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Federal Judge Rules Plaintiff was “attempting to weave an improper legal fiction out of whole-cloth.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Reston, Virginia, June 28, 2012— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, ruled this week in favor of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), dismissing a recording fee suit filed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Duval County, Florida.

In Fuller v. MERS, Judge Schlesinger dismissed with prejudice a six-count claim seeking relief under the provisions of Florida’s Recording Statutes and alleging civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and fraud. Judge Schlesinger found that “MERS has not committed an unlawful act, or a lawful act by unlawful means,” saying, “First, this Court must be clear that the recording of mortgage assignments, under Florida law, is at the complete discretion of the party wishing to record the document.”

“This is the second significant and precedent-setting decision for MERS in fee recording suits. Not only did Judge Schlesinger determine MERS is lawful, he also noted that the county clerk lacks standing to sue or collect damages from MERS – as was also recently ruled in Kentucky,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP’s Vice President for Corporate Communications.

Judge Schlesinger noted that the statutes cited by the Clerk, §§ 28.222(1) and (6,) do not provide a remedy for the Clerk to sue, but merely lays out what the Clerk’s duties and responsibilities are for recording documents. This statute was intended to protect bona fide purchasers or creditors – not plaintiffs. “Even if Plaintiff could establish that he has a right to bring this cause of action, each of his claims for relief would fail on the merits,” Judge Schlesinger wrote.

“The central theme of Plaintiff’s Complaint is the assertion that MERS is falsely designating itself as a mortgagee on mortgages filed and recorded with Plaintiff,” Judge Schlesinger wrote. Citing existing Florida case law, Judge Schlesinger further explained that as mortgagee, “the Florida courts have consistently affirmed the use of MERS as the designated mortgagee of record and the principle that MERS may serve as mortgagee or as nominee for the lender and the lender’s successors and assigns.”

“Recording the mortgage in MERS’ name in the land records fulfills the purpose of the recording statutes,” added Smith. “The statutes’ intent is to assure that liens are discharged when an underlying loan is paid off, to give subsequent purchasers and lenders notice of recorded liens, and to allow creditors to give notice of their secured interest in the property. MERS’ business model is consistent with these purposes.”

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit www.mersinc.org.

To obtain a copy or copies of any of the judicial decisions above, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. is a privately held corporation that owns and manages the MERS® System and all other MERS® products. It is a member-based organization made up of thousands of lenders, servicers, sub-servicers, investors and government institutions. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) serves as the mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS® System, and is a nominee (or agent) for the owner of the promissory note. The MERS® System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members.

  • 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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