Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updating the Foreclosure Mess

The NY Times looks at how deficiencies within MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) continue to cause problems for courts and borrowers:

Amid the foreclosure crisis . . .critics have contended that the registry . . .  served to hide the true owner of a mortgage, making it difficult for borrowers to get help in working out their loans. The facts in [recent cases] seem to indicate another flaw with the MERS registry — that it may not even track mortgages effectively.

[Here's one example - the case of Eugene Kline, a borrowers who had two outstanding mortgages on his home and ultimately defaulted.] At the time of the foreclosure, Wells Fargo held both loans taken on by Mr. Kline. Nevertheless, its lawyers sued WMC, contending WMC held the smaller loan. Even though WMC did not own the loan, its lawyers represented to the court that it did. All the while court costs and other charges were billed to Mr. Kline.  Many questions arise in this case. For starters, if the MERS registry is the accurate record it claims to be, why didn’t Wells Fargo or its lawyers see that it, not WMC, held the second lien when the Kline foreclosure began?

Steve Clowney

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