Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Two Trial Court Decisions in Favor of MERS

Three-Justice Panel, Citing Prior-Court Opinion Affirms MERS’ Authority as Beneficiary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
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Reston, Virginia, December 21, 2012— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that two recent opinions written by Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy M. Saitta affirmed trial court decisions holding that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is a valid beneficiary of deeds of trust in the state.  Justices James W. Hardesty and Kristina Pickering also joined in each opinion.

In Ashley v. MERS et al., the three-justice panel relied on the Court’s decision in Edelstein v. Bank of New York Mellon to affirm judgment in favor of MERS and two other defendants.  In his wrongful foreclosure complaint to the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County, the borrower alleged that, due to the involvement of MERS as the beneficiary of the subject deed of trust, the trustee’s foreclosure was fraudulent and should be voided.  “This court has determined that MERS is a valid beneficiary of the deed of trust...”  Justice Saitta wrote.  “MERS, in its capacity as the beneficiary of the deed of trust, was capable of assigning its own interest in the deed of trust and to appoint a substitute trustee.” 

In Sanchez v. OneWest Bank, FSB, et al., the same three-justice panel affirmed the trial court dismissal in favor of the defendants.  Here, the borrowers filed a wrongful foreclosure complaint in Clark County District Court containing various allegations, including that MERS was not a proper beneficiary and therefore the defendants lacked standing to foreclose.  In affirming the dismissal, Justice Saitta and her colleagues also relied upon Edelstein in holding that any severance in the note and deed of trust did not permanently bar foreclosure.  The Court held that because OneWest possessed the note and deed of trust at the time the notice of default was issued, it had standing to foreclose. 

“Hundreds of courts across the country have confirmed MERS’ role as a valid beneficiary and its authority to assign mortgages,” MERSCORP Holdings Director of Communications, Jason Lobo, said.  “The Nevada Supreme Court’s reliance upon its own prior opinion to rule in favor of MERS emphasizes that MERS’ role as the beneficiary of the deed of trust has already been established by existing case law in Nevada, as is the case in states across the country.”

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.