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MERS Scores Another Victory Over Counties

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Following several rulings in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. in lawsuits filed by counties in several states, a federal judge has handed down another favorable ruling.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a lower court ruling for MERSCORP Inc. in an action filed on behalf of all Illinois counties seeking lost recording fees.

Three consolidated actions filed against MERSCORP Holdings Inc. in Massachusetts by Bristol County, Norfolk County and Plymouth County were dismissed by a Massachusetts Superior Court.

In August, a federal judge in Minnesota dismissed lawsuits filed by the Minnesota counties of Ramsey and Hennepin against MERSCORP Holdings Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc.

In addition, MERS has been victorious in litigation filed by Alameda County, Calif.; Duvall County, Fla.; Montgomery County, Pa.; and Plymouth County, Iowa.

The latest victory was out of Kentucky.

A U.S. District Judge Henry Wilhoit Jr. dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit filed by Boyd County against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc.

MERS said that the judge cited a Feb. 21 order from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Christian County Clerk v. MERS that held the clerks lacked a private right of action under the Kentucky statute (KRS 446.070) on which they based their case.

“Indeed, because Kentucky courts have recognized MERS’ role as a valid mortgagee, defendants had every reason to believe that naming MERS as mortgagee, as nominee for lender and lender’s successors and assign, was and is a true statement,” Wilhoit was quoted as saying.

However, not all of the news has been good for MERS.

The Supreme Court of Alabama in September rejected motions to dismiss two lawsuits, one filed by the probate judge of Barbour County and another filed by Walker County.

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