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US judge dismisses Florida recording fee case against MERS

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Merscorp, the parent company of MERS, lauded a U.S. District Court's decision to dismiss a Florida county lawsuit against the national mortgage registry.

MERS, which was created in the mid-1990s by the mortgage industry, has been facing heat from counties across the nation that are suing the registry, claiming it allowed financial firms to bypass the recording of mortgage assignment fees.

U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida threw out one of those cases. It was a case in which the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Duval County claimed MERS owed the county milions in recording fees.

"The Florida courts have consistently affirmed the use of MERS as the designated mortgagee of record and the principle that MERS may serve as mortgagee or as nominee for the lender and the lender’s successors and assigns," Schlesinger said, according to a statement distributed by MERS.

"Recording the mortgage in MERS' name in the land records fulfills the purpose of the recording statutes," said Janis Smith, vice president of corporate communications for MERS.

In the original case, the Florida county asked for an injunction against MERS and accused the registry of civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

 

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