The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs are now permitting lenders to charge borrowers MERS registration fees on all FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed mortgages, according to MERS, a McLean, Va.-based electronic loan registry.R. K. Arnold, president and chief executive officer of MERS, said the agencies' new policy is significant "because it reduces paperwork for lenders and will save borrowers a few more dollars because MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments." The company said HUD has instructed its Homeownership Centers of the new policy and revised its Reference Guide, while the VA has made the change in its Administration Circular 26-05-04 and placed it on the VA loan guaranty website. MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, can be found on the Web at http://www.mersinc.org.

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