Lawsuit Alleges that MERS Owes California a Potential $60-120 Billion in Unpaid Land-Recording Fees

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Former hedge fund manager Shah Gilani notes:

creating MERS, these institutions actually changed the land-title
system that this country - for much of its history - has relied upon to
determine legal ownership status of land titleholders.

Not only did the lenders sidestep (read that to mean avoid) paying billions of dollars in fees to local governments, they paid themselves from the fees that MERS collected.

is facing class-action lawsuits and civil racketeering suits around
the country and their members are being individually named in all these
suits. One suit alleges that MERS owes California a potential $60 billion to $120 billion in unpaid land-recording fees.

suits against MERS and all its members are successful, unpaid
recording fees and fines (that can be as much as $10,000 per incident)
would make every one of them insolvent.

MERS is a shell company, with no employees. However, its parent does have employees.

As Bloomberg notes:

MERS Inc., which holds the liens, has no employees, and MERSCORP, the parent, has only about 50, [the MERS spokeswoman said].

lawyers will undoubtedly argue that the "corporate veil should be
pierced". In other words, they'll argue that MERS hasn't followed
normal corporate formalities (or is inadequately capitalized), and so
the big banks which own it should have to pay any judgments against it.
I am not sure who will win that argument.

But Plaintiffs' lawyers will probably also name the banks themselves directly as co-defendants.