If you have taken out a mortgage on (or refinanced) your home (or business property) in the last 10 years or so chances are the title of your property is clouded so badly that no one can legally foreclose on your loan. This is the result of an illegal, little known operation that was specifically setup to expedite the rapid securitization and trading of mortgage securities. Further it was explicitly devised to circumvent the centuries old democratic process of recording property ownership and mortgages against those properties at county clerks offices across the country.
See the quotes below, read Barry Ritholtz’ take on it here: http://bit.ly/yGMaGc or read the whole article here: http://harpers.org/archive/2012/01/0083752 Not a subscriber? $15.00/year through Amazon: http://amzn.to/zQDafi
Choice quotes (Bold emphasis mine):
“After the housing market collapsed, however, MERS found itself under attack in courts across the country. MERS had singlehandedly unraveled centuries of precedent in property titling and mortgage recordation, and judges in state appellate and federal bankruptcy courts in more than a dozen jurisdictions—the primary venues where real estate cases are decided— determined that the company did not have the right to foreclose on the mortgages it held.”
… A mortgage contract, the justices wrote, consists of two documents: the deed of trust, which secures the house as collateral on a loan, and the promissory note, which indebts the borrower to the lender… “In the event that a mortgage loan somehow separates interests of the note and the deed of trust, with the deed of trust lying with some independent entity,” said the Kansas court, “the mortgage may become unenforceable.”
“There is no evidence of record that establishes that MERS either held the promissory note or was given the authority [to] assign the note,” the Kansas court found… Not only did MERS fail to legally assign the notes, the company presented “no evidence as to who owns the note.”
Similar cases were brought before courts in Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Utah, and other states. “It appears that every MERS mortgage is defective, a piece of crap.” a New York State Supreme Court judge recently told [the author]
Barry’s post is very to-the-point and the discussion continues in the comments, including a link to the consent order MERS signed agreeing to reform its policies, here: http://1.usa.gov/xVx3sN