Sunday, November 20, 2011

MERS Scores Michigan Win As State High Court Reverses Earlier Unfavorable Appeals Court Ruling On Bankster's Right To Foreclose

In Lansing, Michigan, WILX-TV Channel 10 reports:

  • The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) Wednesday, allowing thousands of previously halted foreclosures around the state to resume.

  • The decision overturns a lower court ruling from April that had blocked MERS' foreclosures because the company doesn't own or have any interest in the homeowners' debt. MERS isn't a bank or lending institution itself, it acts as a middleman to help speed up transfer of properties.

  • Ingham Co. register of deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. says MERS was responsible for more than a quarter of the county's foreclosures during the last 4 years. "The Supreme Court’s decision affirms MERS' business model and will allow the Michigan real estate industry to get back to business as usual," said Bill Beckmann, MERS’ President and CEO in a statement sent to WILX. "This will allow homeowners to resolve title issues and buyers to move forward with the purchase of foreclosed properties, which is good for neighborhood stability.”

  • In Michigan, companies like MERS don't need a court to foreclose. They can simply post an ad in the paper and post a notice on the door once a homeowner is in default in a process known as foreclosure-by-advertisement.

  • Hertel Jr. says the extra delays the original court ruling added had helped homeowners fighting foreclosure have a fighting chance of staying in their homes. "It gave time for people to work out reasonable modifications and it gave time for people to recover financially," said Hertel Jr., who strongly disagrees with Wednesday's ruling. "This decision takes that time away."

Source: Mi. Supreme Court OK's MERS Foreclosures (The ruling reverses a lower court ruling that halted thousands of foreclosures in the state).

For the ruling, see Residential Funding v Saurman, No. 143178-9 (Mich. November 16, 2011).

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