Romaine unsuccessfully tried to block MERS from doing business in Suffolk County back in 2001.

His predictions were not far off, just too soon…

But now, he is back with a vengeance…

Asking for MERS-y

Homeowners, counties battle bank loan system

When the Suffolk County Legislature meets again next week, the county’s share of an estimated $2 billion in fees big banks saved with their electronic record-keeping system — bypassing paper mortgage records in county clerks’ offices — will top the agenda for legislator Ed Romaine.

In his previous job as county clerk, Romaine fought in court against the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, for several years in the early 2000s and lost. But he’s taking another run at it now as the firm’s shaky legal foundation is cracking and so many ordinary homeowners are suffering from questionable foreclosure actions involving MERS.

“We lost revenues, and they’ve acted wrongly,” said Romaine, who estimates MERS has drained more than $100 million that rightfully belongs to his cash-strapped county. “Filing paper assignments prevented some of the abuses.”

Romaine’s move is part of a growing wave of serious legal challenges to MERS — moves that ordinary homeowners like Noreen and Kevin Tuminski are praying might help them in loan modification negotations when other options have failed.

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