“Note to homeowners hoping their MERS mortgage is a path to a free home: At most, Judge Grossman’s opinion means your debt is unsecured. That is, you still owe the money, but the bank can’t foreclose on you to make you pay.”
Much has already been written about the Mortgage Electronic Registration System — the mortgage industry’s effort to avoid paying local governments hundreds of millions of dollars in fees while facilitating trading in mortgages — and its problematic legal foundation. I refer to the “mortgage industry” — rather than just banks — because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played important roles in the creation of MERS. However, in the context of MERS in foreclosures, “banks” is equally appropriate.
As foreclosure-related litigation challenging the MERS business model has progressed around the nation, the banks have won some and lost some, with the decisions hinging on state law. That spotty track record should outrage everyone. The mortgage industry subverted a property-ownership system that had functioned well since before the American Revolution, essentially replacing it with MERS. And whether or not MERS works as intended turns out to be based on accidents of geography.
MERS Is National, But Real Estate Law Is Local
State laws governing how homes are bought and sold vary widely because each modern law is the organic result of hundreds of years of court decisions and laws rooted in a state’s history and culture. Some states have mortgages while others have “deeds of trust,” some have “title theory” and some “lien theory.” Some states require going through the courts to foreclose, while others don’t — and some allow both procedures, but usually use just one. Such variation shouldn’t be surprising: Nothing is more local than land.
See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/gwinoi