What is MERS?

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems

 

You can search the MERS Database here: The MERS Servicer ID to identify the servicer associated with a mortgage loan registered on the MERS System.

A Few Facts about MERS

  1. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is incorporated within the State of Delaware.
  2. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) was first incorporated in Delaware in 1999.
  3. The total number of shares of common stock authorized by MERS’ articles of incorporation is 1,000.
  4. The total number of shares of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) common stock actually issued is 1,000.
  5. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of MERSCorp, Inc.
  6. MERS’ principal place of business at 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 310, Vienna, Virginia 22182
  7. MERS’ national data center is located in Plano, Texas.
  8. MERS’ serves as a “nominee” of mortgages and deeds of trust recorded in all fifty states.
  9. Over 50 million loans have been registered on the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) system. (UPDATE 9/11/2011: 70 MILLION American Mortgages)
  10. MERS’ federal tax identification number is “541927784”.
  11. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not take applications for, underwrite or negotiate mortgage loans.
  12. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not make or originate mortgage loans to consumers.
  13. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not extend any credit to consumers.
  14. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no role in the origination or original funding of the mortgages or deeds of trust for which it serves as “nominee”.
  15. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not service mortgage loans.
  16. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not sell mortgage loans.
  17. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not an investor who acquires mortgage loans on the secondary market.
  18. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not ever receive or process mortgage applications.
  19. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) simply holds mortgage liens in a nominee capacity and through its electronic registry, tracks changes in the ownership of mortgage loans and servicing rights related thereto.
  20. MERS© System is not a vehicle for creating or transferring beneficial interests in mortgage loans.
  21. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not named as a beneficiary of the alleged promissory note.
  22. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is never the owner of the promissory note for which it seeks foreclosure.
  23. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no legal or beneficial interest in the promissory note underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”.
  24. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no legal or beneficial interest in the loan instrument underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”
  25. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no legal or beneficial interest in the mortgage indebtedness underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”.
  26. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no interest at all in the promissory note evidencing the mortgage indebtedness.
  27. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)is not a party to the alleged mortgage indebtedness underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”.
  28. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no financial or other interest in whether or not a mortgage loan is repaid.
  29. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not the owner of the promissory note secured by the mortgage and has no rights to the payments made by the debtor on such promissory note.
  30. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not make or acquire promissory notes or debt instruments of any nature and therefore cannot be said to be acquiring mortgage loans.
  31. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no interest in the notes secured by mortgages or the mortgage servicing rights related thereto.
  32. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not acquire any interest (legal or beneficial) in the loan instrument (i.e., the promissory note or other debt instrument).
  33. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no rights whatsoever to any payments made on account of such mortgage loans, to any servicing rights related to such mortgage loans, or to any mortgaged properties securing such mortgage loans.
  34. The note owner appoints MERS to be its agent to only hold the mortgage lien interest, not to hold any interest in the note.
  35. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not hold any interest (legal or beneficial) in the promissory notes that are secured by such mortgages or in any servicing rights associated with the mortgage loan.
  36. The debtor on the note owes no obligation to MERS and does not pay Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)on the note.
  37. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not entitled to receive any of the payments associated with the alleged mortgage indebtedness.
  38. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not entitled to receive any of the interest revenue associated with mortgage indebtedness for which it serves as “nominee”.
  39. Interest revenue related to the mortgage indebtedness for which Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) serves as “nominee” is never reflected within MERS’ bookkeeping or accounting records nor does such interest influence MERS’ earnings.
  40. Mortgage indebtedness for which Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) serves as the serves as “nominee” is not reflected as an asset on MERS’ financial statements.
  41. Failure to collect the outstanding balance of a mortgage loan will not result in an accounting loss by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).
  42. When a foreclosure is completed, MERS never actually retains or enjoys the use of any of the proceeds from a sale of the foreclosed property, but rather would remit such proceeds to the true party at interest.
  43. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not actually at risk as to the payment or nonpayment of the mortgages or deeds of trust for which it serves as “nominee”.
  44. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no pecuniary interest in the promissory notes or the mortgage indebtedness for which it serves as “nominee”.
  45. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not personally aggrieved by any alleged default of a promissory note for which it serves as “nominee”.
  46. There exists no real controversy between MERS and any mortgagor alleged to be in default.
  47. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has never suffered any injury by arising out of any alleged default of a promissory note for which it serves as “nominee”.
  48. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) holds the mortgage lien as nominee for the owner of the promissory note.
  49. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), in a nominee capacity for lenders, merely acquires legal title to the security instrument (i.e., the deed of trust or mortgage that secures the loan).
  50. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) simply holds legal title to mortgages and deeds of trust as a nominee for the owner of the promissory note.
  51. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) immobilizes the mortgage lien while transfers of the promissory notes and servicing rights continue to occur.
  52. The investor continues to own and hold the promissory note, but under the MERS® System, the servicing entity only holds contractual servicing rights and MERS holds legal title to the mortgage as nominee for the benefit of the investor (or owner and holder of the note) and not for itself.
  53. In effect, the mortgage lien becomes immobilized by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) continuing to hold the mortgage lien when the note is sold from one investor to another via an endorsement and delivery of the note or the transfer of servicing rights from one Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) member to another Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) member via a purchase and sale agreement which is a non-recordable contract right.
  54. Legal title to the mortgage or deed of trust remains in MERS after such transfers and is tracked by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in its electronic registry.
  55. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) holds legal title to the mortgage for the benefit of the owner of the note.
  56. The beneficial interest in the mortgage (or person or entity whose interest is secured by the mortgage) runs to the owner and holder of the promissory note and/or servicing rights thereunder.
  57. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no interest at all in the promissory note evidencing the mortgage loan.
  58. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not acquire an interest in promissory notes or debt instruments of any nature.
  59. The beneficial interest in the mortgage (or the person or entity whose interest is secured by the mortgage) runs to the owner and holder of the promissory note (NOT MERS).

