MERS Authority as Mortgagee as Nominee Upheld by U.S. District Court in Rhode Island

Court Grants MERS Motion for Summary Judgment


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reston, Virginia, January 20, 2015—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the United States District Court in Rhode Island granted MERS motion for summary judgment.

In the case, pdf In v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc. (185 KB)  the borrower filed a wrongful foreclosure suit alleging, among other things, that the assignment executed by MERS was void because MERS did not have the mortgage and note.

In his opinion, United States District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. stated that the law “has not developed in [the plaintiffs’] favor,” ruling that the prior Rhode Island state cases of “Bucci and Moura validated the MERS system and MERS’ role as nominee on behalf of the note owner.” The court reasoned that because MERS had the power to foreclose as mortgagee, once MERS assigned the mortgage, the same power to foreclose was transferred to the assignee of the mortgage.

Additionally, the Court ruled that the prevailing state law in Rhode Island is clear that the note and mortgage do not need to be held by one entity in order to exercise the power of sale.

“We are pleased that the case law continues to develop in favor of MERS in Rhode Island state and federal courts, as well as across the county,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “MERS has legal authority to act on behalf of the lender and this authority is granted by the plain language in the mortgage 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.