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New York Judge Wants More Evidence of Agency Relationship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact:
Karmela Lejarde, 703-761-1274

Reston, Virginia Feb. 16, 2011—The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas on Feb. 10, 2011 found that mortgages naming Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc are valid and enforceable. The ruling in Martinez v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. upholds MERS’ role as an agent to hold the Mortgage for its member-lenders.

“The Kansas Bankruptcy Court held that the note and mortgage were never split due to this agency relationship,” said MERS spokeswoman Karmela Lejarde. “The Court found that Countrywide’s interest is secured, and it has the right to enforce the Note and Mortgage through its agent, MERS, or on its own by directing its agent to assign the mortgage to it.”

The Kansas Bankruptcy Court’s ruling sided with the majority of courts who have held that MERS is an agent for its members and found that the mortgage and note were not split. Please click here for a sample of these decisions.

The United States Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of New York (IN RE Agard, February 10, 2011) considered the same type of evidence as was before the Martinez court and did grant the motion for relief from stay in favor of U.S. Bank, the moving party in Agard. However, Judge Robert E. Grossman found that “MERS did not have authority as “nominee” or agent, to assign the Mortgage absent a showing that it was given specific written directions by its principal” (emphasis added).

“We disagree with the Court's interpretation because State Courts in New York have already ruled that a written assignment of the note and mortgage by MERS, in its capacity as nominee, confers good title to the assignee,” said Lejarde, citing to U.S. Bank v. Flynn 897 NYS 2d 855 (Suffolk County Supreme Court, 2010).

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Industry Veteran Paul Bognanno to be interim President and CEO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Karmela Lejarde
703-761-1274

RESTON, Virginia (January 22, 2011)—MERSCORP, Inc. (MERS) today announced the retirement of President and CEO R.K. Arnold. Arnold joined the company at its inception and has been instrumental in the development of the MERS® System, a registry of ownership and other mortgage rights for more than half of all outstanding residential mortgages in the United States.

Arnold is succeeded on an interim basis by financial services industry veteran Paul Bognanno, who recognized Arnold’s efforts at MERSCORP. “During his tenure, MERS launched a commercial mortgage registry, the industry’s eNote Registry and products to help reduce mortgage fraud,” said Bognanno. “I look forward to helping MERS build and expand upon that history.”

As the interim chief executive for MERSCORP, Bognanno will lead the transition and search process for a permanent president and CEO for the Reston-based company, and Arnold will serve in an advisory capacity to help facilitate the transition.

Bognanno most recently served as chairman of Radian Guaranty, Inc, a Philadelphia, PA-based company that provides private mortgage insurance and related risk management products and services. Prior to his service at Radian, Bognanno was president and CEO of Principal Residential Mortgage, chairman of Principal Bank, senior vice president of Principal Life Insurance Company and as a senior officer for CitiMortgage.

“I am proud of the important value that MERS provides to our nation’s housing finance system,” said Arnold. “It is with great honor and pride that I have committed nearly 15 years to helping to grow MERS. After completing my work assisting in a smooth transition, I’m looking forward to enjoying the next chapter of my life.”

Arnold joined MERS Inc. in 1996 as senior vice president & general counsel, before being named president of MERSCORP, Inc. in 1998. Prior to joining MERS, Arnold was a corporate lawyer and an attorney in private practice, and he is a decorated Army Ranger.

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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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