the accompanying Order to plaintiff.
 "UDAAP" stands for
"unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices."
Prohibition of Unfair. Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or
Practices in the Collection of Consumer Debts, CFPB
Bull. 2013-07 (July 10, 2013).
 In the paragraph concerning
jurisdiction, Maddox appears to claim federal question
jurisdiction for breach of contract under 41 U.S.C. §
6503. Compl. at 1. That section, however, "concerns
public contracts made with a United States agency, " and
is therefore inapplicable here. See Griffin v. Compass
Grp. USA. Inc., No. ...