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Guilford County Sues MERS, Big Banks

Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen is suing some of the country's biggest banks and the company that owns Mortgage Electronic Registration Sytems (MERS). The lawsuit aims to force more than two dozen mortgage and financial companies to "clean up the mess they created in Guilford County's public property records" and "hold the defendants accountable for their unfair and deceptive trade practices." The problem involves several shortcuts known collectively as "robo-signing" of mortgage documents used to prove banks have the right to foreclose if the homeowner isn't making mortgage payments. Named in the lawsuit are units of Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., and MERSCorp., which owns MERS. MERS is a private tracking service that records ownership interests in mortgages to allow banks to buy and sell loans without recording transfers with counties. A MERSCorp. statement says the lawsuit "contains a lot of political rhetoric. The company maintains that MERS "does not eliminate or replace county land records." WFAE has reported on the controversy surrounding MERS. Here are links to those archives: County Governments Sue MERS To Recover Recording Fees County Registers Seek Recording Fees From Mortgage Industry Banks' MERS Database Stirs Concern, But What Is It Exactly?