Illinois Circuit Court Rules Mortgages Naming MERS as Mortgagee are Valid and Enforceable


CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, January 6, 2015—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit for Lake County, Illinois rejected the borrowers’ claim that their mortgage was void and unenforceable because Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), the named mortgagee on the mortgage at the time the mortgage was originated, was not licensed under the Illinois Residential Mortgage License Act.

In pdf CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Schak (736 KB) , Judge Mitchell L. Hoffman entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the borrowers’ motion to vacate the summary judgment and Order approving the sale of the property in this foreclosure and holding that the borrowers’ mortgage could not be held unenforceable on grounds that MERS was not licensed under the Act.

Finding the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in pdf Union County, Ill. V. MERSCORP, Inc. (162 KB) , 735 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 2013) instructive, the Court ruled in this case that “… MERS does not engage in the acts of brokering, funding, originating, servicing, or purchasing residential mortgage loans.

Therefore, MERS is not subject to the requirements of the Illinois Residential Mortgage License Act of 1987, and the Mortgage cannot be held unenforceable on this basis.”

“We are pleased that this Court recognizes that MERS has not done anything contrary to what is required by Illinois law and that mortgages naming MERS as the mortgagee are valid and enforceable,” 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. 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.