After the MERS Valentine's Day Massacre, previously reported on Zero Hedge, where Judge Robert Grossman found that MERS has no right to transfer mortgages, the company appears to have proceeded with the logical next step: professional Harakiri. In an announcement sent out to all MERS Members, the company stated that according to a proposed amendment to Membership Rule 8, it will require "members not to foreclose in MERS' name." MERS is seeking comments in a 90-day period, but since this is a directive driven from external judicial decision(s), it is unlikely that MERS members' opinions will matter at all. Basically MERS may have just exited the US mortgage scene, stage left, for good.
Highlights from the release:
MERS is providing the following guidance to all Members to strengthen business practices, and minimize reputation, legal and compliance risk to MERS and its Members. In recent months legal challenges have arisen regarding alleged inadequacies and improprieties in the foreclosure process including allegations of insufficient or incorrect supporting documentation and challenges to the legal capacity of parties’ right to foreclose. MERS is committed to reevaluate and strengthen its systems and procedures to protect against these types of legal challenges. Consistent with this approach we have enhanced the Corporate Resolution Management System (CRMS) and instituted related policies and procedures designed to strengthen MERS’ business practices and limit compliance risks. To comply with this guidance, MERS Members should implement the following practices, effective immediately.
MERS is planning to shortly announce a proposed amendment to Membership Rule 8. The proposed amendment will require Members to not foreclose in MERS’ name. Consistent with the Membership Rules there will be a 90-day comment period on the proposed Rule. During this period we request that Members do not commence foreclosures in MERS’ name. If a Member determines that it will commence a foreclosure in MERS’ name during this 90-day period, two weeks advance notice must be given to MERS to permit verification of the appointment and current status of the Certifying Officer proposed to participate in the foreclosure. No foreclosure may be processed in MERS’ name without first obtaining this verification. We encourage Members to bring foreclosures only in the name of the holder of the note, in the name of the trustee or the servicer of record acting on behalf of the trustee.
As to whether this will actually impact a housing business whose every component is in regulatory and legal flux and limbo, and more specifically, the share prices of WFC and BAC, please direct your queries to Liberty 44, c/o Central Market Planning Bureau.
Full MERS statement.