MERS Unfazed by Possible Lawsuit from Harris County

by Houston Agent

Harris County is planning to sue MERS for more than $11 million in unpaid mortgage filing fees.

The  Attorney’s Office of Harris County, Houston is prepping for a potential lawsuit with the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), alleging that the noted company owes the county upwards of $11 million in unpaid mortgage filing fees.

Robert Soard, the chief of staff at the Harris County Attorney’s Office, said the lawsuit would state that whenever new mortgage assignments were made within MERS registries, MERS prevented the county from obtaining proper fees, according to a Housing Wire report on the lawsuit.

“We have been looking at this matter for well over a year,” Soard said.

The Houston Chronicle adds that the county will ask the Commissioners Court today on whether the county can hire additional assistance to properly investigate the unpaid fees.

“MERS has jeopardized the clear title of every Texas homeowner with a mortgage and has cheated Texas counties out of millions of dollars in property recording fees,” Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan said in an email to the Chronicle.

For its part, MERS seemed relatively unfazed by the county’s statements, opting for a “wait and see” approach.

“We have no specific comment on issues that may be raised in a complaint that might be filed at some point in the future,” MERS said in a statement quoted by Housing Wire. “Nothing has been filed by these counties, and the only information we have is speculative and learned from various press accounts we’ve seen.”

“I reiterate that MERS complies with the recording statutes and mortgage regulations in Texas (as well as other states) and the legality of MERS’ business model has already been affirmed in numerous cases decided by Texas courts and by federal courts.” another spokesperson said. “Should any new litigation be filed, we will defend the merits in the appropriate venue.”

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