In Milligan v. Ally Financial, Inc., 2016 WL 2939786, at *1 (D.Md., 2016), Judge Chmsanow granted summary judgment to Ally against a customer who refused to believe that the RISC had been assigned to Ally. On May 10, 2014, Plaintiff purchased a used vehicle from Waldorf Chevrolet Cadillac (the “Dealership”) in Waldorf, Maryland by entering into a Retail Installment Sale Contract (the “contract”) with the Dealership. The Dealership subsequently assigned its interest in the contract to Defendant. On May 31, Plaintiff and the Dealership entered into a revised contract (the “revised contract”), the rights of which were also assigned to Defendant. Under the revised contract, Defendant provided Plaintiff with approximately $22,685.00 in financing, which Plaintiff was to pay back in 60 monthly payments beginning on July 15, 2014. Plaintiff asserts that he was unaware that the Dealership assigned its rights under the revised contract to Defendant because the space for the Dealership to assign its rights is blank on his copy of the revised contract. Plaintiff received a phone call from Defendant approximately forty-five days after purchasing the vehicle, which requested that he begin sending payments for the vehicle. Plaintiff, believing his payments should be sent to the Dealership rather than to Defendant, requested that Defendant “show proof of claim” over the revised contract. Defendant continued to attempt to service the loan pursuant to the assignment of the revised contract, but
Plaintiff repeatedly requested “proof of claim in this [revised] contract.” Plaintiff has defaulted on his payment obligations to [Defendant], and [Defendant] has taken steps to exercise its rights under the [revised contract]. Defendant repossessed the vehicle on July 9, 2015. On September 29, Plaintiff received a facsimile copy of the revised contract with the assignment blank filled in, indicating that the Dealership had assigned its rights to Defendant. The Court granted summary judgment to Ally.
Plaintiff’s complaint is based on his assertion that Defendant does not have an interest in the revised contract. (SeeECF No. 1 ¶ 2).2 In support of this contention, Plaintiff attaches a photograph of his copy of the revised contract, in which the space for the Dealership to denote that it has assigned its interest was left blank. (ECF No. 15-1, at 2-3). Defendant counters by attaching copies of the revised contract with the assignment section completed. (ECF No. 12-3). Defendant also attaches affidavits from a custodian of records for the Dealership (ECF No. 12-4) and Defendant (ECF No. 12-5) attesting to the validity of the assignment. Defendant contends that, “[u]nless required by the [revised] contract itself, no consent or notice to the other party to a contract is required to validate an assignment.” . . .“Under Maryland law, contract rights are freely assignable (1) ‘[u]nless otherwise agreed,’ or (2) except when ‘the assignment would materially change the duty of the other party, or increase materially the burden or risk imposed on him by his contract, or impair materially his chance of obtaining return performance.’ ” . . .Here, nothing in the revised contract precludes assignment or mandates that notice of an assignment be provided to Plaintiff. Rather, the revised contract includes several explicit references to the Dealership’s ability to assign its rights under the contract. (See ECF No. 12-3, at 2-3). Furthermore, the Dealership’s assignment to Defendant did not materially change Plaintiff’s duty — it simply required Plaintiff to make the payments dictated by the revised contract to Defendant rather than to the Dealership. Thus, the Dealership’s assignment to Defendant is not prohibited as a matter of law. Plaintiff’s conclusory allegations that Defendant forged the assignment are not supported by the record and are not sufficient to survive summary judgment. Defendant attaches a copy of the revised contract that includes the assignment (ECF No. 12-3), and both parties to the assignment attest to its validity (ECF Nos. 12-4; 12-5). Although Plaintiff contends that Defendant forged the assignment because it has not provided the “original wet ink” signature, such an argument is unavailing because “there is no recognizable claim to demand in an action brought by a borrower that the lender produce ‘wet ink’ signature documents.” Harris v. Household Fin. Corp., No. RWT-14-606, 2014 WL 3571981, at *2 (D.Md. July 18, 2014). Similarly, Plaintiff’s contention that the affidavits Defendant provides are hearsay is unpersuasive. The court and the parties have great flexibility with regard to the evidence that may be used on a [summary judgment] proceeding. The court may consider materials that would themselves be admissible at trial, and the content or substance of otherwise inadmissible materials where the party submitting the evidence show[s] that it will be possible to put the information into admissible form. See Humprheys & Partners Architects, L.P. v. Lessard Design, Inc., 790 F.3d 532, 538-39 (4th Cir. 2015) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Here, the two affiants aver that they are custodians of business records for their respective companies and that the revised contract is a business record. (ECF Nos. 12-4; 12-5). Plaintiff has not articulated that these averments are disingenuous or that the evidence would not be admissible at trial. Defendant has adequately supported its motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff fails to show a genuine dispute of material fact. Accordingly, Defendant’s motion for summary judgment will be granted.