The folks at Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems know how to take a victory lap.
Over the past year MERS has won court cases across the country, and the victory Wednesday in Dallas was just another feather in the cap for the Virginia-based firm.
Time and again, as HousingWire has documented, aggrieved parties and foreclosure defense attorneys try to – wrongly it appears by the courtroom track record – bring MERS into lawsuits, only to have the judges rule in MERS’ favor.
The Texas decision joins the dismissals of lawsuits brought by county recorders in Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Massachusetts and Kentucky.
On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, granted MERS’ motion for summary judgment of the final remaining claim in a recording fee case filed by Dallas, Harris and Brazoria counties in Texas.
In the cases entitled “Dallas County, Texas, et. al.; v. MERSCORP Inc., et. al.”, the parties to the suit said MERS created a private electronic mortgage registration system for tracking ownership interest and servicing rights associated with residential mortgages, ultimately depriving the counties of recording fees and corrupting their real property records.
Further, they argued, Texas Statute requires all assignments of Deeds of Trust be recorded in the land records.
“This statute contains no remedy provision, and nothing stating or suggesting that a county or other litigant may seek relief under the statute,” U.S. District Judge Reed O’Conner wrote in his opinion. “Alternatively, even were declaratory relief available to the Counties, based on recent case law, the Court concludes that Section 192.007 does not support the Counties’ interpretation that the statute requires the recordation of interim instruments, such as assignments of deeds of trusts.”
Janis Smith, vice president for corporate communications for MERS, said the company was always confident in the outcome.
“We have been confident since this case began that the lawsuit filed in Dallas County was without legal or factual merit,” Smith said. “The MERS business practices are legal and comply with the recording statutes and regulations of Texas. Judge Reed’s opinion mirrors rulings in numerous cases in Texas courts and countless cases across the country on the state and federal level.”