GA Supreme Ct Says Language in Security Deed Shows Conveyance of Title to MERS

Trial Court Properly Dismissed Case


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, November 16, 2016—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss a case for failure to state a claim because Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) was the holder of title to the property under the security deed.

In pdf Bank of America v. Johnson (56 KB) , the plaintiff challenged the interest of a MERS assignee on the basis that the original lender, upon its dissolution, relinquished its interest in the security deed and therefore MERS’ assignee did not acquire an interest in the security deed through the MERS assignment. The trial court dismissed because the plaintiff was not a party to the assignment and did not have standing to challenge it. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision because it determined that although Johnson was not a party to the assignment that did not prohibit him from asserting that the assignment was a cloud on his title.

The Supreme Court of Georgia granted Certiorari and determined that “the security deed – which Johnson does not challenge – shows on its face that Johnson actually conveyed title to the property to MERS …” not to the original lender. Therefore, whether the original lender relinquished any right in the security deed could not serve as the basis for challenging the interest claimed by MERS’ assignee because MERS was the record holder of the security deed. Johnson has never alleged that MERS relinquished the security deed or otherwise cancelled it. Therefore, the Supreme Court determined that the facts as now known made it unnecessary to decide the standing question raised by the Court in an earlier 2016 Supreme Court Ruling in pdf Ames v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (106 KB) , regarding whether a property owner who alleges the security deed has been cancelled can challenge the assignment of that security deed.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Georgia determined that the Security Deed language conveys title to MERS,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith.

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. Users of the MERS® System include 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.