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Adoption of MISMO® Standards Increasingly Important in Today’s Regulatory Environment

NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:
Melissa Key
(202) 557-2799
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Washington, DC (September 23, 2011) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and MERSCORP,Inc.® (the parent company of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., “MERS”) jointly announced today that management of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, Inc. (MISMO®) will transfer to MBA on December 1, 2011.

“MERSCORP successfully managed MISMO during an important period of technical and technological development for MISMO, and a period of significant change for our industry. With the successful launch of the MISMO 3.0 reference model, MISMO can now shift to focus efforts on regulatory implementation and advocating for broader adoption throughout the industry. The MBA and MERSCORP came to the conclusion that with this shift in focus, management should return to MBA, where MISMO adoption efforts can be synchronized with MBA advocacy. We appreciate the commitment of MERSCORP, which will continue to play an important role in influencing the work of MISMO,” said MBA President and CEO David H. Stevens. Bill Beckmann, President and CEO of MERSCORP, concurred that the time was right for MISMO to return to MBA, stating, “We are one of the largest adopters of the MISMO Standards and we’ll continue to work closely with MISMO to encourage adoption of standards that, along with the mission of MERSCORP, promote efficiency in mortgage transactions.”

Stevens continued, “Due to changes in the regulatory environment over the last two years, the benefit of implementing data standards across the real estate finance industry has never been greater. Significant new reporting requirements highlight the need for a common vocabulary and data exchange mechanism. The continued enhancement of data standards and transparency are critical to the return of investor confidence and liquidity in our marketplace.”

“MBA will continue to encourage regulators to adopt MISMO standards for regulatory reporting. The utilization of a single, consensus industry standard will greatly reduce compliance costs for the mortgage industry. To continue the development of world class standards, I would like to encourage MBA members and the regulatory community to become more active in the development and support of industry standards”, Stevens added.

For questions regarding this announcement, please contact Rick Hill (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-557-2718).

More information can be found on the MISMO website, www.mismo.org.

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ABOUT MISMO

MISMO, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), develops data transfer protocols and technical guidance for both the residential and commercial real estate finance industries. MISMO standards help reduce costs, streamline processes, improve accuracy, increase data transparency, and boost investor confidence in mortgages as an asset class. MISMO coordinates the development and maintenance of Internet-based Extensible Markup Language (XML) real estate finance specifications and electronic mortgage guidelines through a voluntary, open and vendor-neutral process, and its workgroups include more than 1,000 individual participants and over 125 subscribing organizations representing all sectors of the residential and commercial industry: lenders, originators, servicers, investors, government-sponsored enterprises, technology vendors, multiservice providers, credit reporting agencies, insurance firms, tax services and law firms. MISMO is a registered trademark of the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, Inc. For more information on MISMO, visit www.mismo.org.

ABOUT MBA

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation's residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA's Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.

ABOUT MERSCORP

MERSCORP, Inc., a privately held stock-holder corporation, is the operating company that owns and operates the MERS® System and all other products. It is also the parent company of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.(“MERS”), a wholly owned subsidiary whose sole purpose is to be the mortgagee of record and nominee for the beneficial owner of the mortgage loan. The MERS® System is a national electronic registry system that tracks the changes in servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in mortgage loans that are registered on the registry. For additional information, visit the company’s website at www.mersinc.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Janis L. Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karmela Lejarde
Phone: 703-761-1274
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Reston Va., Sept. 21, 2011—The claims made in the lawsuit filed in Dallas County, Texas yesterday are without legal or factual merit. The MERS business model and practices are legal and comply with the recording statutes and regulations of Texas. This position has been upheld in numerous cases in Texas courts and countless cases across the country on the state and Federal level. We are confident that this court will agree that MERS’ business practices are perfectly legal.

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Second and Fourth District Courts reject plaintiffs’ claims of wrongful foreclosure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Janis L. Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karmela Lejarde
Phone: 703-761-1274
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston Va., Sept. 16, 2011— Two California Appellate Courts this week rejected plaintiffs’ claims of wrongful foreclosure and dismissed arguments questioning the right of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) to foreclose.

