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Servicing / The Ticker

RI top court affirms MERS role as mortgagee

Court says MERS has authority to assign a mortgage

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KEYWORDS Housing / MERS / Mortgage
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The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, affirming MERS’ role as mortgagee, including its authority to assign a mortgage, the latest in a string of favorable court rulings.

“The Court’s ruling is consistent with previous decisions upholding MERS’ role as mortgagee and validating its authority to assign mortgages it holds,” said MERSCORP Holdings vice president for corporate communications, Janis Smith.

In Ingram v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., the plaintiffs appealed the Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of MERS and other defendants, alleging in part that the mortgage assignment from MERS to Deutsche Bank was void and therefore Deutsche Bank did not have the ability to foreclose on the property.

The Supreme Court, relying on its previous decisions in Bucci v. Lehman Brothers Bank and Mruk v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., wrote that “a mortgage, which was identical to the mortgage in this case, ‘explicitly granted the power of sale to MERS and its successors and assigns.’ We concluded that the assignee of MERS ‘acquired all the rights which MERS possessed’ and therefore possessed ‘the right to exercise the power of sale.’”

Ultimately, the Court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments and found that “Deutsche Bank acquired all the rights which MERS possessed, including the right to exercise the power of sale.” 

MERS has had a string of favorable rulings in state courts.

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