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Ohio Court of Appeals Reaffirms MERS Authority to Assign Mortgage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, June 11, 2014—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Court of Appeals for the Twelfth Appellate District of Ohio affirmed that MERS has the authority to assign a mortgage when it is designated as both a nominee and mortgagee and that a third party lacks standing to challenge the validity of the assignment.

In pdf BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P. v. Mapp (55 KB) , the borrower appealed an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County denying his motion to set aside a foreclosure judgment, arguing that the assignment from MERS was fraudulent and that Bank of America, assignee of MERS, did not have standing to foreclose.

In his opinion, Judge Stephen W. Powell of the Court of Appeals held that while BAC clearly established that it had the note when it filed the foreclosure complaint, which was enough to establish its right to foreclose, the evidence also proved that it had an interest in the mortgage. Judge Powell said, “Ohio courts, including this court, ‘have consistently held that MERS has authority to assign a mortgage when it is designated as both a nominee and mortgagee.’” … “By signing the mortgage, [the borrower] contractually agreed that MERS possesses the power to transfer rights in the subject property.” The court also noted that the lack of disclosure in the assignment that MERS was acting on behalf of a subsequent note holder did not affect the validity of the assignment.

Further, the court reiterated that under Ohio law a borrower lacks standing to challenge an assignment of a mortgage.

“We are pleased with Judge Powell’s decision confirming, once again, that MERS as a nominee and mortgagee has authority to act on behalf of the lender – including the right to execute the assignment. This authority is granted by plain language in the mortgage document signed at closing by the borrower,” 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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