“We’re really wrestling with MERS. Does it need to be part of this?” said one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing. “MERS is a bit of a swamp.”
‘MERS morass’ is hanging up negotiations on foreclosure settlement
Given the broad reach that MERS has into every aspect of the mortgage and foreclosure process, officials have been grappling with whether they can address one element of the MERS business model in the current settlement while leaving other aspects open to future investigation. In part, they say, the patchwork of conflicting laws and court decisions in different states makes a one-size-fits-all solution difficult. In addition, they are facing pressure from banks that already stand to pay billions of dollars in penalties and would prefer to steer clear of the MERS problem altogether in the current negotiations.
Several people familiar with the negotiations said that officials leading the talks have no intention of releasing MERSCORP, the parent company of MERS, from liability claims. The trickier question is how to address MERS-related foreclosure cases that involve the banks under scrutiny.
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