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MERS… And The Continuing Saga! Will Chain of Ownership be Whitewashed?

Peter Giardini
2 min read

Have you ever had days where the news you read makes you want to spit nails?  Well, today once one of those days.  If fact, at this moment I wish I were a high speed pneumatic nailer… that way I could rapidly spit nails and not purposefully injure myself!

I wrote on the subject of MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System a couple of weeks ago.  To be sure MERS represents a significant threat to centuries old chain-of-title law, while at the same time threatening to invalidate the link (remove the real estate collateral) between mortgages and deeds for over 60% of all outstanding mortgages.

There is no easy answer to this situation…

While it appears Congress is starting to take this issue seriously, it is hard to determine if the entire MERS issue will be whitewashed or resolved in such a way which supports existing property laws or not.

The author of “Will MERS Exam Be a Whitewash?” suggests that the entire matter could actually be whitewashed. If you want to be entertained, read the transcript, further down in that blog post, of a November disposition of a MERS officer.  I think my blood pressure went up 20 points.

Here are the full depositions if you’re interested:

September 25. 2009 Deposition of R.K. Arnold, MERSCORP

November 11. 2009 Deposition of William Hultman, MERSCORP

Can we rely on our elected representatives to STOP the To-Big-To-Fail banks from complete disregard of current laws?

I am not so sure!  Read on.

As discussed in the Washington Post, the big banks and their lobbyists are not taking any chances and are pushing Congress to pass a retro-active bill which would legitimatize MERS existence and effectively violate our centuries old chain-of-title laws. 

[And then my blood pressure went ballistic and that is when I needed that pneumatic nailer.]

The one bright spot is the actions being taken by each of the states’ Attorney Generals who don’t want a global or national level solution but instead want a bank-by-bank approach to resolving this issue… and I agree!

Here is my bottom line…

I am not excusing the defaults by millions of homeowners, but I am substantially fired up that large corporations could get away with willfully circumventing well established property laws and you should be also. 

Why… because if we can’t trust our existing chain-of-ownership laws how can you be assured that the property you think you own is really yours?

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.