An Illionois court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Macon County, Illinois and other related plaintiffs and counties ruling in favor of the mortgage tracking giant MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) and numerous other defendants.
The plaintiffs alleged that the existence and use of the MERS System deprived the county of recording fees because it allowed MERS System Members to avoid paying recording fees for intermediate transfers between MERS System Members. MERS has been legally embattled for several years due to their role in the nation's foreclosure processes and have been wideley criticized for facilitiating foreclosures by means of fraud while on behalf of banks.
Rejecting the entirely of the County's argument for the recording fees, the court cited, “Defendants lawfully recorded and paid recording fees for the original mortgage, naming MERS as nominee." The court further stated in that "Defendants lawfully chose not to record intermediate transfers. Thus, they did not owe recording fees for those transfers. None of this conduct is wrongful…”
The county's argument for the alleged unpaid recording fees which were puportedly due a the time each of the mortgage transfers in question were made, is based upon the understanding that all mortgage transfers are [supposed] to be recorded at the county level. Therefore the related recording fees should be paid also. The Illionois court system is not been in favor of that premise.
MERS issued the following statement. “This case is another example of a county recorder seeking inappropriately to recover recording fees for services that were not performed by the counties or even required by state law,”
This decision joins the dismissals of similar lawsuits brought by county recorders in Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky.