Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bay State Deed-Recording Official On County Being Screwed Over Out Of Nearly $2M: MERS "An Elaborate Stiffing Scheme To Avoid Paying Registry Fees!"

In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, The Berkshire Eagle reports:

  • A Virginia-based mortgage registry business mired in the nation’s housing foreclosure investigation has apparently "stiffed" the three Berkshire Registry of Deeds offices of nearly $2 million in recording fees for more than a decade, local registry officials have claimed.

  • Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. of Reston, Va. failed to pay an estimated $1.18 million to the Middle District Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield from June 1999 through July of this year, according to Register of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. In addition, Nuciforo’s staff has calculated that the Southern and Northern District registries in North Adams and Great Barrington respectively are owed a collective $775,000 during the same 12-year period.

  • The $75 state-mandated fee in question is for each time a home mortgage is sold or swapped -- known as an assignment -- to another lending institution after it has been initially recorded in the appropriate registry. The money collected goes into the state’s general revenue fund.

  • MERS was established 16 years ago by mortgage companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and financial giants like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase to make it easier for banks and lenders to sell mortgages as an investment.

  • "It’s become an elaborate stiffing scheme to avoid paying registry fees," Nuciforo said. Nuciforo was among the state’s 21 registers of deeds who met with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley last week asking she further probe MERS’ recording practices, before signing off on a reportedly $20 billion nationwide settlement.

For more, see Mortgage business 'stiffing' county.

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