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MERS Cloud Lifted

Appeals court rules MERS is valid

December 20, 2006

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A court has upheld that the liens held by the mortgage electronic registration system are legitimate and must be recorded by county clerks.

The New York Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the MERS mortgage is a valid method of transferring rights from the borrower to MERS, according to an announcement.

The ruling affirmed the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court's decision last December that county clerks must record all mortgages, assignments, and lien discharges that name MERS as the mortgagee or as nominee for a lending institution, MERS reported.

Because the model MERS mortgage and mortgage assignment "satisfies the limited requirements of the recording statute," and MERS discharges comply with state law, the County Clerk "must accept" the MERS mortgage, assignments and discharges when presented for recording, the court reportedly said.

"This decision reaffirms the legal premise upon which MERS was created," said MERS President and Chief Executive R.K. Arnold in the announcement. "We are happy to have this litigation behind us and we look forward to working with county clerks to deliver the benefits of electronic commerce to homebuyers."

"MERS would like to thank Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the American Land Title Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association," he added. "Their support and confidence throughout this litigation has been invaluable."

About three months ago, a Florida judge stopped foreclosures performed by MERS after determining that only mortgage note owners, not assignees or authorized agents, are allowed to have standing to act as a plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure suit.

MERS appealed, saying that it can have a standing when it is the holder of the note on behalf of the beneficial owner.

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