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News Link • Housing

MERS Clouded Rightful Ownership to Millions of Homes

When Wall Street realized it could make billions by bundling mortgages and selling them to investors, banks and financial institutions needed a way around recording the ownership and assignment of home loans. What the banks and Wall Street came up with is a shadowy, industry-backed reporting system called MERS — mortgage electronic reporting system. Simply stated, subprime and predatory lending allowed banks to create millions of questionable mortgages, Wall Street bundled these risky mortgages together to sell to investors, and MERS made it quicker and easier to conduct these risky transactions with impunity. As San Francisco's assessor-recorder and a financial advocate for low-income communities, we have seen harmful industry practices wreak havoc on families trying to stay in their homes — whether by use of MERS that clouds property titles, wrongful foreclosures, or denied loan modifications.

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