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MERS remains a ‘lawful beneficiary’ after all these years

Idaho Supreme Court upholds registry’s status


The Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, for short has a pretty strong track record of maintaining the integrity of its mortgage transactions, even if the registry’s critics see otherwise.

This week, the Idaho Supreme Court followed in the steps of numerous other courts, holding in Renshaw v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems that having MERS named as a beneficiary for a lender is appropriate under Idaho law.

In the case, the promissory note had been assigned several times, prompting the borrower to challenge MERS’ role as the lender’s beneficiary. But the court held that transferring the note does not affect the right of the new holder to have MERS named as beneficiary.

"The highest court in Idaho has ruled once again that MERS is a valid beneficiary," said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications Janis Smith. "This is consistent with past Idaho court decisions that have upheld MERS’ role and authority and it validates MERS’ role as trust deed beneficiary under Idaho law."

But as HousingWire pointed out in the article, “Much Ado About MERS”, the mortgage registry became a popular defendant in foreclosure litigation despite its habit of securing legal victories in a strong majority of the cases. 

Last April, the Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld MERS' right to forecosure as an agent of the actual promissory note holder.

MERS was created back in the 1990s, but did not face legal scrutiny until a decade later when the housing market collapsed.

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