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MERS Prevails in Ohio Appellate Court

Court Affirms that MERS Holds a Legal Interest as Mortgagee and Had a Right to Notice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, May 16, 2014—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Court of Appeals of Ohio Eighth Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s orders determining that MERS, as the mortgagee of record, was a necessary party to the action and had a legal interest in the property. The appellate court also found that MERS had authority to assign the mortgage and that its assignee had a right to intervene in the action.

In pdf Wood v. Fillinger (349 KB) , appellant John Wood sought appeal of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas’ orders issued in his action to foreclose on a mortgage loan he had given to Ms. Fillinger.  Mr. Wood failed to name MERS as a party to the foreclosure action.  The trial court determined that MERS had a legal interest in the property and was a necessary party to the action.  Chase, as MERS assignee, intervened in the case.  The orders denied his motion for default against the original lender and granted summary judgment in favor of MERS and Chase Home Finance, LLC.

In his opinion, Judge Sean C. Gallagher said, “Like the trial court, we will not disregard that appellant had notice of a superior lien held by MERS, as nominee for RBC, yet he failed to bring MERS into the case.” The court rejected the argument that a default judgment against the original lender could extinguish the lien on the property.

Judge Gallagher also confirmed that “Because MERS was designated as both the nominee for the lender and the mortgagee, it had the authority to assign the mortgage.”  Based on the assignment executed by MERS, Chase, as the assignee, held the first mortgage lien on the property and was the real party in interest in the action.

“Judge Gallagher validated that MERS, as the recorded mortgagee, had a right to notice of actions affecting its lien interest and that MERS has legal authority to act on behalf of the lender—including the right to execute an assignment,” 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.

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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.

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