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Statement from Janis L. Smith, Vice President for Corporate Communications MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. on Dismissal of the Florida Recording Fee Suit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
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Reston, Virginia, September 6, 2012 – 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.

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

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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.

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 6, 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

Iowa

“Judge Bennett concluded that ‘What the County seeks, on its own behalf and of the putative Class of Iowa Counties, under the guise of construction of recording statutes, is an extension of those statutes that completely changes the meaning of the statutes, but the courts have no power to grant such an extension.’”

Notable State and Federal Court Decisions

District of Columbia

“’Plaintiff’s 59-page complaint, unfortunately, is an incoherent narrative containing numerous allegations that generalize and conclude as opposed to specify and support,’ Judge Leon wrote. ‘Indeed, the complaint reads like a poorly written assortment of generalized grievances about the banking industry that is more closely tied to newspaper articles and investigative reports than the plaintiff’s own situation.’”

Michigan

“‘District Judge Patrick J. Duggan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently dismissed a borrower complaint based on the flawed and frequently rejected theory that transfers of a promissory note splits the note from the mortgage, nullifying the mortgage.”

Washington

The Washington Supreme Court opinion held that if MERS is not the promissory note-holder, then it is not considered to be the beneficiary for purposes of non-judicial foreclosures in Washington. “MERS ceased commencing foreclosures in its name over a year ago, so this opinion does not impact its current operations. The opinion will, however, create confusion for Washington homeowners while the trial courts consider its effect on pending cases. We remain confident that MERS’ role in the U.S. housing finance system is valid and will withstand legal challenges.”

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.

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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.

County's Claim Relied on Requirement That Doesn’t Exist Under Iowa Law

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, August 22, 2012— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Western Division, ruled yesterday in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other defendants, dismissing a recording fee suit filed by the Plymouth County, Iowa.

In pdf Plymouth County, Iowa v. MERSCORP (169 KB) , Judge Bennett dismissed a five-count, class action suit on behalf of Plymouth County and all other similarly situated counties in the State of Iowa. The suit – alleging civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment – sought relief under the provisions of Iowa’s Recording Statutes.

Judge Bennett held in his August 21, 2012, Order that “it could not be plainer that none of the statutes upon which the County relies imposes a requirement on a party assigning a mortgage or receiving such an assignment to record the assignment.” He found that that “each…claim depends upon an alleged requirement to record mortgage assignments and seeks as relief…or damages for failure to do so." "There is, however, no such requirement in Iowa law,” he wrote.

“We have consistently held that there is no basis for these suits, and the Iowa court has affirmed this by pointing clearly to the absence of any statutory requirement to record mortgage assignments,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP’s Vice President for Corporate Communications. “Iowa is the third state to rule on a claim like this, and all have granted our motions to dismiss.”

Judge Bennett concluded that “What the County seeks, on its own behalf and of the putative Class of Iowa Counties, under the guise of construction of recording statutes, is an extension of those statutes that completely changes the meaning of the statutes, but the courts have no power to grant such an extension.”

“Use of the MERS® System to register mortgage loans fulfills the purpose of the recording statutes. MERS mortgages are recorded in the public land records and MERS members pay recording fees when the mortgage is recorded, ” Smith added. “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.

###

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, August 16, 2012 – Today’s Washington Supreme Court opinion held that if Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is not the promissory note-holder, then it is not considered to be the beneficiary for purposes of non-judicial foreclosures in Washington. The court does not find that deeds of trust that name MERS as beneficiary are invalid and states that there is nothing in this opinion that prevents the parties from proceeding with judicial foreclosures. Nor does it prohibit MERS from acting as mortgagee in the land records or a lenders’ use of the MERS® System to track changes in mortgage servicing and ownership of the promissory note.

As we have maintained consistently, MERS is an agent of lenders and their successors and assigns. In fact, the opinion written by Justice Tom Chambers states: “nothing in this opinion should be construed to suggest an agent cannot represent the holder of a note. Washington law, and the deed of trust act itself, approves of the use of agents.” The opinion also states: “MERS notes, correctly, that we have [the Court has] held ‘an agency relationship results from…consent by one person that another shall act on his behalf…’”

MERS ceased commencing foreclosures in its name over a year ago, so this opinion does not impact its current operations. The opinion will, however, create confusion for Washington homeowners while the trial courts consider its effect on pending cases. We remain confident that MERS’ role in the U.S. housing finance system is valid and will withstand legal challenges.

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.

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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

    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

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    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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    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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