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MERS gets stamp of approval in Virginia

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Virginia is the latest state to uphold the authority of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems to act as deed of trust beneficiary and initiate foreclosure. Dozens of states have now ruled in favor of MERS in lawsuits claiming the Reston, Va.-based company overstepped its authority at numerous times in various stages of the foreclosure process. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed lower court rulings in three cases brought against MERS, according to the company. MERS said the appellate court agreed with one trial court's decision "that MERS could take any action required of lender," while rejecting the plaintiff's claim that trading of pieces of the note on the secondary market split the deed of trust from the note and made the note unenforceable, MERS said. The District Court also said the "show me the note" claims popular in many states are contrary to Virginia's non-judicial foreclosure laws. "With these multiple rulings, Virginia's 4th Circuit Court has clarified and upheld MERS' role as beneficiary and nominee for the lender under the terms of the deed of trust," said Janis Smith, vice president for corporate communications at Merscorp Inc. "The court also recognized that MERS has the right to assign the deed of trust, and even though MERS, as a business decision, no longer forecloses, MERS has the authority to foreclose under the laws of the commonwealth." Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the cases MERS cites weren't immediately available. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on twitter: @jrphilyaw

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