Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reaffirms MERS is Beneficiary under Nevada Law

Court Held that MERS is a Valid Beneficiary with the Authority to Assign Interest in Deed of Trust


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, February 12, 2016—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that dismissed a borrower’s complaint.

In pdf Lial v. Bank of America, MERS, et al. (74 KB) , borrowers filed wrongful foreclosure and quiet title claims, alleging that MERS was not a beneficiary because it lacked an interest in the note and was not entitled to receive mortgage payments.

The Ninth Circuit held that MERS was a valid beneficiary with the authority to assign the deed of trust based on the established law in Nevada, and determined that the district court properly dismissed the complaint. The Circuit Court ruled, “Contrary to the Lials’ arguments under Nevada law, Mortgage Electronic System, Inc. (MERS) was properly identified as a beneficiary in their deed of trust and had the authority to assign its interest.”

“This ruling is consistent with established case law in Nevada that MERS is a valid beneficiary with the authority to assign its interest,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “This authority is granted by plain language in the deed of trust document signed at closing by the borrower.”

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit


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.