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Tennessee District Court Affirms Legality of MERS’ Role in a Securitized Mortgage

courtroom-justicescalesMERSCORP Holdings won another victory in court this week when the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Nashville Division dismissed a lawsuit that challenged MERS' role in a deed of trust in Tennessee, according to an announcement from MERS.

In the case of Johnson v. Broker Solutions, Inc., plaintiffs identified 11 causes of action in attacking the securitization of their mortgage loans and argued that MERS cannot be a real party in interest in a securitized mortgage. The plaintiffs relied on a third party "property securitization analysis report" as the basis for their allegations.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John S. Bryant denied the plaintiffs' assertion of MERS' role in the securitized mortgage, citing the case of Dauenhauer v. Bank N.Y. Mellon. The ruling in that case stated that "[c]ourts nationally, including Tennessee’s, have consistently approved MERS’ role in loans when designated as the nominee and beneficiary under a deed of trust." Bryant ruled that "the role of MERS was valid" because the plaintiffs' deed of trust named MERS as nominee and beneficiary, according to the MERS announcement.

"We are pleased that the district court relied on case law that has consistently upheld MERS’ role as nominee and beneficiary under a deed of trust," MERSCORP Holdings VP for Corporate Communications Janis Smith said.

Bryant also cited a "flood of cases" in which courts ruled in MERS' favor amid similar claims from plaintiffs involving "certified forensic audit" or "property securitization analysis reports." One of those cases was decided earlier in August, Renfroe v. Flagstar Bank. In that case, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee found that Renfroe's complaint had been copied verbatim from a generic online complaint and affirmed MERS' role as nominee and beneficiary of the deed of trust. Judge Todd J. Campbell, after adopting Bryan's report and recommendation, dismissed the case on August 11.

In early August, MERSCORP was awarded a victory in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which ruled that MERSCORP was not duty-bound by the Pennsylvania recording statute to record all land conveyances.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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