Federal Court in North Carolina Dismisses ‘Fraud by Use of MERS’ Case

Federal Court in North Carolina Dismisses ‘Fraud by Use of MERS’ Case

CARRIE BAY

Merscorp Holdings, Inc. announced Thursday that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), JPMorgan Chase, and other MERS members in a recent case.

In James Porterfield vs. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Inc.MERS, et al, the borrower plaintiff brought several counts including “fraud by use of MERS,” alleging MERS could neither be a named beneficiary nor a nominee of a lender in the deed.

The plaintiff further claimed that the “the hidden purpose of MERS is to defraud borrowers and the clerks of court by hiding the true owners of secured interests on property in opposition to common law policies and the laws of North Carolina, and that all transfers of the deed or the note by MERS are void.”

The court found “despite the plaintiff’s contention to the contrary, the deed unequivocally identifies MERS and its position.” Additionally, Judge Terrence W. Boyle ruled that “the plaintiff has failed to uncover any case finding that MERS violates North Carolina law whereas several other courts have held that MERS is lawful and accordingly has the authority to assign it rights under deeds of trust.”

“This ruling serves as a reminder that prior case law has been settled. Courts have consistently found that MERS has authority to assign its rights under deeds of trust,” said Janis Smith, VP of corporate communications for Merscorp Holdings.

“MERS has legal authority to act on behalf of the lender—including the right to execute the assignment—and this authority is granted by plain language in the mortgage document signed at closing by the borrower,” Smith added.

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