U.S. District Court of North Carolina Finds MERS is a Valid Beneficiary


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, June 1, 2016—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina granted Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.’s (“MERS”) motion to dismiss and found that MERS’ role as the beneficiary of a deed of trust and its assignment of the same was in accordance with North Carolina law.

In pdf Pickens v JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., (448 KB) the plaintiffs contend that the assignment was void because it was executed by MERS. In addition, they made claims of intentional misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and wrongful foreclosure.

The District Court noted that “… the Plaintiffs’ position misunderstands MERS’ role and ignores their agreement to MERS’ involvement in their mortgage transaction.” The Court found that MERS was named in the Deed of Trust as the beneficiary and as nominee for the lender, its successors and assigns, and MERS continued as the beneficiary until it assigned its interest in the deed of trust.

In its order dismissing the complaint, the Court stated that “Plaintiff[s] ha[ve] failed to point to, and the Court has failed to uncover, any case finding that these arrangements violate North Carolina law. Indeed, it appears to the Court that these arrangements actually satisfy North Carolina law.” (Emphasis in original.) In addition, the Court looked to numerous other courts that held, “this arrangement is lawful and that MERS has the authority to assign its rights under deeds of trust.”

“We are pleased that the District Court recognized that MERS’ role as the deed of trust beneficiary and its assignment of that interest is valid,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “As the court recognized, this is consistent with various other court rulings.”

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business and role 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 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.