In its Sept. 13 ruling in pdf Calvo v. HSBC, the Appellate Court (79 KB) , Second District, found that the non-judicial foreclosure initiated by the lender, HSBC, was in full compliance with California law despite the absence of an assignment of the deed of trust from MERS to HSBC. The three-judge panel ruled that the state statute the plaintiff claimed was violated (Section 2932.5 of the Calif. Code) is not relevant to the case because it applies only to mortgages and not to deeds of trusts.

“In California, over the course of the past century, deeds of trust have largely replaced mortgages as the primary real property security device,” the judges wrote in their decision. “Thus, section 2932.5 (and its predecessor, section 858) became practically obsolete and were generally ignored by borrowers, creditors, and the California courts. On the other hand, other statutes expressly give MERS the right to initiate foreclosure on behalf of HSBC Bank….” The judges also stated that “…MERS had the statutory right to initiate foreclosure on behalf of HSBC Bank.”

In a separate ruling on Sept. 12, the Appellate Court, Fourth District in pdf Robinson v. Countrywide (69 KB)  rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that MERS did not have the right to initiate foreclosure, and that a foreclosing party must prove its authority to foreclose.

Citing the same Court’s May decision in Gomes v. Countrywide, the Appellate Court stated that “[w]e agree with the Gomes court that the statutory scheme…does not provide for a preemptive suit challenging standing. Consequently, plaintiffs' claims for damages for wrongful initiation of foreclosure and for declaratory relief based on plaintiffs' interpretation of section 2924, subdivision (a), do not state a cause of action as a matter of law.”

“MERS’ legal standing as mortgagee, or agent of the note holder, gives MERS the authority under California law to take action on behalf of the owner of the note,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP’s Vice President of Corporate Communications. “These Appellate Court rulings follow numerous other state court decisions that have ruled consistently.”

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Court confirms MERS had legal right to enforce terms of mortgage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Janis L. Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Karmela Lejarde
Phone: 703-761-1274
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston Va., Sept. 13, 2011— In pdf Henderson v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (1.16 MB) , (MERS) the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the Montgomery County Circuit Court’s May 2010 order granting MERS and MERSCORP’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s wrongful foreclosure lawsuit against both MERS and MERSCORP.

In its Sept. 9 decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the lower court’s rejection of the plaintiff’s claim that MERS had no legal right to enforce the mortgage. At the time MERS and MERSCORP filed the motion for summary judgment, MERS was not only the mortgagee of the mortgage, but it was also the holder of the plaintiff’s promissory note (because the note was endorsed in blank without recourse and was in the possession of MERS) , giving the company two separate and independent rights to foreclose. The Trial Court ruled—and the Supreme Court concurred—that as mortgagee and nominee of the originating lender (GMAC Mortgage and its successors and assigns), MERS has a legal right to enforce the terms of the mortgage, including but not limited to the right to foreclose and sell the property.

“The Alabama Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Trial Court’s decision upholds the MERS business model,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP Vice President of Corporate Communications. “MERS, as mortgagee, held the power of sale contained in the mortgage, which gave the company the power and authority to foreclose under Alabama law.”

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  • About Us

    About Us

    Today’s financial services industry depends on technological innovations to provide its customers with access to information, increased efficiency and reduced processing costs. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. owns and operates the MERS® System, a national electronic registry system that tracks the changes in servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in mortgage loans that are registered on the System.

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  • MERS® eRegistry

    MERS® eRegistry

    The MERS® eRegistry is essential to the eMortgage world. It is the legal system of record for identifying the Controller (holder) and Location (custodian) for the authoritative copy of a registered eNote. Lenders today are closing eNotes and selling them into the secondary market. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae require that Lenders register their eNotes on the MERS® eRegistry.

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  • Information for Homeowners

    Information for Homeowners

    Homeowners today want information about their mortgage loans. Some are facing financial hardship and are struggling with mortgage payments. Information and helpful resources are available. 

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  • Neighborhood Benefits

    Neighborhood Benefits

    Title agents, government agencies and others looking for information about mortgage loans registered on the MERS® System can use Servicer ID or MERS® Link. This public access is often used by local municipalities to identify the servicer responsible for maintaining vacant or abandoned property.

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  • Media Room

    Media Room

    The MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. Media Room provides press contact information and facts about the company and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). These materials are provided to help national, regional and local media better understand the companies' business model and role in the U.S. housing finance system.

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