Really, so MERS’ database has a “very positive effect on families and communities.” There’s nothing tangible here, just an assertion. The major effect of MERS’ database is to relieve mortgage servicers and financial institutions from recording fees. Conceivably that could trickle down to the consumer, but somehow I doubt it. This “need for speed” in the mortgage process has actually led to a housing bubble, crash, and record numbers of homes in foreclosure. I don’t think families and communities are feeling the benefit.
With millions of Americans facing foreclosure, every element of the housing finance system is under tremendous strain. What we’re seeing now is that the foreclosure process itself was not designed to withstand the extraordinary volume of foreclosures that the mortgage industry and local governments must now handle.
Can’t argue with that. But I can argue that this process becomes harder when a) servicers neglect their duty to provide meaningful alternatives to foreclosure, and b) the ability to clearly understand who owns a mortgage and who has standing to foreclose becomes confused because of a shell company that hands out Vice President assignments to anyone who wants them.
MERS helps the mortgage finance process work better. The MERS process of tracking mortgages and holding title provides clarity, transparency and efficiency to the housing finance system. We are committed to continually ensuring that everyone who has responsibilities in the mortgage and foreclosure process follows local and state laws, as well as our own training and rules.
As law professor Christopher Peterson said to me, “I wouldn’t call it tracking,” and I certainly wouldn’t say it provides clarity. Efficiency? Maybe, until some lawyers got wise to the corruption in the process.
MERS Communications Manager Karmela Lejarde adds a series of facts about MERS. She says that courts have ruled in favor of MERS’ legal interest as the mortgagee and the right to foreclose, looking past the fact that the state Supreme Courts have ruled against them in Kansas, Arkansas and Maine. They claim “other procedural defects” that swung those cases, not the underlying structure of MERS itself.
I’ll put the entire fact sheet below and you can judge for yourself, against what I’ve previously described. Ultimately, the courts will decide and they have not been nearly as friendly to MERS as they claim. One thing I’ll highlight:
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