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MERS' Authority to Assign Mortgage Upheld by Rhode Island Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
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Reston, Virginia, December 16, 2014—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled, consistent with prior cases, that language in the mortgage explicitly grants the power of sale to MERS and its successors and assigns.

In pdf Breggia v. Mortgage Elec. Reg. Sys., Inc. (41 KB) , the plaintiffs claimed MERS’ assignment was invalid because MERS lacked authority to assign the mortgage. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of MERS and the plaintiffs filed an appeal, claiming error in the trial court’s finding that the MERS assignment is valid.

The Supreme Court confirmed, responding in part that it “resolved this issue in pdf Mruk v. MERS (56 KB) , where we held that a mortgage with the same language as the Breggias’ mortgage, ‘explicitly granted the power of sale to MERS and its successors and assigns.’” As such, “ … the assignee of MERS acquired all the rights which MERS possessed, including the statutory power of sale with the ability to foreclose.”

“This ruling once again confirms that MERS, as mortgagee, has the authority to make assignments,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “MERS has authority to act on behalf of the lender – including the right to execute the assignments – and this authority is granted by plain language in the mortgage document signed at closing by the borrower.”

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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