Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent

Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent

One company embroiled in the nation’s property foreclosure crisis is not unprepared for a fight.

In Washington, D.C., Merscorp Inc. has retained several well-heeled lobbyists and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying efforts since the start of the mortgage crisis and economic meltdown.

Merscorp Inc. is the parent company of Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), which serves as an electronic registry for 67 million U.S. mortgages — more than 60 percent of the country’s total.

MERS was created in the 1990s by the mortgage banking industry to save them significant sums of cash by capitalizing on the digital revolution. The firm’s motto is “process loans, not paperwork.”

The ease of this streamlining process has brought trouble and detractors, however, especially in the face of the $12 trillion real estate bubble’s burst, and the company’s role in helping banks foreclose on properties, as the Washington Post recently reported.

“Several state courts have rejected attempts by MERS to act on behalf of banks seeking to foreclose on delinquent mortgages,” the Post reported last week. “And Congress is weighing legislation that would bar home loan giant Fannie Mae from buying any mortgage listed in MERS, potentially a death knell for the registry.”

Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi recently summed up the company’s status this way: “In short, the mortgage industry considers MERS owner enough to foreclose on you, but not owner enough to be sued, or reasoned with, or even to provide basic customer service.”

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee in November, Merscorp Chief Executive Officer R.K. Arnold maintained his firm did not profit from foreclosures or decide when to foreclose upon a property.

Since the mortgage crisis began in late 2007, Merscorp has dug deep to support its own brigade of advocates in Washington.

In 2008, the company invested $210,000 on federal lobbying efforts. In 2009, that number climbed to $560,000. And between January and September this year, it spent $420,000.

The company has retained several lobbyists with powerful pedigrees. Among them?

  • Former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Livingston (R-La.)
  • J. Allen Martin, Livingston’s former chief of staff
  • Arnold Havens, who formerly served as general counsel at the U.S. Treasury
  • John M. Duncan, who formerly worked in the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush and served as the chief of staff for Sen. William Roth (R-Del.) — the former Senate Finance Committee Chairman who is the namesake of the Roth IRA investment vehicle.

Merscorp has also utilized the lobbying services of two other men who have passed through the “revolving door” between public service and the private sector: William D. Crosby Jr., a long-time lawyer for the House Rules Committee, and Steve Kreseski, the former chief of staff for Rep. Bob Ehrlich (R-Md.).

Since leaving Congress in 2003, Ehrlich served one term as Maryland’s governor and, in November, lost a bid to serve as the state’s governor again.

SOURCE: OpenSecrests.org



5 Responses to “Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent”
  1. Flex says:

    MERS, INC. is this the best you can do? You spent less than $1.2 million to gather the best talent to lobbyist for you. This is peanuts compare to the money you are making every year with millions of so called electronic recording assignments for all your millions of members. Bring all the talent out, so they can be exposed and people on America and the world see who they are. I am sure many people know where they live, after all, this is a small world. I really enjoyed the latest article by Matt Taibbi. I learned that MERS is not only in Residential Mortgage but also in Commercial Mortgage. But what really ignited me is that they are also in The United Kingdom. How did they infiltrate in the Queen’s country? They must have the biggest connection in Politics. What is more ironic is that one of the founders of MERS, is the scam bag Mozillo from Country Wide. NO wonder after what he did to this country with the sup-prime loans and the Neg-Arms loans, MERS is his back up plan to take the whole country by a storm.
    I encourage every reader of this post to read the summary of Matt Taibbi and download the PDF file from MERS back when they advertised their SCAM from 2003 to Commercial Mortgages. One of their lines for the advertisement was that MERS can Foreclose Quickly.
    Bring it on MERS! Hire all the talent there is available now. They are exposing themselves to the worse Prostitution ever in the history of the world and their reputation is going down the line and their business and family name with it. If I were one of those ex-Rep. Senators who are probably doing MERS a favor to look good or intimidating the American People or the FEDS by coming out public to represent one of the most incredulous companies in the U.S. that was set up just to commit Fraud and Deceit the public, the government, and the courts of the justice system, I would stay away from MERS like the plague.
    I also agreed with the two previous comments. America, if you want to stop the pain, as I and many others had said before, stop doing business with the banks. Go to the Banks on Monday and withdraw all your money and open an account in your local small bank or credit union. They will be able to offer you the same or even better service than the banks that you have right now. If you don’t do this, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Since we all know that this mess is so deep, No one will come forward to tell the truth. They rather keep it secret for as long as it takes, because they know, if they come out with the truth, people will rise and burn them down to ashes. They are waiting for the Government made them do something, as the sign is already happening. The AG from California made Wells Fargo to pay $2 Billion Dollars towards loan modification and principal reduction and many millions more towards those who had Neg-Arm loans interest only and were foreclosed illegally.
    The only way to win this mess is to keep fighting. We need to encourage everyone to file law suits against the banks. Also we need to encourage the investors to file law suits against the banks. The latest decision from the Massachusetts Court on the Ibanez case will lead all the Non-Judicial States to fight back. It does not matter you have money or not, the principal is what counts. You need to get educated and file the law suits even if you have to do it pro se. America, please consult with paralegals or Attorneys in Pro-Bono to help you in your case. Do not let the Pretender Lender or Servicer take your home in Foreclosure if they do not have the Note, the assignment of the note, or even the transfer of the Note. If there is not Standing, they do not have the right to foreclose, Period.

  2. l vent says:

    MERS should not even be an issue. MERS is a cover-up for the ORIGINATION FRAUD. When the truth comes out about the ORIGINATION FRAUD, ALL fraudclosures should be halted permanantly and ALL of the houses should be returned to the people who have already been fraudclosed on. I have heard the excuse from some attorneys that this is what “they” did. As if that legitimizes the crimes because “they” did them. “They” used OUR names and OUR PAID OFF property as collateral to commit their WALL STREET FINANCIAL CRIMES and then STOLE AND HID ALL OF OUR MONEY through their INTENTIONAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE and now ‘THEY” want to STEAL ALL OF OUR HOMES, TOO. It sounds like they stole our identities to perpertrate the biggest PONZI SCHEME in history. Since when is using someone elses name and property to COMMIT FRAUD LEGAL? All mortage contracts should be RESCINDED because THEY BROKE THE LAW. These criminals are continuing to STEAL PEOPLES HOMES THROUGH FRAUDCLOSURES AND USING MERS TO DO THEIR DIRTY DEEDS. OUR GOVERNMENT is STILL ALLOWING THE BANKSTERS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS TO RAPE AND PILLAGE ALL OF US through FRAUDULENT FORECLOSURES. We should all be demanding some REAL answers and the only solution to STOP FRAUDCLOSURES is an INDEFINITE NATIONWIDE MORATORIUM ON ALL FORECLOSURES.They need to STOP ALL of the LIES and the INSANITY. NO ONE believes “THEM” anymore and “THEY” need to realize this. The more ‘THEY’ LIE and TRY TO COVER -UP these CRIMES against ALL OF US, the MADDER the people are getiing. They need to tell the truth about FRAUDCLOSUREGATE.

  3. J Glenn Lowe says:

    Anyone who publicly represents MERS should be publicly executed for putting children in the streets for profit. How does it feel to live in a country that is burning to the ground? Makes me want to get a rope. When laws can’t protect us anymore, what choice do we have? Time to clean house, put a cap on income and transfer the wealth back to our fellow man so that families can have basic housing and food.

  4. rick says:

    The central banks are destroying America right before your very eyes.
    Ron Paul 2012.

    • RAMONA says:

      and right in the open without shame ..because we are not protected . where do we go for help? a storm is brewing

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