Reston, Virginia, – September 13, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. announced that the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois this week accepted the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal and dismissed a lawsuit filed by Macon County, Illinois and Mary Eaton, Macon County Recorder of Deeds, on behalf of Macon County and other similarly situated counties in the state of Illinois, ruling in favor of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and numerous other defendants.
In Macon County, Illinois, et al., v. MERSCORP, Inc. et al., the plaintiffs alleged that the existence and use of the MERS® System deprived the counties of recording fees because it allowed MERS® System Members to avoid paying recording fees for intermediate transfers between MERS® System Members, while they retained a first-lien priority under Illinois recording statute, 765 ILCS 5/28.
Rejecting entirely the plaintiff’s claims, Magistrate Bernthal wrote, “Defendants lawfully recorded and paid recording fees for the original mortgage, naming MERS as nominee. At that time, first-lien priority attached to the recorded mortgage pursuant to state law. Defendants lawfully chose not to record intermediate transfers. Thus, they did not owe recording fees for those transfers. None of this conduct is wrongful…”
“This case is another example of a county recorder seeking inappropriately to recover recording fees for services that were not performed by the counties or even required by state law,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith.
This decision joins the dismissals of similar lawsuits brought by county recorders in Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky.
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.
Email: janiss (at) mersinc (dot) org