West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Determines State Recording Statutes do not Require the Recording of Assignments of Trust Deeds

Lower Court Exceeded Jurisdiction in Denying Motion to Dismiss

Reston, Virginia- February 11, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held recording statutes in West Virginia do not require that the assignment of a trust deed be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county commission.

In State of West Virginia v Warren McGraw, the Court disagreed with Wyoming County’s claims that the recording of trust deed assignments in county record books is required by state law, “in order to clear title to properties in the Counties.” While the Counties did not name MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. or Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (MERS) as a defendant in the case, the allegations in the complaint were focused on challenging the operations of MERS and the MERS® System.

In his opinion, West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Menis E. Ketchum II said that “recording statutes in West Virginia do not require that the assignment of a trust deed be recorded in the office of the clerk of the county commission.”

“We are pleased that the West Virginia Supreme Court found that the lower court – the Circuit Court of Wyoming County – exceeded its jurisdiction in denying the Trustees’ motion to dismiss and is directed to dismiss the County’s action with prejudice,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith.

At loan origination, MERS is designated by the lender and the borrower in the trust deed as the beneficiary as the nominee for the lender and the lender’s successors and assigns. The trust deed is recorded in the applicable land records and a recording fee is paid. As long as the sale of the promissory note involves MERS® System Members, MERS remains the beneficiary of the trust deed and the transfer of the note is tracked on the MERS® System.

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit www.mersinc.org.

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MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. is a privately held corporation that owns and manages the MERS® System and all other MERS® products. It is a member-based organization made up of thousands of lenders, servicers, sub-servicers, investors and government institutions. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) serves as the mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS® System, and is a nominee (or agent) for the owner of the promissory note. The MERS® System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members.

CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230
Email: janiss (at) mersinc (dot) org

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