MERS as Holder

  1. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is never the holder of a promissory note in the ordinary course of business.
  2. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not a custodian of promissory notes underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”.
  3. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not even maintain copies of promissory notes underlying the security instrument for which it serves as “nominee”.
  4. Sometimes when an investor or servicer desires to foreclose, the servicer obtains the promissory note from the custodian holding the note on behalf of the mortgage investor and places that note in the hands of a servicer employee who has been appointed as an officer (vice president and assistant secretary) of MERS by corporate resolution.
  5. When a promissory note is placed in the hands of a servicer employee who is also an Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) officer, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) asserts that this transfer of custody into the hands of this nominal officer (without any transfer of ownership or beneficial interest) renders Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) the holder.
  6. No consideration or compensation is exchanged between the owner of the promissory note and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) in consideration of this transfer in custody.
  7. Even when the promissory note is physically placed in the hands of the servicer’s employee who is a nominal Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) officer, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has no actual authority to control the foreclosure or the legal actions undertaken in its name.
  8. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) will never willingly reveal the identity of the owner of the promissory note unless ordered to do so by the court.
  9. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) will never willingly reveal the identity of the prior holders of the promissory note unless ordered to do so by the court.
  10. Since the transfer in custody of the promissory note is not for consideration, this transfer of custody is not reflected in any contemporaneous accounting records.
  11. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)is never a holder in due course when the transfer of custody occurs after default.
  12. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is never the holder when the promissory note is shown to be lost or stolen.

 

MERS’ Role in Mortgage Servicing

  1. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not service mortgage loans.
  2. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not the owner of the servicing rights relating to the mortgage loan and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not service loans.
  3. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not collect mortgage payments.
  4. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not hold escrows for taxes and insurance.
  5. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not provide any servicing functions on mortgage loans, whatsoever.
  6. Those rights are typically held by the servicer of the loan, who may or may not also be the holder of the note.

