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N.Y. Court Upholds MERS Position

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that the MERS mortgage is a valid method of transferring rights from the borrower to MERS. The appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision that county clerks must record MERS mortgages, assignments and lien discharges as required by state property law.

The seven to zero decision found that the model MERS mortgage and mortgage assignment "satisfies the limited requirements of the recording statute."

R.K. Arnold, president and CEO of MERS, said the decision "reaffirms the legal premise upon which MERS was created." He said MERS is happy to have the court case behind it so it can continue to deliver the benefits of electronic commerce to homebuyers.

"MERS would like to thank Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the American Land Title Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association," Mr. Arnold said in a news release. "Their support and confidence throughout this litigation has been invaluable."

The court victory comes on the heels of several year-end announcements regarding enhancements and upgrades to MERS.

MERS unveiled its "ServicerID" recently, saying the service will provide a quick, easy and cost free way for users with no MERS affiliation to find the servicer of a MERS-registered loan online. The service is available through public Internet access and does not require a sign-on.

It allows users to search for loan information by MIN, property address or FHA/VA/MI certificate number. Searches can also be conducted by a combination of borrower name with social security number and ZIP code, or property address with borrower name.

MERS also announced the release of version 3.0 of the MERS eRegistry, which includes a number of additional enhancements for users.

MERS is an industry utility, modeled on the book entry system for tracking stock ownership, that has created an electronic loan registry that eliminates the need for assignments when trading mortgage loans and servicing rights. Borrowers name MERS as mortgagee and nominee for the lender on deeds of trust and mortgages that are recorded in the county land records. Lenders than register the loans on the MERS System and electronically track changes in servicing and beneficial ownership rights over the life of the loan. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com