Multnomah County Seeking $38 Million from MERS, Big Banks

Multnomah County is suing a huge mortgage multinational and 18 co-defendants, including some of the biggest banks in the nation, for $38 million.

The suit focuses on the mortgage-backed securities system that wreaked such havoc in the economy in 2008.

The property records system that enabled the rapid, complex transactions involving these bundled mortgages was the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS.

The county is arguing that MERS devastated the public property records system while helping clients to sidestep required transaction fees. It is suing MERS and 18 co-defendants for negligence, unjust enrichment and fraudulent misrepresentation.

The co-defendants include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiMortgage, HSBC, Wells Fargo and Oregon banks Bank of the Cascades, Lewis and Clark Bank and West Coast Bank.

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