FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Reston, Virginia, July 17, 2012 – MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho upheld Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) authority to assign its interest in a deed of trust under Idaho law, and dismissed the borrower’s five-count claim of wrongful foreclosure.
In her July 11, 2012, ruling in Cherian v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc, Judge Winmill found no merit to any of the plaintiff’s claims and granted the defendants motion to dismiss. Despite being more than $127,000 in arrears on his $895,000 mortgage, the plaintiff relied on several theories to allege that the defendants foreclosed improperly and that none of the defendants has any “right, estate, title, lien or interest…in or to the Property.” Cherian asked the court to “quiet title” his property and grant him outright ownership of the property, free of the MERS lien.
Judge Winmill first noted in her decision that Cherian’s failure to show ability or willingness to pay the balance owed on his mortgage loan is fatal to his quiet title claim because “a mortgagor cannot without paying his debt quiet title as against the mortgagee.”
All other claims were similarly dismissed for lack of merit, including allegations that MERS has no authority under Idaho law to assign its interest in the Deed of Trust. “This position has been routinely rejected by the courts, including this Court,” Judge Winmill wrote. “[t]he Court likewise concludes here that MERS had the authority to assign its beneficial interest in the Deed of Trust to U.S. Bank.”
“MERS’ authority to assign mortgages has been upheld in hundreds of lawsuits,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP’s Vice President for Corporate Communications. “Not only has the notion that MERS doesn’t have authority to assign been routinely rejected as baseless by courts, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, it’s also an ineffective strategy for avoiding foreclosure after default.”
For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ role and business model 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 approximately 3,000 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(s) 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.