“We have made clear that Massachusetts will not sign on to any global agreement with the banks if it includes a comprehensive liability release regarding securitization and the MERS conduct”


Mass. AG Coakley launches probe of foreclosure mess

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has opened a probe into whether banks violated state property-recording laws during the housing boom — and broke foreclosure rules during the resulting housing bust.

“We are currently investigating creditor misconduct in connection with unlawful foreclosures, including failure to establish the right to start a foreclosure as well as filing false or misleading documents with registries in the Commonwealth,” Coakley wrote today in a letter to state registers of deeds.

The attorney general said her probe will specifically look at whether use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems — a private network that lenders use to record paperwork when they trade mortgages among themselves — violates state property-records laws.

“We have focused particularly on creditors’ reliance on MERS and whether MERS conforms to the requirements of Massachusetts law, in the context of foreclosures and otherwise,” Coakley wrote.

Some experts claim mortgages transferred via the MERS system but not recorded with local registries of deeds are invalid, “clouding” land titles on thousands of homes. Homeowners with clouded titles could find their properties impossible to sell or refinance without going to court to clean up any problems.

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