You should see these bird houses Mr. Geeai is building. They really are fun. He took me into his shop to show off his work. Lined up on his workbench were a series of seven birdhouses in various stages of construction. My favourite looks rather like the sorting hat from Hogwarts only it is covered in beehive paper. Only from Mr. Geeai.
After the appropriate ooh’s and ah’s on my part (genuine, I assure you, for I do enjoy his work) he looked up at me and grinned. “Guess what?”
“What?” I ask.
“I checked all eight of my houses on MERS’s own website and I don’t have MERS on any of my mortgages.” He seemed rather pleased with himself.
Something didn’t sit right with this news. You see, there are 60MM+ mortgages on the MERS system. Countrywide was one of the worst offenders of the MERS system and Countrywide did bang up business in this area during the hay days. I could see not having one house with MERS on the mortgage, but all eight? Something just didn’t add up. I’m no statistician, but I took enough of it in college to know that there was just something wrong with this information.
“Mr. Geeai”, I said. “Something is just not right here.”
“Hey, I did what you said, I checked with the website and it showed no records on my name and addresses.”
I explained to him the idea of statistical abnormalities and why it didn’t make sense that all of his houses should not be in the system. Then I asked him if I could take his tax information, go to the courthouse and do a little title search of my own on his behalf. I knew he wouldn’t, and I knew something was wrong. He heartily agreed with this idea and was well pleased he was going to get the information without having to deal with the courthouse. So he gave me the information on his eight houses and I left.
As work was awaiting me, piling up, actually, I wasn’t able to get to the courthouse until later that afternoon. I finally got to the recorder’s office about 4:30. I had to get help finding what I was looking for and I ran out of time before I was able to look up all eight properties. MERS was on four out of the four I was able to find before I was kicked out.
I stopped by Mr. Geeai’s house on the way home and found him happily ensconced in his workshop playing with his birdhouses. I waved the printouts at him and said “Guess what? You have MERS on every mortgage I was able to find. Four out of four. I would have gotten the others but before I was able to get to them, the nice lady came into the room to tell me that while I didn’t have to go home, I couldn’t stay there.”
Mr. Geeai put down his paper mache goo, wiped his hands, looked over his glasses at me and said, “what do you mean? Let me see those”
So I showed him the printouts and where the Mortgage Identification Numbers (MIN) was.
“Those numbers right there means you have MERS on your mortgage.”
Mr. Geeai was not pleased with the information. “Now what do I do?” he asked?
“Now”, I said, “you have a choice. You can choose to do nothing with the full knowledge that you are buying into a fraud, or, you can take action to make sure that you aren’t.”
“What do I do?”
“Well, the first thing you should do is file a request to your service provider in accordance with 15 USC whatever it is asking them to provide you with the name and contact information of the person or entity who holds the beneficial interest in your mortgage. When they blow you off, which they probably will, you file it a second time. When they blow you off the second time, you hire an attorney and tell them you want to file a chain of title action to make sure your title is clear.”
He looked at me for a few moments. I could tell his mind was ticking as he weighed information and possible consequences of various courses of action. “What’s up? I asked.
He shook his head. “I don’t like it,” he said.
“What don’t you like?”
He sighed, pulled his glasses from his nose and looked at me for about 10 seconds. “There are several things I don’t like,” he finally began.