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MERS to testify it forecloses only by mortgage servicer request

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In written testimony for the House Financial Services Committee, R.K. Arnold, CEO of MERS Corp, will state that the electronic mortgage registry system only begins a foreclosure when instructed by the mortgage servicer and receives no financial compensation when it does so. Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh said in additional testimony that MERS' foreclosure processes will be under investigation until December by his office. MERS is countering that it has done nothing wrong. Arnold will add that so-called robo-signers, those who allegedly push forward foreclosure documentation without proper review, are now identified and either retrained or their associated firms dismissed from MERS. Arnold is scheduled to appear before the committee on Thursday. "When we did not get the assurances we thought were appropriate to keep this from happening, we suspended our relationships with those companies," Arnold explains. Arnold is looking to set straight some confusion over what MERS does in the mortgage finance space. He will explain that MERS does not receive or maintain either the mortgage or the promissory note, and therefore could not produce the actual deed to the property if requested. Rather, "every time a note or servicer changes hands, a notation of that change is made electronically on the MERS System by the members involved in the sale," he says. Around half of all mortgages in the United States are registered on MERS' database and the firms operations are well within the boundaries of the law. "The role and function of MERS were initially crafted in conformance with, and continues to rest, on long established law and legal principles," Arnold's testimony states. Write to Jacob Gaffney.

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