Rhode Island Supreme Court Affirms Validity of MERS Assignment


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, January 16, 2014— MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed a Superior Court’s judgment that the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) assignment was valid confirming MERS authority to assign a mortgage.

In pdf Rutter v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (30 KB) , the borrower-appellants challenged the foreclosure sale of their mortgaged property arguing, in part, that the MERS assignment was invalid.

The Court acknowledged its recent holding in the pdf Mruk v MERS (56 KB)  case that Rhode Island homeowners have standing to challenge assignments of mortgages on their homes as void to the extent necessary to contest the foreclosing entity’s authority to foreclose. But, just like in the Mruk case, the Court determined that the MERS assignment was valid. The Court stated that the mortgage signed by the borrowers “directly listed MERS and its assignees as having the statutory power of sale, therefore permitting MERS to assign the Mortgage and permitting the assignee to foreclose,” and agreed with the ruling of the trial justice that the assignment was valid and the foreclosure was proper.

“The ruling by the Court affirms that MERS, as mortgagee, is the holder of legal title to the mortgage and does have the authority to make assignments and courts will continue to find the MERS assignments valid,” 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 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.