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Winning Streak Continues for MERS in Recording Fee Cases

In the war between numerous counties across the country and the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., MERS is winning.

Counties in several states have filed lawsuits against the mortgage registry in an effort to collect fees when title on mortgages is transferred between lenders.

But MERS has claimed several recent victories in lawsuits filed by counties in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Rhode Island.

The latest win was in Texas.

MERS said Wednesday that a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Texas counties of Dallas, Harris and Brazoria has been dismissed.

In Dallas County, Texas, et al., v. MERSCORP Holdings Inc., et al., the plaintiffs alleged that its registration system deprived them of recording fees and corrupted their real property records.

The counties claimed that Texas Statute, section 192.007, requires all assignments of deeds of trust to be recorded in the land records.

But U.S. District Judge Reed O’Conner reportedly disagreed with the counties.

“This statute contains no remedy provision, and nothing stating or suggesting that a county or other litigant may seek relief under the statute,” Reed said in his decision. “Alternatively, even were declaratory relief available to the counties, based on recent case law, the court concludes that Section 192.007 does not support the counties’ interpretation that the statute requires the recordation of interim instruments, such as assignments of deeds of trusts.”

Reed granted MERSCORP Holdings Inc.’s motion for summary judgment on Tuesday.

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