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MERS pushes back against Delaware AG

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems parent company MERSCORP is asking a Delaware state court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

Biden filed the complaint in October, claiming the Reston, Va.-based registry of mortgages violated Delaware's Deceptive Trade Practices Act by confusing borrowers as to the true location of their mortgage notes and by foreclosing in MERS name.  

MERS pushed back aggressively this past week, filing a motion to dismiss Biden's suit.

The electronic registry contends the AG's move to use the Deceptive Trade Practices Act against the mortgage registry is unfounded, given MERS limited role as a recording system in the mortgage markeplace and as nominee or agent of the mortgage lender.

MERS wrote in its dismissal motion that the "act of serving as the mortgagee, as the nominee or agent of a lender, is very limited, and has long been permitted and accepted under the law."

MERS also claims the AG is trying to hold MERS accountable for actions that were never in the electronic registration system's control.

"Neither MERSCORP nor MERS originate or service mortgage loans. Nor do they sell, promote or advertise goods or services to consumers, or collect fees from consumers," MERS wrote in a court motion. On those grounds, the agency claims the aims of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act do not apply to MERS.

"The attorney general makes his unfounded accusation and extraordinary request for injunctive relief even though he does not allege – and could not allege – a single occasion when a Delaware consumer not in default of his mortgage loan lost a home in a foreclosure proceeding or suffered a legally cognizable harm as a result of the defendant's conduct," MERS wrote in its complaint.

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