A small Reston, Virginia company — the MERS Corporation — claims to hold title to about half of the nation’s mortgages — roughly 60 million loans, according to The New York Times. For those looking to stop foreclosure in Miami, hiring an attorney who understands how the system works — and who knows proving who owns your bank loan may no longer even be possible — is a critical step to protecting your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family.
Our Miami foreclosure defense attorneys know the system is broken. But more importantly, we know how and why the system is broken and we put that knowledge to work for our clients. As we reported recently on our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog, MERS is the electronic mortgage tracking system, which was instituted so that banks and mortgage companies could package and sell mortgages as Wall Street investments.
However, many of the safeguards originally conceived as part of the system were either never instituted or are no longer utilized. For example, a vault or central clearing house for the original loan documents does not exist — consequently, most of those documents have been lost or destroyed.
And then there is MERs, the company, which employs just 45 people despite its responsibility for tracking 67 million mortgages.
Many in the banking industry would prefer that struggling homeowners never hear of MERS, as judges, lawmakers and foreclosure defense lawyers continue to raise critical questions.
-How can this company, without a single dollar invested, and without a single shred of paperwork, claim title to millions of homes?
-And given that these loans have been packaged, sold, and resold, and that corners have been cut and the original paperwork no longer exists, can anyone prove anyone owns anything anymore? Let alone the title to your home and the right to foreclose.
In Arkansas, the Supreme Court has forbid MERS from filing foreclosure proceedings. In Utah, a judge allowed a homeowner to rip up his mortgage and walk away debt-free after the court refused to recognize MERS’ legal standing. And on Long Island, a bankruptcy judge ruled the company could no longer act as an agent for the owners of mortgage notes.
The issues and court rulings surrounding the company strike at the very heart of the mortgage industry in the United States. Under fire for the way the company does business, the CEO since its founding resigned earlier this year. Finding a foreclosure defense lawyer in Miami who understands the issues is vital to protecting your rights.
MERS was formed 16 years ago by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a number of big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. The system cut out the county clerks and became the owner of record, no matter how many times a mortgage was sold and resold. The paper trail disappeared. Consequently, until and unless MERS can prove ownership of your mortgage and the right to foreclose, it’s unlikely that ownership can be proven at all.
The industry violated common-sense; concrete proof of ownership was forsaken; everything was sacrificed for speed, convenience and economics. Never was a meltdown like what we are dealing with foreseen. And the system is incapable of handling it.
Nor was it a secret: County officials began petitioning Congress in the 1990s, arguing MERS was questionable from a legal standpoint. But the same deregulation, the same big-business mentality, and the same inert politicians that caused the meltdown reacted in the same old predictable fashion: They did nothing.
Don’t let your family pay the price to clean up the mess. Consult an attorney today and Negotiate from Strength.
If you need help with foreclosure issues in Miami or the surrounding areas, including short sales, deficiency judgments, strategic defaults or other help for Miami homeowners, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.