MERS is a privately held company. – too bad we really can’t see who actually owns them… because we may find out why they are secretive?
MERS has changed its incorporated name again to MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. on 2/27/2012 which is the owner and operator of the eRegistry. This was shortly before Delaware’s defeated lawsuit of their deceptive practices.
Anyone have any news updates? Is this outfit still in business or are mortgage lenders paying their local government recording fees now?
7-28-2011: MERS is out of the mortgage foreclosure business? Maybe not for long…Just transfer into another lender name…then foreclose! Source: http://www.dsnews.com/articles/mers-bows-out-of-foreclosure-and-bankruptcy-proceedings-2011-07-27
6-7-2011:Hard to believe these numbers $60-120 Billion in unpaid property recording fees alone? Either California has excessive fees or they are suffering from PMS…Phuzzy Math Syndrome! Source: http://realestate.bryanellis.com/4581/untangling-the-mers-mess-part-2/
6-6-2011: Oregon, like Georgia, is a non-judicial foreclosure state meaning the bank/lending institution doesn’t need to go to court to foreclose, however, a Federal Oregon judge just ruled the state requires banks to record the ownership history of the mortgage with local county governments and not loud the chain of title using MERS. The Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) was created by the mortgage industry (including consensus by the Federal Government through Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac sanction) in the 1990s to record mortgages under “MERS” ownership but that got bundled and resold as securities. However, MERS is under investigation for lots of property records that not only hid identity of current mortgage holder, but avoided recording fee revenue for local governments.
5-10-2011: Court cases involving MERS (founded in mid 90 by Fannie, Freddie and some large US banks) – retains control over about 60 million mortgage loans with respect to foreclosure action – think of how much money they save (and local governments lose) when MERS doesn’t need to pay mortgage filing fees more than once.
Update 1-3-2011: Shell game of MERS – See 12-15-2010 House Judiciary Subcommittee – http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ForeclosureC
MERS, out of Reston VA, serves as a stand alone “place holder” of mortgage loans in the United States.It was created jointly almost 13 years ago between large banks, financial institutions, and Fannie/Freddie to expedite the process of recording change in ownership of mortgage loans. Normally, each time a mortgage changes ownership, the change in ownership must be recorded in the public records of where the real property is located. Each change in ownership is normally accompanied by a charge by the county to record the fee that covers the cost to maintain and record records in the system. MERS currently controls about 65 million home loans.
Since several state budgets are tapped out and looking for new sources of revenue, this provides an “opportunity” for states to get some extra revenues by filing lawsuits (Nevada and California already) challenging MERS ability to actually have the authority to foreclose on a property and attempting to collect a fee for each change in ownership on a loan during MERS control. Virginia AG is investigating whether MERS should have paid a fee each time the loan changed hands.
A Georgia attorney is trying to get MERS foreclosures nullified and properties returned to former homeowners.
Sources: Atlanta Business Chronicle November 5-11, 2010 – 4A – WSJ 11-2-2010, C1
Note: Remember my post earlier this year regarding the inability of Lender Processing Services (LPS) to identify the actual owner of the mortgage? I smell a connection between LPS and MERS….
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