MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. February 2013 News Summary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

CONTACT: Jason Lobo
Phone: 703-652-1660
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Reston, Virginia, March 6, 2013—Below is a monthly summary of major legal decisions involving either the use of the MERS® System database or Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and its role in the mortgage process.  Please feel free to contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. with any questions and visit the MERS Newsroom for a full list of news releases.

Major Developments

Hawaii

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms MERS’ Authority, February 22, 2013
    ““ ‘[T]he Court has grave doubts about the validity of the factual predicate underlying most, if not all, of Plaintiffs’ claims,’ Judge Ezra wrote. Citing a previous Ninth Circuit case (Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.) containing ‘identical language to the mortgage at issue,’ Judge Ezra held that ‘the Ninth Circuit concluded that MERS was a legitimate organization and that the mortgage which plaintiffs signed put them on notice of the role MERS was to play in their home loans.’ ”

Kentucky

  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Kentucky Recording Fee Suit, February 19, 2013
    “ ‘It is undisputed that the Kentucky recording statutes…do not expressly provide the Clerks with a cause of action,’ Circuit Judge Helene N. White wrote on behalf of the panel. ‘Clerks are not within the class of persons the Kentucky legislature intended to protect under the recording statutes.’ ”

Maryland

  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Adds its Voice in Affirming MERS’ Authority, February 28, 2013
    “ ‘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…’ ”

Massachusetts

  • First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules MERS “Faithful” to “Mortgage Law, ” February 19, 2013
    “ ‘…MERS’ role as mortgagee of record and custodian of the bare legal interest as nominee for the member-noteholder, and the member-noteholder’s role as owner of the beneficial interest in the loan, fit comfortably with each other and fit comfortably within the structure of Massachusetts mortgage law,’ Senior Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya wrote on behalf of the panel.”

Washington

  • Federal Court in Washington Sides with MERS, February 25, 2013
    “ ‘Plaintiff’s position lacks merit because it is a misapplication of the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in Bain v. Metropolitan Mortg. Group, Inc.,’ Chief Judge Marsha J. Pechman held.”

Other Notable Decisions

Florida

  • Florida Court Ruling Affirms MERS’ Role as Mortgagee, February 26, 2013
    “ ‘…Florida law is uniformly opposed to Plaintiffs’ claim that designating MERS as a mortgagee is a false statement,’ Judge Cooper held.  ‘Courts in Florida have heard, and rejected, numerous similar challenges to the designation of MERS as mortgagee.’ ”

New York

  • New York State Supreme Court Rejects Mortgage/Note “Splitting” Claim, February 11, 2013
    “ ‘MERS was named a nominee by defendant Webster [Webster Bank, N.A., the original lender] as mortgagee for the purpose of recording the mortgage,’ he held. ‘It is readily apparent that the intent of the lender and MERS was to establish a principal agent relationship and as such, not to split the debt and the collateral.’ ”

Minnesota

  • MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. Statement on Recorder Fee Suit in Minnesota, February 15, 2013
    “There is no merit to the claims against MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) made today by Ramsey and Hennepin Counties in Minnesota. All MERS mortgages are recorded in the county land records and all required fees are paid.”

Other Relevant Cases

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.