The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, by a majority opinion, ruled in MERS’ favor in four lawsuits filed by the Recorders of four Pennsylvania Counties (Delaware, Berks, Bucks and Chester), locking in another victory for the company.
MERSCORP runs a private database of mortgage liens for use within the industry. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems serves as the mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS System, and the company faces repeated legal challenges over its mortgage assignment authority.
Despite a pile of lawsuits, the company often proves victorious in court, some of those victories can be read about here.
Just last year, the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division and the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division held MERS’ mortgage assignments were valid, and granted motions to dismiss in two cases.
For these latest Pennsylvania cases, the respective county recorder in each of the four cases claimed that MERS and MERS System Members failed to record mortgage assignments upon the transfer of promissory notes in violation of Pennsylvania recording laws.
Although the lower court denied MERS, the Appellate Court granted a petition for review and reversed the trial court finding that Pennsylvania law does not mandate the recording of every mortgage and mortgage assignment.
Commonwealth Court Judge Michael Wojcik, writing for the majority, further stated, “Our conclusion is grounded in the clear language of the statute, and it also is supported by a body of case law interpreting Pennsylvania recording laws that specifically addresses the purpose of those statutes and the effect of a failure to record an interest in the land.”
“We are pleased that the State Appellate Court and the Federal Court of Appeals both have issued rulings in our favor in a total of five cases now,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “The Pennsylvania law, including the recording statue, does not impose a duty to record the transfer of a promissory note and case law on this issue is clear.”