FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Reston, Virginia, July 30, 2012 – MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that District Judge Darren B. Simpson of the Bonneville County District Court in Idaho denied the borrowers’ attempt to use the judicial system as a “fishing expedition in search of flaws in the Trust Deed or the Note,” while at the same time upholding and explaining in detail MERS’ role and authority as trust deed beneficiary.
In Wilkins v. First Magnus Financial Corporation, Judge Simpson rejected plaintiffs’ complaint to “quiet title,” or grant outright ownership of the property, alleging wrongful foreclosure against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and three other defendants by citing Idaho and federal case law. Judge Simpson granted the Defendants’ motion to dismiss and noted that “…sister courts in Bonneville and Jefferson counties have held that the ‘legal title’ clause [contained in the MERS Deed of Trust] is an expression of the relationship between MERS and the lender, which gives MERS power, if necessary to act on behalf of the lender as its representative.”
Judge Simpson further ruled that MERS’ role as beneficiary only and not note-holder did not “split” the Trust Deed from the Note because under Idaho law the Trust Deed follows the note and MERS’ agency relationship as beneficiary continued with each subsequent holder of Plaintiffs’ Note. “Idaho law allows the assignment of loans,” he wrote. “The mere fact that the transfer occurs does not sever the note from the deed of trust.”
“MERS’ authority and duties as trust deed beneficiary was ruled valid and appropriate by this court as it has been in hundreds of similar lawsuits across the country,” said Janis Smith, MERSCORP Holdings’ Vice President for Corporate Communications. “Struggling borrowers should contact the company to which they send their mortgage payments and also reach out to a government-approved homeownership counselor for assistance. Pursuing meritless legal theories regarding MERS is costly and time consuming.”
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.