Life on MERS: Archive is at center of mortgage mess | Reuters
A little-known institution in Reston, Virginia, has done much to help loan servicers produce foreclosure documents of questionable legitimacy, according to multiple recent court rulings and deposition testimony.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, has only about 50 full time employees. Yet it claims to own about half of all mortgages in the United States, roughly 60 million loans, and is involved in about 60 percent of new mortgages issued.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and several large banks established MERS in 1995, as a registry meant to speed up the recording and transfer of mortgages. Until then, this had to be done in individual county clerks offices and the process was glacial. The founders went ahead even though no state laws authorized them to bypass the required filing with clerks.
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