Rhode Island Supreme Court Dismisses Multiple Appeals in MERS’ Favor

 Rhode Island Courts, both state and federal, Rule that MERS May Hold and Assign Mortgage Interests


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, October 2, 2014—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Supreme Court of Rhode Island dismissed a series of appeals seeking to overturn trial court judgments in favor of MERS and other defendants on claims that MERS could not hold or assign mortgage interests under Rhode Island State law. The appeals each related to the legality of mortgage interests and promissory notes being held by separate entities.

The Supreme Court opined on these issues in previous cases and relied on its prior rulings in pdf Ingram v. Mortgage Elec. Reg. Sys., Inc. (95 KB)  and  pdf Bucci v. Lehman Bros. Bank, FSB (54 KB)  to restate, “[i]t is well settled that MERS may serve as mortgagee without holding the promissory note and has the authority under the terms of the mortgage … to assign it.” See  pdf O’Leary v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (37 KB)

In addition to O’Leary, the Rhode Island Supreme Court also dismissed pdf Casimiro v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (56 KB) ; pdf Dennis v. Quicken Loans, Inc. (57 KB) ; pdf Moura v. OneWest Bank, FSB (57 KB) ; and,  pdf Woodruff v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (37 KB)

Also, in Rhode Island, the federal District Court for the District of Rhode Island found in MERS’ favor in pdf Alves v. Mortgage Electronic Reg. Sys., Inc. (385 KB)  The court rejected the argument that the MERS assignment was void because MERS did not have the note, finding the plaintiff lacked standing to challenge an assignment because the assignment allegations were merely voidable—not void—allegations. Additionally, the Court pointed to previous Rhode Island Supreme Court Decisions in Bucci and pdf Moura v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (57 KB)  and noted that these Decisions “validated the MERS System and MERS’ role as nominee on behalf of the note owner.”

“We are most pleased that Courts in Rhode Island continue to uphold MERS’ rights to serve as mortgagee,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “These rulings are generally consistent with case law throughout the country.”

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.