In Aghaji v. Bank of America, N.A., 247 Cal.App.4th 1110 (May 31, 2016), more than 200 plaintiffs from California and other states brought UCL and other claims against numerous lenders and loan servicers related to the handling of their home mortgages. Id. at 1112-13.
Among other holdings, the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Four) determined that the non-California plaintiffs could not assert UCL claims without alleging that the harm they suffered emanated from California, which their complaint failed to do:
In addition to alleging facts sufficient to show violations of [the underlying federal regulations on which the UCL claims were predicated], plaintiffs who are not California residents must also allege facts to show that the alleged violations occurred within California, because California's unfair competition law does not apply extraterritorially. (See Sullivan v. Oracle Corp. (2011) 51 Cal.4th 1191, 1207; Norwest Mortgage, Inc. v. Superior Court (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 214, 222-227.) Plaintiffs assert in their appellants' reply brief that “although many of the Defendant servicers are entities formed in states other than California and have their headquarters outside of California, they have processing facilities and personnel in California and, upon information and belief, that is where the misapplied payments were received or that is from where the improper charges or improper crediting of payments occurred with respect to out of state Plaintiffs/Appellants.” But plaintiffs' assertion is insufficient for two reasons. First, plaintiffs state that many—not all—defendant servicers have facilities and personnel in California, and therefore appear to concede that at least some of the defendants do not. Second, plaintiffs do not disclose what information they have that leads them to believe that the alleged violations occurred in those California facilities. (See Gomes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 1149, 1158-59 [“a pleading made on information and belief is insufficient if it ‘merely assert[s] the facts so alleged without alleging such information that “lead[s] [the plaintiff] to believe that the allegations are true” ’ ”].)
In short, plaintiffs have not shown that they can truthfully allege facts necessary to allege a violation of [the underlying statutes] in California as to any plaintiff, let alone all plaintiffs. ....