Reston, Virginia – July 23, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced two recent decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, upholding MERS’ authority to assign security deeds as the grantee of record.
In Walker v. U.S. Bank, the appellant sought reversal of a decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, which dismissed a challenge to the validity of a MERS assignment of a security deed. The District Court found that as a non-party to the assignment, the appellant could not challenge the validity of the assignment. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling, stating that “[w]ith respect to assignment contracts, Georgia law dictates that a litigant who was not a party to an assignment contract is a stranger to that contract and lacks standing to challenge it.”
In Restivo v. Bank of America Corp., the plaintiff filed a wrongful foreclosure suit alleging, among other claims, that MERS was only a nominee, and therefore MERS had no interest in the security deed and no right to assign it.The District Court rejected the plaintiff’s claim that MERS had no interest in the security deed, finding that the borrower could not challenge the validity of the assignment because the plaintiff was not a party to the assignment contract. The District Court further held that even if a challenge could be brought, it would not have succeeded because “Georgia courts have held that MERS, as grantee named in the security deed, has an interest in and the authority to assign said security deed.”
“MERS has a valid interest in security instruments and the authority to assign that interest. This has been a consistent holding in courts in both in Georgia and across the country,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith.
For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit www.mersinc.org.
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. is a privately held corporation that owns and manages the MERS® System and all other MERS® products. It is a member-based organization made up of thousands of lenders, servicers, sub-servicers, investors and government institutions. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) serves as the mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS® System, and is a nominee (or agent) for the owner of the promissory note. The MERS® System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members.