Certified Forensic Loan Auditors, LLC

  Upcoming Classes

Search CFLA's Article Archive:

NC County Sues MERS, LPS, Major Lenders to “Clean Up the Mess” Made of Public Land Records

totalmortgage.comMar 14, 2012

By Michael Kraus

A little over a year ago, I wrote that Jeff Thigpen, the Registrar of Deeds in Guilford County, North Carolina, was considering suing MERS over alleged misdeeds, including falsifying documents, robo-signing, and other similar abuses.

At the time, Thigpen commented:

“As Register of Deeds, I have two primary responsibilities in land records: a sworn duty to protect the chain of title and a fiduciary responsibility to collect recording fees. Quite frankly, MERS has undermined both. Through their own “private-for-profit” Register of Deeds mortgage tracking office, MERS has created a dangerous centralization of power whose sole purpose is to protect and serve the interests of major banking conglomerates and undermine public recording offices.”

“For me, the question is clear. Do we want land records in America to be governed by major banking conglomerates on Wall Street or the people and the laws of the United States of America?”

Today, I learned from an article in the Wall Street Journal that Thigpen made good on his threat to sue. The complaint names MERS, Lender Processing Services, as well as a large number of the largest U.S. lenders and mortgage servicers, including JP Morgan, Wells-Fargo, Bank of America ,and Citibank. The purpose of the lawsuit is “to have Defendants clean up the mess they created in Guilford County’s public property records and to hold Defendants accountable for their unfair and deceptive trade practices.” The complaint further alleges that:

“In furtherance of Defendants’ creation and maintenance of ‘mortgage backed securities’…Defendants filed with the Register of Deeds: (1) falsified, foprged, and/or fraudulently executed mortgage-related documents through a practice called “robo-signing” and (2) mortgages and deeds of trust assigned to a private registry called ‘MERS,’ that Defendants created for the express purposes of hastening their securitization deals and avoiding the costs of maintaining accurate and publicly recorded real estate documents regarding transfer and assignment of mortgages.”

If you read the complaint in its entirety, it gives a pretty good blow-by-blow of what has transpired with regard to MERS and robo-signing over the past couple of years. It is claimed that the Defendants’ actions caused the following harms to Guilford County: legal uncertainty concerning titles, difficulty or inability in remedying title defects, the loss of homes due to illegal foreclosure, declining property values, reductions in tax collection, decreases in employment, social stability, and quality of life, among other things. Thigpen is seeking the appointment of a special master (paid for by the Defendants) to go through all the Guilford County land records and fix the defects. He also asks for some punitive damages.

I am not a lawyer, so it is difficult for me to opine on the chances that this suit will succeed. I’d like to hope that it does, but recent efforts to make bad actors in the mortgage sector clean up their messes have left much to be desired. I think that the recent “mortgage settlement” is a joke (and a bad one at that). New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who talked a big game in the months leading up to the settlement, settled his own lawsuit against MERS for a measly $25 million.

Thigpen is not the first registrar to take on MERS. Last February, South Essex County (Massachusetts) Registrar of Deeds John O’Brien sought $22 million from MERS over allegations similar to those in Thigpen’s suit.

It is my sincere hope that this lawsuit will succeed, but given what has gone down over the past few years, I am not optimistic. Still, credit Thigpen for taking a shot at making things right.

Back to March 2012 Archive

CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

SEE BELOW- http://www.certifiedforensicloanauditors.com

Call us toll free at 888-758-2352

Bookmark and Share
Facebook Like us on Facebook
Twitter Follow us on Twitter
YouTube View our YouTube Videos
LinkedIn Connect to us on Linkedin
BBB Logo


Contact us or view our Sample Documents & Audits by completing the form below.

International Bloomberg Securitization Audits


DVD Sets Only $99


FREE Mortgage Fraud Analysis


Order Cutting-Edge Services Now


Quiet Title Packages from Licensed Attorneys


Affiliate Services


CFLA Sponsored Attorney Links


Take-Home Education Package