Plaintiff whistleblower alleged that defendant banks failed to report reconveyance fees as escheated property, violating the California Unclaimed Property Law (UPL), Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1500 et seq.; the False Claims Act (FCA), Cal. Gov’t Code § 12650 et seq.; and Cal. Civ. Code § 2941(j). The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California, sustained the banks’ demurrer without leave to amend for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff appealed.
California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. can tell you more about CACI defamation
Plaintiff was not a party or third party beneficiary to the subject promissory notes and deeds of trust. He sued as a qui tam (whistleblower) for damages under the FCA, alleging reverse false claim violations in that the banks filed false reports between 1991 and September 1995. The court affirmed the dismissal. The banks were not given notice of the alleged violations, as required by the UPL. Further, the disputed reconveyance fees were not escheatable property under the UPL because they did not represent liquidated or certain obligations. The reconveyance fee refund statute, Cal. Civ. Code § 2941(j), was not enacted until 2001, after the alleged false reports. The court rejected the argument that the obligation was liquidated and certain because plaintiff sought only the disgorgement of a sum certain, namely, the amount of the reconveyance fee improperly charged or improperly retained. There was no allegation that any of the contracts provided for the specific remedy of disgorgement or that any judgment was entered to that effect. Even if § 2941(j) had applied, it did not help plaintiff. The court also found that further discovery would not assist plaintiff to state an action.
The court affirmed the judgment of dismissal.