MERS’ Role as Beneficiary Consistently Upheld by Federal Courts in Idaho

Three Recent Decisions Cite Established Idaho Law Affirming MERS' Rights


Jason Lobo
Phone: 703.652.1660
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Reston, Virginia, October 11, 2012—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the United States District Court for the District of Idaho recently ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other Defendants in three (3) different matters.  These rulings follow four similar decisions in September 2012.

In each of the rulings below, the Court again rejected Plaintiffs' challenges to MERS' role as trust deed beneficiary and its authority to assign the deed of trust to the foreclosing lender.  The Courts also rejected Plaintiffs' claims that MERS caused the promissory note to become "split" from the trust deed or that Defendants must produce a copy of the Plaintiffs' original promissory note to foreclose non-judicially under Idaho law.

  • In Van Kirk v. Bank of America Corporation, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill adopted Judge Ronald E. Bush's recommendation to grant the Defendants' motion to dismiss on all but one count.  Judge Winmill subsequently dismissed the final count himself finding that the Defendants complied with the non-judicial foreclosure statute.  "In reaching his recommendation, Judge Bush correctly rejected Plaintiff's argument..." Judge Winmill held.  "MERS is a valid beneficiary, as explained in section C2 of the Report and Recommendation from Judge Bush.  Any argument to the contrary has been rejected by multiple jurisdictions, including the District of Idaho and the Ninth Circuit."
  • In Purdy v. Aegis Wholesale Corporation, Judge Bush recommended dismissal of all but one count of the Plaintiff's complaint; however in his order adopting Judge Bush's recommendation District Judge Edward J. Lodge ordered a dismissal of the one remaining count for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations, finding that allowing Plaintiff's leave to amend this one count would be "futile."  Here, citing the Idaho Supreme Court's decision in Trotter v. Bank of New York, Judge Bush affirmed the Defendants' compliance with Idaho non-judicial foreclosure law including the validity of the MERS trust deed assignment to the foreclosing lender.
  • In Gilbert v. Bank of America, Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill rejected the notion that Bank of America must produce the original Note to proceed with foreclosure.  Again citing Trotter and other case law, Judge Winmill noted that "[t]he courts have routinely dismissed arguments that MERS is not a true beneficiary, or that MERS is otherwise unable to effectively assign its interest in a Deed of Trust." In his order dismissing all counts of the first amended complaint including claims of fraud against MERS and the co-defendants, Judge Winmill also denied plaintiffs' motion to further amend their complaint.

"The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, no stranger to these cases, has ruled definitively that MERS' role as beneficiary is in accordance with Idaho law," Janis Smith MERSCORP Holdings' vice president for Corporate Communications said.  "The judges have been consistently clear that these claims are baseless."

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS' business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit


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.