 

MERS’ Rights To Control the Foreclosure

  1. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) must all times comply with the instructions of the holder of the mortgage loan promissory notes.
  2. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) only acts when directed to by its members and for the sole benefit of the owners and holders of the promissory notes secured by the mortgage instruments naming Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as nominee owner.
  3. MERS’ members employ and pay the attorneys bringing foreclosure actions in MERS’ name.

MERS’ Access To or Control over Records or Documents

  1. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has never maintained archival copies of any mortgage application for which it serves as “nominee”.
  2. In its regular course of business, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation does not maintain physical possession or custody of promissory notes, deeds of trust or other mortgage security instruments on behalf of its principals.
  3. MERS as a corporation has no archive or repository of the promissory notes secured by deeds of trust or other mortgage security instruments for which it serves as nominee.
  4. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation is not a custodian of the promissory notes secured by deeds of trust or other mortgage security instruments for which it serves as nominee.
  5. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation has no archive or repository of the deeds of trust or other mortgage security instruments for which it serves as nominee.
  6. In its regular course of business, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation does not routinely receive or archive copies of the promissory notes secured by the mortgage security instruments for which it serves as nominee.
  7. In its regular course of business, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation does not routinely receive or archive copies of the mortgage security instruments for which it serves as nominee.
  8. Copies of the instruments attached to MERS’ petitions or complaints so not come from MERS’ corporate files or archives.
  9. In its regular course of business, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as a corporation does not input the promissory note or mortgage security instrument ownership registration data for new mortgages for which it serves as nominee, but rather the registration information for such mortgages are entered by the “member” mortgage lenders, investors and/or servicers originating, purchasing, and/or selling such mortgages or mortgage servicing rights.
  10. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) does not maintain a central corporate archive of demands, notices, claims, appointments, releases, assignments, or other files, documents and/or communications relating to collections efforts undertaken by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) officers appointed by corporate resolution and acting under its authority.

Management and Supervision

  1. In preparing affidavits and certifications, officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), including Vice Presidents and Assistant Secretaries, making representations under MERS’ authority and on MERS’ behalf, are not primarily relying upon books of account, documents, records or files within MERS’ corporate supervision, custody or control.
  2. Officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) preparing affidavits and certifications, including Vice Presidents and Assistant Secretaries, and otherwise making representations under MERS’ authority and on MERS’ behalf, do not routinely furnish copies of these affidavits or certifications to MERS for corporate retention or archival.
  3. Officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) preparing affidavits and certifications, including Vice Presidents and Assistant Secretaries, and otherwise making representations under MERS’ authority and on MERS’ behalf are not working under the supervision or direction of senior Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) officers or employees, but rather are supervised by personnel employed by mortgage investors or mortgage servicers.

This should be a pretty good start for those of you faced with a foreclosure in which Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is falsely asserting that it is the owner of the promissory note.  Whether Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is or was ever the holder is a FACT QUESTION which can be determined only by ascertaining the chain of custody of the promissory note.  When the promissory note is lost, missing or stolen, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is NOT the holder.

By William A. Roper, Jr. Excerpted from the MSFraud Forum thread “Facts about MERS / MERS Unmasked”

Is Your MERS Mortgage Status Designated Inactive?

Many homeowners find out their existing mortgage is listed as “inactive.” An inactive status can refer to the transfer of their mortgage to another loan servicer, or to a few other factors as noted below.

The difference between having an inactive or an active MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) loan may determine if the property owner has any improved or worsened home equity, or a truly saleable asset.

What is MERS?

MERS functions as a centralized electronic registry of mortgages, and it was supposed to track the ownership of these mortgages, which are typically sold multiple times during the loan’s life. MERS potentially affects upwards of 70 million residential mortgage loans nationwide, and almost completely crashed the U.S. housing market by itself because of so many problems with the packages.

