MERSlogo

homepage photoHomepageTagline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston, Virginia, October 4, 2012—Below is a monthly summary of major legal decisions involving either the use of the MERS® System database or Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and its role in the mortgage process. Please feel free to contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. with any questions and visit the MERS Newsroom for a full list of news releases.

Major Developments

Arkansas

“Citing long-standing Arkansas law, Judge Hickey held that ‘Arkansas’s statutes ‘do not require assignments to be recorded.’ In fact, existing law is to the contrary.’ She further described the original intent behind mortgage land recording: ‘The purpose of recording is simply to give constructive notice to subsequent purchasers.’”

Texas

“’What’s important to note here is Judge Sparks’ clear and unambiguous validation of MERS’ role in assigning mortgages,’ said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings vice president of Corporate Communications. ‘It is also worth noting that he went to great lengths to explain the different elements of a mortgage – the promissory note and the deed of trust – and how Texas law addresses each in the foreclosure process.’”

Washington

"’It is undisputed that the Petersons defaulted on their loan and that it was this default that led to the foreclosure proceedings,’ the Panel wrote. ‘Accordingly, the Petersons have failed to plead facts demonstrating that their alleged injuries would not have occurred but for MERS's actions; regardless of MERS's conduct as the beneficiary under the deed of trust, the Petersons' property would still have been foreclosed upon based on their failure to make payments on the loan.’"

Notable State and Federal Court Decisions

California/Nevada

“A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed dismissals of two False Claims Act (FCA) suits against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other defendants in Nevada and California.”

Florida

“Yesterday, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Duval County, Florida, voluntarily dismissed his appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Fuller v. MERS. We expected the appellate court to affirm the holding of the trial court, which dismissed the case with prejudice on June 27, 2012.”

Georgia

“’MERS authority as nominee is plainly written in the standard document that borrowers sign at closing,’ said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings vice president of Corporate Communications. ‘Judge Forrester’s dismissal makes clear that these challenges are baseless.’”

Idaho

“Judge Norton found no merit in any of the borrowers’ MERS related claims. Norton first cited the Trotter v. Bank of New York decision in which the Supreme Court upheld the non-judicial foreclosure involving a MERS deed of trust and subsequent assignment. Here in Lopez, she found that the “language from the Deed of Trust unambiguously intends that MERS act as an agent of the Lender, or its assigns, in administering the deed of trust, that it holds ‘legal title,’ and therefore has the authority to appoint successor trustees and to initiate foreclosure proceedings.” Judge Norton further ruled that the use of MERS is not contrary to the Idaho Trust Deeds Act because “the statute does not invalidate acts that are done through a nominee such as MERS.”

“’Idaho case law has been consistently supportive of MERS’ role as beneficiary,’ Janis Smith MERSCORP Holdings’ vice president for Corporate Communications said. ‘The judges were clear that challenges to MERS’ authority to act on behalf of the lender were without merit.’”

Oregon

“[Judge] Aiken dismissed all claims against the defendants, ruling that failure to record note transfers in the county land records ‘fails to articulate a legal basis to remove the DOT [Deed of Trust] from the Property or otherwise allege any wrongful conduct that is redressable by this Court.’”

Texas

“’Winning a free house simply because the mortgage lenders sought to use normal means to recover it from a defaulted debtor would indeed be a lucky strike. But such windfalls are the province of the sweepstakes, not of the federal courts,’ the Court of Appeals panel wrote in its judgment. ‘Dr. Wigginton has apparently enjoyed years of free housing while pursuing this meritless litigation.’”

Washington

“Judge Cahan’s ruling found that the foreclosure was valid under Washington law because Fannie Mae – already the promissory note holder – commenced the foreclosure. As such, Fannie Mae had the authority to enforce both the promissory note and the deed of trust. Regarding the dismissed CPA claim against MERS, Judge Cahan’s ruling affirmed that there was nothing deceptive about MERS’ role as beneficiary in a nominee capacity for the lender and lender’s successors and assigns because of the explicit language found in his deed of trust.”

Other Relevant Cases

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

###

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.

Unanimous Ruling Affirms MERS’ Role as a Beneficiary and Agent for the Lender and its Successors and Assigns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston, Virginia, October 1, 2012—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the seven members of the Nevada Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion that affirms MERS’ role in mortgage finance.

