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Three-Judge Panel Rejects Plaintiff Attempt to Cite Michigan Supreme Court in Law Suit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703-652-1660
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Reston, Virginia, April 15, 2013—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court decision in favor Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and three other defendants, dismissing a five-count wrongful foreclosure complaint.

In pdf Mitchell v. PHH Mortgage Corp. (26 KB) , Judges Jane M. Beckering, Kirsten F. Kelley and Joel P. Hoekstra, citing Michigan Compiled Law §600.3201(1), concluded “that the foreclosure in this case satisfied the [four-part] requirements…” of the law.

Their ruling noted that the foreclosing lender, PHH, could indeed foreclose because MERS satisfies the Michigan statutory requirement of having “an interest in the indebtedness secured by the mortgage or the servicing agent of the mortgage,” and, because it was MERS’ assignee, PHH also satisfied the requirements.

“Pursuant to our Supreme Court’s decision in pdf Residential Funding Co. v. Saurman (40 KB) …PHH’s ‘ownership of legal title to a security lien whose existence is wholly contingent on the satisfaction of the indebtedness’ is an interest in the indebtedness secured by the mortgage,” they wrote. “Therefore, PHH was authorized to foreclose.”

The panel rejected other arguments that the foreclosure was invalid when, citing Michigan foreclosure statutes, they held that a record chain of title existed prior to the foreclosure because MERS recorded its assignment to PHH several months before the sheriff’s sale.

“It should be no surprise that the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision in MERS’ favor,” said MERSCORP Holdings’ Director for Corporate Communications Jason Lobo. “The judges themselves cited established Michigan Supreme Court case law validating MERS’ role and authority.”

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.

Justices: MERS has both Contractual and Statutory Authority to Support its Role as Mortgagee

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, April 12, 2013— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that a five-justice panel of the Rhode Island Supreme Court held that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), being named as the mortgagee as the agent of the promissory note-owner of the mortgage, is consistent with Rhode Island law.

In pdf Bucci v. Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB et al. (54 KB) , Justice Francis X. Flaherty, writing for the Court, agreed with the trial justice’s reasoning surrounding MERS role as the mortgagee, which held that “the fact that MERS acts in a nominee capacity for the lender and the lender’s successors and assigns does not diminish MERS’s role as the mortgagee nor is there created a new legal term ‘nominee-mortgagee.’”

In reviewing the language contained in the mortgage, the Court found the language to be “clear and unequivocal” when defining MERS as the mortgagee and agreed with the trial justice’s reasoning by finding that “the plaintiffs explicitly granted the statutory power of sale and the right to foreclose to MERS,” and therefore that MERS had the “contractual authority to exercise that right.” Supreme Court Justices Maureen McKenna Goldberg, Gilbert V. Indeglia, William P. Robinson III and Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell joined in this unanimous opinion.

The justices ruled that none of the plaintiff’s myriad arguments held any merit. “[I]t is our opinion that none of the statutes that plaintiffs rely upon prohibit MERS from foreclosing on the Bucci mortgage…” they held. The justices recognized that in the “modern world of lending” it is no longer the case that the mortgagee and the note-holder are always the same entity. Further, the Court found nothing in the statutes, “despite the feudal roots of these enactments” to “preclude an entity like MERS from acting as the nominee on behalf of the note-owner.”

The court concluded that “… we see no reason why MERS, as an agent of the owner of the note, cannot foreclose on behalf of that entity.” MERS stopped foreclosing in its name in July 2011. Mortgages are now assigned to a member lender prior to initiating foreclosure proceedings.

“We are pleased that the Rhode Island Supreme Court Justices expended such thoughtful and precise analysis when affirming MERS role and authority,” MERSCORP’s Director for Corporate Communications Jason Lobo said. “This decision caps months of strong rulings in MERS’ favor in Rhode Island.”

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.

Federal Circuit Court Panel Affirms Rebuke of Minnesota Attorney in Two Rulings, 
Notes Pleadings “Contain Nothing but Naked Assertions”

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, April 15, 2013— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit twice ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other defendants, affirming lower court decisions that rejected Minnesota-based attorney William B. Butler’s arguments regarding the defendants’ right to foreclose.

In pdf Jerde v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.  and pdf Dunbar v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (58 KB) , Judges Raymond W. Gruender, Bobby E. Sheppard and Roger L. Wollman joined other appeals court and district court judges in rejecting Butler’s “show me the note” theory and other arguments intended to stall valid foreclosures.

“This is yet another in a long line of lawsuits brought by homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages but claim that the entities asserting legal title to their mortgages do not have the authority to foreclose,” the judges held in Jerde. Citing its recent decision in pdf Karnatcheva v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (116 KB) , the judges stated that “[t]he claims underlying these challenges…are identical to ones we recently have rejected, and therefore we affirm the district court’s finding.”

In Dunbar, the same three-judge appellate panel affirmed the district court’s ruling in favor of MERS and the other defendants, citing Eighth Circuit and Minnesota Supreme Court cases that roundly rejected the show-me-the-note theory. The panel also affirmed the district court’s order sanctioning Butler under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 11 for acting in bad faith and abusing the judicial process. The panel called Butler’s claims a “flimsy construction of ‘labels and conclusions’ ” and found “unacceptable” Butler’s attempts to avoid federal court by naming non-diverse defendants.

“It is unfortunate that an attorney – who has been repeatedly sanctioned for this behavior – was once again able to dupe struggling borrowers into pursuing an unsound and ultimately fruitless legal action,” MERSCORP’s Director for Corporate Communications Jason Lobo said. “Butler’s tired legal theory has been resoundingly rejected by Minnesota courts.”

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.

Judge Declares “Plain, Unambiguous Language of the Mortgage” Grants MERS Authority

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, April 10, 2013— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Rhode Island Superior Court Justice Allen P. Rubine has rejected another multi-count claim of wrongful foreclosure against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other member co-defendants.

In  pdf Van Hoecke v. First Franklin Financial Corporation (135 KB) , Justice Rubine issued a ruling that parallels others he has made during the past year. His ruling established that the “facts in this complaint were ‘nearly identical’ to those in pdf Payette v MERS (79 KB) ” and adopted its prior reasoning to apply here.

“It is well-established that MERS and an assignee of MERS…may properly invoke the statutory power of sale as granted to the mortgagee by the plain, unambiguous language of the Mortgage,” Justice Rubine held. “Plaintiff, through her acknowledgement and execution of the Mortgage, explicitly granted to MERS, and to the successors and assigns of MERS, the right to exercise the statutory power of sale and to foreclose on the Property.”

“Justice Rubine’s rulings have been quite clear,” MERSCORP’s Director for Corporate Communications Jason Lobo said. “MERS’ authority as mortgagee is valid and legal in Rhode Island, and challenges to this authority continue to be rejected.”

Justice Rubine also noted that even if the Plaintiff had proper standing to present a legal challenge to MERS regarding the validity of the mortgage assignment, “it conforms to the statutory form of assignments of a mortgage interest” according to Rhode Island law.

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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