MERS was created by lenders and title insurance companies, so it would be easier to transfer the beneficial interests to other secondary market lenders. Yet, some mortgages ended up significantly discounted due to packaging problems, which made them inactive.

Where’s the “IOU” for the mortgage debt?

The MERS Scandal

Missing documents, notary fraud, and “robo-signing” led the way.

There was a lot of chaos involved with MERS mortgage packets, which contained no original promissory notes (the “IOU” for the mortgage debt) in these same MERS files.

Knowledgeable homeowners were able to completely stop their home foreclosures by pointing out that the foreclosing entity, such as the mortgage servicing company, didn’t have a legal right to foreclose on their homes, since they didn’t have all of their valid mortgage paperwork in their files.

These questionable ownership interests in the mortgages led to foreclosure moratoriums, court settlements, and inactive statuses.

There were a large number of allegations of notary fraud in which real or fake notaries such as “Linda Green” were allegedly part of the massive “Robo-Signing Scandal” nationwide.

It has been suggested that promissory notes, deeds of trust or mortgages, and other loan or title documents were forged, left blank, or illegally assigned to numerous mortgage investors. Since MERS was set up to become as paperless, speedy, and efficient as possible, there was not enough third party oversight to check whether these documents were valid.

Questionable Beneficial Interests

“No Note = No Debt” became the mantra for homeowners who were in the midst of their own foreclosures due to the weaker U.S. economy. Some savvy property owners were able to legally void their existing mortgage debt altogether by proving that the foreclosing mortgage company had no valid beneficial interests in the existing mortgage, and thus had to legal right to collect any payments.

Other homeowners were able to show that their MERS files had fraudulent notary signatures signed on behalf of both owners and lenders, which moved their file designations over to “inactive” as well.

Mortgage lenders that have collapsed or imploded since the official start of the Credit Crisis back in 2007, such as Countrywide, Indy Mac, Lehman Brothers, World Savings, Downey Savings, and Washington Mutual still figuratively exist by way of their asset or beneficial interest transfers to the “strawman” named MERS.

MERS may pay no taxes or employ anyone. Without the proper assignment of these MERS mortgages, these same imploded mortgage companies’ loans could have ceased to exist.

The Shadow Inventory & MERS

Instead of upwards of 60 million residential MERS mortgages becoming inactive or possibly even completely voided and worthless, many of the largest banks and mortgage service companies worked closely with the U.S. government to create the National Mortgage Settlement in early 2012. This insanely small $25 billion settlement is but a mere fraction of the potentially trillions of dollars of MERS mortgages nationwide.

The National Mortgage Settlement of 2012 and MERS Scandal were two of the primary reasons why home listings nationally dropped dramatically.

There were potentially millions of Shadow Inventory homes (mortgage payments are more than 90 days late), which may not have valid promissory notes, or other mortgage or title instruments or documents, in the files. The lack of listed home inventory led to a rapid increase of home prices between 2011 and 2013 (also partly due to the record low mortgage rates).

The “Inactive” MERS Designation

An inactive MERS designation may relate to the loan having been refinanced or paid off, discounted, or completely voided due to the invalid mortgage documents in the file. Or, the mortgage loan was assigned out of the MERS system to a completely new mortgage servicing company.

A property owner with a MERS mortgage can find the status of their loan by searching for their 18-digit Mortgage Identification Number (MERS MIN). Then, the same person may search online for the MERS Servicer ID system in order to check the status of their mortgage.

Before attempting to pay off a MERS loan, it’s very important to find out if all of the mortgage payments have been properly applied to the account. The vast majority of MERS mortgages have been assigned to multiple mortgage investors over the years, so it is very important to check your own payment history over the years in order to determine if all of your payments have been credited to every mortgage servicing lender’s accounts.

It’s imperative that the owner pays off the correct amounts, which may mean more money back to the owner and much less money for the current mortgage loan servicer. As such, a little research and loan analysis by a property owner on their personal payment histories can save them a lot of money and headaches.

Here is some additional information on MERS:

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