MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Massachusetts Court of Appeals ruled that MERS is a valid mortgagee that can hold legal title to the mortgage with the right to assign its interest in the mortgage.

 In Farmer v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the borrower sought to invalidate a completed foreclosure.

The trial court found that the foreclosing lender was not a valid mortgagee because the MERS assignment was void because MERS did not have authority from the original lender to assign the mortgage.   

“As mortgagee holding legal title to the mortgage, MERS has authority to act—including the right to assign its interest in the mortgage—and this authority has repeatedly been confirmed by the Massachusetts Courts,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals found that the borrower’s claim as to the validity of the MERS assignment lacked any merit and it vacated the trial court’s decision because, “The assignment from MERS, mortgagee solely as nominee for lender and lender’s successors and assigns, to Countrywide was valid for reasons discussed in Shea v. Federal Natl. Mort. Assn.”  

The Shea court ruled that MERS is a valid mortgagee who holds legal title to the mortgage with the right to assign its interest in the mortgage to a third party.