In pdf Edelstein v. Bank of New York Mellon (1.44 MB) , Justice James W. Hardesty wrote a detailed decision on behalf of the Court explaining that when MERS serves as the beneficiary of the deed of trust and a different entity holds the promissory note, this does not render either instrument void, and that once the foreclosing lender obtains an assignment from MERS and is the holder of the promissory note, the lender can proceed through the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. According to the opinion, the language in the deed of trust, indicating that MERS was the beneficiary, was “an express part of the contract that we are not at liberty to disregard.”

“MERS is capable of being a valid beneficiary of a deed of trust, separate from its role as an agent (nominee) for the lender […] such separation is not irreparable or fatal to either the promissory note or the deed of trust, but it does prevent enforcement of the deed of trust through foreclosure unless the two documents are ultimately held by the same party,” the Court wrote. “MERS, as a valid beneficiary, may assign its beneficial interest in the deed of trust to the holder of the note, at which time the documents are reunified.” Here, because MERS had assigned the deed of trust to Bank of New York Mellon in its role as trustee for Countrywide - which held the promissory note - the Court held that the trust had proper standing to foreclose.

“There is no stronger affirmation of MERS’ role in housing than a unanimous decision concluding that MERS is the proper beneficiary and affirming MERS’ agency relationship to the note-holder,” said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings vice president of Corporate Communications. “The Supreme Court clearly found that MERS, acting a nominee for the lender holding the promissory note and as beneficiary of the deed of trust, is proper and valid in the State of Nevada.”

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

###

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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston, Virginia, September 28, 2012—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that District Judge Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, recently dismissed a borrowers’ claim of wrongful foreclosure against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and five other defendants.

In pdf Bridges v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, et al. (131 KB) , Judge Sparks rejected the Plaintiff’s claim that her loan documents, including the promissory note and deed of trust, were not properly transferred and noted that the borrower lacks standing to challenge the mortgage assignment.

In his September 21st Order, Judge Sparks found that “under Texas law, foreclosure enforces the deed of trust, not the underlying note” and held that “nothing requires a mortgage servicer to possess the original promissory note as a prerequisite to foreclosure.”

Judge Sparks further noted that “[n]umerous courts, including this one, have held that a mortgagee [borrower in this context] lacks standing to challenge…assignments as she is not a party to the assignments.”

In addressing the specific “Fraudulent Lien” allegation – that the Defendants recorded invalid assignments of the Deed of Trust – Judge Sparks explained that “[a]t least two courts have concluded allegations of a recording of an improper assignment of the deed of trust does not state a claim under section 12.002 as the assignment is not a lien as defined by the statute.”

“What’s important to note here is Judge Sparks’ clear and unambiguous validation of MERS’ role in assigning mortgages,” said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings vice president of Corporate Communications. “It is also worth noting that he went to great lengths to explain the different elements of a mortgage – the promissory note and the deed of trust – and how Texas law addresses each in the foreclosure process.”

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

###

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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston, Virginia, September 26, 2012—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Senior District Judge J. Owen Forrester of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia recently dismissed a borrowers’ claim of wrongful foreclosure against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and two other defendants.

In pdf Crutcher v. CitiMortgage (48 KB) , Judge Forrester found no merit to the borrower’s allegations. “The Security Deed states that MERS is ‘grantee’ and the nominee for ‘Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns,’ ” he held. “To the extent that American Freedom assigned any interest in the Security Deed to Irwin Mortgage, that assignment did not alter MERS’s status as nominee for ‘Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns.’ ”

With regard to signing officer actions during the foreclosure procedures, citing established case law Judge Forrester noted that “[p]laintiff’s allegations concerning the ‘dual hat’ role of employees who work for both CitiMortgage and MERS are equally without merit. Courts have addressed the issue of certifying officers wearing two ‘hats’ and determined that this does not affect the validity of the assignment.”

“MERS authority as nominee is plainly written in the standard document that borrowers sign at closing,” said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings vice president of Corporate Communications. “Judge Forrester’s dismissal makes clear that these challenges are baseless.”

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

###

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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    white paper site

    Read More
  • 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. 

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Home          l          Contact Us          l          Privacy Policy          l          Site Map                                                 twitterlinkedinvimeo


Copyright© 2017 by MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. (800)-646-6377
Other products or company names are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks and are the property of their respective holders.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.

You are now leaving MERSCORP Holdings' website and entering an external website. MERSCORP Holdings cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by MERSCORP Holdings or any of the products presented on the site.

Click here to proceed.