MERS comments on the Commission’s Proposed Rule for Asset-Backed w/ Referrals

MERS comments on the Commission’s Proposed Rule for Asset-Backed w/ Referrals

MERS comments on the Commission’s Proposed Rule for Asset-Backed w/ Referrals

Excerpts:

MERS was created in 1995 under the auspices of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), as the mortgage industry’s utility, to streamline the mortgage process by using electronic commerce to eliminate paper. Our Board of Directors and shareholders are comprised of representatives from the MBA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, large and small mortgage companies, the American Land Title Association (ALTA), the CRE Finance Council, title underwriters, and mortgage insurance companies.

Our initial focus was to eliminate the need to prepare and record assignments when trading mortgage loans. Our members make MERS the mortgagee and their nominee on the security instruments they record in the county land records. Then they register their loans on the MERS® System so they can electronically track changes in ownership over the life of the loans. This process eliminates the need to record assignments every time the loans are traded. Over 3000 MERS members have registered more than 65 million loans on the MERS® System, saving the mortgage industry hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) approved MERS for government loans because they recognized the value to consumers. On table-funded loans, MERS eliminates the cost to the consumer of the mortgage assignment ($30 – $150). In addition, the MERS process ensures that lien releases are not delayed by eliminating potential breaks in the chain of title. Similar to the residential product, we also addressed the assignment problem in the commercial market with MERS® Commercial, on which is registered over $110 billion in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) loans.

More than 60 percent of existing mortgages have an assigned MIN, making a total of 65,000,000 loans registered since the inception of the system in 1997. The corresponding data for these mortgages is tracked on the MERS® System from origination through sale and until payoff. MERS therefore offers a substantial base of historical data about existing loans that can be harnessed to bring transparency to existing MBS products. Attached are letters from the MBA, FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on this point.

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Related:

MERS May NOT Foreclose for Fannie Mae effective 5/1/2010

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Fannie Mae’s Announcing Miscellaneous Servicing Policy Changes

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