Federal Court Finds That 41 County Attorneys Lack Statutory Standing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT:  Sandra J. Troutman
Phone: 703-761-1274
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Reston, Virginia, November 26, 2013—The U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Northern Division, ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) in pdf Boyd County by and through its County Attorney Phillip Hedrick; et.al. vs. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS); et. al. (193 KB) , dismissing the case with prejudice.

In his opinion, Judge Henry Wilhoit, Jr. found that county attorneys, like the county clerks in a previous lawsuit against MERS, do not have standing to maintain their lawsuit. He cited  to the February 21, 2013 Order from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in its review of  pdf Christian County Clerk, by and through its County Clerk, Michael Kem; el al. vs. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS); et. al. (161 KB) , which held that the Clerks lacked a private right of action under the Kentucky statute (KRS 446.070) on which they relied as the basis for their suit. The same holds true for the county attorneys because neither the clerks nor the county attorneys fit into the three categories that the Kentucky recording statute protects. 

When discussing the plaintiffs claim of the recording of false mortgage documents, Judge Wilhoit notes that, “Indeed, because Kentucky courts have recognized MERS’ role as a valid mortgagee, Defendants had every reason to believe that naming MERS as mortgagee, as nominee for lender and lender’s successors and assign, was and is a true statement.”

“Use of the MERS® System to register mortgage loans fulfills the purpose of the recording statutes,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis 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.”

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.