MERS foreclosure issue headed to Oregon Supreme Court
With Oregon’s state and federal courts singing a variety of different tunes on the mortgage industry’s controversial nationwide document-registration system, someone will finally ask the state Supreme Court to step in.
If the high court gives the system a thumbs down, it could throw a wrench into thousands of pending foreclosures in Oregon and potentially upend thousands more already completed.
An order filed this week in the U.S. District Court in Portland said that court’s chief judge will certify questions for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has to formally accept the questions, and it has the latitude to reject or even reword them.
If the seven justices do take on the issue, their decision could bring an end to a series of differing rulings on whether the industry’s Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, meets the requirements of state law when it comes to property documentation.
That conflicting legal history makes it likely to get the Supreme Court go-ahead, said Willamette University law professor Jeff Dobbins.
“It’s such a significant issue,” he said. “Unless they see something in the case that makes them think it’s not right, I think the betting is probably reasonable that they’ll go ahead and consider the question.”