- What is MERSCORP Holdings?
- What is MERS?
- What is the MERS® System?
- How does MERS work?
- What is the MERS® eRegistry?
- Are MERS loans recorded in the public land records?
- How does MERS become a mortgagee or beneficiary?
- What does “MERS as original mortgagee” mean to borrowers?
- Does MERS collect mortgage payments from borrowers?
- Does MERS have the documents for loans registered on the MERS® System?
- What does MERS do for lenders?
- How does MERS benefit borrowers?
- Having trouble finding information on our website? Contact Us
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 more than 5,000 lenders, servicers, sub-servicers, investors and government institutions.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MERSCORP Holdings, and its sole purpose is to serve as mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS® System. MERS is a nominee for the lender and subsequent buyers (“beneficial owners”) of a mortgage loan and serves as a common agent for the mortgage industry.
The MERS® System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing rights and beneficial ownership interests in loans secured by residential real estate.
It is the system of record that identifies the current Controller (Holder) and Location (Custodian) of the Authoritative Copy of an eNote. The Controller of an eNote has the equivalent rights as that of a “Holder in Due Course” of a paper negotiable promissory note. The concept of a national eNote registry was the industry’s response to the requirements imposed by the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN). It evolved from the need to track and identify electronic promissory notes (or eNotes) for electronic mortgage loans.
All MERS mortgages (or deeds of trust) registered on the MERS® System are recorded in the public land records. The MERS® System is not a system of public record, nor a replacement for the public land records. No interests in those mortgages (or deeds of trust) are transferred on the MERS® System; they are only tracked. MERS as original mortgagee eliminates breaks in the chain of title because the lien is grounded in MERS' name.
There are two ways. In most cases, MERS becomes mortgagee or beneficiary at closing when the borrower and lender both agree to standard language in the security instrument making MERS the original mortgagee or beneficiary, with the right to act on behalf of the lender and its successors and assigns. The standard language is approved and used by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veterans Administration (VA). In cases where MERS is not named as the original mortgagee on the security instrument, a lender can record an assignment of the mortgage to MERS after closing.
MERS’ role and rights are clearly spelled out in the contract between borrower and lender. When borrowers sign the mortgage security instrument at closing, they agree to standard language that grants and conveys legal title of the mortgage to MERS as mortgagee, giving the company the right to act on behalf of the current and subsequent owners of the loan.
No. MERS, MERSCORP Holdings or the MERS® System do not service mortgages. Mortgage lenders, or other mortgage servicing companies, collect payments from borrowers and manage their loans. Borrowers who have questions about their loans, or who need help with foreclosure prevention, should contact the company they send their payments to—not MERS or MERSCORP Holdings.
No. MERS, MERSCORP Holdings or the MERS® System are not document custodians and do not hold promissory notes or mortgage documents on behalf of lenders, servicers or investors. We are not responsible for keeping mortgage records—the servicer maintains the loan files.
As the mortgagee of record, MERS receives service of process, legal notices and other mail regarding the mortgaged properties. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., on behalf of MERS, sorts, scans and transmits documents electronically to the appropriate MERS® System Member. Because MERS is a common agent for its members, recording an assignment of the mortgage is eliminated when ownership of the promissory note or servicing rights transfer between members. This reduces work and cost. The MERS® System also provides information on undisclosed liens, which reduces fraud.
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. provides access to data in the MERS® System free of charge to homeowners, county officials, and regulatory officials (subject to privacy restrictions). Homeowners can access the data on their mortgage loans registered on the MERS® System through MERS® Servicer ID online or by phone at (888) 679-6377.