Massachusetts Court of Appeals Affirms Lower Court Judgment in MERS’ Favor
MERS’ Assignment is Valid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Janis Smith
Reston, Virginia, February 26, 2015—MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Court of Appeals of Massachusetts ruled in Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.’s (MERS) favor, finding that an assignment by MERS was valid.
In pdf Shea v. Federal National Mortgage Association (31 KB) , the borrower appealed the lower court’s decision dismissing his quiet title and related claims. On appeal, Shea argued that the underlying foreclosure was void because MERS never held the underlying note and thus was never a “true” mortgagee. Additionally, the appellant alleged that the MERS assignment was invalid because the note holder did not specifically authorize MERS to execute the assignment.
In its opinion, relying on Massachusetts appellate precedent, the Court of Appeals found that “MERS’s interest as mortgagee was not ‘inherently invalid because it was separated from ownership of the underlying debt.’” Additionally, it ruled that “despite [the noteholder’s] right to demand and obtain an assignment of the mortgage in order to enforce its security interest and collect the debt, MERS (as mortgagee) retained the right to assign the mortgage unilaterally absent any restriction in the mortgage document.”
“MERS has authority to act on behalf of the lender, including the right to execute the assignment,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “The court cited to language from the mortgage document signed by the borrower at closing and we believe this language clearly states MERS’ role.”
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.