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MERS Wins Recording Fee Lawsuit

Mortgage News

In its war with counties across the nation over recording fees, MERS has won a battle in Minnesota.

MERSCORP Holdings Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. were sued earlier this year in federal court by the Minnesota counties of Ramsey and Hennepin.

Several other parties that were named as defendants in the lawsuit included mortgage lenders, investment bankers, trustees and a mortgage insurance company.

The counties were seeking to require MERS and its members to properly record each mortgage assignment, as required by state law. They also sought to recover lost recording fees.

The lawsuit is just one of many being fought by MERS. Plaintiffs in some of the other lawsuits against MERS include Dallas County, Texas; Nueces County, Texas; and Union County, Ill.

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

The Minnesota complaint alleges that MERS and its members made it difficult to identity which entity has foreclosed on a property and is legally responsible for maintenance.

The counties claim that many homes were left vacant, unattended and in disrepair as a result of the MERS system — negatively impacting nearby property values.

But the court disagreed with the counties and sided with MERS.

“It is hereby ordered that the defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted,” a judgment rendered on Monday said.

A statement from MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications Janis Smith said, “The Minnesota Court has made it clear that there is no statutory duty to record all conveyances, but rather, the statute outlines where to record and explains the consequences of failing to record.”

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