Alabama lawsuits challenge electronic mortgage system

A national company’s mortgage registration sys­tem makes it difficult to track property title owner­ship and allows it to avoid paying county record fees, according to lawsuits filed by two Alabama counties in recent months.

The cases filed by the Walker County Commis­sion and Barbour County’s probate judge are among a number of lawsuits filed by counties and homeowners nationwide challenging the legality of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Sys­tems Inc.’s system, known as MERS.

The company has won a number of those court challenges and other deci­sions are pending. Walker County filed its lawsuit, which seeks to be certified as a class action complaint on behalf of all Alabama counties, against the company and its parent company, Reston, Va.­based MERS Corp, in April. The case was transferred to federal court in Birming­ham last week. The Bar­bour County case was filed in November.

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