Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Adds its Voice in Affirming MERS’ Authority

Affirms Decision Where District Court found that
MERS is a “Significant Component” of the Mortgage Market

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, February 28, 2013—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed an order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissing with prejudice plaintiff’s complaint against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). The District Court held that MERS as beneficiary and nominee for the lender and the lender’s successors and assigns had authority to act on behalf of the original lender and its successors and assigns.

The appellate ruling, in Rupli v. MERS, written by Circuit Court Judges Allyson K. Duncan, Barbara Milano Keenan and Dennis W. Shedd, affirmed a decision by District Judge Roger W. Titus issued in October 2011. 

“Within the last 30 days, the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the First, Fourth, Sixth, Eight and Ninth Circuits have all issued rulings affirming lower court decisions in MERS’ favor,” MERSCORP Holdings’ Director for Corporate Communications Jason Lobo said. “Many of the claims were identical and subsequently dismissed.”

The lower court decision referenced established case law supporting MERS’ role in a number of other U.S. District Court decisions in Maryland and Virginia in addition to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. “The arguments made by the plaintiff have been made before and, so far as this court can tell, uniformly rejected whenever they’ve been raised,” Judge Titus held. “MERS’ involvement in the mortgage market is a very substantial one…and it is a significant component of the ability for the mortgage market to function…”

While the plaintiff attempted to distinguish herself from the myriad cases Judge Titus cited by also alleging fraud, he was not persuaded. “Apparently, Ms. Rupli believes that all she’s required to do to plead fraud…is to make a conclusory allegation,” Judge Titus held.  Federal rules “are far more specific than that.”

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.