The Battle Over MERS
It's clear that people don't read every single word in the mortgage documents they sign at closing or have a clear understanding of everything they are signing. Even fewer understand what happens to their mortgage once they take the keys to their new home. It the homeowner misses a few payments on their loan, they may enter yet another unfamiliar realm: foreclosure. And when some homeowners facing foreclosure see that the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, has started the process, some react with a lawsuit alleging MERS doesn't have the authority to foreclose. Or it doesn't own the physical note. Or it didn't properly assign the note through the securitization process. To date, more than 400 court rulings have been issued across the country the past few years in cases against Reston-Va.-based Merscorp Inc. and its accompanying electronic database, MERS, which tracks roughly two-thirds of all American mortgages. By its own count, MERS has won at least 386 cases. Trial court and appellate court judges alike have ruled MERS has the right to initiate foreclosure proceedings on properties where the owner is seriously delinquent on the mortgage.